Celebrating 11th Rabi al-Thani
Death Anniversary of Ghaus-e-Azam
Al-Ghawth al-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani’s grandeur and splendor in the world of Sufism and Faqr does not require any introduction as his dignity and honor is brighter than the sun, and his attributes and virtues are countless. He is famously known in the world as al-Ghawth al-Azam (Ghaus-e-Azam) and also with numerous other titles such as
- Sayyid-ul-Kaunain (Leader of the Worlds)
- Sultan-ul-Faqr (The King of Faqr)
- Sultan-ul-Auliya (The King of the Saints)
- Mehboob-e-Subhani (The Beloved of Allah)
- Qutb-al-Rabbani (The Divine Pole)
- Ghaus-e-Hamdani (The Saint of Hamadan)
- Shahbaz-e-Lamakani (The Falcon of the Station of no Station)
- Pir Dastagir (The Guide who Patronizes)
- Piran-e-Pir (The Spiritual Guide of Spiritual Guides),
- Noor-e-Mutlaq (The Absolute Divine Light)
- Mash’hood al-Haq (The Witness of the Truth)
- Haqeeqat al-Haq (The Divine Reality)
- Qutb al-Kaunain (Saint of the Worlds)
- Qutb-ul-Aqtab (Saint of all Saints)
- Ghaus al-Saqlain (The Saint of both the Worlds)
- Al-Ghawth al-Azam (The Supreme Helper)
- Muhiyuddin (Reviver of the Religion).
Birthday and Death Anniversary
Ghaus-ul-Azam razi Allah anhu was born on Friday, 1st of Ramadan 470AH (March 17, 1078) and died on Saturday after night (Isha) salat on 11th of Rabi al-Thani 561AH (February 12, 1166) at the age of 91.ij Hijra
Ghaus-e-Azam’s honorable father Sayyid Abu Salih Musa Jangi rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh was from Hasani lineage and his mother Umm-ul-Khair Sayyida Fatima rehmat-ul-Allah Alayha was from Husayni family. Therefore Ghaus-e-Azam is a Sayyid having noble lineage from both sides. The verification on this fact is present in numerous books.
Reviver of the Religion
The birth of Ghaus-e-Azam razi Allah anhu is no less than a miracle. He rose like the sun in the era of ignorance and rubbed out the evils of the world with his favor and grace. At the time of his manifestation, Muslims had been divided into 73 sects. He then brought new life to the religion of the Holy Prophet sall’Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam and thus ended all the heretical practices. Hence for this reason, he was conferred upon the title of Muhiyuddin i.e. reviver of the religion. The status of Ghaus-e-Azam is so high that whoever calls his name for help, he instantly comes to guide him, and this will continue till the doomsday.
Association of the day of 11th
Ghaus-e-Azam holds such high rank and grandeur that anything that gains association with him also achieves the same high rank. One of such associations is the honored day of 11th (Gyarween Shareef). The 11th of every lunar month is associated with the sacred self of Ghaus-e-Azam. Thus, his devotees celebrate this day by reading khatam shareef (ritual of reciting the Holy Quran and salutations upon the Holy Prophet and then sending the rewards to deceased Muslims) and performing votive offerings.
According to some traditions Gyarween Shareef is a khatam that Ghaus-e-Azam used to hold on the 11th of every lunar month to express his love and veneration for the Holy Prophet. Incidentally, his death also followed on 11th Rabi al-Thani. The khatam shareef that is held on the 11th of this month is called Bari Gyarween Shareef (grand honored day of 11th) and the one that his devotees hold on the 11th of every lunar month is called Choti Gyarween Shareef (minor honored day of 11th). (Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr)
Celebration of death anniversary
Mohammad bin Jivan rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh says:
“The death anniversary (Urs) of all other Saints is held only once every year but it is a distinguished grandeur of Ghuas-e-Azam that scholars of religion have set his anniversary on the 11th day of every month.”
Al-Muhaddith Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi says:
“On the day of 11th, the king and the leaders of the city would gather at the sacred shrine of Ghaus-e-Azam. Following the afternoon (Asr) salat and till sunset (Maghrib) salat, they recited Holy Quran, eulogies, and also praises in honor of Ghaus-e-Azam. Then after sunset, the shrine caretakers (sajada nasheen) gathered in the middle and the disciples formed a circle around them, and hence the invocation began. Afterwards food (niyaz) was distributed and then people departed after night (Isha) salat.”
In view of above narrations, it is clear that even scholars, pious and the nobles celebrated the day of 11th. Above all the Saints have always continued the celebration of his death anniversary in an extremely grand manner.
Celebration of 11th by the Sarwari Qadri Saints
All the Saints of Sarwari Qadri order have been celebrating this day associated with Ghaus-e-Azam with extreme reverence and respect. The honorable mother of present Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman also used to hold khatam sahreef on the 11th of every Islamic month.
Not only Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen himself but his disciples also hold deep association with Ghaus-e-Azam. Sarwari Qadri order is Ghaus-e-Azam’s order and all the beneficence in this order is from the sacred self of Ghaus-e-Azam. Any seeker who pledges oath of allegiance in this order in fact pledges oath to Ghaus-e-Azam himself. Therefore, due to this association, khatam shareef is held in Khanqah Sarwari Qadri on the 11th of every Islamic month.
