Hazrat Baba Farid-Uddin Masood Ganj-e-Shaker
The famed Saint of the Chistia Order was born at village Kahotwal in the district of Multan in the year 569 Hijri. His father, Maulana Kamal Uddin, belonged to the royal family of Kabul. Farrukh Adil shah, a famous ruler of the dynasty, ruled over Kabul with dignity for a long time. Maulana Kamal Uddin was a descendant of Umar Farouk and had twenty of his ancestors in between. When Chingez Khan directed his attention towards Kabul, he left the place and came to Punjab and finally settled down in the village of Kahotwal of Multan. His mother, Qarsam Khatun, was the daughter of a renowned learned man. Hazrat Gang-e-Shakar was pious, God-fearing, devoted, and a man of wondrous spiritual powers. His original name was Masood Farid and Ganj-e-Shaker was titles.
His mother was his teacher who imbibed in him virtues of head and heart and made him say his prayers regularly. He received his early education in Kahotwal and later went to Multan for higher studies. Here he learnt the Qu'Oran by heart and took lessons on Arabic. During this period Hazrat Qutab-Uddin Bakhtiyar Ka'aki came to the mosque to say his prayers were Baba Farid studied. He was busy in the study of 'Nafey', a book on Jurisprudence at the time. Hazrat Bakhtiyar Ka'aki said. " Masood: What do you read?" He replied, "Nafey," Hazrat Ka'aki said." Do you think, the book Nafey will benefit you?" He replied, "No, I beseech of your kindness". He raised and placed his head on the feet of the Hazrat Ka'aki, who embraced him lovingly and admitted him as his disciple. When the Qutab prepared to leave for Delhi he requested him to accompany him but he instructed him to complete his education and went to Delhi himself.
Baba Farid complied with the wishes of his teacher and guide completed his studies of usual subjects and turned out a great man of letters.
He started on a journey to Ghazni, Baghdad, and Badakhshan and met the holy men there. During this period he had the distinction of meeting saints: Sheikh Shahab Uddin founder of the Suharawardy order, Sheikh Saif-Uddin Khizri, Sheikh Syed Uddin Hamvi, Sheikh Bahauddin Zakaria Multani, and Sheikh Farid Uddin Attar Neshapuri, to name a few.
Arrives in Delhi
Having returned from his travels abroad he reached Delhi to see his teacher and guide. The Qutab received him warmly and put him up in a room out of the Ghazni gate and started his intrinsic training. Baba Farid busied himself in intense prayer and meditation.
Origin of the title of Ganj-e-Shaker
Once Baba was passing through a jungle. He was hot and thirsty. There was no water around. At last he saw a well but there was neither bucket nor rope to draw water. This dismayed him and he sat there. A short while later a herd of deer's appeared at the well. The well water rose upto the brim of the well. The deer's drank to their fill. But when Baba Farid reached it the water lowered. He said complaining to God," Am I inferior to the deer that water came up for them but for me it went down?" He heard the answer, "The deer depended upon us but you trusted the bucket and rope. What to complain for now!"
Baba Farid realized his mistake and felt ashamed he fasted, as penance, for 40 days. On the last day, he had nothing to eat so that he might break the fast. In the event he put a piece of clay in his mouth that turned sugar. When news reached his teacher he exclaimed, "Farid is a store-house of Sugar."
Once Baba Farid was travelling. Some camel's laden with sugar passed before him. He said to the Camel drivers, "What do you carry?" They replied, Salt!" He said, "May it be salt! When the bags were opened, they were found filled with salt. The camel drivers were non-pulsed, came to him asked forgiveness. The Sheikh said, "Go if it was sugar, it would be sugar". On their return the camel drivers found that the bags were full of sugar. The incidence received wide currency and Baba Farid came to be known by the title 'Ganj-e-Shaker'
For most of time he remained busy in prayers and was so deeply engrossed in that he lost touch of the world. During his stay in Delhi he grew so weak, that once when Khawaja Moin-uddin Chisti came to see Qutab-Uddin Bakhtiyar Ka'aki, and went to see Baba Farid in his room, he could not stand to receive him. The Khawaja was moved and blessed Baba Farid and gave him his dress. Hazrat, Qutab-Uddin Ka'aki wrapped the turban, signifying the status of his, spiritual heir, on his head with his hands. He became extremely popular. People thronged to him. When crowds increased he left Delhi for Hansi.
Self-sufficiency and Fasting
He often remained engrossed in prayers and meditation and kept fasts for most of the time. His kitchen was symptoms and served the needs of the poor and the hungry of the city. When time of, the breaking of the fast approached, he ate the frungal he had at the time.
Stay in Hansi
From Delhi he went to Hansi. Hearing the news of the demise of his teacher and guide he returned to Delhi.
The relics of the Teacher
Having listened to the death of his teacher he returned to Delhi from Hansi and said the Fatiha at the grave. Qazi Hamid Uddin Nagori then entrusted him his teacher's relics robe of spiritual heir, the staff, the sandals, prayer mat and etc in accordance to the wishes of the deceased: Having taken the things and in order to continue the divine work, he returned to Hansi.
His stay at Ajodhan or Pak pattn
He engaged in the service of the Faith whole heartily but the love of the people was so overwhelming that it disturbed him. He left Hansi for Pak pattan (formally named Ajodhan) in Punjab. The beggars and saints were given scant respect in Pak pattan. People hated them and treated disrespectfully. He thought it was the right place for him. He laid his blanket away from human habitation and busied in praying God but soon people started collecting around him.
When the number of his followers increased he built a house for his dependants near the Jama Majid, but continued to live at original site. His popularity increased. The city Qazi grew envious of him and obtained a sentence from the theologians against him but when truth was revealed, he was acquitted of all charges. The city Qazi was humiliated.
Propagation of the Faith
His stay at Pak pattan proved useful for the propagation of Islam. He did marvelously in Punjab and Sindh and quite a large number of people embarrassed Islam because of his attempts. Sultan Ghayasuddin Balban was greatly impressed of his endeavors; He gave away his daughter in marriage to him who bore him six sons.
Baba Farid passed away in 664 Hijri at Pak pattan and laid to rest there. Besides the followers, his spiritual heirs are Qutub Uddin Hansi, Maulana Nizam Uddin Mehboob-e-Ilahi, and Makhdoom Ala-Uddin Sabir Kalahari.
Revelations and Miracles
Once an old woman carried a pail of milk on her head. He called her and asked her where she was taking the milk. She answered that there was a yogi living nearby. If a thing demanded by him was not given to him it turned to blood. The yogi waited for sometime and then sent his disciple to Enquirer into the matter. The disciples saw her the old women and called her names. When he exceeded beyond the limits of decency Baba Farid asked him to be quiet. He lost his power of speech. The yogi then sent another disciple and the same occurred to him. Several of his disciples came and sat there mute. In the end the yogi himself came and became furious with the woman. Baba Farid ordered him to keep quiet and he too lost his power of speech. Then the yogi realized his mistake and the spiritual power of the Baba. With folded hands he begged forgiveness. The Baba excused him on the condition that he would not harass any person.
He wrote and edited several books. Sheikh Nizam Uddin, his follower and spiritual heir, edited his articles into a book, Rahat-Ul-Quloob. The other book Seair-ul-Auliya contains biographical articles and was edited by his another disciple and heir, Badar Ishaq.
Copyright © 1997 - 98 MYASA Enterprises & WEB @ NET .