Birth Name: Hazrat Baba Fareed-uddin Masood Ganjshakar Dari
Born in: 29th Shabaan in 569 A.H. In Khotwal, a village near Lahore.
It is narrated that a miracle occurred before his birth proving his Saintship. One day, during the pregnancy of his mother, she wanted to pluck some plums from her neighbour’s tree although she had not obtained permission. The child in her womb (Hazrat Baba Fareed) created a severe pain in her stomach and forced her to abandon the idea of plucking, stopping her from acting unlawfully. After a few years after Hadrat Baba Fareed’s Razi Allah Anhu birth, his mother lovingly expressed: “My dear son, during your confinement, I never ate anything which was unlawful.” Hazrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu, however, smiled and said, “But, my dear mother, you wanted to pluck some plums from our neighbour’s tree without his permission, and I had created a severe pain in your stomach which saved you from this unlawful act.”
After he had completed his early religious education at the age of 7 in Khotwal, his mother for higher education sent him to Multan. Here, he stayed in a masjid where he learnt the Holy Quran by heart and studied Hadith, Fiqh, Philosophy and Logic under the tutorship of Moulana Minhajuddin.
During his studies, Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Razi Allah Anhu of Delhi visited Multan where Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu became his mureed (disciple) in the Chistiya Silsila. Upon the instructions of his Peer-o-Murshid, he undertook a tour of Islamic countries, for about 18 years from 593 A.H. to 611 A.H. He travelled to Ghazni, Baghdad Sharif, Jerusalem, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Mecca and Medina meeting many great saints and Sufis. After the demise of Hazrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Razi Allah Anhu the mantle of spiritual leadership in the Chistiya Silsila fell on the shoulders of Hazrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu when Khwaja Qutbuddin Razi Allah Anhu nominated him to be his Khalifa or spiritual successor.
It is narrated that when Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu visited Madinah Sharif he was spiritually commanded by the Holy Prophet sallal of alaihi wasallam to visit Baghdad Shareef and meet Hazrat Abdul Wahab, son of Hadrat Ghaus-ul-Azam Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu. He was to receive some sacred relics from him. Accordingly, when he reached Baghdad Sharif, he received a box from Hadrat Abdul Wahab Razi Allah Anhu which contained the folowing holy relics: Two flag-poles which were used by the Holy Prophet sallal of alaihi wasallam in some of the battles fought by him; one wooden bowl in which Huzoor sallal of alaihi wasallam used to eat; one pair of scissors and one Turban which was used by the Holy Prophet sallal of alaihi wasallam.
Because of political upheavals in Delhi, he was obliged to shift the centre of the Chistiya mission from Delhi to Ajodhan now known as “Paak Patan”. The Khanqah of Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu, with his patronage, became a great university of Moral and Spiritual Training. Thousands of aspirants, scholars, dervishes and Sufis reaped benefit from this spiritual university. Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu reached the pinnacle of spiritual glory through extremely hard Mujahedas (spiritual striving) to gain mastery over the Nafs.
Once Hadrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Razi Allah Anhu ordered Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu to perform the Chilla-e-Makoos for 40 days. This chilla was seldom undertaken by Sufis and was one of the most difficult tests of Hadrat Khwaja Baba Fareed’s Razi Allah Anhu faith and courage. It was to be performed in a well by hanging himself in a reverse or headlong position with his feet tied up by a rope to a sturdy branch of a treetop.
Once, due to weakness, Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu helped himself to walk with the aid of a staff. But after a few steps, the colour of his face suddenly became purple, as if he was under heavy punishment and so he threw away the staff. When Hadrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Razi Allah Anhu, who was escorting him, enquired the reason for this, Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu replied, “I wanted to take help of the staff, but Allah’s displeasure frowned upon me for depending on other’s help instead of His. I, therefore, threw away the staff and felt highly ashamed of this weakness in my faith in Allah, the Almighty.”
