Jan 25, 2017
Bibi Zulekha, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s
mother would often looked at her sons feet remarking, “Nizamuddin! I see signs
of a bright future for you. You will be a man of destiny some day.” When the
young son questioned his mother as to when that would happen, she would say,
“When I am gone.” Baba Farid, his spiritual mentor said something similar,
“Nizamuddin, one day you will become the tree under which humanity will find
shelter and peace.” Both prophecies came true as for centuries the Dargah of
Hazrat Nizamuddin has remained a sanctuary of peace.
January 17 marked the 713th death
anniversary of Hazrat Nizamuddin. People conferred upon him the unique title of
Mehboob-e-Ilahi, meaning the beloved of God. His grandparents migrated to India
during the Mongol invasions of Bukhara. Khwaja Ahmed, his father died when he
was a little boy. His mother endured many financial hardships bringing up her
son and daughter.
The quest for knowledge brought the young
mystic to the city of Delhi when he was 16 years. He completed studies of
various Islamic sciences and gained the reputation of a skilled debater. He
initially thought of becoming a cleric but changed his mind. Instead, he
travelled to Ajodhan, Punjab to meet Baba Farid, whose fame had travelled
through the subcontinent.
On the second visit to Ajodhan, Baba Farid
appointed Hazrat Nizamuddin as his chief successor. Sensing the disciple’s
nervousness on accepting the responsibility, Baba Farid assured with the famous
words: “Nizam, take it from me, though I do not know if I will be honoured
before the almighty or not, I promise not to enter heaven without your
Hazrat Nizamuddin’s Khanqah grew to serve
as a welfare centre, feeding hundreds of people daily and attending to the
needs of the locality. Once when some houses in the neighbourhood caught fire,
the barefooted Sufi rushed to the spot and stayed there till the flames were
He personally counted the damaged houses,
appointed his deputy to help the affected families with silver coins, food and
water. There are countless recorded instances where he personally looked into
the needs of the destitute. Despite a busy routine, he kept his door open and
met visitors at all times.
People considered Hazrat Nizamuddin to be
the most favourably endowed man alive but he felt otherwise, “No one in the
world is as sad and unhappy as me. Thousands of people come to me with their
troubles and it afflicts my heart and soul. Strange is the heart that listens
to sorrow and is not touched by it. The dervishes who retire in the mountains
and jungles are lucky.”
Hazrat Nizamuddin’s teachings added a new
dimension to the understanding of Islamic ideals. He emphasised that looking
after the destitute had greater value than mere formal religious practices. He
taught that although many ways lead to God none was more effective than
bringing happiness to the human heart.
He reiterated that the love of God should
be the sole motivation for the righteous and not the desire for heaven or the
fear of hell.
He believed revenge to be the law of the
jungle, “If a man puts a thorn in your way and you also put thorns in his way,
there will be thorns everywhere.”
Shaykh Nizamuddin Auliya breathed his last
at the age of 82, on 18th Rabi ath thani, the fourth month in the Islamic
With his death a historic phase of the Sufi
movement in Delhi came to an end, but his legacy of love lives on.