STORIES, POETRY AND TEACHINGS OF A CHISHTI
The book “Jawami’ al-kalim” (=
Collected Words) contains the conversations
of the Chishti Sufi Gisu Daraz (d. 1422
C.E.). From this book and from some other
sources some conversations of Gisu Daraz,
some stories, some poetry, some teachings,
etc. will be presented.
Vision of Hazrat Nizamuddin
Gisu Daraz has also said that
his shaykh Nasiruddin Cheragh of Delhi has
“I was 12 years old when
I had learnt the Qur’an by heart and
when I had read ‘The Five Treasures’
and the ‘Stations’ of Hariri.
I was considering to become a disciple of
shaykh Ruknuddin. He was an uncle from my
mother’s side who had been a disciple
of shaykh ul-Islam Nizamuddin. I was teaching
the sons (of shaykh Ruknuddin). One day
a student asked if you have to put your
knees or your hands first on the floor when
prostrating during the prayers. I had not
yet studied religious sciences, so I was
unable to answer his question. As I did
not want to say so, I told him that I would
consult a certain book first and then would
ask shaykh Ruknuddin about it.
I rose to go to the shaykh and
stopped to say prayers in a certain mosque…
I saw a tall man, with a rather dark complexion,
with large eyes, a red veil, a long beard
and with a long sari. He said something
in a pleasant way. He was a man who manifested
true majesty. He started to pray and when
he prostrated, then he first put his knees
on the floor and thereafter put his hands
down. After having done so, he disappeared.
I was suddenly quite certain that he was
shaykh Nizamuddin. I left the mosque and
saw my uncle with some of his friends standing
at the door.
I told him: ‘I have seen
He laughed and asked: ‘How did you
see him then?’
‘I have seen a man and knew that he
was shaykh Nizamuddin’.
‘What did he look like?’
So I described him completely.
Tears came in his eyes and shaykh Ruknuddin
said: ‘Yes, he exactly looked the
same when I came to Delhi to become his
mureed. You have seen him looking exactly
like I saw him then’.”
The language of the
Gisu Daraz also remarks: My
master has told this about himself (shaykh
Nasiruddin Cheragh of Delhi):
‘I was a child and I learnt
how to recite the Qur’an from a teacher
in a mosque. A single tree was standing
near this mosque. A crow came and sat down
on it and all that the crow was saying in
its own language, I could understand’.
Gisu Daraz also remarks: ‘The
great shaykh Nizamuddin, who has died some
time ago knew during all of his life no
other door but the one of his teachers and
the one of shaykh Fariduddin. He had learnt
nothing but to be grateful for things received
from God and he desired for nothing else.
The blessed shaykh Fariduddin was the son
of Qadi Sulaiman of Khotiyal. He was called
in Khotiyal ‘the mad son of the Qadi’,
as he was always occupied with God and did
not talk with anyone else. He was mostly
concentrated on his Lord when he was in
the mosque in this part of the town. When
his father died there were four brothers
and the land of Khotiyal belonged to them.
These brothers wished to divide this property,
but Fariduddin never came to them so that
they could divide it amongst themselves.
One day they quite clearly told him: ‘Either
you take your share or you reject it!’
He then rejected to take his share’.
Gisu Daraz proceeded by remarking:
‘Nowadays one of the villages, which
belong to the waqf (pious foundation) of
the shaykh, is exactly this Khotiyal, which
he rejected as his share during his life’.
Four years, four months
and four days
Gisu Daraz also remarks: ‘Our
shaykh has told this story:
The future shaykh ul-Islam Qutubuddin
was four years and four months (and four
days) old. His mother gave the nanny some
sweets and some money, so that she would
take the boy to a teacher in that part of
the town in order to receive some education.
The nanny met a man on the way who asked
- Stranger: To whom are you
bringing this child?
- Nanny: To a teacher in our part of the
town in order to take him to the mosque.
