Hadrat Baba Farid al-Din Ganj-e-Shakar Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho was born on the 29th Sha’ban in 569 A.H. [April 4, 1179 C.E.] in Khotwal, a village near Lahore [Pakistan]. He is the direct descendant of Hadrat Umar Farooq Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho, the second Caliph of Islam.
Genealogy tracing back to Hadrat Umar Ibn al-Khattab
1. Hadrat Umar Bin Khattab, second Caliph
2. Hadrat Abdullah Ibn Umar
5. Adham, King of Balkh and Bukhara
6. Ibrahim Bin Adham aka Abou Ben Adham
8. Abul Fatah
9. Abdullah Waa’iz Kobra
10. Abdullah Waa’iz Soghra
16. Farrukh Shah Kabuli, King of Afghanistan
17. Shahabuddin Kabuli
20. Ahmed, died fighting Hulaku Khan
22. Jamaluddin Sulaiman
23. Baba Fareed Gunj Shakar
It is narrated that a miracle occurred before his birth proving his Saintship. One day, during the pregnancy of his mother, she wanted to pluck some plums from her neighbour’s tree without his permission, but the child in her womb (Hadrat Baba Farid) created a severe pain in her stomach that forced her to abandon the idea of plucking. After a few years after Hadrat Baba Farid’s Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho birth, his mother lovingly expressed: “My dear son, during your confinement I never ate anything which was unlawful.” Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho, however, smiled and said, “But, my dear mother, you wanted to pluck some plums from our neighbour’s tree without his permission when I had created a severe pain in your stomach which saved you from this unlawful act.”
Hadrat Shaikh Nizamud Deen says that once while Hadrat Shaykh Faridud Deen’s mother was performing Salaat, a thief entered. When he gazed at her, he immediately became blind. The thief cried out: “I came with the intention of stealing and have become blind. I pledge never to steal again.”
At this time Hadrat’s age was approximately 6 years. He made dua and the man’s sight was restored. In the morning he came with his entire family and accepted Islam. He was named Abdullah. He remained in Hadrat’s service to the end.Early Education
After he had completed his early religious education at the age of 7 in Khotwal, his mother sent him for higher education to Multan. Here he stayed in a masjid [mosque] where he learnt the Holy Qur’an by heart and studied Hadith, Fiqh, Philosophy and Logic under the tutorship of Mawlana Minhajuddin.
Under Spiritual Guidance of Khwaja Qutbuddin Baktiar Kaki Alaihir raHmah
During his studies, Hadrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Baktiar Kaki Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho of Delhi visited Multan where Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho became his Murid (disciple) in the Chishtiyya Silsila. Upon the instructions of his Pir-o-Murshid, he undertook a tour of Islamic countries, for about 18 years from 593 A.H. to 611 A.H. [1196 C.E. to 1214 C.E.] he traveled to Ghazni, Baghdad Sharif, Jerusalem, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Makkah Mukarrama and Madinah al-Munawwarah meeting many great saints and Sufis. After the demise of Hadrat Khwaja Qutbuddin Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho the mantle of spiritual leadership in the Chishtiyya Silsila fell on the shoulders of Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho when Khwaja Qutbuddin Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho nominated him to be his Khalifa or spiritual successor.
Baba Farid’s Sufi Order
1. Hasan al-Basri
2. Abdul Waahid Bin Zaid
3. Fudhail Bin Iyadh
4. Ibrahim Bin Adham
5. Huzaifah Al-Mar’ashi
6. Abu Hubairah Basri
7. Mumshad Dinawari
8. Abu Ishaq Shami
9. Abu Ahmad Abdal
10. Abu Muhammad Bin Abi Ahmad
11. Abu Yusuf Bin Saamaan
12. Maudood Chishti
13. Shareef Zandani
14. Usman Harooni
15. Moinuddin Chishti
16. Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki
17. Fariduddin Ganj Shakar
Journeys and Mujahida
It is narrated that when Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho visited Madina Sharif he was spiritually commanded by the Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam to visit Baghdad Sharif and meet Hadrat Abdul Wahab, son of Hadrat Ghaus-al-Azam Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho. He was to receive some sacred relics from him. Accordingly, when he reached Baghdad Sharif, he received a box from Hadrat Abdul Wahab Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho which contained the following holy relics: Two flag-poles which were used by the Holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam in some of the battles fought by him; one wooden bowl in which the Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam used to eat from; one pair of scissors and one turban which was used by the holy Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam.
