Dargahs Of India: Sirhind Sharif

Dotting GT Road, away from the hustle and bustle of Chandigarh and somewhere between Ludhiana and Ambala, lies the dusty town of Sirhind that holds within itself important pages of Indian history book. Sirhind is mostly known among Muslims through Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi, the famous Sufi of the Naqshbandi order who was conferred the title of Mujaddid Alif-sani.

Mujaddid, in Islamic tradition, refers to a person who, Muslims believe, is sent by God in the first half of every century of the Islamic calendar.

As it says in the hadith: “Allah shall raise for this Umma at the head of every century a man who shall renew (or revive) for it its religion” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

The Mujaddid’s objective is to revive Islam, remove from it any extraneous elements and to restore it to its pristine state. A Mujaddid might be a caliph, a founder of a sufi order, a saint (wali), a prominent teacher, a scholar or some other kind of influential person.Usually all those who are considered to be the Mujaddid may not compulsory that they claim. They can be recognize by their work for Islam and its revival. [Wikipedia]

Mujaddid Alif-sani would mean reviver of Islam in the second millennium. Even though his name was familiar, I never knew the exact location of Sirhind till a friend I was visiting in Chandigarh told me about it. It was the place where Ahmed al-Faruqi was born on the day of Ashura, the 10th of Muharram in the year 971 Hijri or 1564 AD.

He received his knowledge and education through his father and through many shaikhs in his time. He made progress in three tariqats: Suhrawardiyya, Qadiriyya, and Chistiyya. He was given permission to train followers in all three tariqats at the age of 17 years. He was busy in spreading the teachings of these tariqats and in guiding his followers, yet he felt that something was missing in himself and he was continuously searching for it. He felt an interest in the Naqshbandi Sufi Order, because he could see by means of the secrets of the other three tariqats that it was the best and highest. His spiritual progress eventually brought him to the presence of the Ghawth and Qutb of his time, ash-Shaikh Muhammad al-Baqi, who had been sent from Samarqand to India by the order of his shaikh, Muhammad al-Amkanaki. He took the Naqshbandi Order from the shaikh and stayed with him for two months and some days, until Sayyidina Muhammad al-Baqi opened to his heart the secret of this tariqat and gave him authorization to train his murids in the Order. [Wikipedia]

A high point of Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi’s life was his confrontation with Akbar and then with his successor Jahangir. Things came to such a pass that he was incarcerated in the Fort of Gwalior for three years. Eventually, he was freed by the Emperor and went back to preaching in Sirhind where he died in 1624 AD. He is largely credited to have led the revival of Islam in India in the 16th-17th century. However, some scholars have criticized his role saying that he steered the intellectual discourse away from the liberal dogma during the times of Akbar and Jahangir. Others have criticized him for his alleged role in the assassination of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru of Sikhism, in 1606 at the hands of Jahangir who suspected Arjan Dev of helping his rebellious son, Khusrau.

Sheikh Ahmed SirhindSheikh Ahmed Sirhind

The entrance to his shrine is imposing and a mosque is situated adjacent to the shrine. The plaque at the top of the main gate reads:

bismillah ar rahmaan ar rahiim
laa ilaahaa illalaah muhammad rasuul allah

mazaar puranvaar Hazrat Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alifsani Sheikh ahmed Faruqui Naqshbandi Sirhindi rahmat ullah alaihu

It roughly translates into:

In the name of Allah, Most Magnificent, Most Merciful
There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is His Messenger

The illuminated mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alifsani Sheikh ahmed Faruqui Naqshbandi Sirhindi (may Allah have mercy upon him)

The plaque also tells us that the construction was done in 1925 AD which is not is fairly recent. As it is the case with Taj Mahal the mausoleum of Sheikh Ahmed Sarhind is also built in two stories. A demo grave at the top and the actual grave at the bottom.

