The United Colors of the Shaykh

Sayyid at-Taaifah, Hazrat-e-Aqdas, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir al-Makki (RA) was formally authorized in all four silsilahs and as a result all his khulafaa were as well.  This procedure carried on to every khalifa that has a link to Haji Imdadullah (RA).  Haji Sahib (RA) was blessed to drink from the various rivers of spirituality that led back to the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam).  The diversity that he developed passed on to his khulafaa.  Some of them acquired it all and others were able to focus more on particular points.  Interestingly enough, when we examine the life of Hazrat Mawlana Thanwi (RA), who was a khalifa of Haji Sahib (RA), we find that he was able to resemble anyone he learned from, to such an extent that when he traveled to Makkah to learn the art of the various recitation, he would review with his teacher on the roof of the school.  Those who would be able to hear from below could not tell when the teacher would recite and when the student would recite.

Hazrat Thanwi (RA) was a master in every field to such an extent that there is no field within the galaxy of the Islamic fields which he has not written regarding.  Very few individuals are aware of the academic acumen of this giant of Islam.  Owing to the popularity he was granted by Allah in the field of Tasawwuf, his own khulafaa acquired various traits and qualities from him.  Some were able to take it all in, and others preferred to focus on specific areas.  Each of which would qualify as the nature/temperament (mizaaj) of Hazrat Thanwi (RA), not as a whole but as a part.  Hazrat Thanwi (RA) once said, “Only two types of people will be able to keep my company and fully benefit: a) An erudite scholar because through their deep understanding of Deen, they will come to realize the wisdom behind the way I conduct myself, b) a die-hard lover because their love will cause them not to question and will develop within them an extreme level of submission which is the essence of our Deen anyway.

His youngest Khalifa, Hazrat Mawlana Shah Abrar-ul-Haq Sahib (RA) was given the title of “Muhyi-as-Sunnah” i.e. the Reviver of the Sunnah.  In reality, Tasawwuf is nothing but to follow the Shari’ah and the Sunnah.

My own beloved Shaykh, ‘Arif Billah, Hazrat Mawlana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Sahib (DB), who is a khalifa of Hazrat Mawlana Shah Abrar-ul-Haq Sahib (RA), has also benefited from three springs of water.  Firstly, the adolescent years of Hazratwala (DB) were spent in the company of Hazrat Mawlana Shah Muhammad Ahmad Sahib (RA), a great shaykh within the Naqshbandi silsilah.  Later on the instruction of Hazrat Thanwi (RA), Hazratwala (DB) became connected to Hazrat Mawlana Shah Abdul Ghani (RA).  After the passing of Hazrat Mawlana Shah Abdul Ghani (RA), Hazratwala took Hazrat Mawlana Shah Abrar-ul-Haq Sahib (RA) has his shaykh.  The unwavering love for the Sunnah which characterized his Shaykh was transferred to Hazratwala (DB).

We find even within the khulafaa of Hazratwala (DB), each has their own color.  Some have become an embodiment of the poetic nature of Hazratwala (DB), and the likes of Hazrat Sayyid Meer Ishrat Jameel Sahib (DB), commonly known as Meer Sahib, Hazratwala’s special attendee, come to mind.  Also the likes of the famous brothers who imbed within their poetry the teachings of Hazratwala (DB), Hazrat Khalid Iqbal Sahib a.k.a Taib Sahib (DB), his brother Hazrat Shaheen Iqbal Sahib (DB) a.k.a. Asar Sahib come to mind.  A unique mixture of the poetic nature comes in the form of someone I regard as my teacher, who happens to be the brother of my main teacher, Hazrat Mawlana Mansoor-ul-Haq Sahib (DB), who is able to combine Arabic, Urdu, and English into his poetry.

The passion and vigor with which Hazrat speaks can be found in khulafaa such as Hazrat Feroz Memon Sahib (DB) and many others.

This does not mean that the above mentioned people lack the other qualities Hazratwala possesses. It simply means they have picked up a specific trait more so than others of their shaykh.  Just like a child will be the complete child of both parents but may resemble one more so in one aspect as compared to others.

Another Khalifa of Hazratwala (DB), Hazrat Mawlana Tameem Sahib (DB), who is gifted in many regards, has the special gift of imparting the teaching of Hazratwala in various languages.

I think I have listed enough khulafaa to get my point across that there are many colors and aspects to each shaykh because a shaykh represents Deen.  Salat is a part of Deen, but it is not all of Deen, yet if a person leaves Salat, their Deen will be severely damaged and dented.

Similarly some mureeds relate to a particular aspect of their Shaykh and at their current stage are not able to refer to the other aspects as of yet.  The sign of closer nisbat to the shaykh is to become exactly like the shaykh in all aspects.  But this is the right of every khalifa; to each his own.  This right is for khulafaa exclusively.  Mureeds don’t have the choice of picking and choosing what traits of the shaykh they would like to keep and what they would like to disregard.  Yes, a natural inclination towards certain aspects may exist, but this natural inclination should not be a deterrent towards developing the other qualities possessed by the shaykh.

One must also realize that a shaykh is not a shaykh in vain or without purpose.  The far-sightedness of a shaykh cannot be realized by most mureeds.  My Shaykh (DB) mentions that by guarding one’s basarat (gaze), one will gain baseerat (insight).  A shaykh is a human, but not a normal human like you and I.  They have a nisbah that goes all the way back to the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam).  If nothing, that must be respected.

An example my Shaykh (DB) gives is that of a bottle of ‘itr.  The bottle itself is not worth much.  The bottle is the body of the shaykh.  The shaykh never considers himself that he is someone of status, but that ‘itr which is inside the bottle is what gives value to the bottle. The shaykh has the nisbah which makes the shaykh invaluable.

Point being, there are many sides and colors which a shaykh has.  One’s eye should be set on the prize.  The real prize is the gain the nisbah of the shaykh to develop a nisbah with Allah.  A real shaykh is one who understands the nature of his mureeds.  A real mureed is one who when looked at, reminds the onlooker of the shaykh.

We pray to Allah that He grants us the ability to imbibe within us the qualities of our mashaaikh and grant us their nisbah and in turn the nisbah of Allah.  Aameen!

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5 Comments on “The United Colors of the Shaykh”

  1. fahims Says:

    chokran lak akhi lkarim

  2. Nabeel Khan Says:


    “Pearl” is not Mawlana Tameem Sahib (DB).

    The exact number of khulafa have not been disclosed for various reasons. If you would like to know of a particular khalifa or who is a khalifa in a particular area, please email the khanqah directly.


  3. sayeed shariff Says:

    jazakallahu khayr for that excellent post.

  4. ibnummabd Says:

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Jazakumullahu khairan! That was extremely beneficial!

    Is “Pearl” who writes on this blog Maulana Tameem Sahib (DB)?

    Also, how many khulafa of Hazratwala (DB) are currently in the States?

    Jazakumullahu khairan

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