Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari
Hazrat Khwaja Makhdoom Ali Ahmed Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari, popularly known as Hazrat Sabir Kaliyari (“Patient Saint of Kaliyar”) or Hazrat Alauddin Sabir, was a prominent South Asian Sufi saint, nephew and khalifa (successor) of Hazrat Fariduddin Ganjshakar and the first in the Sabiriya branch of the Chishti Order.
Hazrat Alauddin Sabir can be ranked as the 3rd Spiritual Successor of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti by virtue of priority of his initiation and Khilafat over Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya in the Chishtia Order conferred through Hazrat Fariduddin Ganjshakar. After the demise of Hazrat Alauddin many distinguished Khalifas of his “Sabiria silsila” also furthered the noble cause of the Order all over India and in many foreign countries.
Family & Lineage
Hazrat Alauddin Ali Ahmed Sabir was the great grandson of the illustrious Hazrat Syedna Ghaus-ul-Azam Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani of Baghdad, one of the greatest saints of Islam who was the founder of the well known Qadri silsila.
Hazrat Alauddin’s mother, Bibi Hajra, more commonly known as Jameela Khatoon, was from a noble family; she was the sister of the great saint Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar and it was from a basharat (prophetic vision) from the Holy prophet ﷺ that she was married to Hazrat Shah Abdul Rahim (grandson of Hazrat Ghaus-ul-Azam) in 571 AH in Khotwal (Multan, West Pakistan). Hazrat Shah Abdul Rahim was himself a pious man who was well versed in Uloom-e-Roohani (spiritual knowledge) and Iloom-e-Shariah (knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence). After her marriage, she lived with her husband in Herat who had travelled there from Baghdad and was living under the patronage of Hazrat Abul Qasim Gurgani — a great saint of his time.
Hazrat Alauddin’s paternal genealogy is as follows:
- Hazrat Makhdoom Ali Ahmed Alauddin Sabir, son of
- Hazrat Syed Shah Abdul Rahim, son of
- Hazrat Syed Saifuddin Abdul Wahab, son of
- Hazrat Syedna Ghaus-ul-Azam Abdul Qadir Jilani (of Baghdad), son of
- Syed Abu Saleh, son of
- Syed Abdulla Al-Jilia, son of
- Syed Yahya Zahid, son of
- Syed Mohammed, son of
- Syed Daud, son of
- Syed Moosa, son of
- Syed Abdulla Sani, son of
- Syed Moosa Al-Jaun, son of
- Syed Abdullah Mahaz, son of
- Syed Hasan Musanna, son of
- Hazrat Imam Hasan رضي الله عنه, son of
- Hazrat Amirul-Momineen Asadullah Ali Ibne Talib رضي الله عنه, son-in-law of the
- Holy Prophet Mohammed ﷺ.
It is related that when Hazrat Ali Ahmed Sabir was still in his mother’s womb, the Holy prophet Mohammed ﷺ commanded his mother in a vision to name her child “Ahmed”. Likewise, after some time, Hazrat Ali Murtaza رضي الله عنه also appeared in a vision and asked her to call the child by the name of “Ali”. Therefore, with due regard to both of these commands, the name of Ali Ahmed was given to the child on birth. The name of “Alauddin” was suggested by another saint after the birth of the child.
Hazrat Ali Ahmed Alauddin Sabir was born on the night of Thursday, 19th of Rabi-ul-Awwal, 592 AH in Herat. During his birth, when the nurse touched the body of the child, she felt a serious burning sensation. His mother warned the nurse not to touch her baby without wudhu (ablution). The nurse immediately performed wudhu and the burning sensation she felt disappeared.
After the nurse took the child in her lap to bathe him, as he opened his eyes and looked towards the roof of the house, the roof collapsed and a red light was seen descending upon the child through the open roof whilst a pleasant scent covered the city of Herat.
Prophecies of his Birth
The prophecies about the births of both Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and Hazrat Alauddin Ali Ahmed Sabir are attributed to the following great personalities of Islam, all of whom are reported to have recorded them clearly in their respected publications:
- Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique in “Shihaab-ul-Ma’Arifat“.
- Hazrat Umar Farooq in “Mujaahid-ul-Wahdat.”
- Hazrat Usman Ghani in “Kulliyat-ul-Hyat.”
- Hazrat Ali Murtarza in “Qavi-ul-Qudrat.”
The full details of these prophecies are very elaborate and extensive. They are attributed to a special Darbar (Court) of the Blessed Prophet ﷺ held in the ‘spiritual world’ which is described by Hazrat Imam Jafar Sadiq in his book, Kashf-ul-Ghayoob.
