Asad al-Din Abu Mahfuz
HIS POSITION IN THE SILSILA:
Hadrat Asad al-Din Abu Mahfuz Shaykh Ma’roof Ibn Feroz al-Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho is the ninth Imam and Shaykh of the Silsila Aaliyah Qadiriyah Barakatiyah Ridawiyah Nooriyah.
Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho was born in Karkh.
His name is Asad al-Din and is famously known as Ma’roof Karkhi and Abu Mahfooz.
His father’s name was Feroz. [Safinat al-Awliyah]
He attained all his knowledge under the watchful eye of Hadrat Imam Ali Rida Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho. [Tadhkirat al-Awliya]
Initially, he was a non-Muslim, but even as a child, he had great love for Islam. He used to always spend his time in the company of Muslim children, and often talked to his parents about accepting Islam. His father was not pleased with this, and enrolled him to study under a Christian Priest. The first question the priest asked him was,
"Tell me my son, how many people are there in your family?" He said, "Myself, my father and my mother." The priest then said, "Very well, now say Esa Alaihis Salam is the third god of three (trinity)." Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho says, "Even during my time as a non-Muslim my heart did not accept to say what he commanded me to. When I refused to say this, he began to beat me severely. The more he beat me, the more I rejected his teaching. He finally became weary of me and asked my father to imprison me. I was thus locked in a room for three days and every day, I was given one bread, which I did not even touch. When I was taken out, I ran away. As I was the only child to my parents, they were very sad and they sent a message to me saying that I should return to them and I would have the right to accept whichever faith I wished, and that they too will accept the same faith. I then went to Hadrat Ali Rida Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho and accepted Islam at his hands. I then went home with this most valuable gift of Islam, and alHumdulillah, my parents also accepted Islam." [Tadhkirat al-Awliya, Page 221]
He became mureed of Hadrat Habeeb Raa’ee Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho and was blessed with Khilafat from Hadrat Habeeb Raa’ee Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho , Hadrat Ali Rida Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho and Hadrat Dawood Taa’ee Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho.
He studied under the care of Hadrat Ali Rida Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho and also attained education from Hadrat Imam al-Aa’zam Abu Hanifa Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho . He attained spiritual training in the care of Hadrat Habeeb Raa’ee Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho .
He was a very pious personality and one of the most distinguished Aarifs of his time. He also served many great personalities such as Hadrat Dawood Taa’ee Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho , who also blessed him with Khilafat. He used to call out the Adhan with true love, and when he would reach the words Ash hadu An Laa Ilaaha illa-Allah, the hair on his body would stand up and his entire beard would become stiff and he would begin to tremble to such an extent in the fear of Allah, that it seemed as if he would fall to the ground.
He would spend lengthy nights in the Masjid making ibaadat, Istighfaar and weeping in the Court of Allah. Hadrat Sirri al-Saqti Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho say, "Whatever I have attained, is through the Sadqa of Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho ."
Sayyidi Abdul Wahab Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho says, "I have not seen anyone who divorced himself from the world, like Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho . His excellence is such, that even his blessed grave is a means of attaining blessings." [Kashf al-Mahjoob]
HIS HABITS AND CHARACTER:
He possessed deep love for the poor and the orphans. Hadrat Sirri al-Saqti Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho says, "I once saw Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho gathering dates on the day of Eid, so I stopped and asked the reason for this. He said, ’That young boy is crying because all the other children have new clothes and he has nothing new on Eid day. I thus, decided to collect some dates, sell them and then buy something for him, so that he is kept busy playing and does not feel uncomfortable on the day of Eid.’" Hadrat Sirri Saqti Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho says, "I said, Huzoor there is no need for you to do this, I will make sure he gets something on Eid. I then took the boy with me and bought him a new set of clothes. After I did this, a Noor (light) entered my heart, which caused me great pleasure and my condition became very different." [Masaalik as-Saalikeen, Vol. 1, Page 287]
Once his wudhu broke, so he immediately made tayammum. Those who saw him do this said, "Huzoor! The river Tigris is right in front of you. Why did you make tayammum?" He said, "It is possible that I may pass away by the time I reach the river Tigris"
ABSTENTION FROM THE WORLD:
Once one of Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi’s Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho friends asked him the following, "What is it that has caused you to abstain from the world and from the creation of Allah, and remain in seclusion, remembering Almighty Allah? Is it the fear of Death and the grave, or the fear of Hell, or the enthusiasm of attaining Jannat?" Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho said, "O My Friend! You discuss such minor things. What are all these worth in front of the creator Almighty Allah? All these are but humble subjects of Almighty Allah. Once you taste the pleasure of his closeness, then you will not think of any of the other things (you have mentioned)."
Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho is also a Sahib-e-Karaamat Wali. He has performed many charismatic marvels, of which only a few are being discussed. Once there was a bandit who was captured by the Governor and sentenced to being hanged. As per the command of the governor, the bandit was hanged and died due to hanging. His body was still hanging from the noose, when Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho passed by. When he saw this scene, he was very troubled, and began to make dua for forgiveness of the deceased. He said, "O Most Compassionate, Most Merciful! This person has attained his punishment for his actions in this world. O Allah! If you forgive him and bless him with respect in Deen, there it shall cause no shortage in Your Treasures of forgiveness." Immediately an unseen voice was heard saying, "Whomsoever prays the Janazah Salaah of the man on the noose, shall attain an exalted status in the hereafter." This voice was heard by the people in the entire town. On hearing this voice, people in town gathered quickly. They removed him from the noose, and gave him proper ghusl and kaffan. Then with much respect, they prayed his Janazah Salaah and buried him. That night a man dreamt that it was the Day of Reckoning, and the man who was hanged, was dressed in the best of clothing and was present in the ranks of the Namaazis. He asked him, how he received such excellence and the man replied, "Almighty Allah accepted the dua of Ma’roof Karkhi and pardoned me." [Masaalik as-Saalikeen, Vol. 1, Page 288]
Hadrat’s uncle was the Governor of the city. Once he was passing through the jungle, when he saw Hadrat Maroof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho sitting on the ground eating bread and there was a dog sitting not far away from him also eating bread which he had thrown to it. His uncle saw this and said, "Why are you having your bread so close to the dog?" On hearing this, Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho looked up and saw a bird flying in the sky. He commanded it to come and sit on his hand. The bird perched itself on his hand but out of respect and modesty, it covered its face and eyes with its wings. Hadrat said, "See, Everything is modest before a man who is modest before Allah."
Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho and some of his disciples were passing by the River Tigris, when they saw a group of youth who were engrossed in openly committing sin. On seeing this, some of Hadrat’s disciples requested that he make dua for their destruction, so that they evil habits do not pass over to others. Hadrat asked them all to lift their hands and say Aameen to his duas. He then said, "O Allah! Like you have given them the luxuries and freedom of this world, bless them with freedom and luxury in the hereafter." Everyone was amazed at his dua. He then said, "Do not be hasty. Wait a while and observe." The disciples saw that after a while, the youth saw Hadrat Maroof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho and immediately broke their musical instruments and and threw away their alcohol. They all began to weep and came to Hadrat and repented sincerely at his hands. Hadrat then looked at his disciples and said, "Did you see, that which I wished for was fulfilled."
Some of the names of His famous Khulafa are being quoted below:
GEMS OF WISDOM:
Some of the words of great wisdom that Hadrat mentioned are:
WISAAL SHARIF: He passed away on a Friday or Saturday, on the 2nd of Muharram, 200 Hijri. After his demise, Hadrat Muhammad bin Abul Hussain Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho says, that he saw Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho in his dream and he asked him how Almighty Allah had treated him. He said, Almighty Allah pardoned me, not because of my piety but because of what I heard from Hadrat Samaak Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho in Kufa, when he said, ’He who leaves all ties and turns towards Allah, then Allah Almighty Allah sends his Mercy towards him and he turns all his servants in his direction.’ I followed this advice of his and turned completely towards Allah, and with the exception of the Khidmat of Hadrat Ali Rida Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho I left everything else.
Hadrat Sirri al-Saqti Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho says, "I dreamt that Hadrat Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho was seated totally absorbed in the love of Allah, under the Arsh and Almighty Allah said, 'O Angels! Who is this?’ the Angels said, O Allah You are All Knowing. There is nothing hidden from You.' Almighty Allah said, 'This is Ma’roof Karkhi who is drowned in My love and closeness and until he does not make my Deedar he will not regain his consciousness and neither will he gain contentment without my Deedar.'"
MAZAAR SHARIF: His Mazaar Sharif is in Baghdad Sharif. Hadrat Sirri al-Saqti Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho says, "When you are faced with any difficulty, then say, "O Allah! Assist me through the Sadqa of Ma’roof Karkhi Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anho ." All your problems shall be solved (inshaALLAH).