Sufis Shrines in Jabalpur- India

 

 Hazrat Meerza Agha Mohammad (R.A.)
Dr. Meerza Murtuza Hussain (R.A.)
Dr. Meerza Ikhtiyar Hussain


Mazar Sharif of
Hazrat Shah Meerza Agha Mohammed (R.A.)

Hazrat Meerza Agha Mohammad (R.A.) was born in early part of the 19th century in Lucknow, India. He, from his very childhood was interested in knowing the way to GOD. He was obsessed with a question as to how to find ALLAH? He would ask his parents, teachers, and religious scholars but was never satisfied with the answers. An event in his early life transformed him and triggered off his spiritual search leading him from Sufi Shaykh Shah Maqsus Alam (R.A.) to Sufi Shaykh Hazrat Taj-ul-Aualiya -Shah Nizamuddin Hussain Niazi (R.A.). Later as a Sufi Shaykh himself, He got settled in Jabalpur India.He passed away on August 17,1917.

The life of Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.) is a true reflection of ALLAH’s Sifat (attribute)-e-Jalal (Majesty) and Jamal (Beauty) at its Kamal (Zenith). He, from his very childhood had a burning desire to find ALLAH? This desire transformed into love for ALLAH and ultimately into the compassion for humanity. He had walked on earth like a ‘Spiritual Sun’ emanating rays of wisdom that would penetrate the dark wall of ignorance enshrouding a thirsty soul and made the moon of His heart glow with spiritual satisfaction.

Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.) was born in Lucknow, India in the early 1800’s. His family had migrated to India from Persia. Due to their status and the family background, they soon became part of the elite class of Lucknow. Hazrat Sahib’ s parents were very religious by nature. As a child, Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.) had inherited this religiousness and always preferred it on other playful activities of children.

However, He was born with a fire of longing in his heart to know ALLAH. He had a deep curiosity about it and would always wanted to have a concrete answer as to how to find ALLAH. He had been receiving all sort of replies but none to His satisfaction. This ever-increasing enquiry transformed into a burning desire leading Him from one teacher to another. Once, He came to know of a wandering Sufi Shaykh who was staying in one of the cottages in the city. Hazrat Sahib started visiting him quite frequently in search for his answer. One evening, He arrived late and while he was about to enter Shaykh’s residence, He heard Shaykh’s wife asking Shaykh to provide food at least for the innocent children as it was then three days that the whole family had been starved. As Hazrat Sahib belonged to a rich family, this situation was new to Him and it really very much moved Him. He immediately went back to his home and told the whole thing to his mother who arranged food for the Shaykh’s family and Hazrat Sahib returned happily with this food. When Shaykh noticed the food, He gladly informed his wife, ‘Look! ALLAH the Provider has arranged for the food’. The Shaykh’s wife started waking up the starved children while He alongwith Hazrat Sahib went for ablution leaving the food at the door. When they returned, they found out that a dog was eating the food. The Shaykh thanked ALLAH and sat quietly in his cottage. His wife became very upset at all this and said to Shaykh,’ “Is this the justice of your ALLAH? The children of human beings remain hungry while animals are being fed. How will I make these children sleep again? Hazrat Sahib was too young to understand all that! This was too much for Him and tears started flowing from his eyes. The Shaykh approached at the door and said to Hazrat Sahib. ‘Do not cry! This is how ALLAH wanted. You have done whatever you could do to help us – ALLAH rewards you for that!’ By hearing that, emotions welled up within him and he could not stop crying. The Shaykh came out of the cottage and embraced him and said,’ Go home! and remember, today I have embraced you and tomorrow you cannot even conceive who is going to embrace you’. Hazrat Sahib arrived back home but could not sleep the whole night and as soon as his family woke up for the morning prayers, He ran to his mother and told her everything. She immediately arranged for some food and He went back to Shaykh’s cottage. When Hazrat Sahib reached at the Shaykh’s cottage, He was shocked to find out that the cottage was deserted as no one had ever lived there. The Shaykh with his family had left for an unknown destination without leaving any trace. This whole event transformed Hazrat Sahib completely. He lost interest in the world and spark of his love for ALLAH turned into a flame of determination to find HIM.


