(Extract from the book, ‘The Wonderful Miracles of Sufi Saints of Kashmir’, a translation of 150-year-old manuscript ‘Majmooa Masmooa’ authored by Pirzada Ghulam Rasool Shaiva, father of historian Hasan Khoihami)
In the beginning Hamza hated to mix with people and would go alone to uninhabited or abandoned sites and monuments. He would sit in old mosques and would go to visit graves during night hours and would often remain in the company of the souls of the friends of God (Awlya). One night he saw a person with white beard along with a group of people, near the mausoleum of Sayid Husain Balad-i-Rumi (Baladuri). They offered salams to him with love and shook hands very warmly and said: There are many benefits in visiting the graves, particularly in night time, and he who practices it, Allah will fulfil his goals in both the worlds and will provide him the benefit of both the lives. Saying this, they vanished. Then he heard from the souls of some Awlya and from some ascetic Sufis that he was Hazrat Isa (AS).
Hamza would say that in the beginning he was fond of reciting Quran, till he committed all the words to his memory. Allah made him taste its sweetness and depicted its secrets, ‘anwar’ and its specialties. After the passage of some time, due to engagement in the works of ‘salook’ and other ‘azkar’, the practice of memorising the aayats became less regular. In spite of strong fervour in his heart for Allah, and revelation of different kinds of unknown things, besides getting intuition of special things, his heart was still craving for a perfect guide, till Hazrat Sayid Jamal-ud-Din Bukhari (RA) arrived in this country. He attended in his presence on getting a hint from the unknown source and Hazrat accepted him without any objection and offered him his ‘bayat’ and insisted on him for ‘zikr-i-char zarb’, ‘sultan-uz-zikr’ etc. He continued to train Shaikh Hamza for six months and gave him ‘silsila-nama’/ ’shajra-tariqat’ which is the procedure of Mashaikhs. He also told him that whatever was confided to him from the great Mashaikhs, he has transferred this to him and that he permitted him, if any true seeker of God comes to him, to transfer to him what he has confided in him.
When Hazrat left this place, Shaikh Hamza too intended to accompany him, but Hazrat said that achievement is to sit and travel the whole world of ‘Malakoot’ and ‘Lahoot’. “Being stationary, you will become a traveller.” Hazrat, too, shall be present and observe him in each and every event. Shaikh Hamza stayed here according to his orders and covered the seven ‘Atwar’ (seven ways, the seven peaks, the seven stages of tariqat), which are a precondition for ‘Irshad’. The Shaikh says, “I covered all these by his ‘Awrad’. I covered all the stages of ‘Atwar’ through which the ‘Saliks’ have passed. I crossed the stages of ‘Toor-i-Jin’, ‘Toor-i-Nafs’, ‘Toor-i-Qalb’, ‘Toor-i-Rooh’, ‘Toor-i-Sair’, ‘Toor-I Khafi’, ‘Toor-i-Gaib-ul-gaib’, which are near the ‘Muqam-i-Tamkin’. From one Toor to other there are ten-thousand screens and I found seventy-thousand screens from the first Toor to the last Toor, as Prophet (SAW) said, ‘Allah has seventy-thousand screens of light (noor) and darkness (zulmat).’”
Shaikh Baba Dawood Khaki used to say that Hazrat Shaikh would be often restless due to headache and the Hakims failed to cure it. One Hakim asked him the reason of this sickness, to which he said that my brains have melted/loosened because in my youth I would perform ‘zikr-i-char zarb’ with such a force that I would think that my head has fallen on the ground and still I would not leave this assignment and would tell myself that death will not visit me twice; if I die in this state it shall be a thing to be rejoiced. He says that Hazrat Shaikh (RA) would perform ‘Habs-i-Nafs’ and ‘Hosh dar dam’ in such a manner that he would remain on a single breath right from Isha prayers till morning prayers and would say that if the Fajr prayers would not have been there, he would stay on a single breath all day and night.
Shaikh Dawood Khaki says that during a tour Hazrat Shaikh reached the area of Khoihama and he liked it and got many mosques erected there. There were two springs in Nadihal which were considered sacred by the Pandits who would worship these; nearby there was a thick willow tree; whoever would go to that place, an evil spirit would embrace him. Hazrat Shaikh stayed here for some days and after removing the influence of evil spirits, he had a mosque erected there. The year of construction of the mosque is 972 AH. Similarly, there was a spring called Yach-Nag at Garoora considered sacred by Pandits. Here, too, Hazrat Shaikh got a mosque erected and removed the influence of evil spirits. At Wonagam also there was a strange spring, which Pandits considered to be sacred. Hazrat Makhdum stayed here for some time and got erected a Jamia mosque here. In Brar village there was a spring called Shanga Pal which was the residence of evil spirits, genies and the place of worship for superstitious people. Hazrat Shaikh went there, stayed for some time and got erected a mosque under the supervision of Abd-ur-Rashid, and removed the fear of evil spirits from the hearts of people. Aham village was a health resort with scenic beauty. It was known that this place is the passage of unknown persons. Hazrat Shaikh stayed here for some days and constructed a mosque by his own hands. The chronogram of its construction date is ‘Kaba Sani Muridan’ (963 AH).
It is said that Hazrat Shaikh came to Wutar Khan area of Utar and sat in meditation on the bank of a spring, with his head covered in his gown, meanwhile a huge snake came out of its hole and proceeded towards him; on seeing it, Mulla Nawroz hit the snake with a stone and killed it. When Hazrat Shaikh came to know about it, he scolded Mulla Nawroz and told him that the snake had come to meet him and was killed innocently. It is said that Mian Nimat-ul-lah Hindi was trained from the saints of this order and was close to Hazrat Shaikh and Hazrat Shaikh would often tell about the thoughts that would be in his mind. One day Nimat-ul-lah was hungry and came to Hazrat Shaikh for having bread at an odd hour. Before he could speak, Hazrat Shaikh told his servants to serve food to Mian Nimatullah. While Mian Nimatullah was eating his food, he thought of having a tour of Koh-i-Maran. Shaikh told him to finish the food fast and then visit Koh-i-Maran. Once the Shaikh went for fatiha of Neki Reshi to Booto. Baba Nawroz Reshi, who was his Khalifa, stood on the other grave just to examine Hazrat Shaikh, on which the latter smiled and offered fatiha on the grave of Neki Reshi and told Nawroz Reshi: while you see the grave, I see the person inside the grave.
Shaikh Khaki says that one day three persons came whom Hazrat Shaikh did not know. He said that they are ‘rafizi’, but I told him that from their appearance they seem to be from Ahl-i-Sunnat and carry no sign of ‘rafz’. Hazrat put his august hand on my head, then I could see all of them having the shape of pigs. He asked me, “Have you seen the sign of ‘rafz’?” Like that many times some persons with hidden evil attended in his place, and he immediately informed me about their inner bad state. Once Shaikh’s servant Mulla Allahdad slapped his horse named “Jodhar” during feeding him. The next day Hazrat went into the stable and Hazrat Khaki and Mulla Yousuf were also with him. Hazrat smiled and said that Jodhar is complaining about Alahdad and says Alahdad has slapped him, which was confirmed by Alahdad and he repented over it. Likewise, he would reveal the messages of honey bees. One day one a honey bee came buzzing near the ear of Shaikh. Shaikh sent a party of his friends saying, wherever this group of bees goes, you follow them. They reached a forest where they saw that a bear was breaking the nest of bees by striking with stones. On seeing them, the bear escaped.
Shaikh Khaki says: There is no doubt that Hazrat Shaikh never went out of Kashmir, but many Hajis saw him with their own eyes making ‘tawwaf’ of Kaaba and performing the activities of the Hajj. Hazrat Shaikh said that once it so happened that I felt as if I am in some other country and after spending a year there, packed my luggage for proceeding on Hajj pilgrimage from the land route. I saw the Kaaba and performed the Hajj and from there I reached back to my place after one year. In these two years, I continued to keep fast, offer prayers and other ‘wazaif’ as usual. When I came back to my state, the time that had passed was not more than one hour (Tay-i-Zaman: travel-in-time). Shaikh Khaki states that Hazrat was building a mosque at Nadihal. I and Sufi Alahdad were left in the city and there was a lot of dry grass stocked in the upper story of the house. At the time of leaving for Nadihal, Hazrat had warned not to go to the upper story along with a burning lamp as there was lot of inflammable grass lest it catches fire. For some days we used to go up without the lamp, but one night Sufi Alahdad went up with the lamp. Suddenly he received a slap from one side of the wall and the lamp fell down. Thus the warning was conveyed not to repeat this mistake.
Once Hazrat Shaikh went to the city of Sindh with his spiritual body and met many derveshes there, of whom there was one Ibrahim, another Tahir, and a third, Abrahom. All the three came to Kashmir later. (The soul is only a reflection of the body and with its help, they can go to whichever home or homes they want, eat and drink and talk. No one can know the reality as there is no difference between the original body and its true copy).