- Stranger: Woman, better take him to another
part of the town as there is a good teacher.
When you and the child will come with me,
I’ll take you there.
- Nanny: Take him to the place which is
best according to you!
He guided them to a certain
place in another part of the town. When
the teacher saw the stranger, he folded
his hands in respect to the stranger. The
stranger said: ‘Mawlana. I have certain
plans with this child, so give him a good
education!’ He then turned around
and left. The teacher went into the mosque
and asked Qutbuddin:
‘Where have you met this
Qutubuddin told him what had happened.
The teacher then asked: ‘Do you know
this man?’ Qutbuddin answered: ‘No,
The teacher then said: ‘He is Khwaja
Gisu Daraz also remarks: ‘The
noble shaykh Qutbuddin hailed from Ush,
and that is why he is called Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar
Ushi. Ush is a village, which belongs to
Marghinan (Central Asia) and Marghinan is
a small town. The future shaykh stayed for
a long time in Marghinan.
It so happened that outside
the town there was a big minaret, which
is comparable to the minaret of Delhi (i.e.
the Qutb Minar), but it was not very beautiful
and it was not so often visited. Better
said: it was ugly and it caused fear to
arise, so no one really went there for a
visit. It was said that it was a place where
Khwaja Khizr stayed.
The noble master was only 16
years old when he went there during night
before Friday and recited his award, in
order to meet Khwaja Khizr. He occupied
himself all night with the remembrance of
God, but no one came. He left and went home
and then he met a man who asked him: ‘Child,
where have you been?’
Qutbuddin answered him: ‘Near the
The man said: ‘But is it not a fear
arousing ruin? Why did you go to that place?’
He answered: ‘I have heard that if
you go there in the night before Friday
and you keep yourself occupied with the
remembrance of God, that you will meet Khizr’.
‘Have you met him?’
The man then asked: ‘In case you’d
have met him, what would you have done?’
Qutbuddin replied: ‘I would have asked
for the love of God’.
The stranger then took him to a house where
a weaver lived. He called the weaver and
said: ‘Master, this child has stayed
all night at the place where I’m staying
and he desires for something very important,
so don’t disappoint him!’
‘What does he want to have?’
the weaver asked.
The stranger replied: ‘He hopes to
receive the love of God’.
As soon as the weaver had heard this, his
eyes filled with tears and he said; ‘For
this desire we shall be the mediators. We
will ask for the love of God!’
They then stood next to the
future shaykh and prayed for the love of
God for him.
Conversation of April
7 1400 dealing with the why of creation:
At the time of breakfast Mawlana
‘Omar-i Sa’id of Kanbhat appeared
in the presence of the master. He asked:
“The work of the Creator
are – as I see it – independent
of any cause or any reason. The Prophet
has however asked: ‘O, Lord! Why have
you created the creation?’ And the
elevated Lord answered him thus: ‘I
was a hidden treasure and I desired to be
known. Therefore I created the creatures
so that I might be known’. The question
with a why and its answer are – as
I see it – nothing but an explanation
of cause and reason”.
The master responded thus: “You
should know that the work of the elevated
Creator are not dependent on any cause or
any reason, but they are no useless game
as well, because God is wise and the Wise
does not occupy Himself with a wanton game.
His work is connected to wisdom and usefulness
and is not without meaning and use for the
general good. This wisdom has either to
do with us or with Him. The meaning of the
sacred tradition you have quoted as for
the part ‘I was a hidden treasure’
is ‘I was only with My self. I was
alone in my Aloneness and I wished to make
known My glory and My greatness’.
That is why He needed an ‘other’
to whom He could manifest Himself, so that
He might be known. ‘Therefore I created
the creatures’. Because of this wisdom
and this usefulness I manifested this form
in which you can find diversity and wherein
the rank of the knower and the known appears.
