He was born in 1201 Hijri. His hometown is Jhanjhaanah. His father’s name was Sayyid Jamal Muhammad Alawi. He is of the children of Hadhrat Shah Abdur Razzaq Jhanjhanwi. He is by birth an Alawi. In the ninth ancestral link, Hadhrat Mianji’s lineage links up with Shah Abdur Razzaq.
He acquired the Nisbat of Tareeqat from Hadhrat Shah Abdur Raheem. He took the utmost care to conceal his spiritual state. He had occupied himself with teaching the Qur’aan Shareef to little boys in the town of Lohaari which is near to Thaanabovan.
His obedience to the Sunnat was of a very lofty degree. For 30 years he never missed Takbir-e-عla of any Jamaat Salaat. His extreme concealment did not permit anyone to know of his excellences. It was a dream of Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah which ultimately revealed Hadhrat Mianji’s elevated status. Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah Sahib in his quest for a Shaikh was extremely restless. This will be explained in detail later. During this time, he saw Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). But on account of extreme awe, he was unable to advance a step. Hadhrat Haji Sahib’s grandfather, Mullah Bulaqi arrived. Taking Haji Sahib’s hand, he propelled him (Haji Sahib) to Rasulullah (صلى الله عايه وسالم). Nabi-e-Kareem (صلى الله عايه وسالم) took the hand of Haji Sahib and placed it in the hand of Shaikhul Masha-ikh Hadhrat Mianji.
Since he had no awareness of Hadhrat Mianji, he was completely baffled after the dream. Who is this buzrug? Where can he be found? These were the perplexing issues for Hadhrat Haji Sahib. Several years passed in this condition of bewilderment and extreme agitation.
When Hadhrat Imdadullah’s Ustaad, Hadhrat Maulana Qalandar observed this restlessness, he advised Haji Sahib to go to Lohaari and meet with Hadhrat Mianji. “Perhaps your restlessness will decrease”, he said. On receiving this guidance from his Ustaad, Hadhrat Haji Sahib did not delay a moment. He set off on foot immediately for Lohaari. Restlessness and enthusiasm impelled him on with such force that his feet became blistered.
Finally, he reached Lohaari and went to meet Hadhrat Mianji. As his gaze fell on the auspicious face of his future spiritual father, the image he saw years ago in his dream stood before him. He had reached the end of his long quest and his dashed hopes suddenly came into full bloom.
Haji Imdadullah immediately fell at the feet of Hadhrat Mianji who simultaneously lifted Haji Sahib’s head. Embracing him, he said:
“Have you complete confidence in your dream?”
This very first Karaamat of Hadhrat Mianji further solidified the conviction of Haji Imdadullah.
Hadhrat Mianji’s Murshid was Hadhrat Shah Abdur Raheem who had made bay’t of Jihaad (as was mentioned earlier) at the hands of Hadhrat Sayyid Ahmad Shahid. He had sent a messenger to bring Hadhrat Mianji to make bay’t with Hadhrat Sayyid Ahmad. When the messenger arrived in Jhanjhaanah, Hadhrat Mianji was holding the reins of his horse in his hand and giving water to it. When the message was delivered, a kaifiyat settled over Hadhrat Mianji. The horse too was affected by this kaifiyat so much that it began rolling.
In response to the message, Hadhrat Mianji went to Sahaaranpْr and linked up with Hadhrat Sayyid Sahib’s caravan. When he reached Baalaakot in Punjab, Hadhrat Sayyid and Shah Abdur Raheem instructed him to return to Lohaari. In compliance with their instruction he returned to Lohaari and settled down permanently.
Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah narrates that Hadhrat Mianji once after Juma’ Salaat was giving people some Naseehat. People thinking that he was about to leave this world for the Aakhirat were much grieved and they even displayed their sadness. Conveying their feeling, they said to Hadhrat:
“We thought that in our homes we had a treasure to benefit from whenever we desired.”
“In the homes you have with you many of my friends. Consider them as my representatives.”
Hadhrat Mianji had appointed Hafiz Muhammad Zamin his khalifah at a public gathering and by implication others too were appointed. After a short while, Hadhrat Mianji became ill. He instructed his associates to take him to his hometown, Jhanjhaanah. Haji Imdadullah continues:
“When the cart in which he was journeying reached Thaanabovan, it was made to halt near to the Musjid. I too was present. Hadhrat said: ‘You are single while Hafiz Zamin Sahib and Shaikh Muhammad Sahib have families. It was my intention to impose mujaahadah and difficulty on you, but there is no escape from the Will of Allah Ta’ala. The call for the Journey of Aakhirah has arrived.’ When Hadhrat was speaking, I was leaning against the cart and crying. Consoling me, Hadhrat said: ‘The Faqir does not die. He is simply transformed from one abode to another. The same benefit which was experienced during the Faqir’s physical life will be acquired from his grave.’ ”
Finally, Hadhrat Mianji died a the age of 58 on Friday, 4th Ramadhaan Mubaarak 1259 Hijri. In terms of his wasiyyah he was buried in the field of Imaam Nasirud Deen Mahmْd Shahid Sabzwari.
