Mawlana Muhammad Baha’uddin Shah Naqshband (Q)
Muhammad Baha’uddin Shah Naqshband
Qaddas Allahu Sirru
May Allah Bless His Secret and Sanctify His Soul
1318 CE – 1389 CE
“The turtle-dove sings its lament at dawn, and weeps.
My tears disturb her sleep and her tears disturb mine.
When she and I complain, we understand not each other.
But I know her grief and she knows mine.”
Mawlana Muhammad Bahuddin Shah Naqshband (q)
He is an Ocean of Knowledge that has no shore. Its waves were woven with the pearls of Heavenly Knowledge. He cleansed humanity with his Ocean of Innocence and Piety. He quenched the thirst of souls with the water of his spiritual Support. The whole world, including its oceans and continents, were within his grasp. He is a star decorated with the crown of Guidance. He sanctified all human souls without exception with his holy breath. He adorned even the remotest corner with the secrets of Muhammadun Rasul-Allah ﷺ.
His light penetrated every dark lair of ignorance. His outstanding proofs cast away the least whisper of doubt from the hearts of humanity. His powerful miracles brought life to hearts after their deaths and provided souls with their provision for the spiritual realm. He was nursed in the Station of the Arch-Intercessor when he was a child in the cradle. He sipped the nectar of Unseen Knowledge from the cup of Reality. If Muhammad ﷺ were not the last of the Prophets, he would have been a prophet. All Praise to Allah for sending such a Reviver of Religion (mujaddid). He uplifted the hearts of humanity causing them to soar in the sky of spirituality. He made kings to stand at his door. He spread his guidance from North to South and from East to West. He left no one without heavenly support–even the wild animals in jungles. He is the greatest Ghawth, Arch-intercessor, the Sultan of Saints, the Necklace of all the spiritual Pearls that were bestowed on this world by the Divine Presence. By the light of his guidance Allah caused the good to be the best and transformed evil into goodness.
He is the Master of this Tariqat and the Shaikh of the Golden Chain and the Best of those who carried this lineage from the Khwajagan.
He was born in the month of Muharram, in 717 H./1317 CE, in the village of Qasr al-‘Arifan [the Castle of the Gnostics] near Bukhara. Allah granted him miraculous powers in his childhood. He had been taught about the secret of this tariqat by his first teacher, Sayyid Muhammad Baba As-Samasi (q). Then he was given the secret and the mastery of the Order by his shaikh, Sayyid Amir al-Kulal (q). He was also Uwaysi in his connection to the Prophet ﷺ, as he was raised in the spiritual presence of Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q), who preceded him by 200 years
The Beginning of His Guidance and the Guidance of His Beginning
Shah Naqshband (q) was eighteen years of age when he was sent by his grandfather to the village of Samas to serve the Shaikh of the Tariqat, Muhamad Baba as-Samasi (q), who had asked for him. From the beginning of his companionship with the Shaikh, he perceived within himself countless blessings and the urge for great sincerity and devotion. Of his youth he relates:
“I would arise early, three hours before Fajr prayer, take ablution, and after making Sunnah prayers, I would go into prostration, supplicating God with the following prayer: “O my Lord, give me the power to carry the difficulties and the pain of Your Love.” Then I would pray Fajr with the Shaikh. On his way out one day he looked at me and said, as if he had been with me when I made that supplication, “O my son, you have to change the method of your supplication. Instead say, ‘O Allah, grant your pleasure to this weak servant.’ God doesn’t like His servants to be in difficulties. Although God in His Wisdom might give some difficulties to His servants to test them, the servant must not ask to be in difficulties. This would not be respectful to your Lord.'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“When Shaikh Muhammad Baba as-Samasi died, my grandfather took me to Bukhara and I married there. I lived in Qasr al-‘Arifan, which was God’s special care to me because I was near to Sayyid Amir Kulal. I stayed in his service, and he told me that Shaikh Muhammad Baba as-Samasi had told him a long time before that, ‘I will not be happy with you if you will not take good care of him.’ One day, I was sitting with a friend in seclusion, and the Heavens opened and a grand vision came to me and I heard a voice saying, ‘Is it not enough for you to leave everyone and to come to Our Presence Alone?’ This voice reduced me to a state of trembling, causing me to run away from that house. I ran to a river where I threw myself. I washed my clothes and prayed two rakats in a way that I had never prayed before, feeling as if I was praying in the Divine Presence. Everything was opened to my heart in a state of Unveiling (kashf). The entire universe disappeared and I was not aware of anything other than praying in His Presence.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“I had been asked, in the beginning of my state of Attraction, ‘Why are you going to enter on this Path?’ I answered, ‘In order that whatever I say and whatever I want will happen.’ I was answered, ‘That will not be. Whatever We say and whatever We want is what will happen.’ And I said, ‘I cannot do that. I must be permitted to say and to do whatever I like, or I don’t want this Way.’ Then I received the answer, ‘No, it is whatever We want to be said and whatever We want to be done that must be said and done.’ And I said again, ‘Whatever I say and whatever I do is what must be.’ Then I was left alone for fifteen days, until I was overwhelmed with a tremendous depression. Then I heard a voice, ‘O Baha’uddin, whatever you want, We will grant.’ I was overjoyed. I said, ‘I want to be given a Path (tariqat) that will lead anyone who travels on it straight to the Divine Presence.’ And I experienced a great vision and heard a voice saying, ‘You are granted what you have asked.'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
His Progress and Struggle on the Way
“One time I was in a state of Attraction and in a state of absent-mindedness, moving from here to there, not aware of what I was doing. My feet were torn and bleeding from thorns when darkness fell. I felt myself attracted to the house of my shaikh, Sayyid Amir Kulal. It was a pitch black night with no moon nor stars showing. The air was very cold and I had nothing on but an old leather cloak. When I arrived at his house, I found him sitting with his friends. When he saw me he told his followers, ‘Take him out, I don’t want him in my house.’ They put me out and I felt that my ego was trying to overcome me and that it was taking over my heart and my feelings, trying to poison my trust in my shaikh. At that point Allah’s Divine Care and His Mercy were my only support in carrying this humiliation in the Cause of Allah and the Cause of my shaikh. I said to my ego, ‘I am not allowing you to poison my trust in my shaikh.’ I felt so tired and so depressed that I put the state of humbleness at the door of pride, placed my head on the threshold of the door of my teacher, and took an oath that I would not remove it until he accepted me again. The snow was beginning to fall and the frigid air was penetrating my bones, causing me to tremble in the dark night. There was not even the warmth of the moon to comfort me. I remained in that state until I froze. But the love that was inside my heart, the love for the Divine and the love for the door of the Divine, my shaikh, kept me warm. Dawn came and my shaikh stepped out of his door without seeing me physically. He put his foot on my head, which was still on his threshold. On sensing my head, he immediately withdrew his foot, took me inside his house and said to me, ‘O my son you have been dressed with the dress of Happiness. You have been dressed with the dress of Divine Love. You have been dressed with a dress that neither myself nor my shaikh has been dressed with. Allah is happy with you. The Prophet ﷺ is happy with you. All the shaikhs of the Golden Chain are happy with you…’ Then with great care and delicacy he pulled the thorns from my feet and washed my wounds. At the same time he poured into my heart such knowledge that I never experienced before. This opened for me a vision in which I saw myself entering into the secret of MUHAMMADUN RASULULLAH ﷺ. I saw myself entering into the secret of the verse which is the Haqiqa Muhammadiyya ﷺ (Reality of Muhammad ﷺ). This led me to enter the secret of LA ILAHA ILLALLAH which is the secret of wahdaniyyah (Uniqueness of God). This then led me to enter the secrets of Allah’s Names and Attributes which are expressed by the secret of ahadiyya (Oneness of God). Those states cannot be put into words, but can only known through taste which is experienced in the heart.