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Chishtia Awaisia Rule (spiritual silsila)

It is indeed a difficult task to write about Hazrat Babaji's personality and zikr-e-sultani. However, I will try to write something according to how I have understood what zikr-e-sultani is and what different aspects of Hazrat Babaji's life are? I will also give brief introduction of Hazrat Babaji's rule (Chishtia Awaisia).

Brief History of Chishti Rule (Silsila)

First, I would like to say a few words about the Chishti rule itself because the very name of Hazrat Babaji's rule - Chishtia Awaisia - is derived from this name. Generally people think that Chishti rule started from Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti. It is not correct. Hazrat Babar Badshah Sahib (the oldest son of Hazrat Babaji) once explained that the Chishti rule (silsila) started from Hazrat Abu-Ishaq Shami. His Murshid gave him the name of Abu Ishaq Chishti. He also said to him that everyone who would join your silsila (rule) would be known as Chishti. That is the reason that this rule is known as Chishti rule. Since Hazrat Khawaja Gharib-Nawaz also joined this rule, therefore he is known as Chishti.

A Few Words about Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti

Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin is known by different names such as Naib-e-Rasool-fil-Hind (representative of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in the Indian subcontinent), Qutb-ul-Mashaikh, Hind-ul-Wali (Saint of the Indian subcontinent), etc. Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin was unlike other children in his younger age. He would invite other children at meals even when he was only 4 years old. He would never play with common children. Hazrat Khawaja was raised in Khorasan. At the age of 15, Hazrat Khawaja met Hazrat Ibrahim Nakhii who blessed him with divine love. He became pupil of Khawaja Usman Harooni. Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti spread the Chishti rule in the whole world. He actually worked like Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)s to spread the Chishti rule in Indian Subcontinent.

Definition of the Word Awaisia

Awaisia is a term used by sufis. This term means 'like Awais' or 'the way of Awais'. Awais is considered to be among companions of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) - Mohammad (peace be upon him). It is to be noted that both Awais and the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) never met each other physically. However, Awais had such a great love for the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) that although the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had passed away, he himself taught Awais in such a way as if both were alive and saw each other, thus raising Awais to the level of a companion of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). Companion of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) is a Muslim who saw the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) during lifetime of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). This sort of teaching in which Murshid (spiritual teacher or leader) is physically not alive and pupil is alive is therefore called Awaisia way of teaching.

However, it is difficult to describe in simple words how a person who is not living physically can come back to this world and teach somebody. In spiritual world it is possible.

Origin of the Chishtia Awaisia Rule (Silsila)

This rule was started by Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi, commonly known as Hazrat Babaji or Shalbandi Baba (May Allah be pleased with him) with the permission, and at the orders from, Hazrat Khawaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti. As the meanings of the words Chishtia and Awaisia are clear to us now, we can more easily understand why Hazrat Babaji's rule is called Chishtia Awaisia. Since Hazrat Babaji was pupil of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti, this rule is called Chishti. However, Hazrat Babaji and Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti never met in person. Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti was born 700 years ago while Hazrat Babaji was born in the late 19th century. It means both did not see each other physically as we see each other. However, Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti himself gave instructions to Hazrat Babaji. Therefore, Hazrat Babaji's rule is called Awaisia.

Miskeen or Well-mannered Person

Hazrat Babaji's pupils are known as Miskeen (pl. Masakeen - Arabic word meaning 'well-mannered' or 'good-natured' as explained by Hazrat Babar Badshah Sahib). Hazrat Babar Badshah Sahib also explained that the word Miskeen is different from another Arabic word Maskeen which means "poor".

Babaji: Life and Personality

Hazrat Babaji Sahib carried forward the mission of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti around the world. Much like the times of Hazrat Khawaja Moin-un-Din Chishti, the period of Hazrat Babaji Sahib was also full of political and general unrest and difficulties for Muslims. Muslims were under Colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent. Even after its creation, Pakistan remained under pressure due to internal and external difficulties. Babaji actively guided almost all the leaders of the country to work for its welfare just as Hazrat Khawaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti guided Muslim leaders of his time.

Babaji used to rise early in the morning and start his khutba (speech) after Morning Prayer. In his speeches, he would usually explain different Koranic verses, and Hadith. He was master of all four branches of Islamic jurisprudence or fiqh (Shafii, Hanbli, Malki, and Hanfi). When explaining a religious matter, he would quote from all four fiqh. However, he himself followed Hanfi fiqh. His style was very logical in giving answers to different questions. For example, one day a person asked Hazrat Babaji if it was true that we had to touch our ears with our hands when proclaiming Allah-o-Akbar (Allah is the greatest of all) at the beginning of prayers. Babaji said: 'What if some body's ears are cut?' Then he said that we were required only to raise our hands to the 'level' of ears and that was sufficient. Similarly, one of his pupils who worked in Pakistan Television asked him, "Babaji, my male officer has been replaced by a female officer. She is not veiled according to Islamic standard. I want to leave my job because I have to interact with her which I understand is against Islamic teachings. What should I do?" Upon this, Babaji said, "She is your officer. Respect her as you respected your previous officer. Koran says 'Lower your eyes when talking to women'. So avoid maintaining direct eye contact but do perform your duties as usual." Thus, Babaji logically explained an important religious matter in simple words. This is particularly important and very practicable in present times. This also shows the logical and practical approach with which Hazrat Babaji would explain religious matters.

Similarly, Hazrat Babaji always would stress on obeying the parents, saying prayers five times a day, showering praises on the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) (peace be upon him), keeping away from drinking and not keeping illicit relations with other sex. This is in fact the gist of his teachings. He stressed on showering praises upon the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) (peace be upon him) is out of the love for the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and in accordance with the order of Allah. Allah says that He loves those who love His Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). Moreover, the love of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and saying prayers regularly are the bases of true Islamic spirit.

Hazrat Babaji kept Islam very simple for common person. He never put his pupils in the rigorous religious ceremonies. The beauty of his teachings is that he combined religion with daily life, and made Islam very simple for them. He revived the Islamic teachings according to the needs of modern era through personal example. He taught his pupils that religion is like a guide to live our lives in a better way. He would say, "Allah has made clear what is lawful and Allah has made clear what is unlawful. Do what is lawful and do not do what is unlawful."

Hazrat Babaji took pains to serve Islam. He continued to build mosques for 20 years. For another 15 years he would fetch water for people. For another 25 years, he would go to different mountains and would teach first Kalama (the proclamation of unity of Allah) and prayers to people. These were the gypsies who didn't know even the proclamation of unity of Allah ("There is no god but Allah, Mohammad is the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) of Allah") and they didn't know the prayers that Muslims have to say 5 times a day. So Hazrat Babaji would walk all the way up to top of such mountains where it is difficult even to see in the daylight. Babaji would usually have only one piece of shalwar suit. Sometimes when Babaji would come back from such travels, his clothes used to be filled with so many lice as somebody's clothes filled with ants if he sat near ant-hole. Hazrat Babar Badshah Sahib said that we would give Hazrat Babaji a piece of cloth or veil to cover his body and take his only suit for washing. He never had more than one suit nor would he spare himself another one.

Hazrat Babaji was very careful in the use of words. For example, he would say, "Do not call yourselves 'sinful', but say 'we are prone to err,' because when you say 'we are sinful,' you witness against yourselves before Allah." Similarly, when praying for the health of people, he would say, "O God, give them health 'to serve you', give them health 'to do good deeds'." He taught others to do the same when praying from Allah.

Babaji Sahib always showed humility in his attitude. He never wore turban or tiara unlike many sufis who wear as a sign of distinction. Once a person mentioned this, upon which Hazrat Babaji said, "My head is not big enough to wear turban." He would frequently refer to his pupils as pupils of Hazrat Khawaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti.

Babaji would take care of everybody. He would go to whosoever happened to be sick. He would attend to the funeral of whosoever died and would pray to Allah to forgive the deceased. Particularly, if any of his pupils would die, Babaji would go to his funeral, and pray thus: "May Allah put you in the ease in the world hereafter."

Hazrat Babaji never deviated even a single inch from the path of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). Hazrat Babar Badshah Sahib told that whosoever would come to him, Hazrat Babaji would give them whatever he could. In this context Hazrat Babar Badshah Sahib once narrated that a Miskeen sent him (Babar Badshah Sahib) two shalwar suits from Qatar. Badshah Sahib said that he would occasionally wear those clothes. One day when he came home, those clothes were missing. He inquired from his mother but she didn't tell him where those clothes were. Then one of the family members told Hazrat Babar Badshah Sahib that Hazrat Babaji gave those clothes to some body. Babar Badshah Sahib said he went straight to Hazrat Babaji and said there were other clothes as well. Why didn't he give away one of those? Upon this Hazrat Babaji said: "Yes there were other clothes. However, Allah has said in Koran that you will not walk the path of piety until you give away what is dearest to you', and I liked those clothes very much. So I gave them away thinking that Allah will be very pleased with this act. So my son! I gave those clothes away in the name of God. I will bring you other clothes."

