Hasan Ukhra Syed Mohammad Azeem Barkhiya, known as Qalander Baba Auliya is the founder of the Azeemia Spiritual Order.
Definition of a Qalander: A Qalander is a person whose perceptive faculties go beyond the physical realm. He ascends from the material realm to the heights where he witnesses the Divine Unity. This is the zone of Taqveen or the Divine Administration. The Qalander experiences the ecstasy and joy of the nearness of the Creator (Whole). Thus he perceives the whole Truth. Such persons are called the friends of God. The Qalander can free himself from the grip of time and space. All creatures become subservient to them. Since the Qalander is connected with the Divine Being, they are perfected beings. They do not experience negative desires of greed, power and control. They have the conduct of the prophets and serve humanity according to the Divine Will. ‘Hasan Ukhra’ is the Title granted by the Prophet Mohammed (SAW). ‘Mohammed Azeem’ is the name given by his parents. The Azeemia Spiritual Order or Silsila-e-Azeemia is named after him. ‘Burkhiya’ is the pen name, which he used as a poet. ‘Qalander Baba Auliya’ is the alias with which most of the people are familiar. The terrestrial and celestial angels know and address him using this title.
BIRTH: Qalander Baba Auliya was born in Khorja, Buland Sheher, which is in the U.P. province of India in 1898.
EDUCATION: Qalander Baba Auliya received his primary and religious education in a local school. He went to high school in Buland Sheher. After completing his education in high school, he went to Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh, now in India. During his stay in Aligarh, Qalander 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 Baba Auliya Nagpuri. 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, Qalander 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. Qalander 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.
FAMILY: Qalander Baba’s mother died leaving six children; one sister was older and all others were younger to him. Tajuddin Baba advised him to get married. He married the daughter of one of the followers of Tajuddin Baba Auliya in Delhi. In 1947, during the partition of India and Pakistan, Qalander 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. Qalander 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 organized 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.
OCCUPATION: 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.
INITIATION: In 1956, the then Master of the Sohrwardi Order, Hazrat Abul Faiz Qalander Ali Sohrwardi visited Karachi. Qalander Baba Auliya went for an audience with him and requested to be initiated. Hazrat 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 Hazrat Abul Faiz opened the door and asked him to come inside. He instructed Qalander Baba to sit in front of him and then he blew on Qalander 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. Hazrat Abul Faiz Qalandar Ali Soharwardi imparted spiritual training to him in three weeks time. After that, Qalander 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 and to be benefited with the teachings of His Divine Grace Qalander Baba Auliya, following three books have been inherited by Silsela-e-Azeemia. 1- Loh-o-Qalum (Pen and the Scripturum) A treasure of divine knowledge of mysteries and secrets of nature. 2- Rubaiyat-e-Qalander Baba Auliya a valued collection of enlightening mystic verses. 3- Tazkira-e-Tajuddin Baba (Blessed be he) An authentic work of metaphysical sciences and scientific interpretations of divinations and wonder-workings performed by spiritual people. Additionally, Qalander Baba Auliya left countless maps and diagrams of the visible and invisible realms. He also started the publication of the monthly magazine called Roohani Digest. He also formed a Trust called The Azeemia Trust. The Trust acquired land and constructed a mausoleum over his eternal place of resting in Shadman Town, North Karachi. Time favors you or not Bewail not Don’t relume that have passed away Waste not The few breaths that have been Granted to you (Qalander Baba Auliya) Possessor of Insinuated Knowledge, knower of the secrets of the Command ‘Be’ and its implementations, Proclaimer of reality, His Divine Grace Qalander Baba Auliya was a man of signs and wonders but by nature he was a very cautious person and avoided performance of wonder-workings (karamat). But despite his careful attitude many wonder working took place by him. Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi wrote these wonder-workings in his book “Tazkara Qalander Baba Auliya (R.U.A)”.
WONDER WORKINGS 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 eggs 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, Qalander 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 apologized for my indecorous behavior. 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 His Divine Grace Qalander Baba Auliya. Those who have been close to Baba Jee 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. I think she was sixteen or seventeen at that time.
Spiritual Healing of Tumor: Once a lady visited His Divine grace Qalander 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 Qalander 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.
URS (Death Anniversary): Qalander Baba Auliya died on 27th 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 organized sessions of meditation under the instruction of the present Master of Silsila Azeemia; Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi. Qalander Baba Auliya left a widow, two sons and two daughters.