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Farīd al-Dīn Masʿūd “Gand̲j̲-I-S̲h̲akar”

(1,103 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, one of the most distinguished of Indian Muslim mystics, was born some time in 571/1175 at Kahtwāl, a town near Multān, in a family which traced its descent from the caliph ʿUmar. His grandfather, Ḳāḍī S̲h̲uʿayb, who belonged to a ruling house of Kābul, migrated to India under the stress of the G̲h̲uzz invasions. S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Farīd’s first teacher, who exerted a lasting influence on him, was his mother, who kindled that spark of Divine Love in him which later dominated his entire being, and moulded his thought and action. S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Farīd received his education in a madrasa


(684 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, in the Sahāranpur district of Uttar Prades̲h̲, is a place of great antiquity but its early history is s̲h̲rouded in myth and romance. In one of the many groves which almost surrounds the site there is an ancient temple of Devī. On this account the name is supposed to be a corruption of Devī-ban , “forest of the goddess’. The earliest recorded reference to it is found in the Āʾīn-i Akbarī where Abu ’l-Faḍl refers to a fort of ‘baked bricks in Deoband’. Monuments of earlier periods are, however, found in Deoband. The Čhattā Masd̲j̲id is consid…


(1,338 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
(a.), literally “letters”, a term used especially in Muslim India for the epistles of Ṣūfī leaders. Apart from epistolary collections of political and literary significance (like Iʿd̲j̲āz-i Ḵh̲usrawī , Mukātabāt-i Ras̲h̲īdī , Riyāḍal-Ins̲h̲āʾ , Ins̲h̲āʾ-i Abu ’l-Faḍl ), there are collections of letters written by mystic teachers to their disciples. This epistolary literature, which throws valuable light on the mystic ideology and institutions of the period, may broadly be classified under four categories: (i) …


(466 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, The word faḳīr has four different connotations—etymological, Ḳurʾānic, mystical and popular. Etymologically it means ( a) one whose backbone is broken (see Ḳurʾān, lxxvii, 25); ( b) poor or destitute; ( c) canal, aqueduct or mouth of a canal; ( d) hollow dug for planting or watering palm-trees. When used in the sense of a pauper its plural form is fuḳarāʾ , but when used in the sense of an aqueduct, fuḳur is its plural form. The word faḳīr (or fuḳarāʾ) occurs 12 times in the Ḳurʾān. It is sometimes used as opposed to g̲h̲anī (one who is self-sufficient and independ…


(1,778 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, a dynasty of Indo-Muslim kings in Dihlī which followed the Tug̲h̲luḳs and preceded the Lodīs [ q.vv.] and ruled over Dihlī for about 37 years (817-55/1414-51). Four rulers, K̲h̲iḍr K̲h̲ān (817-24/1414-21), Mubārak S̲h̲āh (824-37/1421-34), Muḥammad b. Farīd (837-47/1434-43) and ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn ʿĀlam S̲h̲āh (847-55/1443-51), belonged to this dynasty. Their claim of Sayyid descent seems to have been shrewdly fabricated in order to buttress their position in the absence of any racial or oligarchic support. The contemporary author of Taʾrīk̲h̲-i Mubārak-S̲h̲āhī

G̲h̲āzī Miyān

(980 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, popular title of Sipāh Sālār Masʿūd G̲h̲āzī , one of the earliest and most celebrated of Indo-Muslim saints, who lies buried at Bahrāič, in Uttar Pradesh. According to Ḍiyā al-Dīn Baranī, he was a soldier in the army of Sultan Maḥmūd of G̲h̲azna. Abu ’l Faḍl says that he was a kinsman ( k̲h̲wes̲h̲āwand ) of the Sultan. ʿAbd al-Ḳādir Badāʾūnī quotes a saint of Ḵh̲ayrabād who once remarked about the Sālār: “He was an Afg̲h̲ān who met his death by martyrdom”. No early record of his life exists. Later generations have introduced many mythical and romantic elements in his biography. The Mirʾāt-i Mas…


(1,819 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, an Indian dynasty established in the closing years of the 8th/14th century with D̲j̲awnpur, [ q.v.] as its capital. It had a life span of about one hundred years (796-901/1394-1495) during which six rulers—Malik Sarwar K̲h̲wād̲j̲a D̲j̲ahān (796-802/1394-99), Malik Mubārak S̲h̲āh Ḳaranfal (802-4/1399-1401), S̲h̲ams al-Dīn Ibrāhīm S̲h̲āh (804-44/1401-40), Maḥmūd S̲h̲āh (844-62/1440-67), Muḥammad S̲h̲āh (862-3/1457-8) and Ḥusayn S̲h̲āh (863-901/1458-95)— exercised authority. The founder of the S̲h̲arḳī kingdom, Malik Sarwar [ q.v.], was a eunuch in the service of F…