It is related in this book that on the night of 11th Rajab (Friday), Hazrat Imam Jafar Sadiq was sending salutations to the Holy Prophet ﷺ i.e. he was reciting Durood Sharif. Suddenly Imam Jafar heard a voice that told him that the time had come to witness the world of the unseen. Whilst in this spiritual state, Imam Jafar relates:
After saying this the beloved Prophet ﷺ descended from the throne and during that time Hazrat Imam Jaffar awoke from his sleep.
This is further authenticated, in their respective publications, by all the great saints of Islam who lived before the birth of Hazrat Ghausul-Azam, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani who in turn, also predicted the birth of Hazrat Makhdoom Ali Ahmed Sabir in his own publication “Karbat-ul-Wahdat.”
Hazrat Ghausul-Azam, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani reports that a few days after his marriage, Hazrat Fatima Zahra (ra) appeared in his dream and said:
Early Life & Childhood
Hazrat Ali Ahmed Alauddin displayed great devotion from an extremely young age. For the first 6 months and 40 dayso of his life, he did not take his mother’s milk. After the first year of his life, he took his mother’s milk only on alternate days, thus observing the fast every other day. Wheen the was 3 years old, he gave up his mother’s milk altogether and used to eat a small piece of barley bread occasionally. When he began to speak, the first words he uttered were “La Moujuda Illillah” (there is nothing present but God). At the age of 5, he lost his father and observed complete silence for one year. At the age of 7, he started to fast on a daily basis and used to eat dried breadcrumbs only on the 4th or 5th . He also began to observe Tahajjud (late night prayer) and kept himself fully occupied in the devotion of God. He never slept on a charpoy (woven bed) even at this young age, and if his mother insisted that he should not perform such hard mujahedas (strivings) at his tender age, he used to reply that he couldn’t help it and wanted to burn himself in the devotion of God.
When Hazrat Shah Abdul Rahim, Hazrat Alauddin’s father, was ill on his deathbed, the people requested Hazrat Ali Ahmed to pray for the recovery of his father to which he replied:
As he finished these words, the soul of his father departed and a pleasant fragrance encompassed the whole house.
After the death of Hazrat Abdul Rahim, Hazrat Alauddin and his mother faced particularly hard times, yet she never sought anybody’s help. During this period, Hazrat Alauddin only used to consume water and a few crumbs if any food was available. One day, Hazrat Ali Ahmed felt acute hunger and asked his mother to give him something to eat. She, of course, had nothing in the house to cook. After the zohar prayer (1-2 p.m.), Hazrat Ali Ahmed began to insist for food and, for his satisfaction, she put a degchi (cooking pot) which contained water on the oven, pretending that something was being cooked. Up until the time of maghrib (6-7 p.m.) whenever Hazrat Ali Ahmed enquired as to whether the food was ready, his mother would reply that it was not. After the maghrib prayer, Hazrat Ali Ahmed insisted to eat the food whether it was ready or not and he opened the lid of the ‘degchi’. As soon as he saw the contents, he exclaimed: “But the rice is ready.” His mother was amazed and even more so when the scent of the cooked rice that she smelt was like nothing she had ever smelt in her life.
When Hazrat Ali Ahmed finished with his meal, his mother sent for Hazrat Abul Qasim Gurgani and told him the whole story. She then consulted him about a basharat she had about putting Hazrat Ali Ahmed under the care of her brother, Hazrat Baba Farid Ganjshakar for his religious education, since he was now entering his teenage years. Hazrat Gurgani, after consulting other leading dervishes of Herat, agreed and took Hazrat Ali Ahmed and his mother to Hansi where Baba Farid lived.
Meeting with Alimullah Abdaal
On their way to Hansi they met Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal who would play a major role throughout the life Hazrat Ali Ahmed Sabir.
An Abdal is a class of Awliya who executes a variety of duties imposed on them by God Most High. They possess miraculous abilities and have long life spans. Hazrat Allimullah Abdaal, who met the party on their way from Herat, had been in the service of Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani and his son, Hazrat Saifuddin Abdul Wahab, grandfather of Hazrat Alauddin, during their lifetimes.
Hazrat Abul Qasim Gurgani questioned Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal why he did serve Hazrat Shah Abdul Rahim, as he had served his father and grandfather to which Hazrat Alimullah replied:
Alimullah Abdaal then accompanied the group to Hansi and remained thereafter in the service of Hazrat Ali Ahmed Alauddin Sabir.
