Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki

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Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki
Hazrat Khwaja Syed Muhammad Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki
Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki.jpg
Hazrat Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki's mausoleum in Dehli.
Order Chishti
Born 1173 AD / 569 AH
Osh, Transoxiana
Passed away 1235 AD / 634 AH
Delhi, India
Resting place Mehrauli, Delhi, India
Title(s) قطب الاقطاب Qutub ul Aqtab
Predecessor Moinuddin Chishti
Successor Fariduddin Ganjshakar

Hazrat Khwaja Syed Muhammad Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki (Urdu: حضرت خواجہ سیّد محمد قطب الدین بختیار کاکی) was a renowned Sufi saint and scholar of the Chishti Order from Delhi, India. Khwaja Qutbuddin's original name was Bakhtiar but his title was Qutbuddin. The additional suffix of 'Kaki' to his name was attributed to hint by virtue of a miracle that emanated from him at a later stage of his life at Delhi. Popularly, he is also called Khwaja Kaki and Hazrat Qutub Saheb.

He was a born saint and had the honour of being the 'first' Spiritual Successor of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer. Forty days before the demise of his great Pir-o-Murshid, Khwaja Qutubuddin was appointed by him as his recognised Khalifa (spiritual successor) at a formal ceremony at Ajmer, and was deputed to carry on the mission of the Chishti Order of Sufis in India with his headquarters at Delhi. His dargah in Mehrauli, the oldest dargah in Delhi, is the venue of his annual Urs.

His most famous disciple and spiritual successor was Fariduddin Ganjshakar, who in turn became the spiritual master of Delhi's noted Sufi saint, Nizamuddin Auliya, who himself was the spiritual master of Amir Khusro and Nasiruddin Chirag-e-Delhi.

The influence of Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki on Sufism in India was immense. As he continued and developed the traditional ideas of universal brotherhood and charity within the Chisti order, a new dimension of Islam started opening up in India which had hitherto not been present. He forms an important part of the Sufi movement which attracted many people to Islam in India in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.


Family & Early life

Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki was born in 569 A.H. (1173 C.E.) in a small town called Aush (alternatively Awash or Ush) in the Fergana Valley (present Osh, part of historic Transoxiana)

He was born in the middle of the night, a brightness lighting up the whole house and a strange light being caste all around. After his birth it is reupted that he prostrated himself in adoration and uttered the words "Allah, Allah." After sometime he raised his head and the light disappeared.

Geneological Tree

Like many other great Sufi saints, he also belonged to the direct lineage of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, descending from Hazrat Imam HusainRa.gif, the greatest martyr of Islam in the well known tragedy of Kerbela. The following is the genealogical tree of his noble ancestors:

  • Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki Awashi, son of
  • Syed Kamaluddin, son of
  • Syed Musa, son of
  • Syed Ahmed Awashi, son of
  • Syed Kamaluddin, son of
  • Syed Mohammed, son of
  • Syed Ahmed, son of
  • Syed Raziuddin, son of
  • Syed Husammuddin, son of
  • Syed Rashiduddin, son of
  • Syed Jafar, son of
  • Hazrat Nafi-ul-Wajood, son of
  • Syed Ali Musa Raza, son of
  • Syed Musa Kazim, son of
  • Hazrat Jafar Sadiq, son of
  • Hazrat Mohammed Baaqar, son of
  • Hazrat Syed Zain-ul-Abideen, son of
  • Syed-us-Shohoda Hazrat Imam Husain Ra.gif, son of
  • Amir-ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali Karam Allah Wajahu, son-in-law of the
  • Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Early Life & Education

Nobody knew that the son of Syed Kamaluddin who was himself a very pious gentleman, would one day play a most distinguished role in the development and history of Sufism in India. When Hazrat Qutbuddin was just eighteen months old, he lost his father. His mother, who was also a pious and very intelligent lady, however, made suitable arrangements for her dear child's education. At the tender age of 5, he was put under the loving care of a learned tutor, Maulana Abu Hafus, who started him with the teaching of both theological and spiritual sides of knowledge. Along with his early education, he was also devoted to mujahedas (devotional practices) for his spiritual training and when Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti visited Awash, during one of his travels, Khwaja Qutbuddin, who was then 17 years old, offered himself as a Mureed (disciple) to the great saint and sought his blessings for a spiritual career. The great Khwaja Saheb of Ajmer, who had already intuitively perceived the divine spark in the young aspirant, accepted him immediately.