(1,328 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, formerly capital of the Sindhia state of Gwāliyār, now a town in Madhya Prades̲h̲. “Tradition assigns the foundation of the city to one Sūrad̲j̲ Sen who was cured of leprosy by an ascetic named Gwālipa. The latter inhabited the hill on which the fort now stands, and this was called Gwāliyār after him”. The early history of Gwāliyār is, however, shrouded in myth and romance. The Hūna adventurers, Toramana and his son Mihirkula, who partially overthrew the Gupta power in the 6th century A.D., ar…

Bahāʾ al-Dīn Zakariyyā

(619 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, commonly known as Bahāʾ al-Ḥaḳḳ, a saint of the Suhrawardī order, was born at Kot Karor (near Mulṭān) in 578/1182-83 according to Firis̲h̲ta. He was one of the most distinguished Ḵh̲alīfas of S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn Suhrawardī [ q.v.] and is the founder of the Suhrawardī order in India. After completing his study of the Ḳurʾān according to its seven methods of recitation at Kot Karor, he visited the great centres of Muslim learning in Ḵh̲urāsān, at Buk̲h̲ārā and Medina, and in Palestine—in order to complete his study of the traditional sciences. While in Medina he learnt ḥadīt̲h̲


(453 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, one of the oldest and most renowned towns of Gud̲j̲arāt [ q.v.] in the Aḥmādabād district of Bombay. It was founded in 746 by the Čavadas of Gud̲j̲arāt. Originally known as Anhilwāra, the Arab geographers refer to it as Nahrwāla [see nahrawāl ]. Later, it became known as Pāt́an. According to the Mirʾāt-i Aḥmadī , the Hindus used the word Pātan for a big or capital town. The poet Farruk̲h̲ī [ q.v.] says that ¶ on its possession “Bhīm prided himself over the princes of India” (Nāẓim, The life and times of Sulṭān Maḥmūd of G̲h̲azna , Cambridge 1931, 217). Sultan Maḥmūd …


(1,733 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, Odra-deśa , conventionally Orissa, the land of the Oriyas, is a province of the Indian Union (between lat. 17° 49′ N., and 22° 34′ N., and between long. 81° 29′ E. and 87° 29′ E.). Spread over an area of 155,707 km2/60,178 sq. miles, it has a population of 31,659,736, of which 5,777,775 are Muslims. Its capital is Bhubaneswar to the south of Cuttack. Orissa covers the delta region of the Mahānadī and other rivers and is bounded by the Bay of Bengal on the east, West Bengal on the north-east, Madhya Pradesh on the west and Andhra Pradesh on the south. The st…


(263 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, literally “enclosure of the Imāms”, is a term used in India for the buildings where the S̲h̲īʿīs assemble during Muḥarram and recite elegies on the martyrdom of Ḥasan and Ḥusayn and in which the taʿziyas [ q.v.] are stored. The Imām-bārā is an Indian institution, whose beginnings may be traced to the 18th century, when many of the S̲h̲īʿī institutions and practices took their ritualistic form. Ṣafdar D̲j̲ang (1708-54) constructed a building in Delhi for the purpose of the Muḥarram rituals; it was not known as Imām-bārā, but may well be considered its forerunner. An almost simila…

Satya Pīr

(525 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, literally “the true saint”, the name of a cult which flourished in Bengal and claimed both Hindu and Muslim adherents. Islam’s entry into Bengal gave birth to some important socio-religious trends in Hindu society which expressed themselves in cults like the Vais̲h̲navite, the Dharma and the Satya Pīr ones. According to the S̲h̲ek̲h̲ Subhodaya , many local sad̲h̲us , who were mostly Tantric Gurus, embraced Islam and adopted devotion to pīrs, to whom they attributed supernatural powers. Cults like Satya Pīr, Panč Pīr, Manik Pīr, G̲h̲ora Pīr and Madari Pīr centred round pīrs and attract…

