Biographical Sketch of Sayyid Badiuddin Ahmad Zinda Shah Madar (may Allah be pleased with him)

His name was SayyidBadiuddin Ahmad while his teknonym was Abu Turab. He is also known as Ahmad ZindanSuf in some countries. He is referred to as Qutb-ul-Aqtab, Qutb-ul-Madar, Fard-ul-Afrad as well as Qutb-e-Wahdat among the group of Awliya while the common people call him as Madar-e-Alam, Madar-e-Do Jahan, Madar-ul-Alameen, Zinda ShahMadar, ZindaWaliMadar etc.

He was born at the dawn of 1st Shawwal 242 AD corresponding to 5th February 856 CE in a locality called Chinar in the Aleppo (Halab) city of Syria. His father’s name was SayyidQudwatuddin Ali al-Halabi and his mother’s name was Sayyida Fatima Sania known as BibiHajira.

His was a descendent of the Noble Prophet (SAWS) through ImamHasan from one side and through ImamHussain from the other hence he was a Hasani-HussainiSayyid. He himself described his family tree as follows:

“I hail from Aleppo. My name is Badiuddin. I am Hasani from my mother’s side and Hussaini from my father’s side and thus my grandfather is Mustafa the king of both the worlds and the most praised, praising and praiseworthy one(Muhammad, Ahmad and Mahmud) in the heaven and on the earth.”

Family Tree

From Father’s Side:
SayyidBadiuddin Ahmad b. SayyidQaziQudwatuddin Ali Halabi b. SayyidBahauddinHussain b. SayyidZaheeruddin b. Sayyid Ahmad Ismail Sani b. Sayyid Muhammad b. Sayyid Ismail b. Sayyid Imam JafarSadiq b. Sayyid Imam Baqir b. Sayyid Imam ZainulAbideen b. Sayyid Imam Hussain b. SayyidunaMawla Ali b. Abu Talib and Sayyida Fatima Zahra the daughter of the beloved Prophet (SAWS).

From Mother’s Side:
SayyidBadiuddin Ahmad b. SayyidaHajira Fatima Sania daughter of Sayyid Abdullah b. SayyidZahid b. Sayyid Muhammad b. SayyidAbid b. Sayyid Abu Salih b. Sayyid Abu Yusuf b. SayyidAbulQasim b. Sayyid Abdullah Mahz b. SayyidHasanMusanna b. SayyidImam Hasan b. SayyidAmeerulMu’mineen Ali b. Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with them all).

Miracles at His Birth Time:
When he was born the whole house became illuminated. No sooner he was born he prostrated and pronounced the Kalimah ‘La ilahaillallahu, Muhammadurrasoolullah’. IdrisHalabi who was a man of miracles narrated that the noble soul of the Messenger of Allah along with his Companions and Imams of Ahl-e-Bait blessed the house of ShaykhBadiudin after his birth by their noble presence and congratulated his parents. A voice from some invisible caller was heard that repeatedly said, ‘This (newborn) is a friend (wali) of Allah’ and some other miracles happened which are mentioned in detail in his biographies.

When he turned four, he was presented before a great scholar of the time known as HuzaifaMar’ashiShamito observe the tradition of ‘Bismillah-khwani’. ShaykhHuzaifa fulfilled his duty with utmost honesty of a mentor and taught him all the prevailing sciences from elementary to the higher level until his able disciple became well-versed in all the traditional and rational branches of knowledge. By the age of fourteen, ShaykhBadi-uddin became a master in all the traditional and rational disciplines.  Not only that he memorized the Glorious Qur’an by heart but was also well-versed in all the other revealed scriptures such as Tawrat, Injeel and Zaboor.

