The Khadims are have been intimately connected with the holy shrine since the time of hazrat khwaja Moinuddin Chishty. Their existence is merged in the existence of the dargah sharif. It was several centuries after the rights of khadims had been well-established and regognised by the sovereign powers.
Nobody has got the right to appoint or dismiss them and they are not paid servants.
The word khadim is therefore, a mark of respect for the khadim community. The services which they have been performing in the dargah sharif for centuries have associated with them the feelings of reverence of innumerable Mohammadans of india and abroad, and these people pride themselves over being known as Khadims of Khwaja Baba.
The khadims possessing historical rights appertaining to,
the holy tomb of the prophet s.a.w. at madina,
the tomb of hazrat imam hussain a.s. at karbal and
dargah sharif of hazrat shaikh abdul qadir jilani r.a. at baghdad
Are designated as khadims and mujawirs.
“History of Khadims”
The history is evident that Huzoor Gharib Nawza came to India in 1197 A.D. and he was accompanied by forty Sufi Saints, Derveshes, including His Calipahs and associates. HAZRAT KHWAJA FAQRUDDIN GURDEZI (The first worthy disciple of Hazrat Khwaja Usman-e-Harooni R.A.) was one of them.
He was Hussaini Syed born in 544 Hijri at Gurdez, which is a suburb of Kabul and not far from Qandhar.
HAZRAT KHWAJA USMAN-E-HAROONI R.A.
The religious guide and spiritual teacher of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty R.A. asked his worthy obedient and most faithful disciple Hazrat Khwaja Faqruddin Gurdezi to remain associate upto the last breath with Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty and to assist and serve him in every stage.
While Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty was seen off for the sacred mission of preaching Islamic doctrines to India, being the honour and privilege of Peer.
HAZRAT KHWAJA FAQRUDDIN GURDEZI
Had accompanied and lived with Huzoor Gharib Nawaz as one of the foremost and dutiful companions of the elder saint. He remained the chief attendant during the life time of Huzoor Gharib Nawaz. He played a pivotal role during Khawaja’s absence from Ajmer and after his demise. Hazrat Khwaja Faqruddin Gurdezi being the trustworthy and was entrusted to look after the whole affairs relating to LANGAR KHANA (FREE KITCHEN) etc. He died at the age of 93 on 26th Rajjab 637 Hijri and is buried by the side of Khwaja Sahib in a special Hujra (cell) now called Toshakhana, situated inside his (Gharib Nawaz) shrine.
After the demise of Hazrat Khwaja Faqruddin Gurdezi the whole management and the care taking services of Holy Shrine was being carried out by the Khadim-e-Khwaja. (KHADIMS ARE THE DESCENDENTS OF HAZRAT KHWAJA SYED FAQRUDDIN GURDEZI R.A.) and still it runs by them.
For instance, Sultan Mehmood Khilji, Emperor of Delhi paid homage to the tomb of Khwaja Sahib in 859 A.H. to commemorate his victory over a powerful ruler, he built mosque at Ajmer and accorded benevolent treatment to the Mujawirs, namely Khadim-e-Khwaja. He was the first sovereign in whose reign constructions appertaining to the Khwaja Sahib’s dargah were made.
The emperor Akbar paid a number of visits to the tomb of the Khwaja Sahib, as is evident by the Akbarnama and other and other contemporaneous historical works. He bestowed on the Khadims of the Khwaja sahib the considerable sum of rs. 2 lacs. (farishta, vol.1, page 375). He made considerable additions to the dargah buildings and was the first monarch who granted a jagir for the maintenance of the dargah (ajmer regulation, vol. Ii, h to l). The relation of emperor Akbar with the Khadims were so cordial that in the Ibadat-Khana at Fatehpur Sikri his greatest means of spiritual and intellectual pleasure and enlightenment was to engage in literary, philosophical and theological discussions with the Khadims of the Khwaja Sahib (Muntakhabut-twarikh, vol 2, page 200). . The queen of the emperor Akbar gave birth to princess Daniyal in the house of Sheikh Daniyal, a member of the Khadim community, and the prince was named after the sheikh (Akbarnama, page 580 & Tuzak-I-Jahangiri page 25).
The prince Dara Shikoh writes in one of his works that even the non-Muslims public visits the Gargah khwaja sahib, with profound feelings of reverence and presents to theKhadims and Mujawirs the amounts of offerings and gifts to the Dargah Sharif.
The rituals of the Holy Shrine are in the hands of a group of Khuddam known as HAFT BARIDAR (SARGANA). Mughal Emperor Shahjahan organized a system to ensure that the duties of locking and unlocking the Holy Shrine and performing the holy ceremonies. A sanad (document) was issued dividing the Khuddam Hazraat into seven groups, each group being responsible for the holy shrine for one day each week. The system is still in force.
On their duty day, the Haft Baridar take charge of the keys of the Holy Shrine and assume responsibility for all that happens within. Their day begins before dawn when the main entrance of the Holy Shrine is opened. Devotees are allowed inside as far as the second door, but at this time only the Khadim Hazraat may enter the inner sanctum itself to perform the ceremony Khidamt Sharif. The flower from the previous day are removed from the tomb and fresh flowers are presented. The Chadar (Ghilaf) which cover the tomb and were presented the previous day are removed. The surround of the tomb is swept with a brush of peacock feathers. When this is completed devotees are allowed right inside the Holy Shrine (Mausoleum). Khidamat Sharif is performed for a second time every day at 3:00 p.m. On this occasion male devotees as well as Khuddam Hazrat are allowed into the inner sanctum while the ceremony is being performed. The Fatiha is read and sandal presented.
The next day ceremony is held fifteen minutes before the Maghrib Prayer. Khuddam Hazrat take unlighted candles to Holy Shrine. Meanwhile the dargah drummers in the Naqqar Khana begin to play, and a crowd gathers around the tomb. The candles are placed in the four lamps at each corner of the tomb and lit. Holding the lamps above their heads, the Khuddam Hazrat recite some Persian verses in praise and honour of Sultan-ul-Hind Huzoor Gharib Nawaz.
When one fifth of the night has passed, baridar clear the Holy Shrine and again sweep around the tomb.
“KHADIMS CONNECTIONS WITH THE HOLY SHRINE IS NOT ANCIENT BUT INTIMATE”
They introduce pilgrims to the shrine, their business keeps them attached to the Dargah Sharif and present in it and obliges them to go to it all hours of the day. They look to the comforts of the pilgrims. They introduce them while inside the Dargah.
The Holy Shrine is totally intact and is in the complete possession of the Khadim Community under lock and key.