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Ali Hujwiri

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Ali Hujwiri
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factoids
Abu ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. ʿUthmān b. ʿAlī al-Ghaznawī al-Jullābī al-Hujwīrī (c. 1009-1072/77), known as ʿAlī al-Hujwīrī or al-Hujwīrī (also spelt Hajweri, Hajveri, or Hajvery) for short, or reverentially as Shaykh Syed ʿAlī al-Hujwīrī or as Dātā Ganj Bakhsh by Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, was an 11th-century Iranian Sunni MuslimHosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs: "Iranian mystic, born at Hud̲j̲wīr, a suburb of G̲h̲azna... Although he was a Sunni and a Hanafi...". mystic, theologian, and preacher from Ghazna, who became famous for composing the Kashf al-maḥjūb (Unveiling of the Hidden), which is considered the "earliest formal treatise" on Sufism in Persian.Strothmann, Linus, "Dātā Ganj Bakhsh, Shrine of", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Ali Hujwiri is believed to have contributed "significantly" to the spread of Islam in South Asia through his preaching,Pilgrims of Love: The Anthropology of a Global Sufi Cult; Pnina Werbner, Pg 4, Published 2003, C. Hurst & Co. with one historian describing him as "one of the most important figures to have spread Islam in the Indian subcontinent."Strothmann, Linus, "Dātā Ganj Bakhsh, Shrine of", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson.In the present day, Ali Hujwiri is venerated as the patron saint of Lahore, Pakistan by the traditional Sunni Muslims of the area.Marcia Hermansen, "Ali ibn Uthman al-Hujwiri," in Holy People of the World: A Cross Cultural Encyclopedia, ed. Phyllis G. Jestice (ABC-CLIO, 2004), p. 381Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. He is, moreover, one of the most widely venerated saints in the entire Indian subcontinent,Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. and his tomb-shrine in Lahore, popularly known as Data Darbar, is one of the most frequented shrines in South Asia.Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. At present, it is Pakistan's largest shrine "in numbers of annual visitors and in the size of the shrine complex,"Strothmann, Linus, "Dātā Ganj Bakhsh, Shrine of", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. and, having been nationalized in 1960, is managed today by the Department of Awqaf and Religious Affairs of the Punjab.Strothmann, Linus, "Dātā Ganj Bakhsh, Shrine of", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. The mystic himself, remains a "household name" in the daily Islam of both India and Pakistan.JOURNAL
, Spiritual Teachings in Islam: A Study
, Wach
, Joachim
, The Journal of Religion
, University of Chicago Press
, 1549-6538
, 28
, 4
, 1948
, 263–80
,
, 1199083
, JSTOR
, In 2016, the Government of Pakistan declared 21 November to be a public holiday for the commemoration of the commencement of Ali Hujwiri's three-day death anniversaryweblink

Background

Ali Hujwiri was born in Ghazni, in present-day Afghanistan, in around 1009 to Uthman ibn Ali or Bu Ali. As is common with Sufi saints, he is claimed to be a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad through his father who was a direct descendant of Al-Imam Hasan ibn Ali. His alleged genealogical chain goes back eight generations to Ali.Hasan, Masudul, Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh: a spiritual biographyʾ (1971)Alī al-Hujwīrī, Kashf al-maḥjūb, trans. Reynold A. Nicholson, Leiden 1911, introAccording to the autobiographical information recorded in his own Kashf al-maḥjūb, it is evident that Ali Hujwiri travelled "widely through the Ghaznavid Empire and beyond, spending considerable time in Baghdad, Nishapur, and Damascus, where he met many of the pre-eminent Ṣūfīs of his time."Strothmann, Linus, "Dātā Ganj Bakhsh, Shrine of", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson; see also ʿAlī al-Hujwīrī, Kashf al-maḥjūb, trans. Reynold A. Nicholson, Leiden 1911, intro. In matters of jurisprudence, he received training in the Hanafi rite of orthodox Sunni law under various teachers.Strothmann, Linus, "Dātā Ganj Bakhsh, Shrine of", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson; see also ʿAlī al-Hujwīrī, Kashf al-maḥjūb, trans. Reynold A. Nicholson, Leiden 1911, intro. As for his Sufic training, he was linked through his teacher al-Khuttalī to al-Husrī, Abu Bakr Shibli (d. 946), and Junayd of Baghdad (d. 910).Alexander D. Knysh, Islamic mysticism. A short history (Leiden 2000), p. 133 For a short period of time, the mystic is believed to have lived in Iraq,Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs where he first became wealthy but late fell into debt.Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs His brief marriage during this period of time is said to have been unhappy.Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs Eventually, Ali Hujwiri settled in Lahore, where he died with the reputation of a renowned preacher and teacher.Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs His last few years, however, were not free of struggle, as he was imprisoned for some time for "the lack of the books he had left at Ghazni."Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs After his death, Ali Hujwiri was unanimously regarded as a great saint by popular acclaim.Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs

Spiritual Lineage

  1. Muhammad
  2. Ali ibn Abi Talib
  3. Husayn ibn Ali
  4. Zain-ul-Abideen
  5. Muhammad al-Baqir
  6. Ja'far al-Sadiq
  7. Musa al-Kadhim
  8. Ali ar-Ridha
  9. Maruf Karkhi
  10. Sirri Saqti
  11. Junayd al-Baghdadi
  12. Abu Bakr Shibli
  13. Sheikh Husri
  14. Sheikh AbulFazal bin Hasan
  15. Khwaja Dataa Ganj Baksh Ali Hujwiri

Views

Companions of Muḥammad

Abu Bakr

Ali Hujwiri described the first caliph of Islam Abu Bakr (d. 634) as "the Greatest Truthful,"Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 31 and deemed him "the leader (imām) of all the folk of this Path."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 31 Eulogizing Abu Bakr's piety, Ali Hujwiri praised him for how "he gave away all his wealth and his clients, and clad himself in a woolen garment, and came to the Messenger Muhammad "Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 32 (trans. slightly altered) and stated elsewhere that he "is placed by the Sufi shaykhs at the head of those who have adopted the contemplative life."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 70 In conclusion, Ali Hujwiri stated: "The whole sect of Sufis have made him their patron in stripping themselves of worldly things, in fixity, in eager desire for poverty, and in longing to renounce authority. He is the leader of the Muslims in general, and of the Sufis in particular."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 72

Umar

Ali Hujwiri described the second caliph of Islam Umar (d. 644) as one "specially distinguished by sagacity and resolution,"Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 72 and said that "the Sufis make him their model in wearing a patched garment and rigorously performing the duties of religion."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 73 He further praised Umar for his "very exalted station" in combining a life of worldly duties with intense and consistent spiritual devotion.Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 72

Uthman

Regarding the third of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs of the early Islamic community, Uthman (d. 656), Ali Hujwiri stated that the "Sufis take Uthman as their exemplar in sacrificing life and property, in resigning their affairs to God, and in sincere devotion."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 74

Ali

With respect to the fourth of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs of Islam, Ali (d. 661), Ali Hujwiri stated: "His renown and rank in this Path were very high. He explained the principles of Divine Truth with exceeding subtlety.... Ali is a model for the Sufis in respect to the truths of outward expressions and the subtleties of inward meanings, the stripping of one's self of all property either of this world or of the next, and consideration of the Divine Providence."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 74 He also approvingly cited Junayd of Baghdad's saying: "Ali is our Shaykh as regards the principles and as regards the endurance of affliction."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 74

