Qutb al-Irshad, Siraj al-Arifeen, Sayyid Abul-Husain Ahmad-e-Noori al-Husaini al-Qadiri Barkati (Alayhir Rahmah) was born on Thursday, 19 Shawwal 1255 Hijri (26 December 1839) in Marehra Shareef, U.P., India. He was the eldest son of Hadrat Sayyid Shah Zahoor Hasan al-Husaini (Alayhir Rahmah) and grandson of Hadrat Khatim al-Akabir Sayyid Shah Ale-Rasool Ahmadi al-Husaini (Alayhir Rahmah). He is a direct descendent of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam) in the 38th generation via the noble Husaini Zaidi Sa‘dat chain. His ancestors migrated from Madinah al-Munawwarah to Iraq because of political harassment. Later, they moved to the Indo-Pak sub-continent. By Divine Command, the elders of the family were ordered to settle in Marehra, a small village in U.P., India.
His family genealogy is as follows:
Sayyid Abu al-Husain s/o Sayyid Zahoor Hasan s/o Sayyid Ale-Rasool s/o Sayyid Ale-Barkat s/o Sayyid Hamza s/o Sayyid Aal-e-Muhammad s/o Sahibul Barakat Sayyid Barkatullah s/o Khawaja Sayyid Meer Owais s/o Khawaja Sayyid Meer ‘Abd al-Jaleel s/o Qutbul-Aqtab Khawaja Meer Sayyid ‘Abd al-Wahid Bilgrami (author of the famous thesis on Tasawwuf, “Sab‘ah Sanabil Shareef”) s/o Sayyid Ibrahim s/o Sayyid Qutbudeen s/o Sayyid Maha-Rooh s/o Sayyid Baddah s/o Sayyid Kamal s/o Sayyid Qasim s/o Sayyid Husain s/o Sayyid Naseer s/o Sayyid Husain s/o Sayyid Khawaja ‘Umar s/o Khawaja Sayyid Muhammad Sughra (Mureed and Khaleefah of Qutb al-Aqtab Khawaja Qutbudeen Bakhtiyar Kaki Aw’shee) s/o Sayyid ‘Alee s/o Sayyid Husain s/o Sayyid Abu al-Farah Thani s/o Sayyid Abu al- Firas s/o Sayyid Abu al-Farah Wasti s/o Sayyid Da’ood s/o Sayyid Husain s/o Sayyid Yah’yah s/o Sayyid Zayd (3rd) s/o Sayyid ‘Umar s/o Sayyid Zaid (2nd) s/o Sayyid ‘Ali Iraqi s/o Sayyid Husain s/o Sayyid ‘Ali s/o Sayyid Muhammad s/o Sayyid ‘•Sa (Al-Ma‘roof bi-Mo‘tim al-Ash’bal) s/o Sayyid Zayd Shaheed s/o Sayyiduna Imam Zain al-‘Abideen s/o Sayyid al-Shuhadah Imam al-Husain Shaheed-e-Karbala s/o Ameer al-Mo‘mineen Sayyiduna ‘Ali al-Murtudah h/o Khatoon-e-Jannat Sayyidah Tayyiba Tahira Fa’tima al-Zah’ra d/o Imam al-Ambiyah wal Mursaleen Sayyiduna wa Mawlana Muhammadur-Rasoolullah (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Aalihi wa Sallam)
His mother passed away when he was at a tender age of two and a half years. He was raised under the able guardianship of his grandparents. His grandfather was the celebrated Soofi Grandmaster, Qutb al-Waqt, Khatim al-Akabir, Sayyid Sha Aal-e-Rasool Ahmadi al-Husaini (Alayhir Rahmah) (d.1262/1879). He was the Murshid of the great Mujaddid of Islam, AlaHadrat Imam Ahmad Rida al-Qadiri Barkati (Alayhir Rahmah) (1272/1856 – 1340/1921).
Under the guidance of his grandfather, Sayyid Abu al-Husain Noori (Alayhir Rahmah) entered the path of Sulook at a young age of 7 years. By the time he reached the age of 12, he developed enough spiritual knowledge to qualify as a perfect Salik [The traveller: The one who traverses the stages by his state, not by his knowledge, so that for him knowledge is experience ('Ayn).] of the Path. The Murshid (Alayhir Rahmah) carefully observed his spiritual progress, and finally, on the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal Shareef 1267 Hijri [Monday, 20th January 1851], initiated him as a Mureed in the Qadiriyyah Spiritual Order. ‘Arif-e-Noori (Alayhir Rahmah) states that immediately after his initiation, his Murshid bestowed on him 13 Khilafat of various Salasil of the Noble Family. This coronation took place in a huge gathering in the Khanqah of Mareh’ra Shareef on the occasion of the Mawlood al-Nabi (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam) celebrations.
‘Arif-e-Noori (Alayhir Rahmah) further states that on the same night, the Murshid ascended the official Spiritual Throne of the Masters and after offering him some coins as a gift, held his hands and granted him the Ijaza of Qur’an al-Kareem, Siha-Sitta, Musannifat Shah Waliullah, Hisna-Haseen, Dalail al-Khayrat, Asma-e-Arba‘een, Hizbul-Bahar, Hadith Musal bil Awwaliyyah, Hadith bil Izafa, Musafihat-e-Arba'‘ah, Musafiha wa Mushabika, Hirz-e-Yamani, Du‘a-e-Saifi, etc. and also the Asnad of all the ‘Uloom the Murshid received from his teachers and Masha’ikh. A detailed list of these is found in the book, “An-Noor wal-Baha”. The Murshid al-Kamil then filled his heart with Spiritual Knowledge and taught him the secrets of Fuyoode-Batini Bila Peer-o-Murshid. At that time he was only 12 years old.
