Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Samnani Rahmatullahi Alayh
Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf rahmatullahi alayh was born in 708 A.H., in Semnan, Iran. He is the founder of the Ashrafiya tariqa.
Father: Syed Ibrahim Noor Bakshi rahmatullahi alayh was the father of Sultan Syed Asharaf Jahangir Simnani rahmatullahi alayh. He was the king of Simnan, where he ruled with utmost Justice and sincerity for 20 years. He was not only a king , but a proficient scholor of theology, and inwardly inclined to mysticism.(Tasuvvf)
His mother Bibi Khadija Begum was also from the pedigree of distinguished and notable mystics and saints. She was a very religious and pious lady particularly renowned for her punctuality in tahajjud prayer. She passed most of his time in prayer and recitation of the holy Qurran. She often observed fasting in day and woke up at night to be engrossed in prayer.
Syed Ashraf S/o Sultan Syed Ibrahim Noor Bakhshi S/o Sultan Syed Imaduddin Noor Bakhshi S/o Sultan Syed Nizamuddin Alisher S/o Sultan Zahiruddin Mohammad S/o Sultan Tajuddin Bahlol, S/o Syed Mohammad Noor Bakshi, S/o Syed Mehdi, S/o Syed kamaluddin, S/o SSyed Jamaluddin, S/o Syed Hasan Sharif , S/o Syed Abu Mohammad, S/o Syed Abul Moosa Ali, S/o Syed Ismail Sani, S/o Syed Abul Hasan Mohammad, S/o Syed Ismail Arij, S/o Hazrat Jafar Sadique, S/o Imam Mohammad Baquar, S/o Imam Zainul Abedin, S/o Imam Hossain, S/o Hazrat Ali.
Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf rahmatullahi alaih, started their education at the age of 4 years, 4 months and 4 days. Allah, the most Sublime, blessed Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf rahmatullahi alaih with immense ingenuity, intellect and knowledge. By the age of 7 they had already acquired and memorized the entire Qur'an al-kareem by heart with seven types of qirat, and excelled in the study of Qur'anic exegesis 'tafseer', narration and sciences of hadith, Islamic law 'fiqh' etc. At 14 years they had mastered all the subjects including theology and philosophy, maturing into the most accomplished and proficient scholar. Amongst their notable teachers were His Eminence Mawlana Imad al-Din Tabrezi, Imam Abd'ullah Yafai at Makkah Mukarramah, Baba Mufrah (s/o the great Najm 'al-Din Kubra) at Iskandaria and Mawlana Ahmad Haqqani ridwanallahi ta'ala aly'him ajma'een. After the completion of his education Hadrat Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf rahmatullahi alaih attributed a lot of his time in teaching.
Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh, was only 15 years old when his dear father passed away. It was not long after that he was crowned the sixth sultan of Semnan. During his reign he appointed men of knowledge and wisdom as his counsellors, so they would rule the kingdom with total honour, dignity and grace in serving his people. The people of Semnan were blessed with 12 years of complete peace and harmony, they embraced Sultan Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh, as a just and sincere king. However during this time Sultan Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh, never felt at peace within himself as the 'worldly ruler' of Semnan, so he would often spend time in the company of holy men and mystics. Due to his excessive love for Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala, there was a burning desire within him to transcend in the path of spiritual ascension; marifat. At the age of 23 he met HADRAT OWAIS AL QARNI radi Allahu ta'ala anhu in a dream, who nurtured him with the discipline and inspiration of the inner self. For almost 3 years he was so absorbed in the blessings and spiritual elevation acquired through the remembrance of Hadrat Owais Qarni radi Allahu ta'ala anhu that he lost all desires of his sovereign state and rule.
It was at the age of only 25, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, commanded Hadrat Khidr alaihis-salaam to appear before Sultan Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh in a deep rooted message. The message was to abandon the throne in search of his spiritual mentor (guide); Hadrat Shaykh Ala al-Haq Wadeen Ganje Nabat Rahmatullahi alayh in India, and propagate the message of Islam through peace and love.
By renouncing the 'worldly' crown Hadrat Sultan Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh, realised his destination of life. He set off on the path of suluk with thousands of his soldiers but instructed them to leave at a certain point, along with his servant and convey.