Hazrat Ali Ahmed Sabir, his mother, Hazrat Mohammed Abul Qasim Gurgani and Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal arrived in Hansi, on the 24th of Shabaan, 601 AH and were received with open arms by Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar. The great saint, at the very first glance, perceived the “divine light” emanating from the forehead of Hazrat Ali Ahmed and thanked his sister for bringing “such a rare jewel” to him for spiritual training. The happiness of Hazrat Baba Farid was such that it sent him in to a state of ecstasy. When he recovered, he told his sister that his education would last 3 years and that he was destined for a great career.
Initiation as a Mureed
According to “Sirr-ul-Abudiyat“, Hazrat Ali Ahmed’s progress in Islamic studies and spiritual training was remarkable, finishing his literary course in 3 years as Hazrat Baba Farid had predicted, which was half the time that an average student would have taken to finish the course.
Hazrat Ali Ahmed Alauddin was then initiated as a mureed by Hazrat Baba Farid in front of a well attended gathering of leading Sheikhs. After his initiation, Hazrat Ali Ahmed’s mother took leave to go back to Herat and said to Hazrat Baba Farid:
Hazrat Baba Farid smiled as he knew the future held for Hazrat Ali Ahmed better than anybody else. He then called Hazrat Ali Ahmed in the presence of his mother and ordered him to take charge of his Langar-khana (kitchen) and distribution of langar (food) to the poor — an order which pleased his sister. The next day she left for Herat in the company of Hazrat Gurgani asHazrat Alimullah Abdaal remained in the service of Hazrat Ali Ahmed.
After the daily Ishraq and Maghrib prayers, Hazrat Ali Ahmed used to distribute the langar to the poor and then retire to his hujra (cell) for his devotional mujahedas. Interestingly, the people who he served reported that they never saw him eating anything from the kitchen himself.
According to certain inexplicable principles and special Sufi practices, an Arif (Sufi) when he is intensely absorbed in spiritual devotion receives Noori (Divine Light) through a special dua-e-soori (prayer). This wisdom cannot be taught; it is neither recorded on paper nor can it be imparted orally. In essence, it is a Divine gift that is bestowed upon those special indiividuals at the will of God Almighty.
Hazrat Alauddin Ali Ahmed Sabir had thus been bestowed with this Divine Light by the will of God through his persistent devotion and hard mujahedas (strivings) and he could, therefore, sustain himself without any food or water. These mujahedas were thus sustained by divine sustenance, rather than material sustenance, which only very advanced Arifs could attain. This process indicates that a true devotee who undertakes such mujahedas develops his spiritual capabilities to such an extent that he is constantly immersed in this Divine Light – a stage where the physical body no longer requires the material needs of the physical body. The Arif’s body therefore becomes a particle of the vast Divine Light or energy which sustains the physical world.
According to Sirr-ul-Abudiyat, Hazrat Baba Farid says:
After these two tragic deaths, Hazrat Baba Farid warned his servants and mureeds:
Eleven days after the last tragedy, Hazrat Baba Farid’s third son, Azizuddin, distributed the langar without the permission of Hazrat Ali Ahmed in spite of repeated warnings and protests of the servants. Azizuddin then informed his mother, Bibi Najib-un-Nisa, of what he had done to her obvious horror and dismay. When Hazrat Ali Ahmed came out to distribute the langar, he was informed that Saheb Azizuddin had already distributed it. Hazrat Ali Ahmed exclaimed: “But how is it that he (Azizuddin) is still alive ?” The moment he uttered these words, Saheb Zada Azizuddin, who was talking to his mother at the time, died instantaneously and despair swept over the Khanqah during this tragedy. When this was reported to Hazrat Baba Farid, he said: “The fault was of Azizuddin. Why did he interfere with the work of Ali Ahmed?
When Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal conveyed the news of the tragic deaths to Hazrat Ahmed Ali’s mother, she was shocked and at once left for Hansi to offer condolences to her brother. When she arrived and offered her apologies for her son’s behaviour, the great saint said: “Whatever has happened was destined to happen and whatever is yet to come must come to pass.”
Title of "Sabir"
But when Baba Farid’s sister saw her son Hazrat Ali Ahmed, she was shocked to find him extremely emaciated — a condition which compelled her to complain to Hazrat Baba Farid: “Brother, I had requested of you not to starve Ali Ahmed. But it seems you starved my child for 7 years.” Baba Farid replied “But it was in your own presence that I had ordered Ali Ahmed to distribute the langar and left him in charge of my Langarkhana” (Kitchen).