And in the part ‘so that I might be
known’ you’ll find this word
dealing with knowing. It means: ‘I
want to become a Knower. I was potentially
a Knower and potentially the One making
known and this I desired to become this
in reality. The Knower knows of things,
and the One making known knows of things
as well of their existence”.
Then Mawlana ‘Omar-i Sa’id
of Kanbhat asked another question to Hazrat
Gisu Daraz, the Chishti with ‘long
locks of hair’.
He asked: “Can we assume
that there is change in the attributes of
the Creator and that some of them are new
in due course of time?”
The master responded: “The
attributes are of three kinds:
1. Attributes of the divine
essence, like life and power
2. Attributes of divine actions, like creation
and the providing of sustenance
3. Attributes, which show a relationship,
The idea of change taking place
as for the attributes of divine actions
or the relative attributes in regard to
us but not in regard to Him, does not bring
about a diminishing or change in His essence.
God, the Elevated, was in pre-eternity not
a Creator in the actual sense of the word.
The messenger of God has said: ‘He
was and nothing was with Him’. This
implies that after his will to create the
creation he became a Creator in actuality.
This description of change in his relative
attributes or his active attributes exists
in regard to us, but in His attributes and
in His essence there is no change. He is
already in pre-eternity capable to create
and to provide sustenance both actual and
potential. He is willing. He acts freely.
He does what He likes and whenever He likes
and with each attribute He likes. And what
He does not like He does not do it. Change
and individuation are connected to that
which has been wanted and which has been
created. He, the Elevated, has potential
and actual power to creation and providing
of sustenance, but this attributes only
manifested themselves clearly after He has
chosen and wanted it and all of this with
a certain attribute and at a certain time…
Just assume that He would not
have created the cosmos and would not have
provided sustenance, then this would not
imply any defect or diminishing in His divinity.
It only would mean that these two attributes
of Him would not have manifested itself”…
A dream about Gisu Daraz
Tipu Sultan scribbled down in
a notebook (not the computer type of notebook!)
37 dreams which he had between 1785 and
1798. Some of these dreams deal with the
meeting great Sufis like shaykh Sa’di
Shirazi and shaykh Jami. These two dreams
are presented in English by Peter L. Wilson
in his “Shower of Stars”. Another
dream connected with Gisu Daraz Bandanawaz,
to whom his family had a longstanding attachment,
has been translated by Annemarie Schimmel
in “Islam in the Indian Subcontinent”:
4. Shawwal 1218:
I saw coming two aged holy persons, both
being brothers, with luggage and provisions.
They told me that they had come according
to the orders of Hazrat (Gisu Daraz) Bandanawaz,
who had sent certain sacred relics. Then
they gave me a few pieces from the covers
of the Ka’ba, (from the tomb of the
Prophet in) Madina-i munawwara and the tomb
of Hazrat Bandanawaz, a copy of the holy
Koran and some sugar-candy. I took the sacred
relics and raised them to my head. I then
opened the Koran and found it was written
in a beautiful hand. Every page of the Koran
had the name of the scribe written on it.
On some of the pages I noticed the names
of Hazrat Bandanawaz and other saints. Both
the holy persons said to me that this copy
of the holy Koran had been written by several
saints and calligraphists, and that Hazrat
Bandanawaz used to recite constantly from
this copy. The saint had done a great favour,
they added, by sending this copy for me.
They also pointed out that they themselves
were from among the descendants of Hazrat
Bandanawaz and it was their custom to recite
the fatiha at his tomb and to offer sacrifices
around it. Then I read those verses (of
the holy Koran) which had been inscribed
in fine handwriting on the gate of the tomb.
At this point I woke up. The same afternoon
I offered fatiha in the name of Hazrat Bandanawaz
on eleven cauldrons of sweets.
Here is a poem written by Gisu
Daraz. It is his most well-known poem and
it can be seen as written on the inner part
of the dome of his mausoleum:
Those who are drunk from the
cup of love
And are intoxicated by the wine of the covenant,
Now they occupy themselves in an ascetic
Now they serve idols and drink wine.