According to Saiyar-ul-Aulia, p. 68, Siyar-ul-Arifeen, p. 48 and Saiyar-ul-Aqtaab; p. 145, it is reported that from Awash, Khwaja Qutbuddin went to Baghdad and there, in the mosque of Imam Abul Lais Samarqandi, he received initiation from Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in the presence of such Sufi dignitaries as Hazrat Sheikh Shahabuddin Suhrawardi, Sheikh Auhaduddin Kermani, Sheikh Burhanuddin Chishti and Sheikh Mohammed Asfahani — all great names in the Sufi world.

His devotion to the Prophet ﷺ

Khwaja Qutbuddin, after his initiation used to offer 95 rakaats (units) of Namaz during the 24 hours of day and night, along with 3000 salutations (darood) every night upon the holy soul of the Holy Prophet Mohammad ﷺ. During the first 3 nights of his first marriage, as he could not maintain the darood, the Prophet ﷺ sent a visionary message, through a pious person named Rais Ahmed, demanding Hazrat Bakhtiar's explanation for this omission. The Khwaja realised his grave error and at once offered Talaaq (legal dissolution of a marriage under the Islamic Shariat) to his wife as a mark of his repentance for the omission. After this incident, he broke off all worldly ties and relations and devoted his full time to the devotion and praises of God and His holy prophet Mohammad ﷺ.


Later on, with a view to mature his knowledge and experience in Sufism Khwaja Qutbuddin proceeded on a prolonged tour to various: places in Afghanistan, Persia and Iraq, the last named being the home of many top-ranking Sufi dervishes of his time. He himself narrates the stories of this tour, as follows:

When I reached Ghazni, I met a very old and venerable dervish who, it was reported, used to give away all that he got in the morning before sun-set, and what he received in the night before dawn. Nobody, rich or poor, ever returned disappointed from his Khanqah (monastery). The hungry were duly fed and the naked were duly clothed. When I talked to him, he said: "I have been doing all sorts of Mujahedas for the past 40 years continually but without any avail: I never had any vision of the Divine Light during this long period. But ever since I reduced my sleep, cut off my food to the minimum, restricted the use of my tongue (i.e. speech) and shunned all people, I started getting Divine Light and now I can see things right upto Arsh-e-Mualla (Divine Throne according to Islamic conviction) and nothing is hidden from me between the heavens and the earth. (Fawaid-us-Salikin, Part I).

He adds :

Once I was on a sea voyage when I met a dervish at a seaport who was perfect in Sufism. Due to hard Mujahedas' (strivings), he was reduced to a mere skeleton. After the chaasht prayer (8-9 A.M.) he used to attend his Langarkhana (kitchen) and keep himself busy till afternoon in the distribution of food to hundreds of hungry people. Every person was fed to his heart's content and for those who needed clothes, he would go into his hujra (cell) and bring out new clothes for distribution. When everything was distributed from the kitchen, he used to offer his Zohar (afternoon) prayers.

It was his standing order to his Mureeds (disciples) that whenever anyone called on him no time must be lost in admitting him to his presence. He would then put his hand under the corner of his Musalla (prayer carpet) and whatever came in his hand, he gave it to the caller. I stayed with him for some time. With all 'his munificence, he himself always used to observe fasting. At the time of Iftaar (breaking time of the Islamic fast), he received only 4 khurmas (dates) from some 'unseen' source of which he ate only two and gave me the remaining two. One day he addressed me: "My dear, unless and until a Faqeergives up people's company, gives away all he receives, sits in seclusion, eats little, sleeps little, speaks little, he cannot attain "nearness to God". (Fawaid-us-Salikin, Part I).