Babaji would teach in a very simple way. He would talk in very fluent manner, without giving many pauses in his speech. Hazrat Babaji's words would fill people's hearts with Zikr and love for Allah and His Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

Babaji occasionally mentioned that there were very few people who would come to him only to seek Allah's path. Most of the people would visit Hazrat Babaji only for worldly benefits. However, Hazrat Babaji never liked to keep the people away from him.

Hazrat Babaji would always talk about different religious matters clarifying the ambiguities therein. For example, once he said: "there are such ignorant people that say that visiting graves (for saying prayers for the dead) is like polytheism. Look! The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said 'visiting graves washes away sins'. Whosoever goes to graveyard and prays for the mercy of Allah, he is benefited by Allah. Allah forgives his sins."

Babaji always stressed on simplicity and convenience in daily life. One day a person said how we should sit in the mosque. He said as your bodies feel comfortable. Similarly, a person asked how we should sit during prayers. He again said as your body feels comfortable.

Babaji never liked publicity. So much so that the only article published about him was regarding his death in 1990. Maulana Kausar Niazi, who had met Hazrat Babaji in person, wrote this article.

One more sign of real sufis is that they always hide themselves. Babaji never told any thing about his spiritual experiences but little. He never tried to impress people by narrating stories about his spiritual powers. However, the only person to whom he revealed himself most was Hazrat Nana Sahib. Babaji loved Hazrat Nana Sahib most. It is said that he never refused Nana Sahib's request.

I must mention here that by narrating all this, I do not mean to praise Babaji. It is not praise. It is a fact and hiding facts is sinful.

Babaji's Love for the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)

One thing in Hazrat Babaji's teachings is very prominent. He had overwhelming love for the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) (peace be upon him). So much that once he said a person who does not love the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) (peace be upon him) does not have faith in God. A person can become Muslim only when he obeys the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). He would also say that obeying the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) is like obeying the God. Allah says that He does not love those who disobey His Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) Mohammad (Peace be upon him).

Hazrat Babaji once said

My friends! The Creator of the Universe has such love for his Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) that he says: "No doubt that Allah and His angels shower praises upon the (Holy) Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). O people, who have put faith (in Allah), shower praises upon him (the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him))." The one who does not this Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has no faith. They can call themselves Muslim only when they follow the beloved Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) (peace be upon him). To love Allah is to love the beloved Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) (peace be upon him).

Once Hazrat Babar Badshah Sahib said, and he swore in the name of Allah, that Hazrat Babaji Sahib lived his life completely according to the teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) (Peace be upon him). He never abused any body through out his life. Hazrat Babaji used to give away what was in addition to his needs. Many a times, his pupils would literally snatch clothes from his hands but Hazrat Babaji would always smile at them.

Similarly, Hazrat Babar Badshah Sahib once quoted another example of how Hazrat Babaji followed the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). Hazrat Babar Badshah Sahib quoted that the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) would say Morning Prayer with the ablution (Wudhu) done at the time of night prayer. Somebody asked him why he did that when he was God's Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). He answered that he wanted to thank God. The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) would stand whole night in prayers. As a result, his feet would swell. Upon this Allah sent message to him that he should say prayers only for some time during night. In the same manner, Hazrat Babaji would rise at 2:00 pm in the night and say Tahajjud prayer (prayer which is said after 1:00 pm and before Morning Prayer). Then he would say Morning Prayer and have a wink for a little time, then rise again and start doing routine tasks.

What is miskeeni?

Miskeeni is a better way to understanding Islam. It is a matter of being practical, outwardly as well as inwardly. Miskeeni is the path that leads to the recognition of Allah - the God Almighty - in a pure and subtle way. It is a gradual process, that is, love of murshid leads to love of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), and the love of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) leads to love of Allah. However, to love the murshid, the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), or Allah is not a matter of mere effort. One should ask for blessing all the time, because what comes through blessing is perfect, as compared to what come through human effort, which is always imperfect.