They deleted what they saw on the table
Except for the image of the Friend.
They have been flying beyond the throne
They sat in the place of ‘no-place’,
They are ashamed to take and ashamed to
Unity and separation are no longer there,
They, the preface to the book of existence,
Became the title page to the book of eternity.
They have been freed from ‘Be and
They have become their own advent and departure.
Here is another poem of Gisu
I saw in your face such a beauty;
I saw in God’s work perfection.
I prostrate myself for your eyebrow,
I see it as the qibla, which has been taken
I am eloquent and I am unable to speak –
I was dumb when seeing your red mouth.
I saw the noble young man standing in front
Who had a perfect figure in complete balance.
One day I walked in the garden,
And I saw a twig connected to your body:
It is said to look like a palm tree and
a cypress –
I saw it looks more alike the Tuba tree.
When Abu’l-Fath wishes to take my
Then I’ll be obedient with heart and
- The niche of the qibla, the direction
of the prayers in a mosque has the shape
of an eyebrow.
- The tree refers:
a. To the Perfect Man
b. To all levels of existence: the material
world, the angelic world and the world of
the divine power.
Even small things of
a friend of God have their effect
In the Junaidi dargah in Gulbarga,
India, there is a tree that grew out of
Gisu Daraz’s toothbrush. He has used
a miswâq, a twig of a tree, to clean
his teeth. This tree overshadows the courtyard
and visitors receive a twig for the sake
Record all the foolishness
you see here
The following anecdote has been told by
Gisu Daraz who describes shaykh Nasiruddin
Cheragh of Delhi as a lover. He describes
a completely different man from the usual
depiction of a sober mystic. Probably shaykh
Nasiruddin was both, but at different times.
Once the shaykh was sitting
in his Sufi centre. He heard the following
lines of poetry and he got into ecstasy:
Jafaa bar ‘aasheqaan gofti
nakhaaham kard ham kardi
Qalam bar bi-delaan gofti nakhaaham raand
You’ve sworn not to be
cruel to Your lovers, but you are,
You’ve sworn not to write off those
who have lost their hearts, but expelled
by You we are.
The poet mawlana Maghis wrote
a letter what had happened in this gathering.
He maintained that the above couplet carried
no true meaning. “To apply terms like
cruel to God is heretical,” he argued,
and made other statements in a similar vein.
He gave a copy of the letter to mawlana
Mo’inuddin ‘Amrani, who sent
it to the shaykh. Shaykh Nasiruddin read
it and then sent for mawlana Mo’inuddin.
When the mawlana arrived, the shaykh returned
the letter to him without comment. He offered
the Mawlana a turban and a shirt, then gave
him permission to leave.
Subsequently there was a Sufi
assembly in which shaykh Nasiruddin was
so moved by the following quatrain that
he became manifestly agitated and began
Ma tabl-khana dush bi baak
‘Aali ‘alamash bar sar aflaak
Az bahre yaki maghbacha mikhvaara
Sad baar kolaah tawba bar khaak zadim
Yesterday we fearlessly beat
We raised his flag high into the sky.
For the sake of one beautiful youth we are
A hundred times we threw the cap of repentance
into the dust.
Then, still highly agitated,
he went up to sit on the roof sent for Mawlana
Maghis. The Mawlana was distraught. Reluctantly
he paid a call to the shaykh. “Now
Mawlana,” said shaykh Nasiruddin,
record all the foolishness you see here!”
The picture of the Beloved
Although in his ‘Jawami’
al-kalim’ (= Collected Words) Gisu
Daraz praises Hindi as a language of poetry
‘that moves and induces man to submissiveness
and humility’, he chose Persian for
his songs in which, following a famous line
from Sana’i’s ‘Enclosed
Garden of the Truth’, he claims:
Love is not in the explanations
of Abu Hanifa Nu’man;
Shafi’i has no information about it.
