Haji Zafar Ahmad Imdadullah Muhajir Makki [d.1317H/1899 CE] ‘alayhir al-rahman w’al ridwan
Born: 22 Safar 1233h/1st January 1818
Died: 13 Jamadi-al-Akhir 1317h/19th October 1899
A great and pious personality, a kamil shaykh [complete saint] and a great sufi scholar. Born in Nanota, district Saharanpur, India.
His fathers name was Hafiz Muhammad Amin al-Faruqi ‘alayhir rahman and who named him as ‘Imdad Hussain’, but Mawlana Muhammad Is’haq Muhaddith Dehlawi ‘alayhir rahman referred to him as ‘Imdadullah.’ His historical name is Zafar Ahmad. He was descended from Amir al-Momineen Hadrat Umar al-Faruq Radi Allahu ta’ala anhu and was thus a ‘faruqi.’ His mother paid particular attention to him in comparison to his other brothers and sisters, but sadly he was only 7 years of age when she passed away. His brothers and sisters did not pay any particular attention towards his studies, so he took it upon himself to acquire knowledge and further his studies. Through his studies, and through his inner interest (batni shawq) he started memorising the Qur’an al-karim, although certain barriers faced by him, prevented him from memorising the Qur’an completely.
At the age of 16, he travelled to Delhi with Mawlana Mamluk ‘Ali Nanotwi, (with whom he was related to, through his mothers side), where he obtained some education in the Persian (Farsi) language, and in Arabic lexicology (Nahw). He studied Mishqat Shareef with Mawlana Muhammad Qalandari Muhaddith Jalalabadi ‘alayhir rahman, and studied ‘Hisn-e-Hasin’ and ‘Fiqh Akbar’, under Mawlana Abdur Rahim Nanotwi ‘alayhir rahman.
It was sometime at this stage in his life, he dreamt that he was in the presence of the Beloved Messenger of Allah, Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam;-
Because of Rasullallah Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam’s ‘jalal’ [majestic-character] he was unable to move forward. Suddenly his grandfather Hadrat Bilali ‘alayhir rahman arrived and took him by the hand to the presence of the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam. The Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam then took his hand and placed it in the hand of Hadrat Mayanji Nur Muhammad.
After this event he remained in a state of idhtirar [constraint]. After many years, one of his former teachers Mawlana Muhammad Qalandar Muhaddith Jalalabadi ‘alayhir rahman took him in the presence of Hadrat Mayanji Nur Muhammad Janjhanwi ‘alayhir rahman and Haji Imdadullah took bayt [oath] on his hands. Therefore up until a certain time he stayed in the presence of Hadrat Mayanji Nur Muhammad‘alayhir rahman, and made riyadah, and mujahadah, after which he obtained the path known as ‘suluk‘. He was then granted with the ‘khilafat‘.
He was bestowed with the blessing of seeing the ‘Haramayn Sharifayn’ and after performing the rites of Hajj [1260H/1844CE], he resided at the presence of Shah Muhammad Is’haq Muhaddith Dehlawi ‘alayhir rahman at Makkah-tul-Mukarramah. Having been granted his blessings and baraka, he went to Madina-tul-Munawwarah to visit the shrine of the Beloved Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu ta’ala ‘alayhi wa Sallam, at which stage he found harmony and tranquility. On his return, he stayed for a few days at Makkah-tul-Mukarramah, afterwhich he returned back to India, in [1262H/1846CE].
Due to the political turmoil and misorganisation in India he decided migrate [1276H] to Makkah-tul-Mukarramah, and thus spent the remaining 41 years of his life there. This is the reason why he is regarded as ‘Muhajir-e-Makki’. The Masha’ikh of Makkah-tul-Mukarramah used to pay visitation to him, and quench their spiritual thirst therein as he held a distinguished status amongst them.
There is a secretive narration (kashf), that at one point Pir Mehr ‘Ali Shah Sahib Golrawi [d.1356H] ‘alayhir rahman went to perform the Hajj, and as a blessing (tabarrukann) swore allegiance [bayt] to him, and decided to reside there on a temporary basis. Haji Imdadullah ‘alayhir rahman prevented Pir Mehr Ali Sahib ‘alayhir rahman from remaining, as he stated that in the near future there will rise a mischief in India, and that he must go there. That even if you sit silently in India, then that mischief will not rise, and there will be peace in the country. Pir Mehr Ali Shah Sahib ‘alayhir rahmaninterpreted this ‘Kashf’ to mean the mischief of the deviant new sect known as ‘Qadianis’. Thus the false beliefs of the Qadianis were profusely challenged, refuted and defeated by word of mouth, and by pen.
When Haji Imdadullah ‘alayhir rahman arrived back from the Hijaz, he enlightened India from mischiefs, with good words, and advice. Some people are sometimes known to be less learned and educated, but through their conformance of the sunnah, and through their actual deeds (‘amal) they reach such a great stage that even great scholars (‘ulama‘) gain their spiritual upbringing through them.
In Makkah, Haji Imdadullah ‘alayhir rahman grew weak from illness and age that it was difficult for him to even turn over in bed. Hunger had diminished, and he soon passed away. He is laid to rest in Jannat al-Ma’laa, in Makkah.
He was generous in his manners, and had great virtues. He had sweetness in his speech, and met every individual with full valour. Whenever he met anyone, a smile would remain dancing at his face. He severly disliked bad manners, as the conforming to the sunnah, had become a habit.
From his works, include:
A commentary in the Persian language upon the ‘Mathnavi’, of Mawlana Rume ‘alayhir rahman, namely, ‘Gaza-e-Ruh’, ‘Jihad-e-Akbar’, ‘Mathnavi Tuhfat-ul-‘Ush’shaq’, ‘Dar nama Ghazabnak’, ‘Irshad-e-Murshid’, ‘Dhiya’-al-Qulub’, ‘Wahdat-al-Wujud’, ‘Faysla Haft Mas’lah’, ‘Gulzar-e-Ma’rifat’, ‘Marqumat-e-Imdadiyyah’, and ‘Maktubat-e-Imdadiyyah’, are all included.