Demo Grave Sheikh Ahmed SirhindActual Grave Sheikh Ahmed Sirhind

WishesOne of the interesting sights at the mausoleum is this intricate marble work made colorful by wish-threads tied by the devotees. For every wish they solicit through Sheikh, the devotees tie a thread. Today Sirhind Sharif receives many of its visitors from other parts of North India who are going to Ajmer Sharif for the annual Urs and stop at Sirhind along the way. The population of Muslims is minuscule in Punjab and a large percentage consists of immigrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Quite close to the dargah of Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi stands Fatehgarh Sahib Gurudwara and holds an exalted status in the eyes of Sikhs. It is the place where the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh were bricked alive.

After the heroic death of two elder sons of Guru Gobind Singh, in the battle of Chamkaur, on December22, 1704 his two younger sons, namely, Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh were done to death, by being bricked alive in the fort of Sirhind on December 28, 1704 by the order of the tyrant Nawab Wazir Khan. Mata Gujri, grandmother of the two Sahibzadas expired due to the shock of brutal murder of her two grand children. A Hindu Philanthropist Dewan Todar Mal cremated three dead bodies with the help of other devotees of the Guru. He purchased the land by paying gold coins to the muslim Zamindar named Atta. Here stands the Gurdwara Jyoti Swarup. A big hall with a seating capacity for 5,000 persons has been recently constructed. It has been named Dewan Todar Mal Hall. [All About Sikhs]

Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib

Sirhind, like many other places of historical importance dotting North Indian landscape has been largely forgotten but will feature prominently whenever we look back into the past.

Click on the images for enlarged view.

Previous post in the series ‘Dargahs of India’: Dewa Sharif.

About Mohib Ahmad

Mohib is a management graduate, an Urdu aficionado and a photography amateur.
This entry was posted in Culture & Heritage, India and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Dargahs Of India: Sirhind Sharif

  1. razarumi says:

    Mohib: thanks for this well-researched and fluent piece. One travelled into various eras of history while reading it.
    The pictures are also great.
    Bravo
    RR

  2. Adnan says:

    A great post. Very enlightening. I didn’t have exact idea about the location of the place though I had heard so much about the place.

  3. Taha says:

    Very nice article. I have heard about Mujaddid Alfi-sani since I was small and about his confrontation with Jahangir. However I didn’t know about his grave in Sirhind.

    Thanks.

  4. saquib says:

    hazrate mujaddid sab se jo silsila jo chala pair adam bin noori tak phir wahan se sufi gul qaabli se hota hua sandila sircar serahauzi sandial tak pahuncha is beech ke jo bhi buzurg hain unke saheeh address un ke mazaaraat kahan hai zara mere er mail pe mail kar dein

    adna gulam
    s.m.n.saquib naqshbandi
    sandila sharif chota chauraha
    sandila hardoi u.p

  5. Navaid Alam Faruqui says:

    The accomplishments of the Sheikh lie not only in his attempts to revive Islam but also in his attempts to revive and reform Sufism itself. His efforts to cleanse Shariah non-compliant practices from Sufism are worth noting. Worthy of mention is also his own theory of Wahdat-ul-Shuhud as against the more prevalent Wahdat-ul-Wujud.

    The book ‘Sufism and Shariah (Sheikh Sirhindi’s Efforts to reform Sufism)’ by Dr Abdul Haq Ansari is a good read.

  6. syed imran ahmed says:

    My very dear mohib i must appreciate your efforts and the brief note about Hazrat Mujaddid saheb and the Beautiful pictures i never seen before as i am follower of his teaching but live across the dividing line but i saw this land some 5km when i was passingthrough for delhi i sayed thereby a restaurant.
    i wish to see this all with my naked eyes, and pay my tribute to him and his all childrens.

  7. habeeb says:

    Asslamalikum All Bros

    I’m follower of Naqshbandi Mujdadi Tariqa. I searched in youtube.com video of Mazar Sharif of Syedna Mujadid Alfsani Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi (RA). But could not find any video. If possible kindly upload video. I checked thru google earth sirhind sharif. Wish someone from Sirhind Sharif could point Mazar Sharif of Hazrat Mujadid (RA). Presently who is sajada nasheen?