Love is the central theme in
the poetry of Gisu Daraz:
What shall I call him who denies
He is a cow, a jackass and a hard stone.
In the tradition of Ahmad Ghazzali
and ‘Iraqi he feels that human beauty
leads to divine love:
Well, you look at the beautiful
one and see figure and stature:
I don’t see anything in between but
the beauty and the art of the Creator.
For, as can be read in the inscribed
poem in the dome of his mausoleum:
Those who have quaffed the goblet
of love at the pre-eternal covenant,
Have washed from the slate of being everything
except the picture of the Beloved.
Long locks of hair
There are several reasons for
calling him Gisu Daraz. He had very long
hair and for this reason he came to be called
Gisu Daraz, which means ‘one with
long locks of hair’. Another reason
assigned is this, that once he was carrying
on his shoulders the palanquin in which
his spiritual guide and teacher was sitting.
All of a sudden his locks of hair, which
extended up to his knees, were entangled
in the wheel of the palanquin. Out of respect
for his spiritual guide he did not prefer
to stop the palanquin in order to take out
his hair from the wheel. His shaykh was
highly pleased with him and he recited the
following couplet couplet, conferring him
the title of Gisu Daraz:
Whoever is admitted to the discipleship
of Gisu Daraz,
By God! It is true that he is engrossed
in spiritual love.
This story from the ‘Akhbar
ul-Akhiar’ is said to be a legend
as it has also been remarked that ‘Gisu
Daraz’ is not an Indian title, and
that in other countries than India, family-members
of the Prophet were known as Daraz Gisu,
those with long locks of hair.
If you are not with
me, you are against me
Sultan Firuz (1397-1422) was
informed of the arrival of Gisu Daraz shortly
after he settled in the Deccan. He extended
a warm welcome to the Chishti Sufi. The
sultan was very interested in philosophy
and when he discovered that Gisu Daraz did
not share his passion he lost interest in
him. Ahmad, the brother of the sultan, became
however a devotee of Gisu Daraz.
Sultan Firuz appointed his imbecile
son, Hasan Khan, heir-apparent and later
urged Gisu Daraz to support this decision
by blessing him. The latter refused, saying
that Ahmad, the brother of the sultan, was
destined to the throne and that there should
be no interference in the divine decree.
The angry sultan then banished Gisu Daraz
from his khanqah near the fort.
When sultan Firuz was quite
elderly he decided to blind his brother
Ahmad in order to disqualify him from succession.
Ahmad managed to escape this fate and took
refuge in Gisu Daraz’s house. Gisu
Daraz blessed him and prophesied that he
would succeed to the throne. Vainly the
sultan tried to suppress the growing support
for Ahmad and finally he became reconciled
to his brother’s accession. Firuz
stood down from the throne in favour of
Ahmad and was later secretly murdered. On
22 September 1422, when Ahmad finally became
the sultan, Gisu Daraz was a very old man.
He died on 1 November 1422.
After the late afternoon prayer
the conversation was about those who are
close to evil people in power. Gisu Daraz
“The Prophet has said:
‘God has an angel who leads the people
to those who are suitable to them’.
This can be seen as external, meaning that
there is an angel with such a mission and
it can also point to an internal quality
which gets people attracted to others who
are similar to them. But the Messenger of
God speaks about an angel”.
The people and the world
After the nightly prayer the
conversation was about the end and disappearance
of the world and all who are connected with
it. Gisu Daraz said:
“When in the days of Nushirvan
the Just the tales of ‘Kalilah and
Dimnah’ were taken from India to Iran
by the wise man Buzurdshmihr, Nushirvan
told him: ‘Ask anything you want from
me!’ The wise man answered: ‘The
goods of the world are not so valuable that
I would like to have them from you. But
when the king so orders, I remember a parable
of this world and its inhabitants. If you
allow me, then I’ll add it to the
beginning of the book’. He received
the permission. This is the parable:
‘A man was threatened
by a mad camel, which was not smaller than
an elephant. It ran in his direction and
the man fled. He came to a well and jumped
in hoping to be safe. He landed on a tree,
which grew from the side of the well. When
hanging in the branches of this tree he
looked down to the bottom of the well. He
saw a dragon at the bottom and in the four
corners he saw snakes, a black one, a white
one, a red one and a yellow one and all
of them wanted to bite him. Two mice, one
white and one black, were gnawing at the
branches he was keeping himself attached
to. When he would fall down he would fall
in the jaws of the dragon or would be bitten
by one of the four snakes. The strange thing
then was that this man saw some honey in
the corner of the well and did his best
to sweeten his mouth therewith.
The mad camel symbolizes death.
The black and white mice are night and day
which gnaw at the branch of life. The four
snakes are black bile, yellow bile, slime
and blood, which bring illness when there
is too much of them. Honey and the sweetening
of the palate represent life and its pleasures
in which people can get trapped”.
Gisu Daraz has said that breath control
was essential for mureeds. In his “Khatima-i
adab al-muridin al-ma`ruf bi-khatima”,
he wrote: “Following the habit of
stopping the breath, as is practiced by
the Yogis, is necessary for the mureed,
but not everyone can do it to the extent
that those people can. Those who follow
this habit must completely abstain from
association with women. Diminution of intake
of food and drink permits the performance
of obligatory and supererogatory prayers
in the case of one of fixed abode, and the
traveller retains mobility. One should avoid
idle talk. If control becomes habitual,
many thoughts can be banished; thought is
natural to the carnal soul”.
Gisu Daraz was extremely careful
to limit the extent to which yogic practice
was acceptable to the above practice. The
practice should be given by an authorized
Gisu Daraz told that his shaykh,
Nasiruddin, even when narrating emotionally
charged stories, kept his composure and
did not shed tears. One day Gisu Daraz was
presented before him weeping and disturbed.
He turned to Gisu Daraz, saying: “Listen!
Are the ways you have adopted better than
those of the travellers on the path, and
he pointed to himself. Why can’t you
be like them? At no time did we have a living
with prestige and peace. God, the Elevated,
did not give us peace and comfort at any
place. We were disturbed, distracted and
worried. Whatever is not in our power, we
should not be worried about”.
The entire roof shook
Gisu Daraz tells that one day
he saw his shaykh (Nasiruddin Cheragh of
Delhi) on the upper storey of his khanqah
hearing music with Khwaja Hasan, Mawlana
Shihabuddin Kanturi and Mohammad Kar. The
shaykh was dancing on the roof in such an
ecstatic condition that the entire roof
shook as he moved. Later he told Gisu Daraz
that he could do no more.
Visiting the dargah
of Hazrat Qutbuddin
When in Delhi shaykh Nasiruddin
Cheragh Dehlavi used to visit the shrine
of shaykh Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki almost
regularly. When he was summoned to Sindh
by Mohammad bin Tughluq he left his instructions
to his disciple Gisu Daraz to go to Qutb
Sahab’s grave every day.
The nearly fatal assassination
of his shaykh
One day, after offering his
zohr prayers in congegration, shaykh Nasiruddin
Cheragh Dehlavi retired to his room for
rest. There was no attendant at the door
and even Mawlana Zainuddin ‘Ali, who
was usually present at that time, was away.
A qalandar, Turab by name (Gisu Daraz writes
that he was a mad man and often visited
the shaykh), managed to enter the room and
began to injure the shaykh with a knife.
Gisu Daraz gives further details:
“When blood flowed into the courtyard,
Mawlana Zainuddin rushed into the room.
