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Friday, 14 January 2011

Period of teaching and instructions

Hazrat’s (R.A) singular eminence as a teacher
After the death of his father and his uncle, Hazrat (R.A) commenced his teachings. The light of Hazrat’s teaching started to enlighten the hearts of the people all over the world.
Construction of teaching center at Golra Sharif
It was in Hazrat’s nature to take special care for the well-being and comfort of guests. Accordingly, when he was divinely assigned the task of providing spiritual and religious guidance to others, he is reported to have prayed to Allah as follows: 
“My Lord! Be Gracious enough to provide for the comfort and peace of mind of those whom thou directest to come to me for guidance, by Thy own Grace. For I shall have neither the resources nor the time for this purpose.”
When, therefore, he started his mission of guidance on return from Hajj in 1308 A.H., provision for everything needed for the successful conduct of this mission was made by Allah Himself by His sheer grace and mercy. Accomplished scholars, for example, were spontaneously attracted to Golra Sharif to assist Hazrat in the task of teaching, and became his life-long devotees and associates. Maulana Muhammad Ghazi arrived here after resigning his teaching job in Madressah-e-Saulatiyah at Makkah Mukarramah, and assumed the office of Principal of Jamia-e-Ghausia at Golra. The subjects of Quranic commentary, hadith, and tasawwuf (Islamic mysticism) were taught by Hazrat himself. Qari Abdul Rahman of Jawnpur (U.P., India), an acknowledged master of the art of tajvid (Quranic recitation), joined the Jamia to take charge, besides tajvid, of Hazrat’s correspondence, and of leading the five congregational prayers in the mosque at Golra Sharif. He pioneered the teaching of "qirat" (recital) in this region. Maulvi Muhammad Ali of Bandi, Maulvi Mir Abdullah of Makkan, Syed Chanan Shah of Jabah, and Mahboob Alam of Hazara - all these gentlemen were among the first to join this institution of religious and spiritual education, and took up different tasks in connection with its development and running. Besides performing their teachings and duties, they worked along with their students as manual labour in the construction of the mosque and other buildings of the complex. They also helped in digging a deep well in the stony soil to serve as a source of water supply for drinking as well as construction purposes.
The first structures to be built were: a room to serve as Hazrat’s living quarters; another room for the storage of necessaries for the langar (free kitchen); and two rooms for the use of dervishes and guests. Some other huts were added later for the use of students and their teachers. With these inputs, the first part of this stone, clay and mortar structure was completed in 1896-97. (lately, a second storey has been added to it, and a high minaret built on its south-western corner). Between 1903 and 1907, a large guest-house, and buildings for the madressah and library, were constructed and donated to the shrine by Haji Karim Bukhsh and Haji Abdul Rahim, two devotees of Hazrat from Peshawar. The guest-house comprised about forty (40) rooms for visitors, flanked by verandahs and corridors, and a spacious hall to serve as Majlis-khana. (assembly room).
With the passage of time, even this spacious accommodation fell short of the needs of the ever-increasing number of visiting devotees, with the result that three more guest-houses, a very large Majlis khana and several other buildings were constructed during the period of Hazrat Babuji (R.A), Hazrat’s illustrious son and successor. The expansion process continued after the death of Hazrat Babuji in 1974, and the shrine complex has now attained the position of a magnificent landmark in the outskirts of Pakistan’s Federal Capital, Islamabad. according to a conservative estimate, the three day annual Urs of Syedna Ghaus-e-Azam (R.A), celebrated in Golra Sharif from 9 to 11 Rabi-us-Saani, attracts a total attendance of well over 100,000 persons. Other similar functions, such as the Urs of Hazrat himself and of Hazrat Babuji and the like, attract heavy crowds as well. The birthday of the Holy Prophet - Milad-un-Nabi is celebrated with special veneration and fervour on the night between 11 and 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal every year, and attracts a gathering that runs into thousands. The daily attendance of devotees at the shrine, and in particular the number of participants in the congregation prayers every Friday, has also steadily increased over time. The buildings and allied facilities at the shrine, including the size and scope of the langar have been expanded to cater for these growing needs.
Enrollment of some well-known scholars, speakers, and writers as Hazrat’s devotees
In those early years, a number of renowned "khatibs" (speakers, preachers) and distinguished men of letters became Hazrat’s devotees and after receiving instruction and grooming from Hazrat, committed themselves to the propagation the ahl-e-sunnat point of view. Those deserving special mention among this group were: Maulana Muhammad Charagh of Chakori; Mufti Ghulam Murtaza, head of Anjuman-e-Naumanaia, Lahore; Maulvi Ahmad Din of Darabi, Chakwal; Khan Bahadur Maulvi Muharram Ali Chishti, editor Rafiq-e-Hind newspaper, Lahore; Khan Bahadur Qazi Sirajuddin, Advocate and editor, "Chawdhavin Sadi Newspaper", Rawalpindi; and Qazi Qudratullah of Qazi Khel, Peshawar. These devoted men rendered yeoman services in fighting such movements as the Wahabi, the Chakralvi, the Qadyani, and the Rafidi, and the “naturalists” and agnostics inspired by irreligious Western thought.
In the field of suluk (the sufi path), many scions of noted sufi families, including those connected with mashaikh of his own Silsila (spiritual chain), became Hazrat’s disciples. These included, Diwan Ghayathuddin of Ajmer Sharif, Diwan Said Muhammad of Pakpattan Sharif, and Khwaja Hasan Nizami of Delhi. The last named, who was connected with the shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Awlia (R.A), was an eminent man of letters, and his beneficiaries belonged to such remote places as Burma and Malaya (which now span Malaysia and Indonesia).
The initial sitting place of Hazrat
In that early period, Hazrat used to hold his sittings on a stone slab of the shape and size of a prayer mat, which was placed outside his hujrah (prayer cell) under the shade of trees. After completion his morning prayers and recitations, he used to sit on this slab, while those wishing to seek his prayers sat on palm-leaf mats spread around the slab. The slab was also used for zikr sessions, as well as for qawwali sittings. Some of Hazrat’s speech, as well as for qawwali sittings. Some of Hazrat’s epoch-making books, e.g., "Tahqiq-ul-Haq" on the subject of Wahdat-ul-Wajood, and "Shams-ul-Hidayah" and "Saif-e-Chishtiyai" on the Qadyani movement, were written by Hazrat while sitting on this slab. Finally, lessons from the "Mathnavi" of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi (R.A) and the "Futuhat-e-Makkiyah" and the "Fusus-ul-Hikam" of Shaikh-e-Akbar Muhyuddin Ibn-ul-Arabi (R.A) were also imparted to some highly distinguished pupils at this very spot. Many of those eminent personalities are now buried around this place.

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