It is also narrated that once a trader was taking a caravan of camels laden with sugar from Multan to Delhi. When he was passing through Ajodhan (now Pakistan), Hadrat Baba Fareed-uddin Razi Allah Anhu enquired casually as to what he was carrying on his camels. The trader sarcastically replied, “It is salt.”
Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu also affirmed, “Yes, it may be salt.” When the trader reached Delhi, he was awfully perturbed to find that all his bags of sugar had turned to salt. He immediately returned to Ajodhan and apologised before Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu. Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu said: “If it is sugar then it shall be sugar.” The trader returned to Delhi and was pleased to find that the salt had turned back to sugar. This is how Hadrat Baba Razi Allah Anhu received the title of Ganj e Shakar.
One of the devotees of Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu named Mohammed Neshapuri lived in Gujarat and was coming to Delhi with three other companions. On their way in the jungle, robbers encountered them. Mohammed Neshapuri and his companions had no arms to defend themselves. In such a helpless state, Mohammed Neshapuri remembered his Pir, Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu, and also offered prayers seeking Allah’s help in their predicament. Suprisingly, the robbers threw away their arms and offered apology to the party and went away.
One day some poor people came from Arabia to see Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu and said they were strangers to the land and that all their money was spent before the end of the journey. Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu gave them some dried dates which were lying in front of him at the moment and said, “Take them and go. Your journey shall be completed by the Grace of Allah.” Apparently, these persons were very disappointed with such a “cheap gift”. After leaving the Khanqah, they wanted to throw away the dates, but just as they were about to do so, to their amazement, the dates turned into gold. Regretting their miscalculations, these people left happily uttering their heartfelt gratitude and prayers for Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu.
He fasted throughout his life and maintained his nightly prayers and devotions. Fear of Allah always dominated him. He was a staunch devotee of Prophet Muhammad sallal of alaihi wasallam and dedicated his entire life to the veneration of the Beloved Prophet’s sallal of alaihi wasallam immortal glory. At the mention of the Holy Prophet’s sallal of alaihi wasallam character, he would often weep out of his love and devotion. Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu avoided the company of kings, government officials and the rich. He also warned his Khalifas, devotees and mureeds to avoid their company. He was a living picture of humility. Whatever he received was spent in the Name of Allah and his chest overwhelmed with mercy and forgiveness. Many miracles are attributed to him during his lifetime and after his passing away.
On the 5th of Muharram, during the Esha prayer while in the act of Sajdah, he uttered “Ya Hayyo Ya Qayyum” and with these words on his lips his soul disappeared into the Eternal Bliss of his Beloved Allah. Immediately a “Nida” or Divine Voice declared: “Dost ba Dost Pewast” – Friend has merged into the unity of Friend (Allah).
His Mazaar Shareef is in Paak Patan, Pakistan. Hadrat Sabir Paak, Hadrat Nizamuddin Awliya and Hadrat Jamaluddin Hansi Razi Allah Anhu are among his favourite Mureeds and Khalifas. It is generally recognized that he had three wives and many children. Hadrat Baba Fareed Razi Allah Anhu was indeed one of the most brilliant stars of the Chistiya Silsila and is held in high esteem by one and all.
Hazrat Baba Fareed-uddin Ganj e Shakar Razi Allah Anhu was born on the 29th Shabaan in 569 A.H. in Khotwal, a village near Lahore. He was a direct descendant of Hazrat Umar Farooq Razi Allah Anhu, the second Caliph of Islam.
One day a mureed named Mohammed Shah came to Hazrat Baba Farid in a most disturbed state of mind. When Baba Farid enquired the reason, Mohammed Shah said that his brother was most dangerously ill and that he had left him in the state of a coma, only to come and plead to Hazrat Baba Farid's for his blessing. Baba Farid said: "Your brother is healthy; you are worrying about nothing." When Mohammed Shah rushed back to his home, he was amazed to see his brother sitting and talking and, in fact, eating his food as if he had never been ill.