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“In the beginning of my travel on the Way, I used to wander at night from one place to another in the suburbs of Bukhara. By myself in the darkness of the night, especially in the wintertime, I visited the cemeteries to take a lesson from the dead. One night I was led to visit the grave of Shaikh Ahmad al-Ajgharawa and to read al-Fatiha for him. When I arrived, I found two men, whom I had never met before, waiting for me with a horse. They put me on the horse and they tied two swords on my belt. They directed the horse to the grave of Shaikh Mazdakhin. When we arrived, we all dismounted and entered the tomb and mosque of the shaikh. I sat facing the Qiblah, meditating and connecting my heart to the heart of that shaikh. During this meditation a vision was opened to me and I saw the wall facing Qiblah come tumbling down. A huge throne appeared. A gigantic man, whom no words can describe, was sitting on that throne. I felt that I knew him. Wherever I turned my face in this universe I saw that man. Around him was a large crowd in which were my shaikhs, Shaikh Muhammad Baba as-Samasi and Sayyid Amir Kulal. Then I felt afraid of the gigantic man while at the same time I felt love for him. I had fear of his exalted presence and love for his beauty and attraction. I said to myself, ‘Who is that great man?’ I heard a voice among the people in the crowd saying, ‘This great man who nurtured you on your spiritual path is your shaikh. He was looking at your soul when it was still an atom in the Divine Presence. You have been under his training. He is Shaikh Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani (q) and the crowd you are seeing are the khalifs who carry his great secret, the secret of the Golden Chain.’ Then the shaikh began to point to each shaikh and say, ‘This is Shaikh Ahmad; this is Kabir al-Awliya; this is ‘Arif Riwakri; this is shaikh Ali Ramitani; this is your shaikh, Muhammad Baba as-Samasi, who in his life gave you his cloak. Do you know him?’ I said, ‘Yes.'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“Then he said to me, ‘That cloak which he gave you such a long time ago is still in your house, and with its blessing Allah has removed from your life many afflictions.’ Then another voice came and said, ‘The Shaikh who is on the Throne is going to teach you something you need while travelling on this way.’ I asked if they would allow me to shake hands with him. They allowed this and took the veil away and I took his hand. Then he began to tell me about sulook (wayfaring), its beginning, middle and end. He said, ‘You have to adjust the wick of your self in order that the light of the unseen can be strengthened in you and its secrets can be seen. You have to show constancy and you have to be firm in the Divine Law (sharia) of the Prophet ﷺ in all your states. You have to “order the right and forbid the wrong” [3:110, 114] and keep to the highest standard of the Sharia, and leave the dispensations of ease, and throw away innovation in all its forms, and make your Qiblah the Prophet’s ﷺ Narrations (Hadith). You have to investigate his life (sirah) and the sira of His Companions, and to urge people to follow and to read the Qur’an both day and night, and to do the prayers with all their superogatory worship (nawafil). Do not ignore even the smallest thing from what the Prophet ﷺ has shown us of deeds and good works.'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“As soon as Abdul Khaliq finished, his khalif told me, ‘In order to be assured of the certainty of this vision, he is sending you a sign. Tomorrow go and visit Mawlana Shamsuddin al-Ambikuti, who will be judging between two people. Tell him that the Turk is right and the Saqqa is wrong. Say to him, ‘You are trying to help the Saqqa, but you are mistaken. Correct yourself and help the Turk.’ If the Saqqa denies what you say, and the judge continues in helping the Saqqa, tell him, ‘I have two proofs. The first requires you to tell the Saqqa, ‘O Saqqa, you are thirsty.’ He will know what that thirst means. As for the second proof, you must tell the Saqqa, ‘You have slept in adultery with a woman and she became pregnant, and you have had the baby she was carrying aborted, and you buried the baby under the grapevines.’ On your way to Mawlana Shamsuddin, take with you three dry raisins and pass by your shaikh, Sayyid Amir al-Kulal. On your way to him you will find a shaikh who will give you a loaf of bread. Take the bread and don’t speak with him. Continue until you meet a caravan. A wrestler will approach you. Advise and reproach him. He is going to repent and become one of your followers. Wear your qalansuwa (hat) and take the cloak of ‘Azizan to Sayyid Amir Kulal.'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“After that they moved me and the vision ended. I came back to myself. The next day I went to my house and I asked my family about the cloak that had been mentioned in the vision. They brought it to me and told me, ‘It has been sitting there for a long time.’ When I saw the cloak a state of internal crying overcame me. I took the cloak and went to the village of Ambikata, in the suburbs of Bukhara, to the mosque of Mawlana Shamsuddin. I prayed Fajr with him and then I told him about the sign which astonished him. As-Saqqa was present and he denied that the Turk was right. Then I told him about the proofs. He accepted the first and he denied the second. Then I asked the people in the masjid to go to the grapevine which was near the masjid. They did and found the child who was buried there. The Saqqa came crying and apologized for what he had done, but it was over. Mawlana Shamsuddin and the others in the mosque were in a great state of astonishment.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“I prepared to travel the next day to the city of Naskh and had with me the three dry grapes. Mawlana Shamsuddin tried to detain me by telling me, ‘I am seeing in you the pain of longing for us and the burning desire to reach the Divine. Your healing is in Our Hands.’ I answered him, ‘O my shaikh, I am the son of someone else and I am his follower. Even if you offer to nurse me from the breast of the highest station, I cannot take it, except from the one to whom I gave my life and from whom I took my initiation.’ Then he kept quiet and permitted me to travel. I moved as I had been instructed until I met the shaikh and he gave me a loaf of bread. I didn’t speak with him. I took the loaf from him, as I had been ordered. Then I met a caravan. They asked me where I was coming from. I said, ‘Ambikata.’ They asked me when I had left. I said, ‘At sunrise.’ They were surprised and said, ‘That village is miles away and crossing that distance would take you a long time. We left that village last night and you left at sunrise and yet you have reached us.’ I continued on until I met a horseman. He asked me ‘Who are you? I am afraid of you!’ I told him, ‘I am the one on whose hand will be your repentance.’ He dismounted his horse, showing complete humbleness to me and repented and threw away all the wine that he was carrying. He accompanied me to my Shaikh, Sayyid Amir Kulal. When I saw him I gave him the cloak.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“He kept silent for some time and then he said, ‘This is the cloak of ‘Azizan. I was informed last night that you would be bringing it to me, and I have been ordered to keep it in ten different layers of covering.’ Then he ordered me to enter his private room. He taught me and placed in my heart the silent dhikr. He ordered me to keep that dhikr day and night. As I had been ordered in the vision of Shaikh ‘Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani to keep to the difficult way, I kept that silent dhikr which is the highest form of dhikr. In addition, I used to attend the associations of the external scholars to learn the Sciences of Divine Law (sharia) and the Traditions of the Prophet ﷺ (Hadith), and to learn about the character of the Prophet ﷺ and his Sahaba. I did as the vision told me, and this resulted in a big change in my life. All that Shaikh Abdul Khaliq al-Ghujdawani taught me in that vision bore its blessed fruits in my life. His spirit was always accompanying me and teaching me.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
On Loud and Silent Dhikr
It is mentioned in the book al-Bahjat as-Saniyya that from the time of Mahmoud al-Faghnawi to the time of Sayyid Amir al-Kulal they kept the way of loud dhikr when in association and silent dhikr when alone. However, when Shah Bahaudin Naqshband received his secret, he kept only the silent dhikr. Even in the associations of Sayid Amir Kulal, when they began to do the loud dhkir, he used to leave and go to his room to do silent dhikr. This was making the murids somewhat upset: although his shaikh was doing the loud dhikr, he was doing the silent dhikr. Yet he stood in the service of his shaikh all his life.
