The Meditations of Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti
by Dr Zahurul Hasan Sharib
Published by Sharib Press in 1994
The content of this little book belies its physical size, in that it contains the
thoughts and writings of The Spiritual Sultan of India, the towering Sufi
saint, Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti (1135 -1229 AD) also known as
Khawaja Gharib Nawaz (the Patron of the Poor).
The words of this preeminent Sufi saint are, as the author says in his
preface, 'pregnant with celestial fire'. Thus the spirit behind the words is
that of a towering mystic of universal and timeless importance.
Dr Sharib has doubtless performed an invaluable service to the English
speaking world in collecting, translating, and presenting for the first time
these precious jewels that have been at the heart of the Chishti Order
throughout many centuries.As very few copies of this important work
remain unsold at the time of writing it is perhaps only right that a excerpts
should be presented to enable those who have not been able to access it to
gain some idea of its contents. It is hoped that some future occasion may
arise enabling a second edition to be brought out. In the meanwhile we
have published the text in full on the Zahuri web site - however access to
this is for members only, and whilst this access is free there is a small
charge for the right to print it out.
The book is divided into three sections entitled respectively, 'illumination',
'purification', and 'manifestation'. It consists largely of translations from
works such as 'Ganj-ul-Asrar', 'Anis -al-Arwah', 'The Diwan', and various
letters and poetical pieces of Muinuddin Hasan Chishti
The opening chapter of the book is quoted here in extenso.
"The Holy Prophet Muhammed once said that Allah, with all the rays of light and
manifestation of glory, displayed at first His light. His light is unlimited and without
bounds. It has no beginning and no end. Like the light of the sun it envelopes
Afterwards this unfathomed and unlimited light created the light of the holy
Prophet Muhammed by its own powers. The two lights, like the light of the sun
and the moon are shining in the sky. At first there was one light then there was
two, but the reality of both lights is one in fact. Subsequently He created the souls
of all living beings from the light of the holy Prophet Muhammed, but He created
at first the souls of the perfect men.
Allah says thus: "Man is my mystery and the perfect men acquire my gnosis and
recognise Me in their hearts. They reach up to Me. Had the perfect men not
existed then none in the eighteen thousand worlds would have received my gnosis.
By producing the perfect men my object is that there may be recognition and
appreciation of the truth, so that people may worship Me and recognise Me.
Hence before creating the souls of men, the perfect man - Adam - was created'.
There are descriptions of the worlds (alam) or planes apprehended by the Sufis.
The 'alam an-nasut' is the world of humanity. It is the material, phenomenal
world, perceived through the physical senses. The 'alam al-malakut' is the world
of sovereignty. It is the invisible spiritual angelic world, perceived through insight
and the spiritual faculties. The 'alam-al-jabarut' is the world of power. It is the
celestial world perceived through entering into and partaking of the divine nature.
It is also the world of divine names and qualities. The 'alam al-lahut' is the world
of the Godhead, not perceived since the phenomenal is absorbed into the Deity.
The treasure of the secret of reality is related to the heart and not to the tongue.
Concerning love Khawaja Saheb says: with the spiritually inspired lovers
everything is a hindrance to the path except the Beloved. O, my dear! The
pinnacle of love is this, that you may see your own personality as the personality
of the Beloved. As seeing one candle in a thousand mirrors, a thousand candles
are seen, but in fact there is one candle in all the mirrors, likewise there is the
manifestation of one light in the two eyes.
About the 'tavern' , often referred to in Sufi poetry, he says;The real tavern is in
the heart. But without the guidance of the perfect spiritual guide the absorbed
traveller on the way cannot understand it.
Under this heading Dr Sharib quotes Khawaja Saheb's saying on ritual prayer,
charity, fasting, and pilgrimage. He constantly emphasises how important it is
for the seeker to realise the reality underlying such practices. Here is one
The real treasure is the secret of Allah. The hearts of the enlightened ones are His
treasure. The enlightened must give the zakat (charity) of the secret of Allah from
their own treasure to the waylaid and the ignorant. The best type of prayer is;
1. to hear the complaints of the aggrieved and to assist them
2. to help the needy and oppressed
3. to feed the people and to give water to the thirsty.
4. to release the captives.
If you want to understand and appreciate the secrets and implications of
mysticism, you should close the door of comfort on yourself and then sit cross
legged, being enamoured of love. If you have done this you will become a mystic
When you enter the on the path of love of the Friend you become non-existent.
You are indeed a true lover of Allah, when you renounce from your heart the idea
of both the worlds. The lovers heart is a fireplace of love. Whatever comes into it
is burnt and becomes annihilated. The spiritual disciple deserves to be called a
dervish, only when he lives in the world of non-existence. The Sufis breathe
nothing but love.
Jamiluddin Morris Zahuri (Southampton, September 20th 2000)
Published by The Zahuri Sufi Web Site September 2001