Bay’at and Khilafat:
After acquisition of the exoteric knowledge, the Shaykh started his journey to the esoteric knowledge.  With immense desire to visit the Haramain he set off to the Holy Land after seeking permission from his parents. He was blessed with guidance and assistance from Rijal-ul-Ghayb (unseen individuals) and the sanctified souls all along the way and was given the glad tidings of higher rank in spirituality. Most of the biographers are silent as to where or how ShaykhMadar-e-Pak spent the duration between 256 AH to 259. However, some reliable biographers said that ShaykhMadar spent these years at different places outside Arabia engaging himself in different spiritual practices and at each place he found a perfect mentor to guide him by the will of Allah the Almighty. He kept on observing Riyazat till 259 AH when he heard an invisible caller instructing him to set off to Bait-ul-Maqaddas where Sultan-ul-ArifeenShaykhBayazeedBistami was waiting to grant him Khilafa and Khilat-the traditional cloak.

Journey to Bait-ul-Maqaddasand Achieving Khilafaand Ijaza:
Having heard the invisible caller, Shaykh set off to BaitulMaqaddas. The biographers have mentioned that ShaykhSultanulArifeenBayazeedBistami was waiting for him by the gate of Bait-ul-Maqaddas. ShaykhBistami was already informed that a man capable of bearing all the spiritual legacy he had was heading towards him. Meanwhile all eyes were set at the gate of the Mosque to see the awaited visitor, ShaykhBistami suddenly exclaimed, ‘See, the awaited visitor has arrived”. ShaykhMadar arrived between Zuhr and Asrsalah. After performing Asrsalah, ShaykhBayazeedBistami entered his residence with ShaykhMadar and they both had a long discussion on secret spiritual issues. They also discussed how the message of Islam should be conveyed to every corner of the world, how the disbelievers should be invited to believe in pure monotheism and the prophethood of the Messenger of Allah, what is the condition of the land and sea routes and so on until the time of Maghribsalah entered. Having performed the Maghrib prayer, Shaykh Sultan-ul-Arifeen called for ShaykhMadar-e-Pak again and entrusted him with all the spiritual legacy he had got from Imam JafarSadiq and other former and later spiritual personalities. While granting him Khilafa and Ijaza, ShaykhBistami instructed, ‘Badiuddin, now immediately leave for the holy places and set off to Haramain’.

Journey to Makkah and Madinah:
After obtaining Ijaza from his mentor ShaykhBayazeedBistami also known as TaifoorShami, ShaykhBadiuddin Ahmad set off to the holy city of Makkah. Having performed Hajj he was inspired that the time to achieve the goal and fulfill the hearty desires had come, that his grandfather the noble Messenger of Allah (SAWS) is waiting for him behind the green bars. He woke up with his heart filled with immense joy and overwhelmed with the desire to visit the blessed city of Madinah. So he headed towards Madinah, visited the holy tomb of the Messenger (SAWS) and offered salutations on his noble soul.

Spiritual Education:
By the end of the very night when the true dawn started illuminating the horizon, ShaykhBadiuddinQutbulMadar was blessed with the auspicious opportunity of seeing the beautiful face of the noble Prophet (SAWS). The Prophet (SAWS) wrapped his beloved grandson under the mantle of his mercy and handed him over to Mawla Ali (KarramallahuWajhahu) saying, ‘O Ali, take your beloved son, enlighten and train him in spirituality and bring him back to me when he achieves perfection’.

Prophetic Command to Convey Islam to Others:
When he became perfect in all the exoteric and esoteric sciences such as Kimiya (alchemy), Limiya (talismanic magic), Himiya (subjugation of souls), Simiya (letter magic/producing visions) and Rimiya (conjuration) and his heart was illuminated with the Prophetic Nisbat (spiritual link), he was instructed by the Messenger of Allah to leave for India and invite people to the way of Allah there.