Inner View of Mazar Sharif of
Hazrat Shah Meerza Agha Mohammed (R.A.)

 

One day at a local mosque, He heard of another Sufi Shaykh Shah Maqsus Alam (R.A.) residing in the town of Banda. He felt such a longing for the Shaykh that without any fear of the consequences, He left his home quietly without telling anyone else to meet Hazrat Shah Alam (R.A.). At such a tender age and with a well-protected home environment, it was not an easy journey for the young soul. However, He was determined to find ALLAH. On His way to Banda, He stopped by at Kanpur where one of his father’s acquaintance recognised him and took him to his home with the intention of sending him back to Lucknow the next day. However, in the middle of the night, Hazrat Sahib slipped quietly from his home to proceed towards Banda. He survived the next few days by selling his gold earring, but then He had no money to get food. He reached at a mosque in a small town, where He did not ask for any food though terribly hungry. Mir Insha Mian – a locally renowned person noticed the imminent contrast in Hazrat Sahib’s condition as a noble boy in rags. He immediately approached Him and offered Him some food, but He refused. Again, then He asked him to give tuition to his children in exchange for food. Hazrat Sahib agreed, but did not accept the food before giving first tuition to the children. After passing few weeks in this town, He moved on to Banda to meet Hazrat Maqsus Alam (R.A.) and became his disciple. In Banda, Hazrat Agha Sahib not only acquired spiritual education, but also obtained worldly education. Later, Hazrat Maqsus Alam (R.A.) nominated Him as his successor. However after the death of Hazrat Maqsus Alam (R.A.), he went to Bareilly to visit Hazrat Tajul-Aulia Shah Nizamuddin Hussain (R.A.) to tread further on the spiritual path. He devoted himself wholeheartedly to this cause and with the permission of Hazrat Tajul-Aulia (R.A.) started a Khaneqah (Sufi centre) in Jabalpur. Though later He got married and had children, but in His worldly lifespan, He had always been dominated by The Sufi way of Remembering ALLAH at all times and at any costs. Travelling, attending functions, even death of His two children could not stop Him to alter His daily schedule of prayers and meditations. His spiritual strength can somewhat be felt from the following events of his life:

a) One afternoon, He was coming back to His home after meditating at a quiet place away from the town. On His way back when He passed near a pond, a woman who came to fill her earthen pot with water tried to pass Him as He was walking slowly. As He raised his lowered eyes to gaze at her, she felt that her whole body started burning with an invisible fire. He broke the earthen pot on her head with His stick and water made her wet, but still the sensation of burning remained and she ran towards his home and told his wife that Hazrat’s gaze had put her on fire. In the meantime, Hazrat arrived and told her ‘there is no fire that could burn you’ and she immediately felt relieved. The present Shaykh Hazrat Dr. Meerza Ikhtiyar Hussain has commented on this that it was the effect of ‘Shaghal-e-Aftabi’- a Sufi meditation method in which an advanced spiritual soul gazes at sun from sunrise to sunset for a particular time period.

b) A few weeks before His visaal (departure from this physical plane of existence), the answer to His only enquiry of life i.e. How to find ALLAH? became imminent in His complete absorption in ALLAH (Istaghraq-kulli). He started losing in touch with the physical needs of his life. He even could not recognize people around Him. In those days, He could only be recalled to the physical plane of existence by mentioning the name of His Shaykh i.e. Hazrat Tajul-Aulia (R.A.). This is what the real love is! This is how; Sufis are able to provide such a beautiful literature saturated with love to the world. In those days, one of his disciples Shirin bai fell seriously ill and diagnosed by the Doctors as incurable. She was in Mumbai and could not pay a visit to her Shaykh i.e. Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.), hence she sent another fellow disciple to Jabalpur to mention her condition to Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.). He had been recalled to the physical plane by mentioning the name of Hazrat Tajul-Aulia (R.A.) and after listening to the condition of Shirin bai, He wrote something on paper and handed it over to the disciple to give it to Shirin bai. Interestingly, she had been cured at the time while He was writing on the piece of paper. Later, after the visaal of Hazrat Agha Sahib, it was noticed that he wrote on the paper,’Darbar-e-Agha Mohammad Shirin bai Muraad bar aayee’i.e. Shirin bai’s demand to be cured has been accepted in the kingdom of Agha Mohammad.