Once a Saahib-e-Kashf who came to Jhanjhaanah visited the grave of Hadhrat Mianji. Afterwards he commented:
“Alas! Some zaalim (cruel person) has buried him near to Imaam Sayyid Mahmْd. On account of respect, he is withholding his anwaar (rays of spiritual illumination). If he had been buried in a desolate place, the world would have glittered with his anwaar. If there was not the danger of fitnah (strife), I would have exhumed him and buried him elsewhere so that all could witness his anwaar and blessings.”
Some people had intended to raise the height of the grave. However, in a dream he forbade them, saying that to do so is in conflict with the Sunnah.
1) Hadhrat Nْr Muhammad left Lohaari and came to Jhanjhaanah because the Pathans of Lohaari had displeased him on some issue. After Hadhrat had left Lohaari, a series of fires, one after the other, raged through the different neighbourhoods of the town. The Pathans felt that the cause of this calamity was the displeasure of Hadhrat Mianji. They came to Jhanjhaanah and after considerable pleadings, they brought Hadhrat back to Lohaari. After Hadhrat’s return, there never again was a fire.
After sometime, the Pathans enquired from Hadhrat the reason for the fires after he had left. Hadhrat said: “The only thing I know is that occasionally on account of love for Lohaari, I would think of its neighbourhoods.”
2) Once when there was a severe drought, several people came to Hadhrat Mianji to request him for dua. At the time Hadhrat was sucking sugar-cane. Among these people, there was one with whom Hadhrat had a very informal and cordial relationship. Hadhrat said to him:
“If you suck the stalks which I had sucked, Insha’Allah, the rain will come.”
The person at first hesitated, but when pressed by the others, he started to chew and suck the stalks. As he did so, the rain clouds gathered and it began raining in torrents.
3) Once a farm caught fire. The farmer ran in consternation to Hadhrat and related what had happened. Hadhrat removed his topi from his head and gave it to the farmer, saying:
“Make haste and throw it into the fire.”
The farmer ran back to his farm and threw the topi into the raging fire which immediately died out.
4) Whenever Hadhrat Mianji would go to the market-place, all the traders would stand in respect. Once a non-Muslim objected to this. He convinced the traders to discard this practise and they agreed. Sometime thereafter when Hadhrat Mianji came to the market-place the non-Muslim too was present. Surprisingly, the non-Muslim was the first one to stand up in respect. All the other traders did likewise as usual. After Hadhrat left, the traders questioned the non-Muslim objector. He said: “I was helpless. I had no option other than to stand. When Hadhrat came, it seemed as if an invisible force had caught hold of my ears and commanded me to stand.”
5) Once an Aalim from Karnaal said to Hadhrat Mianji:
“We hear stories of people having seen the dismemberment of the bodies of the Auliya. Their heads, hands, feet, etc. all separated from their bodies.”
“My maternal uncle narrated that once he went to visit Hadhrat Mian Sahib at midday. The door of his room was closed although not bolted. He says: ‘When I opened the door I was shocked to see the entire body of Hadhrat Mian Sahib dismembered. As he saw me, the various limbs reunited. Hadhrat Mian Sahib sat up and told me not to divulge what I had seen.’ ”
6) Once a very prominent Sadhu was Hadhrat Mianji’s guest. As he was departing, he said:
“Mianji, in my bag is an elixir. Take it. It seems as if you are lacking in funds.”
(Elixir of Alchemy is a substance which transforms base metals into gold – Translator).
Hadhrat Mianji refusing acceptance said that he had no use for it. The Sadhu again insisted, but Hadhrat refused. When he insisted the third time, Hadhrat picked up a stone and flung it against the wall in front of them and said to the Sadhu: “Look!” When the Sadhu looked, he stared in astonishment at the wall, the whole of which had turned into gold.
The Sadhu commented:
“Mianji, truly you don’t need it.”
7) Hadhrat Shaikhul Islam, Maulana Madani said that the same kaifiyat (spiritual state) which constrained Mansْr al-Hallaj to proclaim: “Anal Haq” (I am The Truth, i.e. Allah) prevailed for six months on Hadhrat Mianji. But no one knew of this. He restrained himself admirably and continued with his teaching.
