Hassan Minhas, Student Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada
The world of Islam has been privileged with many great scholars, saints and sages. The more one investigates it, the more overwhelmed they become due to the astonishing nature and works of these remarkable personages. These past 1,400 years after the Holy Prophetsa have given birth to such great personalities who fully embody the teachings that he left for his followers.
Interestingly, Annemarrie Schimmel, a profound German academic and influential orientalist in the field of Islamic mysticism wrote an exceptional and unparalleled book called Mystical Dimensions of Islam. The book and the author have been praised as such:
“Schimmel is an undisputed authority in this field … [This] is the most comprehensive and satisfactory survey of the subject, filled with as much empathy and feeling as erudition … invaluable.” (History of Religions)
“Replete not only with the poetic insight of the author but with her unquestioned scholarly mastery over materials from the vast culture-sphere of Islam.” (International Journal for Philosophy of Religion)
This work gives intricate insight to the accomplishments and lives of various influential saints, varying from Hazrat Junaid Al-Baghdadirh, Imam Ghazalirh, Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilanirh, Imam Ibn Arabirh, Hazrat Muinuddin Chishtirh, Hazrat Khawaja Mir Dardrh and many more.
It is unfortunate that the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas has not been mentioned, for whatever reason that may be. However, the book contains high praise of a saint whose lineage was to have the ultimate unification with Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.
Hence, one very interesting aspect from the perspective of Islam Ahmadiyyat is the attention and remarkable praise given to Hazrat Khawaja Mir Dardrh. The blessed wife of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Syeda Nusrat Jehan Begumra is from his direct lineage. This blessed unification was divinely inspired. Thus, it is no surprise as to why a family of such noble and pious background was chosen for the Promised Messiahas.
Hazrat Khwaja Mir Dardrh (1720-1785) was a renowned Muslim saint and mystical poet who lived in Dehli. He came from a well-known Syed family, meaning he was a descendant of the Holy Prophetsa. He penned many great mystical works such as Ilm-ul-Kitab and Chahaar Risala.
Khawaja Mir Dardrh had an overwhelming following in India. His name still resonates in the mystical realms of Islam and he is accepted as a true sage.
In her book, Schimmel states that a lot of the mystics were looked down upon by certain factions of Islam. This was due to odd interpretations of faith that they professed or some misunderstandings of their teachings that were carried out by their followers. However, when it comes to Hazrat Khawaja Mir Dardrh, he is mentioned with unparalleled praise and no such criticism against him can be found.
On the contrary, he is described as a “sincere Muhammadian”. This alludes to the fact that his entire life and teaching was fully under the precepts of the Holy Prophetsa.
An entire chapter of the book has been dedicated to him and his works. Moreover, Khawaja Mir Dard’s blessed father, Hazrat Mir Muhammad Nasir Andalibrh, who was also a saint, is mentioned with great esteem as well. Both father and son spent their lives treading the spiritual path of the “tariqa-e-Muhammadiyya”, which in their view was the path fully in line with the character, precepts and sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa and they strongly disliked any innovations that crept in the faith of Islam.
Hazrat Mir Dardrh followed his father as a spiritual guide, who had taken his son closer to the Holy Prophetsa. Schimmel describes this as “the steady ascent of Dard until he reaches the closest possible relation to the Prophet through his father.” (Mystical Dimensions of Islam, p. 378)
Furthermore, Hazrat Mir Dardrh had many spiritual experiences, one of which Schimmel describes as “of an experience in which Dard was invested the true successor of The Prophet”. (Mystical Dimensions of Islam, p. 379)
Elaborating on his spiritual state, Schimmel writes, “Dard’s life was sternly ascetic. Later biographies emphasize mainly the long periods of fasting he kept; even his family, whom he loved dearly, took part in the constant fasting.” (Mystical Dimensions of Islam, p. 380)
One can clearly derive that this was no ordinary family. This was a family fully invested in the love of Islam and the Holy Prophetsa. Schimmel writes, “Dard’s close relationship with his father is the strangest aspect of his life. His love for his family meant, at the same time, love for The Prophet, since both parents claimed sayyid lineage and thus special proximity to The Prophet. His father was, for Dard, the mystical guide par excellence.” (Mystical Dimensions of Islam, p. 375)
In this context, a very crucial vision that the father of Hazrat Mir Dardrh had is of immense significance. This vision occurred while he was going through intense prayers for 40 days. In the vision, the grandson of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Imam Hasanra came to him and said:
“With the wish of the Holy Prophetsa, Allah the Almighty has sent me to you so that I bestow on you Allah the Almighty’s closeness and knowledge of His attributes in abundance and a special blessing which the prophet’s family has preserved for you. It began with you and it will end with The Promised Mahdi.” (Maikhana-e-Dard, p. 46)
How fortunate was he, that the Prophet’s grandson bestowed him such a monumental gift of affiliation with the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Reformer who was yet to come. From this, it is evident that both Hazrat Mir Muhammad Nasir Andalibrh and Hazrat Mir Dardrh treaded the tariqa-e-Muhammadiyah most beautifully, to become the recipients of such a monumental reward, even though they were already physical descendants of the Holy Prophetsa.
We are aware that this vision was literally fulfilled with the marriage of the Promised Messiahas and Hazrat Syeda Nusrat Jehan Begumra. Regarding this unification, Allah reassured the Promised Messiahas, “Be grateful for My Bounty, you have seen my Khadijah”. (Barahin-e- Ahmadiyya IV, p. 558, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 1, p. 666)
“That God is a true God Who has made your son-in-law’s relationship with an honourable people who are Syeds, and has made your lineage noble, which is a mix of Persian and Syeds pedigrees.” (Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, p. 64, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 15, pp. 272-273)
It is evident that both families of this unification were blessed with a great reward as a result of their complete love and devotion for the Holy Prophetsa.
Now, it is quite ironic that today, the opponents of the Promised Messiahas try to wrongfully malign his spiritual status. However, if one was just to merely ponder over this blessed unification, they can derive that the Promised Messiahas was given the daughter of such a noble Syed family whose praises are still sung to this very day by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Would an imposter, God forbid, ever be vouchsafed with a pious women whose family is of such high status in the eyes of Allah? Why would Hazrat Muhmmad Nasir Andalibrh be promised an imposter by Hazrat Imam Hasanra whereas the vision stated that he would be bestowed with close proximity to Allah, the Holy Prophetsa and the Promised Reformer? How can this thought even cross the minds of “true” Muslims?
The world understands that this family are the descendants of the Holy Prophetsa and that they had committed their entire lives for the service of Islam. Therefore, it is befitting that the Promised Messiahas, whose life was completely sacrificed for the Holy Prophetsa and for whom angels testified that “this man truly loves the Prophet of God”, received such an honour.
In addition, Schimmel further describes Hazrat Mir Dardrh as “the great mystic of Delhi in the eighteenth century, Mir Dard instantly repeated that he did not want to be called a Sufi, but rather ‘a true Muhammadan.’” (Mystical Dimensions of Islam, p. 21)
This further proves his humility and urge to merely be known as a follower of the Holy Prophetsa and nothing else. The Promised Messiahas also shows unprecedented love for the Holy Prophetsa in his writings and actions. His writings bare witness that no one loved the Holy Prophetsa of Islam more than Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas.
One example is a Persian couplet which reads:
“My life and my heart, everything is but a sacrifice for the beauty of my beloved Muhammadsa; I am as if, the dust of the alley of Muhammadsa.”
In retrospect, how amazing it is to see two families who had such unprecedented love for the Holy Prophetsa around the same time-period and same country eventually brought together to further propagate the Prophet’s noble cause and message.
Hazrat Mir Dardrh has been quoted to have said the following, contrary to other sufis of the time:
“I love my wife and children dearly.” (Mystical Dimensions of Islam, p. 36)
It should then be no surprise that Allah the Almighty rewarded this love in the substance of unification with the Promised Messiahas. How wonderfully poetic are these words of affection of Hazrat Mir Dardrh for his family. It is this special attention, unlike other sufis which moulded a family of such high spiritual calibre.
Knowing all these facts, what substance do the opponents of Islam Ahmadiyyat have to raise allegations with when a majority of the “main-stream’ Muslims accept and revere Hazrat Khawaja Mir Dardrh and his works for the cause of Islam. The blessing of this unification still lives on till this very day for the entire world to see; four Khulafa of Islam Ahmadiyyat descend from it directly. Their lives and works further illuminate the names of their renowned ancestors till this very day! No wonder the Promised Messiahas was assured by Allah that:
“Your progeny will not be cut off and will flourish until the last day. Allah will sustain your name with honour until the world reaches its end and will spread your message to the corners of the world.” (Majmu‘a-e-Ishtiharat, Vol. 1, p. 102)