Hazrat Sayyid Hafiz Haji Abul Hasan Ali bin Usman bin Ali Al-Jalabi Al-Hajwiri was also known as “Data’ Ganj Bakhsh”, was a great Persian Sufi scholar, writer and poet, who lived during the 5th century A.H. He had significantly contributed to the spread of Islam in South Asia. Hazrat Ali Hajweri was born both a Hussayni and Hasani Sayyid! He was blessed with the direct lineage to the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) through his father who was a direct descendant of Hazrat Imam Hasan (a.s.) as explained below:
Hazrat Ali Hajweri, son of Hazrat Muhammad Usman, son of Hazrat Abul Hasan Ali, son of, Hazrat Abdul Rahman, son of Hazrat Shah Shuja, son of Hazrat Abul Hasan Ali, son of Hazrat Hasan Asghar, son of Hazrat Zaid, son of Hazrat Imam Hasan (a.s.), son of Hazrat Ali (a.s.). His mother was a descendant of the King of Martyrs, Imam Hussayn (a.s.). She was greatly devoted to religious worship and was committed to the betterment of welfare of the poor and suffering.
After the tragedy of Karbala, many of the descendants of Imam Ali (a.s.), dispersed to foreign lands, and the forefathers of Hazrat Ali Hajweri moved to the Ghaznavid Empire-modern day Afghanistan.
He was born in Ghazni during the reign of Mahmud Ghaznavi between 400 to 406 A.H.
After acquiring basic education, he travelled to different parts of the Middle East in search of a spiritual leader (Murshid) and was accepted by Shaikh Abul Fazl Muhammad. His other associates/teachers were:
Abul Abbas Ahmad, Abul Qasim bin Ali, Abu Ahmad Muzaffar, and Abul Qasim Abdul Karim.
Arrival in Lahore:
One night, he saw his spiritual leader in dream saying to him: “O’ My son! We have appointed you as Qutb for Lahore.” After reaching Lahore, he constructed a monastery for himself and a mosque. While the mosque was still under construction, the Ulemas of the city raised huge storm of opposition to the effect that the mosque was not aligned exactly towards Qibla. Upon completion of the mosque, he invited all the Ulemas, Sufis, Saints, and the leading citizens and they offered prayers behind him. He asked the people to close their eyes, meditate and then decide whether it is correct or not. Thereafter, he meditated and curtains were removed from the eyes of the people. All of them saw that the Sacred Ka’ba was before their eyes.
Khawaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti (r.a.) at his Mausoleum:
Hazrat Khawaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti (r.a.), the great saint of Ajmer, India came to Lahore to meditate for 40 days at the altar of Hazrat Ali Hajwiri (r.a.), and after achieving spiritual enlightenment, Khawaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti (r.a.) expressed his gratitude and out of love and devotion uttered the following couplet in Persian:
Ganj Bakhsh-e faiz-e Alam, mazhar-e Nur-e Khuda
Naqisaan ra Pir-e Kaamil, Kaamilan ra Rahnuma
The giver of bounties, the benefactor of the world (and) the manifestation of the light of God
To the imperfect, a perfect spiritual guide, and to the perfect, a guide
This couplet had been written on the head plate of his grave.
Kashf-al-Mahjoob or Revelation of the Veiled:
This is one of the most famous books of Hazrat Data GanjBakhsh. It was written in Persian and has been translated in many languages including Urdu and English. The book is about Sufism starting with a chapter on “Ilm” or knowledge! There are other six books. Kashf al-Mahjoob was translated in English by Reynolds A. Nicholson Litt. D., lecturer in Persian in the University of Cambridge in the year 1911 A.D. There are 25 chapters of the book. Some of the chapters are about the Imams pertaining to the companions, to the House of Prophet, the followers (Ta’biun) etc. There are 11 chapters each for “one Veil”. The “Eleven Veils” are: “Gnosis (Marefat) of God, Unification (Tauheed), Faith, Purification from Foulness, Prayer (Salaat), Alms (Zakaat), Fasting (Saum), Pilgrimage (Hajj), Companionship, Definition of terms, and Audition (Sama’).
There are about 112 sayings of Hazrat Data GanjBakhsh on “Sufiwiki.com”. Some of them are: “Faith and gnosis are love, and obedience is a sign of love. Although hunger is an affliction of the body, it illuminates the heart, purifies the soul, and leads the spirit into the presence of God! Hunger sharpens the intelligence and improves the mind and health. Religion is the root and Sufism is the branch. Eternal life is gained by spiritual sacrifice and by the renunciation of self-interest in fulfilling God’s Commandments. The friends of God behold in every gift and benefit the Giver and the Benefactor. Men are looking to the Ka’aba, but the God is ever looking to the heart! Knowledge is a Divine attribute and action is a human attribute. Human nature is more prone to ignorance than to knowledge. Lust is our shackle, and sins are our chain. Our religion takes the middle course between free will and predestination.
Sources: WIKIPEDIA, SUFI-WIKI.COM, QALANDERIA.BLOGSPOT.COM