The teachings of Islam, in a broader perspective, are the same for all Muslims; it is only the mutual relationship of a murshid and mureed that determines the perspective for the mureed's understanding of the teachings of Islam. So, our perspective of Islam is formed by the teachings of our murshid, Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi.

What is Chishtia order?

Hazrat Hasan Moinuddin Chishti, commonly known as Khwaja Gharib Nawaz or Khwaja Sahib, was the founder of Chishtia order in the Subcontinent. He is also known as Sultan-ul-Hind, which means 'The Emperor of Hind/India'. And indeed he is the spiritual emperor of India. The tradition has it that nine million (9,000,000) people converted to Islam as a result of his preaching. His last abode in Ajmer, India, is even today a place of pilgrimage for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Who is an Awaisi successor?

Awaisi, as described in the glossary, is an adjective, which means 'What is attributed to Awais.' The background to this term is provided by the relationship between the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and Hazrat Awais-e-Qarani. Normally, any two persons need to see each other before they can claim acquaintance, and to have a cordial relationship is of course a matter of keeping company. The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had thousands of sahaba. They saw one another almost on a daily basis or at least occasionally. However, the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) never met with Awais, never saw him; there was no contact between them in a worldly manner; yet Awais was dear to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and had his blessings, as the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) introduced Awais in absentia to his sahaba in Madina. It was, therefore, a relationship that defied the constraints of time and space.

A wali, therefore, is described as an Awaisi khalifa to his murshid if he receives blessings, while alive, of his murshid who has departed to the other world, a precondition which determines that the khalifa will know his murshid only spiritually. Our murshid, Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi, is an Awaisi khalifa to Khwaja Sahib.

Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi

Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi breathed a new spirit into the message of Islam and revived the tradition of Chishtia order in a grand way. He never preached too much verbally. He was only a Muslim in the purest sense of the word. Some of his close disciples, who have outlived him, testify that in him was reflected the person of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) --- the way the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) must have lived with all his liking for faqr and his perseverance and grandeur.

Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi laid too much stress on sincerity of faith as compared with practice. This philosophy is based on a hadith of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) which says that all actions are judged by the intent with which they are committed. So, it is of utmost importance for a Muslim to understand that piety cannot be feigned and evil cannot be concealed. Fellow human beings can be deceived, but not the One who has created man. What we need to understand is that abstaining from evil is more important than the commission of good deeds, because if a person cannot resist temptation - cannot abstain from doing or not doing something - his good deeds are likely to be consumed by his wrong deeds, just as fire consumes twigs. In fact, those who do not violate the norms of moral conduct and do not sin despite having the powers to do so are pious people. In other words, to be pious without compulsion is better than being pious under compulsion. More so, good intention is half action Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi placed great emphasis on the humanistic [I need to check this word in the dictionary] aspect of religion. To follow good manners in public life is more important than saying prayers in isolation. To serve humanity is to seek blessings of the God Almighty. Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi abandoned qawwali for the obvious reason that, in his view, to serve people was far better than enjoying a transient ecstasy.

To forgive -- overlook the weaknesses of others -- is a virtue that brings much credit. Pride or looking down on fellow human beings is the greatest of all sins. So much so that it consumes all good deeds.

Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi never wore any particular clothes in daily life to distinguish himself from ordinary people. Once, someone asked him why he did not wear an amama to cover his head, as it was the tradition of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi said he did not think his head was worthy of it. Love and humility are the essence of teachings of Hazrat Mahmood Shah Qureshi.

Note: Readers are requested to consult the glossary for better comprehension of non-English terms used in this document.

Important Note

Now-a-days, there are many people ,who are talking about Allah and His Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in different ways and also about "Olia-e-Karaam".They say that its "SHIRAK" to say "Ya Allah" and "Ya MUHAMMAD (Peace Be Upon Him)" and many more. But, if you think on you own about it, you can understand it easily that they are the people which don`t have any link or contact about the Basics of ISLAM.These people, their FAITH about Islam and Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) is not correct. They are new people .They are the people with new and self made ideas and belief about the basic concept of Islam. If these people are correct, then, why don`t they have any name or link in the history of Islam, although, Islam came to this world about 1500 years ago and we don`t see their name hardly about 100 years ago.Then,how can these people be correct in their sayings. Actually,think on you own that Olia-e-Kraam ,are the correct people and correct source of Islam,because they are the part of Islamic History.They have been the part of Islam in all Eras.

So beware of these people ,their faith and teachings about Islam and Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).
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