Because of political upheavals in Delhi, he was obliged to shift the centre of the Chishtiyya mission from Delhi to Ajodhan now known as “Pak Patan”. The Khanqah of Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho, with his patronage, became a great university of “moral and spiritual training.” Thousands of aspirants, scholars, dervishes and Sufis reaped benefit from this spiritual university. Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho reached the pinnacle of spiritual glory through extremely hard Mujahidas (spiritual striving) to gain mastery over the Nafs.
Why Called “Ganj Shakar”?
There are several views for him being known by his famous title of Shakar Ganj. When he decided on mujaahidah, his Shaikh advised hunger. He therefore began fasting. After three days a man came and presented some bread. Thinking this to be by divine direction, he accepted and ate the bread. Within a few moments he became nauseous and vomited out whatever he had eaten. He reported this incident to his Shaykh who said:
“After three days you ate the food of a drunkard. Shukr unto Allah that the food did not remain in your stomach. Now remain hungry for another three days and then eat what comes from the Ghaib.”
After three days nothing came. He was overcome by weakness. On account of the extreme hunger he put some pebbles into his mouth. The pebbles turned into sugar. Fearing that this may be some deception, he spat it out. A short while later, the extreme hunger again constrained him to put pebbles into his mouth. These too became sugar which he again spat out. This happened again for a third time. In the morning he reported to his Shaykh who said:
“It would have been good if you had ate it.”
Since that day he was called Shakar Ganj.
It is also narrated that once a trader was taking a caravan of camels laden with sugar from Multan to Delhi. When he was passing through Ajodhan, Hadrat Baba Fariduddin Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho enquired casually as to what he was carrying on his camels. The trader sarcastically replied, “It is salt.” Hadrat Baba Fariduddin Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho also affirmed, “Yes, it may be salt.” When the trader reached Delhi, he was awfully perturbed to find that all his bags of sugar had turned to salt. He immediately returned to Ajodhan and apologized before Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho. Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho said: “If it is sugar then it shall be sugar.” The trader returned to Delhi and was pleased to find that the salt had turned back to sugar by the Grace of Almighty Allah. This is how Hadrat Baba Sahib Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho received the title of “Ganj-e- Shakar.”
An staunch devotee of Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam
He fasted throughout his life and maintained his nightly prayers and devotions. Fear of Allah always dominated him. He was an staunch devotee of Prophet Muhammad Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam and dedicated his entire life to the veneration of the beloved Prophet’s Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam immortal glory. At the mention of the Holy Prophet’s Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam character he would often weep out of his love and devotion. Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho avoided kings, government officials and the rich. He also warned his Khalifas, devotees and Murids to avoid their company. He was a living picture of humility. Whatever he received was spent in the name of Allah and his chest overwhelmed with mercy and forgiveness. Many miracles are attributed to him during his lifetime and after his passing away.
Anecdotes of Hadrat Baba Farid
One of the devotees of Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho named Mohammed Nishapuri lived in Gujrat and was going to Delhi with three other companions. On their way through the jungle, robbers encountered them. Mohammed Nishapuri and his companions had no weapons to defend themselves. In such a helpless state, Mohammed Nishapuri remembered his Pir, Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho, and also offered prayers seeking Allah’s help in their predicament. Surprisingly, the robbers threw away their weapons and offered an apology to the party and went away.
One day some poor people came from Arabia to see Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho and said that they were strangers to the land and that all their money was spent before the end of the journey. Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho gave them some dried dates which were lying in front of him at the moment and said, “Take them and go. Your journey shall be completed by the Grace of Allah.” Apparently, these persons were very disappointed with such a “cheap gift”. After leaving the Khanqah, they wanted to throw away the dates, but just as they were about to do so, to their amazement, the dates turned into gold. Regretting their thoughts, these people left happily uttering their heartfelt gratitude and prayers for Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho.
