Jahanian Jahangasht

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Jahanian Jahangasht
Hazrat Syed Jalaluddin Husain Bukhari Makhdoom Jahanian Jahangasht
Jahanian.jpg
Hazrat Jahanian's mausoleum in Uch, Bahawalpur, Pakistan
Order Various
Born 15 Shaban 707 AH / 9 February 1308 AD
Uch, Bahawalpur, Pakistan
Passed away 10 Zul-Hijja 785 AH / 3 February 1384 AD
Resting place Uch, Bahawalpur, Pakistan
Urs Date 10 Zul-Hijja
Title(s) Jahangasht (World Traveller)
Predecessor Various
Successor Various including Hazrat Ashraf Jahangir Semnani

Hazrat Syed Jalaluddin Husain Bukhari Makhdoom Jahanian Jahangasht was a famous fourteenth century Sufi saint from South Asia who is known to have belonged to fourteen different Sufi orders. He believed that every order was endowed with inherent spiritual greatness and therefore joined every order that then existed. He was a much-travelled person which earned him the title of Jahangasht (World Traveller).

Contents

Family

Hazrat Jahanian was the son of Hazrat Syed Ahmad Kabir and grandson of Syed Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari, a disciple of Sheikh Bahauddin Zakariya. His father migrated to South Asia in 630 AH / 1232 AD from Bukhara in Persia. Like his grandfather, his actual name was Jalaluddin, but he later acquired the title of Jahangasht. He also had a brother, Sheikh Sadruddin, better known as Raju Qattal who later became his spiritual disciple and khalifa.

Education

He initially took lessons from Qazi Bahauddin of Uch, an outstanding scholar of his time. However, his teacher passed away before he could complete his education. He thus made the decision to move to Multan, which was then a renowned centre for learning and education. In Multan, he stayed at the madrasa of Hazrat Sheikh Ruknuddin Abul Fath, grandson of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya where he was fortunate enough to be taught by eminent scholars as Sheikh Musa and Maulana Mujadduddin. During his one year stay in Multan, he studied Hidaya and Bazoodi among various other books.

Upon completion of his education, he was ordered by Hazrat Ruknuddin to return to Uch to act as an intermediary between Hazrat Jahanian's father and Hazrat Jamaluddin Khandan of Uch who were not on good terms. When he reached Uch, he conveyed the Sheikh's message to his father, who accordingly apologised to Hazrat Sheikh Jamaluddin Khandan and reconciled with him.

Initiation into the Sufi Order

Hazrat Jahanian did not confine himself to a single order or to a single person. He derived spiritual ecstasy from the company of all the religious men that he met, seeking out and receiving blessings from many. He was initiated as a spiritual disciple and was conferred khilafat from 14 different Sufi orders. He first became his father's spiritual disciple and thereafter Sheikh Ruknuddin Abul Fath initiated him into the Suhrawardi order.

According to him, every Sufi order derives its inherent strength from the precepts and practice of those belonging to that order who have attained spiritual perfection. Every order and every saint has something to offer in the nature of spiritual ecstasy, spiritual blessings, spiritual exaltation, inner purification and inward illumination. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in being the spiritual disciple of more than one person and there is absolutely no harm in being affiliated with or attached to more than one Sufi order. There is not and cannot be any question of a clash of loyalty for the simple reason that every saint or order must convey something different.

Pilgrimage & Travels

During the reign of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq, he was appointed as the Sheikh-ul-Islam of Siwistan (Sehwan) and its adjoining areas. However, as directed by Hazrat Sheikh Ruknuddin Abul Fath he resigned from his post and left for Mecca to perform the pilgrimage. During his extensive travels in most parts of the Muslim world, he interacted with many Sufis. He is said to have spent twelve years travelling.

During his seven-year stay in Mecca he would study during the day and earn his living by writing copies of the Qur'an at night. After performing the pilgrimage in Mecca, he arrived in Medina where he went to offer his respects at the tomb of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. It is said that when he reached the tomb, he addressed the Holy Prophet ﷺ as follows: "Peace be upon you, O, My forefather!" A voice from the tomb acknowledged the greeting and replied: "Peace be upon you also, O my son." He spent time in Medina studying, spending about two years with Hazrat Sheikh Afifuddin Abdullah Al-Mutri, who taught him Awarif Al-Ma'arif among other books. After Hazrat Jahanian performed the pre-dawn prayers, Hazrat Abdullah would come to him with food in one hand and a lamp in the other and impart lessons on Sufism and divine philosophy. He later received khilafat from Hazrat Abdullah Al-Mutri.