In search of his spiritual guide - 'murshid', Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alaih was totally engrossed and absorbed in the love of his Creator since this was a pilgrimage ordained. Along the travels he was to visit and meet some of the most illustrious and spiritual personalities in Islamic history. Amongst his initial stops, whilst crossing Bhukara was Auch Sharif, in Multan where he met His Eminence Sayyad Jalal 'al-Din Bukhari Radi Allahu anhu. On receiving their blessings and adoration he was told to continue to proceed towards his mission and that Hadrat Ala al-Haq Wadeen Rahmatullahi alayh, was waiting in anticipation for his arrival. This is just one of many examples of the spiritual 'roohani' link between Allah's wali's (friends of Allah), the fact that Allah 'The Most Generous', blesses them with the power and ability to spiritually converse with each other and be acquainted with the worldly circumstances.
Next stop was the illuminating shrine of 'Data Lahori' 'ALI UTHMAN AL-HUJWIRI [d.469] Radi Allahu anhu, in Lahore. A visit much reminicent of that when 'Khawaja Garib Nawaz Sultan al-Hind' MUIN AL-DIN CHISTI AJMERI Radi Allahu anhu, made during his well documented visit at the shrine of Hadrat Data Sahib Radi Allahu anhu.
The spiritual attraction of Hadrat Ala al-Haq Wadeen Rahmatullahi alayh, was so great that he didnt stay at any particular place for too long, rather striving to journey on towards his destined goal. This journey took him through large rivers, mountains and deserts, encountering many difficulties on the way. When Hadrat Ala al-Haq Wadeen Rahmatullahi alayh, arrived at Bihar, Hadrat Makhdoom Sharfuddin Yahya Muneri Rahmatullahi alayh, had passed away the same day. Before his death, he willed that his funeral prayer would be performed by a Sayyad who was Hassani and Hussayni - noble on both sides (that is -najibut tarfain), a Hafiz with seven Qiriats and a deserter of throne who would be coming westwards. Hadrat Sultan Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh had known this beforehand by revelation (Kashf). The funeral prayer was said according to the will of this departed saint. At night in the khanqah, Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh, had a glimpse of Hadrat Makhdoon Bihari who gave him his khirqah-(a cloak like patched garment). The khadim (keeper) of the shrine kept the garment until it was decided it would come onto the rightful owner if he asked for it by stretching his hands. With the khirqah placed on the shrine and everyone present stretching out to receive it that is until Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh, stretched out his hands and immediately the garment came onto his hands. He put on the khirqah and lost himself in a world of ecstasy and said the following words :
" Mora Bar Sar Chun Bowad Az Luft Afsar
Bar Aamad Rast Mara Khirqah Dar bar"
'The worldly crown has been on my head,
but the kindness of his cloak will suit better on my body'
From Bihar, Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh, left for Bengal and arrived at Malda where his Murshid was anxiously waiting for him. It was here that he had started his spiritual journey towards his is destination of fulfilment. When he was nearing Pandawa Shareef, Hadrat Ala al-Haq Wadeen Rahmatullahi alayh, woke up from his sleep and said "Sayyad Ashraf Semnani is coming : let us go and greet him". Hadrat Ala al-Haq Wadeen Rahmatullahi alayh, went out with thousands of his followers to go and meet Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh, which was surprising to the locals as they had never met him. This shows the extraodinary spiritual status of Hadrat Sultan Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh in the eyes of Hadrat Ala al-Haq Wadeen Rahmatullahi alayh. No sooner did Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh see his Shaykh then he placed his head on his Shaykh's feet and tears rolled down his eyes. This was a spirtually emotional time for Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh and was the reason for him leaving Semnan. After a while he embraced his Shaykh and said the following words ;
"Che Kush Bashad Bad ke az intazare
Ba omide Rasad Omidware "
'What a good thing that after waiting long,
reaches the hopeful to his destination'
After the fulfilment of the usual rituals Hadrat Shaykh Ala al-Haq Wadeen Rahmatullahi alayh made him his disciple in the Chistiya and Nizamiya order and gave him permission (ijazzah) of Salasil (orders). This led to extreme joy for Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh as this was what he had longly cherished. He went onto recite the following :
"Nehadah Taje Doulat Bar Sare Man
Ala al-Haq Wadeen Ganje Nabat "
'Hadrat Ala al-Haq Wadeen placed
the kingly crown on my head '
After years in the company of his Shaykh, during which he was attributed with the honour of all secrets of akhlaq and ihsaan, Hadrat Shaykh Ala al-Haq Wadeen Rahmatullahi alayh said; '' O' Ashraf, I have completed all haqiqah-al-marif (realities and knowledge) on you: I would like to set a place for you where you have to light the candle of rectitude and reformation.'' Tears filled Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh's eyes at the thought of being separated from his Shaykh but he knew he had to leave Pandawa Shareef for this destined and final place - Kicchocha Shareef. It was explained that this was to his permanent place of reformation and eternal abode.
Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh left for Kicchocha Shareef passing through different areas of Bihar, Zafarabad and Jaunpur. He stayed at Jaunpur for a few days where Sultan Ibrahim Shah Sharki and Qazi Shahab al-Din Daulatabadi were amazed to see his sublime spiritual dignity and purity of character. This personality left a lasting impression on them as he went onto Kicchocha Shareef.
Hazrat Sultan Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Simnani Rahmatullahi alayh did not know the geography of the world by going through books rather he knew it by travelling everywhere in the world. He journeyed to the most of countries of the Arab O Azam and brought thousands of astray persons on right path by his preaching and presenting Islamic theology vividly. He had full command on Arabic, Persian and Turkish languages as a result of which he used to deliver the most productive lectures making the audience lost in the world of spirituality and oneness of Allah azwajal.
Hazrat Sulatan Syed Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh attained the status of Mahbooyat (Belovedhood) i. e Mahboobe Yazdani on 27th Ramdan 782 (A.H.) while he was amongst his disciples at Roohhabad. Suddenley it began to sound from every corner “Ashraf is my Mahboob” This heavenly sound was glad tidings of the status of Mahboobyat (belovedhood) since then, he began to be called “Mahboobe Yazdani” It was the sublime spirituality of Hazrat Sultan Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Simnani that he performed morning prayer in Masjide Haram daily. The day he was bestowed with this spiritual honour Hazrat Najmuddin Asfahani Rahmatullahi alayh was in Kaba Sharif. Seeing Sultan Simnani Rahmatullahi alayh coming to say morning prayer in Kaba he said “Come, Come Mahboobe Yazadani; may this title from Allah be fortunate for you.
Ghousul Alam and Jahangir
It is a historical fact that Hazrat Sulatan Makhdoom Simnani Rahmatullahi alayh was endowed with the dignity of Ghous in the Khanquah of Hazrat Banda Nawaz Gesu Daraz Rahmatullahi alayh on first Rajab 770 (A.H). Hence forward He is called as Ghousul Alam. The title of Jahangir tagged with his name is also very famous. One day he was in the Khauquah of his Shaikh Rahmatullahi alayh amongst the disciples. All of a sudden, echo of Jahangir Began to resound from the doors and walls of the Khanquah. Hearing it, Hazrat Shaikh Alaul Haque Rahmatullahi alayh engrossed in meditation (Moraquba) and after a little while, raised his head and honoured him with the title of Jahangir as it was a heavenly title confirmed on him.
Some of the known and recorded *Khulafa of Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh.