One day, as Shah Baha’uddan and all the followers of Sayyid Amir Kulal were taking a rest from building a new mosque, Sayyid Amir Kulal said, “Whoever was keeping bad thoughts about my son Baha’uddan was wrong. Allah has given him a secret that no one was given before. Even I was unable to know it.” And he told him, “O my son, I have fulfilled the will and advice of Shaikh Muhammad Baba as-Samasi when he ordered me to raise you and nurse you in my way of training until you surpassed me. This I have done, and you have capacity to continue higher and higher. So, my dear son, I am now giving you complete permission to go wherever you like and to obtain knowledge from whomever you find.”
“One time I followed Mawlana ‘Arif ad-Dik Karrani for seven years. Then I followed Mawlana Kuthum Shaikh for many years. One night I slept in the presence of my shaikh and I saw the Shaikh al-Hakim ‘Attar, who was one of the famous shaikhs of the Turks, telling something to a dervish named Khalil Ghirani. When I awoke the picture of that dervish stayed in my mind. I had a pious grandmother to whom I mentioned the dream. She told me, ‘O my son, you are also going to follow many Turkish shaikhs.’ So I looked in my travels for Turkish shaikhs and I never forgot the picture of that one dervish. Then one day in my own country of Bukhara, I saw a dervish, and I recognized him as the one in my dream. I asked him his name and he told me, ‘I am Kahlil Ghirani.’ I had to leave him, but I felt terrible to do so. At Maghrib time someone knocked at my door. I answered and a stranger told me, ‘Darwish Khalil Ghirani is waiting for you.’ I was so surprised. How had that person found me? I took a gift and went with him. When I reached his presence I began to tell him the dream. He said, ‘No need to tell me that dream, I know it already.’ This moved my heart to be more attached to him. In his company new unseen knowledge was opened to my heart. He was always looking after me, praising me, and lifting me up. The people of Transoxiana put him as a king over them. I continued to keep his company, even in his time of Sultanate, and my heart grew in love for him more and more and his heart lifted me ever higher in knowledge. He taught me how to be in the service of the shaikh. I stayed in his company six years. In his presence and in my seclusion I kept my connection with him.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“In the beginning of my Travel on this Way, I met a lover of Allah and he told me, ‘It seems as if you are from Us.’ I told him, ‘I hope you are from Us and I hope to be a friend to you.’ One time he asked me, ‘How do you treat your self?’ I said to him, ‘If I find something I thank Allah and if not I am patient.’ He smiled and said, ‘This is easy. The way for you is to burden your ego and to test it. If it loses food for one week, you must be able to keep it from disobeying you.’ I was very happy with his answer and I asked his support. He ordered me to help the needy and to serve the weak and to motivate the heart of the brokenhearted. He ordered me to keep humbleness and humility and tolerance. I kept his orders and I spent many days of my life in that manner. Then he ordered me to take care of animals, to cure their sicknesses, to clean their wounds, and to assist them in finding their provision. I kept on that way until I reached the state that if I saw an animal in the street, I would stop and make way for it.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“Then he ordered me to look after the dogs of this Association with Truthfulness and Humility, and to ask them for support. He told me, ‘Because of your service to one of them you will reach great happiness.’ I took that order in the hope that I would find one dog and through service to him I would find that happiness. One day I was in the association of one of them and I felt a great state of happiness overcome me. I began crying in front of him until he fell on his back and raised his forepaws to the skies. I heard a very sad voice emanating from him and so I raised my hands in supplication and began to say ‘amin’ in support of him until he became silent. What then opened for me was a vision which brought me to a state in which I felt that I was part of every human being and part of every creation on this earth.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
After Wearing the Cloak
“One day I was in my garden in Qasr al-Arifan (where his mosque and tomb are located), wearing the cloak of Azizan and around me were my followers. I was suddenly overwhelmed by the Heavenly Attractions and Blessings, and I felt I was being dressed and adorned with His Attributes. I trembled in a way that I had never experienced before, and I couldn’t remain standing. I stood facing the Qiblah and I entered into a great vision in which I saw the True Annihilation. I found myself completely annihilated and I didn’t see any existence except my Lord’s. Then I saw myself coming out from His Divine Presence reflected through the Mirror of MUHAMMADUN RASULULLAH ﷺ, in the image of a star in an ocean of Light without beginning or end. My external life ended and I saw only the meaning of LA ILAHA ILLALLAH MUHAMMADUN RASULULLAH ﷺ. This led me to the meaning of the essence of the name ‘Allah,’ which led me to the Absolute Unseen, which is the essence of the Name huwa (“He”). When I entered that ocean my heart stopped pumping and all my life ended, putting me in a state of death. My soul left my body and all those around thought I had died and were crying. Then after six hours I was ordered to return to my body. I perceived my soul slowly re-entering my body and the vision ended.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“To deny your existence and to neglect and disregard your ego is the currency of this Order. In this state I entered into every level of existence, which made me a part of all creations and which developed in me a certainty that everyone is better than me. I saw that everyone provides a benefit and that only I give no benefit. One day a surprising state came upon me. I heard the Divine Voice saying, ‘Ask whatever you like from Us.’ So I said, with humility, ‘O Allah, grant me one drop of Your Oceans of Mercy and Blessings.’ The answer came, ‘You are asking from Our Great Generosity for only one drop?’ This was like a tremendous slap on my face and the sting of it lasted on my cheek for days. Then one day I said, ‘O Allah grant me from Your Oceans of Mercy and Blessings the Power to carry it.’ At that moment a vision was opened to me wherein I was seated on a throne and that throne was over an ocean of mercy. And a voice said to me, ‘This ocean of mercy is for you. Give it to My servants.'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“I was receiving secrets from every side, especially from Uwais al-Qarani, who greatly influenced me to depart from all worldly matters and to attach myself exclusively to spiritual matters. I did this by firmly keeping the sharia and the orders of the Prophet ﷺ, until I began spreading the Unseen Knowledge and the Granted Secrets from the Unique Oneness that no one before had ever shared.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
The Miracles of His Sayings and the Sayings of His Miracles
On the Differences Among Imams
In an assembly of great scholars in Baghdad he was asked about the differences in the sayings of the four khalifs of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. He said:
“One time as-Siddiq (as) said, ‘I never saw anything except that Allah was before it,’ and Umar al-Faruq (as) said, ‘I never saw anything except that Allah was behind it.’ And ‘Uthman (as) said, ‘I never saw anything except that Allah was next to it,’ and ‘Ali (as) said, ‘I never saw anything except that Allah was within it.'” He commented that, “The differences in these sayings was based on the differences in the circumstances at the times they were spoken and not on differences in belief or understanding.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
On Traveling in the Path
“What is behind the meaning of the Prophet’s ﷺ narration, ‘Part of faith is to remove what is harmful from the Way’? What he meant by ‘the harmful’ is the ego, and what he meant by ‘the Way’ is the Way of God, as He said to Bayazid al-Bistami, ‘leave your ego and come to Us.'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
He was asked one time, “What is meant by Traveling the Path?” He said, “The details in spiritual knowledge.” They asked him, “What are the ‘details in spiritual knowledge?’ He said, “The one who knows and accepts what he knows will be raised from the state of evidence and proof to the state of vision.”
“Whoever asks to be in the Way of God has asked for the way of affliction. It was narrated by the Prophet ﷺ, ‘Whoever loves me I will burden him.’ One person came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, ‘O Prophet I love you,’ and the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Then prepare yourself to be poor.’ Another time a person came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, ‘O Prophet I love God,’ and the Prophet said, ‘Then prepare yourself for affliction.'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
He recited a verse:
“Everyone desires the good,
But no one has attained the Ascension,
Except by loving The One who created the good.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
He said, “Everyone who likes himself, must deny himself, and whoever wants other than himself, wants in reality only himself.”
On Spiritual Training
“There are three ways that knowers reach their knowledge:
1. Muraqaba – Contemplation
2. Mushahada – Vision
3. Muhasaba – Reckoning
In the state of Contemplation the seeker forgets the created and remembers only the Creator.
In the State of Vision inspirations from the Unseen come to the heart of the seeker accompanied by two states: contraction and expansion. In the condition of contraction, the vision is of Majesty, and in the state of expansion the vision is of Beauty.
In the state of Reckoning the seeker evaluates every hour that has passed: was he in complete Presence with God or in complete presence with the world?” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“The seeker in this way must be busy in rejecting evil whisperings and the ego’s insinuations. He might reject them before they reach him; or he might reject them after they reach him but before they control him. Another seeker, however, might not reject them until after they reach him and control him. He cannot get any fruit, because at that time it is impossible to take the whisperings out of the heart.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
On Spiritual Stations
He said one time,
“How do the People of God look at the hidden actions and the whispers of the heart?” He said, “By the light of the vision that Allah granted them, as mentioned in the Holy Hadith, ‘Beware of the vision of the Believer, because he looks with the light of God.'”
He was asked about showing miraculous powers. He said, “What more miraculous powers do you want than that we are still walking this earth with all these sins upon us and around us.”
He was asked, “Who is the reciter and who is the Sufi in the saying of Junayd, ‘Disconnect yourself from the reciters of books, and accompany the Sufis?'” He said, “The reciter is the one busy with the words and names, and the Sufi is the one who is busy with the essence of the names.”
He warned, “If a murid, a shaikh or anyone speaks about a state that he has not attained, Allah will forbid him to reach that state.”
He said, “The mirror of every shaikh has two directions. But our mirror has six directions.”
“What is meant by the Holy Hadith, ‘I am with the one who remembers Me,’ is a clear evidence and a proof supporting the people of the heart who remember Him always. And the other saying of the Prophet ﷺ speaking on behalf of God, as-sawmu li (‘the fast is for Me’) is an affirmation that the true fast is to fast from all that is other than God.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
On Spiritual Poverty
He was asked, “Why are they called al-fuqara’ (the poor)?” He said,
“Because they are poor, but they don’t need to supplicate. Just as Prophet the Ibrahim ﷺ, when he was thrown into the fire and Jibril came and asked him ‘Do you need any help?,’ replied, ‘I have no need to ask, He is well aware of my state.'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
He said, “Poverty is a sign of annihilation and the erasure of the attributes of existence.”
He said one time,
“Who is the poor one?” No one answered him. He said, “The poor one is the one whose inside is always in struggle and whose external is always at peace.”
On Proper Manners with One’s Sheikh
“It is necessary for the follower, if he is confused about something his shaikh has said or done and is unable to understand his reasons, to be patient and carry it, and not to become suspicious. If he is a beginner, he might ask; but if he is a murid, he has no reason to ask and should remain patient with what he doesn’t yet understand.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
He said, “It is impossible to reach the love of the people of God until you come out of yourself.”
“In Our Way there are three categories of conduct (adab):
1. Good conduct with Allah Almighty and Exalted, requires that the murid be externally and internally perfect in his worship, keeping away from all that is forbidden and keeping all that has been ordered and leaving all that is other than God.
2. Good conduct with the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ requires the murid to fly in the state of in kuntum tuhibbun Allah fa-t-tabiunee (‘If you want to love Allah then follow me’) [3:31]. He has to follow all the states of the Prophet. He must know that the Prophet is the bridge between God and His creation and that everything in this universe is under his high orders.
3. Good conduct with shaikhs is a requirement for every seeker. The shaikhs are the causes and the means for following in the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ. It is a duty for the seeker, in their presence or their absence, to keep the orders of the shaikh.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
Shah Naqshband said, “One time one of my followers greeted me. I didn’t respond to him, though it is a requirement of the Sunnah to respond if someone greets you. This made my follower upset. I sent someone after him to apologize, saying to him, ‘At that time, when you greeted me, my mind, my heart, my spirit, my body, my soul were completely lost in the Divine Presence, listening to what Allah was saying to me. This made me so engrossed in the Speech of God that I was unable to respond to anyone.”