He then called Hazrat Ali Ahmed in the presence of his mother, and asked him: “Son, you were put in charge of the kitchen, then why did you not eat anything ?” Hazrat Ali Ahmed earned his unique title of Sabir (patient) from Hazrat Baba Farid when he gave a most beautiful reply to the saint’s question. He said: “Although I was deputed to distribute the langar, I was not authorised to eat any of it. How could have I dared to breach your orders?” Hazrat Baba Farid could not resist his overwhelming joy and love at this reply. He at once got up and affectionately embraced Hazrat Ali Ahmed “Sabir”. Hazrat Baba Farid then said: “A dutiful disciple must do what you have done.” Addressing his sister, he said:
It was after this incident that Hazrat Makhdoom Ali Ahmed enjoyed the popular title of Sabir – patience personified.
According to “Sirr-ul-Abudiyat“, Hazrat Baba Farid is reported to have said:
After the maghrib prayer on the 21st of Shawwal, 613 AH, the Nikah of Hazrat Ali Ahmed Sabir was solemnised and his mother lighted a lamp and directed the bride to his hujra, while she stood at the door of the hujra. Hazrat Sabir, however, remained busy in his usual deep devotion while the poor bride stood there till the time of Tahajjud , at which point he noticed her and asked: “Who are you?” She replied: “I am your wife.” Hazrat Sabir retorted:
The moment he finished these words, a furious flame arose from the floor of the hujra and reduced the bride to ashes. Hazrat Ali Ahmed’s mother, who was standing outside the hujra, dashed in but it was too late. In a fit of anger, she struck her son and exclaimed : “What shall I answer to your uncle about this tragedy?”. Hazrat Ali Ahmed replied “What tragedy?” as if nothing had happend. His mother said : “Don’t you see, you have burned your wife to ashes?” to which he replied : “It is not my fault. The divine power that rules me must have done this.”
Death of his Mother
This tragic event affected the mental and physical health of Hazrat Ali Ahmed Sabir’s mother greatly and she tragically died after suffering from an illness on the 2nd Muharram 614 AH. However, Hazrat Ali Ahmed was so devoted to God that he did not even attend the funeral ceremony of his mother and when he was asked to join the funeral, he said: “To me, my mother is not dearer than the service of distributing the langar to the poor people of God and my devotion to Him.” He then retired to his hujra for a long time and the cook, Abul Qasim, took the responsibility of distributing the langar during this period.
Appointment as Khalifa
On the 17th of Moharrum, 623 AH Hazrat Baba Farid went into Hazrat Ali Ahmed Sabir’s hujra and found him in deep muraqba (meditation). He opened his eyes only after the saint had loudly recited ‘Kalima Tayyaba’ seven times into his right ear. Baba Farid then brought him out of the hujra and seated him in a pre-arranged jalsa (gathering) in order to confer upon him the Khilafat of the Chishtia Order publicly. He placed his own cap and Khirqa (cloak) upon Hazrat Sabir as a mark of confirmation of this honour.
According to “Sirr-ul-Abudiyat“, Hazrat Ali Ahmed Sabir bore a seal with read Haaza Wali Allah (He is a friend of Allah) on his back, underneath his right shoulder.
It is related that this seal came about after a vision that Hazrat Baba Farid had on 24th Ramadan 650 AH. During this vision, Hazrat Baba Farid’s spiritual guide Hazarat Kwaja Qutbuddin Bakhthiar Kaki had come to him and asked him to bring Hazrat Ali Ahmed with them after which they ascended through the heavens and were in the presence of the beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ.
Hazrat Baba Farid was instructed to call Hazrat Ali Ahmed closer to the throne of the beloved Prophet ﷺ at which point the beloved Prophet ﷺ put his blessed hands on his back and said Haaza Wali Allah (He is a friend of Allah).” When Hazrat Baba Farid returned to state of normality, he was astonished to see that the hujra immersed with spiritual light and the Auliya (friends of God) and Rijal-ul-Ghaib (Men of the unseen) had their hands on the back of Hazrat Sabir, whilst loudly chanting Haaza Wali Allah.
This seal was witnessed and kissed out of respect, by all those who were present in the jalsa (meeting) wherein he received the Khilafat from Hazrat Baba Farid who said: “I then myself kissed the seal and conferred upon Ali Ahmed the Khilafat of the Chishtia Order.”