One day it so happened that when he went to offer prayers at Masjid al-Nabawi, the Imam was not present at the mosque. He was thus given the honour of leading the prayers at the blessed mosque. Acting as Imam, out of love and respect for the Holy Prophet ﷺ, he stood a row back from where the Holy Prophet ﷺ would lead prayer. This act of deference evoked a great deal of praise from Sheikh Abdullah Al-Mutri.

From Medina he returned to Mecca where he met Hazrat Imam Abdullah Yafa'ee al-Yamani, the most revered Sufi in Mecca. Hazrat Yafa'ee made Hazrat Jahanian his khalifa and informed him about the status of Sheikh Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehlavi, khalifa of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. On his return to Uch, Hazrat Jahanian went to Delhi to meet Sheikh Nasiruddin from whom he obtained initiation in to the Chisti order. During his time in Uch Sharif, he also met Hazrat Ashraf Jahangir Simnani and initiated him as a spiritual disciple.

Hazrat Jahanian earned the title of the Jahangasht (World Traveller) as he visited many countries including Yemen, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Transjordan, Khorasan as well as various places within the Indian subcontinent. He is also to have travelled to China, Mongolia and Ceylon. During the course of his extensive travels he came into contact with over 300 saints alone. The Book of Travels of Makhdoom Jahanian Jahangasht (Safarnama-e Makhdoom Jahanian Jahangasht), collated by Yusufi or Najmuddin Yusuf ibn Ruknuddin Muhammad Niamullah Gardizi, testifies to his extensive travels, distribution of gifts to qalandars and conversion of yogis. He made a great impact on the evolution of the South Asian Muslim society.

He firmly believed that travel was necessary for an individual's spiritual development, as it allows the individual to come into close proximity with nature and to appreciate the creation of God. He also believed difficulties encountered during the course of a journey make an individual indifferent towards the tribulations of life, while also strengthening his belief and faith.

Most of the journeys undertaken by Hazrat Jahanian took place during the reign of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq. Hazrat Jahanian spent a considerable amount of time in Uch during the reign of Sultan Firoz Shah Tughluq, cousin and successor of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq, and influenced the religious policy of the Sultan. He visited Delhi several times, and one of his important visits to the capital, in 1379-80, was marked by the compilation of his many sayings by his disciple, Abu Abdullah Alauddin Sa'd bin Ashraf into a book called the Khulasat al-Alfaz-i Jami al-Ulum.

Demise & Burial

He passed away on 10 Zul-Hijja 785 AH / 3 February 1384 after a prolonged illness and was buried in Uch Sharif. His mausoleum is still an attraction for thousands of devotees today.

Character

Hazrat Jahanian was extremely devoted to prayers and ascetic practices. He would prostrate five hundred times during the course of a day and would regularly be engaged in zikr (remembrance of God). He was familiar with the seven rhythmic methods (qirat) of reciting the Quran and recited the holy book on a daily basis. He was often deeply absorbed in muraqaba (contemplation), particularly during the final years of his life.

He showed great respect and love for his sheikh, Hazrat Ruknuddin Abul Fath. On one occassion, when Hazrat Ruknuddin was descending down a staircase, he lay down next to one of the steps so that his sheikh would place his foot on him. Hazrat Ruknuddin was naturally very pleased with his devotion and humility. On another occassion, in a similar manner that the Sahaba gained blessings through using the same water that the Holy Prophet ﷺ performed wudhu with, Hazrat Jahanian used some of the water that his sheikh had taken a bath with to clean himself.

He laid great emphasis on charity and believed in the total distribution of all of one's possessions to the poor after the adoption of asceticism, rather than bequeathing the same to ones' sons. Such was his concern for the poor that he urged Sufis and the ulama to visit rulers, government officials and the rich for the benefit of the deprived. He justified his visits to Sultan Firoz Shah on these grounds. Although he did not favour the visit of the rich and the ruling class to the khanqahs, he urged Sufis to bring home to such visitors the significance of following the Shari'ah.

He also advised beginners on the Sufi path not to make attempts to understand the philosophy of the Wahdat al-Wujud as it was the domain of experts.