“To correct the intentions is very important, because intentions are from the Unseen World, not from the Material World.” “For that reason,” he said, “Ibn Sireen (author of a book on the interpretation of dreams) didn’t pray at the funeral prayer of Hasan al-Basri. He said, ‘How can I pray when my intention has not yet reached me connecting me to the Unseen?'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“Intention (niyyah) is very important, because it consists of three letters: Nun, which represents nurullah, the Light of God; ya, which represents yadullah, the hand of God; and ha, which represents hidayatullah, the Guidance of Allah. The niyyah is the Breeze of the Soul.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
On the Duties of Saints
He said, “Allah created me to destroy the materialistic life but people want me to build their materialistic life.”
“The people of God carry the burden of creation for creation to learn from them. Allah looks at the heart of his saints with his lights, and whoever is around that saint will get the blessing of that light.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“The shaikh must know the state of his murid in three categories: in the past; in the present and in the future in order for him to raise him up.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“Whoever is initiated by us and follows us and loves us, whether he is near or far, wherever he is, even if he is in the East and we are in the West, we nourish from the stream of love and give him light in his daily life.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
On Loud and Silent Dhikr
“From the presence of al-‘Azizan there are two methods of dhikr: the silent and the audible. I preferred the silent because it is stronger and more advisable.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“The permission for the dhikr must be given by the Perfected One, in order to influence the one who is using it, just as the arrow from a Master of Archery is better than the arrow thrown from the bow of an ordinary person.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
He added Three Principles to Sheikh Abdul Khaliq’s (q) Eight:
9. Awareness of Time (“wuquf zamani“)
It means to watch one’s composure and check one’s tendency to heedlessness. The seeker must know how much time he has spent in moving towards spiritual maturity and must recognize at what place he has arrived in his journey towards the Divine Presence.
The seeker must make progress with all his efforts. He must spend all his time making his one and only goal the arrival at the station of Divine love and Divine Presence. He must become aware that in all his efforts and in all his actions Allah witnesses the smallest detail.
The seeker must make an account of his actions and his intentions every day and every night and analyze his actions each hour, each second, and each moment. If they are good, he thanks God for it. If they are bad, he must repent and ask Allah’s forgiveness.
Ya’qub al-Charki said that his shaikh, Ala’uddin al-Attar said, “In the state of depression you must recite istighfar (asking forgiveness) excessively, and in the state of elation, praise of Allah excessively.” And he said, “To take into consideration these two states, contraction and expansion, is the meaning of wuquf zamani.”
Shah Naqshband (q) explained that state by saying, “You have to be aware of yourself. If you were following the sharia then you have to thank Allah, or else you must ask forgiveness.”
What is important for the seeker in this state is to keep secure the smallest period period of time. He has to stand guard on his self and judge if he was in the Presence of Allah or if he was in the presence of his ego, at every moment of his life.
Shah Naqshband (q) said, “You have to evaluate how you spend every moment: with Presence or in Negligence.”
10. Awareness of Numbers (“wuquf `adadi“)
This means that the seeker who is reciting dhikr must observe the exact number of repetitions entailing the silent dhikr of the heart. To keep an account of the dhikr is not for the sake of the account itself, but is for the sake of securing the heart from bad thoughts and to cause it to concentrate more in the effort to achieve the repetition prescribed by the shaikh as quickly as possible.
The pillar of dhikr through counting is to bring the heart into the presence of the One who is mentioned in that dhikr and to keep counting, one by one, in order to bring one’s attention to the realization that everyone is in need of that One whose Signs are appearing in every creation.
Shah Naqshband (q) said, “Observance of the numbers in dhikr is the first step in the state of acquiring Heavenly Knowledge (ilm ul-ladunni).” This means that counting leads one to recognize that only One is necessary for life. All mathematical equations are in need of the number One. All creation is in need of the only One.
11. Awareness of the Heart (“wuquf qalbi“)
This means to direct the heart of the seeker towards the Divine Presence, where he will not see other than his Beloved One. It means to experience His Manifestation in all states. Ubaidullah al-Ahrar said, “The state of Awareness of the Heart is the state of being present in the Divine Presence in such a way that you cannot look to anyone other than Him.”
In such a state one concentrates the place of Dhikr inside the heart because this is the center of power. All thoughts and inspirations, good and bad, are felt and appear one after another, circling and alternating, moving between light and dark, in constant revolution, inside the heart. Dhikr is required in order to control and reduce that turbulence of the heart.
The Meaning of Nation of Muhammad ﷺ
“When the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘The portion of my Nation destined for the Hellfire is like the portion of Ibrahim (as) destined for the fire of Nimrod,’ he was giving the good news of salvation for his nation just as Allah had written salvation for Ibrahim (as): Ya naru kunee bardan wa salaman ‘ala Ibraham (‘O fire, be cool and safe for Abraham’) [Holy Quran 21:69] This is because the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘My Nation will never agree on error,’ affirming that the Ummah will never accept wrong-doing, and thus Allah will save the Nation of Muhammad ﷺ from the fire.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
Shaikh Ahmad Faruqi said that Shah Naqshband said: “The Nation of Muhammad ﷺ includes whoever comes after the Prophet ﷺ. It is composed of three types:
1. Ummatu-d-Da‘wah: absolutely everyone who came after the Prophet ﷺ and simply heard his message. That the Prophet ﷺ came to all people without exception is clear from many verses in the Qur’an; furthermore, his Community is the Moderating Witness over all other Communities, and the Prophet ﷺ is the one Witness over everybody, including the other Communities and their own respective witnesses.
2. Ummatu-l-Ijaba: those who accepted the message.
3. Ummatu-l-Mutabaa: those who accepted the message and followed the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ.
All of these categories of the Prophet’s Community are saved. If they are not saved by their deeds, then they are saved by the Intercession of the Prophet ﷺ, according to his saying, “My intercession is from the big sinners of my Community.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
On Reaching the Divine Presence
“What is meant by the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ, as-salatu micraj ul-mu’min (“Prayer is the Ascension of the Believer”), is a clear indication of the levels of Real Prayer, in which the worshipper ascends to the Divine Presence and there is manifest in him awe and reverence and obedience and humility, such that his heart reaches a state of contemplation through his prayer. This will lead him to a vision of the Divine Secrets. That was the description of the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ prayer. In the life-history of the Prophet ﷺ, it is said that when the Prophet would reach that state, even the people outside the city could hear coming from his chest a sound which resembled the humming of bees.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
One of the scholar of Bukhara asked him, “How can a worshipper reach the Divine Presence in his prayer?” He replied, “By eating from the hard-earned sweat of your brow and by remembering Allah Almighty and Exalted inside your prayer and outside your prayer, in every ablution and in every moment of your life.”
On Hidden Polytheism – Shirk
Shaikh Salah, his servant, reported: “Shah Naqshband said one time to his followers, ‘Any connection of your heart with other than Allah is the greatest veil for the seeker,’ after which he recited this verse of poetry:
“The connection with other than God
Is the strongest veil,
And to be done with it,
Is the Opening of Attainment.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
Immediately, after he recited this verse, it came to my heart that he was referring to the connection between belief (iman) and islam. He looked at me and laughed and said, ‘Did you not hear what Hallaj said? “I rejected the religion of God, and rejection is obligatory on me even though that is hideous to Muslims.” O Shaikh Salah, what came to your heart — that the connection is with belief and islam — is not the important point. What is important is Real Faith, and Real Faith for the People of the Truth is to make the heart deny anything and everything other than God. That is what made Hallaj say, “I denied your religion and denial is obligatory on me, although that is hideous to Muslims.” His heart wanted nothing except Allah.”
“Hallaj, of course, was not denying his faith in Islam, but was emphasizing the attachment of his heart to God Alone. If Hallaj was not accepting anything except Allah, how could one say that he was actually denying the religion of God? His testimony of the reality of his Witnessing encompassed and made as child’s-play the ordinary witnessing of the common Muslim.”
Shaikh Salah continued, saying, Shah Naqshband said, “The people of God do not admire what they are doing; they act only out of the love of God.”
Shah Naqshband said,
“Rabi’a al-‘Adawiyya said, ‘O Allah I didn’t worship seeking the reward of Your Paradise nor fearing your punishment, but I am worshipping You for Your Love alone.’ If your worship is for saving yourself or for gaining some reward for yourself, it is a hidden shirk, because you have associated something with Allah, either the reward or the punishment. This is what Hallaj meant.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
Shaikh Arslan ad-Dimashqi said,
“O Allah, Your religion is nothing but hidden shirk, and to disbelieve in it is obligatory on every true servant. The people of religion are not worshipping You, but are only worshipping to attain Paradise or to escape from Hell. They are worshipping these two as idols, and that is the worst Idolatry. You have said, man yakfur bi-t-taghuti wa yu’min billahi faqad istamsaka bil-curwati-l-wuthqa (“Whoever disbelieves in idols and believes in Allah has grasped the Firm Handhold”) [2:256]. To disbelieve in those idols and to believe in You is obligatory on the people of Truth.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
Shaikh Abul-Hasan ash-Shadhili (q), one of the greatest Sufi Shaikhs, was asked by his shaikh, “O my son, with what are you going to meet your Lord?” He said, “I am coming to Him with my poverty.” He said,
“O my son, do not ever repeat this again. This is the biggest idol, because you are still coming to Him with something. Free yourself of everything and then come to Him.”
“The people of laws and external knowledge hold fast to their deeds and on that basis they establish the concept of reward and punishment. If they are good, they find good and if they are bad they find bad; what benefits the servant is his deeds and what harms him is his deeds. To the People of the Way, this is the hidden Shirk, because one is associating something with Allah. Although it is an obligation to do (good deeds), yet the heart must not be attached to those deeds. They should only be done for His sake and for His love, without expectation of anything in return.”
On the Naqshbandi Way
Shah Naqshband (q) said,
“Our Way is very rare and very precious. It is the urwati-l-wuthqa (“Firm Handhold”), the way of keeping firm and steadfast in the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ and of his Companions. They brought me to this Way from the door of Favors, because at its beginning and at its end, I witnessed nothing but the Favors of God. In this Way great doors of Heavenly Knowledge will be opened up to the seeker who follows in the footsteps of the Prophet ﷺ.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
To follow the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ is the most important means by which the door will be opened to you. He said, “Whoever is not coming to our Way, his religion is in danger.” He was asked, “How does someone come to Your Way?” He replied, “By following the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ.”
He said, “We have carried in this Way humiliation, and in return Allah has blessed us with His Honor.”
Some people said about him that he was sometimes arrogant. He said, “We are proud because of Him, because He is our Lord, giving us His Support!”
“To reach the Secrets of Oneness is sometimes possible, but to reach the Secrets of Spiritual Knowledge (marifat) is extremely difficult.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
“Spiritual Knowledge is like water, it takes the color and shape of the cup. Allah’s Knowledge is so great, that however much we take, it is like a drop of a huge ocean. It like a vast garden, however much we have cut it is as if we had cut but one flower.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
His Attitude Towards Food
Shah Naqshband was, may Allah sanctify his soul, in the highest states of the denial of desire for this world. He followed the way of piety, especially in the act of eating. He took all kinds of precautions in regard to his food. He would only eat from the barley he had grown himself. He would harvest it, grind it, make the dough, knead it and bake it himself. All the scholars and seekers of his time made their way to his house, in order to eat from his table and to partake the blessings of his food.
He reached such a perfection of austerity that in winter, he only put old and worn carpets on the floor of his house, which gave no protection from the bitter cold. In summer he put very thin woven mats on the ground. He loved the poor and the needy. He urged his followers to earn money through lawful means, that is, by the sweat of their brows. He urged them to spend that money on the poor. He cooked for the poor and invited them to his table. He served them with his own holy hands and urged them to remain always in the Presence of Allah, Almighty and Exalted. If anyone of them put a bite of food in his mouth in a heedless way, he would inform them, through his state of vision, what they had done and urge them to keep remembrance of Allah while eating.
He taught that,
“One of the most important doors to the Presence of Allah is to eat with Awareness. The food gives the body strength, and to eat with consciousness gives the body purity.” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
One time he was invited to a city by the name of Ghaziat where one of his followers had prepared a dinner for him. When they sat for dinner he didn’t eat. His host was surprised. Shah Naqshband said, “O my son, I am wondering how you prepared this food. From the time you kneaded the dough and cooked it, until you served it, you were in a state of anger. The food is mixed with that anger. If we eat that food, shaytan will find a way to enter through it and to spread his evil throughout our bodies.”
One time he was invited to the city of Herat by its king, King Hussain. King Hussain was very happy at the visit of Shah Naqshband and threw a great feast for him. He invited all his ministers, the shaikhs of his kingdom and all his noblemen. He said, “Eat from this food. It is pure food, which I made from the pure earnings which I inherited from my father.” Everyone ate except Shah Naqshband, prompting the Shaikh ul-Islam of that time, Qutb ad-din, to ask, “O our Shaikh, why are you not eating?” Shah Naqshband said, “I have a judge to whom I go for counsel. I asked him and that judge told me, ‘O my son, about this food there are two possibilities. If this food is not halal (lawful) and you do not eat, when you are questioned you may say I came to the table of the king but I did not eat. Then you are safe because you did not eat. But if you eat and you are asked, then what are you going to say? Then you are not safe.’ At that time, Qutb ad-Din was so overcome by these words that he began to shake. He had to ask the King’s permission to stop eating. Then the King was very confused and asked, “What shall we do with all this food?” Shah Naqshband said, “If there is any doubt about the purity of the food it is better to send it to the poor. Their need will make it halal for them. If as you say, it is halal, then there is more blessing in giving it as charity to those who need than in feasting those who do not.”
