It was a beautiful bright day,the sun was shining ,the birds were flying and all of mankind seemed to be in a jovial mood.Sometimes in our life the feeling of something great is going to happen comes instinctively.it seems nature is ready to expose us to a whole new aspect of life which had lain dormant in our soul,only to spring out in all its glory. As usual Alphie and his family were waiting patiently for Ranu to arrive.Gepetto felt unusually calm,this day,his parents were trying to understand ,what was behind this calm behaviour. Susan felt uneasy and told her husband,”I hope this is not the calm before the storm!”Susan muttered.She hesitantly informed Ranu about Gepetto’s transformation.
Ranu immediately said, “I know what it is,he must have dreamed about the place we will be visiting today.” Alphie was curious, “he asked where are we visiting today?” “Well” said,Ranu, “We will visit Nizamuddin Awliya’s mazar.She said,”before our visit ,I want to give you a brief knowledge of the man. According to the historical records,he was a famous sufi saint.They believed in drawing closer to God through renunciation of the world and service to humanity.Nizamuddin Awliya was born in Badayun,Uttar Pradesh(east Of Delhi).His father died when he was five.He and his mother,came to Delhi.At the age of twenty,he went to Ajodhan(present Pakpattan Sharif in Pakistan).Here he became the disciple of Fariduddin Ganjshkar.Who was known as Baba Farid.Nizamuddin continued his theological studies in Delhi and at the same time started the Sufi devotional practices.Every year he visited Ajodhan to spend Ramazan in the presence of Baba Farid. On his third visit to Ajodhan the Baba made him his successor.Shortly after his return home he received news of the Baba’s passing.
Nizamuddin settled down in Ghyaspur,a neighbourhood of Delhi. It was a quiet place,away from the noise of the big city.He built his Khanqah here,a place where everyone was welcome and fed.His khanqah became a place where every one rich or poor visited.
Nizamuddin believed in the traditional Sufi ideas of embracing God within this life.He believed in destroying the” Ego”(self) and cleansing the soul.
The following are some of the beliefs of Sufis.
1.complete trust in God.
2.Unity of mankind and avoid distinctions based on social,economic and religious status.
3.Helping the needy,feeding the hungry and being sympathetic to the oppressed.
4.Urge strongly in making close contact with the poor and the ill-treated
5. A bold stance in favour of “Sama”,which some considered Un-Islamic
Sama represents a mystical journey of man’s spiritual ascent through mind and love to perfection.The follower goes through love,deserts his “Ego”(self)and arrives at perfection.He then returns from his spiritual journey as a man who has received maturity and a greater perfection,so as to love and to be of service to the whole creation.Nizamuddin believed in the practical aspects of Sufism.He was only sixteen when he first heard the name of Fariduddin Ganjshkar,and immediately the feeling of love and respect arose in his heart right then.He told his followers,he never felt the same about any other Sufi.His love and respect for Baba Farid was such that his classmates could ask him for any favours,if they asked in Baba’s name.He stressed upon the element of love as a means of realization of God.For him his love of God implied a love of humanity.
Ranu thought, ” maybe I took too much time talking about Nizamuddin Awliya,” She got the attention of the family and asked them to forgive her for taking so much of their time.
Alphie immediately answered, “My dear do not apologize,you cannot even fathom how much my wife and I appreciated knowing about the great Sufi,I am not sure how much Gepetto understood.” Gepetto said politely, ” Mom and Dad ,I had a dream,someone was telling me about the place we will visit and how sacred it is.I should be very quiet and thank God for letting me see and know about this place.When Ranu came and told us,I knew at once this was the place I dreamed of.” The family finally reached the place,Ranu had already told them about it and told them to pray and thank God for being able to see and watch thousands of people quietly praying and walking about.
The family visited the residence,the mazar ,the dargah of the Sufi saint Nizamuddin Awliya.They were very respectful,Susan covered her head with her scarf,Alphie and Gepetto used their handkerchief to do the same.
Later on Gepetto asked,Ranu if she please could write the words for him ,he wanted to copy them in his diary.They all agreed this was a great experience for them,one that will always bring back fond memories of the places and the guide who took the time to explain it all!
On their way to the hotel they stopped for lunch and were thankful to God for helping them to have such a Divine Experience!
This time they did not leave it to Ranu to bid good bye,but they all said in Unison:” Allah Hafiz.”
More to come tomorrow!