His silsila (spiritual chain) is traced back to the Beloved Prophet ﷺ as follows:
- Hazrat Makdhoom Alauddin Ali Ahmad Sabir, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Haji Shareef Zandani, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Maudood Chishti, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Nasiruddin Abu Yusuf Bin Saamaan, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Abu Mohammed Chishti, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Abu Ahmad Abdal Chishti, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Abu Ishaq Shami, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Mumshad Dinawari, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Abu Hubairah Basri, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Huzaifah Al-Marashi, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Ibrahim Bin Adham, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Al-Fozail ibn Iyaz, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Abdul Waahid Bin Zaid, Khalifa of
- Hazrat Hasan al-Basri, Khalifa of
- Sayyadina Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib , Khalifa of
- Sayyidina Muhammad ibn Abdillah ﷺ
Appointment to Kaliyar
In 650 AH Hazrat Makhdoom Ali Ahmed Sabir was appointed by Hazrat Baba Farid as the spiritual leader of Kaliyar where religious values were deteriorating. Hazrat Sabir, accompanied by Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal, left for Kaliyar on 15 Zil Hujj, 650 AH. After a journey of 16 days they reached Kaliyar and resided in the house of a lady called Gulzadi. The next day he delivered a religious lecture proclaiming himself as the religious preceptor of Kaliyar before a public meeting in the Jama Masjid.
Musammat Gulzadi, her son Bahauddin and a neighbour called Jamal Roghangar had become devotees of Hazrat Ali Ahmed. Both Bahauddin and Jamal were present during this meeting with Hazrat Ali Ahmed and had supported what he had proclaimed, but nobody paid any heed and the people dispersed.
The following day, Hazrat Ali Ahmed again addressed a meeting in the Jama Masjid of Kaliyar and invited the people to recognise him as their Imam. However, the people said: “Our Pir is the Quran and our Imam is Qazi Tabrak Kufi (a descendant of Yazid, the perpetrator of the crime of Kerbala) and we do not want change.” Hazrat Ali Ahmed replied that he was authorised to give them this advice by virtue of a divine decree through Sultan-ul-Aulia Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar. Nevertheless, the people dispersed and reported the matter to Qazi Tabrak and Qayamuddin Zamwan, the president of Kaliyar, who was from the family of Abu Sufyaan and Haaris (two enemies of the Holy Prophet ﷺ). Qazi Tabrak was Zamwan’s political adviser as well as his religious preceptor.
On Friday 19 Zil Hujj, 650 AH, Zamwan, Qazi Tabrak and the people of Kaliyar came to the mosque for Friday prayers where Hazrat Ali Ahmed was present. Here Zamwan challenged Hazrat Ali Ahmed and asked: “if you are our Qutab, tell me what happened to my goat which I lost 3 months ago. If you do so, we shall acknowledge you as our Qutab.”
Hazrat Ali Ahmed immediately understood that he wanted to test his spiritual prowess. He complied with his request by raising his gaze towards the sky and declared that those who have eaten the flesh of the goat must come forward. Subsequently, 27 people presented themselves to Hazrat Ali Ahmed. When they were asked about the goat, they affirmed that they had nothing to do with its disappearance. Hazrat Ali Ahmed then turned to Zamwan and asked him to call out to his goat by its name. Amazingly, the goat responded to the call from the stomachs of the people. It said: “These people killed me at midnight near the Sadrak well and threw my hide and bones to the bottom of the well after roasting and eating my flesh.”
Having witnessed this feat, Zamwan recognised the claim of Hazrat Ali Ahmed as the Imam of Kaliyar. When Qazi Tabrak saw that the chief was overwhelmed by this miraculous demonstration, he said to Zamwan, “Be careful this is the work of a magician.” The weak-minded Zamwan quickly changed his opinion and told Hazrat Makhdoom Sabir that he was only a magician upon which the saint remarked:
Fatwa from Hazrat Baba Farid
Saying this, he left the mosque and went to the house where he was residing where he wrote a report describing the recent events and the condition of Kaliyar. On 20 Zil Hujj 650 AH, Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal delivered the report to Hazrat Baba Farid, who prepared a fatwa (with the approval of the Holy Prophet ﷺ in a spiritual communion). On completion, he ordered Hazrat Alimullah to deliver the fatwa to Qazi Tabrak at Kaliyar.
On receiving the fatwa, Qazi Tabrak tore it up. This torn fatwa and a a dismissive letter written by Qazi Tabrak was delivered to Hazrat Ali Ahmed. Upon seeing the state of the fatwa that his Murshid had written, he became angry and told the Qazi’s servant to tell him: “Since you have torn up my Pir’s fatwa’, I have torn up your name from Loh-e-Mahfooz.”
When Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal related what had happened to Hazrat Baba Farid and presented him with the torn fatwa, Hazrat Baba Farid entered his hujra from where he emerged after 13 days and sent the following letter to Zamwan on 7 Moharrum, 651 AH:
Hazrat Baba Farid sealed the letter and handed it over to Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal to be delivered to Qayamuddin Zamwan. When the messenger reached Zamwan, he was sitting in the company of Qazi Tabrak amongst others. Zamwan asked Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal what the time was when he left Ajodhan. Hazrat Alimullah said that he had offered his Zohar prayer (l to 2 p.m.) with Hazrat Baba Farid in Ajodhan and he offered his Asar prayer (4 p.m.) with Hazart Ali Ahmed Sabir in Kaliyar. All those present were astonished and asked him how he managed to travel such a long distance in msuch a short space of time. Hazrat Alimullah said; “These abilities have been bestowed upon me by the grace of God and the blessings of Hazrat Makhdoom Ali Ahmed Sabir. If you obey him, you may also reach such a level.”
When Zamwan heard this and read the letter, he was very impressed but Qazi Tabrak, on seeing that matters were taking a serious turn against his vested interests, and that his own Imamat and popularity were at stake, he once more protested vehemently before Zamwan and convinced Zamwan that it was nonsense.
He tore up Hazrat Baba Farid’s letter and returned in to Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal along with his own reply. Hazrat Alimullah brought Zamwan’s letter to Hazrat Ali Ahmed who was once more upset at the condition of the letter that his Pir had written. He forwarded it to Hazrat Baba Farid, together with his own letter in which he wrote:
Destruction of Kaliyar
After receiving the letter from his beloved, Hazrat Baba Farid replied, “In your hands lies the dominion of power over the city so do as you please. By the grace of Allah nobody will challenge you. Kaliyar is your goat, you can either drink its milk or eat its flesh”.
After Hazrat Ali Ahmed read his Pir’s letter, he recited some Quranic verses and then looked towards both the heavens and the earth and a tremor soon shook the city. A second stronger tremor was then experienced by the people of Kaliyar who were panicking this point. When a third tremor was felt, Zamwan felt that these unusual tremors may have been due to the anger of Hazrat Ali Ahmed and urgently sent for Qazi Tabrak. Zamwan was prepared to meet Hazrat Ali Ahmed in order to apolgise but he was once again stopped by Tabrak.
On Friday 10 Moharrum 651 AH, Hazrat Makhdoom Ali Ahmed Sabir, along with Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal and Bahauddin, reached the Jama Masjid where he occupied the musalla of the Imam. When Qazi Tabrak arrived and asked Hazrat Ali Ahmed to vacate the musalla, Hazrat Ali Ahmed said: “Accept me today as your Imam otherwise there will be wholesale destruction in Kaliyar for which you and your followers will repent for until the Day of Judgment.”
Qazi Tabrak one again refused to listen. Hazrat Ali Ahmed then vacated the musalla and entered the open courtyard of the mosque with Alimullah and Bahauddin. As the prayer started and the people went into ruku (bowing position during prayer) Hazrat Makhdoom Ali Ahmed commanded the building to also go into ruku at which piont the whole mosque collapsed. There was a wave of panic among those who were outside the mosque.
Musammat Gulzadi ran to the scene and made anxious enquiries about her son, Bahauddin, who had come to the mosque for prayer. Hazrat Ali Ahmed told her that he got caught under the slabs of the stairs and ordered Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal to pull him out to his safety. As she and her son were his hosts and devotees, Hazrat Ali Ahmed asked her to leave the city within 24 hours and get to a safe place beyond 24 miles of Kaliyar because a greater tragedy was to descend upon the city.
Later, Hazrat Ali Ahmed left his residence and stopped underneath a Gular tree (which stands as a witness to this historic event up to this day at the Dargah of the saint in Kaliyar). At this point he was in an overwhelming state of jazba ‘intense emotion) and, holding a branch of this tree by his left hand and pointing the forefinger of his right hand towards the sky, he stood there in a state of sukr (intoxication). In this state, he cast a furious glance over the land and a vast inferno engulfed the city of Kaliyar and everything within a radius of 24 miles. The only places that survived the blaze were:
- the are where Hazrat Ali Ahmed stood
- the graves of the martyrs
- the house of musammaat Gulzadi
The inferno lasted for four days leaving a wake of destruction in its path. Among the Chishti saints of India, no other saint has demonstrated such a mighty jalal (wrath).
