TA’ARUF SILSILA E SHATTARIYA
HAZRAT SULTANUL AREFIN HAZRAT KHWAJA BAYAZID BASTAMI (RA) SE MANSOOB APNI ROOHANI IMTEYAZAT WA KHUSUSIYAT KI BINA PAR KAI DUSRE SALASIL ALAME ISLAM MEIN MASHOOR HUE
SALASIL E ROOHANI KI TAVIL FEHRISHT KA JAB TARIKHI WA TEHKIKI JAIZA LIYA JATA HAI TOW YE BAAT ROOZ-E-ROSHAN KI TARAH AYAN HO JATI HAI KI HAZRAT SULTANUL AREFIN BAYAZID TAYFUR AL-BISTAMI (RA) (875ISVI) SILSILA-E-TARIQAT APNI ROOHANI IMTEYAZAT WA KHUSUSIYAT KI BINA PAR IBTEDAI DOUR HI MEIN SHOHRAT KI ALA TRAIN MANZIL SE HAM KINAR HUWA
HAZRAT KHWAJA BAYAZID BASTAMI (RA)PE SHOKO MASTI ISHQ ILAHI KA BADA HI GALBA RAHA KARTA THA
(HAZRAT KHWAJA BAYAZID BASTAMI) OUR UNKE PERAV SHAB PAR SUKR KO TARZIH DETE THE ISHQ ILAHI PAR HAZRAT KHWAJA BAYAZID BASTAMI OUR UNKE GIRHO KA BADA JOR THA BAI,HAMA WAJHU UNKA SILSILA BUKHARA MEIN “ISQIYA” OUR ROAM “TAYFURYA BASTAMIYYAH” KE NAAM SE MASHOOR HUWA
FIRDOSHIYA NAQSHBANDIYYAH OUR SHATTARIYYHA SALASIL JO SILSILE KHWAJGAN SE MUTALLIK HAI OUR JINKI NISBAT HAZRAT KHWAJA BAYAZID BASTAMI (RA)SE HAI
APNI ROOHANI KHUSUSIYAT KI WAJHA SE MAOSUM HI
HAZRAT MAKHDOM SOAEL FIRDOSH (RA) KA KHAYAL HAI K CHUKE SHEKH RUKNUDDIN (RA)“ FIRDOSHI” KE NAAM SE MASHOOR HUWE LIHAZA UNKA SILSILA HINDUSTAN MEIN FIRDOSHIYA KE NAAM SE MAROOF HUWA
NAQSHBANDI OUR SHATTARIYA SALASIL JO CHAND WASTO SE KHWAJA ABUL HASAN KHARQANI KE JARIYE HAZRAT KHWAJA BAYAZID BASTAMI (RA) PAR MUNTAHI HOTE HAI
JO SILSILA KHWAJA ABUL HASAN KHARQANI (RA) SE BAAST-E SHAIKH ABDUL KHALIQ AL-GHUJDAWANI AMIRE KALAL(RA) OUR FIR CHAND WASTO SE SHAIKH BHAUDDIN NAKSHBANDI (RA) KE NAAM SE SOHRAT PAYA OUR JO SILSILA KHWAJA ABUL HASAN KHARQANI (RA) SE KHWAJA KHUDKULI MAWARAUN NAHRI (RA) KE JARIYE SAHA ABDULLHA SHATTAR (RA) KO PAHUCA SHATTARIYA KE NAAM SE MASHOOR HUWA
MASHRAB I SHATTARRIYA KE AKABERIN APNI HAYAT MEIN BAWANGE DUHAL YE ELAM FARMAYA KARTE KE HAI KOI KHUDA TAK PAHUCHNE WALA AAO USE MEIN KHUDA TAK PAHUCA DU
YAKINAN KE ILME SHATTAR OUR MASRABE SHATTAR KE KAMALAT 15 VI SADI ME IRAN SE HINDUSTAN ANE WALE AWALEEN SILSILE SHATTARIYA KE BUJURG HAZRAT SAHA ABDULLHA SHATTER (RA) JO SHEKH SHAHABUDDIN SUHRAWARDI (RA) KI AULAD MEIN SE THE JAB AAP SHATTARIYA FAIZAN LEKAR WARID-E HIND HUE TO APNE HINDUSHTAN WALO KO BAWANGE DUHAL YE KHITAB FARMAYA
“TALIBE AST KE BAYYAD T AURA BAKHUDA RAH NUMAYAM”
KOI TALIBE HAQ HAI TOW AAE USE WASL ILLALLAH KI REHNUMAI HO,SAKE
AAP EK JAGHA SE DUSRI JAGHA BADI SHANO-SHOKAT SE JAYA KARTE THE JISM PAR SULTANI LIBAS HOTA THA AOUR HAMRAHI FOJI WARDI ME SUFI HUWA KARTE THE NAGADA BAJAYA KARTE THE AOUR ALAM UTHAE REHTE
Shattari order (Tariqah) is a great spiritual tradition of Sufism and remains one of the most sacred, renowned, respected, purely illuminated and pious lineage.