One day some poor people came from Arabia to see Hazrat Baba Farid and told him that they were strangers to the land, and were on a journey but they had spent all their money before their journey's end. Hazrat Baba Farid gave them some dried dates which were lying in front of him at the moment and said: "Take them and go; your journey shall be completed by the grace of God." These persons were very disappointed with such an apparently "cheap gift" from an saint like Hazrat Baba Farid. After going out of the Khanqah, they wanted to throw the dates away. But, just as they were thinking so, the dates, to their great amazement, turned into gold. Regretting their miscalculation, these persons went away happilly, uttering heartfelt gratitude and prayers for Baba Farid.
Once Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia recommended a person, who was suffering from a incurable disease, to see Hazrat Baba Farid for his blessings. The saint took a piece of paper, wrote upon it "Allah Kaafi Allah Shaafi" and gave it to the man asking him to wear it around his neck. As soon as he wore it, he was completely cured of his ailment.
According to "Rahat-ul-Quloob," Sheikh Arif Sewastani was one of Hazrat Baba Farid's devoted mureeds who lived in Lahore. Once the governor of Lahore gave him 100 dinar' and sent him to Ajodhan to present the amount to Hazrat Baba Farid on his behalf as 'nazrana'. When Sheikh Arif reached Ajodhan, he presented only 50 'dinars' to Hazoor Baba Farid. The great saint smiled and told Sheikh Arif that he was presenting just half of the present. Upon this the Sheikh turned pale and was extremely upset. He at once laid the remaining 50 at Baba Farid's feet and apologised for his fault. Baba Farid then warned him and said:
|“||A dervish must always remain honest otherwise he would never attain perfection.||”|
After this warning, Hazrat Baba Farid presented the 100 dinars to Sheikh Arif and reinstated him as a mureed after a fresh oath of allegiance. (Any miscarriage of Sufi principles by a mureed nullifies his previous oath of allegiance and he must make a fresh oath before his Pir-o-Murshid). Afterwards he was offered the cloak of Khilafat, and sent back to Lahore with a great lesson.
Crossing or traversing over vast distances instantaneously is known as "Tayyal-Arz" in Sufi terminology. God most gracious grants this miraculous power to his beloved Awliya and Hazrat Baba Farid enjoyed this amazing ability. According to "Rahat-ul-Quloob ", one day Hazrat Baba Farid was sitting in his majlis when some foreign dervishes arrived from Jerusalem. Baba Farid welcomed them very affectionately and asked them to sit down. One of them began to look into Baba Farid's face again and again as if to remove some of his doubts. He wanted to speak his mind but dared not do so. At last, when he could not resist his curiosity any more, he ventured to ask: "O great saint of India, am I correct if I say that I have seen you sweeping the floors of Jerusalem?" Baba Farid replied: "You are perfectly right; but you have forgotten your promise that you would keep this as a secret between us." The poor dervish was awfully ashamed and offered his apology for breaking his promise. Upon this Hazrat Baba Farid said: "My dear brother, wherever the friends of God sit, He brings the 'kaaba' (Mecca), Arsh (divine throne) and the 'Kursi' before them, and grants them such spiritual abilities that they can see everything within whole universe." He then ordered the dervishes to close their eyes and when they reopened them after a while, all of them gave out a violent 'nara' (shriek) and became unconscious. When they regained consciousness, they exclaimed: "God be praised. Whatever your honour had predicted, we saw all those things with our own eyes. Hazoor Baba Farid then presented them with both spiritual and worldly wealth, and granted them robes of Khilafat too and sent them away towards Sistan to preach.
Likewise, once Sheikh Yusuf Hansvi returned home after prolonged tour and came to see Hazrat Baba Farid who enquired about his travels. He went on to the conditions of the various great Sufi dervishes he had met during his travels. Immediately Hazrat Baba Farid refreshed his wazoo (ablutions) and disappeared from Sheikh Yusuf's presence. He returned after some time and said: "Yusuf, after hearing your statement, I became too eager to meet those illustrious Awliya (saints) myself also and so I had gone to see them." Sheikh Yusuf kissed the saint's feet out of overwhelming devotion and appreciation.
