The shrine of Syed Naushah Ganj Bakhsh at Ranmal Sharif,Tehsil Phalia (old district Gujrat) new district Mandi Bahauddin, Pakistan
Hadhrat Haji Syed Muhammad Naushah Ganj Bakhsh (21 August 1552 – 18 May 1654), a scholar, saint and preacher of Islam in South Asia, was the founder of the Naushahia branch of the Qadri order. He preached in the tenth and eleventh centuries Hijri (sixteenth and early seventeenth century AD). His adherents call themselves Qadri Naushahi, Naushahi or just Qadri, since Haji Naushah pak belonged to the Qadri order.
1 Birth and names
3 Ministry and teaching
4 Personal life
5 Literary works
10 External links
Birth and names
Haji Muhammad was born on the first day of Ramadan in 959 A.H. (21 August 1552) at Ghogganwali, district Gujrat in Punjab, in the Mughal Empire (now in Pakistan). His father was Abul Alā Shamsuddin Shah, a Sufi who completed in his life time seven pilgrimages to Mecca and Madinah on foot.
At his birth he was named Muhammad. Haji a title has become part of his name and he is known as Haji Muhammad. Later on he also adopted the names Haji Naushah (Noshāh), Abul Hashim, Hazrat Naushāh Walī, Bhoora Wala Pir (the enshrouded one), Mujaddid-i Azam (the great revival of the Islam), Naushah Ganj Bakhsh, Syed Naushah Pir and Naushah Pak. He claimed to have received the titles “Ganj Bakhsh” and “Naushah” in the presence of Allah. Both names are Persian words; Ganj Bakhsh means “bestower of hidden treasures”, whilst Naushah means a young king or a bridegroom. He was also known as Maqām-i Naushāhat.
Haji Muhammad was a syed (descendent of the family of Muhammad), a 32nd-generation scion of Ali Ibn Abi Talib.
33 Syed Hajji Muhammad Naushah Ganj Bakhsh, the son of
32 Syed Abul Alā Shamsuddin Shah, the son of
31 Syed Abu Sulaiman Jalāluddin Muhammad, the son of
30 Syed Abdullah Zākir-i Hū, the son of
29 Syed Sāhibuddin Shah Muhammad, the son of
28 Syed Ghulām Muhammad, the son of
27 Syed Mu‘izzuddīn, the son of
26 Syed Abdussamad Arif, the son of
25 Syed Atā’ullah, the son of
24 Syed Abdul Awwal Zāhid, the son of
23 Syed Mahmūd Shah, alias Pir Jālib, the son of
22 Syed Kamāluddin Ahmad Zākir, the son of
21 Syed Abdul Mansūr Jalāluddin Sultan, the son of
20 Syed Muhammad Munawwar Bakhtmand, the son of
19 Syed Sa‘īduddīn Sikandar Shah Anwar, the son of
18 Syed Burhānuddīn Hubaira, the son of
17 Syed Jalāluddin Gohar Ali, the son of
16 Syed A’izzuddīn Izzat, the son of
15 Syed Jamāluddin Ishaq, the son of
14 Syed Abdul Haqq Sajan, the son of
13 Syed Ali Shah Muhsin, the son of
12 Syed Abdul Alī Auwn, the son of
11 Syed Yaʻla Qāsim, the son of
10 Syed Hamza Thāni, the son of
9 Syed Tayyār, the son of
8 Syed Qāsim, the son of
7 Syed ʻAlī, the son of
6 Syed Jaʻfar, the son of
5 Syed Abul Qāsim Hamzat-ul-Akbar, the son of
4 Syed Abul Abbas Hasan, the son of
3 Syed Ubaydullāh Madanī, the son of
2 Syed Abul Fadl ʻAbbās Alamdār, the son of
1 Syed Abul Hasan Alī ibn Abī Tālib, a cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad
Ministry and teaching
Haji Muhammad is reported to have memorised the Qur’an within three months. He was known for his knowledge of Tasawwuf (Islamic mysticism), which he claimed came to him from Allah directly (Ilm-i Ladunnī). Mirza Ahmed Beg Lahori records a story that one night two angels came and placed their fingers into the mouth of Syed Naushah. All of a sudden he became a learned and knowledgeable man in the field of Islamic mysticism. The next morning he told his teacher about this extraordinary spiritual experience. The teacher remarked: “There is no need for you to get further knowledge from me. Perhaps on the Day of Judgement I shall be rewarded with salvation of my soul for having given a few lessons to you before this glorious spiritual experience.”