Return to Homeland and Fulfilling the Command of the Prophet (SAWS):
He then hurried to his homeland, entered the locality called Chinar in Aleppo and thanked Allah the Almighty after visiting his parents. He told them what the beloved Prophet (SAWS) asked him to do. Hearing this, his parents said, ‘Dear son, we pray that the mercy of Allah reaches every corner of the world by your efforts’. He sought permission from his parents and left home to fulfill the duty he was entrusted by the Messenger of Allah (SAWS). With the permission of the noble Prophet (SAWS) and with utmost trust in Allah, he left for India alone without any helper or friend. He embarked upon a ship sailing to India in the year 281 AH. Throughout the voyage, he in the manner of the Awliya mentioned the virtues and noble qualities of the Prophet (SAWS) before his co-travelers and invited all the people on the ship to accept Islam. But the majority of the people on the ship were disbelievers. They showed negligence to his request and refused to embrace Islam. The Shaykh was heartbroken by their denial. It invoked the wrath of Allah. Suddenly a storm hit the sea and the ship was broken itno pieces. Then there appeared a plank floating on the water which the Shaykh sat on and crossed the sea with the help of Allah until he reached the shore of Malabar Khambat in twelve days.

The salty water of the sea decayed his dress and thirst and hunger weakened his body. In this state, he prayed to Allah to save him from thirst and hunger and his cloths from being untidy. His prayer was answered. He heard an invisible caller saying, ‘Badiuddin, follow me, someone is waiting for you’. He turned his eyes towards the voice and found Khizr (peace be upon him) before him. SayyidBadiuddin Ahmad Qutb-ul-Madar did as instructed by Khizr (peace be upon him) and they both headed to a certain destination.  They entered a big tunnel near the sea which led them to a beautiful garden where they saw a magnificent palace. In the courtyard of the palace there was a magnificent throne beaming in light upon which the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) was sitting. ShaykhMadar offered salutations to the Prophet (SAWS). The noble Messenger of Allah (SAWS) blessed him, fed him with heavenly food and drink and dressed him in heavenly garments with his own sacred hands. From that moment onward he never felt thirsty or hungry nor his garments ever got decayed or untidy. After that the Prophet (SAWS) touched his face. The miraculous touch of the Prophet (SAWS) brightened his face so much that people could not cast their gaze at him. Whoever saw him remembered Allah and prostrated. Therefore, he decided to cover his face under seven veils. A large number of people benefited from him in India. He spread Islam in a larger part of the country. Till 282, the year ShaikhBaiduddin arrived in India, no Muballigh had yetcome to India to convey the message of Allah with the sole purpose of inviting people to Islam in an organized manner. His arrival was like a spring for India. As a historical fact, Islam spread to far corners of the country within a short span of time. His services for the propagation of Islam defy description. In short, it is almost impossible for any historian or chronicler to cover all  the valuable services rendered by ShaykhMadar over a period as long as five hundred and fifty six years i.e. from 282 AH to 836 AH.

I dare claim with utmost confidence that whatever part of India you may visit, you will certainly find things witnessing the arrival of ShaykhZinda Shah Madar for the propagation of Islam in that area. It was him who spread the light of Islam in all the parts of India and paved the way for further propagation of Islam in the country. After that, the country witnessed arrival of thousands of Sufiya till tenth century of Islamic calendar andlinked the whole country with sufi tradition. The spread of Islam between 282 AH to the tenth century needs no mention. During this period, a large number of Awliya came to India and conveyed the message of Islam to each and every corner of the country.

From an historical angle and to the best of my knowledge, the Awliya whom the Indians owe the most are as follows:

  1. SayyidBadiuddinZinda Shah Madar
  2. ShaykhMoinuddinChishti
  3. ShaykhMakhdoomAshrafSimnani
  4. Shaykh Bu Ali Shah QalandarPanipati
  5. ShaykhMahboob-e-IlahiNizamuddinAwliya
  6. May Allah have mercy on them all!

The valuable services of these great Awliya cannot be described in words. Anyone familiar with the history of the Awliya in India must be aware of the fact that it was only ShaykhBadiuddin Ahmad Qutb-ul-Madar from among the group of Awliya in India who came to this country with a complete and systematic programme for the propagation of Islam. For the very reason, the reliable historians and people of knowledge duly called him the ‘First True Mentor’ and ‘Grand Mentor’.

