Qalandar Baba Auliya

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Syed Muhammad Azeem Barkhiyya
Died27 January 1979
Karachi, Pakistan
EraModern era
RegionIslamic philosophy
Main interests
Sufism, Islamic studies
Notable ideas
Silsila-i-Azeemiyya, evolution of Sufism

Qalandar Baba Auliya (Urdu: قلندر با با اولیا‎) is the title of the Sufi mystic Muhammad Azeem Barkhiyya (1898 – 27 January 1979), the founder of the Azeemiyya order of Sufis. He was given the honorifics Abdal-i-Haq and Hasn-e-Ukhra.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Qalandar Baba Auliya was born in Khorja, Bulandshahr, which is in the U.P. province of India in 1898.

Qalandar Baba Auliya received his primary and religious education in a local school. He went to high school in Bulandshahr. After completing his education in high school, he went to Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, now in India.

During his stay in Aligarh, Qalandar Baba Auliya became inclined towards learning spirituality. He spent a lot of time at the tomb of the Sufi Maulana Kabuli. It was in those times, when he went to visit his maternal grand father, Tajuddin Muhammad Badruddin. Teacher of the teachers, Knower of Divine Secrets, Baba Tajuddin instructed his grand son to stay with him in Nagpur for Spiritual training. Upon learning his son's intention to learn spiritual knowledge, Qalandar Baba's father came to Nagpur to persuade his son to complete his academic education. Baba Tajuddin replied to his father that if he would receive academic education any more, he would not be useful to him. His father left his son to his own liking.

Qalandar Baba Auliya stayed with Tajuddin Baba Auliya, whom he called grandfather (Nana), for nine years. During this time, he received his spiritual training from him in an arduous manner.


When Qalandar Baba's mother died, she left behind six children- of whom he was the second oldest, only to his elder sister. Tajuddin Baba advised him to get married. He married the daughter of one of the followers of Tajuddin Baba Auliya in Delhi. In 1947, independence of Pakistan, Qalandar Baba Auliya migrated to Karachi in Pakistan with his father, siblings and his family. He rented an old house near Lee Market. The Commissioner for Rehabilitation, who was also one of the followers of Tajuddin Baba, requested him to lodge an application with him so that he could be allocate a house to him. He did not take any notice of his suggestion and continued to reside in a rented premise.

Qalandar Baba seldom washed his hands with soap. He washed his hands with lukewarm water until all traces of grease were removed. He was very meticulous and organised in his day-to-day life. He did not sleep for more than two to three hours. He went through phases of silence and spiritual ecstasy and selflessness.


After marriage, Qalander Baba settled in Delhi. He became a freelance journalist for different newspapers and magazines. He also proofread and corrected the works of the contemporary poets. People who were interested in Tassuvuf (spiritual knowledge or Sufism) approached him and held discussions with him on the subject.

After migrating to Karachi he opted repairing of domestic electrical appliances till he had the job as the sub editor of the daily newspaper Dawn. He also worked for the monthly Naqqad for some time. He edited many magazines, and also published many stories in serial form.


In 1956 the then master of the Suhrawardiyya Order, Abul Faiz Qalandar Ali Suhrawardi visited Karachi. Qalander Baba Auliya went for an audience with him and requested to be initiated. Abul Faiz asked him to come at 3 O' clock in the morning. In the bitter cold of the early morning, he sat on the steps of the Grand Hotel on McLeod Road, Karachi; exactly at 3 O' clock Abul Faiz opened the door and asked him to come inside. He instructed Qalandar Baba to sit in front of him and then he blew on Qalandar Baba's forehead 3 times. With the first breath the realm of spirits was revealed. With the second blowing of the breath, angels and the Divine Attributes was revealed and with the third breath the highest realm was revealed to him. Abul Faiz Qalandar Ali Soharwardi imparted spiritual training to him in three weeks time.

After that Qalandar Baba's spiritual training was taken over by the soul of Sheikh Najmuddin Kubra. When the training was completed He transferred the spiritual knowledge to him and presented him to the Divine Presence of God.

During this period Qalander Baba Aulia did not sleep for ten days and nights. He prayed and chanted the holy verses all the time.

To spread the teachings of Qalandar Baba Auliya, three books have been written by Silsela-e-Azeemia.

  • Loh-o-Qalum (Pen and the Scripturum), A treasure of divine knowledge of mysteries and secrets of nature.
  • Rubaiyat-e-Qalander Baba Auliya, a collection of mystic verses.
  • Tazkira-e-Tajuddin Baba (Blessed be he), A work of metaphysical sciences and scientific interpretations of divinations and wonder-workings performed by spiritual people.

Additionally, Qalandar Baba Auliya left maps and diagrams of the visible and invisible realms. He started the publication of the monthly magazine called Roohani Digest, and formed a trust called The Azeemiyya Trust. The trust acquired land and constructed a mausoleum over his resting place in Shadman Town, North Karachi.


Pigeon that came to life: I loved pigeons and pigeon keeping was my hobby. Once a dove joined the flock of pigeons and started living with them. The dove was crossed with one of the pigeons. When she laid and the chicks hatched out they were extraordinary pretty. They had black wings. Rest of the body was pure white. They were so attractive that every one would praise them for their beauty. One day, one of these pigeons fell prey to a cat. I chased the cat. By the time I reached the cat on the roof, the cat had killed the pigeon and was busy in devouring on the prey. Tears came to my eyes with grief and anger. In that state of shock I came to His Divine Grace Qalander Baba Auliya and in a very hurt tone told him that the cat killed my pigeon, which I adored the most. He calmly commented, "It happens so."

I feeling grieved even more, said, "I am at loss to understand that how a cat could dare to prey on my pigeon in your presence," I was quite desperate, I went to the kitchen with a heavy heart. His divine Grace, Qalandar Baba Auliya called out my name twice. Grief and anger had made me arrogant and I ignored his calls. When I came out of the kitchen, I saw my pigeon pecking in the compound. I couldn't believe my eyes. I ran upstairs and found feathers and blood spots on the roof. I felt ashamed of myself. Came down and fell on the feet of His Divine Grace and apologised for my indecorous behaviour. Before evening I distributed all the pigeons to my friends and decided to stay away from the hobby.

Deaf and Dumb Girl: A born deaf and dumb girl was brought to Qalandear Baba Auliya. Those who have been close to Babaji know it well that he was a very cautious person by nature and avoided any performance of wonder working. God knows in what state he was at that time. He addressed the girl and asked her name. The dumb girl naturally remained mute. He asked her again. Now this time more commandingly "Tell, what is your name?" She kept staring in silence. Now he was angry he lifted his hand as if to hit her and said in an enraged tone, "Tell what is your name?"

And to the surprise of all those who were there, she uttered her name and started speaking normally thereafter. She was sixteen or seventeen at that time.

Spiritual Healing of Tumor: Once a lady visited Qalandar Baba Auliya and told him that there was a tumor preventing her to bear children. She said, "I am otherwise a contented person but due to my inability to bear children my husband is insisting on for second marriage."

And, after saying this all she started crying desperately in sobs. In that fit of crying she drew near to Qalandar Baba Auliya and placed her head on his chest. Tears not only soaked the shirt but affected his heart as well. Getting up, he told her to lie down straight. Recited something and blew upon his index finger and made a cross where the tumor was supposed to be. When the doctors tested her they found that tumor was no more there. Allah, the most exalted also blessed her with children after that.


Qalandar Baba Auliya died on 27 January 1979 in Karachi. Every year on this date his Urs is celebrated which is attended by thousands of people from all over the country and abroad. During Urs many seminars and workshops are held. There are organised sessions of meditation under the instruction of the present Master of Silsila Azeemiyya; Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi.

Qalandar Baba Auliya left a widow, two sons and two daughters.

One week before his death he told his disciples and friends; "I am a guest here for a maximum of one week". He appointed Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi head of the order of the Azeemia and died, on 27 January 1979. His tomb is in the Shadman Town subdivision of Karachi.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Qalandar Baba Auliya". Archived from the original on 11 August 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. ^ sufi Archived 9 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine

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