Baqi Billah was the originator and pioneer of the
Naqshbandia Order in the sub-continent. His name was
Razi-ud-Din Muhammad Baqi but he was commonly known as
Khwaja Baqi Billah His father Qazi Abdul Salam
Khilgi, Samarkandi Qureshi was a famous scholar and
saint of Kabul. KHAWAJA BAQI BILLAH was born at Kabul in
971A.H or 1563A.D. His lineage reaches Kh. Ubaid Ullah
Ahrar R.A. through his maternal grandfather. His
grandmother came of a Syed family. Hazrat Baqi Billah was admitted to the school of Khawaja Saad at five
to learn the Holy Quran. He learnt by heart when he was
eight years old. After getting elementary education, he
went to Maulana Sadiq Hilvahi R.A.., a famous scholar at
the age of 30.
Saintliness was reflected from his face from his early
childhood. He liked solitude and simple life. He went to
Mavara-un-Nahr, which was considered as the centre of
Muslim saints at that time. There he met a large number
of Sufis and Saint from whom he gathered a lot of
spiritual knowledge. Firstly, he attended Khawaja Ubaid
R.A. a spiritual caliph of Maulana Lutf Ullah but he was
not satisfied. Then he stayed with Hazrat Sheikh
Samarkandi who prayed for him but even in his company he
did not get the requisite satisfaction. Thereafter, he
attended the company of Hazrat Ameer Abdullah Balkhi R.A.
from whom he got a little peace of mind.
During the period of learning, he was going through a
book on Sufisim. Suddenly, he saw that the place was
illuminated with light. He saw that Khawaja Baha-ud-Din
Nashbandi R.A. was standing before him and showering
spiritual favour on him.
After this incident, his heart was filled with the love
of Allah and the Holy Prophet Sallalaho Alyhe Wasalam.
He wandered from Central Asia to India He traveled to
Lahore and Multan on foot. Once, when he was offering
prayers in a mosque at Lahore, a terrible voice rose
from his heart. All the people in the mosque felt
terrified. Hazrat Khawaja left the mosque at once after
completing his prayers. One of his devotees narrated
that, once, when Hazrat Khawaja R.A. was leading
prayers, he was looking to Qibla as well as to the
people behind. After the prayers Hazrat Khawaja Sahib
R.A. advised his devotees not to divulge this secret to
Hazrat Khawaja Baqi Billah was blessed with great
spiritual qualities because of his extra-ordinary love
for and obedience to the Holy Prophet Sallalaho Alyhe
Wasalam once related that a painful voice came out of
the holy heart of the Holy Prophet Sallalaho Alyhe
Wasalam while he was offering the prayers. He could see
before himself and behind himself at one and the same
Hazrat Khawaja Baqi Billah once travelled to
Mavara-ur-Nahr. On his way, he dreamt that Hazrat
Khawaja Amkangi R.A. was calling him and waiting for him
anxiously. So, he went to see him at his abode and
stayed there for three days. Khawaja Amkangi R.A.
blessed him with his Khilafat (spiritual caliphate) and
"Go to India because this Order (Naqshbandia Silsila)
will be established there by you"
Hazrat Khawaja Baqi Billah humbly said to his
spiritual guide that he could not do that difficult
task, but Khawaja Amkangi R.A. insisted and ordered him
to get guidance from "Istikharah" (prayer for getting
judgment from Allah), Hazrat Khawaja performed "Istikhara".
In a dream he saw a parrot sitting on the branch of a
tree. He thought that if the parrot sat on his hand, he
would consider this journey as a lucky one. No sooner
did this thought flashed across his mind, than the
parrot flew towards him and perched on his hand. Hazrat
Baqi Billah put his saliva into its beak whereas
the parrot put sugar into his mouth.
Next morning Hazrat Baqi Billah related the whole
dream to his guide, who said that he should act in the
light of the Istkhara. So, his guide ordered him to
leave for India at once. Under the instructions of his
guide, he travelled to India and stayed at Lahore for a
year. Here a lot of scholars and nobles of the city met
him and got spiritual blessings from him. Then he
proceeded to Delhi and stayed at Qilla Ferozabad. It was
a beautiful place situated on the band of River Jamna.