Arrival of Hazrat Shamsuddin Turk Panipati
Hazrat Khwaja Shamsuddin Turk Panipati, son of Hazrat Khwaja Yasui, was the only mureed and Khalifa of Hazrat Alauddin Sabir. According to “Firdaus-ul-Wajoob,” Hazrat Shamsuddin was divinely ordained to be the sole mureed and Khalifa of Hazrat Alauddin Sabir due to his distinguished lineage, being a descendant of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. He hailed from Turkistan and arrived in Ajodhan with 21 other dervishes on 12 Zil-Hujj, 658 AH, — 7 years after the tragedy of Kaliyar. He had come with the intention of joining the Chishtia Order under Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar, who instead told him to go to Hazrat Alauddin.
Accordingly, Hazrat Shamsuddin Turk and his party left for Kaliyar immediately and reached the outer limit of the desolate area that had been ravaged by the inferno, where they were met by an Abdal called Hazrat Jamaluddin Abdaal. Hazrat Jamaluddin looked after the party until Hazrat Alimullah arrived and took them safely to Hazrat Ali Ahmed, who was engrossed in overwhelming contemplation (sukr), holding a branch of the Gular tree with his left hand and pointing his right forefinger towards the sky, with his eyes also firmly fixed on the horizon.
For 22 days and nights, Hazrat Makhdoom Sabir remained in this state of sukr and Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal did not even dare to inform him about his guests. During this period, the 21 dervishes who had accompanied Hazrat Shamsuddin from Turkistan lost their patience and returned to Ajodhan. Hazrat Shamsuddin, however, remained as he was determined to speak to Hazrat Ali Ahmed. Finally, on the 23rd day, he regained his senses and asked Hazrat Shamsuddin if he had been sent by Hazrat Baba Farid to which Hazrat Shamsuddin replied in the affirmative. The great saint then exclaimed: “The sun of God is in the sky and this faqeer’s son is on the earth” – a declaration that gave Hazrat Shamsuddin the title of “Shams-ul-Arz” – the sun of the earth.
Hazrat Ali Ahmed initiated Hazrat Shamsuddin as a mureed and ordered him to remain for 3 days then go to Hazrat Baba Farid for his spiritual training and to look after the great saint up until his death. He told Hazrat Shamsuddin to return upon his death and at this point Hazrat Ali Ahmed again lost himself in the state of sukr. Hazrat Shamsuddin did not have another opportunity to speak to him in the remaining 3 days. He then left for Ajodhan with Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal as instructed.
When Hazrat Shamsuddin reported himself to Hazrat Baba Farid, he was asked why he returned to which Hazrat Shamsuddin replied that he was ordered to. Hazrat Baba Farid then said: “You must collect firewood from the jungle, sell it and live on its earnings. You must perform riyazat during the day and busy yourself in the devotion of God during the nights.” Hazrat Shamsuddin did as he was instructed for 4 years. Often he did not get any firewood to sell and went hungry, but he persevered until Hazrat Baba Farid breathed his last on the night of 5 Moharrum, 661 AH.
After the death of Hazrat Baba Farid, Hazrat Shamsuddin left Ajodhan and reported his presence to Hazrat Ali Ahmed at Kaliyar on 12 Moharrum, 661 AH and found the saint standing under the same old Gular tree and in the same state of deep meditation in which he had left him 4 years ago. When Hazrat Ali Ahmed came to his senses, he sent for his green ammama (turban) and khirqa (cloak) from his tabarrukaat (sacred relics) and adorned Hazrat Shamsuddin with them, thus conferring khilafat (successorship) upon him.
About his life in the service of Hazrat Ali Ahmed at Kaliyar, Hazrat Shamsuddin says:
Prophecy of his own Death
On 19 Moharrum, 684 AH, Hazrat Makhdoom Ali Ahmed Sabir ordered Hazrat Shamsuddin to go into a six-year mujaheda called Habs-e-Kabeer in a grave, which he did and which gave him vast experiences of the spiritual world. On completing this peculiar mujaheda, Hazrat Makhdoom Sabir ordered Hazrat Shamsuddin to go to Amber and help Sultan Alauddin Khilji to conquer a fort. He then told Hazrat Shamsuddin that the fort is to be conquered on 13 Rabi-ul-Awwal 690 AH and that will also be the day he is to depart the world.
Hazrat Shamsuddin could not resist his tears on hearing the prophecy and enquired about funeral arrangements. Hazrat Ali Ahmed instructed Hazrat Shamsuddin to perform all the rites and that everything else is to be arranged by the Rijal-ul-Ghaib (men of the unseen) and the Awliya (friends of God). Hazrat Shamsuddin was strictly ordered not to touch the body nor to open his eyes during the ghusl (bath) as this would be taken care of through divine grace.