Besides Indians, people from other countries also benefited from his spiritual personality. His beneficence runs like water in most of the Sufi chains. The reason is that ShaykhMadar is a Wali of such higher rank that he is close to the noble Prophet (SAWS) as compared to other founders of Sufi orders as manifest from the chains he is associated with. Referring to the very fact, the great scholar Shaykh Abdul HaqqMuhaddisDehlawi writes in his famous book “Akhbar-ul-Akhyar”:“The Owaisi chain either due to the long life (of its founder) or some other reason reaches to the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) with five or six links in between while some Madarians directly link themselves with the noble Prophet (SAWS).”

ShaykhMadar’s spiritual link reaches to the Messenger of Allah with five different chainsor orders namely Jafariyya, Tayfuriyya, Siddiqiyya, Mahdawiyya and Owaisyya.

Jafariyya Order:
HazratSayyidBadiuddin Ahmad Qutb-ul-Madar b. Sayyid Ali Halabi b. SayyidBahauddin b, SayyidZaheeruddin b. Sayyid Ahmad Ismail Sani b. Sayyid Muhammad b. Sayyid Ismail b. Sayyid Imam JafarSadiq b. Sayyid Imam ZainulAbideen b. Sayyid Imam Hussain b. SayyidunaMawla Ali and Sayyida Fatima Zahra daughter of the Messenger of Allah. May Allah have mercy and be pleased with them all!

Tayfuriyya Order:
HazratSayyidBadiuddin Shah Ahmad, HazratBayazeed Pak Bistami AKA TayfoorShami, HazratHabibAjami, HazratHasanBasri, HazratMawla Ali, the noble Messenger of Allah.

Siddiqiyya Order:
HazratSayyidBadiuddinZinda Shah Madar, HazratBayazeedBistami AKA TayfoorShami, HazratAinuddinShami, Hazrat Abdullah the flagbearer, Hazrat Abu BakrSiddiq, the Messenger of Allah (SAWS).

Mahdawiyya Order:
HazratSayyidBadiuddinShaykh Ahmad Zinda Shah Madar, holy spirit of Imam Mahdi of the last time, the beloved Prophet (SAWS).

Owaisiyya Order:
HazratSayyidBadiuddinZinda Shah Madar, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him).

It is written in the book ‘Mir’at-e-Madari’ that ShaykhMadarwas the first to introduce the Owaisyya order in India and let people benefit from it. In short, people from each class and in every part of the country benefited from the blessings of Islam through ShaykhMadar. One cannot name a single part of the country which he did not visit to communicate the message of Islam to others. It is not possible for me to give accounts of his visits to different provinces of India such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Bihar, Bengal, Kashmir etc because history lacks consistency while mentioning his travels. However, I would like to mention some places visited by him as history confirms.

When ShaykhBadiuddinQutb-ul-Madar came to Palanpur, the then king of the region Raja Balwan Singh along with some of his prominent officials accepted Islam. The Shaykh changed his name to Zorawar Khan in Persian. Raja Zorawar Khan built a number of Mosques in Palanpur. Then the caravan left for Ajmer where it stayed few days. After that, they visited different places such as Agra, Bharatpur, Bandikui, Jaipur, Tonk, Deoli(?) and Kota inviting people to Islam. The Shaykh then headed to KeshoraiPatanthough it was his second visit to the place. Passing by Karol, Shikohabad, Jaswant Nagar, Bharthana and some other places, ShaykhMadar made a stay of forty days at Kanchousi and then finally arrived at Makanpur in the year 818 AH. Strange things happened there before his arrivalsuch as voices coming from the river but things became normal after the Shaykh arrived. At last when Qutb-ul-Madar felt that he had fulfilled the commandment of the Prophet (SAWS) and that his duty was over, he announced his final departure. No sooner the news spread, people from all corners rushed to visit pay homage to him.

While returning from his last Hajj, SayyidunaBadiuddinQutb-ul-Madar brought three sons of Sayyid Abdullah ShamiHalabi, who was a descendant of one of his nephews from his real brother SayyidMahmududdinHalabi, along with him to India. The eldest among them was Qutb-ul-AqtabSayyid Abu Muhammad ArghoonMadari (ra) and the two others were Sayyid Abu TurabFansoor and SayyidAbulHasanTayfuriMadari (ra).

Heir of Qutb-ul-Madar:

Shaykh Abu Muhammad Arghoon (ra) – He was a prominent HasaniHussainiSayyid. His lineage goes back to Sayyiduna Imam Hussain from his father’s side while his family tree reaches to Imam Hasan from his mother’s side.He was eldest of the three brothers:

  1. Khwaja Abu Muhammad Arghoon (ra)
  2. Khwaja Sayyid Abu Turab Fansoor (ra)
  3. Khwaja Sayyid Abul Hasan Tayfoor (ra) S/O Khwaja Sayyid Abudullah S/O Khwaja Sayyid Kabiruddin S/O Khwaja Sayyid Wahiduddin S/O Khwaja Sayyid Yasin S/O Sayyid Muhammad S/O Khwaja Sayyid Muhammad Dawood S/O Sayyid Muhammad S/O Khwaja Sayyid Muhammad Ibrahim S/O Sayyid Muhammad S/o Khwaja Sayyid Muhammad Ishaq S/O Sayyid Abdur Razzaq S/O Khwaja Sayyid Nizamuddin S/O Khwaja Sayyid Abu Saeed S/O Khwaja Sayyid Muhammad S/O Khwaja Sayyid Muhammad Jafar S/OKhwaja Sayyid Mahmududdin brother of Hazrat Sayyid Badiuddin Qutb-ul-Madar Halabi Makanpuri(May Allah be pleased with them all!)

He was born on 1st of Rabi-ul-Awwal 783 AH in the Chinar town of Syria.

He studied at MadarasaIbrahimiyyaKhanqahBadiyyaMadariyya in Beirut. The institution was established by his grandfather AllamaKhwajaSayyid Ibrahim (ra), a notable scholar of his time and the then spiritual heir at the KhanqahMadariyya in Beirut.

Arrival in India:
By the end of the eighth Hijri century, SayyidBadiuddin Ahmad Qutb-ul-Madar left for Hijaz with the intention of performing Hajj. When he reached Makkah, the news spread in all corners. When the news reached the town of Chinar in Aleppo, Sayyid Abu Muhammad Arghoon expressed his desire to visit Qutb-ul-Madar before his father KhwajaSayyid Abdullah. Khwaja Abdullah set off to Makkah along with his all three sons and visited SayyidQutb-ul-Madar. ShaykhMadar saw signs of nobility in their faces and took Bayat from all the three princes in the courtyard of Haram and blessed them. He allowed them to accompany him during Hajj and in his visit to Madinah. After visiting Madinah, ShaykhMadar wanted to visit his homeland before leaving for India. Upon reaching Chinar in Aleppo, Qutb-ul-Madar asked the parents of the three sons to allow them to go to India along with him. Their parents happily accepted the proposal and after a short stay ShaykhMadar left for India along with all his three beloved grandsons. Passing by different provinces, they finally reached Lucknow. When the news of his arrival spread, people rushed to visit and seek blessings from him. During this very time, ShaykhMakhdoom Shah Mina (ra) was born. ShaykhMadar affirmed his Wilayat (saintliness). Blessing different places with his visit, Qutb-ul-Alam arrived in Jaunpur, made a short stay there and then headed to Lucnkow. In Lucknow, he sent his prayer mat (sajjadah) as benediction to Makhdoom Shah Mina through ShaykhShihabuddinParkalaAtish and announced his Qutbiyyat (the status of being a Qutab) in 818 AH. After that, Qutb-ul-Alamarrived in Makanpur which to upto that very time was an uninhabited jungle.