The approach of this order is absolutely direct, uncomplicated, unpretentious, humble and extremely loving.
`Shattari’ linguistically means rapid or lightning quick. And true to its name shattari mode is the quickest. On entering shattari path the master (Pir) lifts the disciple (Mureed) from the base Maaqam (station) of Shariyat and promotes him to Tariqat in one go. Then depending upon capacity of each disciple, he is carefully guided and made to progress through advanced stages of Haqiqat and Maarifat.
Shattaris hold the key to secret meaning and mysteries of `Koran’ and posses the veiled knowledge of `Hurf-e-Muqattiyat’ (The secret alphabets). It is prohibited to disclose this knowledge publicly as this is `Baar-e-Amaanat’ (a trusted confidential deposit) of Sher-e-Khuda Maula Mushkil kusha Ali Karam Allah wajho and Hazrat Mohammed Rasool Allah. Any breach of trust and misuse of this knowledge is a greatest of all sins. ( Gunaah-e-Kabira).
The Noble spiritual lineage (Silsila) of this order is an un-interrupted chain of divine energies flowing through selected enlightened soul.
Shattari orders traces its origin to well known Sufi saint Hazrat Bayazid Bustami from Persia also known as Abu Yazid Bustami or Tayfur Abu Bustami. (804-874 CE). (15th Shaban 216 Hizri) (One of the 14 Sufi Khanwaad -e– Tayfuriya is founded by him)
One of his beautiful quotes is translated as follows. “I sloughed off my self as a snake sloughs off its skin. Then I looked into myself and saw that I am He”
Hazrat Bayazid Bustami
Shattari order (silsila) was introduced in India by Hazrat Abdullah Shattar Mast (d. 1472). He was great grandson (fifth generation) of Hazrat Shahbuddin Suharwardiya (Founder of Suharwardiya Khaanwad) and seventh lineage disciple to Hazrat Bayazid Bustami. He was honored with Khilafat (Spiritual Deputyhood) from all of the 14 Sufi orders (Khanwaads or Gharaanaas).
Hazrat Abdullah Shattar Mast came from Iran and laid down the foundation and Doctrine of Shattari order in India and this order has flourished since then. After arriving in northern Bihar – India, he stayed in small towns like Daryapur, Manikpur, Jaunpur and Mandwa. He used to judge disciples even with their eating habits and would extend his teachings only to those who did proper justice to the food. Dressed in royal robes he used to travel on streets beating drums and openly invite people to witness GOD in his presence. His knowledge and authority in Spiritual matters was of highest degree.
Shrine of this great Sufi master is located in Kila Mandav, zilha Dhar, Madhya Pradesh. India
Hazrat Allauddin Kaazan Shattari
Khilafat from him was passed on to Hazrat Allauddin Kaazan Shattari also known as Hazrat Shaikh Mohammed Ulaa. (d.1495) (11th shawwal 901 hijri) After receiving Khilafat he worked on his own spirituality, attained enlightenment and spent rest of his life in propagating spiritual Sufi messages in Shattari way. He lived in Muzzafarpur, a small town in southern Bihar – India. Shrine of Hazrat Allauddin Kaazan Shattari is located on a small hill in a small town near vaishali gadh, Hazipur Bihar. India. Near to his shrine we can find shrine of his eldest son Makhdoom Mansoor Halaaj Shaheed.
Hazrat Allauddin Kaazan Shattari
Khilafat was further Passed on to Hazrat Abul Fatah Hidayatullah Sarmast (d 1538) (12th Shawwal 944 hijri) His shrine is located in a small village near Vaishali, Hajipur, around 20 kilometers from Patna – Bihar. India. This Village is situated on the banks of Ganga River. He was third son of Hazrat Allauddin Kaazan Shattari. Famous Mughal king Humayun was a dedicated follower of Hazrat Abul Fatah Hidayatullah Sarmast and took his advice on worldly, political and spiritual issues.
Hazrat Abul Fatah Hidayatullah Sarmast
Hazrat Abul Fatah Hidayatullah Sarmast
Khilafat was further Passed on to Hazrat Shah Zahoor Haji Huzoor (d. 1523) (22nd Zilhaz 990 hijri)
His shrine is located Malikana kabrastan, Ratan Sarai (Railway Station), Sivani, Bihar. India. It is believed that he adopted two children named Shaikh Fariduddin Jahangir and Shaikh Khatiruddin. These children are known in history as Shaikh Behlul Fatah and Hazrat Shaikh Mohammed Gouse Gwaliori respectively.
Hazrat Shah Zahoor Haji Huzoor
Hazrat Shah Zahoor Haji Huzoor
Greatness and fame of the Shattari order reached new height during the era of Shah Sultan Haji Hameed Mohammed Ghouse Gwaliori Shattari (d 1562). (14th Ramadan 970 hijri) It is commonly believed that this celebrated great saint had Afghan origin. Hereditarily, he belonged to the noble family. He was a son of Sayyid Hazir al-din (misspelled Khatir al-Din) Bayazid son of Khawajah Farid al-Attar son of Sima Wasil son of Ahmad al-Sadiq son Najibuddin Taqiyuddin son of Nur Allah Abu Bakr al-Ajli son of Ismail son of Ja’far al-Sadiq son of Muhammad al-Baqir son of Zayn al-Abidin son of Husayn son of Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Royals like Babur, Humayun, and Akbar held him in very high esteem. He was a pioneer in adapting ancient Indian yogic practices and meditative techniques in folds of Sufism and was instrumental in promoting secular values in lives of royals and commoners around him. He authored many books such as Jawahar-e-Khamsa, Bahrul Hayat, Aurad-e-Ghosia, Risala-e-Mehraajiya, Jamaya, Kabid Makhajan, Kanjul Vahida, etc. His other scholarly works includes a hand written `Koran’ (translated in Persian language) which is over 400 years old and has passed down through generations and now present in safe custody of my master – Sufi Mohammed Saeed Ali Shah.
He earned extra-ordinary Spiritual and super natural powers spending 13 years in solitude of forest (jungle of chinaar) surviving with eating leaves from tress and devoted all his life in quest of the ultimate truth, in deep meditation and continues remembrance of GOD.
The spiritual formulas (Naqsh / Taaveez) innovated by him are still source of relief and blessings (Faiz) to one and all. Aasmaa-e-gousia is one such recitation (wird) which is has provided relief to all those who use it in times of difficulties. It has been experienced that recitation of this name `Yaa Mohammed Ghouse Gwaliori’ itself is cure to all kinds of physical, mental and spiritual diseases. And is a special help to wayfarer on shattari path to attain enlightment.
His famous claim of experiencing the mystical journey `mehraaj’ thrice brought him trouble from extremist Islamic fronts to which he remained immune. Angered with this, Prominent and learned mufti of that time Hazrat Shah Wajihuudin Gujrati (Ahmedabad) came to issue fatwah against this claim but after witnessing his spiritual station (maqaam), surrendered and become a worthy disciple of Mohammed Ghouse gwaliori. Legendary famous singer Hazrat Tansen was orphaned at young age. He grew up under care and spiritual influence of Hazrat Mohammed Gouse and became greatest singer of all time. He was also one of the Khalifa (spiritual deputy) of Hazrat Mohammed Ghouse.