Shams Dabeer was one of the very learned poets of his day. He had received his education under Haroor Baba Farid's training. One day he read a 'Qaseeda' (a poetical composition in praise of some dignitary) before Baba Farid. One of the couplets in praise of God pleased the saint very much, and he asked Shams Dabeer if he had any wish to ask the Faqeer?" Shams Dabeer, taking the advantage of the happy moment, submitted: "Your honour, my mother is now too old and she needs my help but l am suffering with poverty and cannot do my duty to her." Hazrat Baba Farid then said: "All right, bring some 'shukrana’ (thanksgiving present in the name of God). Shams Dabeer ran home at once and brought back 50 'jeetals' (a coin of his time) which Hazrat Baba Farid immediately distributed among all. Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, who was also present, says: "I also received 4 Jeetals from this shukrana as my share." After this, Hazrat Baba Farid prayed for the prosperity of Shams Dabeer and after a few months, he got a very lucrative appointment under Sultan Naasiruddin Mahmood of Delhi, and subsequently rose to the post of the Royal Treasurer. Also, during the reign of Sultan Balban (who succeeded Sultan Naasiruddin), Shams Dabeer held higher posts consecutively and flourished for the rest of his life with the blessings of Hazrat Khwaja Fariduddin Masood Ganjshakar.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya reports:
One day a hair fell down from the head of Hazrat Baba Farid which I picked up and, with his permission, I preserved it as a taweez (amulet). When I reached Delhi, I used to give this taweez temporarily for the benefit of various kinds of patients and they used to regain their health by the grace of God. Over time, the reputation of the taweez spread all over the city. I had kept it safely in a particular niche of my house. One day, one of my old friends, Tajuddin Minai, came to get this taweez for his son who was precariously ill. But when I wanted to give it to him, I was surprised to find that the taweez was not in its proper place in the niche; it had disappeared. I searched every nook and corner of the house minutely but failed to find it. Tajuddin Minai went away disappointed and his son died.
Two days later, another patient came for the taweez. As I tried to search for it again, I was amazed to find it in the same place in the niche and the patient recovered through its use. As Tajuddin's son was destined to die by the will of God, the taweez disappeared from its place.
According to Rahat-ul-Quloob, one day an old lady came to Hazrat Baba Farid and as she wept she said: "Holy saint, my only son disappeared from my home 20 years ago. I do not know if he is alive or dead, but his separation from me has made me half dead." This story moved Hazrat Baba Farid's and he went into Muraqba (spiritual contemplation). After a little while, he told the lady: "Go, your son has come home." The old lady went back hastily and while she was still on the way, she met her son. Both the mother and the son went home. The lady then enquired about the whereabouts of her son who said: "I was 1500 miles away from here. Today suddenly I felt a deep impulse to meet you though I had no hope of this at all. As I was standing at the bank of a river, a venerable face appeared before me suddenly and enquired about the reason of my despondency. When I explained my trouble, he said: "Suppose if you reach your home?" But I did not trust him. He however, asked me to close my eyes and place my hand in his hand which I did rather half-heartedly. When I opened my eyes after a while, I found myself here."
One day Hazrat Baba Farid's 'Qawwal', Hasan, prayed for some financial help to meet the expenses of his daughter's marriage. Hazoor Baba Farid said: "Hasan, you know, I am a poor dervish and dervishes have no worldly wealth." But Hasan would not leave him, and insisted upon something to be granted. A brick was lying in front of Baba Farid. Drawing Hasan's attention to it, he said: "All right, take that brick away." No sooner did Hasan touch the brick, than it turned into solid gold to his amazement. He took it up happily and went away offering his most greatful prayers for Hazrat Baba Farid's health and long life.