A strange incident

Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin relates another interesting incident of his travels. He says:

Once I was staying on the bank of a river with my most intimate friend, Qazi Hamiduddin Nagauri. We saw that a very big scorpion was speeding up in a direction. O spoke to my friend that there appears to be some 'divine secret' behind this phenomenon; let us follow the scorpion to find it out. My friend agreed and we followed the scorpion and saw that it reached the bottom of a big tree where it furiously stung a monstrous Azdaha (boa) who died at once. Nearby we noticed a man who was fast asleep. Taking him to be a very pious person, we did not like to disturb him but waited to speak to him when he was awake. But when we approached him, we felt a very obnoxious smell and found that he was horribly drunk (with wine). We were indeed greatly surprised to see him in this sinful condition on the one hand, and God Almighty's favour upon him, on the other, in saving him from that monstrous boa whom the scorpion had killed. Just as we were wondering over the incident, we heard a 'Nida'(divine voice) that vibrated in the surroundings. It said: "If We (God) keep ourfavours reserved for the holy and the pious only, then who would look after the sinful? This Nida shook off the sleep of the man who was awfully frightened to see the Azdaha lying by him. When we related the incident of the scorpion and the boa to him, he felt extremely ashamed, so much so that after some time, we heard, he renounced the world and became one of the most pious persons of his time. He undertook the pilgrimage to Mecca 70 times on foot.

Another strange incident

Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin goes on:

Once, during the Hajj, I and my intimate friend Qazi Hamiduddin Nagauri were making rounds of the Kaaba following a dervish whose name was Sheikh Usman, and who was one of the descendants of Sheikh Abu Bakr Shibli. Out of great respect, we were following him by putting our feet on the impressions of his feet. By his intuitive powers Sheikh Usman, however, found out what we were doing. He turned round and said: "It will do you no good by following me in my foot¬prints in this fashion. If you really wish to follow me, then try to follow my Inward Light." We enquired as to what his Inward Light was? He said: "I finish recitation of the Holy Quran 1000 times a day". We were greatly surprised at this apparently fantastic claim because it was humanly impossible to read the voluminous Holy Quran 1000 times in a day. We thought perhaps he may be exaggerating and reading only a word or two of each Surah of the Quran. But just as we were contemplating like this, Sheikh Usman turned back and said: "Do you take, it to be a bluff? I again repeat that I read the Holy Quran 1000 times daily word by word.'" We kept quiet and when I related this story before a gathering of some distinguished dervishes in one of our private meetings, Maulana Auhaduddin Kermani said: "Anything which is beyond human conception or comprehension is a miracle, because, before a miracle, all human intelligence fails and is unable to fathom into the 'divine mysteries' which only prophets and walees can see."

Shihabuddin Suhrawardi

In a private sitting with his 'mureeds' Hazrat Qutbuddin said:

I had many occasions to see Hazrat Sheikh Shihabuddin Suhrawardi in Baghdad. He was indeed a wonderful Sufi. During all my travels, I never saw such a pious and God-fearing Faqeer so intimately devoted to God as he was.

To the rescue of Multan

In one of his travels, Khwaja Qutbuddin is reported to have visited Multan where he was received by Hazrat Sheikh Bahauddin Zakariya Suhrawardi with great respect. Hazrat Bahauddin has a great reputation as a Sufi dervish of his time in India. His headquarters were in Multan and we shall see more about him, later on, in this publication. During Khwaja Qutbuddin's stay in Multan, the Mughals are reported to have attacked India and besieged Multan. The Governor of Multan, named Qabacha Beg, begged Hazrat Qutbuddin for his spiritual help and blessing to ward off the attack of the Mughals and, it is reported, he succeeded in repulsing the enemy by the grace of God.

Arrival in Delhi

It is reported that when Khwaja Qutbuddin arrived in Delhi from Ajmer, Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish, who was the ruler of India at Delhi, went out of the city to welcome the Khwaja because he had very great respect for Sufi dervishes. He wanted to arrange for Qutub Saheb's stay in the city, but the latter preferred to stay at Kelu Kheri, a suburb of Delhi. The Sultan, however, used to wait upon him twice a week in order to receive his spiritual blessings and guidance. The Sultan, later on, became a regular and most dutiful disciple of Hazrat Qutbuddin. At this stage, he again requested his Pir to come and stay with him in the city because in attending upon him at Kelu Kheri, which he must do, he had to spend much of his time which he could save to attend to the affairs of his government Hazrat Qutub Saheb agreed and shifted to the mosque of Malik Ainuddin in the city.