His magnificent tomb, dating from c.1565 is the most famous Muslim monument in Gwalior, renowned for its beautiful perforated stone screen (jalis), which forms around the verandah surrounding the tomb’s central chamber. Each Jali is designed in unique beautiful pattern. The tomb is square stone building with a large central dome, which was originally covered with blue tiles, and hexagonal corner towers crowned by chhatris. (Pavilions).
Hazrat Sayyed Shah Moulana Qutub-ul-Aktaab Haashim Peer Dastageer Husaini Kadri Shattari (Bijapur, Karnataka) (7th Ramadan)
Hazrat Hashimpeer Datageer who represents the glorious traditions of Qadri and Shattari Sufi orders came to bijapur on specific instructions from the holy prophet of Islam. He was born and brought up in a highly scholastic atmosphere particularly under influence of Hazrat Sayyedna Vajiuddin Gujarati, popularly known as Haider Ali Saani.
It was rule of Ibrahim Adil Shah II when Hazrat Hashimpeer arrived in Bijapur. During his stay in Bijapur he influenced the rulers of Bijapur to give up their un-Islamic and heretic practices.
The world famous monument of Gol Gumbad is located near shrine of Hazrat Hashimpeer owes its completion to the 10 years of life which Hazrat Hasshimpeer granted to his disciple Sultan Mohammed Adil Shah.
Hazrat Qutub-e-Zamaa Sufi Sarmast Ali Shah Qalander Husaini Kadri Shattari (Nandura – Dist. Buldhana, Maharashtra) (21st zilkad 1324 hijri)
Hazrat Sufi Sarmast Ali Shah Qalander is one of the most luminous and prominent saint in Shattari Lineage. He is revered with several noble tittles such as `Kutb-e-Zamaa’ `Aulad –e-Rasool Allah’ and `Qalander’. He is a Symbol of the brave mysticism (Mard Faqiri) in Shattari Sufism. He is one of the first Sufi mystic who fearlessly used Sufi as his name. His real name and origin remains a mystery to the world.
He Received Khilafat from Hazrat Wajiuddin Guajarati Alvi (Bijapur) a direct descendant of Hazrat Hashim peer Dastageer. Latter he travelled to Nandura, a small village in Maharashtra where he built his Aastana still known as Sufi Baug.
The Spiritual beauty of this place is worth witnessing. He used to refer all beings including men, animals, trees and all creatures as Allah sahib. There are hundreds of miracles associated to him and followers still receive his constant blessings (Faiz) and miraculous help in worldly and spiritual journey. Urs Sharif of this great Sufi is celebrated with joy and love by increasing followers of all caste and creed alike.
Hazrat Sufi Abdullah Shah Husaini Kadri Shattari (Bijapur, Karnataka) (11th zilkad)
Although very little is known about this Sufi Fakir of Shattari tradition. He has been an icon of humbleness and simplicity propagated by Sufi Shattarism.
Hazrat Sufi Ghafoor Shah Qalander Husaini Kadri Shattari (Ganesh peth, Daroowala pool, Pune – Maharashtra) (d. 26 Oct. 1949)(3rd zilhaj 1368 hijri)
Hazrat Sufi Gafoor Shah Qadri Shattari also known as Gaffar Baig is another shining star in the shattari skies. His family derives noble connection from Hazrat Sayyed Hashim youngest son of Hazrat Abdul Kader Zilani – Baghdad.
Born in a rich Muslim family in a place called Muradabad latter moved to Pune along with his family. He was inclined towards religion from a very young age. He had burning desire for knowledge and in this quest he himself became a scholar in Islamic studies. He had great command on Urdu and Persian Language. He was a brilliant professor in Government training collage in pune. Latter he became an Imam in a mosque at daroowala pool – Pune. Although grounded in Islamic orthodoxy, he still felt that he was away from the ultimate truth and longed for a master who would lead him to salvation.
During this time he happened to meet a fakir near his mosque who openly offered people the right and direct path to meet GOD and denounced the narrow minded approach to Islam. This Fakir who instantly caught attention of Hazrat Gafoor Shah was Hazrat Abdullah Shah Hussaini (Disciple of Hazrat Sufi Sarmast Ali Shah).
