Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh: The Patron Saint of Lahore
Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh, also known as Ali Hujwiri, was a 11th-century Persian Sufi saint and scholar who is revered as one of the most influential figures of Islam in South Asia. He is best known for his famous book Kashf al-Mahjub (The Unveiling of the Hidden), which is considered one of the earliest and most authentic works on Sufism.
Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh was born in Ghazni, Afghanistan, in 1009 CE. He belonged to a noble family that traced its lineage to Imam Hasan, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He received his early education from his father and then traveled to various regions of the Islamic world to seek knowledge and spiritual guidance from renowned scholars and mystics. He visited Baghdad, Damascus, Mecca, Medina, Khorasan, Transoxiana and India.
He settled in Lahore, Pakistan, around 1040 CE and established a mosque and a khanqah (Sufi lodge) there. He preached Islam and Sufism to the masses and attracted many disciples and followers. He also wrote several books on Islamic jurisprudence, theology, philosophy and mysticism. His most famous work, Kashf al-Mahjub, is a comprehensive treatise on the doctrines and practices of Sufism, covering topics such as the stages of spiritual journey, the qualities of a true seeker, the etiquette of Sufi masters and disciples, the different orders and schools of Sufism, the miracles and wonders of saints, and the relationship between Sufism and Shariah.
Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh passed away in 1077 CE and was buried next to his mosque in Lahore. His shrine, known as Data Darbar, is one of the most visited and revered places in Pakistan. Millions of devotees from all walks of life and faiths visit his shrine every year to pay their respects and seek his blessings. He is widely regarded as the patron saint of Lahore and the spiritual father of South Asian Sufism.Kashf al-Mahjub is not only a masterpiece of Sufi literature, but also a valuable source of historical and cultural information. It contains biographies of more than 100 Sufi saints who lived before or during the time of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh, as well as anecdotes and stories that illustrate their teachings and experiences. It also provides insights into the social and political conditions of the Islamic world in the 11th century, such as the rise and fall of dynasties, the invasions of Mongols and Turks, the sectarian conflicts and debates, and the interactions between Muslims and non-Muslims.
The book has been translated into several languages, including Urdu, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, English and French. It has been widely read and studied by scholars and seekers of Sufism for centuries. It has also influenced many other Sufi writers and poets, such as Rumi, Hafiz, Attar, Jami and Iqbal. It is considered one of the essential texts for anyone who wants to understand the essence and spirit of Sufism.
South Asia has been a fertile ground for Sufism since the early days of Islam. Many Sufi saints have graced this region with their presence and teachings, spreading the message of love, peace and harmony among people of different faiths and cultures. Some of the most famous Sufi saints in South Asia are:
Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (1141-1236 CE), the founder of the Chishti order in India. He is also known as Gharib Nawaz (Benefactor of the Poor) and Sultan ul-Hind (King of India). He is buried in Ajmer, India.
Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar (1173-1266 CE), the successor of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and the master of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. He is also known as Ganj-e-Shakar (Treasure of Sugar) and Shakar Ganj (Sugar House). He is buried in Pakpattan, Pakistan.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya (1238-1325 CE), the most famous disciple of Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar and the spiritual guide of Amir Khusrau. He is also known as Mehboob-e-Ilahi (Beloved of God) and Sultan ul-Mashaikh (King of Saints). He is buried in Delhi, India.
Hazrat Amir Khusrau (1253-1325 CE), the most celebrated poet and musician of South Asia. He was a disciple of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and a pioneer of many genres and styles of poetry and music. He is also known as Tuti-e-Hind (Parrot of India) and Khuda-e-Sukhan (God of Speech). He is buried near Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi, India.
Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (1689-1752 CE), the greatest poet and mystic of Sindhi language. He was a follower of the Qadri order and composed many beautiful verses on love, devotion and wisdom. He is also known as Bhit Jo Shah (The King of Bhit) and Lal Latif (The Red Latif). He is buried in Bhit Shah, Pakistan. 061ffe29dd