Personality of Hazrat Babuji (R.A)
Hazrat Ghaus-e-Azam Syedna Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani (R.A) in his book “Fatoohul Ghaib” under the caption “the ten principles of Tareeqat” has given the following characteristics of "Ahl-e-Mujahida" and "Ulul Azm" people (Awlia-Allah - the Friends of God):
No doubt, Hazrat Babuji (R.A) possessed these to an eminent degree.
The practical application of the saying to such a perfect level bears the stamp of Babuji’s own teachings, as revealed via the correspondence Babuji (R.A) maintained with his “Sangees” (Devotees were never labeled as devotees but “Sangees” meaning companion / friend, highlighting the loving, humanitarian affection he bore regardless of caste, colour or creed, for his followers).
Babuji (R.A) never held “Rahbaniyat” in high esteem. Stoicism could never replace the worth and value inherent in the actual face-to-face practical experience of the world itself. For being a part of human society amidst all conflicting demands and social duties, and then emerging as a successful person spiritually, physically, mentally and morally – an exact replica of the Sunnah and Shariah, is the ultimate truth and the highest goal to be pursued. To be cut of from the social laws and moral obligations, and set all apart in isolation in search of God is no big deal. The real gem shone in being an all-rounder, and yet apart of divine existence.
Be it as an individual, a married person or a fellow engaged in public dealings – split Babuji’s life into as many organic units as one could, the emerging image is that of a solid personality which reminds one of Sidney’s faith and philosophy that perfection and purity leaves the existence no longer a mere “imitation” of the final truth that is God, but that it becomes the truth itself.
This is what life is, and this is how it ought to be spent – managing administrative duties, looking after the believers, the provision of langar, i.e., free food and shelters; strictly training the children at home as a father; disguised at mid night as a ‘Dervish’ going from door to door collecting stale crumbs from the cottagers in an attempt to learn about social poverty, and to solve the problems concerning the penniless – as a father, a husband, the master, the free-giver, a friend and a man with an extreme spiritual devotion – Man he was but an embodiment of all the good virtually impossible in a single person. He was more than extra-ordinary. He was unique, un-matchable and par excellence.
This is one side to the validity of the statement expressed by the father Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A) – his spiritual insight being the other, thus subtly unveiling the degree and the depth to which Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A) himself could perceive the emergence of a soul, the present, the future – the “gradual evolution” of that final truth.
And look at the son – how he followed the bespoken version, and followed it in such a sincerity in all aspects of his private and public life that even an inimical foreboding could lift no finger at him. A friend’s comment might be held by some as highly coloured with subjectivity – biased or one-sided. The most powerfully outspoken and authentic proof, however, can be lent forth by the confession made by the critics, the opposing forces, in favour of Babuji’s perfection – his words and his deeds could never earn a criticism. Throughout his life Babuji (R.A) never tagged a person as his enemy. If someone still nurtured any jealousy against him, even that negative emotion could not eclipse their acknowledgement of Babuji’s greatness.
Analytical handling of such an experience at a level where an artist – be it the sculpture or the potter, gives a definite form to the essentially raw material, the moulding hints at the evolution of the seen from the unseen, the swift transformation of the essential nothingness into everything – so that the concrete is in reality a form of same matter.
Taken in its deeper context, such an analysis might lead to scholastic controversies. Thus in an attempt to avoid various schools of thought plunging into verbal jargon, the statement valid enough of the ultimate truth.
Time is the greatest test itself – be it a man, a saint or a prophet, the essential nobility and greatness gets tested and impinged through the temporal plus special relations to which each age, and each generation lends an ever strengthening stamp of validity beyond any doubts as lent to the name of Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A) who in the past, present and for the future times to come has appeared, and proved himself to be a great religious scholar - whose very life in all its diversities (practical or spiritual) was a beacon of Sunnah and yet one who did not verbally reveal himself as a saint through each word and each aspect of his life was in accordance with Shariah. A personality as such, however, could not exercise restraint on once viewing Babuji (R.A) galloping on a horse. Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A) remarked that though apparently Babuji was engaged in the act in galloping, in reality he was remembering God and was absorbed in his love – a true reflection of the soul that had never forgotten God to be its pivot (the heavenly love out flowing in Babuji’s humanitarian virtue) – an authentic proof of whatever Pir Meher Ali Shah had remarked at the birth of the son. He was viewing the gradual completion of that spiritual process set in motion.