Dancing

According to Ali Hujwiri, purely secular dancing "has no foundation either in the religious law of Islam or in the path of Sufism, because all reasonable men agree that it is a diversion when it is in earnest, and an impropriety when it is in jest."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 416 As such, he censured "all the traditions cited in its favour" as "worthless."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 416 As for the legitimate ecstatic experiences of some Sufis, whose bodies convulsed when their "heart [throbbed] with exhilaration and rapture" on account of their intense love of God,Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 416 Ali Hujwiri declared that these movements only outwardly resembled dancing and opined that "those who call it 'dancing' are utterly wrong. It is a state that cannot be explained in words: 'without experience no knowledge.'"Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 416

Doctors of law

Abu Hanifa

Regarding Abu Hanifa (d. 772), the traditionally recognized founder of the Hanafi school of orthodox Sunni jurisprudence, Ali Hujwiri stated: "He is the Imām of Imāms (lit. 'Leader of Leaders') and the exemplar of the Sunnis."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 92

Ahmad ibn Hanbal

Regarding Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 855), the traditionally recognized founder of the Hanbali school of orthodox Sunni jurisprudence, Ali Hujwiri stated: "He was distinguished by devoutness and piety, and was the guardian of the Traditions of the Messenger. Sufis of all sects regard him as blessed. He associated with great shaykhs ... his miracles were manifest and his intelligence sound. The doctrines attributed to him today by certain anthropomorphists are inventions and forgeries; he is to be acquitted of all notions of that sort. He had a firm belief in the principles of religion, and his creed was approved by all the theologians.... He is clear of all [the slander] that is alleged against him."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), pp. 117-118

Family of Muḥammad

Hasan

Regarding the grandson of Muhammad and son of Ali, Hasan ibn Ali (d. 670), Ali Hujwiri described him as one "profoundly versed in [spiritual truths]" and as one of "the true saints and shaykhs" of the Islamic community.Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 76

Husayn

With respect to the younger grandson of Muhammad and son of Ali, Husayn ibn Ali (d. 680), Ali Hujwiri emphatically declared: "He is the martyr of Karbala and all Sufis are agreed that he was in the right. So long as the Truth was apparent, he followed it; but when it was lost he drew the sword and never rested until he sacrificed his dear life for God's sake."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 76

Jafar al-Sadiq

Ali Hujwiri described Jafar al-Sadiq (d. 765), the great-grandson of Husayn, as one "celebrated among the Sufi shaykhs for the subtlety of discourse and his acquaintance with spiritual truths."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 78

Muhammad al-Baqir

Regarding the grandson of Husayn, Muhammad al-Baqir (d. 733), Ali Hujwiri stated: "He was distinguished for his knowledge of the abstruse science and for his subtle indications as to the meaning of the Quran."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 77

Zayn al-Abidin

Ali Hujwiri praised Zayn al-Abidin (d. 713), the son of Husayn, for being of "the character of those who have attained perfect rectitude."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 76

Law and jurisprudence

As a Sunni Muslim, Ali Hujwiri believed it was a spiritual necessity to follow one of the orthodox schools of religious law, being himself a staunch follower of the Hanafi school of orthodox Sunni jurisprudence.Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., "Hud̲j̲wīrī", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs: "Although he was a Sunni and a Hanafi...".Strothmann, Linus, "Dātā Ganj Bakhsh, Shrine of", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson: "Al-Hujwīrī followed the Ḥanafī school and is connected through his teacher, al-Khuttalī, to al-Husrī, al-Shiblī (d. 334/945), and al-Junayd (d. 297/910) of Baghdad (Knysh, 133)." As such, Ali Hujwiri condemned as "heretics" all those who espoused mystical doctrines without following all the precepts of the religious law (sharīʿah).Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 383 He further denounced all those "who held that ... when the Truth is revealed the Law is abolished."Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 383 For Ali Hujwiri, then, all true and orthodox mystical activity needed to take place within the boundaries of the religious law.See Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 383

Poetry

Ali Hujwiri deemed it lawful to listen to virtuous poetry, saying: "It is permissible to hear poetry. The Messenger heard it, and the Companions not only heard it but also spoke it."See Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 397 Due to these reasons, he censured those who "declare that it is unlawful to listen to any poetry whatever, and pass their lives in defaming their brother Muslims."See Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 397 Regarding the hearing of secular poetry, however, Ali Hujwiri's opinion was far stricter, and he deemed it "unlawful" to hear poetry or love-songs that enticed the hearer to carnal desires through detailed descriptions "of the face and hair and mole of the beloved."See Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 398 In conclusion, he stated that those who regarded the hearing of such poetry "as absolutely lawful must also regard looking and touching as lawful, which is infidelity and heresy."See Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 398

Saints

Ali Hujwiri supported the orthodox belief in the existence of saints.See Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 210 As such, he stated: "You must know that the principle and foundation of Sufism and Knowledge of God rests on sainthood, the reality of which is unanimously affirmed by all the teachers, though every one has expressed himself in a different language."See Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 210 Elsewhere, he said: "God has saints whom He has specially distinguished by His Friendship and whom He has chosen to be the governors of His Kingdom and has marked out to manifest by His Actions and has peculiarly favored with diverse kinds of miracles and has purged of natural corruptions and has delivered from subjection to their lower soul and passion, so that all their thoughts are of Him and their intimacy is with Him alone. Such have been in past ages, and are now, and shall be hereafter until the Day of Resurrection, because God exalted this community above all others and has promised to preserve the religion of Muhammad.... The visible proof [of Islam] is to be found among the saints and the elect of God." See Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. 212

Works

Kashf al-maḥjūb

Ali Hujwiri is perhaps most famous for writing what has been described as "the earliest formal treatise on Ṣūfism in Persian,"Strothmann, Linus, "Dātā Ganj Bakhsh, Shrine of", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. the renowned Kashf al-maḥjūb (Unveiling of the Hidden).Strothmann, Linus, "Dātā Ganj Bakhsh, Shrine of", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. The work presents itself as an introduction to the various aspects of orthodox Sufism, and also provides biographies of the greatest saints of the Islamic community.Strothmann, Linus, "Dātā Ganj Bakhsh, Shrine of", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. The Kashf al-maḥjūb is the only work of Ali Hujwiri that has remained until today.Hosain, Hidayet and Massé, H., “Hud̲j̲wīrī”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs.

Other works

Reynold Alleyne Nicholson provided a short list of Ali Hujwiri's writings (all of which are lost aside from the Kashf al-maḥjūb), which included, amongst others, the following unpreserved works:
  1. Dīwān (Songs of Hujwirī), a collection of the saint's poems.Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. vii
  2. Minhāj al-Dīn (The Way of the Religion), a work containing: (i) a detailed account of those Companions of Muhammad whom Ali Hujwiri deemed the precursors of the Sufis; and (ii) a full biography of the 10th-century mystic and martyr Mansur al-Hallaj (d. 922).Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. vii
  3. Asrār al-khiraq wa 'l-ma'ūnāt', a work on the woolen, patched garments worn by the Sufis of his time.Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. viii
  4. An untitled work explaining the meaning behind the mystical sayings of Mansur al-Hallaj.Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. viii
  5. Kitāb al-bayān li-ahl al-'iyān, a treatise on the orthodox interpretation of the Sufic ideal of union with God.Hujwiri, Kashf al-Mahjub, trans. R. A. Nicholson (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2007), p. viii
Of other books written by Sheikh Ali Hujwiri:
  1. Kashf al-Asrār, a short Persian treatise on how to fully adopt the path of Tasawwuf, translated with in-depth commentary by El-Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah El-Gillani.Hujwiri, Kashf al-Asrar, translated by El-Sheikh Syed Mubarik Ali Shah El-Gillani (Lahore: Zavia Books, 2005),weblink

See also

References

{{Reflist}}

External links

{{Persian literature}}{{South Asian Muslim Saints}}{{Hanafi scholars}}{{Authority control}}

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