On day while ShaykhZinda Shah was sitting with his disciples, he said that he had decided to get KhwajahArghoon married and settled permanently in India because that is the will of Allah. Someone informed Khwaja Abu Muhammad Arghoon about it but he refused to marry. When ShaykhMadar came to know about his refusal, he called for him and said, ‘Dear son, it has been declaired by Allah that you and your younger brothers marry and continue the legacy. So, don’t refuse it.” ShaykhArghoon agreed. KhwajaSayyidJamaluddin Jan-e-man Jannati suggested that proposal should be sent for JannatunNisathe daughter SayyidAhmad of Jathar in the vicinity ofCopy? who belonged to a prominent Fatimifamily.Sayyid Ahmad Jathrawi felt honored in accepting the proposal. Thus, his marriage was conducted on 1stRabi-ul-Awwal 824 AH. Soon after that, marriages of his both younger brothers were also arranged.

Khilafat and successorship:
By then KhwajaSayyidArghoon was already granted Khilafat by Qutb-ul-Madar. Later HazratMadar declared him as his spiritual heir. One day Madar-e-Pak called for him, took his turban off his head, wrapped it around Shaykh Abu Muhammad Arghoon’s head and said, ‘Son, Wilayat is of two types: one that comes by birth and the second is spiritual. Khilafat (succession) by birth is related to parents. Everyone came to this world with this outer form of Khilafat but they must leave this when the time comes. On the other hand, Spiritual succession is connected with the spirit of the mentor. That is how we are connected to each other and this will continue till the Last Day. Being a descendent of my brother, you have an outer relationship with me too because offspring of one’s brother belongs to one as well. The glorious Qur’an says: “I followed the path of my forefathers Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq and Yaqoob.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) was a descendent of Ismail (peace be upon him) and not of Ishaq (peace be upon him). Since Ishaq and Ismail were brothers, Ishaq was also called a forefather. In the same way, you belong to me and will be my successor in matters of Shariat and Tariqat (the outer and inner aspects of religion). Before his demise, Qutb-ul-Madar addressed his disciples, ‘I have appointed Sayyid Muhammad Arghoon my successor. So take all these three sons of mine in my place and consult them whenever you face any difficulty. My spirit will be guiding you after my departure as I do while I am alive. Following demise of SayyidBadiuddin, all his Khulafa including Taj-ul-ArifeenKhwajaSayyidMahmududdinKanturi, KhwajaSayyidJamaluddin Jan-e-man Jannai, QaziMathar, KhwajaSayyidAbulHasanTayfoor, Qazi Ali Sherlahri, ShamsuddinHasan Arab and Meer RuknuddinHasan Arab unanimously accepted Qutb-ul-AqtabKhwajaSayyid Abu Muhammad Arghoon as the spiritual heir (Janasheen) of SayyidBadiuddin Ahmad Qutb-ul-Madar. After that, all the disciples individually gave their pledge of allegiance to him.

He spent all his life in obedience to Allah and his Messenger (peace be upon him), performed spiritual practices and helped people to purify their hearts. Whether awake or asleep, he always engaged himself in the remembrance of Allah.

He left for his heavenly abode on 6thof JumadalAkhir 891 AC. His grave is adjunct to the shrine of SayyidBadiuddinZinda Shah Madar and is frequently visited by people.

KhwajaSayyidAbulFaiz Muhammad, Sajjada-nasheenKhwajaSayyidMahmood, KhwahaSayyidDawood, KhwajaSayyid Ismail and KhwajaSayyidHamidMahamid. May Allah grant them all His mercy and pleasure!

Spiritual Successors (Khulafa):
The Leader of the Madarian Order Sultan-ul-Awliya Sayyid Abul Fa’iz Muhammad, the Master of the Saints KhwajaS ayyid Mahmood, Shah Sayyid Hussain Sirhindi, Shaykh Saifuddin, Khwaja Muhammad, Shaykh-e-Kamil Shah Wasil, Shah Qamruddin, Shaykh Kamaluddinibn Shaykh Sulaiman Madari, Shah Obaidullah, Peer Ghulam Ali Shah. May Allah grant them His pleasure!

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