Haji Muhammad was considered an expert in the fields of Fiqh (Islamic law), Hadith (the report of the practise and sayings of the Prophet), Tafsir (exegeses of the Qur’an), logics, philosophy and Kalam (theology concerning the tenets of belief). Beside Arabic and Persian he spoke Kashmiri, Sanskrit and other regional languages as well.
At the age of twenty-nine years Muhammad accepted Shah Sulaimān Nūri as his spiritual guide, placing him in a Silsila(spiritual order or chain of saints) that stretched back to Abdul Qadir Jilani. This spiritual lineage ends via Ali Al-Murtaza at the final and Muhammad.
– (26) Syed Haji Muhammad Naushah Ganj Bakhsh disciple of
– (25) Sakhi Shah Sulaiman Nūri,
– (24) Sakhi Shah Muhammad Ma‘rūf Khushābī,
– (23) Syed Mubārak Haqqāni,
– (22) Shah Ghauth Muhammad Bandagī,
– (21) Syed Shamsuddīn Gilani,
– (20) Syed Shah Mīr Gilani,
– (19) Syed Abul Hasan Ali Gilani,
– (18) Syed Mas‘ūduddin Halbi,
– (17) Syed Abul Abbas Ahmad,
– (16) Syed Safiyiuddin Sufi,
– (15) Syed Saifuddin Abdul Wahhāb,
– (14) Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani,
– (13) Khawaja Abu Sa‘īd Mukharrami,
– (12) Khawaja Abul Hasan Al-Hakkāri,
– (11) Khawaja Abul Farah Yusuf Tartūsi,
– (10) Khawaja Abul Fadl Tamīmī,
– (9) Khawaja Abu Bakr Shiblī,
– (8) Khawaja Abul Qasim Junaid Baghdadi,
– (7) Khawaja Shah Sari Saqati,
– (6) Khawaja Ma‘rūf Karkhī,
– (5) Khawaja Dāwūd Tā’ī,
– (4) Khawaja Habīb Ajamī,
– (3) Khawaja Hasan Basri,
– (2) Ali Al-Murtaza ibn Abi Tālib,
– (1) Syeduna Muhammad Al-Mustafa
In obedience to Shah Sulaimān Nūri’s instructions, Muhammad left Ghogganwali and travelled around the subcontinent preaching. He prioritised education in his teaching, going so far as to tell his son that he should first give priority to his education and if he heard about his father’s death he should not come back but pray for his salvation and continue to pursue his education.
According to Islamic mythology, Haji Muhammad experienced Ilhām (divine inspiration) after descending into a dried up well to meditate. After forty days, he was found there by a shepherd who took him out of the well and revived him with goat’s milk. When Muhammad recovered consciousness, he expressed his displeasure at the interruption. Immediately afterwards, he was told that he had attained a very high status in the presence of Allah and was commanded to sit under a dried-out and withered tree. As soon as he sat there, it turned green and was laden with blossoms and fruit. From each leaf he heard the word “Naushah” (“bridegroom”) and when he faced towards the local village, he heard all the jinn, the human beings, the animals and the angels calling “Naushah”, “Naushah”. All birds, all animals, trees and stones begun to say this name. Finally everything in the whole area began to call him “Naushah”. At this point, he experienced his enlightenment.
