Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah Qawwali, New Delhi
Hazrat Khawaja Nizamuddin Auliya
shrine, nizamuddin auliya in urdu, nizamuddin aulia miracles
"In Allah's garden you gather roses,
Being drunk with divine mysteries:
Hazrat Mehboob-e-Elahi -- the beloved of Allah,
O, how I long for the attar of your company
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia (d. 1325 A.D.) represents in many ways the
pinnacle of the Chishti Order of the Sufis. Hazrat Baba Farid, his
spiritual guide, said to him on appointing him as his successor: "Be
like a big tree, so that Allah's creation, the human beings in their
vast multitudes, may find rest and solace under your shadow." This
partly explains why he admitted so many (according to some,
including Barani, too many) men into the Chishti order as his
disciples. Another reason has been clearly formulated in this way:
"History, nonetheless, bears out the wisdom of his open-ended policy
. . .
To far-flung areas of Uttar Pradesh, Rajastan, Gujarat, Bihar,
Bengal and the Deccan, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia sent able disciples
well versed in the Chishti practices, yet sensitive to the needs of
the local populace."
With regard to the Sufi path, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia taught the
following: "For a dervish, three things are necessary. They all
begin with an 'ain' (an Arabic letter), i.e., Ishq (love), Aql
(intelligence) and Ilm (knowledge). Let us discuss these three
qualities one by one.
Sufism is, in its essence, the way of love. Love is considered to be
a spiritual alchemy by means of which the baser qualities of a human
being are transformed into higher ones. In this respect it suffices
to say that Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia is known as Mehboob-e-Elahi, the
beloved of Allah. Of course the spiritual status of a beloved is
much higher than that of a lover.
'Intelligence' changed in the hands of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia into
wisdom. His wisdom manifested itself in the shape of service to
humanity. About him it has been said: "He was not a miracle-monger
of the ordinary sort. He never flew in the air or walked on water
with dry and motionless feet. His greatness was the greatness of a
loving heart; his miracles were the miracles of a deeply sympathetic
soul. He could read a man's inner heart by a glance at his face and
spoke the words that brought consolation to a tortured heart."
About 'knowledge', the third faculty of a dervish, it can be said
that Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia was one of the greatest scholars
of his day. He wanted to become a Qazi, but gave it all up in his
pursuit of inner knowledge. After becoming a Mureed (spiritual
disciple) of Hazrat Baba Farid, he lived in extremely poor
circumstances. Seeing him, a former friend expressed great surprise
as he remembered Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia as one who had begun a very
promising career as a scholar. When Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia told all
of this to Hazrat Baba Farid, his murshid (spiritual guide)
suggested that he should recite the following couplet to his friend:
You are not my fellow traveller.
Tread your own path
May you be affluent.
And I downtrodden.
Then Hazrat Baba Farid ordered him to take a tray of food from the
kitchen and carry it on his head to his friend. After doing so, he
recited the verse. This deeply moved his friend.
One day, someone told a story of a certain saint who expired while
slowly repeating the name of Allah. The eyes of Hazrat Nizamuddin
Aulia, who was listening to this story, filled with tears and he
recited this quatrain:
I come running to the end of Your street,
Tears are washing and washing my cheek.
Union with You -- what else can I seek?
My soul I surrender as Your name I repeat.
After leaving their homeland the city of Bokhara, the paternal
grandfather of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia -- Khwaja Ali -- and the
maternal grandfather of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia -- Khwaja Arab --
along with their family, came to India. At first they lived in
Lahore, but later they took up their residence in Badayun (East of
Delhi). Khwaja Arab married his daughter Bibi Zulaitaikha to Khwaja
Ali's son Khwaja Ahmad.
The birth of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia took place on the last
Wednesday of the month of Safar, i.e., the 27th of Safar 636 A.H.
(1238 A.D.) Up to this day, his birthday celebration takes place.
