Ahmed Ullah Maizbhanderi
Ahmed Ullah Maizbhanderi
Universal Sufi Saint
c. 15 January 1826
Maizbhandar, Chittagong, Bangladesh
|Died||23 January 1906
Maizbhandar, Chittagong, Bangladesh
Cause of death
|Due to old age|
|Shrine of Ahmed Ullah Maizbhanderi, Chittagong, Bangladesh|
|Other names||Ghaus-e-Azam, Hadrath Kebla, Gausul Azam Maizbhanderi, Bor Moulana, Faqir Moulovi, Khatemul Olad, Shaie-e-Lillah and Ahmed Ullah Rahmathullah Alai|
|Known for||Maizbhanderi Sufi Order|
|Children||Syed Faizul Haque|
|Parent(s)||Father: Mohammed Matiullah
Mother: Bibi Khairun Nesa
Ahmed Ullah Maizbhanderi Bengali: ছৈয়দ আহমদ উল্লাহ মাইজভাণ্ডারী (কঃ) (1826- 1906) was the founder of the Maizbhanderi Sufi Order. Ahmed Ullah as a Universal Sufi Saint, Pir (Sufism) Auliya (awlia) gained the title as Gausul Azam Moulana Syed Ahmed Ullah Maizbhanderi Kebla Kaba (K.A.)[clarification needed] or Ghaus-e-Azam. He is a descendant of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. He is also known as Hadrath Kebla, Gausul Azam Maizbhanderi, Bor Moulana (a title which in the local language means; "the senior scholar"), Faqir Moulovi, Khatemul Olad and Shaie-e-Lillah. Gausul Azam Maizbhanderi is his common name. Maizbhandar is the name of his native village where he was born and buried. His newly built shrine, according to the numeric events of his livelihood, is a modern architectural structure. It is 40 km (25 miles) from the city center of Chittagong. Hazrats' shrine is open for people of all classes, sects and religions.
Ahmed Ullah Maizbhandari was born on January 15, 1826, corresponding to Magh 1, 1233 of the Bengali calendar year. Sufi scholar Mohiuddin Ibn Arabi was said to have predicted the birth of Ahamed Ullah Maizbhanderi, 586 years earlier.
Maizbhandari spent his childhood in his native district of Chittagong. After finishing his secondary education, he was admitted to Calcutta Alia Madrasha (Aliah University) of British India, for his higher studies in Islamic religion and philosophy.
After completing his studies, Ahmed Ullah Maizbhandari was appointed as the sessions Judge (i.e. judge for the administration of criminal justice, widely known as kazi) of Jessore, which is now a district of Bangladesh. However, a year later; he resigned from the judiciary post and started teaching in calcutta alia madrasa ( Arabic translation of school) and at a religious college of munsi bo'ali in Calcutta. Along with this pursue, he was engaged in preaching religious teachings of Islam among people and addressing public in religious gatherings.
Ahmed Ullah Maizbhandari became influenced by the spiritual teaching of Abu Shahama Mohammed Saleh Al-Qaderi Lahori, a Sufi sheikh and of a Sufi lineage. He initiated a (Bay'ah) (Arabic for 'promise') to him as a Sufi disciple and later became appointed as his Sufi Order successor (a khalifa). Abu Shahama Mohammed Saleh Al-Qaderi Lahori recommended him to go to another Sufi, Saint Delwar Ali Pakbaz. He then returned home from Calcutta.
Ahmed Ullah Maizbhandari married at the age of 32, and his only son was Faizul Haque Maizbhandari. Two of his Khalifas were from his own family; both Aminul Haque Maizbhandari and Golamur Rahman Maizbhandari were his nephews.
The term 'khalifa' means a deputy, caliph, successor or apostle  of a Sufi sheikh. The Khalifa is to act as an authorized successor of own Sufi Master or Pir (Sufism). Though, as the founder of (Maizbhanderi Sufi Order), the universal Sufi sheikh Ahmed Ullah Maizbhanderi had millions of followers, affectionate and Sufi disciples (Murid) in South Asia and all over the world. He also appointed hundreds of khalifas to continue his Sufi teachings and thoughts among people. Among others khalifa his nephew and chief khalifa was Gausul-Azam Hazarat Syed Golamur Rahman(Baba Bhandari) took this order to its pinnacle height in terms of manifestation.Other Khalifas were from different places and religions too. It is thought that, some of them remain un-identified until today as they moved away to different parts of the region, desiring to remain unknown due to their personal requests and desire to which they kept themselves engaged in introspective thoughts and practices. For the first time, a list of his successors was published by one of his descendants, Delwar Hossain Maizbhanderi, in his famous work Gausul Azam Maizbhandarir Jiboni O Karamat (Life sketch of Hazrat Kebla Kaba). In that book, the author expressed his sorrow for such an incomplete list. Meanwhile, many among those of his khalifas became famous later on in society for their works and Sufi activities. As a way to continue what Delwar Hossain Maizbhanderi began, that list was published two more times; once in Noxar Shondhane, the preface of Rahe Bhander Sufi Order as a descending followers apart of the Maizbhanderi Sufi Order and also on occasion of the 100th Disappearance Anniversary of Ahmed Ullah Maizbhanderi. Here, a successors' list of Ahmed Ullah Maizbhanderi is being written, following all those and other published lists.
Death and legacy
He died on January 23, 1906, which corresponded to Magh 10, 1313 of the Bengali calendar. He was aged 80.
He was entombed in a shrine beside a pond near his house. The shrine has been re-built in a more modern design to include others from his family and followers.
Gausul Azam Moulana Ahmed Ullah Maizbhanderi succeeded the spiritual chain of Abu Shahama Mohammed Saleh Al-Qaderi Lahori and appointed hundreds of successors. Some of his successors began teaching their individual Sufi thoughts and practices as they sought to be recognized as a newer Sufi Order.
- Dr. Alan Godlas, University of Georgia. "Sufism -- Sufis -- Sufi Orders/ Sufism's Many Paths".
- "Benglali News Media: The Daily Azadi, Title: The ORS Festival of Gaus-e-Azam Maizbhanderi since today, Published on: January 21, 2014, Last page, 3rd column".
- "Maulana, The Free Dictionary by Farlex".
- "the Daily Star: Madrasa education in a modern society". (Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of India (1773 to 1784), responded to this need by establishing the Alia Madrasa).
- "Khalifa, Free Online Dictionary".