c) Near the time of His visaal, most of His disciples had been living close to Him. At the time of His death, his successor Dr. Meerza Murtuza Hussain (R.A.) visioned a dream like reality that a large earth shaped ball was bouncing in front of Him and it started moving up, up and further up till it reached at the sky and exploded into numberless pieces. These pieces started shining like stars and each star was reflecting the face of Agha Sahib. Hazrat Dr. Sahib felt a kind of fear and awe from such a majestic view. Immediately, he heard the voice of Hazrat Agha Sahib,’Why are you afraid? It’s me! Agha Mohammad.’ After listening to this, Hazrat Dr. Sahib felt relieved and came out of this trance like state, but at the same time heard a loud voice of Hazrat Agha Sahib calling, ‘Ill-ALLAH'(Affirm! that only ALLAH exist). This voice was so loud that even the disciples who were fast asleep woke up and that was the moment when Hazrat Agha Sahib passed away from the physical plane of existence, leaving the echo of ‘Ill-ALLAH’ that still resonates in the lives of people attached to his silsila (order).


Mazar Sharif of
Hazrat Dr. Meerza Murtuza Hussain (RA)

 

2. Dr. Meerza Murtuza Hussain (R.A.) Whenever we travel, we tend to think of going somewhere. However, if we keep on going, sooner or later we end up at the same place from where we had started our journey as we move on a circular path. Hence, our starting and finishing points are relative, otherwise these are the same. The heavenly bodies as well as the smallest particle of any substance is circular in appearance. This is not restricted to the physical objects rather the whole pattern of life moves in and out of an endless circle. It is like a process of rainfall where water rises from the sea as vapors and move away from the sea in the form of clouds and then these clouds fall as rain which through rivers and creeks again moves back into the sea. Likewise, a seed gives birth to the fruits, flowers and trees that again provide seeds and this process moves on ad infinitum. The human life also follows the same pattern of reproduction. Perhaps, this is why Socrates has said,

“There is nothing new under the Sun”

However, if we go a little deeper, we can see it as the partial truth. For instance, the rain water that we see as moving back into its source i.e. sea, appear as such due to our limited way of perceiving reality, otherwise it moves ahead into the sea because sea has gone through many changes during that time period and likewise the vapors.

Hence, it is a merger of same yet different waters. This journey of water to water is from its origin to origin, but every moment the water is new and by the time it reaches back to its origin, the origin itself changes and so is the raining water. Van Gogh, the great German artist once started drawing a sketch of the sun. When many days passed and the painting remained incomplete, someone asked him, “why can’t you finish with the simple painting of the sun?”. He answered, “In the beginning, I thought it simple but now I realize that every day there is a new sun, hence the difficulty to complete my painting”.

This is why one does not get bored rather gets rejuvenated every time in the presence of flowers, grass and other natural phenomena because they are constantly being renewed. Physically, one may miss the newness of all life
forms as they always look same as grass is always green, jasmine is always white but deep down one feels the freshness of these things every time. This brings us to another statement made by Heraclitus:-

“You can’t step into the same river twice”

However, it can be observed that both these statements are not opposites of each other rather complimentary. They reflect the two sides of the same coin. It is our common observation that one’s life depends on the incoming
and outgoing breath which is again a circular motion, but every breath is a new breath yet the same breath. These paradoxes are difficult to comprehend by the mind due to its mode of thinking. It can understand things with their opposites in the backdrop. For a mind, day and night refer to two different realities. However, in reality, a demarcation cannot be made between the states of day and night. Due to this, mind comprehends one half of the picture at a time. It cannot see the day and night together rather one half of the reality. This partial vision gives rise to division of things. Analysis takes priority over Synthesis. This trend of thinking divides humanity into compartments. One feels a distance from others in the name of race, sex, religion, etc. The human values are superceded by the artificial values. In reality, each human being is just like the other yet unique in his own ways. A human being should be viewed as a human being and not a labeled personality. However, only very few people are able to pass their lives with this understanding where divine compassion is reflected in its full grandeur. Such living beings are the true reflection of highest human values and their love showers on every living being without any
prejudice.

