Hazrat Khwaja Baha-Ud-Din Naqshband (RA) Hazrat Khwaja Baha-ud-Din bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Muhammad Naqshband was born in 718 AH at Qasr-i-Arifan, a village in Bukhara. The father of Khwja Baha-ud-Din Muhammad was known as Baba Sahib Sarmast and lies buried in Samarqand.He was having great regard for the saints of the time. Just after three days of his birth Hazrat Baha-ud-Din was taken by his ancestor to Khwaja Muhammad Babai Sammasi for receiving his blessings, who had come to Qasr-i-Arifan along with a group of his followers and he adopted Hazrat Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Muhammad as his son, and he said that ‘he is my son and I have accepted him’ and foretold his followers that ‘this son shall be the leader of the time.’ He was married at the age of 18 years and in those very days he was blessed with remaining in the service of Khwaja Baba Muhammad Sammasi, and on his passing away in 755 AH, his ancestor took him to Samarqand. There he obtained blessings from the dervishes in his favour.
On reaching maturity, he reached in the service of Hazrat Amir Kalal, the successor of Babai Sammasi, who trained him in ‘zikr’ and thus he got busy in prayers and ‘mujahada’. Hazrat Sayid Amir Kalal left no stone unturned in his education, training and instructions as desired by his Murshid Khwaja Muhammad Sammasi. On completion of his course, Hazrat Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Muhammad desired to leave and on account of God- given capability, the Murshid allowed him to try for higher perfection of self. Thereafter he served Moulana Arif Deg-garai for seven years, besides spending several months with Shaikh Qasam of Turkistan, who was associated with Khwaja Ahmad Yaswi and thereafter he spent twelve years in the service of a Turkistani Murshid Khalil Aata. Some more period he spent with scholars, where he learnt the knowledge of Hadith , besides he aquainted himself with the biographies of Sahaba (Companions of the Prophet) Hazrat Khwaja Baha-ud-Din performed Hajj twice.
Hazrat Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Muhammad Naqshband went to meet great Mashaikh of Khurasan, Mavara-un-Nahar, Samarqand, Joi Mooliyan, Revartun, Bekand, Tasaf, Simnan, Marv, Tus, Mashhad, Teyibad, Azyut, Karminya, Qashlaq-i-Khwaja Mubarak, Qarshi, Kufeen, Qazeel Rabat, Kush,etc. Little is known about the family background of Hazrat Khwaja Naqshband, though much has been written on Naqshbandi order.
At last Hazrat Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Muhammad Naqshband left this temporal world on Monday night of third Rabi-ul-Awal 791 AH. His age was 73 years. He lies buried in his home town Bukhara. This village is now known as Baha-ud-Din. Hazrat Khwaja Ala-ud-Din Attar states that “Hazrat Khwaja Naqshband was miskeen (faqir) and had given up the world, relationship and had adopted a lonely life of abstinence.
He would always be careful in self-introspection and would be cautious about his diet. He would often relate Hadith about pious (halal) diet. Inspite of being at the height of fuqr, he was full of the desire for sacrifice and servitude. Whatever gift was brought to him, he would return a similar or better gift, in keeping with the practice of the Prophet (PBH). He would entertain his guest with befitting diet and would see that there is no laxity in making him at ease. He would provide his own clothes/ coverings to cover the guest in his sleep to make him comfortable.
Hazrat Khwaja would grow his paddy/wheat himself from his fields. He would be cautious in the selection of seeds and the selection of oxen with broad horns. Scholars coming in his service would eat from his kitchen, considering it to be a blessing from him. His personality is described to be so impressive that King and Amirs of Herat would remain dumbfounded on seeing him. He would be well dressed duly scented, social with friends and guests,attend domestic work himself, and would help his family in other domestic works, would go to enquire about sick people, and would even provide advice regarding their treatment, he would treat the wounds of animals,and would pray for the welfare of faithful (moomin). He was a guide for the ettiquete, a Murshid to many hearts and would always preach for just (hahal) diet and clean and pious life. He himself had attained the fame of a Perfet friend of Allah (Wali), people like great scholars, Amirs, Wazirs,and even kings from far and wide would attend his gatherings to receive his blessings. He would pray for their welfare and also for the (taqwa)-abstinence of their hearts. Besides the hard prayers, he would follow in the footsteps of the Prophet in all (Ibadat) prayers- he would be always with ablution (Wazoo), punctual in (prayers (Salat) and recitation of Quran, repentance (Toba-Istigfar); Remembrance of Allah (Zikir); Awrad,-wazaif, nawafil, tarawih; Tasabih, Tahajjud and fasting; in short he spent whole life in engaging himself in these tasks, without wasting a moment.
Khwaja Naqshband classified knowledge in three categories: one is bookish knowledge, which perishes with the death of the writer and eating of the book by moths; many such types of knowledge have come and are lost; the second form of knowledge is that of verification. Again this too is not reliable as a theory put forward today is disproved tomorrow. Yesterday we were told that sun is stationary, today we are told that it is moving. Hence not reliable. The third form of knowledge neither needs books nor verification. It is transferred from person to person and one must think that a person having this type of knowledge has reached its climax, when he says that he knows nothing, as this knowledge is so vast that it has no boundaries. Khwaja Naqshband says that being a student of this knowledge, time and distance is no bar to him, that means he could travel both time and distance without means and that is the lowest stage of this knowledge. The highest form of this knowledge is (The Miraj) the ascension performed by the Prophet (PBH). The purpose of knowledge should be to take you to the Source of knowledge, which is ALLAH.
In Kashmir the Naqshbandi order was initially intoduced by Sayid Hilal, who arrived in the reign of Sutan Sikandar (1389-1413 AD). Sayid Hilal is said to have been a direct disciple of Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Muhammad Naqshband. He lived a quiet life and died in 862 AH/1457 AD at the village of Asham North Kashmir, where he had settled down. Sayid Hilal left only one disciple named Sayid Amin known as Wusi Sahib in Kashmir. He hailed from the Baihaqi family and was the second son of Sayid Husain Baihaqi or Mantiqi. Sayid Amin was adopted as a son by Baihaqi Begum, the wife of Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin, but the life of affluence did not appeal to him. Like his spiritual master he led a life of retirement at Asham. When Sayid Hilal died, he moved to Srinagar, where he confined himself to a room near Koh-i-Maran. He became victim of a political intrigue, when fifteen members of his family were killed in 889 AH/1484 AD.He was buried at Alikadal on the right bank of river Jhelum in Srinagar, where his tomb exists to this day. Sayid Amin left no disciple.
It was after over a century thereafter that Khwaja Khawand Mahmud arrived here at the end of 16th century AD. The Khwaja was the son of Khwaja Mir Sayid Sharif, who claimed descent from Khwja Ala-ud-din Attar, a distinguished disciple of Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Naqshband. Khawaja Khawand was initiated in the order by Khwaja Ishaq Safedki, but he claimed to have received inspiration direct from Khwja Baha-ud-Din Naqshband. Before entering Kashmir from Kabul, Khwaja Khawand had journeyed to many countries. The Khwaja did not stay there for long and soon left for Agra. However in the 17th century, when Khwaja Khawand made several further visits to Kashmir, the Naqshbandi order received a great impetus here. Later Khwaja Khawand preferd to settle at Lahore along with his other sons and deputed one of his sons Khwaja Moin-ud-Din to stay at Srinagar to look after the disciples and the affairs of Khanqah. The Khanqah which was earlier constructed by Budshah at Asham, was got shifted to Khwaja Bazar, where Khwaja Moin-ud-Din Naqshbandi was stationed later on. Khwaja Moin-ud-Din Naqshbandi lies buried in the masoleum near the Khanqah along with his wife (who was daughter of Aurangzeb) besides his two sons. The urs of Hazrat Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Muhammad Naqshband Bukhrai (RA) is celebrated on the 3rd Rabi-ul-Awal every year, besides the gatherings for special prayers (khatmat-muazzamat) are held for twelve days i.e. from 21st Safar to 3rd Rabi-ul Awal. These gatherings are held every day at 8 AM in the Khanqah-i-Naqshbandiya. On the urs day after the Asr prayers, special mass prayers are held called ‘Khoja Digar’. This practice continues as a tradition from the times of Hazrat Khwaja Khawand Mahmood i.e. from 1017 AH- 405 years.