His shrine is bathed and the water thereof is distributed among the
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia's father expired when Hazrat Nizamuddin
Aulia was five years old. His mother brought him to a school where
he learned to recite the holy Qur'an. In a short time he mastered
the seven ways of recitation of the holy Qur'an. Then he studied
Arabic grammar, Ahadith (traditions of the Prophet Mohammed, peace
be upon him), commentary of the Qur'an and logic. At the age of
twelve, he received the "turban of excellency." He was so
sharp-witted, wise and understanding that he was given the title
"Debater, capable of defeating the congregation." He became
distinguished in the science of Tafsir (commentary on the Qur'an),
in the knowledge of Ahadith, in Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence),
mathematics and astronomy. Khwaja Shamsul Malik was among his most
learned teachers. He received a testimony of knowledge of Ahadith
from Maulana Kamaluddin. (2)
Although in that period, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia used to sit among
the ulama (the scholars of Islam), he was more interested in the
inner life. He often used to say: "In the days of youth, I used to
live in the company of the ulama, but in my heart the thought used
to come that I should go away from their company and turn my face to
the Divine Teacher." (3)
One day a certain Qawwal (Sufi musician), with the name of Abu Bakr,
came from Multan (Pakistan) to Hazrat Nizamuddin's teacher. The
teacher asked for information about the Sufi Sheikhs of Multan. Abu
Bakr answered thus: "I have lived in the company of Hazrat Sheikh
Bahauddin Zakaria of Multan and I have sung mystical couplets for
him. In his Khanqah (Sufi monastery) the worship of Allah is very
devoted, so much so that even the girls who knead the flour, while
doing so, are occupied with the Zikr (remembrance of Allah). From
there I went to Ajodhan (the present Pak Pattan in Pakistan). There
I got the privilege of meeting Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Gang-e-Shakar,"
That sovereign of love of God has conquered the world and the light
of his moon has illuminated that area."
"When I heard these words of praise in regard to Baba Fariduddin
Ganj-e-Shakar," Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia says, I developed a sudden
and intense love for him and I began to repeat his name after every
The Qawwal had started his concert with this line: "The living
serpent of love has bitten my heart." But then Abu Bakr could not
recollect the second line. Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia helped him to do
so, and seeing this, the Qawwal became very attentive towards him.
From that day, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia became very much attached to
Coming to Delhi
"When my eighteenth year began," Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia tells, "I
travelled from Badayun to Delhi." Musamma Ayuz accompanied him in
this journey. Ayuz was a staunch believer in the spiritual greatness
of Baba Farid. Whenever he saw the slightest danger because of
robbers or wild beasts, he would cry out: "O, Pir! Come! I need your
protection." "I asked him the name of that Pir and Ayuz said: "It is
the one who has caught your heart and got you enamoured," meaning
Baba Farid. Thus from that day my faith in the Sheikh increased."
"When in Delhi, I stayed by chance near Hazrat Baba Fariduddin's
brother and caliph Hazrat Sheikh Najibuddin Mutawakkil. My mother
and sister were also with me. We rented a house in the neighbourhood
of the great Sheikh, whose company was very valuable to me. In his
presence, the qualities of Baba Fariduddin Ganj-e-Shakar used to be
described. On hearing them, I felt the desire of kissing his feet.
For approximately three years I stayed in Delhi." (4)
Meeting Baba Farid
One day Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia said to Sheikh Najibuddin Mutawakkil
that he should pray to God, so that he (Nizamuddin) might become a
Qazi. Then he would be able to spread justice among the creatures of
God. The Sheikh remained silent. When Hazrat Nizamuddin repeated his
question, he answered thus: "God forbid that you be a Qazi; be
In those days, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia used to spend the nights at
the Jama Masjid. One morning, the muezzin (the one who calls to the
prayer) recited the following verse from the minaret:
"Has not the time come
For the faithful
That their hearts should bend
For the remembrance of Allah" [Qur'an 57:16]
Hearing this, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia's condition changed. It was as
if he received spiritual illumination from every direction. And,
without any food, he left Delhi in order to present himself to Baba
Farid. At the age of twenty, on Wednesday the 11th of Rajab 655 A.H.
(1257 A.D.), he reached Ajodhan. Coming before Hazrat Baba Farid, he
unsuccessfully tried to summon up courage to tell in detail how
eager he was to see him. He could not do so, because of awe. Baba
Farid then said: "Every newcomer is nervous." Thereafter Baba Farid
recited this verse:
"O, the fire of separation of Thee,
Has made the hearts like roasted meat;
The flood of the fondness of Thee,
Has made the lives morose."
Then Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia was honoured to be accepted as the
mureed (spiritual disciple) of Baba Farid. Then Baba Sahib remarked:
"O, Nizamuddin! I wanted to entrust the domain of Delhi to someone
else. When you were on the way I heard a voice to the effect that I
should wait as Nizamuddin is coming. He is fit for this domain. It
should be entrusted to him. So stay in our company so that after
completing your inner training, we will appoint you as our caliph
and as the Wali-e-Hindustan (the saint of India)."