  8. Zahid says:

    As Salaam Alaikum

    Jazakhallah for putting pictures of Sheikh ahmed Faruqui Naqshbandi Sirhindi (ks) and letting us send our Salaams to them.

    If you are ever in London, then you are invited to our Naqshbandi Zikr circle in Maida Vale, London. Please check our blog http://sufi-london-meditation.blogspot.com

    Salaams

    Zahias

  9. umesh mathur says:

    asalam walequm
    I pay my regards and respects to hazrat muzzaddid Alif Sani Saheb Sirhindi Peshwa and other Naqshbandiya Muzzaddidya Mazhariya Buzurgwars,through this blog.
    umesh mathur

  10. Shibly Ahmed says:

    The purest chain of truth the comes from Qaiyum -i-i jaman, Imam-i Rabbani, Hazraat Mujaddid – i ALfesani (R) and righty preserved through his Sahebjada Qaiyum -i Sain Hazarat Khawaj Masum (R) is known as ‘Khas Mujaddedia Tariaka’. This is still prevailing as the same tarika of Sahabi (R). IN Bangladesh I am an fortuante follower of Khas Mujaddedia Tarika. My Murshid Kibla Hazrat Mamunur Rashid Maddajuilluhul Ali is one, who teaches ‘Qalbi Jikir’ in the same way in which Hajrat Mujaddid (R) taught it. and by the Grace of Almighty Allah and Dua of Hazrat Mujaddid Alfesani (R), through my Murshid Kibla’s ‘Tawajjuh’ Jikir is at once generated in the Qalbs of murids. All are invited to experience the excellence and miracle of Khas Mujaddidia Tarika from my Murshid Kibla.

  11. Ahsan Habib says:

    Dear Brother,
    Assalamu-alaikum.
    Anybody could please send me some photographs of mazar pak of the great muslim saint Qaiyum -i-jaman, Imam-i Rabbani, Hazraat Mujaddid – ALfesani (R)? I am a devotee of him and looking this urgently.

    Wassalam,

    Ahsan Habib Sabuz
    hjbrl30@yahoo.com
    Dhaka
    Bangladesh

  12. wajid ali naqshbandi says:

    Dear Brother,
    Assalamu-alaikum.
    mujhay hazrat imam rabbni mujjadd alfesani (R) ke picture chaheye

  13. Cagri Kaplan says:

    Assalamu-alaikum,
    Could you tell me how i can go to mazaar of Imam Rabbani Mujaddid Alifsani Sheikh ahmed Faruqui Naqshbandi Sirhindi ?? I am not from India, but i want to go there. Please help me !!

  14. D Jamal says:

    Dear Brother,

    I reside near the town of Sirhind. For details you can contact me at daudjamal@hotmail.com

    Wassalam,

  15. Amjad Mahmood Khan says:

    Hellow everybody!

    I am very pleased to see up-given pictures of the Mizar-e-Pak of Imam-e-Rabbani Hazrat Mujadid Alifsani.

    I would like to forward my deep and enthusiastic affliation with the Naqishbandi goloden chain.

    Please keep me in your prayers like all others.

  16. S.M.Abdullah Sahed Naqshbandi Chittagong , Bangladesh says:

    Dear
    Not Different Heart
    Assalamu Alaikum
    I pay my regards and respects to hazrat muzzaddid- Alife- Sani Sayek Ahmad Sirhindi Faruki (Ra) Peshwa
    and other Naqshbandiya, Muzzaddidya, Mazhariya, kayria, Buzurgwars,through this blog.
    Anybody could please send me some photographs of mazar pak of the great muslim saint Qaiyum -i-jaman,
    Imam-e- Rabbani, Hazraat Mujaddid – ALfesani Sayek Ahmad Sarhindi Naqshbandi Muzzaddi (Ra)?

  17. mohammad.irfan.bandhani says:

    sir.plz send all photoghraph me thanks

  18. m.raihan kabir says:

    please send me a location . i need a map.

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