All the teachings and rules of behaviour of Haji Muhammad were based on the Qur’an and the Hadīth, the statements of the Qādiria Order. He strongly rejected any practice that contradicted these teachings. According to him, someone who has adopted to follow the spiritual path, first of all has to have a sound knowledge of the religion. He should recite the Qur’an accurately, repeat the Kalima (declaration of faith), observe himself and perform the voluntary prayers, like the Awwābīn-prayer (an extra voluntary prayer after the evening-prayer, i.e. Maghrib). He performed the daily prescribed prayers in the mosque himself and recommended this also to his Murīds (disciples). His prohibited any spiritual exercises that he felt didn not agree with the Sharī‘ah.
Haji Muhammad stated that one is not a Sufi (mystic) until one has purified oneself totally. This purification is achieved by eliminating sensual desires. These are eliminated when the nafs (the ego that inclines to evil) has been conquered. One conquers this by taking distance from pleasures in this worldly life and to consider them as transitory. One has to perform all one’s actions in contradiction to one’s nafs in order to attain this.
He gave instructions to his Murīd to consider death all the time and to be aware of it. “One has to live without any allegation or false attitude,” he said. He stated that one can only become a good human being from fraternising with saints and holy men.
A focus of his teaching was sincere intention. He said that by sincerity and piety the body is cleaned and by eating Halalthe tongue is cleaned. According to his teaching, one should not expound the deficiencies and small faults of others, but should rely on God’s trust and be satisfied with His will. He paid much attention to taking care of parents and those who are poor and in need. He said that taking care of them can be a significant cause of attaining the divine grace. He also taught his followers to eat little and to keep awake in the night for voluntary prayers and recollections. “By waking up, the heart is illuminated,” he said.
All his teachings stemmed from his interpretation of the Qur’an and the Hadīths, supported by the conclusions of the Mujtahidīn (those qualified to make religious decisions).
Haji Muhammad was said to have converted over two hundred thousand Hindus to Islam as well as followers of Christianity, Buddhism and Parsism.
Tradition claims that a well-known Hindu leader, whose number of disciples exceeded more than one thousand and who possessed great skill in the black magic (Istidrāj), arrived one day accompanied by his followers. He asked permission to show his skill. He changed himself in three appearances: as an old man, a young man and as a child. After his performance he said that it took him twelve years to achieve this spiritual level, after withdrawing three times in Chillah (seclusion). Muhammad answered that he had wasted his life in pursuing this engagement, saying, “To take three different appearances comprises not any spiritual perfection at all. Accept that one is merged into the divine love in such a way, that when he looks at somebody, his heart is filled with this intense love.” After saying this he pronounced the article of faith “Lā ilāha” (“there is no god”)and glanced at the riverside of the Chenab, whereupon a wave of water splashed in his direction. From every drop that fell on the ground before him was heard: “Illallāh” (“except Allah”). The Hindu leader went into ecstasy converted to Islam. All his disciples and admirers followed him in this.
Haji Muhammad was married to the daughter of Syed Abu Nasr Fateh Muhammad Shah of Qutb Naushehra. His mother, Main Jīwnī, arranged this marriage. He had two sons and one daughter. Their names were Syed Muhammad Barkhurdar, Syed Muhammad Hashim and Syeda Sairah Khatoon.
He was noted for his hospitality. Mirza Ahmed Beg Lahori states that he looked after his guests personally and arranged for their food himself. Allama Jamālullah says that once he and some of his pupils stayed in Syed Naushah’s mosque. They were highly impressed when he sent food for them from his own house. It is on record that he directed his sons to look after the guests with special care, when he entrusted the work of preaching the Islam to them.
He took part in many battles. It is recorded that once a renowned wrestler named Sher Ali Khan challenged Haji Muhammad to a trial of strength. Muhammad pressed Khan’s hand so powerfully that blood came out of the wrestler’s fingers. The wrestler fell down at his feet and begged to be forgiven.
He usually spent his time in the mosque in teaching the holy Qur’an, leading the prayers five times a day and leading additional Nafl prayers by the riverside in the night.
Haji Muhammad attempted to put the Sunnah in practice as precisely as possible. He said:
“My way of life is the Sharī‘ah of the Prophet. My way of the Tarīqah is the Sharī‘ah of the Prophet. The way of life of the Prophet implies also my way of life. To walk through the Sharī‘ah is like walking on an illuminated way.”