Hazrat Nizamuddin lived in the company of his Pir-o-murshid
(spiritual guide) for seven months and a few days. In this shortl
period, he became deserving of the khilafat of the great mystic Baba
Farid. On the second of Rabi'ul Awwal 656 A.H. (1258 A.D.), Baba
Farid bestowed khilafat and wilayat to Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia by
giving him the special turban, which came to Baba Sahib from Chisht
(Afghanistan). After coming to Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia
ascended the throne of khilafat-e-piran-e-Chisht (5), i.e., he
became a caliph of the Chishti Sheikhs. Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia came
ten times to Ajodhan: three times in the life of Baba Farid and
seven times after his death (6).
After residing in Delhi for a few days, he disdained the crowds of
people and desired to withdraw himself to the desert. He then
received a Divine inspiration that his place of residence should be
Ghiyaspur, a small village outside the city of Delhi. First he had
raised a temporary shed with a straw roof for himself and all his
companions. After some time, a better place was constructed for him
by one of his disciples, Ziauddin Wakil Mulk. Hazrat Nizamuddin
Aulia lived here for more than sixty years and never changed his
place of residence. The khanqah is still there and is visited by
many people up to this day.
After an illness of about four months he expired in 725 A.H. (1324
A.D.) and realized seclusion (i.e., was buried) in Ghiyaspur. The
locality is named after him today.
After passing the spiritual status of ghousiat and farwaniyat,
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia reached the status of Mehboob (beloved). His
personality was the container of divine secrets and his intentions
were in harmony with those of Allah. He spread a very fine
fragrance. Qazi Hamiduddin Kashani also became fragrant with this
scent and unsuccessfully tried to wash it way. He narrated the
incident to Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, who explained it thus: "Qazi,
this fragrance is of the love of Allah, which He gives to His
In the early period of his life he experienced great poverty.
Although in Sultan Ghyasuddin Balban's time one could buy melons for
very little money, the greater part of the season would pass without
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia eating a single slice. One day a pious woman
brought some barley flour and presented it to him. He asked Sheikh
Kamaluddin Yaqub to boil it in a cauldron. At that moment a faqir
with a patched frock arrived and with a loud voice said: "O,
Nizamuddin! bring whatever is present." Then Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia
gave all the food to him. The faqir ate it all and then broke the
cauldron. Hereafter he said: "O, Nizamuddin! You have received the
bounties of the invisible world from Baba Farid and the bowl of
visible poverty I have broken. Now you have become the sultan of
both the visible and invisible world." From that day on, countless
gifts started coming and free food was distributed to hundreds of
visitors every day.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia was very generous as can be seen in the
following narration, which can be found in Jami's "Nafhatul Uns". A
merchant of Multan lost all his possessions to a band of thieves. He
told Sheikh Sadruddin, the son of the famous Suhrawardy saint (Shaikh
Bahauddin Zakaria of Multan), that he intended to go to Delhi and
asked for a letter of recommendation to Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia.
Then he was told by the great saint that he would receive all the
gifts that would be given from the morning to the chasht (forenoon)
prayers. About 12,000 golden and silver coins were received. All
these were given to the merchant.
Every day large numbers of gifts used to be received, but they were
distributed before the evening. More than three thousand needy
people used to live on the langar (tree feeding).
Shortly before his death, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia called Khadim
Iqbal and said: "Whatever cash is present, bring it so that I may
distribute it to the deserving." Iqbal replied: "Whatever gifts
come, they are spent on the same day. But there are a few thousand
tons of grain in our storeroom." Bring it out and distribute it to
the deserving," said Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia had great love of sama (Sufi music). His
friends, disciples and students used to perform such Qawwali (music)
in his presence, that even animals used to stop and listen to it
(7). One day he was out for a walk, when he saw a person who was
pulling water out of a well and was saying in a loud voice to his
companions: "Remain outside today, brother!" Hazrat Nizamuddin,
after hearing this, started weeping, and his khuddam (servants)
repeated that line until they reached home again.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia remained a bachelor all his life. Once his
kamarband (a rope used to fasten a pair of trousers) got away from
his hand. Baba Farid then said: "Tighten the kamarband properly."
Hazrat Nizamuddin asked: "How should I do it? Baba Sahib answered:
"Tighten it in such a way that except the houris of heaven, nobody
is capable of opening it." Hearing that Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia put
his head on the floor and did not marry . (8)
Writing and sayings
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia collected the discourses of his
Pir-o-murshid in a book called "Rahat-ul-Qulodo."
