Qutub-Ul-Aqtab Khawaja Bakhtiyar Ka'aki


He was a dignified scholar and saint of his time and several men of letters were his followers. His name was Bakhtiyar and titles were Qutub-Ul-Aqtab (Chief of the great saints) and the Qutub-ul-Islam (Chief of Islam).

Like his teacher and guide (Khawaja Moin-uddin Chisti) he was Hussain Syed and descendant of Imam Husain. His father, Syed Kamal-uddin, was a resident of the town Uosh in the region of Mavraul Nehr.



Signs of holiness were evident when he was in the womb of his mother. His mother mentioned: "During pregnancy when I woke up for the late-night prayer, I heard the mention of the name of Allah for a short while. " There are many disputes as to his date of birth but his year of birth, as generally agreed, is the year 569 Hijri.

He took Khawaja Moin-uddin as his teacher and guide and so he is known one belonging to the Chistia order. His teacher awarded him the title Qutubul-Aqtab whereas Ka'aki is his qualitative name.

When Khawaja Bakhtiyar Ka'aki made Delhi his place of residence and renounced all worldly things and remained busy in prayer and meditation, his dependents lived the life of extreme penury and poverty. His wife arranged for food and sometimes borrowed money form the wife of the grocer, Sharafuddin. One day the wife of the grocer taunted her, "If we do not lend you money, your children would die of hunger." When he came to know of it, he asked her not to borrow any money form her but to take out the required number of Ka'aki (a kind of bread) from the alcove in his room and give them to the children to eat. From this he came to be known as Ka'aki.

One day Amir Khusro asked Mahboob-e-Ilahi Khawaja Nizam-Uddin why he was called Ka'aki. The Sultan-ul-Mashaekh (King of the Saints i.e. Hazrat Nizam-Uddin) replied, "One day he was sitting on the bank of Shamsi-Hauz along with his disciples. Cool air was blowing. The disciples said," What! If we can get hot Ka'aki to eat. " Hearing this he entered into the water and offered hot Ka'aki to them. From the day he was called Ka'aki.

Initial Education

His father passed away when he was one and a half-year-old. The mother gave her unstinted attention to his education and rearing-up. She regarded it as her sacred duty. When he could read, she sent him, to a pious taught tutor, Maulana Abu-Hafiz. He received his lessons on Religion from him.

To the Teacher

The author of Sair-Ul-Auliya says that he met Sheikh Shahab Uddin Suharawardy, Sheikh Auhad Uddin Kirmani and Moin-Uddin Chisti Sangria in the mosque of Abul-lais Samarkand in Baghdad, in the month of Rajab of 522 Hijri and entered into their orders. Saheb-e-Sair-Ul-Auliya (author) describes that when Khawaja Chisti reached Uosh, he was admitted to his order and received the rank of his spiritual heir at the age of seventeen.

Prayers and Meditation

Hazrat Nizam Uddin says about his teacher that the Sheikh passed most of his time in prayers and meditation, abandoned sleep, and nobody saw him lying on bed. In the beginning he slept for a short time but later forsook it. He often said, " Ever if I sleep, I feel it very bad."

The chroniclers say that having been admitted to the fold of Hazrat Moin Udin Chisti he said 95 rakat Namaz during (24 Hours of) day and night and recited Davood to the Prophet three thousand times during the night. In the preliminary three nights of his marriage he could not keep up with his routine. The Prophet appeared in the dream of a saint, Rais Ahmad, and told him to ask Bakhtiyar the reason of the indifference. Hearing this he divorced his wife.

The Travels

Like his teacher he traveled extensively and met many a saintly people and witnessed strange incidents. He has mentioned them in details in his articles of young by a river. He says that one-day he was sitting with Qazi Hamid Uddin Nagori on a bank of a river that he saw a big scorpion creeping fast. "I said, there was some secret." Both of us followed the scorpion, which reached a tree and killed a big snake. There slept a man nearby. We approached him and found that he was a drunkard and down under the influence of wine. We stayed there and wondered why God bestowed upon such a sinner His mercy. We heard: "If we only take pity on the pious, who would help the poor?" After the man woke up and was surprised to see the dead snake we told him the story. He was ashamed and in a short time he rose to become a great saint. God gifted him with His divine knowledge.

