Sufi Saints of India

Sufi Shrines are Symbols of Peace Harmony Tolerance and Compassion

Sufi Terminology                        

 URS

 What is Urs Celebration ?  “URS” is an Arabic word and its literal meaning is wedding. After the death of a Holy Saint, his disciples, descendant or Sajjadanashin usually begins to celebrate his annual Urs.That is the death anniversary of the saint. They believe that when a holy saint dies and his soul departs from his body, it leads to God, Almighty Allah, on the death (“Wisal”) the saint get freedom from the earthly confinement and finally join his Beloved (God i.e. Allah), in such joining his Beloved, he feel extreme joy and happiness and it is also called “Wisal”. That’s why the death anniversary of a holy Sufi Saint is celebrated like a wedding by his disciples and descendant or Sajjadanashin, and therefore it is called as Urs Celebration.

 Khanqah and Dargah

A Khanqah is a Muslim monastery or religious institution, where dervishes and other seekers after truth congregate for religious instruction and devotional exercises. Khanqah, generally founded by a dervish or Sufi, professing esoteric beliefs, whose teachings and personal sanctity have attracted disciples, whom he initiates into his doctrines. After his death he is often revered as saint and his abode grows into Khanqah and his Dargah or tomb into ‘Rauza’ or shrine.A place associated with some revered person.

 Sajjadanashin (Spiritual Superior)

      The word “Sajjadanashin” is derived from ‘Sajjada’, that is the carpet used by Mohammedans for prayers, and ‘nashin’, that is sitting. The Sajjadanashin has certain spiritual functions to perform. He is the spiritual preceptor and is the curator of Dargah where his ancestor buried; in him is supposed to continue spiritual line (“Silsila”). A Sajjadanashin is the head of the Dargah and his duty is to impart spiritual instruction to those who seek. Generally, the descendant of the Saint is appointed as Sajjadanashin of the Dargah, who has got right of managing the Dargah and instructing disciples and holding Urs etc.

  QAWWALI

What is QAWWALI (Sama)? “Sama” or “Qawwali” is an essential part of the Urs Celebration and which has been a most important feature of the life of the Sufies of Chishtia Nizamia sect in India. A Sufi Saint Hazrat Jamaluddin Hansvi says “Sama” provides serene consolation to the hearts. It moves the hearts of divine lovers who dive deep into the ocean of love.

 The famous Sufi Saint Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganj Shakar said, “Without doubt, Sama is the way of divine lovers who feel enjoyment when there is mention of their beloved God (Almighty Allah).

 A learned author Mr.W.B.Begg describes ‘Sama’ in his book on Sufism. He says “Sama” is indeed a most fascinating method of preaching the tenets of Sufism. It is enchanting and serves as a guide and teacher through the Sufistic songs whose theme is always love and peace. This particular type of concert is claimed by Sufies to be the means whereby a Sufi’s observations and personal experiences are transcended to the spiritual plane. In this state, individual consciousness merges into universal harmony, ‘Sama’ gives a stimulus to man’s spirit whereby invisible and latent forces of nature, which lie dormant, come into immediate play and create a tendency of forgetfulness of ‘Self’ in the ‘subject’ under the spell of musical hypnotism. “Qawwali” therefore plays a most significant part on all ceremonial occasions of Chishtia saints, specially during their annual Urs anniversaries and Thursday gatherings at their Dargahs and Shrines. Recitation of Qawwali helps purification of thought and action. These poetical songs have come down from reputed Sufi saints and poets, and are highly popular and thought-provoking both among the Sufis and laymen.Qawwali concerts are magnetic in nature and touch the delicate cord of the human heart which being ethereal and impressionable, is the main centre of man’s spiritual awakening. Great Sufis not only introduced it for their own development but also patronized it to spread the gospel of their noble teachings in order to capture and mould the hearts of the people to prepare them to receive the Divine reflections gracefully. Thousands of Muslims and non Muslims attend the Qawwali Mehfils (congregation) and listen to the songs with rapt attention in India. Some time the “Sama” or Qawwali create ‘Wajd’ (Ecstasy) ‘Haal’ on the audience.

