November 16, 2019
(Rahnuma) India’s most celebrated writer and former Member of Parliament, the
late Khushwant Singh wrote in his book, published as “Notes on The Great Indian
Circus”; “It should be remembered that Mahatma Gandhi who conducted daily
prayers where he was, did not go into temples and the last time he went to a
place of worship was at the tomb of Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.”
1173 AD, Khwaja Qutub Uddin Bakhtiyar Kaki was the most renowned Sufi mystic,
saint and scholar of the Chishti order in the Indian subcontinent.
mausoleum was the first Dargah of a prominent Muslim in Delhi. He was a
disciple and the intellectual successor of Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer as head
of the Chishti order. Delhi’s Qutb Minar, is said to have been dedicated to
Bakhtiyar Kaki had a tremendous influence on Islam in India. As he continued,
and developed the traditional ideas of Monism (non-dualism, Wahdat ul-Wujood,
Advaita Vedanta), universal brotherhood and generosity.
located adjacent to Zafar Mahal in Mehrauli is the oldest dargah in Delhi.
before he was shot and martyred, on January 27th, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi held his
last public address at the shrine of Muslim sage Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki in
Partition caused an eruption of violence in Delhi which was refusing to abate.
Delhi was overflowing with refugees, and people were afraid to leave their
homes. During the annual Urs held at the Dargah, a tradition observed for
centuries – there were only a few Muslims present to mark the occasion.
perilous circumstance, Mahatma Gandhi held a prayer meeting at the shrine of
Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.
other book, “The Novel”, Khushwant Singh described the incident in the
following manner: “Gandhi bows to Kaki’s Tomb. The Mussalmans accompanying him
request to, utter our Fateha. So the Mahatma raises his hand and recites: In
the name of Allah the beneficent and the merciful.”
to Singh, it was here that Mahatma Gandhi met Maulana Jamal Miyan Firangi
Mahali (the son of Maulana Abdul Bari Firangi Mahali, whom Gandhi referred to
as his brother), who recounted the entire meet to an Urdu newspaper upon his
return to the city of Lucknow.
Jamal asked Gandhi how he knew Hazrat Bakhtiyar Kaki to which the latter
replied, it was in fact, his father Maulana Bari who had introduced him to the
great Sufi saint as the disciple of Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti Ghareeb Nawaz of
Ajmer “ recalled Adnan Abdul Wali Firangi Mahali, the great-grandson of Maulana
Bari, referring to the reported incident.
the incident further, Gandhi had told Jamal how he was invited by Maulana Bari
from Ahmedabad to Ajmer, in March 1922, where the Mahatma had his first
experience with sitting in an authentic Chisti Qawwali.
Ghazal being sung was composed by Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar and the Bihar
secretary of the Khilafat Committee, Dr. Syed Mahmood was translating it to
Gandhiji from Urdu to English, ” said Adnan. In awe of what unfolded before him
during the event, Mahatma Gandhi enquired from Moulana Bari about Moinuddin
Chishti’s intellectual successor Bakhtiyar Kaki. The Mahatma was apprised
cordially on the life of Bakhtiyar Kaki by Maulana Bari.
the year 1948, when Mahatma Gandhi visited Bakhtiyar Kaki’s shrine, the annual
Urs celebrations that had been called off owing to rampant rioting were
occasion, the Sikh brethren had performed Qawwali at the shrine under Mahatma
Gandhi’s endeavour for peace and harmony was his last fast-unto-death,
signaling the riots to cease.
pressure mounting from all sections of society to call off his fast, he laid
down five conditions, of which the return of Kaki’s shrine to Muslims and that
it be repaired by Hindus and Sikhs together was one.
Rafi Adeen is a Contributing Editor for The
Rahnuma Daily (TheRahnuma.com), the online English daily edition of The
Rahnuma-E-Deccan Daily (ReDD), India’s oldest Urdu daily print newspaper.
Headline: Gandhi’s last pilgrimage was to shrine of Indian Muslim mystic
Source: The Rahnuma Daily