‘Arif-e-Noori (Alayhir Rahmah) also studied the full ‘Aalim course under great ‘Ulama of his time. The subjects he mastered were:-
He mastered these
sciences in a short period of time. He gained most of his spiritual knowledge
from within his family Masha’ikh, namely his Murshid, Khatim al-Akabir, Taj
al-‘Arifeen Sayyid Sha Ghulam Muhiyyudeen Ameere-‘Alam (Alayhir Rahmah) and ‘Ilm
al-Takseer from a Khalifa of the Murshid, Shaykh Sayyid Shams al-Haqq Tinka
Shah. He also studied some fields of Tasawwuf from Shaykh Sayyid ‘Ayn al-Hasan
Bilgrami and Shaykh Ahmad Hasan Sufi Muradabadi (Alayhim ar-Rahmah).
Arif e-Noori (Alayhir Rahmah) has also authored numerous books in the Urdu, Farsi and Arabic languages. Some of them are:
He has also written many marginal notes on the following Litany which are preserved in the treasures of handwritten manuscripts of the Grandmasters in the Noble Khanqah of Marehra Shareef. These are:-
There are two very
important points to note about ‘Arif-e-Noori (Alayhir Rahmah):
Firstly, he is not only the Peer-Bhai [This a common term used in the Indo-Pak sub-continent referring to Spiritual Brotherhood i.e. when two persons are the Mureeds of one Murshid al-Kamil] of the great Mujaddid Shaykh al-Islam wa al-Muslimeen AlaHadrat Imam Ahmad Rida al-Qadiri Muhaqqqiq Bareilwi (Alayhir Rahmah), but also his Ustaz in the field of ‘Ilm al-Jafr [the occult science of knowledge of the Ahle-Bay'at]. This is the most intricate of all Spiritual Sciences of Knowledge. The Mujaddid enjoyed the tutorship of Sayyiduna ‘Arif-e-Nooree (Alayhir Rahmah) in this mystical science.
Secondly, he is the Murshid of the Great Mufti and Ghawth, Taj al-Awliya Badr al-Fuqaha ‘Arife-Billah Ghawth al-Zaman Mufti al-Azam Qutb al-‘Alam Imam Mustafa Rida al-Qadiri Noori (Alayhir Rahmah) (d.1401/1981). Both these personalities are also two of his many illustrious Khulafah. If his student and Mureed are of such high calibre then I will leave it to the minds of the reader to comprehend the status and calibre of Sayyiduna ‘Arif-e-Noori (Alayhir Rahmah) himself. He is also the 38th Grandmaster of the Qadiriyyah Golden Chain of Masha’ikh.
He was the 7th consecutive Qutb of the Noble Barkati Family, which is rare and unique to find in other noble Sufi Families of the world. He had a privileged relationship with the two giants in the Spiritual World, Sultan al-Awliya Sayyiduna Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir Jilani (Alayhir Rahmah) and Khawaja-e-Khawajigan Hadrat Khawaja Mueen al-Deen Ghareeb Nawaz (Alayhir Rahmah).
The Sayyid (Alayhir Rahmah) possessed an impeccable personality. If he saw a poor person with torn clothes, he requested them from him saying that he liked them. The poor person would feel happy and present them to him. In turn, the Sayyid (Alayhir Rahmah) would then go into his home and return with new clothes as a gift and present these to the poor man. This was his regular practice. He always sat in the company of the poor and abstained from the wealthy. The Sayyid (Alayhir Rahmah) slept very little and spent most of his time in Spiritual Devotion (Muraqibah, etc.). It is said that the maximum time he slept was four hours a day. He never missed a single Tahajjud Salah from a tender age of 6 years. Sayyiduna ‘Arif-e-Noori (Alayhir Rahmah) was the last of the senior Masha’ikh of the noble Barkati Family that punctually engaged in the mystical devotion of Salat al-Ma‘kooz. He had a dark black ring around both his ankles due to the strain of the Salah. He was the 7th and last Qutb of this noble Husaini family.
This Shining Star on the Horizons of Perfection eventually settled and breathed his last on the 11th of Rajab 1335 (31 August 1906). He was laid to rest on the southern verandah of the Dargah Shareef of the Masters in Marehra Shareef. There, at the feet of his forefather, Sultan al-‘Ashiqeen Sahibul-Barakat Sayyid Shah Barkatullah Husaini al-Qadiri. He still beams his brilliance till this day from the Horizons of Perfection on all those who sincerely seek spiritual perfection.
..:: Golden Words of Wisdom ::..
لله رب العالمين و الصلوة و السلام على سيد الحامدين الشاكرين تاج الانبياء و امام
سيدنا و مولانا محمد و آله و اصحابه الدرالميامين و علماء الملته الراشدين المرشدين
و اولياء امته الكاملين العارفين رضوان الله تعالى عليهم أجمعين
Introduction of the book: Siraj al-Awarif
Penned by: Shaykh Abd al-Hadi al-Qadiri Radawi
Dated: 11th Rajab 1422 A.H. (29th September 2001)