He used to fast most of his days. If a guest came to him and he had something to offer him, he would sit with him, break his fast and eat. He told his followers that the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ used to do the same. Shaikh Abul Hasan al-Kharqani (q) said in his book, The Principles of the Way and the Principles of Reaching Reality, “Keep harmony with friends, but not in sinning. This means that if you were fasting and someone came to you as a friend, you must sit with him and eat with him in order to keep proper company with him. One of the principles of fasting, or of any worship, is to conceal what one is doing. If one reveals it, for example by saying to the guest, ‘I am fasting,’ then pride may enter and ruin the fast. This is the reason behind the principle.”
One day he was given a cooked fish as a gift. There were in his presence many poor people, among them a very pious boy who was fasting. Shah Naqshband gave the fish to the poor and told them, “Sit and eat,” and he told the boy who was fasting, “Sit and eat.” The boy refused. He told him again, “Break your fast and eat,” but he refused. He asked him, “What if I give you one of my days of Ramadan? Will you sit and eat?” Again he refused. He told him, “What if I give you my whole Ramadan?” Still he refused. He said, “Bayazid al-Bistami was once burdened with a person similar to you.” After that the boy was seen running after the worldly life, never fasting and never worshipping.
The incident to which Shah Naqshband (q) was referring occurred one day when Shaikh Abu Turab an-Naqshabi (q) visited Bayazid al-Bistami (q). His servant offered him food. Abu Turab said to the servant, “Come and sit with me and eat.” The servant said, “No. I am fasting.” He said, “Eat, and Allah will give you the reward of fasting for one year.” He refused. He said, “Come and eat, I will pray to Allah that he give you the reward of two years of fasting.” Then Hadrat Bayazid said, “Leave him. He has been dropped from Allah’s care.” Later his life degenerated and he became a thief.
His Miracles and Generosity
Shah Naqshband’s state is beyond description and the extent of his knowledge cannot be described. One of the greatest miracles was his very existence. He often hid his actions in order not to display miraculous power. Many of his miracles, however, were recorded.
Shah Naqshband, may Allah bless his soul, said,
“One day I went out with Muhammad Zahid (q) to the desert. He was a truthful murid and we had a pickax with which we were digging. As we were working with the pick we were discussing such deep states of knowledge that we threw aside the pick and entered deeper into spiritual knowledge. We were going deeper and deeper until the conversation led us to the nature of Worship. He asked me, ‘O my shaikh, to what limit does worship reach?’ I said, ‘Worship reaches such perfection that the worshipper can say to someone ‘die,’ and that person will die.’ Without thinking I pointed at Muhammad Zahid. Immediately he fell down dead. He was in the state of death from sunrise until the midday. It was very hot. I was very anxious because his body was deteriorating from the excessive heat. I pulled him under the shade of a tree and I sat there contemplating the matter. As I was contemplating, an inspiration came to my heart from the Divine Presence telling me to say to him, ‘Ya Muhammad, Be Alive!’ I said it to him three times. In response, his soul slowly began to enter his body, and life slowly began to return to him. He gradually returned to his original state. I went to my shaikh and told him what had happened. He said, ‘O my son, Allah gave you a secret that he has given to no one else.'” [Mawlana Shaykh Naqshband]
Shaikh Alauddin al-‘Attar (q) said,
“One time the king of Transoxiana, Sultan Abdullah Kazgan, came to Bukhara. He decided to go hunting around Bukhara and many people accompanied him. Shah Baha’uddan Naqshband (q) was in a nearby village. When the people went out hunting, Shah Naqshband went to the top of a hill and sat there. While sitting there, it came to his heart that Allah gave much honor to saints. Because of that honor, all kings of this world should bow to them. That thought hadn’t yet passed from his heart before a horseman with a crown on his head, like a king, came into his presence and dismounted from his horse. With great humility he greeted Shah Naqshband and stood in his presence in the most polite manner. He bowed to the shaikh but the shaikh did not look at him. He kept him standing one hour. Finally, Shah Naqshband looked up and said, ‘What are you doing here?’ He said, ‘I am the king, Sultan Kazgan. I was out hunting, and I smelled a very beautiful smell. I followed it here and I found you sitting in the midst of a powerful light.’ His very thought, ‘All kings of this world should bow to the saints,’ had instantly become reality. That is how Allah honors the thoughts of his saints.” [Mawlana Shaikh Alauddin al-‘Attar]
One of his followers who was serving him in the city of Merv reported,
“One day I wished to go see my family in Bukhara, having received news that my brother Shamsuddin had died. I needed to take permission from my shaikh to go. I spoke with Amir Hussain, the Prince of Herat, to ask permission on my behalf to Shah Naqshband. On their way back from Jum’ah prayer, Amir Hussain told him about the death of my brother and that I wanted permission to go to my family. He said, ‘No it is impossible. How can you say he is dead when I can see him alive. More than that, I can even smell his smell. I am going to bring him here now.’ He had hardly finished his words before my brother appeared. He aproached the shaikh, kissed his hand and greeted Amir Hussain. I hugged my brother and there was great happiness among us.”
Shaikh Alauddin Attar (q) said,
“Shaikh Shah Naqshband was once sitting in a large association in Bukhara speaking about the Unveiling of the State of Vision. He said, ‘My best friend, Mawla ‘Arif, who is in Khwarazm, (400 miles from Bukhara) has left Khwarazm for the government building, and he reached the station of the horse-carriages. When he reached that station he stayed there for a moment and now he is going back to his house in Khwarazm. He is not continuing on to Saray. This is how a saint can see in his station of gnosis.’ Everyone was surprised at this story but we all knew that he was a great saint, so we recorded the time and the day. One day Mawla ‘Arif came from Khwarazm to Bukhara and we told him about that incident. He was very surprised and he said, ‘In truth, that is exactly what happened.'” [Shaikh Alauddin Attar]
Some scholars from Bukhara traveled to ‘Iraq with some followers of Shah Naqshband (q) when they reached the city of Simnan. They heard that there was a blessed man named Sayyid Mahmoud, who was a murid of the shaikh. They went to visit his house and asked him, “How did you become connected with the shaikh?” He said, “One night I saw the Prophet ﷺ in a dream, sitting in a very nice place, and beside him sat a man of majestic appearance. I said to the Prophet ﷺ, with complete respect and humbleness, ‘Ya Rasulallah, I was not honored to be your companion in your lifetime. What can I do in my lifetime that will approximate that honor?’ He told me, ‘O my son, if you want to be honored by being our friend and to sit with us and be blessed, you have to follow my son, Shah Baha’uddin Naqshband.’ I then asked, ‘Who is Shah Bahaudin Naqshband?’ He said to me, ‘Do you see that person sitting next to me? This is the one. Keep company with him.’ I had never seen him before. When I awoke I wrote his name and his description in a book that I have in my library. Much time passed after that dream, until one day, while I was standing in a shop, I saw a man with a luminous and majestic appearance come into the shop and sit on a chair. When I saw him, I remembered the dream and what had happened in it. Immediately I asked him if he would honor me by coming to my house and staying with me. He accepted and began to walk in front of me while I followed. I was shy to walk in front of him, even to lead the way to my house. He did not look at me once, but took the path directly to my house. I was about to say, ‘This is my house,’ when he said, ‘This is your house.’ He walked inside and went straight to my special room. He said, ‘This is your room.’ He went into the closet and he took one book from among hundreds of books. He gave me the book and asked me, ‘What did you write in this?’ What I had written was what I had seen in the dream. Immediately a state of unconsciousness overtook me and I fainted from the light that poured into my heart. When I awoke I asked him if he would accept me. He was Shah Baha’uddan Naqshband.”