Came to India

Hazrat Khawaja Moin-uddin Chisti came to India and settled down in Ajmer. Hazrat Bakhtiyar Ka'aki could not bear his separation any longer, left his homeland and started for India. On the way having enjoyed the hospitality of Sheikh Bahauddin Zakaria and Sheikh Jalaluddin Tabrez at Multan finally came to Delhi. Sultan Altutmish was the king and was greatly devoted to the holymen. He requested him to stay in the capital but Hazrat Bakhtiyar Ka'aki preferred to stay at Kilokheri. The Sultan went to see him once a week. The Sultan again made a request that he had to travel such a distance. Moreover, the state work suffered. Hazrat Bakhtiyar Ka'aki, at last, moved to the capital and stayed, in the mosque of Malik Ainuddin.

In Delhi he became extremely popular rich or poor equally visited him and drew favour from him. The king and his court pledged their obedience to him. In the meantime Sheikh-ul-Islam Maulana Jamal Uddin Bustami died and the Sultan wished to confer upon him the rank but the declined the offer. He said, "We, beggars have no relation to them." The Sultan wished to offer him anything he wanted but he never demanded anything from him. He grew so popular that nobody cared of Sheikh-ul-Islam Najmuddin Sughra who himself was a great learned man and mystic. When Hazrat Chisti once visited Delhi, he complained to him of his insignificance. The Khawaja ordered Hazrat Bakhtiyar Ka'aki to accompany him to Ajmer. He was beside himself with joy. But when people knew that Bakhtiar was leaving Delhi they appealed to the Khawaja with tearful eyes to spare him and let him remain in Delhi. Hazrat Khawaja had to relent.

Last Meeting with the Teacher

Hazrat Bakhtiyar visited Ajmer to see his teacher before his demise and stayed there, for several days. One day the Khawaja appeared at the place where his disciples sat, called Hazrat Bakhtiyar Ka'aki, and said, "0, Saints! The entire world is illuminated (with the heavenly light). I have been brought here because here is my grave."

After which Hazrat Khawaja Moin Uddin Chisti dictated an order to the writer ordering him to leave for Delhi. He was assigned the rank of Khalifa. Later, he called him near, wrapped his turban on his (Hazrat Bakhtiar's) head, gave him Sheikh Haroon's staff, his own copy of the holy Qu'Oran and prayermat. He bade adieu to his teacher and returned to Delhi. After 40 days, a messenger came from Ajmer bearing the news of the death of Hazrat Khawaja Moin-uddin Chisti.

His Services

The torch of Faith illuminated by Hazrat Moin-uddin Chisti was kept burning and spreading the light far and near by Hazrat Bakhtiyar Ka'aki predominantly. The movement of the propagation of Islam so ably started by Hazrat Moin Uddin Chisti was not only strengthened but extended also.


Self-sufficiency and Fasting: He spent most of his time in fasting. His dependants passed their days in extreme poverty. The teacher had permitted him to borrow to the tune of 500 dirhams but he avoided it. He never had enough money to pay the Zakaat tax.


He was a generous soul. Whatever he received, he gave it away to the poor; whenever he had nothing in the house he Asked the servant to serve the people with cold water.


Sultan Shamsuddin Altutmish was devoted to him and could have given him anything he wanted but he never demanded a thing from him. Once the Sultan wanted to grant him a jagir and his minister arrived with the Sultan's proclamation with the request to accept it, he declined and said that the earlier saints of the Chistia order never accepted such things, how could he do it?

Once the royal secretary came and offered him several villages. He called him to come near and lifted a corner of his prayer mat. The Secretary was surprised he saw the river of wealth flowing. He then replied, "Whoever has such vast treasures from God, what would he do with a few villages".

Love of the Prophet:

Like his teacher and guide he was deeply involved in love for the prophet; recited Davood three thousand times a night; told the Tradition and instructed to follow the Shareiah.


He was fond of music and regarded it lawful under certain conditions and limitations. He passed away during such a recital. The Qawwals (a certain type of Singers) began with the ode of Sheikh Ahmad Jam. When they song the couplet:

Kushtagan-e-Khanjar-e-tasleem ra

Harzaman az ghaib Jan digar ast.

It so much moved the saint that he went into trance and remained so for four days. Whenever he regained consciousness, he asked to repeat it. On the fifth night he died.


He was an accomplished writer and a versatile poet. His books are:

Dalil-Ul-Aarfeen, Zudatul - Khalaiq, Rissole, Masnavi, Persian Works.

His Quotes

Revelations and Miracles

When Hazrat Bakhtiyar Ka'aki was at Multan, Qibacha Beg the ruler of Multan, came to see him. He said, "The Mangols have invaded Multan and I have no power to face them. For God's sake, help me."

The Qutab gave him an arrow and said, "After the evening prayer, appear on the tower of the rampart and shoot it with a bow in the direction of enemy, then watch what God does."

The ruler of Multan did as asked. As the arrow fell, the Mangols fled from the battlefield.


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