Saying & Teachings

1. The enlightened should be so engaged that his ritual is not disrupted by association, society, or seclusion. People should be viewed as minerals. Practice and ritual should not be abandoned on account of people.
2. He who treads the path of spiritual perfection, should not allow anything else besides God to enter his heart.
3. An action that may not yield its fruit in this world will be of no consequence in the world hereafter.
4. The dervish, provided he follows the Holy Prophet ﷺ in speech, action and intention, is a saint but not otherwise.
5. Patience is of three kinds, namely, common, uncommon and most uncommon. Common patience implies controlling oneself when confronted with something unpleasant though it may appear difficult. Uncommon patience implies tolerating something unpleasant without a murmur. The most uncommon form of patience involves deriving pleasure when facing trouble or adversity.
6. Meditation implies the realisation that God knows everything about him and is observing him rather than just sitting down with one's head bowed.
7. He who treads the spiritual path, unless and until he is freed from the lust of this world and the world hereafter, does not reach the place of unity.
8. Faith is of three kinds. One type relates to relying on outward manifestations, e.g., one may see the sky and think and ponder that it is hanging and is without pillars. There must be somebody who has made it. Hence, an individual must bring his faith to bear and believe it. The second type of faith is that of the follower. Whatever the Holy Prophet ﷺ has said must be believed to be true. The third type of faith relates to actually seeing; as when the glance of a saint is focused on heaven and hell, the throne and the chair, the slate and the pen he at once realises that there is someone who has created it. When this station is reached, one sees through asceticism undergone the vision of God Almighty by the eye of the heart.
9. There are two things for he who treads the spiritual path. The first is awareness and the second unconsciousness. He should therefore be ever watchful and aware lest he fall down and lower himself. This is indeed perfection.
10. He who treads the path of enlightenment occupies two stations, namely, the beginning and the extreme end. The beginning implies offering repentance in the correct way. It is done in two ways. One relates to the repentance offered for the sins against the shari'at and tariqat and to that offered for taking partners of God. The station of the extreme end is the realisation of God which implies achievement of the desired goal.
11. He indeed is not wise who is engrossed in the blessing and unmindful of the donor of the blessing.
12. Inner remembrance of God is with the heart and soul and not with the tongue, and opposed to it is outward remembrance of God.
13. To avert and to remove the will are different. A thing that does not exist is said to be averted and one that is in existence is said to be removed.
14. For perfect sainthood three things are necessary. Without these, sainthood is not possible. The first condition is that the person should be well-versed in the three branches of knowledge, namely, that of shari'at, tariqat, and haqiqat. The second condition is that the wise people of his time accept him and become his devotees and disciples. The third condition is that he seeks nothing except the vision of God.
15. Keep yourself away from illiterate Sufis because they are thieves of religion and the plunderers of Muslims.
16. For divine knowledge, piety is necessary as ablutions are necessary for prayers.
17. Piety is of three kinds, namely, common, uncommon, and the most uncommon. Common piety is that of refraining from idolatry, sin and superstitions. Uncommon piety is abstaining from things that cannot do good or causing injury. The most uncommon form of piety is that of abstaining from all but God.
18. He who treads the spiritual path should possess great courage and should not seek anything from God other than Him alone.
19. The seeker should take to seclusion so that he may rid himself of confused ideas and become calm and collected.
20. It is obligatory upon the faithful, that he should acquire knowledge first and subsequently engage himself in its practice.
21. The seeker cannot do without a spiritual guide and teacher.
22. The qualities characterising one walking the spiritual path are that he speaks and he is motionless; exists and does not exist, is present and is absent.
23. Contact with a saintly person or the company of a spiritual guide or the society of the one who has acquired divine knowledge is far better and more useful than to sit on the prayer carpet and be engaged in rituals.
24. Unless one has severed all worldly connections, one will not emerge victorious.
25. The saints are not afraid of any man or anything except God Almighty.
26. Every breath that passes bears the price of both worlds.
27. So long as abuse and praise of the people do not appear to be the same to him who is walking the spiritual path, he does not become perfect.
28. Satan is not afraid of a person who is disobedient.
29. He who treads the spiritual path should not talk of the stations which he has not reached.
30. Three acts are best, namely to sever connections with the world, to keep an eye on realities and to discover the universal truth. He who is not endowed with these three qualities cannot claim to be a Sufi.
31. In the beginning, there is nothing better for him who is treading the spiritual path than to take to seclusion.
32. Seclusion is best for the remembrance of God.
33. Learn knowledge of Shariah, shun innovation and follow the sunna.
34. The Sufi path (Tariqat) is nothing without adherence to Shariah.
35. Every seeker of the Sufi path should adhere to practice of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. It will help him attain a rapturous state and nearness to God.
36. He who does not follow sunna in his speech, conduct and actions cannot be a friend (wali) of God.
37. Flee from three kinds of person: The oppressive tyrant ruler who is oblivious to the Truth (God), learned men who attain knowledge only for worldly gain and ignorant Sufis who are thieves of the religion.
38. It is better to conceal acts of worship.
39. Keep your clothing safe from filth, your body from sin and heart from malice.
40. Divinely revealed knowledge of the Prophets is not transmitted to Auliya Allah unless they have knowledge of Fiqh, Hadith, theology etc. Knowledge of the Sufi path (Tariqat), in reality, is based on Shariah. No one can attain the reality of Tariqat and Haqiqat until he well-versed in his knowledge of Shariah.
41. There are three types of knowledge: Knowledge of sayings which is Shariah, knowledge of actions which is Tariqat, and knowledge of esoteric states which is Haqiqat.
42. It is tariqat to save the heart from the rancour of human beings.
43. It is haqiqat to save the heart from all else besides God.
44. It is shari'at to turn one's face towards the qibla.
45. To turn one's face towards God is tariqat and to be so absorbed constitutes haqiqat.
46. Seekers of the Sufi path should consume less meat. For instance, consumption of meat should be reduced to once a week. This will help to conquer the lower-self.
47. The seeker should eat lawful food and wear lawful clothing because if one grain of food or one fibre on a piece of clothing is unlawful, the journey would not be straight one.
48. The seeker should repeat the Kalimah (Declaration of faith) constantly. It causes spiritual elevation.
49. The seeker should take into account the following instructions. He should:

i. Seek friendship of God through voluntary prayers
ii. Reflect and meditate
iii. Give advice to himself self before giving advice to others
iv. Recite the Holy Quran consistently
v. Obey the commands of the Holy Quran
vi. Obey the decree of God Most High
vii. Be aware that God sees His servants at all times
viii. Spend whatever he gets
ix. Try to attain union with God
x. Be satisfied with little

xi. Be contented
50. The dervish who is indulged in carnal desires and lust is far from the arcane secrets of Reality.
51. The seeker cannot attain gnosis (Marifat) unless he takes the following things into account. He should: never tell a lie, avoid backbiting, never harm the creatures of God and be honest in all of his affairs and conduct.
52. There are four stages of Sufi path: nasut, malaqut, jabarut and lahut. Nasut is the world of beasts, malaqut is the angelic world, jabarut is the world of souls and lahut is the name of spacelessness. Nasut is the quality of lower-self and evils. When this quality is wiped out, the seeker arrives at the angelic world, malaqut. When he crosses this world, he reaches the stage of jabarut. This is the special quality of the soul and is near to divine pavilion. The last stage is lahut. Here the seeker of God attains divine qualities. He is absorbed in the Essence of God and finally realises al-Haqq or Truth.
53. The seeker should become a disciple of a spiritual guide (sheikh) otherwise he won't progress. The disciple should spend time in the company of his sheikh since he is the radiant guide for him.
54. After Mecca the Exalted and Medina the Radiant, the soil of the Indian sub-continent is the most magnificent. This soil touched the feet of Adam.
55. To sleep in the morning is pitiful. It causes hardship and reduces one’s life span.
56. Family lineage shall not prove advantageous on the Day of Judgment. Only deeds will carry weight.
57. One who is endowed with inner enlightenment and prosperity (kamal) adopts humility and lowliness. He who is devoid of it adopts vanity and arrogance.
58. The seeker should combine his knowledge with action. If he does not do so, he is a fool.
59. One should not adopt spiritual retreat without knowledge.
60. Supplication can reverse inevitable fate.

Sources

  • Akhbar-ul-Akhyar
  • Masalek-us-Salekeen
  • Siyar-ul-Arefeen
  • Tarikh i Firishtah / Gulshan-i Ibrahimi
  • Ma'arij-ul-Wilayat
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