Shaikh Muhammad Zahid (q) said,
“In the beginning of my travelling on the Path I was sitting beside him one day, in the spring season. A craving for watermelon entered my heart. He looked at me and said, ‘Muhammad Zahid, go to that river near us and bring us what you see and we will eat it.’ Immediately I went to the river. The water was very cold. I reached into it and found a watermelon under the water, very fresh, as if it had just been cut from the vine. I was very happy and I took the watermelon and said, ‘O my shaikh accept me.'” [Shaikh Muhammad Zahid]
It was reported that one of his followers was going to visit him. Before the visit, he asked Shaikh Shadi, one of the senior murids, to advise him. “He said to me, ‘O my brother, when you go to visit the shaikh or when you are sitting in the presence of the shaikh, be careful not to place your legs so that your feet face him.’ As soon as I left Ghaziut on my way to Qasr al-‘Arifan, I found a tree and lay down under it with my legs extended. Unfortunately an animal came and bit me on the leg. Later I fell back asleep in pain, and as I was sleeping again an animal bit me. Suddenly I realized that I had made a big mistake, I had extended my feet in the direction of the shaikh. I immediately repented and the animal biting me left.”
One time he was pushed to show miraculous power in order to defend one of his successors in Bukhara, Shaikh Muhammad Parsa. This occurred at the time when Shaikh Muhammad Shamsuddin al-Jazari came to Samarkand, in the time of King Mirza Aleg Beg, to determine the correctness of the chains of transmission in Narrations of the Prophetic Traditions. Some of the jealous and corrupt scholars had complained that Shaikh Muhammad Parsa was giving narrations of hadith whose chains of transmission were not known. They told Shamsuddin, “If you try to correct that problem, Allah will give you a great reward.” Shaikh Muhammad Shamsuddin asked the Sultan to order Shaikh Muhammad Parsa to appear. The Shaikh al-Islam of Bukhara, Husamuddin an-Nahawi, was there, along with many scholars and imams from the area.
Shah Naqshband (q) came with Muhammad Parsa (q) to the meeting. Then Shaikh Husamuddin asked Muhammad Parsa about a hadith. Muhammad Parsa narrated the hadith along with its chain of transmission. Shaikh Muhammad al-Jazari said, “There is no error in the hadith, but the chain is incorrect.” Upon hearing this the jealous scholars were happy. They asked Muhammad Parsa to give another chain for the hadith. He did, and it was again said that it was not correct. They asked for another chain, and he gave it and still they found fault with it.
Shah Naqshband interfered, because he knew that whatever chain he gave they would say it was incorrect. He inspired Muhammad Parsa to direct a question to Shaikh Husamuddin and say to him, “You are the Shaikh ul-Islam and the mufti. From what you have learned of external knowledge and sharia and the knowledge of hadith, what do you say about such and such narrator?” Shaikh Husamuddin said, “We accept that person and we base much of our knowledge of hadith on his narrations, and his book is accepted by us, and his lineage is one that all scholars accept, and there is no argument on that matter.” Muhammad Parsa said, “The book of that person that you are accepting is in your house in your library, between such and such books. It contains 500 pages and its color is such and such, and the cover looks like such and such, and the hadith you rejected is written by that person on page such and such.”
Shaikh Husamuddin was confused and doubts came to his heart, because he did not remember seeing such a book in his library. Everyone was surprised that the shaikh would know about the book while the owner didn’t know about it. There was no alternative except to send someone to check. The hadith was found as Muhammad Parsa mentioned. When the king heard about this story, the scholars who brought the charges were humiliated, and Shah Naqshband and Muhammad Parsa were raised up.
His State Upon Leaving This World
Shaikh Ali Damman, one of the servants of the Shaikh, said,”The shaikh ordered me to dig his grave. When I finished it came to my heart, ‘Who is going to be his successor?’ He raised his head from the pillow and said to me, ‘O my son, don’t forget what I said to you when we were on our way to the Hijaz. Whoever wants to follow me must follow Shaikh Muhammad Parsa (q) and Shaikh Alauddin Attar (q).’
In his last days, he stayed in his room. People made pilgrimage to see him and he gave them advice. When he entered his final illness he locked himself up in his room. Wave after wave of his followers began to visit him and he gave to each of them the advice they needed. At one point he ordered them to read Surah Ya Sin. Then when they had finished the Surah, he raised his hands to Allah. He then raised his right finger to say the shahada. As soon as he finished, his soul returned to Allah.
He died on a Monday night, the 3rd of Rabi’ul-Awwal, 791 H. (1388 CE). He was buried in his garden as he requested. The succeeding kings of Bukhara took care of his school and mosque, expanding them and increasing their religious endowments (awqaf).
Abdul Wahhab ash-Sha’arani, the qutb (Spiritual Pole) of his time said, “When the shaikh was buried in his grave, a window to Paradise was opened for him, making his grave a paradise from Heaven. Two beautiful spiritual beings entered his presence and greeted him and said to him, ‘From the time that Allah created us until now, we have waited for this moment to serve you.’ He said to these two spiritual beings, ‘I don’t look to anything other than Him. I don’t need you but I need my Lord.’
Shah Naqshband (q) left behind many successors, the most honorable among whom were Shaikh Muhammad bin Muhammad Alauddin al-Khwarazmi al-Bukhari al-Attar and Shaikh Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Mahmoud al-Hafizi, known as Muhammad Parsa, the author of Risala Qudsiyya. It is to the first that Shah Naqshband passed on the secret of the Golden Chain.
- Mawlana Shah Bahauddin Naqshband’s Miracles by Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani
- Main Page of Naqshbandi Golden Chain
- Video of Ziyarah of Shah Naqshband 2003 by Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, and Shaykh Nurjan Mirahmadi, in Bukhara, Uzbekistan