By day Muhammad always wore a big woollen sheet, as prescribed by the Sunnah. This piece of cloth is named bhoora in the Punjabi language, hence he was also called Bhoorawala Pir. Today, followers of his order also wear the bhoora.
There are many works of Syed Naushāh Ganj Bakhsh. As time passes they are compiled and published from manuscripts. At present there are five books of poetry and prose:
Kulliyāt-i Naushāh: (Urdu poetry) consisting of 76 Risala’s and 2400 verses;
Kulliyāt-i Naushāh: (Punjabi poetry) In this work 126 Risala’s of about four thousand verses are alphabetically arranged.
Ma‘ārif-i Tasawwuf: (Persian poetry) dealing with assignments on the spiritual path;
Mawā‘iz-i Naushāh Pīr: (Punjabi prose) comprises delivered speeches and advices;
Ganj-ul-Asrār (“the treasure of mysteries”): a short Risala in prose ascribed to him.
According to Professor Ahmed Qureshi the following books are also written by Syed Naushah Pir: Diwan Urdu, Diwan Punjabi (two poems in respectively Urdu and Punjabi) and Mathnawi-ye Ganj (“The Mathnawi of Naushah Ganj Bakhsh”).
“Oh friend, withdraw yourself from the world.”
“If you don’t, you have once to do that.”
“Don’t spoil your time of life.”
“Leave the fame of the world behind you.”
“Oh my true friend, follow your Murshid (guide).”
“Do this in sincere surrendering in the hart with belief.”
“Commemorate the Kalima, in order you will no lose it.”
“The sufferings of this world and the last moment [death]”
“You can only prevail by this!”
Haji Muhammad died of natural causes on Monday, the fifteenth of the Islamic month Rabī ‘ul-Awwal 1064 A.H., aged one hundred and five. This date corresponds to Monday the eighteenth May 1654 A.D. He was buried in the village named Naushehra in Gujrat. His body was later interred at Ranmal Sharif in Gujrat. His grave is open to the public. The part of land on which his grave has been buried, belongs to the territory of Ranmal Sharif. The number of plot was formerly 220 and at the present 84/1.
Due to flooding in 1757 his body was transferred from its original burial site. According to legend, when his coffin surfaced, his body was entirely intact, even his shroud was unharmed. After being damaged again by the river Chenab his coffin was finally moved to the west of Ranmal Sharif. In 1950 this new tomb was damaged by rain. Consequently the supports subsided and cracks appeared in the tomb. His death anniversary (‘Urs) is held at this place every year again. Urs starts on 2nd Thursday of Har (Bikrami Calendar) which falls in the last 10 days of June and usually lasts 3 days. Thursday and Friday for men and Saturday for women.
Among his renowned spiritual successors are: his sons Syed Muhammad Barkhurdar and Syed Muhammad Hashim Shah, Shah Hafiz Mamūri, Hafiz Nūrmuhammad from Sialkot, Shah Abdurrahman Pak, Pir Muhammad Sachyār, Syed Sālih Muhammad, Shah Abdullah Chaumukkhi, Shah Fatehmuhammad, Shah Sadr Diwān, Khawaja Muhammad Fuzail from Kabul, Syed Shah Muhammad Shahīd, Hazrat Muhammad Ismaīl, Abdulhakim Sialkoti, Nazr Muhammad Kunjāhi, Allama Abul Baqa, Khushi Muhammad Kunjāhi and Radiyuddin Kunjāhi.
As a consequence of spiritual succession, the Qādirī Naushāhī Order now includes many sub-branches carrying the name of the successors after Syed Naushah Pir, such as Barkhurdārī Naushahī, Hāshimī Naushāhī, Suchyārī Naushāhī. The current head of the Naushahi Hashmi order is Shaykh Syed Mahroof Hussain Shah Naushahi Hashmi Qadiri, who founded the Sufi organisation Jamiyat tabligh ul Islam in 1962 in the United Kingdom.