'Urs of Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chisht 2008
A speech at Razia Dar ul Uloom Southampton by Jamiluddin Morris Zahuri

Bismillah ar Rehman nir-Rahim. Auzoo Billah Hi Minach Chetwan nir Rajim.

By the Grace of Almighty Allah we are gathered here in Southampton to respectfully recall and give
thanks to Him for a great blessing, which He bestowed on mankind. I mean for the life, work and
continuing living presence of Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti (ra).

In doing so we are joining, in spirit, with the half million people from India Pakistan, and Bangladesh
and from round the world, who are gathered in Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan on this very day; people of
all different walks of life, colour, caste, class, creed, and nationality; the rich and the poor, the sick
and the healthy, the young and the old, the builder and the banker, the cook and the clerk, the
beggar and the businessman, the shopkeeper and the scholar, the politician and the pop star, the
taxi driver and the tax collector, the doctor and the road digger, the nurse and the night watchman,
the housewife and the handyman, the computer analyst and the artist and so many more : united in
gratitude to the All-mighty for the blessing of a life which showed to mankind, by example, that
indeed it is possible to live better: to rise above the fractured, degraded and divided society in
which we find ourselves.  

The brief account of Khawaja Saheb’s life I will now offer is from the writings of my own Sheykh
Hazrat Zahurul Hassan Sharib Gudri Shah Baba of Ajmer - may Allah’s blessings be upon him.  

Let us begin by recalling Khawaja Saheb’s humble origins. He was the son of Khawaja Gyasuddin
Hasan and Bibi Mah Noor, both of whom belonged to the Sufi tradition. Khawaja Saheb was born
in 530 A.H. (1135 AD). He was brought up in Khorasan. At age 9 he committed the holy Qur’an to
memory. He moved to Sanjar where he studied Hadith and Jurisprudence (Fiqh).

Like the holy Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) he was orphaned at a young age. When he was just 15
years old his father was laid to his eternal rest. Khawaja Saheb inherited a small garden and a
grinding stone which became the source for earning his living.

One day he was watering his garden when a mystic named Ibrahim Qandoozi suddenly entered the
garden.  Khawaja Saheb extended a warm welcome to him and presented him with a bunch of
grapes. The mystic was so pleased with the young man that he took out a piece of oil cake,
chewed it, and gave a portion to Khawaja Saheb. He at once became a changed person – he
became disgusted with the mundane world and became enamoured of the spiritual life. He sold off
his inheritance, and distributed the proceeds to the poor and needy and set off in search of Truth.

Khawaja Saheb’s travels took him to many places and led to many meetings with saints of the time.
Amongst these must be mentioned his meeting with Hazrat Abdul Qadir al-Jillani (ra) whom he met
twice. On the first of these occasions Ghous Pak made the following prediction. ‘This young man
will be a great figure of his time. He will be a source of inspiration, and a centre of devotion, and
focus of affection for a myriad of people’.

Another very important meeting was with the great Chishti saint Khawaja Uthman Harooni - in
Haroon (Iran). There he was accepted as a disciple by Khawaja Uthman. He spent two and a half
years in his company undergoing various ascetic disciplines. He was then given permission to
accept disciples of his own and named as spiritual successor.

Here we should pause and recount the spiritual lineage of Khawaja Saheb. As is general with the
Sufi Orders the lineage is traced back to the holy Prophet (pbuh) through his son-in-law Hazrat Ali
Murtaza (asalato asalaamo),

The following is the spiritual lineage.

Khawaja Hasan Basri (RA),
Khwaja Wahid bin Zaid (RA),
Khawaja Abu Fuzel bin Ayaz (RA)
Khawaja Ibrahim bin Adhem (RA)
Khawaja Sadeeduddin (RA)
Khawaja Aminuddin Hubera (RA)
Khawaja Mumshad Alu Denoori (RA)

Khawaja Abu Ishaq Chishti (RA)
Khawaja Abu Ahmad Chishti (RA)
Khawaja Abu Mohammed Chishti (RA)
Khawaja Nasiruddin Abu Yusuf Chishti (RA)
Khawaja Qutubuddin Moudood Chishti (RA)
Khawaja Haji Sharif Zindani (RA)
Khawaja Uthman Harooni (RA)

The dervishes and holy men that Khawaja Saheb met in his travels were many and of great
eminence. We can mention only a few.