Sultan Ghyasuddin Balban of Delhi sent 2 big trays full of dinars to Hazrat Baba Farid who asked Maulana Badruddin Ishaq: "How much do you need for today's langar (food)?" The Maulana said "we need only one 'tanka' for the kitchen and one tanka for miscellaneous expenses." Baba Farid then ordered him to keep only two tankas for langar and distribute all the rest to the poor. But while lighting the lamp in the evening, Maulana Badruddin found one more tanka lying on the floor of the Khanqah which had apparently fallen down from the tray of money without anyone noticing it. Maulana Badruddin Ishaq picked it up and wrapped it in his garment with the idea of using it for langar next day.
At the time Isha prayers (9 p.m.) when Hazrat Baba Farid stood up to conduct the Namaz, he unexpectedly gavesit up after reciting a few 'ayats'of "Alhamd Sharif" — the opening verse of the Holy Quran. Starting again and after reciting a few ayats, Baba Farid once again gave up Namaz and, turning to Maulana Badruddin, asked: "What is the matter? I do not enjoy my Namaz today. Is there anything left from the king's money received this morning?" Maulana Badruddin, who stood in the next row of Namaz, replied: "Your honour, as ordered by you, all the money was distributed to the poor except, of course, 2 tankas you accepted for the kitchen but, while lighting the chiragh (lamp) in the evening, one more tanka was found lying on the floor which had apparently fallen down from a tray, and I picked it up and it is here tucked up in my garment for tomorrow's langar."
Upon this explanation, Baba Farid said: "My dear, dervishes never care for the morrow. Please throw away that one tanka at once. It is disturbing my Namaz and I am not enjoying it today." Maulana Badruddin untied the knot of his dress, took out the tanka and threw it away. Hazrat Baba Farid then conducted the Namaz with due eujoyment.
One of the devotees of Hazrat Baba Farid, Mohammed Neshapuri, lived in Gujarat and was coming to Delhi with 3 other companions and on their way, in a jungle, they were encountered by bandits. Mohammed Neshapuri and his companions had no arms to defend themselves. In such a helpless state, Mohammed Neshapuri remembered his pir, Hazrat Baba Farid, and also offered prayers seeking Alimghty God's help in their predicament. Surprisingly, the bandits threw away their arms and offered an apology to the party and went away.
Once Hazrat Baba Farid, was travelling to Baghded in the company of Hazrat Khwaja Bahauddin Zakariya of Multan and some other dervishes. On the way in a jungle, Hazrat Bahauddin was bitten by a snake on his foot. He swooned with the terrible pain and there was no time to obtain 'Tiryaq', an efficacious remedy for snakebite in Iraq. Hazrat Baba Farid picked up a fistful of dust, and reciting 'Bismillah Shariff (In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate) smeared the dust on the foot of Khwaja Bahauddin. By the grace of God, the snake's poisonous effect disappeared and Khwaja Bahauddin quickly recovered.
Once Hazrat Baba Farid went to Multan to see Hazrat Khwaja ==Bahauddin Zakariya== and stayed with him for some time. Hazrat Khwaja Bahauddin had a very beautiful maid servant but she had a very nasty scar resulting from leprosy on her forehead which marred her beauty. Many times the Khwaja Saheb had prayed for the removal of this scar but everytime the Divine command declared that "the time for the removal of the scar had not yet come." During the stay of Hazrat Baba Farid, Khwaja Bahauddin deputed the maid servant to assist Baba Farid in his 'wazoo' (ablutions). One day, while she was in attendance, Baba Farid noticed the scar of leprosy upon the forehead of the maid and felt sympathy. He at once prayed for the removal of the scar and, this time, by the grace of God, the scar disappeard instantly. When Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya saw the maid, he was happy of the miracle and said:
|“||How could Farid's prayer have gone unheard? After all, God most gracious has been pleased to promise him that He would grant his every wish.||”|