His childhood was not like that of other children of his age, but, instead, he showed the traits of a marvellous personality, which he was to attain.
During the days of his infancy, whenever any woman came to his house with her child, and the child cried for milk, he used to make sign to his mother implying that his milk should be given to the child. His mother, understanding his sign, used to give her milk to the child. He felt great joy at this spectacle, and used to laugh out of joy.
Even when he was only three or four years old, he used to invite the children of his age and feed them.
On the occasion of a certain Eed, Hazrat Khawaja Gharib Nawaz, when still a child, being richly dressed, was going to offer his prayers. On the way he happened to see a child who was blind and in torn clothes. He was greatly moved. Out of compassion and mercy, he gave his own clothes to the child, and took the child with him to Eed-Gah. He never participated in play with the children ofhis age.
Training and Early Education
He was brought up in Khorasan. He received his early education at home. At the age of nine, he committed the Holy Qur’ an to memory.
Afterwards, he sought admission in a Muktab (school) in Sanjar. He concentrated mostly on Hadith and jurisprudence (Fiqh). Within a short time, he acquired a fairly good knowledge.
Like Holy Prophet Muhammad, he also became an orphan hen he was hardly 15 years old. On the 15th of Sha’ ban in the ar 544 A. H., his father was laid to his Eternal Rest.
After the death of his father, when family assets were distributed, he inherited, as a portion of his share, a grinding stone and a garden. These formed his source of livelihood.
Meeting with Hazrat Ibrahim Qandoozi,
From the very early age, he liked the company of saints, mystics, and Dervishes, and offered them great respect and igard. His meeting with Hazrat Ibrahim Qandoozi was a, turning point in his life.
It so happened that one day between the months, of Sha’ban arid Zil Hijj, in the year 544 A.H, (he was running in his fifteenth year then), when be was iatering his garden, a mystic, named Flazrat Ibrahim Qandoozi, all of a sudden, entered-the garden. Hazrat Gharib Nawaz extended to him the utmost courtesy and a hearty welcome. He presented him a bunch of grapes.
The mystic was highly pleased by the hospitable treatment accorded to him. He wanted to repay him. He took out a piece of oil-cake and chewing it gave it to Gharib Nawaz. He ate it up. The effect of it was a noticeable change in Khawaja Gharib Nawaz. He felt disgusted with mundane affairs. He was enamoured ofahigherlife. He sold offhis grinding stone andthe garden, and distributed the proceeds thereof amongst the indigent, the poor, and the needy. Having done all this, he started on his tours and travels in search of Truth.
Stay in Samarqand and Bukhara,
544-550 A.H. (1150-1155 A.D.)
In, those days Baghdad-, Samarqand and Bukhara were the centres of Islamic learning. During his travels, he reached Khorasan, first. Subsequently, reaching Samarqand and Bukhara he learnt the three R’s) Some biographers have expressed the view that, when on his way to Samarqand from Bukhara on the 11th of Safar in the year 545 A.H., he stayed: in Tukand. Some are of opinion that he continued to acquire knowledge and learning for twenty-four or thirty-four years. But it is correct to- say that he continued receiving education here up to the age of twenty.
He counted, as his reachers, the two outstanding scholars of his time, namely, Maulana Hissam-ud-Din ofBukhara and, Share- ui-Islam Maulana Sharf-ud-Din Saheb.2
Political Conditions of Hits Time
The sixth century of Hijra was, really, a trouble some period. The forces of darkness and evil had already gained the upper hand. The Ghazni dynasty in India was staggering in its last bid for power. The foundations of Ghor dynasty had already been laid in India. India, then, was a big battle-fleid. Seistan and Khorasan were in the twilight of their days. The Tartars had suddenly emerged to power and dominance. The Muihadins had performed notorious acts of mass massacre. They had, by their acts and deeds, Shown themselves to be a scourge of God on earth. Thousands of learned men had been put to death by their secret agents, known as Fidais. They were trying to discredit Islam.3 Let us quote from Tabaqat-e-Nasiri: “In the district of Khorasan, mass massacres, plunders, slaughters and murders were committed with impunity. The famous cities of Nishapur and Meshad were looted and destroyed. The learned, the pious, and the holy were indiscriminatel.y and most mercilessly put to death. Heaps ofcorpses formed spectacular exhibits to be seen in the public streets, Even asylum in a mosque conferred no guarantee )f safety of life.”
The prominent amongst those who lost their lives were many, besides Muhammad son of Yaha, Abdur Rehman son of Abdus Samad of Nishapur, Imarn Ahmad son of Husain, Abul I3arakat Faravi and Husain son of Abdul Majid Razi.
Not only this, but to complete the melodramatic performance )f acts of violence and massacre, the famous and invaluable libraries of Nishapur were put to flames.
At this time, Malik Sanjar was the ruler of Khorasan. He styled himselfas ‘Nasir-ud-Din’ during the lifetime ofhis brother vtuhammad. But, after the death of his brother,, he adopted the title of ‘Muiz-ud-Din.’ In 548 A.H. the residents of Chinese Turkistan created turmoil and unrest. Sultan Sanjar would not 4 brook their incursions. He attacked them. But, unfortunately, the Sultan was defeated. He was taken a prisoner of war. The marauding hordes, thus, then, brought the whole country of Khorasan under their sway. .
Confusion on an unprecedented scale prevailed. Everybody took what he liked and killed whom he liked. There was darkness all around. There was little peace in the land. Law and order was only in name. In short, there was a complete state of anarchy.
In the year 55 1 A.H., it so happened that Malik Sanjar escaped from their custody and, at last, died a heart-broken man in 552 A.H. Khorasan then was portioned off into small principalities. Subsequently, Bani Khuwarazm Shah overran Is1han, and snatched the city of Isfahan and the province of Ghazni from Bani Subaktagin. At last, there arose Chingez Khan to power and prominence in the beginning ofthe seventh century Hijra He put an end to his glory and rule.4
It is worth mentioning here that a famous saint named Sh.eikh Najm-ud-Din Kubra lost his life at the hands of the Tartars in the year 618 A.H.5