Sheikh-ul-Islam's Jealousy

After the death of Delhi's Sheikh-ul-Islam, Nooruddin Ghaznavi, the Sultan wanted Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin to take up this august post but when the latter flatly refused, he appointed Sheikh Najmuddin Sughra who was one of the mureeds of Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni — the great Pir-o-Murshid of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. But, due to the great popularity of Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin both at the Sultan's court and among the citizens of the State, Sheikh Najmuddin carried a serious jealousy against Khwaja Qutbuddin and wanted to get him out of Delhi by any means whatever. He used to defame Qutub Saheb whenever an opportunity presented itself. It is a historical fact that the worshippers of wealth, power and fame have always borne grudge and jealousy against Sufi dervishes who had no love for money or fame except the love of God and selfless service of mankind.

His love for his Pir

It is reported that once, out of the unbearable love for his Pir-o-Murshid (Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti) Khwaja Qutbuddin wrote a letter seeking his Pir's permission to go to Ajmer and satisfy the thirst of his love by kissing his Murshid's feet. But, in the mean time, Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin, who also loved his disciple dearly, himself started for Delhi and reached their quite unexpectedly. Here the Sultan and the public, when they heard of the arrival of Hazrat Khwaja Saheb, all came out of the city to offer their homage and welcome greetings to him. But the Sheikh-ul-Islam of Delhi, i.e. Sheikh Najmuddin Sughra did not take any notice of Khwaja Saheb's arrival. However out of his own regard and courtesy for his brother Khalifa (as Najmuddin was also one of the Khalifas of Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni, the Pir-o-Murshid of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin), Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin himself went to see the Sheikh at his home. When they met, the Sheikh bitterly complained that "due to the presence and popularity of Khwaja Qutbuddin in Delhi, his own position as Sheikh-ul-Islam had become practically nil" Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin, for the sake of removing even this absurd grievance, ordered his disciple, Khwaja Qutbuddin, to leave Delhi and go to Ajmer with him.

Delhi's public demonstration

When this news reached the Sultan, he felt awfully upset and beseeched Khwaja Saheb not to take away Khwaja Qutbuddin from Delhi. But it was not accepted and the Khwaja Saheb started back for Ajmer with Khwaja Qutbuddin. When the citizens of Delhi saw this they wailed and wept and protested imploringly before Hazrat Khwaja Saheb to leave Khwaja Qutbuddin with them in Delhi He was so much loved and esteemed that the people used to pick up the dust from under his feet and smear it upon their eyes. When Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin saw this overwhelming love for his beloved disciple in Delhi, he said: "Baba Qutub you may stay here because I do not like to hurt the feelings of this vast multitude by taking you away from them." And so Khwaja Qutbuddin remained in Delhi as people's spiritual preceptor upto the time of his last breath.

Khwaja Qutbuddin was, however, summoned to Ajmer before the death of his Pir-o-Murshid.

The Death of his Pir-o-Murshid Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti

Before a gathering of his mureeds, Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin delivered a last sermon 40 days before his death at Ajmer when Hazrat Qutbuddin was also present The great Khwaja Saheb said: "The whole world is illuminating with the Divine Light of God Almighty." Finishing this first sentence, his eyes swelled up with contemplative tears. After a pause, he resumed: "O dervishes. God has brought me to this place so that I may die and lie here for ever. Now, after a few days. I am leaving this world." This declaration sent a gloomy wave of sorrow and despondency among all present. Sheikh Ali Sanjari, his attendant and correspondent was also present in the gathering. Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz ordered him to write down a "Firman" (order) in favour of Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki of Delhi saving that he must go to Delhi "I appoint him as my Sajjadanashin at Delhi along with the sacred relics of our Khwajgaan-e-Chisht. "Then, addressing Khwaja Qutbuddin. he said "Your place is Delhi."