Once seven hundred holy men were sitting together. An inquirer put them four questions to which Baba Farid replied.
Q.1 Who is the wisest of men?
A.1 He who refrain from Sin.
Q.2 Who is the most intelligent?
A.2 He who is not disconcerted at anything.
Q.3 Who is most independent?
A.3 He who practices contentment.
Q.4 Who is the most needy?
A.4 He who practice it not.
Once an old woman came to Baba Fairid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho and said that her son had disappeared some twenty years ago and that his whereabouts had not been traced since then. She requested him to pray for her son’s return. Baba Farid Radi Allah Anhu went into a trance and after some contemplation told to the old woman:” Go, your son has reached home.” The old woman was overjoyed to learn this and met her son on her way home.
The Officer-in charge of Lahore sent Baba Fairid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho one hundred Dinars through someone. The man kept fifty Dinars for himself and offered the remaining fifty to him. Accepting the fifty Dinars he told him: “Indeed, you have divided them equally well.” The man was ashamed. Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho returned the fifty Dinars to the man too, warning him that criminal breach of trust is a sin that render’s all prayers futile and ineffective.
Once, due to utter weakness, Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho helped himself to walk with the aid of a staff. But after a few steps, the colour of his face suddenly became purple, as if he was under heavy pressure. He threw away the staff. When Hadrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho, who was escorting him, inquired the reason for this, Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho replied, “I wanted to take help of the staff, but Allah’s Displeasure frowned upon me for depending on other’s help instead of His. I, therefore, threw away the staff and felt highly ashamed of this weakness in my faith in Lord, the Almighty.”
A man came to Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho once and submitted that he had no son, and requested Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho to pray for one. Thereupon, Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho said that he had given him seven sons. After some years, the person came to him again, but this time, He was not alone, but accompanied by his seven sons.
Journey to other World
On the 5th of Muharram, during the Isha prayer while in the act of Sajdah, [prostration during prayer] he uttered “Ya Haiyyu Ya Qauyum” [O Self-Subsisting, O Eternal] and with these words on his lips his soul disappeared into the eternal bliss of his Lord Almighty.
An old woman that was one of the devotees of the Saint presented a piece of cloth for the kaffan [shroud] of Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho. She implored:
“I have not spun even a single thread of this cloth without having Wudu [purification]. I had prepared it for my own coffin but if it is accepted for the kaffan of this great Saint, I feel confident, Allah would be pleased with to pardon my sins and grant me salvation.”
Hadrat Baba Farid’s Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho son accepted this cloth as the Kaffan.
His Mazar Sharif [noble shrine] is in Pak Patan, Pakistan. Hadrat Sabir Pak, Hadrat Nizamuddin Auliya and Hadrat Jamaluddin Hansi rehmatulla alaihim [may Allah have mercy upon them] are among his favorite Murids and Khalifas. It is generally recognized that he had three wives and many children. Hadrat Baba Farid Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho was indeed one of the most brilliant stars of the Chishtiyya Order and is held in high esteem by one and all.
My restlessness has reached such a level – I spend morning and evening in your love.
Look upon me now with a merciful eye! Salutations to you, do now make my heart pleased, O Faridudeen Gunj e Shakar!
Golden Words of Wisdom
by Baba Farid al-Din Mas’ud Ganj-e-Shakar Alaihir raHmah
•Stay away from jealousy if you want tranquility in your heart.
•The termination of self consciousness occurs with that ibaadah in which both the head and heart bow down.
•Only that heart can become the treasury of wisdom and intellect in which there is no love for this World.
•That which people regard as trouble is but only a gift from the beloved Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala, regard it as a demand made by love.
•The completion of man occurs with 3 things – Fear, Expectation and Love. The fear of Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala stops one from sin. Expectation keeps on steadfast on following commands and orders. Love makes one see only the pleasing of the beloved.
•A Dervish is that person who keeps his eyes, mouth and ears closed, i.e. He hears, sees or speaks no evil.
•Never forget Death under any circumstances.
•Avoid all quarrelling & polemics.
•Non-violence is the most beautiful ornament of Peaceful life.
Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of Allah’s love.
There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.