The following is a brief account of the 20 years that Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen Chishti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) spent with his Murshid Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). After the spiritual initiation, Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) requested Khwaja Muinuddeen Chishti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to stay in his service, to which the latter respectfully complied and hence spent the next 20 years in the service of his Murshid. During this time Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen Chishti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) used to carry the belongings of his Murshid on his head out of respect.
The first journey they made was to the Glorious Ka’bah Shareef, which was Khwaja Muinuddeen’s (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) first visit to the Holy Land. His Murshid took hold of his hand and entrusted him to Allah Ta’ala. In front of the Meezabe Rahmah of the Ka’bah he made a supplication for Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) after which a voice was heard saying, “We have accepted Muinuddeen as one of Our beloved devotees.” [Aneesul Arwah]
Thereafter they journeyed to the blessed city of Madina Shareef to visit the Beloved Rasool (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). His Murshid instructed him to salute the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) at which Khwaja Muinuddeen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) made Salaam to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). A voice was then heard saying, “Wa’alaikumus Salaam Ya Qutbul Mashaa’ikh-e-bahr-o-bar.” (And peace be upon you O Head of the Pious of the earth and sea). When this was heard, Khwaja Usman Harooni (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said, “Now indeed you have reached perfection.” [Aneesul Arwah]
Once, they travelled to Sewastan where they met Hazrat Sadruddeen Ahmad Sewastani (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) who was deeply absorbed in the remembrance of Allah. They remained in his company for several days and noticed that whenever he heard of the torture that awaits the sinful dead in their graves he used to shiver like a cane. He would bitterly weep for days and did this so loudly that even the onlookers could not resist their pitiful emotions. One day when he recovered from this state he told Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) the following:
“My dear, I have to face the death. How can one, whose enemy is Malakal Maut (Angel of Death) and who has to render an account of his worldly deeds on the Day of Judgment laugh or be happily engaged in any worldly affairs? If people ever knew even minutely about the condition of those persons who are interned in their graves with scorpions and snakes torturing them, they would melt like salt. One day I was sitting with a God-fearing person in the graveyard of Basra. By his intuition he understood that the internee of a nearby grave was being subjected to the questions of Munkar and Nakeer with horrible torture. On realizing the horror of this torture this God-fearing person made a loud shriek and passed away. I have never seen a Wali of Allah more horrified, at the thought of the questioning and torture after death of the sinful, than this one. It is due to this thought of the horrible torture in the grave that I am in seclusion for the past 30 years and you are the first person to whom I have related this incident. Therefore my dear, it is better to spend our time in the devotion of Allah than in the company of worldly people because so long as people keep the company of worldly people they are away from the remembrance of Allah.” He then gave Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) two dry dates and retired to his seclusion, only to resume his weeping repentance. [Dalilul Arifeen]
Once, they went to the town of Awash where they met Hazrat Shaikh Bahauddeen Awashi (Radiallahu Anh) who was a great Wali of Allah. It was his custom that whosoever went to his Khanqah he would offer them something and he also used to distribute clothes which he received from the unseen. On parting he gave Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) the following advice: “Whatever you get, give it away in charity in the name of Allah and never hoard any wealth. Feed the humble and the poor people of Allah so that you may become one of His beloveds.”
After this they travelled to Badhkishtan. Here they met a Wali of Allah who was a descendant of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). He was about 100 years old and was immersed in the remembrance of Allah. He had one foot amputated. When he was questioned regarding his foot, he replied, “Due to my carnal desire (nafs) I decided to step out of my dwelling, when a voice said to me, “O claimant of love, is this your promise that you have broken?” I immediately felt so ashamed and there was a knife nearby which I took and cut off my leg and threw it away because it had led me to break my pledge with Allah. It has been 40 years since that incident and since that day I am in a state of distress as to what my condition will be on the day of Qiyaamah.” [Aneesul Arwah]
On their way to Baghdad they stopped in a town called Ray, which was a big centre for fire-worshippers. They had a big fire temple wherein 20 wagon loads of firewood were consumed daily to keep the fire alive throughout the 24 hours. Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni (Radiallahu Anh) stayed here under a shady tree to engage himself in his evening prayers and asked his attendant Fakhruddeen to arrange for the fire and prepare some food to end the day’s fast. Fakhruddeen went to the fire-worshippers and asked for some burning coal in order to prepare his fire but they refused and said, “This is our God, we cannot give any fire out of it.” The attendant returned and reported the matter to his master who then went himself and found an old man sitting on a raised wooden platform with a 7-year old boy in his lap and others who were busy worshipping the fire around him.
