Who is Nawa hujur?
As a Muslim saint Nawa- hujur is believed to be one of God’s chosen people. The Quran refers to Allah choosing an elect body of believers. The first of these elect are the prophets. They are special by virtue of their sinlessness, their constant state of Divine inspiration and their mission to transform humanity. The second group of the elect are certain Muslims who are special by virtue of their sincere devotion,self mortification and complete surrender of self-will to Divine will. They are the saints. In the muslim religion a saint is commonly known as a Wali meaning “nearness”. It applies to men who are regarded as being especially under Divine protection. A wali (plural awliya), is a person whose holiness brings him near to God and who receives from Him, as tokens of His favour, miraculous gifts called karamat. Awliya are God’s friends on whom “no fear shall come and they shall not grieve” (Quran, 10:63). Any injury done to them is considered an act of hostility against God.
Neither deep learning in divinity, nor devotion to good works, nor asceticism or moral purity makes a Muslim person a saint. He may have all or none of these things. The only indispensable qualification is that he experiences ecstasy and rapture, which is the outward sign of “passing away” from the physical and material self into the Godhead. This is a sign that he is a Gnostic. Any one thus enraptured (in a state of majdhub) is a wali. When such persons are recognized through their power of working miracles, they are venerated as saints not only after death but also during their lives. Often however they live and die in obscurity.
Nawa — hoojurs’ father, who’s title is Peer Quebla Hazrat Shah Sufi Muhammad Abu Bakr Siddiqui (known as the Grand Hujur), was also considered a spiritual leader. He similarly inspired people to hold firm to the belief in one God by constantly emphasizing the importance of an Islamic Ummah.
Nawa hujurs’ father was particularly active against social maipractices and acts of the English Government during the era of the British Raj. Therefore he was – in the true spirit of Muhammad (pbuh) – a political, revolutionary leader helping those who fought for the freedom of India.
Such spiritual leaders maintain and propagate the integrity of Islam by fighting acts against the shariat, acts that are paganistic, and acts of polytheism and innovation which have the potential to cause moral decay in society. Furthermore their spiritual role goes hand in hand with their revolutionary zeal in guiding back the people to the belief in the one God.
The spiritual lineage of Nawa – hujur is impressive and can be traced directly back to Abu Bakr Siddiqie (Rh) who was the first Caliph of Islam after the death of Muhammad (pbuh). As you can see from the genealogical tree below, the line of descendancy is lucid, unambigious, without deviation and strikingly prodigious.
Hazrat Mustafa Madani, the eighth forefather of Nawa hujur was born in Furfura. Mansur’s father came to Baghdad from Arabia to preach Islam and started living there. He was the sixteenth descendant of the first Caliph Abu Bakr (RA) and his name was Mokhdum Ziauddin Zahhed
His Miraculous birth
The birth of Nawa Hujoor is the proverbial stuff of legends. In the early hours of a spring morning in 1913 a child was born in Furfura into the household of Peer Quebla Hazrat Shah Sufi Muhammad. Tragically the child was still born. Shocked, hopeless and distraught the mother immediately informed the child’s father. However the father seemed surprisingly unperturbed by the fact that his wife had just given birth to a dead baby boy. After confirmation that the child was indeed dead, arrangements were swiftly made for his burial and the funeral was set for Asar prayer.
The child was laid to rest and prayers were being said over him. At that very moment it is said that the baby came to life and uttered three short but incoherent words. As everyone looked on in awe and shock the child gave a loud and healthy cry from the top of his lungs. The baby’s father, the Grand Hujur, declared to the waiting crowds that the miraculous reawakening of the new baby indicated his spiritual status. He was indeed a saint even at birth.
Childhood and Adolescence
As a child Nawa-hujur is said to have had a sweet and contemplative disposition. Many indications were already present in his boyhood which reflected his “other worldly” nature. His miraculous birth proved he was no ordinary child. The news spread across India and many believed it was a portent of future events. They kept a close watch over him.
Unlike other boys his age, Nawa-hujur could not be seen playing the usual boyhood pranks or seeking the pleasures of rowdy adventure. His introspective temperament meant he soon became distant from his contemporaries. His yearning even then was not for toys, games and material things.
He was said to be most friendly and kindhearted, never envious of anyone or causing harm to others. He bore no prejudices or cast any aspersions.
Nawa-hujur had a keen love for sports and it is interesting to note that he enjoyed those games particularly patronized by our Prophet (pbuh). Games involving arrows and swords. He would love riding horseback too. In fact, many apparently witnessed the uncanny resemblance of Nawa hujur to the Prophet’ s(pbuh) demeanor and characteristics.
Education and Adoration
Even at an early age Nawa-hujoor had a habit of praying for blessings from departed saints and spiritualists. Many hours were spent at the entrance of famous mausoleums in contemplative enchantment. These alternating pensive and inquisitive moods were naturally channeled into a yearning for knowledge. Not only worldly knowledge through formal education and learning of the sciences, but deeper questions of immortality, our place in the universe and human suffering.
Towards this end Hujur embarked on a quest for knowledge with single-minded devotion. To the exclusion of all else he concentrated on his studies and was said to be gifted with an extraordinarily sharp memory. As can be expected, he proved to be an outstanding student.
Having completed his primary education in Furfura, Hujur moved to Calcutta where he pursued a religious line of erudition and scholarship within the hallowed walls of the great Calcutta madrasas. His schooling centered around Islamic jurisprudence, theology and the science of prophetic traditions. Most scholars of the time have acknowledged his excellence and profound knowledge of Quranic interpretation and his commentaries on theology.
With all his material learning complete, and having extensively developed an analytic understanding of prophetic wisdom, Nawa — hujur finally turned all his attention to the mystical knowledge of Tassawuf. This pursuit required an altogether different approach to learning. Now he had to learn vigilance and constancy in performance of compulsory daily prayers. He meticulously performed every supererogatory prayer such as Nafal, Tashbeeh and Tahleel. He adopted a constant state of Zikr and was known for his extended prostrations. One could see in his face the clear expressions of piety and unwavering solicitation of God’s bounty. Although considered a saint from birth, Hujur would still spend sleepless nights without a break devoted to prayer and meditation. When he moved to Calcutta and if not bowed down in prayer he would often be seen sitting by the graves of the Holy, quietly meditating. Many a night was passed in the open fields around the banks of the river Ganges in such repose.
Nawa-hujur’s spiritual sojourn began in earnest in his student days but it was pursued with the utmost secrecy. In fact it was many years before even his parents were aware of this clandestine life of surreptitious devotion.
To be continued……
Mohammed Amair Ali Siddique
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