The parting scene

Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin says "When the Firman was ready, it was handed over to me and I was called to go near my Pir. When I did so, he put his kulah (headgear) on my head and wrapped the turban with his own sacred hands He then gave me Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni's Asa (holy staff), his own copy of the Holy Quran, his musalla (prayer carpet) and a pair of sandals and said:

These are the most sacred relies of our Holy Prophet ﷺ which have come down to us through the past generations of our Khwajgaan-e-Chisht (succeeding dervishes in the silsila of Chishti saints) which were entrusted to me by my Pir-o-Murshid, Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni. Now I am giving them to you. You should prove yourself worthy of them, like our revered predecesors in our Order, so that on the Day-of-Judgment I may not suffer shame before God and our holy predecessors.

Parting affection

Hazrat Qutbuddin accepted these "Tabarrukaat-e-Mustafavi" (sacred relics mentioned above) and offered two rakaats of Namaz in gratitude to God for this very responsible and onerous honour. After this, Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin grasped the hand of Khwaja Qutbuddin and lifting his face towards the sky, bade him goodbye, saying — "I entrust you to God. I have done my duty in bringing you up to this stage of perfection as your Pir."

Parting advice

Hazrat Khwaja Saheb then gave the parting advice to his spiritual successor, He said:

"There are four things which are the essence of Sufism.
  1. A Sufi must appear outwardly like a well-to-do and contented person, although he may be poor and hungry.
  2. A Sufi must feed the poor to their heart's satisfaction.
  3. A Sufi must always remain in a sorrowful mood inwardly but outwardly he must appear quite happy, cheerful and contented before the world.
  4. A Sufi must always forgive and treat his enemy with all due affection and kindness.

When Khwaja Qutbuddin intended to kiss the feet of his Pir-o-Murshid and seek his permission to depart, Hazrat Khwaja Saheb understood it and asked him to be nearer, and when Qutub Saheb stepped up and fell down upon his Pir's feet, Khwaja Saheb raised him up and embraced him affectionately. A fateha was then recited and Khwaja Moinuddin advised his disciple further: Never turn your face from the right path of Sufism and Truth. Prove yourself to be a brave man in this divine mission." When Khwaja Qutbuddin again fell down upon his feet, overwhelmed with love and grief at this tragic hour of Parting, he was again raised and embraced affectionately by his Pir-o-Murshid. And this was the last embrace of his life with his beloved mureed and spiritual successor.

Accordingly, Khwaja Qutbuddin left Ajmer for Delhi with a few other dervishes amd took up his appointment there as ordered. Hardly 20 days had passed when news was brought by a qaasid (messenger) that after his departure for Delhi, Khwaja Moinuddin lived for 20 days and then passed on.



Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin and his family (for he had married again after the divorce of his first wife as mentioned in the foregoing pages) had to face faaqaa (unavoidable starvation due to renouncement. Often, after several days of faaqaa, his wife used to buy some provisions through the help of a loan from the wife of a neighbouring baqqaal (the provision dealer) to arrange for food. One day the wife of of the baqqaal taunted Hazrat Qutub Saheb's wife saying, "If I stop lending you money, you and your children would starve to death." When this taunt was brought to the notice of Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin, he forbade his wife to borrow anything from the baqqaal's wife in future but to take out as many kaks (a kind of very tasty bread) as she needed from the niche of his hujra (cell) by reciting Bismillah Sharif(the first Quranic adoration) which is "In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate." The lady did the same and the necessity of a loan never arose again. It was this miraculous incident which indicates the popular 'suffix' of the word of 'kaki' to Hazrat Qutbuddin's name.

With all his self-imposed extreme poverty, Hazrat Qutbuddin was too magnanimous and liberal like all other Sufi dervishes. Whatever things came to his Khanqah (monastery) were quickly distributed among the poor and the needy every day. Any day if there was nothing in the kitchen, he would order his attendants and mureeds to start distribution of plain water as a humble token of his hospitality to all callers, etc.