8) Once some people came to Hadhrat Mianji and asserted their desire for islaah (self-reformation). At that time Hadhrat was engaged in teaching the children. Instructing the children to continue with their lessons, Hadhrat went into his room with the people and closed the door. Inside Hadhrat began casting tawajjuh on the group. The biggest of the children (from the group of children learning their lessons) came and peeped through the keyhole. He saw Hadhrat Mianji with closed eyes sitting facing the people. The child narrated to the other children what he had seen. He then, with a group of children, imitated the scene. He pretended to be the shaikh and sat infront of them. All the children closed their eyes. When later Hadhrat Mianji learnt of the children’s act, he instructed the boy to sit infront of him with closed eyes. He, however became scared very quickly. Unable to bear it, he got up and went away. In his old age he said that at the time during his childhood when he had set with closed eyes infront of Mianji, it seemed as if a burning flame was put on his heart, which he was unable to bear. Immediately thereafter the flame lifted. He continues:
“Nevertheless, the effect of that childhood experience is such that even now on a dark night, inside the house, during winter with my face covered under the blanket, I am aware of the movement of the leaves of the Neem tree outside the house.”
9) Either Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi or Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi narrated that someone informed Hadhrat Mianji of a man who had an exceptionally beautiful voice. The informer suggested to Hadhrat to sometimes listen to a na’t (song) of this person. Hadhrat Mianji said:
“Sometimes people ask me to be the Imaam. On the question of singing even without the accompaniment of musical instruments there is difference of opinion. Further it is negatory of caution to listen to it. Therefore, I shall not listen to it.”
After narrating this episode, Hadhrat Thanwi commented:
“This indicates the degree of his respect and regard for the post of Imaamate. He abstains from even an ikhtilaaf (an act which some say is permissible and others say is not permissible). This was a pure Sْfi who cared so much for the Shariah.”
10) When Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah took up residence in the Peer Muhammadwali Musjid of Thaanabovan, there was no veranda to the Musjid. There were some graves and some trees. A buzrug by the name Hasan Ali Shah who participated in Simaa’ lived there. But he was not a man of the world. He was sincere. When Hadhrat Imdadullah arrived, this buzrug, out of respect, left the place and went to Shah Wilaayat Sahib (this is the name of a suburb). This buzrug inspite of his advanced age, vacated the place for Haji Imdadullah who was at the time a young man.
Hadhrat Mianji Nْr Muhammad would occasionally visit the place. In this place was a family whose land was expropriated. The family was contesting the action in a bid to reclaim the land. They came to Hadhrat Mianji for dua in this regard. Hadhrat said:
“My Haji (i.e. Haji Imdadullah) finds it difficult to sit here. Build for him a veranda here. I shall make dua.”
They promised to build the veranda.
The matter was heard in court at Ilahabad. The family was successful and the land was restored to them. The outcome of their application was conveyed to them by a special letter of the authorities. In happiness they informed Hadhrat Mianji who said:
“Do you also remember your promise?”
They said that they could afford only half the cost of the veranda. Hadhrat Mianji commented:
“Very well, even if it is half.”
Soon thereafter came the following official notification from Ilahabad:
“The expropriation will be reinstated after the death of the owner.”
They hastened to Hadhrat with this news. Hadhrat said:
“After all, you, yourselves, have halved it. Now, what can I do?”
That Hadhrat Mianji was a fountainhead of faidhaan and Irfaan (spiritual benefits and divine knowledge) and that his system of tarbiyat (spiritual and moral training) was of exceptionally lofty degree and most effective, can be ascertained from the fact that the Irfaani and Roohaani pedestal of his Khulafaa are of such elevated status that each one of them constituted a Star and Sun of spiritual guidance in their time. The following are the names of these illustrious khulafaa of Hadhrat Mianji:
Haji Imdadullah Muhaajire Makki, Hadhrat Hafiz Muhammad Zamin Shahid, Hadhrat Maulana Shaikh Muhammad Farْki Thanvi, Hadhrat Shair Muhammad Khan Lohari, Hadhrat Sayyid Muhammad Amir Jhanjhanvi and Hadhrat Barkat Ali Shah.
Hadhrat Hafiz Zamin was martyred on the 24th Muharram 1274 Hijri on a Monday at the time of Zuhr in the Jihaad campaign against the British at Shaamli. He is buried in Thaanabovan.
Hadhrat Maulana Shaikh Muhammad Thanwi passed away at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 7th Rabiuth Thaani 1296 Hijri. He is buried near the Eidgah in Thaanabovan.
Since the elevated name of Hadhrat Haji Imdadullah is listed in our Shajarah, we shall now discuss him.