Gharib (d. 1337) was a disciple of Nizamuddin
Awliya. His love for the samaa’ (Sufi
music; audition) was only surpassed by his
love for his spiritual guide. When he was
in the company of Nizamuddin Awliya he was
so concentrated upon him, that he noticed
nobody else present. He was very popular
among the Chishtiyya of his time. Amir Khosraw
and Amir Hasan were his personal friends.
Nasiruddin Cheragh of Delhi used to stay
with him. He had the utmost respect towards
his spiritual guide, Nizamuddin Awliya.
He never sat with his back towards Ghiyaspur,
where Nizamuddin Awliya lived.
and Malik Nusrat, who were related to sultan
Alauddin, were probably jealous of their
co-disciple and complained about him to
their teacher Nizamuddin Awliya. What happened?
When Burhanuddin was about seventy years
old, he had become very weak and it was
difficult for him to sit on the ground.
He used to wrap up his blanket fourfold
and used to sit on it in the Sufi centre
of Nizamuddin Awliya. The two aforementioned
men complained to their master that Burhanuddin,
by his sitting thus, posed to be a spiritual
successor of Nizamuddin. Nizamuddin was
therefore displeased with him and did not
talk with him when he came. Later on, Khwaja
Iqbal came to him and told him that Nizamuddin
Awliya had given the order that he should
leave the Sufi centre there and then.
the reason of the displeasure of his guide,
he was extremely confused. He went to the
house of his old friend Mawlana Ibrahim,
who however was afraid that he would incur
the displeasure of Nizamuddin Awliya. So,
Burhanuddin went to his own house (in days
of distress you learn who are your true
friends) and passed his days in weeping.
His friends came to him and tried to console
After some time
his old friend Amir Khosraw pleaded on his
behalf. He went to Nizamuddin Awliya with
a turban round his neck and stood before
is it, o Turk?” – Nizamuddin
“I want Mawlana Burhanuddin to
be forgiven” – was the reply.
Nizamuddin Awliya smiled and asked: “where
is he? Call him here!”
Gharib came. He was reinstated as a spiritual
disciple and on top of that was accepted
as a khalifa (spiritual caliph) of Nizamuddin
This great Chishti
Sufi described the ideal Sufi teacher thus:
perfect master and teacher is that one
Who is both lover and beloved,
Both the seeker and the sought,
Both the impassioned and the impassioning,
Both the perfect and the perfected,
Both the enraptured wayfarer and the wayfaring
Both the astonished and the absorbed.
His way is sometimes intoxicated and sometimes
At times absorbed and at times effaced.
The master is the guide and exemplar.