Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki

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Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (December 31, 1817 – October 18, 1899)[1] was a South Asian Muslim scholar and a saint in Chishti Sufism.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Haji Imdadullah Muhaajir Makki was born in Nanauta, a town in the district of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, India on December 31, 1817. His name, "Imdadullah", means "Assistance of Allah". He was a Faruqi or a descendant of 'Umar Faruq. He had three brothers; Zulfiqar and Fida Husain were older than he was, while Bahadur Ali Shah was younger. He also had a younger sister, Bi Wazirunnisa. When he was born, he was named "Imdad Husain". However, when the muhaddith Shah Muhammad Ishaq heard this name, he disliked it and advised that it be changed to "Imdadullah". He also attributed the names "Khuda Baksh" and "'Abdul Karim" to himself. At the age of three, he was sent to Sayyid Ahmad Shahid, who bestowed upon him the blessing of tabarruk.

When Imdadullah was seven years old, his mother, Bibi Haseeni, died. She left behind a will that stated: "Honour this will of mine; no one should touch my child". The will was strictly observed, and Imdadullah's education did not receive much attention. However, he yearned to memorize the Quran, and he did so without outside encouragement, completing the task at the age of twenty-three. At the age of nine, he accompanied Moulana Mamluk 'Ali to Delhi. There, he studied the syntax and grammar of Arabic, along with Persian. He then studied Mishkatul Masabih under Muhammad Qalandar Muhaddith Jalalabadi and 'Hisnul 'Hasin and Fiqh Al Akbar under Moulana Abdur Rahim Nanautvi. He also studied Rumi's poem Mathnawi-i Ma’nawi under Shah Abdur Razzaq

Religious work and travels[edit]

At the age of eighteen, his bay'at was accepted by Shaikh Moulana Nasiruddin Naqshbandi, from whom he learned the various adhkar of the Naqshbandi spiritual lineage. After only a few days with his teacher, he was given the mantle of khilafah.[clarification needed] Thereafter, he saw Muhammad in a dream. It was on the basis of this dream that he sought for Mianji to accept his bay'at, which Mianji did. After only a few days, the mantle of khilafah was conferred on him once again. After the death of Mianji, Imadadullah became reclusive, developing a fear and detestation of people. He withdrew himself from the midst of people and wandered in the wilderness of Punjab. He would refrain from eating for up to eight days.

After wandering in the wilderness for six months, in 1260 AH, Imadadullah again saw Muhammad in a dream. In this dream, Muhammad said: "Come to us". Thus, he was overcome by a strong urge to travel to Medina. On December 7, 1845, he arrived at Bandares. From there, he departed for Arafaat. When he reached Mecca, he had much difficulty. For nine days, he had no food at all. He only lived on Zamzam water. He became extremely weak. On the tenth day, he requested help, but no one assisted him, until one person gave him 100 riyals. From that month on, every month of his life, he would receive 100 riyals. He was never again in need of money.

After the completion of his hajj, Imadadullah remained with Shah Ishaq Muhajir Makki and others, deriving spiritual benefit from them. Shah informed him that, after his pilgrimage to Medina, he should return to India. Sayyid Qudratullah Banarasi Makki sent several of his murids to accompany him to Medina. After visiting Muhammad's grave, he derived the faidh of Medina. While in Medina, he expressed his desire to remain there to Shah Ghulam Murtaza Jhanjhaanwi Madani, who advised him to be patient for a while. After a few days, he returned to Mecca, where he remained for a few days before returning to India.

After Imadadullah's return to India, people started to insist that he accept their bay'at, but he humbly refused. He only began accepting these petitions when he became convinced that it was God's will. Even as he went through the process of bay'at, his yearning to immigrate increased daily. Then, the Mutiny of 1857 occurred. In the aftermath of this upheaval, he bid farewell forever to India. He left via Punjab, visiting the graves of the saints in Hyderabad en route. Thereafter, he embarked from Karachi for Mecca. Imdadullah remained at the ribat of Seth Isma'il on Mount Safa for some time. He passed most of his time in solitude and muraaqabah (meditation) and did not associate much with the inhabitants of Mecca. However, during the hajj, he would remain in public, complying with the wishes of devotees from India to meet him.

Believing that the sunnah obligated him to marry, Imadadullah wed Bi Khadija on February 6, 1866. In 1294 AH, his attendants, after considerable insistence, purchased a house in Haarratul Bab for them.


Haji Imdadullah was a Sunni in beliefs. He give his Khilafat to his esteemed mureeds ,among them famous were the Allama Abdus Sami Rampuri ,Rehmatullah Kiyanvi , Ashraf Ali Thanvi , Qasim Nanotvi and Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi.


Imadadullah was of frail physical stature because of mujaahadaat, riyaadhaat, and lack of food and sleep. In his last years, his body deteriorated to such an extent that, towards his death, it became difficult for him to even turn onto his side. He died at the time of Fajr Adhan on Wednesday, October 18, 1899 at the age of eighty-one. He is buried in Jannatul Ma'laa in Mecca. He left behind a stick, two sets of winter clothes, and two sets of summer clothes. In his lifetime he received the bay'at of approximately 500 ulama.

Written works[edit]

The following are the most renowned of his works:

  • 'Hashiya Mathnavi Moulana Rumi: This is an annotation in Persian on the Mathnawi-i Ma’nawi by Rumi. During Imadadullah's lifetime, only two parts could be printed. The remainder was printed after his death.
  • Ghiza-e-Ruh (The Nourishment of the Soul): Imadadullah wrote this book in 1264 AH. Mianji Nur Muhammad is also discussed. It consists of 1600 verses of poetry.
  • Ikleelul Quran (Tafseer Quran in Arabi). First Published in Bahraich by Taj Offcet Press formly Aqeel Press NazirPura Bahraich
  • Jihad-e-Akbar (The Greater Jihad): He composed this book in 1268 AH. It is a poetic work in Persian that he translated it into Urdu. It consists of 17 pages with 679 verses.
  • Mathnavi Tuhfatul Ushshaq (Mathnavi – A Gift for Lovers): This consists of 1324 poetic verses and was compiled in 1281 AH.
  • Risala Dard Ghamnak (The Treatise of Painful Sorrow): It consists of 5 pages with 175 verses.
  • Irshad-e-Murshid (The Directive of the Murshid): This book deals with wadha'if, muraaqabaat, aurad, and shajaraat of the four silsilas. It was written in 1293 AH.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scott A. Kugle, Sufis and Saints' Bodies, p 222. ISBN 0807872776
  2. ^ Scott A. Kugle, Sufis and Saints' Bodies, p 223. ISBN 0807872776
  3. ^ Sherali Tareen (Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster, Pennsylvania), Haji Imdadullah’s Hermeneutics of Reconciliation, p 3.