Hadrat Sayyad Abd 'al Razzaq Nur Al-Ayn,
Shaykh Kabir al-Abassi
Shaykh Dareyatim Sarwarpuri
Shaykh Shams al-Din Faryad Ras Awadi
Shaykh Suleyman Muhaddith
Shaykh Ahmad Quttal
Shaykh Rukn al-Din Shahbaz
Shaykh Quim al-Din
Shaykh Asil al-Din
Shaykh Jamil al-Din Supayd Baz
Mawlana Kazi Hazzal
Shaykh Arif Makraani
Shaykh Abul Makarim Khujandi
Shaykh Abul Makarim Harwi
Shaykh Safi al-Din Rudawlvi
Shaykh Samah 'ud-Din Rudawlvi
Shaykh Khayr al-Din Sudawri
Kazi Muhammad Sudawri
Kazi Abu Muhammad
Mawlana Abu Muzaffar Lukhnawi
Alam ud Din Jaisi
Shaykh Kamal Jaisi
Sayyad Abdul Wahhaab
Jamshed Beg Qalander Turk
Kazi Shahab al-Din Dawlatabadi
Mawlana Haji Fakhr al-Din Faruqi Jaunpuri
Mawlana Shaykh Daud
Mawlana Rukn ud Din
Shaykh Adam Uthman
Shaykh Taj ud Din
Shaykh Noor ud Din
Shaykh al-Islam Shah Waji al-Din Ahmadabad Gujerati
Shaykh Mubarak Gujerat
Shaykh Hussayn Dawezvi
Shaykh Safi al-Din
Masnad Ali Saif Khan
Shaykh Ahmad Kanlawri
Mawlana Abd 'al-Deyar Banarsi
Mawlana Noor al-Din Zafarabadi
Baba Hussayn Kitabdar
Sayyad Hasan Alam Barada
Shaykh Jamal al-Din Rawat
Hisam al-Din Zanzani Punwi
Mawlana Khaggi Muhammad
Shaykh Safi al-Din Arweli
Sayyad Ali Lahori
Shaykh Nizam al-Din Bareilly
Shaykh Ali Dosti Semnani
Shaykh Abu Saeed Khigri
Khawaja Abd 'ar Rahman
Khawaja Sad ud-Din Khalid
Kazi Shudha Awadi
Shaykh Zaheed Nur
Shaykh Pir Ali Arlat Turki
Shaykh Nizam al-Din Labir
Shaykh Ali Semnani
Shaykh Gouhar Ali
Shaykh Taqi al-Din
Mawlana Sharafullah Imam
Shaykh Nizam al-Din
Shaykh Yahya Kaldader
Shaykh Mir Mu'allah
Shaykh Qutbuddin Yahya
Khawaja Nizam al-Din Awliya
Amir Nangar Quli
*Ridwanallahi ta'ala alayhi'majmain
Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alaih was on such a supreme status of mysticism and spirituality that unaccountable miracles (karamat) at different times and at different places are scattered in the pages of history. It is an undeniable fact that every momentof his life was a miracle orientated, impressive and effectual. Some of these karamat are stated here ;
 Ameer Taymur once advised Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh to travel to see him. When seeing Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alaih approach him, Ameer Taymur was captivated and showed utmost regard towards him. Climbing on a hill with Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh he said, "As far as your eyes can see; I will make a gift of all areas coming in your sight'. Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alaih said, " You are not the owner of the area coming in my sight," Then he kept his hand on his head and asked as to what he was seeing. He replied that he was seeing Makkah and Madinah then again he enquired if that area belonged to him. Ameer Taymur replied negatively and was thoroughly ashamed,and since his then his Aqeedah and supplication have increased a great deal after seeing such a great mystic in whose sight is the whole world.
 There was a woman who once came to the khanqah with her dying son, tearfully she asked Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alaih to pray for her sons life. During this time the boy took his last breath and died before him. The woman began to weep bitterly and said with folded hands, "You are a Walli-Allah bring my son to life." to which he replied, "life and death are in the hands of Allah; what can a banda (slave) do." Hearing this the ill-fated woman started weeping hysterically and with such a mournful voice that Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh's heart filled with pity and an astonished condition prevailed on his face. Solacing the grieved woman, Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alaih said in full eminence, "I give ten years from my life so for ten years this boy will live." He prayed to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala for his life and then ordered the dead boy to stand up in the name of Allah. The 'dead' boy suddenly stood up and lived exactly for a further ten years.
Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alaih left this world on the 28th Muharram 808 A.H. Some time before his passing away he had his dargah (shrine) constructed exactly the way he wanted. He laid the foundation stone of his grave and placed in its foundation stone from Mecca brought by Hazrat Ruknuddin Sair Rahmatullahi alaih within minutes. He asked to make grave with brick and it should be as wide and high that he could say prayer standing Hazrat Jamshed Qualandar was engaged in its construction for twelve years . Hazrat Noorul Ain Rahmatullahi alaih, Hazrat Shaikh Mohammad Durre yatim and Hazrat Shaikh Marauf Addwmwi also participated. He used to visit grave daily. On the 26th of Muharram he went to visit his dargah and noticed a 'pen' and some paper on the side of the grave. He sat in the grave and wrote two booklets namely 'Basharat ul Muradeen' and 'Resal-e-Qubria', an extract from Resal-e-Qubria is presented below :
' In this short time that i have stayed in the grave seventy thousand splendor (Tajally) of elegance of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, angels descended on this Fakir and intimate Muqaraban of Allah Subhanhu wa Ta'ala Angels showed so much exalting (izaz) and kindness that cannot be expressed in words. The announcer from the sublime court of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala -'Bargahe Elahi' announced in the world of Angels (Alam-e-Malakut) that "Ashraf is my beloved (Mahboob) I write kindness and forgiveness on the forehead of his disciples and show care to his disciples with absolution (Maghferat) and forgiveness (Mafee)". All praise to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala his glad tidings for our companions. After that it was the order of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala and eight thousand angels, thirty thousand of Haramain Shareef, one thousand from Bait al-Muqaddus, one thousand from Abdal of Maghrib (west), one thousand from Rejalud Ghaib of Sarndip, and one thousand Maradaneh Ghaib from Yemen will perform your bath. Your funeral prayer will be said in front of Baitullah Shareef and you will be buried in the earth for the benefit of slaves (Banda) ; he who comes on your grave will get his barkaat and maghferat.'
Dargah is located in Kichhochha, Baskhari, Dist. Ambedkar Nagar (Faizabad), UP. India
Instructions of Hazrat Makhdoom Simnani Rahmatullahi alaih
Knowledge is the shining sun and skills are its rays.
After Iman (Belief) and Touhid, (Unitarianism) it is obligatory on man (Banda) to know injections of Shariat (Revealed Law) and Aquaede Haququah (True doctrines)
Gain knowledge as illeterate devotee is the follower of Devil.
The difference between Islamic Savant and worldly savant is just like the difference between pure and impure silver.
Astrayed learned is like the sunken boat which sinks itself and makes others drown.
Learned without action is like a glass without tin (Qualai).
Don't be empty handed of actions and conditions; make sure that only Knowledge can not help you.
Remembrance of virtuous persons and memoir of mystics is a light that cast shadow on the seeker of guidance.
Recollect any word of a holy man; and if it is not possible keep in mind his name; You will be benefited.
To know is shariat (Revealed Law) and make practice in accordance with knowledge is Tariquat (Path) and to achieve objectives of both is Haquiquat (Reality).
He, who does not follow Shariat (Revealed Law) in tariquat, (path) is deprived of benefits of Tariquat (Path).
The man who will be staunch follower of shariat, (revealed law) the way to Tariquat will open automatically; and when he would have obtained Tariquat (path) with shariat (revealed law) the splendour of Haquiquat (reality) will itself be illuminated.
In suluk (Holy way) if one commits slightest deviation from the way of obedience to The Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alaiyhe Wa Sallam) then it will be impossible to reach desired destination.
To create love and affection of Allah in the hearts of Slave (Banda) and get their hearts engrossed in the intimacy of Allah is the work of Mashaekhe Tariquat (Holy persons of path).
Shaikh (Elder) is just like a competent and experienced physian who diagnoses medicine suitable to the disease and temperament of the patient.
Food is like a seed which takes root in the land of salik's stomach and grows tree of actions (Aamal) if the food is lawful the tree of good action grows; and if it is unlawful, the tree of disobedience and sin grows; if it is doubtful the tree of vicious ideas and negligence in prayer grows.
After performing Faraezo wajebat (Divine command and obligatory) it is essential for seeker of spirituality to pass his valuable life in the company of holy persons as only one meeting with such persons is so much useful that can't be gained by a number of chillah (sitting in meditation for fourty day) and vigorous Mojaheda (Great struggle).
A slave (Banda) should pray and merciful (Karim) is worthy of kindness; one should be so engrossed in his prayer that he should forget one's existence.
It is the condition that one should be guarded from sin as is the conditions for The Prophet (Sal Allaho Alaiyhe Wa Sallam) to be guiltless (masum).
One of the conditions of wali (Friend of Allah) is that he should be follower of The Prophet (Sal Allaho Alaiyhe Wa Sallam) in his word, action and belief.
The condition for wali (Friend of Allah) is that he should be learned not ignorant.
Aulia (Friend of Allah) are companion and minister of the Devine court and act according to wishes of Allah azwajal.