Celebrating 11th is not an innovation
Man’s life is a blend of joy and grief. Sometimes grief encircles him and the other times it’s the joy. Thus, to keep these days in memory, he sets traditions that will remind the importance of these days to his coming generations. In an exact manner, to remember the special days associated with the pious men and the Saints, and to keep the coming generations connected with religion, the devotees of the Saints celebrate these days. This is so the coming generations become aspired of these dignified personalities and their reality and hence continue to gain beneficence from them. Doing so is not an innovation.
Rituals performed in the celebration of Gyarween Shareef
Arranging khatam shareef on the honored day of 11th is the most adored act. Because here devotees perform all such deeds which are a source of Allah’s consent, blessings of Holy Prophet and the special beneficence of Ghaus-e-Azam.
Recitation of Holy Quran
The gathering of khatam shareef begins with the recitation of Holy Quran. A Hadith of Holy Prophet says about the recitation of Holy Quran:
“There are ten rewards for the reciter on reciting each letter of the Holy Quran.”
Salutations and Blessings
Devotees send salutations and blessings on the Holy Prophet on the day of 11th. Countless Hadiths indeed state the virtues of salutations and blessings. For example, the following Hadith mentions:
“Whoever sent salutation on the Holy Prophet once, Allah will write ten rewards for him. He will also forgive his ten evils, will increase his rank ten times and will return his salutation upon him.” (Musnad Ahmad 5709)
Allah says the following in the Holy Quran:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ وَ مَلٰٓئِکَتَہٓٗ یُصَلُّوْنَ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ ط یٰٓاَیُّہَا الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا صَلُّوْا عَلَیْہِ وَ سَلِّمُوْاتَسْلِیْمًا۔ (سورۃالاحزاب۔56)
Meaning: Verily, Allah and His angels send blessings and greetings on the Holy Prophet. O you who believe! Invoke blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation of peace abundantly (and fervently). (Al-Ahzab 56)
Na’ats and Manqabats
Before the khatam shareef, devotee recite naats (poetry in praise of Holy Prophet) in honor of the Holy Prophet. Then they sing manqabats (poetry in praise of Saint) in the honor of Ghaus-e-Azam.
Speeches and Lectures
In the khatam shareef of 11th, the scholars of religion deliver speeches to acquaint the Muslims of today with the grandeur and the sacred self of Ghaus-e-Azam. These saintly men of Allah will become a source of salvation on the day of judgement for those who hold devotion with these pious men.
Isaal-e-Sawaab (act of performing virtuous deeds and sending rewards to alive or deceased)
The rewards of all the virtuous acts performed in khatam shareef on the honored day of 11th are sent to all Momins (true believers) through the medium of Holy Prophet and Ghaus-e-Azam. This way these gatherings become a source of forgiveness and exalted ranks for others.
Mulla Ali al-Qari narrates a Hadith about isaal-e-swaab:
“It was the third day of death of Holy Prophet’s son Ibrahim when Abu Dhar came in Holy Prophet’s court. Abu Dhar carried dried dates, camel milk, and grain bread. He placed them in front of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet recited surah al-Fatiha once and surah al-Ikhlas three times, then he recited salutation and prayed. After that Holy Prophet told Abu Dhar to distribute them so that its reward would go to Ibrahim.”
Therefore, the aforementioned Hadith substantiates that reciting khatam on food and distributing it among people is the Sunna of Holy Prophet.
Why would the devotees of Ghaus-e-Azam not celebrate the Gyarween Shareef in his remembrance when he protects them every moment! He is a guide, and a problem solver to them in their difficulties and will even help them in the throes of death and also on the doomsday.
Love of Sultan Bahoo for Ghaus-e-Azam
Sultan Bahoo writes in his book Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan:
My spiritual guide is Shah Muhiyuddin who is the successor of the Holy Prophet. He (Ghaus-e-Azam) says:
“My disciple will not die but in a state of faith.”
Ghaus-e-Azam further says:
“O my disciple fear not, as Allah is my Lord.”
On the day of judgement when all prophets will worry about themselves and the Holy Prophet will worry about his umma, then at that time Ghaus-e- Azam will worry about his disciples. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
The foot of Ghaus-ul-Azam is on the neck of Saints
Sultan Bahoo states a tradition in his book Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan that the Holy Prophet said to Ghaus-e-Azam:
“O Muhiyuddin! My foot is on your neck and your foot will be on the neck of all the Saints.”
Hearing the revelation, all Saints came in the court of Ali ibn Abi Talib and said:
“The Holy Prophet have declared this announcement. What are your impressions about it?”
When Ali ibn Abi Talib requested the clarification from the Holy Prophet, he said:
“O Ali! Mohiyuddin is my progeny and your descendent. It is not strange if a man lifts his noble and worthy son on his shoulders and puts his feet on his neck.”
On this Ali ibn Ali Talib gave Shaikh Abdul Qadir the honor first, then all the Saints accepted his foot on their neck and thus gained the honor of beneficence, sainthood, and guidance. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
Thus, in summary, whoever keeps love and affection for Ghaus-e-Azam, gains his beneficence and whoever keeps malice against him and his disciples, ruins himself in world and hereafter.
May Allah grants us the favor to understand and act upon the truth. Ameen!
Note: The translation of this article is done using American English vocabulary.
This article was published in Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore (monthly Urdu magazine of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr) titled as سیّدنا غوث الاعظمؓ اور حقیقت ِگیارھویں شریف in the issue of December 2019. It was originally written by Mariam Gulzar Sarwari Qadri and is now translated in English by Sofia Sultan Sarwari Qadri. To read the original article, please visit: