Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi: Life, Teachings, and Spiritual Legacy | A Comprehensive Overview
Hazrat Imam Shaikh Badr-ud-deen Ahmad Sirhindi, also known as Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi, was a prominent Islamic scholar and spiritual leader. He is revered as Mujaddid-e-Alfe ṡaani (the reviver of the second millennium), Imaam-e-Rabbaani (the spiritual leader), Qayyoom-e-Zamaani (the sustainer of the times), Khazinat-ul-Rahmah (the treasure of mercy), and Silah (the link).
He was born on 14 Shawwaal 971 Hijri (4 June 1564 AD) in Sirhind, which is located in present-day Punjab, India. His father’s name was Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Ahad bin Zain-ul-Aabideen (may Allah have mercy upon him). He was a descendant of Hazrat Umar Farooq (may Allah be pleased with him), the second caliph of Islam. Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Ahad received a dream in which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) appeared along with other prophets, saints, and angels to give glad tidings about the birth of Imam Ahmad Sirhindi.
One week before Imam Ahmad Sirhindi’s birth, all musical instruments in the area fell silent, as a sign of his arrival.
Imam Ahmad Sirhindi received his early education from his father, Shaikh Abdul Ahad, and became a Hafiz of the Qur’an. He then traveled to Sialkot, where he studied Hadith, Islamic jurisprudence, Quranic exegesis, and other branches of knowledge. He also received education from renowned scholars such as Hazrat Allama Kamaal-ud-deen and Hazrat Shaikh Maulana Ya’aqoob Surfi Kashmiri.
At the age of 17, Imam Ahmad Sirhindi was granted authorization (Ijazah) in the Qaadri, Suhrawardi, and Chishti Sufi orders. Hazrat Sayyed Shaikh Sikandar Kaithali (may Allah have mercy upon him) bestowed upon him the blessed cloak (Khirqa) of Hazrat Ghauṡ e Azam Abdul Qaadir Jilani (may Allah be pleased with him).
(1) Once during Ramadan, ten of your disciples invited you for Iftar (breaking of the fast). You accepted all their invitations and miraculously appeared at each disciple’s home simultaneously to have Iftar with all of them.
(2) On another occasion, someone asked you to pray for their severely ill relative. You responded, “It is not appropriate to pray for the health of someone who has already departed from this world.” Upon hearing this, the person started crying. When he reached home, he discovered that the person he had asked you to pray for had indeed passed away.
You are considered the Mujaddid (Reviver) of the 11th century in Islamic history.
You are renowned with the titles “Mujaddid-e-Alfe Ṡaani” (Reviver of the Second Millennium) and “Imaam-e-Rabbaani” (Spiritual Leader).
You believed that besides the Shariah (Islamic law), there is no other correct path.
In 988 Hijri (1581 AD), Emperor Akbar attempted to create a new religion called Deen-e-Ilahi by merging various faiths. However, you opposed it and firmly stated, “Only Islam is the true religion.”
You advised the Mughal emperor through letters to distance himself from such erroneous beliefs.
Instead of the philosophy of “Wahaadat-ul-Wujood” (oneness of being) which suggests that everything in existence is a manifestation of Allah’s essence, you advocated for “Wahaadat-ush-Shahood” (oneness of outer appearance). According to this philosophy, every creation in the universe is a manifestation of Allah’s power, and each entity possesses a characteristic of Allah. This understanding is only attained by the Sufis who have reached the state of “Fana fillāh” (annihilation in Allah) by sacrificing all worldly desires for the sake of Allah.
Later, Emperor Jahangir demanded that you prostrate before him in respect, but you refused. As a result, he imprisoned you in the fortress of Gwalior. After two years, he realized his mistake and released you, inviting you to Agra. He then repealed all the non-Islamic laws instituted by Akbar.
The letters you wrote to the Mughal emperor became famous as “Maktubaat-e Imaam-e-Rabbaani” (a compilation of 536 letters).
You have authored numerous books, including:
(1) Risaala Isbat-ul-Nabuwwat
(6) Risaala Telilia
(7) Risaala Basilsila-e-Ahadees
(8) Sharah Rubaeyat e Hazrat Khwaja Baaqi Billāh.
Aqwal (Quotes) of Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi:
“Agar koi hatheli par sarso jamaakar aur hawa me udkar dikhaaye, Magar shariat par amal na karta ho to hargeez Wali nahi hoga.” (Translation: If someone rubs mustard on their palm and shows it off in the air, but does not act according to the Shari’ah, they will never be a Wali, a friend of God.)
“Jo makhlooq (insaan) par raham nahi karta, ALLĀH ta’ala kabhi use rahmat aur barkat ata nahi farmata.” (Translation: Whoever does not show mercy to the creation (human beings), God will never bestow His mercy and blessings upon them.)
Family of Hazrat Mujaddid-e-Alfe Ṡaani:
Hazrat Mujaddid-e-Alfe Ṡaani had 7 sons and 3 daughters. The names of his sons were:
And the names of his daughters were:
Ruqayya (who passed away during childhood)
Umme Kulṡum (who passed away at the age of 14)
Khadeeja (who got married to Shaikh Abdul Qaadir Faarooqi)
Spiritual Lineage (Silsila) and Khalifas:
Hazrat Mujaddid-e-Alfe Ṡaani was a disciple and successor of Hazrat Khwaja Baaqi Billāh Naqshbandi. He received spiritual lineage from his father Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Ahad Faarooqi in the Suharwardi and Chishti Saabri silsila, from Hazrat Shaikh Ya’aqoob Sarfi Kashmiri in the Kubrawiya silsila, and from Hazrat Shaikh Sayyed Sikandar Kaithali in the Qaadri silsila. He continued the Naqshbandi Mujaddidi silsila.
Some of his notable Khalifas (spiritual successors) include:
Hazrat Khwaja Muhammad Saadiq Sirhindi
Hazrat Khwaja Muhammad Sa’eed Sirhindi
Hazrat Khwaja Muhammad Maasoom Sirhindi
Hazrat Khwaja Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Samarqandi
Hazrat Sayyed Meer Muhammad Nomaan urfe Meer Bulbul Samarqandi
Hazrat Haaji Khizr Khaan Afghan
Hazrat Shaikh Sayyed Mueez-ud-deen Ādam Banuri
Hazrat Shaikh Muhammad Taahir Lahori
Hazrat Shaikh Badi-ud-deen Saharanpuri
Hazrat Shaikh Noor Muhammad Patni
and many more.
Passing and Shrine:
Hazrat Mujaddid-e-Alfe Ṡaani passed away on 28th Safar, 1034 Hijri (9th December 1624 AD) at the age of 63. His shrine is located in Sirhind, Punjab.
May ALLĀH ta’ala, through the blessings of His beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the intercession of Hazrat Mujaddid-e-Alfe Ṡaani Imaam Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, grant everyone complete love for the Prophet, protect their faith, grant them success in this world and the hereafter, fulfill their righteous desires, and bestow His mercy on all. Ameen.