Gnosis-serenity: teachings of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh (RA) illuminating humanity

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Gnosis-serenity: teachings of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh (RA) illuminating humanity
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By Dr. Saeed Ahmed Ali

LAHORE, Oct 7 (APP): Renowned Islamic saint and  mystic Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (RA) said that “None achieves that Degree of Truth, until a thousand honest people have testified that he is a heretic.”

 Allah tells us in the Holy Quran that humans were made in the best forms, statures and blessed with power of thought, wisdom and conscience. So, a person should focus on developing the inner-self and connecting it to the self with a path of truth and honesty.

Hazrat Ali Al-Hujveri  is a significant and historic Sufi who came to India to propagate Islam among the masses during eleventh century A.D.

 His real name was Ali bin Usman.But he was famous as Abu al-Hasan Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhsh, a Hashmi Syed by caste. He was born in 400 A.H (After Hijra) in Hajver (a locality in Ghazni, Afghanistan). For that reason he is also called Hajveri.

His paternal lineage originates from Hazrat Ali(R.A) and was linked through his teacher al-Khuttali to al-Husri, Abu Bakr Shibli  and Junaid of Baghdad.Obeying the orders from his Pir (spiritual healer) Abu Al-Fazal Khutli, he had to become the successor of Shaikh Husain Zanjani who was living in Lahore.

This was a time, when as a result of the irruption of the Seljuks’ dynasty, on one side, and the rising tide of Hindu resistance on the other hand, the Ghaznavid’ Empire resultantly began to scatter rapidly and life in Ghazni(Afghanistan) itself was disrupted.

 The great saint had to leave Ghazni in hard circumstances while leaving his books (manuscripts) behind. 

 According to Fawaid-ul-Fuad (speeches of the great Chishti saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya (R.A), Ali Al-Hujwiri reached Lahore at night and in the dawn found the people bringing out the bier of Shaikh Husain Zanjani whom he was to replace in Lahore.Shaikh Husain Zanjani and Shaikh ‘Ali al-Hujwiri were the disciples of the same Pir who was the Qutb of the age, it reads. 

The overwhelming personality of Hazrat Ali Hajveri changed the course of events, social behavior in communities of the subcontinent, when he was introduced to Divine majesty.

His message and impact is still familiar in today’s societal patterns of the subcontinent.Kashf-ul-Mahjub is a master piece of writing and rich identity of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh.

 The book contains revered Persian spiritual treasure on Sufism which contains a complete system of Sufism narrating doctrines and practices of a true path. Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh writes in his magnum opus ‘Kashful-Mahjub’ that Abu Yazid Bistami says: “I strove in spiritual combat for thirty years, and I found nothing harder to me than knowledge and its pursuits.” 

“It is more easy for human nature to walk on fire than to follow the road of knowledge, and an ignorant heart will more readily cross the Bridge (Sirat) a thousand times than learn a single piece of knowledge; and the wicked man would rather pitch his tent in Hell than put one item of knowledge into practice,” the book reads.

To acquire knowledge, he is known to have travelled to various holy places for at least 40 years including  Persia, Syria, Iraq, Azerbaijan , Tabaristan, Khorasan, Kerman and Baghdad.Noted Islamic scholar and president  Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI), Dr Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri told APP that Hazrat Ali Hajveri solved a lot of social and spiritual problems of  the people of his time.

The teachings of Ali Al-hajveri have the torch-bearing effect for the present time complicated problems especially terrorism and hate.He said that the teachings of Hazrat Data Ganj Bukhsh, at first stage obliged a traveler of  the path of spiritualism to adopt ‘Excellency’ in his morality.

After adoption of ethics and morality, one becomes a candid traveler of this path by moulding his life accordingly, which is the second stage. Defining the third stage, he said that the final or third phase  is ‘gnosis’ (ma’arifat) which was very close to understanding of the reality, adding that the first two stages of spiritualism were related to effort, whereas the final stage gnosis is bestowed as a blessing.Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh is regarded as one of the most revered Sufi Saints of Indian Subcontinent.

He is equally revered highly by Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus.

His mausoleum is in Lahore which is a major pilgrim place attracting millions of visitors every year. Darashiku, the author of Safina-tul-Auliya states that he died between 465-466 (A.H), similarly noted historian Prof. Nicholson quotes as Ali Al-Hajveri may have died in between 465-469 (A.H)The blessed Urs takes place around the 19th Safar (the second month of the lunar based Islamic calendar), every year.

 During the ‘Urs’ festival , the shrine is lit up with candles and lights and donated food is prepared for the people who come from across the world, with Sufis dance and music for hours.