Some of the sayings of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia:
1. The wilayat (domain) of gnosis and faith can suffer decay. The
wilayat of compassion can not.
2. The love of Aulia (saints) is stronger than their reason.
3. The lock of spiritual perfection has very many keys. All those
keys are to be possessed. If one does not open it, others can.
4. He who has knowledge, reason, and love, is deserving to become a
caliph of the Sufi sheikhs.
5. So long as is possible, give relief to your heart, because the
heart of a good Muslim is the palace of the manifestations of Allah.
Once Sultan Qutbuddin Mubarak Shah asked Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia to
come to him on the last day of every month. Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia
responded: "It is against the tradition of my sheikhs. I will never
go to meet the king." His friends advised him to turn for help to
his Sheikh Baba Farid, so that the problem would be solved. Hazrat
Nizamuddin Aulia refused to do so, saying: "The tasks of religion
alone are many. I feel ashamed to give pain to the Sheikh for a
worldly affair." He then said: "The king will not be victorious over
me for I have had a certain dream. I saw that an animal with horns
was attacking me. Upon it coming closer, I took hold of its horns
and threw the animal on the earth in such a way that it was killed."
That day, after the noon prayers, he declined to visit the king.
When two hours of the day remained, he was asked again to visit the
king. He gave no reply. But it so happened that upon that very
night, the king was murdered by a certain Khusru Khan. (9)
Another Sultan by the name of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, wanted Hazrat
Nizamuddin Aulia to leave Ghiyaspur before the Sultan's visit to
Delhi. Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, was saddened by this and remarked:
"Delhi is still far away." Then just before the arrival of the king
in Delhi, the palace of Tughlaqabad fell upon him and he was killed.
Sultan Alauddin had the fear in his heart that Hazrat Nizamuddin
Aulia wished to rule the kingdom himself and that he was only
waiting for the proper time and chance to overthrow him. As a test,
he sent some complicated matters related to state affairs to Hazrat
Nizamuddin Aulia and asked for its solution. Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia
reacted thus: "What have the dervishes, seated on rugs, to do with
the affairs of kings seated on thrones? It is better that the time
of the dervish is not wasted and conscience of the faqura is not put
to test." When the king respectfully invited Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia
to visit him, the latter answered thus: "The affections of a dervish
should be seen as a bird to which distress is caused by the hawk of
kingly shows. It is better and enough to keep acquaintance through
Khwaja Hasan, who had lived in the company of Hazrat Nizamuddin
Aulia when he was much younger, along with all his friends, was
involved in the drinking of wine. One day, near the mausoleum of
Hazrat Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Khaki, they met again. Khwaja Hasan then
recited this verse:
"For years we have been in each others' company,
But your company did me no good.
Your piety could not correct my sinful life.
My sinful life is therefore stronger than your piety."
After hearing this verse, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia simply said:
"There are different effects of company on different men." At once,
Khwaja Hasan fell down at the feet of Hazrat Nizamuddin and along
with his friends became mureed (spiritual disciples) of Hazrat
Hazrat Sheikh Naseeruddin of Oudh related that he used to receive
worldly knowledge from Qazi Muhiddin Kashani. He suddenly became ill
and no hope of life remained. Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia visited Sheikh
Naseeruddin when he was unconscious. Then Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia
rubbed his hand over his face. Immediately Sheikh Naseeruddin
regained consciousness and put his head on the feet of Hazrat
One day a mureed of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia prepared a feast for his
Sheikh. Qawwals were also called and food was prepared. But when the
same (music) started, thousands of people joined in. The host became
worried because of the shortage of food. Feeling this, Hazrat
Nizamuddin Aulia said to his khadim (servant): "Wash the hands of
the people and let ten people sit at one place. Start giving the
food after saying 'Bismillah' (In the Name of Allah, the most
Beneficent, the most Merciful)." It so happened that everyone had
enough food and there was a great deal of food left over. (11)
It is narrated that a certain Shamsuddin was a very rich man and had
no faith in the spirituality of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia. Instead he
used to speak ill of him in his absence. One day, he was drinking
wine with his friends and suddenly he saw Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia
appear in front of him, who made a prohibiting sign with his finger.