One was Sheykh Abu Najeeb Suhrewady. Another was Sheykh Nasiruddin of Astrabad – Khawaja
Saheb describes this meeting thus:

‘I met in Bukhara a blind dervish – he was very much absorbed in contemplation. I inquired, ‘When
did you become blind?’ He replied thus:

‘When I reached the highest pinnacle of glory and I could see only the majestic glory of Almighty
God pervading, it so happened that one day my eyes were cast on other than God. A voice was
heard ‘O claimant! Thou claim to have Us only - but thou see objects and things other than Us’.

On hearing the voice I felt ashamed, and I prayed to Allah that the eye which may see anything other
than the Friend may lose its sight. I had not yet finished praying - when both my eyes lost their sight.’

Khawaja Saheb also visited the tomb of the great Saint Khawaja Abu Said bin Abil Khair where he
stayed for two years.

At the tomb of Hazrat Sheykh Abdullah Ansari Khawaja Saheb would stay awake the whole night.
More often he would offer morning prayers with the Wuddhu of the night prayers.

Khawaja Saheb’s first visit to Multan was in 561 AH.

In Lahore he spent two weeks at the shrine of Hazrat Pir Ali Hujwiri better known as Data Ganj
Bakhsh (ra).

Later Khawaja Saheb reached Baghdad  - where he received a second initiation from Khawaja
Uthman Harooni.  It is worth recounting this in the words of Khawaja Saheb.

I, Moinuddin Hasan of Sanjar - well wisher of the all the faithful, had the honour of meeting Hazrat
Khawaja Uthman Harooni in the mosque of Khawaja Junaid of Baghdad (ra). His holiness was
surrounded by inspired Dervishes…….(he).. asked me to offer two genuflexions…Then he asked
me to sit with my face towards Kaaba – he asked me to recite sura Baqara – which I did.

Further he commanded me to recite benedictions on the holy Prophet Muhammed (pbhu). I
obeyed. Khawaja Uthman Harooni stood up and holding my hand lifted his face towards the sky
and said --‘Come let me cause thee to reach Allah.’

After placing the four edged cap and bestowing a robe on Khawaja Saheb they sat down. There
followed a day and night of asceticism.

Khawaja Saheb continues.

‘The next day, when I attended upon him he asked me to sit down and recite Sura Ikhlas 4000
times. I did.

He asked me to look towards the sky. I did.
He asked me ‘How far do you see’. I replied ‘up to the Great Throne’. Next he asked me to look
towards the ground. I did.

He asked me, ‘How far do you see?’ ‘I replied – to the furthest reaches of the earth’ .

Next he asked me to recite Sura Ikhlas again a thousand times. I did.

He asked me to look towards the sky again. I did.

He asked me ‘How far do you see now? I replied, ‘Up to the Great Hidden’.

Next he asked me to close my eyes. I did. He asked me to open my eyes. I did.

Next, showing me two fingers, he asked me what I saw there. I replied 18000 worlds.’

After that Khawaja Saheb was instructed to look under a certain brick where he found some dinars.
He was instructed to distribute them amongst the poor.

Later he accompanied Khawaja Uthman Harooni to Mecca from Baghdad.

After going round the Kaaba Khawaja Uthman Harooni took his hand and entrusted him to Allah.
Khawaja Saheb recounts the occasion in these words.

He prayed in Kaaba for my humble self. A voice was heard -‘We have accepted Moinuddin’.

On reaching Medina they presented themselves at the court of the holy Prophet (pbuh). Khawaja
Saheb was instructed to offer his reverential salaams.  A voice came out saying ‘Peace be on you
also, O head of the Pious of the Earth and the Sea.’ On hearing this Khawaja Uthman said - ‘Now,
indeed, you have reached perfection’.

For ten further years Khawaja Saheb accompanied his guide on his travels carrying on his head his
bedding and water pot.

Khawaja Saheb’s second meeting with Hazrat Ghous Pak (ra), to whom he was related by blood,
took place in Jabl. He stayed with him for 57 days receiving many blessings.

After serving Khawaja Uthman Harooni for 22 years Khawaja Saheb parted from him in Baghdad,
having received the holy relics of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) that were passed down through
the Chishti order. Khawaja Saheb travelled on, staying in graveyards. He met Qutub Saheb (ra) and
accepted him as his disciple. They went on Hajj. One day when he was absorbed in prayer in
Kaaba he heard a voice saying - ‘ O Moinuddin! We are greatly pleased with thee. Thou art given
salvation. Ask for anything thou may like so that We may grant it to thee.’
Khawaja Saheb prayed for salvation for his followers and disciples and the reply came:
‘O Moinuddin thou art our accepted one. I will give salvation to thy followers and disciples, and also
to those who may enter thy fold till the Day of Resurrection.’