Iʿtiṣām al-Dīn

(372 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
b. S̲h̲. Tād̲j̲ al-Dīn , S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ , a resident of Tād̲j̲pur, in the Nadiya district of Bengal, who went to England on a diplomatic mission in 1180/1769 and wrote an account of his journey in his S̲h̲igarf-nāma-yi wilāyat or Wilāyat-nāma . Iʿtiṣām al-Dīn began his official career as a muns̲h̲ī in the service of Mīr D̲j̲aʿfar [see d̲j̲aʿfar , mīr ]. During the time of Mīr Ḳāsim [ q.v.] he joined the service of Major Yorke. In 1177/1763 he fought on the British side against Mīr Ḳāsim. He served General Carnac (1765-6) for a short period and later entered the serv…


(358 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
( pīr ), s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ badr al-dīn badr-i ʿālam , a saint of the D̲j̲unaydiyya order, venerated by the people of Bihar and Bengal. In Bengal he enjoys the reputation of sharing with Pānč Pīr of Sonargaon the dominion of the waters. While putting to sea the sailors of Bengal utter the invocation: “Allāh , Nabī , Pānč Pīr , Badr, Badr.” Pīr Badr originally belonged to Meerut (in Uttar Prades̲h̲) where his great grandfather, S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn Zāhid (d. 704/1304) had established a great mystic centre. His gran…

Ḥusaynī Sādāt Amīr

(576 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, popular name of Ḥusayn b. ʿĀlim b. Abi ’l-Ḥasan al-Ḥusaynī , an eminent mystic writer and a distinguished disciple of S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Bahāʾ al-Dīn Zakariyyāʾ of Multān [ q.v.]. Born at Guziv, a village in G̲h̲ur, he subsequently migrated to Harāt. He came to Multān with his father and joined the Suhrawardī order. According to a tradition quoted in Laṭāʾif-i As̲h̲rafī , S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Bahāʾ al-Dīn married one of his daughters to him. D̲j̲amālī says that he visited Delhi with his spiritual master during the reign of Iletmis̲h̲ (606-633/1210-3…


(372 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, variously spelt as Sahasrām, Sasarām, Sassaram, Sasiram, a small town in the S̲h̲āhabād district of Bihar in India (lat. 24° 58′ N., long. 84° 01′ E.), associated with the name of S̲h̲īr S̲h̲āh Sūr (946-52/1539-45 [see dihlī sultanate ]), initially as his military iḳṭāʿ and subsequently as his burial place, this last considered to be “one of the grandest and most imaginative architectural conceptions in the whole of India” (P. Brown, Indian architecture, 84). Legend ascribes the name to “certain Asura or demon who had a thousand arms, each holding a separate plaything” ( Imperial Gazett…


(1,393 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
(a.), literally “utterances”, in Ṣūfī parlance denotes the conversations of a mystic teacher. Though some compilations of Ṣūfī utterances were made earlier in other lands, e.g. the Ḥālāt wa-suk̲h̲anān-i S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Abū Saʿīd (Rieu, i, 342b ii) and Asrār al-tawḥīd (ed. Aḥmad Bahmanyār, Tehran 1934) [see abū saʿīd b. abiʾl-k̲h̲ayr ], it was Ḥasan Sid̲j̲zī of Dilhī who gave it a definite literary form. In 707/1307 he decided to write a summary of what he heard from his spiritual mentor, S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Niẓām al-Dīn Awliyāʾ [ q.v.], and completed it under the rubric, Fawāʾid al-fuʾād

Muḥammad Saʿīd Sarmad

(419 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, Indo-Muslim poet, mystic and free-thinker of the 11th/17th century, who was executed by the Mug̲h̲al Emperor Awrangzīb [ q.v.] for going about naked and holding heterodox views. Originally he belonged to a Jewish family of Kās̲h̲ān but, later, he embraced Islam and received instruction in philosophy from Mullā Ṣadrā S̲h̲īrāzī [ q.v.] and Mīrzā Abu ’l-Ḳāsim Findiriskī [ q.v. in Suppl.]. In 1042/1632 he came to Sind as a merchant. In That́t́a he fell in love with a Hindu youth and suffered such emotional disturbance that he gave up his vocation, went ab…


(1,099 words)

Author(s): Nizami, K.A.
, Ḵh̲wād̲j̲a Muʿīn al-Dīn Ḥasan , one of the most outstanding figures in the annals of Islamic mysticism and founder of the Čis̲h̲tiyya order [see the following article] in India, was born in or about 536/1141 in Sid̲j̲istān. He was in his teens when his father, Sayyid G̲h̲iyāt̲h̲ al-Dīn, died leaving as legacy a grinding mill and an orchard. The sack of Sid̲j̲istān at the hands of the G̲h̲uzz Turks turned his mind inwards and he developed strong mystic tendencies. He distribute…
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