       “Wajd” is a state of unconsciousness aroused by the spell of Qawwali. In some rare cases, the ecstatic ‘subject’ of a Qwwali Mehfil never regained his normal condition but actually expired in the state of ‘Wajd’. The most note able of such deaths was that of famous Sufi Saint Hazrat Khawaja Qutabuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki of Delhi who expired in a state of ‘Wajd’.

 Sufi Music

    Sufi Music is new invention. There is no conception of such music in Islamic Mysticism, Sufism or “Tariqat”. It is only Mehfil-e- Sama or Qawwali and nothing else, which include only the following forms of singing.

  1.  Hamd – means singing in praise of Almighty God (Allah).

  2.  Naat means singing in praise of Great Prophet of Islam  Hazrat    Mohammed.            

 3.   Manqabat– means singing in praise of Sufi Saints.

      The following facts are very important in order to understand the true meaning of Sama and Qawwali, and for the sake of preserving the sanctity and dignity of the Sufi Saints.

          Sufi Saints of India are highly respected all over the world; they had spent their whole lives according to the Sufi traditions (Tariqat) and Shariat. There is no Sufism and Spirituality without Islam and Shariat. The real Sufism is based on the strict Islamic faith and its teachings. It works within the framework of ‘Shariat’ and cannot go beyond the limits of Shariat. The “Tariqat” i.e. the Sufi way of life for spiritual upliftment, advancement and purity of ideas, is not separate from Shariat or Islamic Laws. An eminent and earliest Sufi Saint Hazrat Ali Hujweri-Data Ganj Baksh (whose shrine is situated in Lahore, Pakistan) says, “As light cannot be separated from the sun, similarly ‘Shariat’ cannot be separated from Tariqat”.

           Some programmes are organized in the name of Sufi Music. The said programmes also include some items like Sufi-Kathak performed by a lady. Songs and dance by women artists, which are absolutely against the holy traditions of the Sufism, and are highly objectionable and not recognized in Tariqat. How such a performance can be part of the Sufi Music when the same goes against the traditions of Sufism. To dedicate such musical programme to some highly respected Sufi Saint, is a disrespect and great insult for him. In accordance to the teachings of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia the Peer- o- Murshid (Spiritual Master) of the famous Sufi Poet and Saint Hazrat Amir Khusro, “singing and dancing by the women among the people is highly objectionable in Tariqat and prohibited in Sufism and Sama. Therefore there is no justification in calling such programmes as Sufi Musical programmes and dedicating the same to any Sufi saint.

       Any new invented Sufism has no concern with the real Sufism and ‘Tariqat’ There is no conception of “Sufi-Kathak” (Indian Dance); Singing by Women and Jungle Dance in the real Sufism.

      Sama and Qawwali should also be held strictly in accordance to the traditions of the Sufism and Tariqat  keeping in view the sanctity and dignity of highly respected Sufi Saints whose holy shrines exist all over the world.

KARAMAT

      Karamat is just like miracle, which is a supernatural event or a wonder.Karamat is generally attributed with great sufi saints having spiritual power bestowed by Almighty God. Moajza or Miracle which is attributed only with Prophets and Messengers of Almighty God (Allah).Both are supernatural events.These sufi saints are not ordinary sufies but they were aulia-allah (friends of Almighty Allah) who had spent their whole lives in the worship of Allah with  devotion and made great sacrifices in their lives.They had to live with great hardships and a simple life with austerity.They were so poor  that some time they had to live without eating any food the whole day. Their cloths were ordinary and cheap and even had so many patches both in their cloths and shoes.But their spiritual power was so great that they dominated over the hearts and souls of all the people irrespective of faith and religion.

Aulia Allah=(Saints) Freinds of God

Salallaho Alai Hi Wa Sallam=  Peace and blessing of God be upon him.

Alai hi s' Salam= Peace be upon him.

Radi Allaho An Hu= May God be pleased with him.

Rahmatulla Alaihe= The mercy of God be upon him.

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