In this manner he was introduced to Shattari Lineage. His heart melted with the teachings of Hazrat Abdullah Shah Hussaini but being an Islamic Scholar for so many years his mind was not fully convinced and he demanded quranic explanation for all beautiful revelation of the Shattari path.
On this he was directed to go to Nandura and visit Hazrat Sufi Sarmast Ali Shah. When he reached there very soon he realized that he has reached the truth itself and under guidance of Hazrat Sufi Sarmast Ali Shah Qalender became enlightened almost instantly. He gave up his worldly life, riches and family. He did get married due to family pressure but did not consummate the marriage. He relieved his wife on the next day lawfully with respect and apologies and continued on his mission to serve Shattari lineage. There are volumes of literature and poems (more than 5000 nos.) authored by him which are source of wisdom for generation to come. His pen names were `Safeer’ and `Sufi Sarmast’. Few of his famous works are a) Savaane hayaat Mehboob-e-Subhani. b) Karbala ke baad. c) Hurf-e-Muqatteaat. d) Sirre Haqiqat.
Great political leaders of that time like Lokmanya Tilak and Mahatma Jyotiba Phule considered him as guru and use to come to him for guidance. Mahatma Jyotiba Phule has written a book (in local language – Marathi) in his honor called `Yancha Alp parichay’ meaning `his brief introduction’ and is still available in Pune Central library.
Hazrat Qutub-e-Zamaa Sufi Mohammed Shah Husaini Kadri Shattari (Ganesh peth, Daroowala pool, Pune – Maharashtra) (d. 14 March 1968) (14th zilhaj 1389)during early years was known as Mohammed Shafi until he was given this new name by his Murshid. He was born in a humble Muslim family in Usmanabad, Maharashtra. He lost his father, Mohammed Saheb early in his childhood. He was brought up in extreme hardship by his mother, Aminabi. At the age of 5 years he accompanied his mother to Pune where they stayed in a small Muslim locality known as `Bambaiwala Bada’. They started weaving handlooms from their home to make the ends meet. He joined a Madarsa at Daruwala Pool Masjid for basic education of Urdu, Arabic and Persian. He had the good fortune of being a student of Hazrat Gafoor Shah Kadri who himself used to teach in this Madarsa during that time.
The Thirst for exploring mystical Islam took him close to Hazrat Gafoor Shah who made him his discipline and latter honored him with Khilafat. He shared exceptional love with his Murshid and received the spiritual guidance and blessings to progress on the inner path. During this time he shifted with his mother to Bombay and worked as truck driver to make a living. He got married to Bibi Aminabi and had three children. Bibi Aminabi was dedicated disciple of Hazrat Gafoor Shah Kadri while her eldest son Sufi Zaheer was the last disciple of Hazrat Gafoor Shah.
Living a humble life from exterior but inside he was a king illuminated with divine light of the ultimate truth. He achieved enlightenment and all secret wisdom with his inner work. He expressed his spiritual ecstasy through his poems. He was a poet beyond compare and even his murshid was fond of his style of writing and depth of his knowledge. His pen name was `Anjum’. His poem and writings still recited fondly by the followers. He practiced `Hakimi’ ancient medicine and `Taviz-Naksh’ the magical Quranic formulas effectively for welfare of people. He attained the spiritual station of `Qutb-e-zamaa’. He is one of the most fortunate one to be resting beside his murshid, Hazrat Sufi Gafoor Shah Dargah – Poona. Sajjada Nashini of this Dargah was bestowed to his worthy son Hazrat Mohammed Saeed Ali Shah Kaadri Shattari who continues to be the custodian of this great heritage – Alhamdulillah!!!
Hazrat Sufi Hidayatulllah Shah Husaini Kadri Shattari (Nandura – Dist. Buldhana, Maharashtra) (d. 10th oct. 1993) (14th rabi-ul-Aakhir 1414) was originally known as Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. He was murid of Hazrat Gafoor Shah Kadri Shattari and honor of Khilafat was bestowed upon him by Hazrat Mohammed Shah Husaini. Born in a poor family and after losing his mother in early childhood he was forced to an orphanage along with his younger sister Bibi Fatima and brother Suja Ahmed. But Sufi Mohammed Shah who was a distant relative to them did not approve of this and took these children under his own safe custody. He grew up under Sufi influence of Hazrat Mohammed Shah Husaini from whom he learned all core aspect of Sufism and developed extra-ordinary authority on `tassawuf’ and `Irfan’. Although he had very little formal education he developed excellent command in URDU language with his own initiative. After receiving Khilafat he gave up his job as a driver and dedicated all his life to the service of Shattari Silisila.