Accordingly, Hazrat Shamsuddin left on 14 Safar 690 AH, reaching Amber on the 19th where he stayed with in a tent with Sheikh Suleman, warning him not to disclose the reason for his arrival. On the morning of 13 Rabi-ul-Awwal, when Hazrat Shamsuddin met with Sultan Alauddin Khilji, Hazrat Shamsuddin recited a prayer and pointed towards the fort. The fort immediately and miraculously collapsed allowing the Sultan’s army to enter the fort and gain victory.
Passing on & Funeral
After the fall of the fort, Hazrat Shamsuddin made way for Kalyar. On the way, he met an emotional Hazrat Alimullah Abdaal who informed him of the passing away of Hazrat Ali Ahmed exactly as he had prophesied. Hazrat Alimullah informed Hazrat Shamsuddin that he had now been instructed to serve him and together they made haste to Kalyar.
On arrival at Kalyar, Hazrat Shamsuddin saw that Jamaluddin Abdaal and his 99 jinns were protecting the body of Hazrat Ali Ahmed and a red light immersed the area. He then carried out the orders that were given to him by his Pir-o-Murshid. As the time for janazah (funeral service) neared, he felt dejected as he was the only person present at the funeral of his Pir-o-Murshid and a great saint.
As he spread his mussalla for Salat al-Janazah (funeral prayer), he saw a veiled horseman armed with a lance rapidly advancing towards him. As he reached Hazrat Shamusuddin, he exclaimed: “Shamsuddin, don’t offer the Namaz“, and upon dismounting his horse, he occupied the mussalla and conducted the prayer himself. When Hazrat Shamsuddin turned his face for Salaam (the last action of prayer), he was astounded to see a multitude of Aghyas, Awliya, Rijal-ul-Ghaib and Abdaals present.
After the prayer, the body of Hazraat Ali Ahmed was lowered and Hazrat Shamsuddin asked the veiled horseman: “May I have the pleasure of asking your name since you have conducted the funeral of my great Pir-o-Murshid?” The man pulled off his veil and said:
When Hazrat Shamsuddin saw his face and identified that it was none else than Hazrat Makhdoom Alauddin Ali Ahmed Sabir himself, he fell unconscious and fell down on the ground.
The curse of Hazrat Ali Ahmed remained in the city of Kaliyar and nobody dared to venture beyond the outer limit of the desolate area that had incurred the wrath of Hazrat Ali Ahmed, until the time of Hazrat Qutb-e-Alam Abdul Quddus Gangohi, the sixth khalifa of the Sabiri silsila.
On 4 Rabi-us-Sani 907 AH, more than 200 years after the demise of Hazrat Ali Ahmed, Hazrat Abdul Quddus Gangohi, spurned by his determination to build a mausoleum made way for Kaliyar with a party of 150 people including khalifas, sheikhs and mureeds.
When this huge assembly reached Kaliyar, Hazrat Abdul Quddus went into a state of muraqaba (meditation) and entered into a spiritual communion with the saint. He pleaded with the saint to end his jalal (wrath) on the area so that he may build his mausoleum for the people to benefit. Hazrat Ali Ahmed granted his wish and agreed to bless those that visit the site.
Hazrat Abdul Quddus and his group reached the tomb for the first time in more than two centuries and they found that it was still being protected by Hazrat Jamaluddin Abdaal and his party of 99 jinns. Hazrat Abdul Quddus and his group began to construct a mausoleum from kutcha (sandy) materials around the tomb for the first time after the saint’s demise. Having finished, they offered Salat-ul-Shukr (prayer of gratitude) and departed from Kaliyar. Hazrat Abdul Quddus used to return to Kaliyar on the 5th of each month to perform fateha.
An old Afghan sketch of Sultan Ibrahim Lodi
On 16 Rajab 928 AH, 21 years after Hazrat Abdul Quddus first entered Kaliyar, Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi of Delhi provided finances to build a pucca (concrete) mausoleum over the tomb of Hazrat Makhdoom Ali Ahmed. With this money, Hazrat Abdul Quddus ordered Jamaluddin Abdaal to purchase the necessary material and to accompany him to Kalyar to assist him constructing a new mausoleum over the tomb.
They reached Kaliyar on 5 Jamadi-ul-Awwal 928 AH and and started work on the 15th. Jamaluddin Abdaal and his 99 jinns also assisted with the construction and the new mausoleum was ready in 3 months and 7 days, after which the party returned to Gangoh.
A 15 day Urs celebration is held each year at the mausoleum in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal and the dargah and for the past 456 years, people from all walks of life have flocked to the site to seek the blessings of Hazrat Makhdoom Ali Ahmed Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari.