His Holiness ‘Maula Pak’, a Great Saint of Bengal
His Holiness Syed Shah Murshid Ali Al-Qaderi Al-Baghdadi (AS) was a great saint of the famous Qaderia Order, in Bengal. As a direct descendant of Ghous-ul-Azam , Hazrat Abu Mohammad Muhiuddin Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani (AS) he was also the direct descendant of the Prophet through his daughter Hazrat Fatima Zohra (AS), Hazrat Ali bin Abu Taleb (AS) and Hazrat Hasan Mujtaba (AS).
His forefathers had arrived in Bengal in 1766 from Syria en route through Baghdad and settling in Mangalkote in the Bardwan district of Bengal. The family later moved to Medinipore where he was born on Friday, the 27th of Ramadan, 1268 A.H /16 July 1852 AD to become the 4th generation Head of the Order in Bengal. His Holiness was a man of great wisdom, vision and charisma, and he later moved to present day Kolkata where he set up a Khankah Sharif at Khankah Sharif Lane, Taltalla which became the main centre of the Qaderi Order and which to this day is a place of worship and pilgrimage to the many followers of the Order. The Khankah Sharif was frequented by many noblemen and men of high stature, as it was also likewise filled with many simple country folk and those whom the world had forsaken who could surely find succor here. Maula Pak, as he was referred to as a mark of reverence and affection traveled widely all over Bengal and also in other parts of the subcontinent always awakening the spiritual essence of the people by imparting his ‘faiz’ on all who came to receive his blessings. The unequalled miracles that he performed as a Grace from the Almighty, even today remains a matter of inspiration among the people. All these have been recorded meticulously in books and have remained permanently ingrained in the folklore of the regions as beacons of spiritual light to those who seek spirituality of the soul. Wherever he went and whatever he did, Maula Pak’s mere presence was a source of great inspiration to the entire multitude.
Maula Pak, spent countless days and nights in the Chillagah Sharif in Istriganj, Medinipore immersing himself in spiritual contemplation and exercises becoming of a Saint of the most high. He buried himself in the ground for 40 days on end without food or water, and after that immersed himself in the nearby pond. The water of the pond, to this day is a miraculous cure for the sick. It is known that he used to partake in a special extremely strenuous and painful prayer called the ‘Salat e Makusi’ by hanging himself upside down from the branch of a tree until blood flowed from his nostrils. It is in such ways that great Saints of the times atone for the sins and failings of the common man who seek the forgiveness and mercy of the Almighty.
Maula Pak authored a book called the ‘Dewan-e-Hazrat Jamal’ consisting of a collection of over 400 ‘kasidas’ or poetic verses, each ‘kasida’ containing a treasure trove of unexcelled spiritual inspiration of the highest order. To this day, the ‘kasidas’ written mainly in Urdu but intermixed sweetly with Persian and Arabic, are recited all over Bengal and beyond, in the scores of Khankah Sharifs (places of congregation for prayers and praise) on the occasions of the Egaravee Sharif (congregation that is held on the 11th day of each Arabic month) and also in other Urs Mahfils, imparting ‘faiz’ or spiritual benefit to the listeners, and transfixing their hearts and minds with adoration, inspiration and love. Here is an excerpt from one ‘kasida’ :
BAQA MUTLAQ NA HASTI MEIN RAHE BAAQI ATA YUN HO
FANA SUM AL FANA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
Bestow on me such that absolutely nothing remains of me,
May there be death upon death, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
FANA FISH SHAIKH MEIN MISLE BAQA BILLAH ASAR PAAYA
FANA FILLAH KA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
The effect of completely effacing oneself in Shaikh (Pir) is the same as everlasting life in God
It is the same as perishing oneself in God, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
DILO JAAN KAR DIYE TUM PAR FIDA JAB BHI NAHI NIKLA
WOH JIKA HAUSLA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
Despite having devoted my heart and soul to you, the urge of life is not yet lost
The spirit of my heart is still strong, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
DUA DUNIYA O DEEN KI PHIR KHUDA SE KIS LIYE MAANGUN
TUMHI TO MUDDUA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
Why should I ask (pray for) the world and the hereafter from God;
When you are my ultimate desire, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
ADA JAB TAK NA HOLE MUJH SE AUHDA JAANESARI KA
NA PAAS AAYE QAZA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
Until I execute the duty of sacrificing myself;
Death should not come to me, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
DOBARA ZINDA HOKAR PHIR MAROON ROZ-E-JAZA TUM PAR
ATA HO YE JAZA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
After resurrection, may I die once more on you, on the day of judgment
Grant me this privilege, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
TASAWYUR BANDHNE MEIN MERI ANKHEN KHUL GAYEEN KAISI
NAHI KUCH SUJHTA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
Absorbed in your imagination I have experienced enlightenment
Nothing else comes to my mind excepting you, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
KHUDAI KE JAHAZON KE LIYE TUMKO KHUDA NE KHUD
BANAYA NA KHUDA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
For the ships of Divinity, God has himself,
Chosen you to be the Captain, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
NA KYUN MARTE KHIZR TUM PAR MASIHA KI TARHA HAR DUM
KE THA SHAUQE BAQA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
Why would not Khizr have submitted to you like his Messiah all the time;
He wished everlasting life, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
DAME NAZ AAP KI KHUSHBU JO AAYI ROOH ME MERI
KAHA SALLE ALA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
At the time of death, my soul after getting your fragrance
Said ‘Salle Ala’, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
TUMHI ZILLE HUMAYUN-E-MUHAMMAD HO NA KYUN BANTE
LEWAYE MUSTAFA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
You are the auspicious shadow of Muhammad(SAW), so why would not you become
The standard of Mustafa(SAW), O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
PARHOON HAR DUM WAZIFA NAAME PAAK-E-GHOUS-E-AZAM KA
RAHE VIRRD AYE KHUDA YA GHOUS-E-MOHUIDDIN-E-JILANI
All the time I am reciting the holy name of Ghous, the majestic;
O God, may I keep uttering, O Ghous, the reviver of religion, the Jilani.
Maula Pak drew the curtain on himself on 27th of Shawal, 1318 A.H, corresponding to 17 February 1901 AD and 4th Falgun 1307 and his Mazar Sharif is located in the city of Medinipore in West Bengal, where one can visit to gain his ‘faiz’ and blessings as one can also receive from attending his Urs Mahfil on 27th Shawal each year, or just by his remembrance. Egaravee Sharif and Urs Mahfils are held in Bangladesh in all the Khankah Sharifs of the Quaderia Order, and in Dhaka in the Khankah Sharif in Kallyanpur which is conducted under the guidance of the present Sajjadanashin, or Tareeqa Head of the Order, His Holiness Syed Shah Rashid Ali Al-Qaderi Al-Baghdadi. May the shadow of the great Saints of Islam and the Quaderia Order always be on their disciples and on their admirers.