The qalandar attacked him too. Then Khwaja
Bashir came in and caught hold of the assailant
and snatched his knife away. The shaykh,
who was profusely bleeding but had not lost
consciousness, anxiously cried out: ‘Whoever
reprimands him (Turab), I shall be displeased
with him’. The news of this incident
soon spread and rumours began to circulate
in the city that the shaykh had succumbed
to the injuries. People rushed into the
streets, bare-headed, shrieking and crying.
Physicians visited the shaykh and attended
to him. Sadr-i-Jahan and Malik Nathu, the
Hajib-i-Khas, came to enquire about his
condition. Malik Nathu informed the shaykh
that the sultan had deputed him to investigate
into the matter. He requested the shaykh
to hand over Turab to him. The shaykh told
him that he had forgiven Turab. Sadr-i-Jahan
reported the matter to the sultan and sought
his orders. Turab was set free on the recommendations
of the shaykh, but when the people heard
about his release, the gathered in large
numbers in the streets and bazaars of Delhi
with stones in their hands. Shaykh Nasiruddin
summoned Malik Nathu and told him: ‘The
People would kill Turab. Send fifty soldiers
to accompany him and give him (Turab) two
tankas also because he is hungry’.
The shaykh instructed Nathu to release Turab
outside the city in order to save him from
the infuriated mob anxious to burst upon
Patience and forbearance
Shaykh Nasiruddin, the shaykh
of Gisu Daraz, was harassed and maltreated
by the sultan. When the Chishti Sufi Burhanuddin
Gharib heard about it, he bitterly wept
and said, referring to the shaykh of Gisu
Daraz: ‘What to do? Khwaja Mawlana
Mahmud is so gentle and forgiving. If he
so wishes, the earth would swallow the sultan,
his entire army, people, horses and elephants
and would yet remain unsatisfied’.
He wrote a letter to shaykh Nasiruddin,
sympathizing with him in his misfortune
and praising his patience and forbearance.
At the top of his letter there was according
to Gisu Daraz this quatrain:
Taa bar sar ‘aasheqaan
Aawaaza’-ye ‘eshqeshaan bajaa’i
Rav bar sar kongora sar-e mardaan bin
Naa-mardaan raa khaar bapaa’i narasad
As long as affliction does not
visit the lovers,
The voice of their love does not reach the
Go and see the heads of true men fixed on
A thorn will not prick the feet of cowards.
They are the real kings
Firuz Shah, the sultan, had
great faith in the Sufis of his day. He
tried to establish cordial relationships
with the shaykh of Gisu Daraz. One day the
sultan came to the khanqah to se the shaykh.
As he himself says, his conviction was:
Most excellent is the amir,
Who comes to the door of the faqir.
The shaykh, as told by Gisu
Daraz, was having his midday nap and no
one informed him of the royal visitor. The
sultan was stil in the courtyard of the
khanqah, when it began to rain. Soon afterwards
Mawlana Zainuddin arrived and informed the
shaykh about the visit of the sultan. The
shaykh woke up, but instead of going out
to receive the sultan, performed ablutions
and began to offer prayers. The sultan,
who was waiting outside, got annoyed and
turning towards Tatar Khan said: ‘We
are not king. They (pointing in the direction
of the shaykh) are the real kings’.
When the shaykh came out of his room, a
carpet was spread on which the sultan sat
for a while and then left, rather displeased.
Gisu Daraz tells that Firuz
Khan, a son of sultan Firuz Shah, came to
see his shaykh with the permission of his
father. Gis tutor Hatim, who came with him,
was already a mureed of shaykh Nasiruddin
Cheragh of Delhi. The tutor requested the
shaykh to admit the prince to his discipline.
The shaykh enquired if he had taken the
sultan’s permission for this. The
tutor made a false statement and replied
in the affirmative. The shaykh then enrolled
him as his disciple.
The prince was in love with
a woman. On leaving the khanqah he took
the woman to some hut and remained there
with her for three days and nights. The
sultan was worried about his whereabouts.