Not very long ago, Dr. Meerza Murtuza Hussain (R.A.) had presented this dimension of life in its perfection. Several people are still alive who have experienced this immaculate milieu of love around Dr. Sahib (R.A.). His very presence would charge the atmosphere with love and heal the people around him from their psychological ailments.

He was born in Jabalpur – M.P. India in the year 1877. His father was a Sufi Master but of a strict belief that his family members would support themselves from their own resources rather than of Khanqah’s. Due to this, all of his children got modern day education and secured jobs against the common tradition of those days for Pirzadas to be dependant on Khanqah’s resources. Dr. Sahib (R.A.), by profession turned out to be a medical practitioner who graduated from the Calcutta Medical College.

Like his father, He was also seriously interested in providing modern day education to all the children around Him. To achieve this purpose, a club for children was formed. In this club, besides modern day education, children were also required to participate in games, music classes and self-defense training. A special horse carriage was purchased for children where all of them had been given rides regularly. A managing committee used to take care of this club. Interestingly enough, except that of an ordinary member, His only son was never appointed as an office bearer of this club. Also, children used to pass some of their leisure time playing with the animals as a large section of his house had been used for keeping pets. Dr. Sahib (R.A.) had a large collection of birds, deer, horses, cows, rabbits, squirrels, monkeys, cheetah, cats, and a pond full of color fish. He would give personal attention to those animals and take utmost care of them.


Mazar Sharif of Zarina Begum (RA) &
Hazrat Meerza Maqsud-ul-Hasan (RA)

He had always shown a great respect and affection towards women. Least to mention, in every gathering held at his house whether religious or social in nature, He had always been considerate towards their preferences regarding food items and qawwalis. Being a doctor, He had shown no discrimination towards his patients whether they were Muslims or non-Muslims, men or women. With this attitude, he had accepted disciples from other religious faiths also. He had accepted courtesans as his disciples too who were all transformed just because of Dr. Sahib (R.A.)’s affection and acceptance and almost all of them had gotten married and lived a life of respect.

Throughout his lifetime, Dr. Sahib (R.A.)’s love had showered on everyone alike without any prejudice. Dr. Sahib (R.A.)’s unprejudiced love for human beings is particularly reflected in the days of Hindu Muslim riots. He would freely enter the riot ridden areas to see his patients. The representatives of Muslims and Hindus used to request him not to take such a risk, but he would answer them both with a smile, “God takes care of me.” He had never left his patients unattended under any circumstances. Amidst that turmoil of religious strife, his horse carriage stood as the symbol of peace. Dr. Sahib (R.A.) was one of the most famous physicians of Jabalpur who had three running clinics. Inspite of his fame, he had great consideration for the poor people. Several of his poor patients had reported to say that instead of charging fees, Dr. Sahib (R.A.) would give them money from his own pocket for buying milk and fruits. As a spiritual master, occasionally, he used to be invited by his disciples. He would treat his rich or poor disciples alike. Once in a gathering, one of his poor disciples desired that if he had enough money, he would have invited Dr. Sahib (R.A.) to his house. Instantly, Dr. Sahib (R.A.) pointed at him and said, “I wish, I could have ‘besan ki roti with lehsan ki chatni’ at your house.”It was not difficult even for a poor person to arrange for such a dinner. Such an attitude towards his disciples had existed throughout his lifetime, where he appeared more like a father than a spiritual guide. Once, in a winter season, he was staying in Bombay. His disciples used to be gathered from evening till late in the night. During a cold night, some of the disciples stayed at his place and went to sleep in his room. When they woke up in the morning, they realized that they were covered in the blanket of Dr. Sahib (R.A.) while he was busy in his Zikr and Wazifa in the corner of the room.