Simplicity, humbleness, innocence, and politeness all these words are ineffective and inadequate to describe the pure `Khaksari’ of this saint. His love and sincerity towards Shattari Silisila earned him his resting place next to Hazrat Sufi Sarmast Alisha Qalander in Sufi Baug (Nandura)
He passed on Khilafat and bestowed Sajjada Nashini to his beloved disciple Sufi Mohammed Saeed Ali Shah son of Hazrat Mohammed Shah Hussaini.
Hazrat Sufi Mohammed Saeed Ali Shah. He is also known with the title `Sufi Saheb’ by many of his followers. Born on 5th May 1942 as 4th child in the family of 6 children in `Bhendi Bazaar’ locality of Bombay. He is the worthy son of Hazrat Mohammed Shah Husaini Kadri Shattari. (A renowned Shattari Saint – discussed in above passages). He graduated in science (B. Sc) from Jai Hind collage in 1965 with distinction. He has been extremely hard working since childhood and was never ashamed of doing any kind job to help his mother, Aminabi, who used to make `bidis’ at home to afford a living and education to her children. His hardwork and honesty rewarded him with extremely successful career. He got married to Bibi Rabia in 1969. Being an ideal life partner, Sufi Rabia bi has been a source of support and motivation to Sufi Saheb. Sufi Saheb managed to give luxurious life to his entire family. But being from the royal blood, success never affected his pure self and he remained a Sufi Faqir from within. He became murid of Hazrat Sufi Hiyadullah Shah Husiani in 1969 at Gwalior inside the dargah of Hazrat Mohammed Ghouse Gwaliori. He was blessed with Khilafat in the year 1975 and was crowned as Sajjada nashin in 1981. As he reached to higher managerial level in his career the corruption, dishonesty, greed and foul politics around him started to suffocate him as all this was contradictory to his Sufi teachings and above all his own pure self. He resigned from the job and devoted all his energies towards the welfare of Shattari Silsila.
He has always been a torch bearer of Shattari lineage ever since the responsibility of Khilafat and Sajjadagi was bestowed upon him by Hazrat Sufi Hidayatullah Kadri Shattari who loved him more than his own children. For more than 40 years he has given selfless service and has completely offered his being to the cause of Shattari Silsila. His contribution to this Silsila has been all round including financial, spiritual, ethical and social support. Sufi Gafoor Shah Dargah trust was formed by him in 1988 and introduced Sufi Shattari Jamaat in the year 2003.
His love for his murshid is beyond imagination of common man and his eyes still gets moist when someone mentions his murshids name.
He remains a power house of Spiritual wisdom and his understanding of Sufi Mysticism makes him one of the greatest saints of present times. Yet the child like innocence in his eyes sweeps you of your feet.
The Shattariyya subscribed to six fundamental principles:
(i) One should not believe in self-negation but adhere to self-affirmation.
(ii) Contemplation is a waste of time.
(iii) Self-effacement is a wrong idea: one must say nothing except “I am I.” Unity is to understand One, see One, say One and to hear One. A Sufi of this order must say “I am one” and “There is no partner with me.”
(iv) There is no need to oppose to the ego (nafs) or of mujaheda (struggle, participation in jihad with oneself).
(v) There is no such state as annihilation (fana) since this would require two personalities, one wishing for annihilation and the other in whom annihilation takes place, which is dualism and not unity.
(vi) One should not abstain from eating certain foods but instead should consider one’s ego, its attributes and actions as identical with those of the Universal Ego. The animal soul is not an obstacle for reaching God.
The Shattariyya held to the principle of wahdat al-wujud (Unity of Existence) expounded by Ibn Arabi. Abu’l Mawahib al Shinnawi was an outspoken adherent of this doctrine. And Shinnawi’s successor, Ahmad al-Qushashi was described by the contemporary Damascene scholar Muhammad Amin al Muhibbi as “The Imam of those who expound the unity of existence”.