Unlike any other father who might have commented on his physical deftness, the apparent technical perfection, Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A) while looking at Babuji, comprehensively remarked about the relation existing between his son and God.
Our common mundane vision, much engrossed in the physical world, can hardly perceive what a spiritual eye can grasp and imbibe – claiming “they are still here, around us, among us, though left invisible and passed unseen by the common eye”.
In some of his letters addressed to his sons, Babuji (R.A) has regarded his world a prison and its inhabitance as mere travellers. The word “prison” is spoken of not because of the inherent suffering, self committed sins, or the recurrent punishment one encounters in this life, but in the sense that life in all its diversity is “accountable”. Man in all his action is answerable to Allah - he is the responsible one and has to answers for all his deeds: spiritual, physical and social, the individual’s personal demands and obligations.
Babuji (R.A) was an individual who lent for the word “a disciplined life” its real strength and force. A personal character to be perfected, ethical values to be upheld; looking after his children and their well-handled upbringing along with the devotees to be looked after; a practice of constant remembrance of Allah to be maintained; a strong abhorrence of the materialistic pursuits and lusts yet life to be taken as an endless effort calling for a regular fortification to be achieved. A man working for the betterment of all those related to him; a soul threading its way to achieve the universal goodness as well as the perfection on the tasks assigned, i.e., living up to one’s roll in this practical world as well as carrying out once own spiritual grooming along with an untiring effort to meet the standards set by the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)- a personal life led within the bounds of the Shariah- as an exceptional administrator, a guide par excellence. Babuji (R.A) lived up to the demands made on him from all quarters of life and fulfilled those at he highest levels of perfection as referred to by the Shariah - such as attempt is what make up the word “untiring effort” which in turn is the basic ingredient of the term “discipline”.
Babuji (R.A) led a highly discipline life. The word “discipline”, when used in its broader and more practical context, hints at the derived conclusion that it is an actual enactment of each demand and obligation at its appropriate moment- the maintenance of a certain decorum of conduct.
One type of discipline emerges when one undergoes some pressure and the regulation one carries out under strain, pressure, and duress. Another type evolves when life itself gets moulded into a “disciplined”- where one has to consciously strike a balance between apparent and the absolute, where one breathes in and lives amidst strong distractions, and yet succeeds in maintaining restraint- regarding God as the ultimate, the Final Goal and then chalking out one’s life in his service- well-committed and well disciplined.
(i) In Golra Sharif
Within such a disciplined pattern of life, Babuji’s (R.A) daily routine was as follows:
Babuji (R.A) would rise for his “Tahajjud” (late night prayers) and would continue reciting for the Holy Quran and other “Wazifa” (spiritual recitation) till around 9.00 A.M. domestic commitments would then follow with Babuji (R.A) visiting the apartments where his family members and the lady visitors would call on him. After half an hour or so, Babuji (R.A) would proceed to the audience Hall (Majlis Khana) where the visitors would meet him. Thus would begin the phase of his daily social and public commitments.
After Babuji (R.A) had met the devotees and the visitors, Hafiz Abdul Rahim Sahib would start the proceedings with recitation from the Holy Quran. At times an Alam (Scholar) would deliver a lecture on a religious topic, which would later be followed by Qawwali (Sama). Mahboob Qawwal was entrusted with the task of organizing the Sama.
As soon as the Qawwali was over (usually between 12:30 and 1 p.m.), the visitors would once more resume their meetings with Babuji (R.A) - a practice which continued late till midnight.
