Hazrat Farid ud Din Shakar Ganj
His father was Shaikh Jamalud Deen, the maternal cousin of Sultan Mahmْd Ghaznawi. His name is Masood and title, Faridud Deen. He was the descendent of Amirul Mu’mineen, Hadhrat Umar Bin Khattaab (radhiyallahu anhu).He was born in 584 or 585 or 569 Hijri in Kohtwaal which is in the district of Multaan.
His grandfather, Qadhi Shuaib migrated from his homeland, Kabul during the era of Halaku, the Mongol, and went to Lahore. Qadhi Mansْr of Lahore, who had acquired his knowledge in Kabul, informed the king in Delhi of the arrival of Qadhi Shuaib.
The king offered him a post. However, he declined and went to Multaan. The king instructed the governor of the Multaan province to arrange a fief (land) for Qadhi Shuaib. This was arranged in Kohtwaal where he finally settled.
Shaikh Faridud Deen acquired part of his academic knowledge in the Musjid of Qadhi Minhajud Deen. It was here that he became bay’t to Khwajah Qutbud Deen. He completed his academic career in Kabul.
Hadhrat Shaikh Nizamud Deen says that once while Hadhrat Shaikh Faridud Deen’s mother was performing Salaat, a thief entered. When he gazed at her, he immediately became blind. The thief cried out:
“I came with the intention of stealing and have became blind. I pledge never to steal again.”
At this time Hadhrat’s age was approximately 6 years. He made dua and the man’s sight was restored. In the morning he came with his entire family and accepted Islam. He was named Abdullah. He remained in Hadhrat’s service to the end.
There are several views for him being known by his famous title of Shakar Ganj. When he decided on mujaahadah, his Shaikh advised hunger. He therefore began fasting. After three days a man came and presented some bread. Thinking this to be by divine direction, he accepted and ate the bread. Within a few moments he became nauseous and vomited out whatever he had eaten. He reported this incident to his Shaikh who said:
“After three days you ate the food of a drunkard. Shukr unto Allah that the food did not remain in your stomach. Now remain hungry for another three days and then eat what comes from the Ghaib.”
After three days nothing came. He was overcome by weakness. On account of the extreme hunger he put some pebbles into his mouth. The pebbles turned into sugar. Fearing that this may be some deception, he spat it out. A short while later, the extreme hunger again constrained him to put pebbles into his mouth. These too became sugar which he again spat out. This happened again for a third time. In the morning he reported to his Shaikh who said:
“It would have been good if you had ate it.”
Since that day he was called Shakar Ganj.
According to another version, on the seventh day of hunger he came tottering to his Shaikh. Sand on his mouth had become sugar.
Another explanation is that when he once asked a trader for some sugar, the trader falsely said that he had only salt. Hadhrat said:
“It must be salt.”
When the trader looked, the sugar had become salt. The trader apologised and the salt again became sugar.
Hadhrat Faridud Deen resorted to extreme methods of mujaahadah initially.
Hadhrat Sultanul Masha-ikh said:
“A hair came out from Hadhrat Shaikh’s beard. I requested permission to use the hair in a ta’weez. He granted me permission. I wrapped it in a cloth. When someone became ill, I would give him the ta’weez. When the sick person was cured I retrieved the ta’weez. I observed many benefits of this ta’weez. Once when a friend became ill he asked for the ta’weez. Although I searched much, I could not find it. The friend died. On another occasion when I searched for it in order to give it to another person, I found it on the same shelf where I had left it. I then realised that since the maut of the friend had been ordained for that time, I could not locate the ta’weez.”
Hadhrat Faridud Deen’s spiritual grandfather (his Shaikh’s Shaikh), Hadhrat Muinud Deen spoke in glowing praise of him. Once he said:
“Qutbud Deen has imprisoned a great royal falcon.”
On another occasion he said:
“This is a candle which will brighten the homes of dervishes. He will be the Ghauth and Qutub of his time.”
When Hadhrat Khwajah Qutbud Deen was on his death-bed, he called Hadhrat Faridud Deen and appointed him his representative of his spiritual kingdom.
Hunger was a dominant feature in his life. Many a time even his wife and children had to experience hunger.
His famous statement is:
“When you don the Mantle, know that you have donned the Kafan.”
Once Hadhrat Khwajah Muinud Deen was the guest of Hadhrat Khwajah Qutbud Deen. The beds of both host and guest were in the same room. Khwajah Faridud Deen, according to his normal routine, went at night into the room to press the feet of his Shaikh, Khwajah Qutbud Deen, who signalled to him to press the feet of Hadhrat Khwajah Muinud Deen. After pressing his feet for a few minutes, Khwajah Faridud Deen came to his own Shaikh and said:
“My heart is here. Where else can I go?”
Khwajah Muinud Deen commented:
“Qutbud Deen, at least give him something.”
(This was a reference to the spiritual treasures.)
Hadhrat Shaikh passed away on the 5th of Muharram in the year 664 or 668 Hijri on a Monday. Another version gives the year 660. His grave is in Paakpatan in the district of Multaan. This place is between Lahore and Multaan. He has innumerable khulafaa. The number is said to be as high as seventy thousand. In Jawahirul Farid, the names of 584 of his khulafaa are enumerated. The most famous among them is Hadhrat Shaikhul Masha-ikh Khwajah Alaud Deen Ali Ahmad Sabir Kalyari whose discussion will now follow.