`Irfan’ or secret wisdom of Shattari order is transmitted `Sina ba Sina’ heart to heart from the `pir’ (master) to deserving `Mureeds’ (disciples). Genuine Shattaris are the custodians of this esoteric and mystical treasure including `Zaat e Mohammedi’ `Hurf e Muqateat’ `Kalima’ and genuine hidden understanding to Quran. Due to matured and controversial nature of the matter it is disclosed to selective few people of understanding who have the appetite and the capacity to digest this advanced philosophy of truth. This knowledge is forbidden to the masses and novice by Ali Maula Mushkil Kusha.
The followers of this Shattari order wore green turbans and ochre ornaments. Some shaved their heads. They observed silence, practised invoking God’s name through Zikr, and gave blessings in the name of the Prophet Muhammad. They also forbade singing and music. The newly initiated were required to put themselves under the direction and care of a guide who would lead them to perfection. The Shattaris regarded the Shaikh or Pir as being in direct communication with all the saints, prophets and even God. Non-violence, the abandonment of all pride and bitterness, disdain of material goods, and refusal of gifts characterized the ideal Pir of this creed. They were supposed to practise abstinence, and were not allowed to eat certain food (meat, milk, fruit). The Shattari was to be the lover of God and could attain his goal through ecstasy. To perceive the unitary conception of God and the divine sphere was his desire and constant endeavour.
Moral perfection progressed from repentance to renunciation of the world by exercising patience, joy in retreat, and meditation. At each stage of renunciation, the Murid was attributed a particular colour. He would then do away with the other colours, until the final stage was reached- that of the contemplation of God. Emphasis was given to Zikr. From the invocation of the beauty of God, of His ninety-nine names, ecstasy could be attained. The Shattari, driven by faith in God, then became the Lover.
However, it was not necessary for a Shattari to undergo the rigours of self-discipline. The very fact of his being a member of the order absolved him of this penance. The Sufis of this order led a spiritual life in comfortable worldly surroundings.
One of the prominent personalities of the brotherhood was Shaikh Phul (died 1563), famous for his mystic and quasi-mystic powers, which he obtained from tirelessly reciting God’s name in a particular manner. He was also reputed to be able to perform miracles. The Mughal Emperor Humayun patronized the Shaikh and his brother Muhammed Ghaus, and the Imperial favour attracted numerous followers to this order. Akbar built a beautiful tomb for the Pir in Indo-Muslim style in 1610.
Another Shattari, Shaikh Isa, was inspired by Ibn Arabi’s concept of Wahdat al Wujud. He claimed to have found the basis of this concept in verses of the Holy Quran but stated that it was not subject to a literal interpretation. According to him, Wahdat al Wujud is a theory which regards all finite things as mere aspects, modifications, or parts of one eternal, self-existing, all-comprehensive Being, called God. It regards the universe not as a free-willed production, but as an eternal process that could not have been other than what it has been.
Shaikh Isa’s works influenced another disciple, one who had a profound influence on the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. He became Shaikh Burhanuddin after receiving training for twelve years as a neophyte, during the course of which he had to perform the meanest duties, like cleaning latrines. He settled in the town of Burhanpur, where he died in 1678. He attracted a number of disciples and crowds of believers and was reputed to have worked many miracles. His relations with princes, sultans, and other rulers were strained because he refused all invitations and contacts.
Shaikh Abdul Latif was another Shaikh of the Shattari sect. He too was patronised by Aurangzeb and readily accepted the gifts and lands the Prince gave him. He was more orthodox, devoted to the Shariah, and had forbidden any music and singing in his rituals.
Another Shaikh, Muhammad Ashraf Shattari, the successor of Muhammed Ghaus, frequented the Imperial court. He too, along with his sons, received gifts of land, and built a mosque from Akbar’s endowment dedicated to Muhammed Ghaus.
However, despite its widespread acceptance and its presence in the courts of the Mughal Emperors, the role of this Sufi school in the history of the sub-continent was not too significant. It did not make much headway and the number of its followers was not very large. In India, this order of mystics later died out.