Babuji (R.A) regarded the visitors as Ghaus-e-Azam’s (R.A) guests and therefore took special interest in looking after them. He would listen to their problems, and lend an attentive ear to their grievances. Babuji (R.A) would personally help and guide the aggrieved besides praying for them.
Babuji (R.A) was of the view that each visitor led one to God who is the Ultimate Truth. So that each member was in reality helping him to re-established his link with God. Hence Babuji’s (R.A) ever – ready affection never let him hurt anyone’s heart – the final abode of god, nor his overwhelming sense of responsibility made him let go off the ever arriving guests. Babuji (R.A) was always there to welcome them. He made a special point in inquiring about people’s problems, there journey and looking after their welfare. As a guide Babuji (R.A) never failed any person. Weather it was a new or an old acquaintance, Babuji’s (R.A) affections embraced all. Negating his own self, Babuji (R.A) at all moments moulded his life as such to stress upon the divine supremacy of God alone.
Having met the guests, after Mehfil-e-Sama, Babuji (R.A) would retire to his family quarters where he would take his lunch and rest for some time. Round about three in the afternoon he would return to the garages where more visitors waited to see him.
Babuji (R.A) continued with his wazaifs till the afternoon prayers (Asr), after which he would leave for Rawalpindi. In the early days, the road to Rawalpindi was un-metaled. So a horse-drawn carriage was used as conveyance. In Rawalpindi, Babuji (R.A) made a stay at the shop of one of his close associates Haji Muhammad Shafi in Purana Villa near Raja Bazaar. Offering his evening prayers (Maghreb) there, Babuji (R.A) would then leave for Lal Kurti where he would make a brief stay at the residence of Munshi Rahim Bukhsh and would later proceed back to Golra Sharif.
People gathered at the above-mentioned places and explained their problems and difficulties asking for special prayers and his blessings. Babuji (R.A) would continue with his wazaifs during this period as well.
After Isha prayers (late evening prayers), Babuji (R.A) would take his dinner along with his sangees, his servants as well as the visitors who happened to be there. Babuji (R.A) never took his dinner alone - following in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H).
Babuji (R.A) would retire to bed after having met the visitors and inquired about their journeys and problems, - the wazaifs however would continue till late midnight.
With reference to Babuji’s (R.A) going of to sleep at night, it needs to be interpreted in the light of a statement made by Seth Ismail of Karachi, who reported that in the year 1964, when Babuji (R.A) was on a visit along with his companions, Babuji (R.A) made a remark hinting at the spiritual calibre of religious saints. Babuji (R.A) said,
“We are nothing but as for the religious Saints their physical presence is not a limiting one thou they appear before us and are seated right before our eyes, ---- they are elsewhere as well. Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz pays a visit in his Urs in person and so does Hazrat Ghaus-e-Azam (R.A)”.
The saints physical enactment of a resting gesture does not imply that the saint is fast asleep – this act of apparently being of to sleep rests beyond any layman’s comprehension. In short, Babuji’s (R.A) whole span of life – physically or spiritually was intensely saturated with Divine love – he was simply engrossed at all times in remembrance of his Lord so that each moment was spent with him.
Referring back to the analogy of this world as a prison house, one realizes the validity of the practical code of conduct – it’s value in helping a prisoner get freed and released if his conduct and behaviour remains up to the mark. A variety of people indulging in all sorts of crime, as well as a varying degree of criminality, tend to make a demand on each new entry – who in turn has to make a conscious effort to avoid falling into the pit. To lead one’s prison term gracefully and cautiously not via an imposed virtue but an inner discipline and molding. This is what Babuji (R.A) meant by calling this world a prison i.e., nature’s attempt at exploring and redefining the terms: Man, life, and conduct.
Character and attributes
Middle statured, clad invariably in white, wheaten-complexioned, curly- haired, and with captivating eyes - Hazrat Babuji's total image was altogether enchanting and adorable. He looked much younger than his years. He walked more briskly than much younger people. Babuji (R.A) displayed an infinite valour, stamina and courage. Babuji (R.A) possessed tremendous courage and an indefatigable stamina. He could walk for miles and miles without feeling tired and could sit in one posture for hours at a stretch.
Gracefully attired in his white well-starched Shalwar Kameez, a black waistcoat well stitched, Babuji (R.A) was a picture to look at. Beautifully simple, his outfit added to his grace and allegiance – a race combination hardly found in those bedecked and bejeweled persons around. Neat and clean, prim and proper; Babuji (R.A) showed a refined taste in every thing he did. Simple yet unique, grace was his hallmark.
Babuji (R.A) preferred a simple layout. Whatever he ate was shared with his Sangees while free langar was accessible to all. He loved simple food, and used earthen vessels for eating and drinking, as per the Holy Prophet's (P.B.U.H) Sunnah (practice)Babuji (R.A) possessed a subtle sense of humour and enjoyed it. He liked the sparing blossoms blooming in the gardens of Peshawar; the pink tea and Roghni Naan (Oven-baked bread) for breakfast.
Babuji (R.A) was an excellent horse rider. Babuji (R.A) was trained at an early age and had mastered the skill in horse-riding. He often rode to the nearby village of the Maira Badiyah (one-time haunt of his late august father) in the mornings.
Loftiness of thought and vision
thinking and vision of Hazrat Babuji (R.A) were lofty right from his childhood.
In every matter, whether relating to knowledge, scholarship or even sport,
he was given to deep thinking and thorough analysis. Like Maulana
Jalaluddin Rumi (R.A), he used to draw erudite inference and conclusions from
things instead of scratching at their surface only. In general, his
thinking was greatly influenced influenced by that of Rumi, whom he held
in very high esteem. The Mathnavi of Rumi featured frequently in the sama
sittings presided over by Babuji after he succeeded Hazrat on the
spiritual throne of Golra. In a way, this devotion to Maulana Rumi also
amounted to following in the foot steps of Hazrat himself, who had taught
the Mathnavi for years during his daily sittings. As a token of his
special regard for the Maulana Rumi (R.A), Hazrat Babuji visited Konya (Turkey)
several times in order to pay his respect personally at the Maulana's tomb
Humility of Hazrat Babuji (R.A)
Babuji (R.A) once said to a devotee “A beggar ought to beg according to the status of the person from whom he is begging. When you beg from God, request Him for nothing else than Himself, as other things have no significance before Him. The beggar should present before Him such presents which He does not possesses and that is humility alone.”
stated earlier, self-denial and humbleness of spirit were deeply ingrained
in Hazrat Babuji's nature. He strongly disapproved any one indulging in
eulogies about him. If any one tried to do so in his presence, he would
deftly change the subject without the person being even conscious of it.
This was because he sincerely believed that even well merited praise was
apt to create a feeling of pride and vanity in the praised person, which
conflicted with the principles of true virtue. As the great Rumi exhorts
in his famous Mathnavi:
Translation: " Just
cease to be for this alone is real perfection; go and annihilate thyself
in Him, for this alone constitutes true Union (with the Supreme
A practical proof of
Hazrat Babuji's (R.A) modesty of spirit was provided when he once forbade Hakim
Shamsuddin, one of Hazrat's sincere but plain speaking devotees from
Bombay, from denouncing a person who was known for making derogatory
remarks about Hazrat (R.A) and his family. God alone, Babuji told Hakim
Shamsuddin, knew best whether or not the person concerned was justified in
making the remarks he was accused of, and it was therefore not proper for
any one to condemn for these remarks.
Babuji (R.A) always denied having any spiritual status. Someone once wrote to Babuji (R.A) that he had the honour of seeing the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) in his dream to which Babuji (R.A) replied:
|Translation: “Friends had their share and left. They emptied the tavern and went away. But I lost the cup, the bowl and the cupbearer. Nothing is left for me except sorrow.”|
Babuji (R.A) never openly admitted having seen the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H).
