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Friday, 14 January 2011

Ancestors

Ancestry
Hazrat Pir Syed Meher Ali Shah Sahib of Golra Sharif (to be referred hereinafter simply as “Hazrat”) was a descendent, on his father’s side, of Hazrat Syedna Ghaus-e-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (R.A) in the 25th generation, and of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him, P.B.U.H) of Islam through Syedna Hassan Ibn-e-Ali (R.A) in the 38th generation. On the side of his mother, he descended from Hazrat Ghaus-e-Azam (R.A) in the 24th generation and from the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) through Syedna Hussain Ibn-e-Ali (R.A) in the 37th generation.
It is universally acknowledged that in the matter of nobility of ancestry in relation to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), no one can equal Syedna Hassan (R.A) and Syedna Hussain (R.A), the two sons of Syedah Fatimah-tuz-Zahrah (R.A), the youngest and the dearest daughter of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) whom the Prophet (P.B.U.H) had termed “a piece of my being”, and Syedna Ali (R.A), the Prophet’s cousin and son in law, who became the fourth Righteous Caliph of Islam after the passing away of the Prophet (P.B.U.H). Out of affection the Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself called Syedna Hasan and Hussain his grand children his own sons on a number of occasions. The reference to “our sons” in ayah (verse) 61 of Surah Al-e-Imran (chapter 3) of the Holy Quran is also interpreted, on the basis of the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) own example as referring to Syedna Hassan and Hussain (R.A).
According to Quranic teaching, the real test of nobility in the sight of Allah lies in the beauty of a person's righteous character and the extent to which he (or she) fears God and performs good deeds (cf. ayah 13 of Surah XLIX). While personal qualities and endeavour are essential in socio-religious and spiritual spheres as in any other, noble lineage and environment undoubtedly provide the backdrop in which piety and virtue can germinate and thrive.
Distinctive dignity of kinship with the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)
Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) being the last and the greatest of all true Prophets of Allah, ancestral link with him constitutes a criterion of nobility unequalled by any other similar link. At many places in the Quran, special rules of conduct are laid down by Allah for members of the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) household (Ahl-e-bai'at) (cf. Surah 33, Ayah 28-30), special tests of virtue and vice and requital therefore are prescribed for them and a categoric assurance is given that Allah wishes to “cleanse the Ahl-e-bai'at with a thorough cleansing”.  