Picture of forbearance

Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin was a picture of patience and forbearance. It is exemplified by the incidence of his young son's death. When the people returned after the child's burial, Hazrat Qutub Saheb's wife, overwhelmed by grief, began to wail and cry. When the Khwaja Saheb (who was not present at the time of the child) enquired the reason of this wailing, it was disclosed by his Mureeds that his little son had died. He said: "If I knew, I would have prayed to God for the child's long life. But now we must resign to the will of the Almighty."

His 'mujahedas' (striving)

Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin suffered extreme hardships and privations during the course of his mujahedas and riyazat (strivings) According to "Siyar-ul-Aulia", (p.49), it is recorded that in the beginning of his career, he could afford to have some sleep but in the concluding years of his life, he never slept and used to say: "If I ever sleep, I feel uneasy and sick." For 20 years he never slept in the night, nor did he ever touch his back to the floor even for a moments rest. He was also all the time deeply absorbed in muraqaba (lost in devotion of God) so much so that if anybody came to see him, he regained consciousness with some difficulty and delay. It was only at the time of Namaz that he regained the state of sehav (normality).

In the concluding years of his life, he had committed the Holy Quran by heart and used to recite and finish it twice every day. According to "Jawama-ul-Kalum", Khwaja Qutbuddin used to remain in his cell in a state of broken-heartedness, tongue- tied, sighing and weeping. When the crowd of eager devotees and visitors swelled outside his hujra, he came out to meet them and ordered his 'mureeds' in the Khanqah to offer the people a cup of water if there was nothing else to offer hospitality. And when they were busy drinking the water, he used to give them brief sermons to lead a God fearing and religious life. After seeing them off, he again went into his hujra and resumed his devotional muraqaba.

Learning of Quran by heart

Like his Pir-o-Murshid, Khwaja Qutbuddin also entertained a burning love for the Holy Prophet ﷺ as mentioned before in connection with his offering of 3000 'darood-o-salaam' (salutations) every night in praise of the Prophet ﷺ. In his meetings too, he always used to advocate, with great love, strict obedience to the traditions of the prophet ﷺ. One day, in one of such meetings, he disclosed:

In the beginning of my career as a dervish, I could not succeed in remembering the Holy Quran by heart despite my very best efforts to do so. One night I saw the Holy Prophet ﷺ in a dream. I fell at his feet and represented my eagerness to learn the Holy Quran by heart. The prophet expressed his compassion for me and asked me to raise my head. When I did so, he instructed me to repeat Surah Yusuf (a chapter of the Holy Quran) which, he said, would enable me to learn the holy book by heart. Accordingly I carried out the command of the Prophet ﷺ and succeeded in learning the Quran by heart.
(This is a precious hint for all those who want to learn the Holy Quran by heart).

Love of Sama & Passing on

Like his predecessors, Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin was also very fond of Sama (Qawwali) and used to hold Sama Mahfils often at his place or join such Mahfils sometimes at the place of his dear friend Qazi Hamiduddin Nagauri. He also attended Sama Mahfils at the Khanqahs of other dervishes. In a Sama Mahfil, the Qawwal was singing the following Persian couplet under the spell of which Hazrat Qutubudd in remained in a state of ecstasy for 4 days and nights consecutively, except prayer times:-

Sarod cheest ke chandeen fasoon-e-ishq daroast,

Sarod mehram-e-ishq ast-o-ishq mehram-e-oast

What is music and why there is so much enchantment of love in it?

(Because) music is the secret of divine love and love is the secret of God

Hazrat Qutbuddin's love for Sama reached its climax when he died in a state of wajd(ecstasy). When this incident took place, the Qawwal was singing the following Persian couplet of Sheikh Ahmed Jam's famous Qaseeda at the monastery of Sheikh Ali Sijistani at Delhi:-

Kushtagaan-e-khanjar-e-tasleem raa,

Har zamaan azz gheb jaan-e-deegar ast

For the victims of the sword of divine love,

there is a new life every moment from the unseen

Shaheed-e-Mohabbat (martyr of God's love)

Qazi Hamiduddin Nagauri and Sheikh Badruddin Ghuznavi helped to bring Khwaja Qutbuddin in his state of wajd to his home, (the Qawwals repeating the said couplet), where he remained in the same state for 3 consecutive days and nights and expired on the 4th day; his condition becoming worse with the passing of each day. This happened in 634 AH. or 1237 A.D. at Delhi and on account of this extraordinary death, Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin is known as "Shaheed-e-Mohabbat" (martyr of God's love).