Gazi Khan Chak exiled Hazrat Shaikh from the city due to religious animosity and he went to Ahana village in Beeru area. The same day Gazi Khan caught leprosy disease. After some days, Chak was compelled to send his son to Hazrat Shaikh. Hazrat refused to return to the city and said that till Chak is in the city, I shall not come there. The son requested for prayer as the king was ill. Shaikh replied that what he has done with us, the same treatment shall be meted out to him. When the son insisted with great humility, Shaikh said that the arrow that has been shot cannot come back; you go and serve him well. When the son returned, he found Gazi Khan had died.
It is recorded that Sufi Alahdad was bringing paddy-grains in a boat when a storm struck during night time and huge waves rose in the Pama Sar lake. The shore was far off. A Sufi invited the attention of Shaikh, and the storm and the waves stabilised and the boat landed near a deserted island. Alahdad tied the boat and sat there hungry. He was fasting and was worried about the arrangement of fast for the next day. Suddenly a voice resembling that of Hazrat Shaikh was heard by him, “Hold it and eat it”. He saw that there were some breads in his lap. Some of these he took himself and the rest he gave to other boatmen. Those who were dining with Hazrat Shaikh saw that he lifted some breads and threw them behind him and said, “Hold it and eat it”. This island was at a distance of fifteen koos (about thirty miles).
It is said that whatever his disciples would dream of, Hazrat would tell them what they had dreamt.
Hazrat Khaki says that when Malik Asgar came in his presence and performed repentance, Hazrat related to him his dream even before he could relate it to Hazrat. Another person related a concocted dream, to which Hazrat said, “O fool, you just concocted this dream now in our presence.” He was ashamed and did not repeat such act thereafter.
It is said that there was a disciple of Hazrat whom he called, but due to his dying son he could not come. After his son died, he immediately rushed to Hazrat Shaikh and told him that since his son was dying, he was delayed in coming. Hazrat prayed for the life of his son and told him to go back, for his son was alive. When this man reached home, he found his son alive.
Many sick people, those paralysed or suffering with liver disease and leprosy, etc, were cured by Hazrat Shaikh. Hazrat Khaki says that by his prayer, many blind men were cured. One particular blind man became famous as Fathullah.
Khwaja Ishaq Qari writes in Chil-Chilatul Arifin, that one day Hazrat Shaikh came to my house. Qari had roasted some birds for breaking the fast (iftar) and the dining sheet was spread in front of Hazrat. When Hazrat finished the dinner, he collected the bones of the birds and said, raise your hands and pray; the bones assembled and the birds revived in their respective shapes and flew away through the window. I requested that it is time for ‘azan’, call to prayer, but he said not yet, when our ‘moazzin’ will say azan, we will offer the prayers. I asked where is your moazzin? He said bring the cock which you have cooked and kept in a separate pot. We took its flesh along with a piece of bread. He kept the bones together and raised his hands for prayer. A cock of strange shape appeared. It moved its wings and gave a call. Hazrat said now is the time for prayers. We offered the prayers and the next day he gifted this cock to me, which remained with me for three years.
In short, the miracles of Hazrat Shaikh are beyond description. This detail was presented as a small token. Whoever is fond of knowing his miracles must read the books written by his disciples. Hazrat passed away on 24 Safar, 984 AH. His mausoleum is on the hill slope of Koh-i-Maran. The above events have been recorded by the historian Hasan saying these are just a tip of the iceberg. He has thrown some light on the life of Mahboob-ul-Aalam, Sultan-ul-Aarifeen, Hazrat Shaikh Hamza (RA), his knowledge and practice, his virtue and high status, his prayers and abstinence, his fear of God, punctuality in Shariat, knowledge of the stages of Tariqat, achievement in Marifat, research in Haqiqat, master of life and death, man of presence and argument, man of beauty and grandeur, man of intuition and miracles, man of inner purity, of bright consciousness, man of struggle and observation, man of witness, nearness and meeting, absorbed in Allah, living with Allah, etc.
The faithful agree on the basis of their personal experiences that the benefits and blessings of Hazrat Makhdum are flowing even at present in the same manner as these were flowing in his life-time, when he would shower blessings on people. The annual Urs of Hazrat Mahboob-ul-Aalam Shaikh Hamza (RA) is celebrated with great sincerity and pomp on 24 Safar every year. On this day people from all corners of Kashmir, whether men, women, old and young, attend the celebrations on his mausoleum located on the western slope of Koh-i-Maran/ Hari Parbat. The celebrations start from the eleventh of Safar. People throng in the morning as well as in the evening. Every day in the gatherings, ‘khatmat, awrad and wazaif’ are chanted. After Urs day, the mela continues for several days. This resting place of Hazrat Makhdum Shaikh Hamza serves without doubt as a place for the solution of problems, fulfilling needs, achievement of worldly and religious aims for faithful and sincere persons.
–The translator is a former Chief Engineer. [email protected]