Confirmation of Hazrat Pir Meher Ali Shah’s ancestral link with the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)
A testimonial was granted to the two of the ancestors of Hazrat Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A), Pir Syed Roshan Din Shah and Pir Syed Rasul Shah in the year 1211 A.H by the then head of Hazrat Syedna Ghaus-e-Azam’s shrine at Baghdad, Hazrat Syed Habib-e-Mustafa Ibn Syed Qasim Qadiri (R.A), confirming the Prophetic lineage of Hazrat’s family.
It stated that:
“In point of ancestry and lineage, these two gentlemen, Pir Syed Roshan Din and  Pir Syed Rasul Shah, are off-springs of Hazrat Syedna Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (R.A). In point of grace and blessedness, they are his true heirs and legatees, and I regard them as my own sons. Devotees of the exalted Qadriyah Silsila (chain) should therefore regard their hand as my hand and their word as my word”.
When the family of Hazrat, after its sojourns in various parts of India on migration from Baghdad, finally settled down in village Golra of the Punjab province of this country, the people then inhabiting this area were greatly impressed by the piety and saintly character of its members, and started thronging to them for guidance and blessings. However, the veneration accorded to this newly arrived family aroused feelings of jealousy among the “Syeds” already living in the area, who were mostly of Shi’ah denomination and felt their own position and influence threatened by the new-comers. One of the ploys used by these people to undermine the popularity of Hazrat’s family was to refuse to accept their prophetic lineage until concrete and conclusive written proof in support of it was produced by them. Since such proof was duly forthcoming, the detractors gained nothing but ignominy from their campaign. The family’s position was, however, decisively vindicated by an incident that occurred around this time. 
In a gathering at the house of one of the detractors, the latter challenged Pir Syed Roshan Din, Hazrat’s great-Grand father who was one of the invitees, to produce his irrefutable evidence about his being a true “Syed”. Pir Syed Roshan Din first requested the person to desist from such improper behaviour, which violated the accepted norms of hospitality. When he refused to do so, the Pir Sahib put down the cap he was then wearing on his head on the floor and challenged any one then present to lift it if he could. Several persons in the audience tried one after another to lift the cap but failed to do so until the Pir Sahib himself accorded permission for this purpose. The detractor, publicly put to shame in this manner, apologized for his unbecoming behaviour. The incident added greatly to the prestige and estimation of the family of Hazrat, and the people of the area started rallying to it in ever-greater numbers to seek its blessings and solicit its guidance.
Principle Ancestors of Hazrat Pir Meher Ali Shah Sahib
Syedna Hazrat Ali (R.A)
The ancestors of Hazrat Pir Meher Ali Shah Sahib are known to have rendered invaluable services to the cause of Islam in every period of history. Syedna Ali (R.A), the fourth Righteous Caliph, who tops the list, carried out memorable feats of heroism in almost all the Ghazawat i.e., military campaigns led personally by the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H). The only ghazawa missed by him was that of Tabuk (9-A.H), when Prophet (P.B.U.H) left him behind in Madina as his Deputy, to take care of affairs in the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) absence, in the same manner as Prophet Moses (Musa) had left behind his brother Aaron (Harun) when summoned by Allah to the Mount of Sina’i for the conferment of prophethood on him and for grant of “the Ten Commandments”.
Syedna Imam Hassan and Imam Hussain (R.A) 
After Syedna Ali (R.A), the services of his illustrious sons Imam Hassan (R.A) and Imam Hussain (R.A) also constitute a bright chapter of Islamic history. To quote only two instances, Syedna Imam Hassan, in order solely to prevent a violent clash between two groups of Muslims, decided to forgo his rightful claim to the Caliphate, after the passing away of Syedna Ali (R.A), in favour of the other candidate, Hazrat Amir Mu’awiyah. He thus fulfilled the prediction made by the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) to that effect at a time when Syedna Hassan (R.A) was only a few years old. As for his younger brother, Syedna Imam Hussain (R.A), the supreme sacrifice given by him in the desert plain of Karbala (Iraq) in 61 A.H in a battle in which only 72 ill-equipped persons (including women and children of his household) were pitted against a heavily armed horde of several thousand men, will be remembered in the annals of history for all time to come. The issue at stake then was Syedna Hussain’s refusal to pledge allegiance to Yazid, who had assumed power as Caliph after the demise of his father, Hazrat Amir Mu’awiyah, but who was known to be a man of impious habits and was therefore unworthy to be the ruler of Muslims. The clash mentioned above resulted from Yazid’s insistence on extorting Imam Hussain’s allegiance to his caliphate by force. The latter, however, valiantly resisted this and thereby upheld the loftiest Islamic ideals of governance.
The later generations of Syedna Hassan and Hussain (R.A) maintained their glorious and trail-blazing traditions as and when the occasion demanded this. All this leads to conclusion that the sustenance of the religious, secular, moral, social, intellectual and spiritual values of the Islamic world has, over the centuries, been due in large measures to the endeavours of the house of Syed Ali (R.A). Imam-e-Azam Abu Hanifa and Imam Malik, two of foremost jurists of Islam, and founder of their respective juridical schools, were pupils of Imam Jaffer Sadiq (R.A), the great-grandson of Hazrat Syedna Imam Hussain (R.A), while Imam Shafi was a student of Imam Musa Kazim (R.A). In the spiritual field, almost all the leading schools of Tasawwuf trace their origin to Syedna Ali (R.A). These include the Qadriyah, the Chishtia, the Suharwardia, the Uwaisiyah and others. Only Naqshbandia is traced back to first Righteous Caliph Syedna Abubakar (R.A).
Syedna Ghaus-e-Azam Abdul Qadir Jilani (R.A)
In the family of Hazrat Syedna Ali (R.A), Hazrat Syedna Ghaus-e-Azam Abdul Qadir Jilani (471-562 A.H) stands out as the great guide who imparted a new life to the Islamic faith, then passing through a critical phase of misdoings of the rulers and the apathy of the general run of its ulama. This earned him the abiding title of Muhyuddin (reviver of religion). Syedna Ghaus-e-Azam is universally accepted as the greatest of all Awlia-Allah (Friends of Allah), and occupies a place of surpassing spiritual eminence that has not been vouchsafed to any other personality in the entire Islamic Ummah.
Hazrat Pir Meher Ali Shah Sahib was a direct descendent, in the 25th generation, of Syedna Ghaus-e-Azam, and was also one of the most illustrious of the latter’s spiritual beneficiaries especially in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. 

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