Name: Hazrat Sheikh Khwaja Sayed Muhammad Nizamuddin Auliya
Title : Sultan-ul-Mashaikh, Mehboob-e-Ilahi. (محبوبِ الٰہی) (سُلطان المشائخ)
Predecessor : Hazrat Sheikh Fariduddin Masood Ganjshakar (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ)
Successor : Hazrat Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehlavi (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ)
Date of Birth: 27 Safar (636Hijri)
Date of Wisaal: 17th Rabi-us-Sani (725Hijri)
Date of Urs: 17th, 18th and 19th Rabi-us-Sani
Resting at: Delhi, India
Hazrat Sheikh Khwaja Sayed Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) (حضرت شیخ خواجة سیّد محمد نظام الدّین اولیاء) represents in many ways the pinnacle of the Chishti Order (Silsila).
His spiritual guide, Hazrat Baba Fareed (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ), said to him on appointing him as his successor, "Be like a big tree so that Allah's creation, the human beings in their vast multitudes, may find rest and solace under your shadow."
This partly explains why he admitted so many men into the Chishti order as his disciples. Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) sent his well-versed and caring disciples to far-flung areas of Uttar Pradesh, Rajastan, Gujarat, Bihar, and Bengal amongst other places to spread the word of truth.
With regard to the Sufi path, Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) taught the following:
“For a dervish, three things are necessary. They all begin with an 'ain' (an Arabic letter): Ishq (love), Aql (intelligence) and Ilm (knowledge).”
Let us discuss these three qualities one by one:
Love: Sufism is, in its essence, the way of love. Love is considered to be a spiritual treasure through which the baser qualities of a human being are transformed into higher ones. In this respect, it suffices to say that Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) is known as Mehboob-e-Elahi, the beloved of Allah. Of course, the spiritual status of a beloved is much higher than that of a lover.
Knowledge: About knowledge, it can be said that Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) was one of the greatest scholars of his day. He wished to become a Qazi (Islamic judge) but gave it all up in his pursuit of inner knowledge.
After becoming a Mureed (spiritual disciple) of Hazrat Baba Fareed (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ), he lived in extremely poor circumstances. Seeing him, a former friend expressed great surprise as he remembered Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) as one who had began a very promising career as a scholar. When Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) told all of this to Hazrat Baba Fareed (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ), his Murshid(spiritual guide) suggested that he should recite the following couplet to his friend:
“You are not my fellow traveller.
Tread your own path
May you be affluent.
And I downtrodden.”
Then Hazrat Baba Fareed (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) ordered him to take a tray of food from the kitchen and carry it on his head to his friend. After doing so, Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) recited the verse above which deeply moved his friend.
One day, someone told a story of a certain saint who passed away while slowly repeating the name of Allah. The eyes of Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ), who was listening to this story, filled with tears and he recited this verse:
“I have come running to the end of Your street,
Tears are washing my face,
What else do I seek other than meeting You?
I repeat Your name as I surrender my soul to You.”
Early Years & Education:
After leaving their homeland, the city of Bukhara in Uzbekistan, the paternal grandfather of Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) (Khwaja Ali (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ)) and the maternal grandfather of Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) (Khwaja Arab (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ)) along with their family, moved to India.
At first they lived in Lahore, but later they took up their residence in Badayun (east of Delhi). Soon after, Khwaja Arab (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) married his daughter Bibi Zulaikha (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) to Khwaja Ali's (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) son Khwaja Ahmad (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ).
The birth of Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) took place on the last Wednesday of the month of Safar (the 27th of Safar 636 AH). Up to this day, his birthday celebration takes place on which his blessed shrine is bathed and the water thereof is distributed among the visitors.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya's (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) father passed away when Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) was five years old.
His mother took him to a school where he learned to recite the Holy Qur'an. In a short time, he mastered the seven ways of reciting the Holy Qur'an. Then he studied Arabic grammar, Ahadith (sayings of Rasulallah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) , commentary of the Holy Qur'an and logic. At the age of twelve, he received the "turban of excellence."
He was so sharp-witted, wise and understanding that he was given the title "Debater, capable of defeating the congregation." He became distinguished in the science of Tafsir (commentary on the Qur'an), in the knowledge of Ahadith, in Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), mathematics and astronomy. Khwaja Shamsul Malik (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) was among his most learned teachers. He received a testimony of knowledge of Ahadith from Mawlana Kamaluddin (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ).
Although Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya (رحمتہ اللہ علیہ) used to sit among the Ulema (scholars of Islam) during that time, he was more interested in the inner life. He often used to say, "In the days of youth, I used to live in the company of the Ulema, but in my heart the thought used to come that I should go away from their company and turn my face to the Divine Teacher."