In his letter dated 24th October 1935 to Shaikh-ul-Jamia Babuji (R.A) wrote that he was not desirous of being addressed by titles rather he hates/detests it much. He expressed his liking for sincerity. Babuji (R.A) often signed the letters calling himself “A very humble servant of your Hazrat (R.A).”In his letter dated 07.11.1963 to a devotee, Babuji (R.A) wrote, "a ‘Mashaikh-e-Uzzaam’ conference is being held, and as I am not one of those, I did not go”.
In his letter dated 28.1.1953, Babuji (R.A) wrote that “I never feel elated by the praises lavished on me, nor do I feel grieved if someone underrates me".
Generosity and open-handedness have always been the distinguishing attributes of the Holy Prophet's (P.B.U.H) family, and persons of Prophetic lineage have always been known for their charity and munificence down the ages. Hazrat Babuji was truly outstanding in this respect.
Babuji (R.A) looked upon human beings as Allah’s creation and did his level best to act upon the sayings of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H). With a helping hand ever extended, Babuji (R.A) was always ready to remove the financial problems encountered by the poor deserving people. Hundreds of poor orphans and the deserving ladies were paid a monthly stipend irrespective of caste, colour or creed.
Babuji’s (R.A) generosity knew no bounds. From ordinary public to religious scholars, all enjoyed an over-whelming generosity at the hands of Babuji (R.A). He helped many madressahs (religious schools) both within and outside the country. In the same manner, Babuji (R.A) extended financial aid to those Ulama who were in the ever-tightening grip of straitened circumstances. His generosity found expression in liberal (even though secret) financial assistance extended by him for religious causes, Islamic educational institutions, and poor and deserving individuals both within and outside the country, and also in the immaculate arrangements made by him for the board and lodging of visiting devotees in the langar at Golra Sharif. Indeed, such generosity and service of people are the essence of Wilayat (Sainthood) and Karamat (nobility or mini miracle) in Islamic Sufism.
The most outstanding feature of Babuji’s (R.A) generosity nevertheless remained the silence he maintained in such acts. Never did he publicize any sort of aid or help shown on his part, thus highlighting the practical expression of the Hadith Mubarak, i.e., “Give in such a way that thy other hand remains obvious of the generosity” – such is the essence of the most heavenly enactment – such is the extend to which one’s generosity is to be marked.
The philosophy behind this holy saying in fact stresses upon a whole-hearted distribution of wealth, or extending a helping hand without any care, fears or limitations. One hand gives out while the other does not even now how much has been given out.
As the famous Persian Sufi
poet Shaikh Saadi has said in his book "Boastaan" :
lies in large-heartedness and in feeding (the poor); purposeless
claims (of Karamat) are little more than empty drum-beating".
Grievances would be solved gracefully without making the recipient feel disgraced, while uncountable written requests from the needy people began to pour in. the help was never denied.
memorable example of generosity and charity was created during Hazrat
Babuji's visit to the Hijaz for Hajj in 1944. Because of the suspension of
Hajj during the World War II, the people of Saudi Arabia had been deprived
for several years of the economic assistance that flowed into the country
through the hundreds of thousands of overseas pilgrims every year. Even
large commercial house had gone bankrupt due to economic recession and
religious Madressahs and employees of the Holy places at Makkah Mukarramah
and Madina Munawwara were starved of funds and means of sustenance. In
this situation, Hazrat Babuji provided financial and material to vast
multitude of deserving individuals from all walks of life in Jeddah,
Makkah, and Madina, as well as in places en route between the two holy
cities. These included: Ulama, Mashaikh, teacher of Madressahs, employees
of the two Harems (the Holy Kaabah and the Holy Prophet's (P.B.U.H)
tomb), common people, and even the local police employees who had not
received their wages for most part of the year. Babuji (R.A) also visited the
house of an aged Syed gentleman living in penury in a rented house in
Madina, and not only paid all his rental dues that had remained
outstanding for a number of years but also cleared his other accumulated
debts. This person revealed to Hazrat Babuji that he had been told by the
Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) in a dream a few days earlier about Babuji's
impending arrival to help him out of his predicament.
One day the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) graced Hazrat Madni Sahib Syed Mahdar-ul-Atas in his dream to told Madni Sahib to ask Babuji (R.A) to make a gift of three thousand Saudi Riyals to a certain person named Maharib who had dispatched a letter from jail with a request for his release. This person had failed to pay his debts and was thus sent to jail as a punishment. At first Madni Sahib was quite reluctant to disclose his dream lest Babuji (R.A) might think that he was trying to win favour and help for one of his friends. However, on Babuji’s (R.A) insistence Madni Sahib narrated the whole story. On learning about the Holy orders, Babuji (R.A) immediately made a visit to jail and got the person released; Babuji (R.A) paid the amount involved to the jail authorities. Another person who owed a similar amount was got released on payment basis.
The procedure adopted by Babuji (R.A) in distributing money to the poor and needy of Madina Munawwara was a graceful token of affection and gratitude in itself; since paper currency had not yet been introduced, coins were made use of which were kept in baskets well covered with cloth. Babuji (R.A) would dig his hands into the basket and take out a handful of portion for distribution to each person assembled. It so happened once that the amount in the basket was found to insufficient to help all those present. The number of people had far exceeded the bounty. On learning this, Babuji (R.A) went straight ahead to the Haram Sharif and stated thus before the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H). “This money belongs to you and the people who have gathered there are also your people. I am simply an intermediary for distribution purposes. May you kindly extend help to me in the present situation".
Babuji (R.A) then came back to the spot where a large number of people had gathered, and restarting the distribution. The work continued with everyone present there receiving the help desired. At the end it was found that a few Riyals still remained in the basket which were distributed later on. Such is the holy bounty – the hands goes on distributing whilst it increases three-fold.
The incident, however, reveals a two-sided philosophy, i.e., two points need to be grasped at proving that the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) does listen to as well as a helping hand to his true devotees.
Babuji (R.A) even helped the family of Shorish Kashmiri when he was under detention in the years 1966, 1968 and 1973 as stated by Shorish Kashmiri himself.
A religious scholar Jumaili from Baghdad Sharif who had to leave his country for certain reasons had settled down in Argentine and was running a religious school there. He was helped regularly by Babuji (R.A) whenever he visited Pakistan.
Help extended to the refugees from India
The year 1947 saw a multitude of Muslim refugees pouring in from parts all over the sub-continent. The bubbling atrocities and the resulting wide spread communal disturbances that had erupt on the soil of the sub-continent at the time of partition generated new strings of generosity and kindness marking the advent of the greater community.
Babuji (R.A) generously helped the Muslim refugees who came to Pakistan. They were provided with free accommodation, food as well as clothing. Many were helped in their settlement and rehabilitation. While those hailing from the holy shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti (R.A) at Ajmer Sharif won Babuji’s (R.A) attention in particular.
Aversion to making tall claims
adopts humility purely for the sake of Allah (i.e., to sincerely earn His
pleasure), is raised to a high (lay and spiritual) station by Allah (in
this very life)".
Kindness and grace
Islam, Allah is the Supreme Embodiment of grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
According to Quran Allah has made mercy obligatory Himself (cf. VI-12 and
54); He is Lord of All-embracing mercy (VI,148); His mercy extends over
everything (VII,156); He forgives all sins (39, 53); He is Ample in
forgiveness (LXIII,32); and only the non-believers and those who go astray
despair of His mercy (XII,87 and XV,56). In short, His attributes of Mercy
and Compassion for outnumber and outweigh his authoritarian and punitive
In the present world of cause and effect, the personality of the Holy
Prophet (P.B.U.H) of Islam was as perfect an example of Allah's Mercy as
could possibly be imagined. The Quran terms him "Rehmatull-lil-Alameen"
(Mercy for all worlds) (XXII,107). The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) had not only
preached universal love, but had also backed up his preaching by his
personal example through out his earthly life. A supreme example of the
Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) quality of mercy and forgiveness was provided at
the time of the conquest of Makkah by the Muslims under his leadership in
the year 8 A.H. The city that had scoffed and jeered at his Prophetic
mission, that had ruthlessly persecuted him and his companions and
disciples and had ultimately driven both of them away to Madina, and that
had even then waged war after war weapon upon the Muslims, now lay at his
feet. He could well have done anything he wished to the city and its
citizens. Yet at this very moment of triumph, the following conversation
took place between the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and the large assemblage of
the heartless Quraish idolaters who stood in abject misery before him:
|Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H):||
Quraish ! How do you think I should act towards you ?
|The Quraish:||With kindness and pity, gracious brother and nephew !|
|Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H):||Then I shall speak to you as Joseph spoke to his brothers :"I shall not reproach you today ; God will forgive. He is the most Merciful and Compassionate."|
lay conquered but not one house was looted, not one woman insulted.
Cruelties, insults and oppressions perpetrated during 21 long years were
instantly forgiven. The Muhajireen who had been forced to migrate to
Madina following the Prophet's (P.B.U.H) hijrat there, were even asked to forego
there houses, and properties which had been occupied by Makkans on their
migration. Through all the annals of history, their have seldom (if ever)
been any conquests like this.
Next to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself, members of his household and his progeny down the centuries have set enviable examples of grace and mercy towards their enemies and detractors. Yazid , son of Mu'awiyah, for example, who had been responsible for the genocide of Hazrat Imam Hussain (R.A) and almost of his entire household (all near-descendents of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself) on the plains of Karbala (Iraq) in 61 A.H, once requested Hazrat Imam Zain-ul-Abidin (R.A), the only survivor of that august household, as follows:
"By having the innocent members of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) household put to sword at Karbala, I have undoubtedly committed a very grave sin. I now beseech you to tell me how I can atone for this enormity".
The large-hearted Imam readily
suggested to Yazid certain recitations and prayers that could help Allah's
Mercy to descend on him, and that could alleviate his feelings of remorse.
(It is another matter that God did not afford an opportunity to Yazid to
act upon the Imam's advice in his lifetime!)
persons of Shi'ah creed once came to Hazrat and asked his views about the
propriety of invoking Allah's curse upon Yazid because of his engineering
the Karbala tragedy. Hazrat Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A), himself a
direct descendent of Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), responded by advising them
that even though Yazid's sin was of the worst kind, amounting even to Kufr
(infidelity), they should instead of wasting their time on this fruitless
pursuit, use it in reciting Darud ( salutations) and showering blessings
on the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and truly earn Allah's pleasure!
with these traditions of mercy and compassion, Hazrat Babuji (R.A)
pardoned his opponents and refused to take any action against them for the
attempts made by them on his life on several occasions, on petty grounds.
On one of the occasion, some of his enemies ambushed his car at night as
he was returning to Golra from his daily visit to Rawalpindi, and started
firing indiscriminately at him and those with him in the car. Instead of
evading this volley of bullets by bending his head, Hazrat Babuji asked Mahboob
Ali, his qawwal, who used to be with him during these visits, to
recite the following Persian invocational verse of Maulana Jami:
Breeze ! Wend thy way to Bath'ha (Madina), and convey my plight to Holy
Babuji (R.A) and other persons in the car remained providentially unharmed
during this ordeal. Friends and well-wishers advised legal action in the
matter, and also security measure for the feature. Hazrat Babuji, however,
politely turned down both suggestions on the ground that no one could take
his life until Allah so willed.
In most of his letters to his sons Syed Ghulam Muinuddin and Syed Shah Abdul Haq, Babuji (R.A) advised them to extend as far as it lay in their power a helping hand to the poor. Babuji (R.A) further asked them to bear hardships but to provide succour to other people. He advised his sons to consider themselves as servants of the people, and that they should serve others in the light of the truth that they are His (Allah’s) creatures.
were two of the prime traits of Babuji's (R.A) character. His relations
with people were always firm and sincere and he never broke them of from
his side even if the other party for some reason became lukewarm or even
in different. This was because his objective in building up these
relations was not worldly gain or loss but only the pleasure of Allah.
Critics and detractors were thus treated by him with even greater grace
than admirers. Indeed, he valued sincere and well meaning criticism far
higher than empty admiration, on the ground that the former drew once
attention to one's faults and thereby helped self-correction while the
latter prompted self delusion and a false sense of superiority. His close
relationship with Hakim Shamsuddin mention above, who indulged in sincere
plain-speaking on many occasions even concerning Hazrat himself, provided
ample evidence of this rare trait of Hazrat Babuji.
On another occasion, he refused to accept a monitory nazrana (devotional offering) from the relatives of one of his devotees when he attended the latter's funeral, on the ground that the relatives had had bitter relations with the deceased during his lifetime, and it was not therefore proper for him to accept nazrana from his late friend's opponents.
Once a devotee was reported to have suffered long for twenty-three days from typhoid and regretted the fact that Babuji (R.A) had not inquired after his health. “Who will inquire after me in my grave?” he asked Babuji (R.A). On hearing the complaint and the question, Babuji (R.A) asked him with who had he entered into allegiance. “You”, he replied. Babuji (R.A) then asked him to forget his worries, for Hazrat Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah had given the surety.
Setting people right
Once Babuji (R.A) visited a goldsmith residing in Soone Sekesar. On learning about Babuji’s (R.A) arrival, the goldsmith out of love and reverence for Babuji (R.A) spread out silken cloth all over the floor; draped the walls with the same stuff and even laid out bedding in silk. Babuji (R.A) asked Sardar Akram to stop the man but in such a way that he won’t be hurt. Such is the principle to be followed to set people right without publicly reproaching the person.
During one of his visits to Jehangirabad, Babuji (R.A) noticed a servant named Subah Khan at the other end of the room busy operating the pull-fan. The corner was not properly shaded and the servant sat there sweating under the blazing sun.
Babuji (R.A) saw him and asked the servant to hand over the task to Sardar Akram, the master, to make him experience what the servant might have undergone – so that Sardar Akram would know what it was to sit under the sun.
Perfecting the spirit
Babuji (R.A) had sent his sons to Bahawalpur for further education and a greater spiritual pruning via physical training. A devotee once happened to visit the two sons stationed there along with Babuji (R.A). On his return, he reported to have remarked to his wife that he was surprised to find that those claiming to be Babuji (R.A) and devotees like himself, even their sons and servants enjoyed cool rooms and air-conditioned facilities (in those days rooms were cooled using “Khas Chaddars”), while Babuji’s (R.A) sons lived in scorching heat. Their rooms were without any such facilities despite the exemplary heat in Bahawalpur.
The wife on hearing this
replied that Babuji’s (R.A) sons maintained such a practice of facing
those restraints to perfect themselves, for they are the leaders of both
the worlds – the kings. They are to be the masters; and that such a
practice is beyond ordinary man’s reach.
Surrendering to the Divine Will
Babuji (R.A) always remained contended with his lot whatever hardships he had to face and undergo. During his illness a severe kidney pain, Babuji (R.A) uttered the words, “Al-Hamdulillah” (All praise be to Allah). Even on the sad demise of his only daughter who was in the prime of her youth and about whom he had said that she recited all the “wazaifs” which only Hazrat Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A) could recite, and that she would continue reciting these even when engaged in helping Babuji (R.A) wash his head, the words thank God <write> the were on his lips.
Such was his complete surrender to the Will of Allah. For those loving God love each and every incident of their lives, for God is the force behind. He is the sender and therefore ought to be accepted whole-heartedly. When his wife was ill, he wrote to Madam Sara Okcu in Turkey to pray for the health of his wife at the shrines of Hazrat Maulana Rumi (R.A) and Hazrat Ayub Ansari (R.A). Later on, he once again requested her to offer prayers for his deceased wife.
Translation: “But seek, with the (wealth) which God has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world, but do good as God has been good to thee”. (Surah Al-Kasas - Ayah 77)