He sent couriers to the shaykh to enquire
about the missing prince. The shaykh replied
that the prince had been with him in the
khanqah for about an hour and that he did
not know where he went subsequently. The
third day when the prince came out from
the hut, the sultan got the tutor and other
People spread the rumour that
the prince had obtained an amulet from the
shaykh for his rise to the throne. Gisu
Daraz tells this:
‘They said that the shaykh
had given him an amulet and predicted that
he would become sultan. The sultan did not
pursue this; he winked at it. He got them
thrown from the Tasawin Hill and exiled
the prince to Mahana and got him poisoned
there. The sultan sent a supplication to
the shaykh stating: ‘As these people
had shown discourtesy to Hazrat, these wicked
people got the punishment they deserved.
They indulged in vain talk’. After
this peace returned to the khanqah, otherwise
there was such concern that it cannot be
Having narrated this incident
which came about because of contact with
the royalty, Gisu Daraz remarked:
If contact with such people
is not kept,
How can such worries pester a dervish?
Gisu Daraz told his audience
one day that somebody saw shaykh Nasiruddin
Cheragh Delhi in his dream after his death
and enquired about the treatment meted out
to him by God. ‘But for my devotions
in my early years’, he replied, ‘I
would have been in great difficulty’.
Gisu Daraz has said that at
the early age of twelve shaykh Nasiruddin
developed the habit of keeping awake most
of the night. When sleep overpowered him,
he put some powdered pepper in his eyes
and became wide-awake again to continue
The plague was spreading and
Gisu Daraz fell seriously ill. His shaykh
was worried about his health. After his
recovery Gisu Daraz came to the khanqah.
His shaykh as soon as he saw him loudly
said: ‘God be praised!’ and
showered his blessings on him. His shaykh
remarked: ‘It was a serious disease.
God in His mercy granted recovery from it’.
Some time later shaykh Nasiruddin affectionately
gave Gisu Daraz flowers in both his hands.
A fellow disciple of Gisu Daraz explained
that their shaykh had ‘heaps of flowers
lying by his side’.
The dargah of Gisu Daraz
The dargah Gisu Daraz can be
visited in Gulbarga, 98 km from Bijapur.
It is an extremely popular spot for a ziarat
and also a centre for people attracted to
Sufism. The ‘urs festival every year
attracts devotees from everywhere. His tomb,
built in the year of his death i.e. 1422,
has walls with friezes at the top, and an
elaborate parapet. The dome has been painted
luxuriantly and the canopy over the grave
has designs in mother-of- pearl and mirrors.
Many believe that this canopy was a later
addition. The mosque within the complex
was constructed in the sixteenth century.
It has sculpted brackets and a dome resting
on a frieze. The court has a tremendous
ceremonial arch built in the seventeenth
century has unusual architectural and decorative
finish here are some teachings of Gisu Deraz:
1. In the world there is nothing
better than renunciation of the world.
2. Those who know the reality of the world,
know it well that the world is nothing but
3. For the pilgrim on the Sufi
way stopping the breath is very useful.
4. One should not indulge in
5. A seeker should fulfil certain
- To search for a spiritual
- Courage and constancy.
- Purification of the heart.
- Lowliness and humbleness in regard to
- Lawful food.
- Obedience to the spiritual guide.
- Sleeping less.
- Opposition to the self.
- No pride of pedigree or family.
- Avoidance of arguments and discussions.
- No over-emphasis on ablution and cleanliness,
to this extent that prayers and rituals
may not be performed in time.
- No preferment of any particular dress.
6. A seeker should prefer seclusion.
He should be ever absorbed in the Friend,
or he should be ever lost in the remembrance
of the Friend.
7. Itikaf is of three kinds,
namely fixed itikaf, perpetual itikaf and
itikaf of the heart, which means that God-fearing
(wo)men take to retirement for God’s
worship in the corner of their heart. It
may also be said, that we take to itikaf
in the heart, which we have got with all