As a Sufi disciple, he went through a vigorous spiritual training under the guidance of his father Hazrat Meerza Agha Mohammad (R.A.) who happened to be his Shaykh too. During the last year of his lifetime, Hazrat Agha Sahib(R.A.) asked Dr. Sahib (R.A.) to leave everything aside and live together with him. Dr. Sahib (R.A.) was even supposed to prepare food for his Shaykh. With the passing of days, Dr. Sahib (R.A.) gradually had stopped meeting people and his clinics were closed down due to his absence. He absolutely devoted himself to His Shaykh. This phase in his lifetime continued for a period of time, then Hazrat Sahib (R.A.) asked him to go back to his normal daily routine. Later, Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.) told his disciples,

“I had kept him in an isolation for a while, as I did not want him to be obsessed with the world. I merely wanted to see whether Dr. Sahib (R.A.) is able to maintain a balance between the material and spiritual worlds and I am satisfied to see that he is able to tread on a middle path where worldly involvement’s cannot hinder him remembering ‘ALLAH’. I know, it is absolutely necessary for an individual to earn his livelihood through proper means, hence I have sent him back to His clinics amidst his worldly and spiritual patients”.

Inspite of his fame and three clinics, all of his life, Dr. Sahib (R.A.) lived in a rented house and did never own a house. Also, He did not leave any material wealth for his children. However, on his death bed he uttered some of the most precious words to his fourteen year old son who was obviously very much disturbed at that time. Dr. Sahib (R.A.) said,

“God is more of a Beloved for us than a Creator and whatsoever comes from the Beloved whether pleasure or pain is acceptable for the lover. Always remember it in any situation and every stage of your life, then life will be a beautiful experience for you. You will see HIM everywhere and you will find HIM everywhere and this is what the purpose of life is!”


Mazar Sharif of
Hazrat Meerza Nazeer Ahmed (RA)

3. Dr. Meerza Ikhtiyar Hussain Presently, Sufi Shaykh of this order is Dr. Meerza Ikhtiyar Hussain. He does not like to have his long introduction on this website. However, we would at least add a persian proverb as his introduction, which he conveyed to his disciples in another context. The proverb says,’mushk aanast kaey khud babooyad na kaey attar me goyad’ i.e. the fragrance of musk is itself an introduction to the musk and a chemist / perfume seller does not have to describe its qualities. Besides, he is a poet and has also written several books on the Sufi path.

Following is a list of books (in urdu language) written by Hazrat Dr. Shah Meerza Ikhtiyar Hussain:

Asraar-e-Asra
It presents the esoteric dimension of the ascension (Mairaaj) of Prophet Mohammad (Peace And Blessings of ALLAH Be Upon Him). This is a unique book in a sense that such teachings were only available in the Khanqahs (Sufi Centers), but were never printed in the past.

Muarif -ul-Tasmeeh wal Fateha
The explanation of ‘Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim’ and ‘Sura Fateha’ In the light of ‘Wahdat-ul-Wujud’.

Maftah-ul-Mutaqqiat
The explanation of ‘Huroof-e-Mutaqqiat’ as understood by the Sufis in particular.

Mazarat Aur Bid’at
The different practices and rituals associated with the Sufis, that have been called unislamic by a group of Muslims, have been presented in the light of Quran and Sunnah.

Arkaan-e-Khamsa ki Aarifana Tashreeh
Interpretation of the five pillars of Islam from the Sufi perspective.

Kaifiyat
The poetry collection of Hazrat Dr. Ikhtiyar Hussain Meerza.

Mazameen-e-Kaif
A collection of the articles written by Hazrat Dr. Ikhtiyar Hussain Meerza that were printed in different magazines from time to time.

Ma’arifat Naamae
A collection of the letters written by Hazrat Dr. Ikhtiyar Hussain Meerza.

Shah Niaz ka Farsi Kalaam
The translation of Hazrat Niaz bae Niaz (RA) poetry from persian to urdu alongwith an explanation of certain subtle matters pertaining to spirituality.

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