Hazrat Khwaja Usman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) questioned him, “What is the use of worshipping fire which is but an insignificant creation of Almighty Allah and which can be extinguished with a little water? Why don’t you worship that Real and True Allah, the Creator of this fire and of the entire universe, so that you may derive benefit and have eternal salvation?” The old man replied, “Fire, in our religion is very sacred and it is the source of our salvation. We worship it so that it would not burn us of the Day of Judgment.” Hazrat Khwaja Usman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) replied, “Very well, since you have been worshipping it for ages, put your hand in it. If it is a source for your salvation it should not burn you.” The old man said, “But burning is the nature of the fire. Who can dare to put his hand in it and yet be safe from it?” Khwaja Usman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) finally said, “Fire is under the commandment of Almighty Allah, the Creator of the whole universe. Without His command it cannot burn even a hair.” Having said this he took the boy from the arms of the old man and reciting “Bismillahir Rahman Ya Naaru kooni bardaw wasalaaman ‘ala Ibrahim” (In the name of Allah, Most Merciful. O fire! Be you cool and a safety for Ibrahim [Surah 21, Verse 69]), he suddenly disappeared into the burning fire. The fire-worshippers began to cry and wail at the loss of the boy, but after some time Hazrat Khwaja Usman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) emerged from the fire with the Grace of Allah, unscathed with the boy in his arms. The old man and his companions were surprisingly too happy to see the boy safe and sound and enquired from him, “What did you see in the fire?” The boy replied, “I was playing in a garden because of the blessing of this Shaikh.”
After seeing this miracle all the fire-worshippers embraced Islam and became the Mureeds of Khwaja Usman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), who then stayed in Ray for one and a half years and imparted necessary Islamic teachings and lessons to the new Muslims. Instead of the fire temple a magnificent mosque was erected in Ray which stands even to this day. [Masaalikus Saalikeen]
Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen Chishti Ajmeri (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) says that once his Murshid told him the following: “Tomorrow when the Day of Judgment will come, everyone will be interrogated by Almighty Allah about their responsibility of Namaaz. Those who have discharged this duty punctually will be spared but those who have not, or who have been lethargic, will be hurled in ‘Wail’ which is a well in hell and where the punishment is absolutely dreadful.” He then said that Wail asked Almighty Allah to indicate the people for whom its torture was meant. The answer then came, “This punishment is meant for those who do not offer their Namaaz at the fixed times punctually.” [Aftaab-e-Ajmer]
Once, Khwaja Muinuddeen and his Murshid (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum) were on a journey. When they reached the bank of the Tigris River, it was horribly overflowing under a furious storm. Khwaja Muinuddeen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) was disturbed about crossing it and Khwaja Usman Harooni (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) understood his apprehension and asked him to close his eyes. Khwaja Muinuddeen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) complied and after a little while when he opened his eyes he found that they were standing on the opposite side of the river. When he asked how this happened, his Murshid replied, “We repeated Surah Fatiha five times and crossed the river.” [Aftaab-e-Ajmer]
One day, while they were sitting in the company of some other Awliya Allah, a very old man approached them, helping himself with a staff and offering respectful salutations. The old man wept and said that his son has been away for the past 30 years and he does not know his son’s whereabouts. He requested the Saints to pray for his son’s safe and early return. On hearing this Khwaja Usman Harooni (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) went into Muraqaba (spiritual contemplation) and after a while asked everyone to recite Surah Ikhlas. After everyone has recited, he then told the old man, “You can go, and when you meet your son, bring him to see me.” The old man was still on his way home when someone informed him that his son had arrived. He reached home hastily and had boundless joy in embracing his son who was already there. Immediately he took his son to Khwaja Usman Harooni (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) who enquired about his whereabouts. The boy said, “I was confined with chains in a boat on high seas. Suddenly a Saint like you…no, it was you and you certainly, I am sure, approached me and breaking my shackles, caught hold of my neck firmly and asked me to put my feet on his hands and close my eyes. When I opened my eyes, I found myself at the door of my house.” Having said so much the boy wanted to continue more when Khwaja Usman Harooni (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) stopped him by a sign of his finger asking him to remain silent. [Aftaab-e-Ajmer]
After travelling together for 20 years, they returned to Baghdad where Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) began to live in seclusion. He said to Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), “I will not come out of my seclusion very often but it is compulsory for you to visit me after sunrise every morning so that I may teach you some secrets of spirituality.” Following this instruction, Khwaja Muinuddeen Chishti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) visited his Murshid everyday at the appointed time and whatever he heard, he recorded.
On the last day that he went to his Murshid, he was blessed with Khilafat from Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), who presented his Asa Mubarak (staff), Khirqa (robe of Khilafat), wooden sandals and Musallah to Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen Chishti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and said, “All these relics are the relics of our Masters, which has come to us from Rasoolallah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is compulsory for you to look after it as we have looked after it, and you must hand over these relics to a person who strictly proves himself worthy of it.” After this he embraced Khwaja Muinuddeen (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), kissed him on the forehead and said, “I have given you to Allah.” Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen Chishti (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) then departed with a heavy heart on his own travels. [Masaalikus Saalikeen]
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the love and respect for our Peer-o-Murshids, which was possessed by Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddeen Chishti Ajmeri (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) for his Murshid, and may Allah grant us the opportunity to spend time in the company of our Murshids, Ameen.