He set up his dwelling in a mosque over there.
Sardar Ali Ahmed Khan has highlighted the
politico-religious trends of India at the time of Hazrat
Khawaja Baqi Billah at page 92 of his book. "The
Naqshbandis" as under:
"Emperor Akbar's reign (1556-1605) was mostly marked
with denial and heresy. In the beginning. Akbar was a
Sunni Muslim but under the influence of his tutor Abtul
Latif he adopted very liberal views and became a liberal
thinker. During his reign he was surrounded by Hindu
nobles and scholars as well as by his Hindu wives who
had influenced his religious views to a great extent.
Faizi and Abw-al-Fazal, two of his couriers, had wormed
themselves into his confidence. They enjoyed his
patronage, and adroitly influenced and determined his
views. Unique in learning and scholarship, they were
selfish, and intent upon worldly gains. Asna-Ashrite (a
sect of Shite) in their religious views, they did not
like that the Sunni Ulama, by gaining the emperor's
confidence, should gain precedence over them.
Accordingly, they persuaded the ignorant king to
introduce Din-i-Ilahi, (Divine monotheism) in the year
1581 A.D, investing him with the rank of a prophet, and
Abu-al-Fazl becoming the vice-regent in this respect.
Before his evil influence, Akbar held the Ulama in deep
respect. As is well known, Jahangir was born in response
to Sheikh Salim Chistee's prayer in whom Akbar had
profound faith. He also went on foot from Agra to Ajmer
for thanks-giving at Khwaja Muinuddin Chistee's Dargah
and to reiterate his faith in him. But after the
introduction of Din-i-Ilahi, he tried to deform Islam.
Like the Hindus, he marked his forehead with the Qashqa
(to mark forehead), worshipped the sun, and married
daughters of the Hindu Rajas and kept dogs and pigs as
pets. Instigated by Abu Al-Fazl, he asked the Ulama to
subscribe to Din-i-Ilahi, and on their refusal, they
were expelled from the court. All the same, there were
some self-seeking Ulama who embraced Din-i-Ilahi and
issued Fatawas (decrees) in support of Akbar's
anti-Islamic activities. They accepted him as the
supreme head of religion and grand arbiter in spiritual
and religious controversies."
Hazrat Khwaja Baqi Billah strengthened the
Naqshbandia Order in India. His contacts with the
nobility of the Mughal Empire proved useful for the
reformation of the Muslims of India. He took bold steps
and played a heroic role to stop the prevailing heresy
known as Din-i-Ilahi. His writings and counsels
encouraged the people to combat this very innovation.
The nobility also favoured him and he used their power
for the betterment of the Muslims. He stressed on Sharia
during the whole of his life and influenced the people
by virtue of his piety and his strict adherence to the
Sunnah. He preferred Sharia to Tariqah (Sufism) and
reformed the Sufis and Ulama of that time. Khwaja
Muhammad Kishmi, a disciple of Hazrat Mujaddid Alif Sani,
writes about the achievements of Hazrat Baqi Billah as under:
“Probably his greatest achievement is that in two or
three years, he firmly established the Naqshbandi Order
in India, whereas others of the same Order lagged behind
and worked for many years".
A tribute higher than, the following one paid by
Hazrat Mujaddid Ali Sani R.A. to Hazrat Baqi Billah cannot be paid to any one else:
"I am convinced that such training as I received from
him has hardly been given by anyone else after the Holy
Prophet Salallaho Alyhe Wasalam. I did not enjoy the
Prophet's company but I thank Allah, I was not denied
the honour of Khwaja Baqi Billah's R.A. Company."
In fact, extra-ordinarily firm faith in the supremacy of
God Almighty and strict adherence to Sunnah had elevated
Hazrat Baqi Billah to such heights of spiritual
excellence as could not be attained by any other saint
of the Naqashbandi Order. He is indisputably, reckoned
to be the greatest herald and torch-bearer of the Order,
which he practised. He is incomparable and a class apart
in his own line
All words, deeds and actions of Hazrat Baqi Billah which were in the wake of the Holy Prophet Sallalho
Alyhe Wasalam, worked miracles quite spontaneously. Many
of his miracles, reflecting his immense love for his
fellow beings and exhibiting his sympathy with other
creatures of Allah Almighty adorn the pages of books,
which have been written on him. Since it is difficult to
mention all his miracles in this short article, only a
few of them have been related as under:
One, late at night, a few guests of Hazrat Baqi Billah came to see him. Since no foodstuff was available
at home, he asked the baker, who held Hazrat Baqi Billah in great esteem and reverence, to serve the guests
as directed. After having served the guests, the baker
appeared before Hazrat Baqi Billah and demanded his
remuneration. Hazrat Sahib asked the baker how much he
was to pay for the dinner. On his own part, he tried to
pay the price of the dinner but the baker declined to
accept the remuneration in terms of money. The baker
requested Hazrat Baqi Billah to make him just like
him. Out of great love, which Hazrat Baqi Billah cherished for his fellow beings.
Hazrat Baqi Billah took the baker into his (Hujra)
room, embraced him, and transformed him into his own
facimile When Hazrat Baqi Billah and the baker came
out of the room, both of them resembled each other so
closely that it was difficult for the people to
distinguish between the two. The only difference between
them was that whereas the actual Baqi Billah performed his duties, as usual, in a normal way, the
transformed Baqi Billah lay lost in trance. Being unable
to bear the stress of the great spiritual blessing
showered upon him, the baker expired after three days.
Another miracle, showing Hazrat Baqi Billah's love for
any sympathy with other creatures of God, deserves
special mention. It is said that one night Hazrat Baqi
Billah after having offered his Tahajad prayers,
stepped towards his bed to take some rest. To his great
surprise, he saw a cat couching in his bed. Blessed and
gifted as Hazrat Baqi Billah was with a kind and
benign heart, he did not disturb the cat. He quietly sat
down on the floor and passed the rest of the night in
the chilly winter, whereas the cat enjoyed a sound sleep
According to Hazrat Khwaja Baqi Billah Tovakkal
(trust in Allah) does not mean that a person should not
earn his living and become idle. This would be an act of
disobedience to Allah. A person should do some work to
earn his living, and should have a strong faith that
only Allah is the Sustainer. Work is just like a source,
mediation or an intersessor. There is a great moral
lesson for our modern youths to learn from the
philosophy and preaching of this great saint. In fact,
according to all Nashbandi Sufis and saints, escape from
the struggle of life is a cowardly and a selfish act.
According to Hazrat Khwaja Baqi Billah R.A a hermit
lives in a world of dreams, whereas to the adventurous
and the brave, this world offers a splendid scope to
struggle for existence.
Sardar Ali Ahmed Khan, has remarked as under:
"Judged by results, the greatest event of the life of
Hazrat Baqi Billah. was the enrolment of Hazrat
Mujaddid Alif Sani as his disciple in 1599."
Hazrat Khwaja Baqi Billah R.A went his way to eternity
on 25 Jamadi-ul-Sani 1012 A.H. or 1603 A.D. His grave is
situated in Delhi near the Qadam Sharif (foot-prints) of
the Holy Prophet Sallalho Alyhe Wasalam at a platform.
No dorne was constructed over his grave according to his
will. There is no tree to cast a shadow on the grave. In
spite of this, the visitors do not feel the effect of
heat when they stand barefooted beside the grave.
M. Ikram: Maadn-e-Karm. Aastana Aalia Hazrat Karman wala
Okara 2001, A.D.
S. Zarwar Hussain: Hazrat Mujaddid Alif Sani Karachi
1989. Masadn-e-Karam P.293.
Sardar Ali Ahmed Khan: The Naqshbandis Sharaqpur