Khawaja Gharib Nawaz is a spiritual world force. His narn echoes and re-echoes not only in every part of India, but alsc beyond the Himalayas and the seas.
He is not only respected, esteemed, honoured, implored, but in fact is the focus of attention, and a centre of hope to myriads ofpeople, belonging as they do to different castes, creeds, religions and nationalities.
He inspired and guided people during his lifetime, and he continues to guide and inspire even now.
People of every strata and status flocked to him during his lifetime. The commoners and the kings rubbed shoulders, when in his presence; Shahab-ud-Din Ghawri and Sultan Shams-ud-Din Al-tamash served as his humble attendants in his lifetime.
After his passing away, the same practice prevails. His Dargah draws to it the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the rulers and the ruled, and the needy and the poor.
The Moghul emperors like Akbar Jahangir, and Shah Jahan would present themselves in his Court, make offerings, and wait for his pleasure and blessings. Saints would come here and dedicate their lives in his service and devotion. People would come, in times of difficulty, and respectfully and reverentially represent it to him and humbly ask for solution. Nobody went deprived from his Court.
His spfritual descendants are to be found everywhere. The Chishtis, the Faridis, the Nizamis and the Sabiris, etc., owe their very being and existence to him. They are the torch-bearers of his message and mission.
Kilawaja Gharib Nawaz, by the force of his personality, strength of character, high spiritual attainments, and an enlarged conscience, brought about an unexpected transformation in the people and the populace, which eventually, ushered in a new climate ofsocial, cultural, religious, mystical and spiritual thought and action.
He is a symbol and an example ofan everlasting life, earned through selfless service’ renunciation, asceticism, reverential remembrance of and devotion to God.
Gharib Nawaz is the perfect representation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Apart from similarity in living, action and mission, the similarity continues, in that the Holy Prophet shifted from Mecca to Medina. Khawaja Gharib Nawaz left his home and hearth and settled in Ajmer.
The last resting place of the 1-loly Prophet Muhammad, i.c. Medina, is surrounded by hills, and so is Ajmer, the last resting place of Khawaja Gharib Nawaz.
There is scarcity of water in Medina, and so is there in Ajmer. There are small narrow lanes in Medina, and so there are in Ajmer.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad, when he breathed his last, was buried in the same tenement in which he used to live. And so was Gharib Nawaz buried in the same tenement in which he used to live.
In his lifetime, Khawaja Gharib Nawaz evinced marvellous spiritual and mystical powers. To name a few, he gave a message of hope, courage and victory to Sultan Shahab-ud-Din Ghori, and by dint of Gharib Nawaz’s blessing, he was able to conquer India.
On another occasion, when a certain disciple came to Gharib Nawaz, and submitted to him that the Officer-in-Charge of the city wanted him to leave the city, Gharib Nawaz thereupon inquired from him his whereabouts.
The disciple submitted that he had gone out for hunting. Thereupon, Gharib Nawaz said that he did wrong. It would be a great surprise if he returned alive. After some time the news spread that he fell down from his horse and died.Once an innocent man was hanged. The mother of the deceased came to Khawaja Gharib Nawaz, and implored his aid. Khawaja Gharib Nawaz, with a stick in his hand, reached the gallows with the mother of the deceased and some Sufis and other people and pointing the stick towards the dead body said: “If thou art innocent, come to life by the command of God and come down from the gallows.”
He became alive and, coming down from the gallows, put his head on Gharib Nawaz’s feet and accompanied his mother to his home.
After his passing away, the same mystical powers are not extinct. Hazrat Baba Farid-ud-Din Ganj Shakar says that once he was sitting by the side of Khawaja Gharib Nawaz’s grave. He offered his prayer and began to recite the Holy Qur’an. He forgot to recite one word in Sura Kahf and Sura I’4iam.
He heard a voice coming out from the grave that he had left one word. He should read correctly.
Now we see with our own eyes that thousands of people come from far-off places to his tomb to pay their respects and homage to him, season in and season out. They incur huge expenses, undergo all the hardships ofthe journey, and bear all sorts of troubles and inconveniences. If it be not his personal magnetism, force of personality and supernatural power, what else can it be!
We see with our own eyes that Time and Circumstance have not been allowed to enter into a conspiracy to abolish, to wipe out and to extinguish the customs, traditions, usages and ceremonies obtaining in his Dargah, which are coming down from centuries past.
In spite ofrevolutionary changes everywhere, the changing order has not been able to affect any ceremony in his Dargah. We see that ceremonies are still performed in his Dargah with clock- like regularity and with utmost punctuality. These facts are a proof of his supernatural powers,
There can be no doubt that after a lapse of centuries people still repose their faith, hope and belief in him. The light shines and, like the moth, the devotees come to sacrifice their all.
There are some devotees who hold that attending his tomb seven times amounts to Hajj.
The Sufis believe that by sweeping his Dargah Sharif, they will be cleaning their own hearts of impurity.
They think that by lighting his Dargah Sharif, they will be kindling light in their own hearts: and by giving water to the thirsty in his Dargah, they will be quenching the thirst of their own hearts. They hold that by bowing down low their head at his tomb they will be gaining high position thereby.
Khawaja Gharib Nawaz was a man with a mission. The part played by him, and in undertaking the mission, and in seeing it through is unique and unparalleled. He had to face and encounter difficulties ofall sorts. He had to cross many hurdles. He had to meet powerful opposition. In short, such were the difficulties that only a man of dauntless spirit, unflagging zeal, high ideals, iron will, firm determination, purified heart and high spiritual powers could overcome them.
Moreover, there was the difficulty of language; Gharib Nawaz spoke Persian. The mutual contact brought into existence a new dialects, which subsequently developed into a full-fledged language, known as “Urdu”. Thus, in this way, Khawaja Gharib Nawaz is the founder of the Urdu language.
The music concerts of Khawaja Gharib Nawaz worked arid proved as a cementing force. They brought people together. They created and sustained the bond of mutual love. They enabled the people gathered together to come closer and understand each other.
Khawaja Gharib Nawaz gave to the world the message f truth, love and of human brotherhood. His ideal was a society based on mutual love, mutual trust, mutual understanding, mutual goodwill, and mutual respect.
He laid the foundations of composite culture in India which grew up by the blend of what is best in Islam and in Indian thought and culture.
This culture was subsequently accepted as the ideal form of culture, cherishing, nourishing, sustaining, and maintaining the people of this vast subcontinent.
In has come down to us in the form of new values, and as a new outlook and approach towards life.
Its characteristics are love, sobriety, thankfulness, generosity, hospitality, contentment, trust in God, hope, belief and faith, truthfulness, honesty, integrity, asceticism, renunciatan, piety, sincerity, fondness for social service, devotion, and a desire to be a useful member of society.
Thus Khawaja Gharib Nawaz has brought to bear hi personality on our ideas and ideals, life and literature, poetry and painting, thoughts and traditions, concepts and customs, work and worship, religion and rituals, art and architecture, and on ow way of thinking, mode of living, and method of talking.
He it is who preached what he practised and who through hif preachings and precepts and through his writings, letters and discourses spread the knowledge of spiritualism and mysticism.
Khawaja Gharib Nawaz is a saint whom we can approach without appointment, and before whom we may disclose ourselves without despair.
In his life, Khawaja Oharib Nawaz was an example teaching us how to live; in his death he is an epitome teaching us how to win immortality.
In the end we can say that Khawaja Gharib Nawaz, like a true saint, is a divine landscape where all the rare beauties ofGod are lively and deeply portrayed and carefully drawn forth.