At the time of death, Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin's head was resting on the thigh of his beloved friend Qazi Hamiduddin Nagauri, while both of his hands were in the lap of Sheikh Badruddin Ghuznavi.

Place of burial

A few weeks before his death, Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin was returning home after the Idd prayer when he stayed at a place on the way and told his companions: "I feel the smell of love coming out of this place." The owner of the land was summoned immediately and it was purchased. This is the same place where the great saint was buried and where his illustrious Dargah stands upto this day. It is situated in Mahrauli, a small habitation in the suburbs of New Delhi. The famous "Qutub Minar" of Delhi stands near his Dargah.

His Titles

Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin's rank is very high in the Sufi world. He enjoys the following titles:

  1. Qutub-ul-Aqtaab
  2. Qutub-ul-Islam
  3. Malik-ul-Mashaikh
  4. Sultan-ul-Tariqat
  5. Burhan-ul-Haqiqat
  6. Rais-us-Salikin
  7. Imam-ul-Aamileen
  8. Siraj-ul-Aulia
  9. Taj-ul-Asfia

His Spiritual Successors (Khalifas)

Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki had 27 Khalifas who carried on his teachings in Sufism in different parts of India, apart from Delhi and its adjoining provinces. Of them, Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar, Hazrat Sheikh Badruddin Ghaznavi, Sheikh Barhanuddin Balakhi, Sheikh Ziauddin Rumi, Sultan Shamsuddin Al-Tamish and Qazi Hamiduddin Nagauri are most prominent.

Teachings & Publications

Hazrat Qutbuddin has written a masterpiece on Sufism in Persian, called. "Fawaid-us-Salikin." It contains his malfoozaat' (teachings and sayings) in 7 brief chapters and was compiled and arranged by his first spiritual successor, Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar, who carried on the distinguished work of the Chishtia Order, after Hazrat Qutbuddin's death.

Fawaid-us-Salikin is not a voluminous publication and contains only 36 pages and but features all those delicate points, instructions and life-long experiences of the saint which are necessary for a Sufi dervish to achieve perfection in this divine creed. Here is a very brief but choice summary of them as described by Baba Fariduddin :-

The life of a Sufi

A Sufi must eat very little. If he eats full-belly, he is a slave of his Nafs. He must eat only to retain sufficient vitality to enable him to keep his body and soul together, so that he may be able to perform his devotional duties conveniently and successfully.

A Sufi's dress must be very simple, free of all pomp and show. If he wears his dress for the sake of show, he is a dacoit in the path of renunciation.

A Sufi must talk and sleep as little as possible to avoid all sorts of worthless worldly entanglements.

Hazrat Bayazid Bastami strived unsuccessfully in the devotion of God for 70 years at a stretch in order to get 'nearness to God'. He, however, succeeded in attaining this 'nearness-to-God' only when he threw away even his last earthen bowl (aabkhara) in which he used to drink water and his only leather 'khirqa' (cloak) in order to complete his renouncement of the world, thus depending absolutely upon, and surrendering himself completely to, the will, pleasure and mercy of God.

A Sufi's love for God

"A Sufi must always remain deeply absorbed in the love of God so much so that if, in his state of sukr both the heaven and earth enter into his chest, he should not feel their presence. If a Sufi, in the path of his love and devotion to God, complains against the hardships and privations, he cannot claim himself to be a true lover and friend of God; he is only a hypocrite and liar. True divine friendship means that whatever, good or bad, he gets from the friend'(God) he must take it as a great boon and blessing from Him because even by any tortuous tests, his 'friend' at least remembered him.

Therefore, Hazrat Rabia Basri, the woman saint, used to feel sorry and unhappy on the day when no new calamity or hardship befell her. She thought that her 'friend' (God) had forgotten her. On the other hand, when she had a new calamity or trouble, she felt extremely happy because she took, it as a token of her friend's kind remembrance of her.

Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti also says that "a Sufi who cannot bear the hardships and privations in the love of his friend (God) has no right to claim His friendship, because a friend's torture comes only to a friend. The day these hardships are stopped, he should consider that he is being depriver his friend's attention, blessings and boon. In Sufism. the names of blessings, favours or boons are tortures hardships and privations".

Stages in Sufism

Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin says; "According to Mashaikh-e-Tariqat (great Sufis) there are 180 stages in the path of Sufism, but according to Junaidia silsila there are 100 stages; according to Zunnooni silsila there are 70 stages; according to Ibrahim Bashar Haafi, there are 50 stages; according to Khwaja Bayazid Bastami, Abdulla Mubarik and Khwaja Safyaan Soori, there are 45 stages in the path of Sufism. According to Shah Shuja Kirmani, Samnoon Hujjat and Khwaja Mar'Atish, there are 20 stages but according to the Chishtia silsila there are only 15 stages. All these various stages include a stage of miracles or karaamaat also. Among these different 'silsilas' serially, the stages of miracles stand at numbers 80, 50, 30, 25, 10 and 5 respectively. It is however, strictly warned that, after attaining the 'stage of miracles', a Sufi must never disclose it because by doing so, he would be deprived of all the other stages already attained by him, and all his hard earned and precious strivings and lifelong devotion and 'Mujahedas' would be lost."

Divine secrets must never be disclosed

Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin has strictly forbidden against the disclosure of the 'divine secrets' in Sufism. He says; "A Sufi must have a very strong courage, will-power and tolerance to resist the temptation of divulging divine secrets of his 'friend' (God)."

He gives his own example and says that he never divulged the secrets of his Pir-o-Murshid under any circumstances although he stayed with him for many years together. According to him, Mansoor Hallaj (who was crucified in the well known episode of "Anal-Huq" was not a perfect Sufi because he divulged the 'divine secret' and had to pay the penalty with his life, as his story goes. He said, "In the state of 'Sukr' Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi had to suffer an extremely difficult time but he never disclosed his divine secrets to any one and used to say: "A thousand pities on that lover who is madly in love with his 'beloved' (God), but when he sees the latter's myriad divine secrets and beauties, he discloses them before others."

Adherence to Shariat

Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin advocates, and strongly recommends, strict adherence to the Laws of Shariat for a Sufi. In whatever condition he may be, paticularly in the state of 'Sukr', none of his acts must exceed or trespass the limits of Shariat. Whenever he himself was in the state of 'Sukr', he used to regain normal stage to fulfil the conditions of Shariat to offer his Namaz. (Fawaid-us-Salikin).

Quotes & Sayings

The enlightened is one who may experience strange conditions every moment and every hour, and he may be so absorbed that if at that moment the earth and every other thing enters his breast, he may be quite unmindful of their so entering therein.
For the enlightened, no curtain is greater than the world itself. The path of enlightenment requires courage of a very high order, so that the secrets may gain ground and may not be exposed, for the secret is the mystery of the Friend.
The claimant of love who complains in time of trouble is not sincere in love, but on the contrary, is a pretender and a liar.
He, who is perfect does not expose the secret of the Friend.
When the dervish becomes perfect, whatever he wills that happens.
The dervish will never attain the position of nearness, unless and until, he becomes a stranger to all his friends and relatives and takes to renunciation and frees himself from the attachment of the world.
The dervish who eats to his heart's content, out of desire of self, is a worshipper of the self and not a dervish at all.
Sainthood is not a pleasure, but implies embroilment in the troubles of the world.
The spiritual guide and teacher should possess so much power, that he is able to clean the darkness within the heart of his disciple by the dint of his inward power and may cause him to reach God.
The spiritual disciple must remain the same in the presence and absence of his spiritual guide and teacher, and after his passing away may show him greater respect.
Whatever pleasure there is in music, is not contained in any other thing and that such a condition cannot be attained without music.
The manifestation of supernatural powers will deprive one of the remaining stages of life.
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