After reaching Medina he received from the holy Prophet (pbuh) a mandate to the effect that:
O Moinuddin! Thou art a helper of my religion. I entrust to thee the country of Hindusthan. There
prevails darkness. Proceed on to Ajmer and spread there the gospel of Truth.

Khawaja Saheb became drowsy and was blessed with seeing in vision, the city of Ajmer. He was
bidden farewell and given the gift of a pomegranate from heaven.

Later Khawaja Saheb received divine instruction to make Khawaja Qutubuddin his caliph.

His subsequent travels took him to Afghanistan. The ruler, Yadgar Mohammed, was a tyrant. One
day it happened that Khawaja Saheb entered a garden belonging to him. One of his servants
advised Khawaja Saheb to leave, as they were preparing for Yadgar Mohammed  to visit. Khawaja
Saheb declined.
When Yadgar Mohammed arrived he scolded his servants but when he caught the eye of Khawaja
Saheb he fell down immediately in a swoon. Khawaja Saheb caused him to be revived by reciting
Bismillah ar Rehman ir Rahim on some water which was sprinkled on the tyrants face. Upon
reviving he apologised profusely to Khawaja Saheb and became his disciple renouncing the world
to follow him.
Khawaja Saheb reached Lahore via Multan and from there proceeded to Delhi and then to Ajmer.

Khawaja Saheb began to live in a certain place in Ajmer. The servants of the ruler tried to move him
on, because this was the place where the camels of the ruler usually sat. Khawaja Saheb said – ‘if
the camels usually sit -let them sit’. The camels refused to get up. The camel drivers then offered
profuse apologies and Khawaja Saheb said ‘well let them stand’ and when the camel drivers
returned they found the camels actually standing.

Later Khawaja Saheb was ordered to leave by the ruler of Ajmer. He left predicting he would return
and that the ruler himself would be forced to leave. In due time he returned and the army of
Shahabuddin Ghori arrived ousting the ruler.

Khawaja Saheb made further travels to Baghdad and elsewhere returning to Ajmer for the third
time. During visits to Delhi he met Hazrat Qutub Sahib and bestowed blessings on Hazrat Baba
Farid (ra).  He met Khawaja Uthman again in Delhi who at that time accepted the ruling Sultan Il-tut-
Mish as a disciple. Khawaja Sahib wrote a book ‘Kanul-Israr’ for his guidance.

Khawaja Saheb married twice. From his first union with Bibi Ummat Ullah he had two sons,
Khawaja Fakhruddin and Khawaja Hisamuddin, and a daughter Bibi Hafiz Jamal. With his second
wife Bibi Asmat-Ullah he had one son – Khawaja Ziauddin – they are held in great respect.

Khawaja Saheb’s last days were passed in Ajmer. Hazrat Qutub Sahib describes  his last meeting
thus. ‘When he finished all this teaching, with tears in his eyes he said ‘O Dervish I have been
brought to this place for this very reason - that this is going to be my last resting place. A few days
hence I will be no more in this world.’

He bestowed on Qutub Sahib the sacred relics and made him his successor. Qutub Sahib left for
Delhi. On the 6th of Rajab 627 A.H (1229 AD) after his night prayers Khawaja Saheb went into his
room and closed the door. An unusual sound was heard from his room but no one was permitted to
enter. When the servants opened the door the following morning Khawaja Saheb was found dead.
On his forehead were written the words

He was a beloved of Allah and he died in the love of Allah.

At that same time Qutub Saheb saw in dream Khawaja Saheb. He informed Qutub Saheb that
Allah had allotted him a place under His throne and near the angels.

Khawaja Saheb’s shrine was visited by countless pilgrims – emperors such as Akbar and Jehangir
would visit on foot, and people of all different religions and nationalities continue to visit to this day
in droves. He became known as Gharib Nawaz – the patron of the poor – for the breadth of his
compassion for the people, for the downtrodden and oppressed. He was also known by other
names such as Ata-i-Rasul, Hindul-Wali, Sultan-ul-Hind.

His emphasis on the all embracing power of Divine Love, and the magnetic pull of his soul, is not
bound by time or place. Who could have believed that in the far away city of Southampton nearly
eight hundred  years later people would remember and recall with affection and respect this soul
who so loved Allah.