Shamsuddin then threw the wine in the water and started towards the
house of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia after performing the ritual
ablutions. Seeing him, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia said: "Whoever is
blessed by Allah, he abstains from sins like this." Hearing this,
Shamsuddin became very astonished and with complete faith became his
mureed. He distributed all his money to the dervishes and in a short
time became a Wali (saint) himself.
One day Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia was listening to Qawwali and in
ecstasy, waving his handkerchief, said: "We regret, we have not
become equal to the washermans' son even." At that moment no one
dared to ask what he meant, but some days afterwards he was asked
about it by Hazrat Amir Khusru. The explanation of Hazrat Nizamuddin
Aulia was like this: "The son of the washerman of the king, without
seeing the princess, was in love with her. He used to wash her
clothes with utmost care, and even mended and improved them by
various means. Without seeing her, he used to moan and weep in the
memory of her beauty. His parents became very worried. To speak
about it is a problem and not to speak about it is a problem. We are
washers and she is a princess. How can the dust of the earth be
compared with the sky?
So they tricked him in order to try and change their son's ideas.
One day his mother came to him with a grief-stricken face. He asked
what was the matter with her. Then she explained "Today was the
soyam (the third day after the death) of the princess whose clothes
you used to wash. The boy three times asked: "Has she died?" -- and
then with a shriek died.
On the fourth day, the washerwoman brought the clothes back to the
princess. She asked: "Who has washed these clothes today? They do
not look as clean as they used to be. Their neatness used to look as
if love has been involved." Hearing this, the washerwoman became sad
and started weeping. On being forced by the princess, she explained
everything. The princess then wished to visit his grave. At once,
when she was there, the grave cracked and the princess said: "It
cracked at places. Ah! Whose grave is this? Probably a restless
heart is buried in it." Then the princess fell down and expired.
The following is a translation of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia's famous
poem in honour of the Prophet:
O breeze! turn towards Medina (and) from this well-wisher recite the
Turn round the king of the prophets (and) with the utmost humility
recite the Salaam.
Sometimes pass the gate of mercy (and) with the gate of Gabriel rule
Salaam to the prophet of God (and) sometimes recite Salaam at the
gate of peace.
Put with all respect the head of faith on the dust there.
Be one with the sweet melody of David and be acquainted with the cry
In the assembly of the prophets recite verses from the humble being
1. Astrabadi, Mohammed Qasim Hindu Shah: "Tarikh-e-Farishta."
2. Sijzi, Amir Hasan: "Fawwai 'du'l-Fu'ad."
3. Khrd, Amier: "Siyaru 'l-Auliya."
6. Bulaq, Mohammed: "Roza-e-Aqtab."
8. Same as note 1.
12. Translated from the "Tazkara-e-Ghousiya."
Important Dargahs of Chishty Sufis in Indian sub-continent :
1. Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chishty, Ajmer Sharif.
2. Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, Delhi (Mehroli).
3. Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Masood Ganj-e-Shakar, Pak Pattan Sharif,
4. Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya , Delhi.
5. Hazrat Alauddin Sabir Kalyari, Kalyar Distt. Rurki (Uttaranchal).
6. Hazrat Nasiruddin Chiragh, Delhi
7. Hazrat Gaisu Daraz Banda Nawaz, Gulbarga Sharif (karnataka)
6. Hazrat Amir Khusru, Delhi
9. Hazrat Sufi Hamiduddin Suwali, Nagaur (Rajasthan).
10. Hazrat Khwaja Fakhruddin Chishty, Sarwar Sharif, Ajmer.
11. Hazrat Hisamuddin Jigar Sokhta, Sanbhar Lake (Rajasthan).
12. Hazrat Jamaluddin Hanswi, Hansi (Hariyana).
13. Hazrat Jahangir Ashraf Samnani, Kachocha Sharif (U.P.).
14. Hazrat Waris Ali Shah Dewa Sharif (UP)
15. Hazrat Shah Sarang Machgaon, Bara Banki.
16. Hazrat Shah Meena, Lucknow (U.P.).
17. Hazrat Bu Ali Shah Kalander, Panipat (Hariyana).
18. Hazrat Shamsuddin Turk, Panipat (Hariyana).
19. Hazrat Jalaluddin Kabirul Auliya.
20. Hazrat Syed Abdur Razzaque Bansa Sharif, Bara Banki.
21. Hazrat Makhdoom Abdul Haque, Rudoli Sharif, Bara Banki.
22. Hazrat Abdul Quddus Gangohi, Gangoh (Saharanpur)
Chishti Sufi Stages of Love