These last days here we have been reminded, in no uncertain way, of the rain, how it pours down
and can bring discomfort at times in our urban society, but it also becomes transformed into the
beautiful sweet scented flowers of the garden and the fruit bursting forth from the fruit trees. Is it not
thus with the Mercy of Allah – the Nafas ar Rehman? It is One in its very nature but descends on
mankind having so many varied effects. In the lives of the saints this Mercy is transformed into trees
groaning not with complaint but with a superabundance of delectable fruit. The Prophets and Saints
are those trees and we have but to stand beneath their sheltering branches and open our hands as
we do in Dua to receive those gifts from Allah. Those true lovers of Allah are the beautiful gardens
wherein are a thousand varieties of colourful blooms and sweet fragrances which in the Tajalli, the
Light of Muhammed, spring into eternal life and colour.

May HE Who gave us being continue to bless Khawaja Saheb and his followers. May His blessings
be showered on those who partake of the occasion of his ‘Urs. May the message of compassion
for all humanity find a response in the heart of us all and inspire us to ever more sincere service to
Allah through service to all humanity; not only from duty but from that place deep within us all from
whence arises that which gives true meaning to life - I mean that super-abundant Love of the all-
Merciful, Who said, ‘I was a hidden treasure and I desired to be known’. In the lives of the Prophets
and saints may we gaze with awe on the manifestation of His Secret. Allah knows best.

Ya Allah, Ya Rasul, Ya Ali, Ya Khawaja Khawajagan. Ya Khawaja Gharib Nawaz.

The following poem was written by Jamiluddin Morris Zahuri during the Urs of 2008.

Bismillah ar Rehman-ir Rahim

Blessed by Allah and deputed by the Seal of Prophets, Muinuddin Hasan of Sanjar,

In the country of Hindusthan, the Sultan of Souls, Muinuddin Hasan of Sanjar,

In this mad world the calm voice of sanity, Muinuddin Hasan of Sanjar,

In the great Unseen, a powerhouse of light, Muinuddin Hasan of Sanjar,

The very image of the Universal Soul, purified by Love, Muinuddin Hasan of Sanjar,

Of certainty the perfect, generous host, to those who come to thy door,

O Muinuddin thy message of love has reached a far distant shore,

Under thy great canopy shelter us too from life’s storm and stress,

And on our hearts the Sovereign Seal of the Beloved eternally impress,

That here too, from book, brook, and stones, for the sake of Zahur,

These words may resound:‘I am Muinuddin Hasan of Sanjar’.   


The occasion of the 'Urs of Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti was celebrated in 2008 as in
previous years in Ajmer Sharif, Rajasthan, India. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of such
an event to the those belonging to the Chishti Tariqa,.but also to the half million people descending
on the desert City during this time.

This year we celebrated the event in a small way in Southampton. Necessarily on a very much
smaller scale, we nevertheless tried to remember and honour in Southampton, the great saint,
albeit in a form adapted to our contemporary cultural milieu.

On Sunday July 6th we had intended a barbecue at 4 Polygon Court hoping to make use of an  
enlarged garden. The heavens however opened in a different way from our intention, ushering in a
week of very unseasonal rain and winds.  We had to resort to the indoors both in the house and in
Zahuri Manzil. This however did not dampen the spirits, as the saying goes, and our regular Sunday
session of discussion of the spiritual dimension of Islam was followed by on of Farhana's excellent
meals that was well enjoyed.

On Tuesday 8th the discussion group that normally meets in the mosque was held in Zahuri Manzil,
Mikail, Hussam and Luqman - (all members of our order) were present with other guests. It
focussed on Khawaja Saheb and his sayings, It was an inspired time.

On Wednesday 9th July (5th Rajab) we held a Khudum (recitation of the entire Qur'an) which
culminated in the local Mosque (Darul Aloom) with Nath and speeches etc. Food was provided.
Later at 9.30 pm there was also a fatiha held in the house. I delivered a speech which I have
reproduced below. It was a very good Mehfil (gathering) despite the continuing poor weather.

On Thursday morning 10th at 10.00 am we had a closure ceremony (recitation of the holy Qur'an) in
Zahuri Manzil.. In the evening at 7.30 pm there was a poetry reading in Zahuri Manzil both in English
and Urdu. The recitation by Farhana was particularly enjoyed. It was largely of the poetry of Nawob
Khadim Hasan (the spiritual guide of Zahurmian)..

On Sunday 10th (the occasion of Mehfil-i-Rindan in Ajmer) there was another meal with many
guests and this was followed by Fatiha in Zahuri Manzil. A few of us then sat in Zahuri Manzil and
heard recorded Qwaali music until midnight. It was again an inspiring occasion thanks to the
blessings of Khawaja Saheb. The feelings of his blessing was indeed abundant though of course to
be present in Ajmer has its own irreplaceable quality. Still the well-known axiom that time and
space do not matter to the mystic was well  born out.
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