(Last Updated on : 12/08/2010)
Maulana Fazl Ahmad Khan, also known as Hujur Maharaj, was a Sufi saint of the Naqshbandi Order
. He was sixth in the line of succession from Mirza Zanzana in the Naqshbandi Order. Through his spiritual awareness and liberal religious approach, he made the practice of the Sufi way extremely simple. He was able to bestow the priceless spiritual knowledge of Naqshbandi Order to all, including non-Muslims, without conversion i.e. without accepting Islam
. He distinguished the religion (the outer or the material form of religion) from spirituality and held that for gaining spirituality religion is no bar.
Hujur Maharaj was born in 1857 at Raipur in Farrukhabad district
, Uttar Pradesh
. His father was Shaikh Gulam Hussain, who himself was a Master in the Order of the great Sufi Saint Maulana Waliuddin of Kashmir. His mother too had been initiated into the Naqshbandi order of Sufism. Hujur Maharaj's parents were great saints and true human beings. It is, therefore, no wonder that a person like Maulana Fazl Ahmad Khan took birth in their family, which ushered in a new era of religious and communal harmony and brought about a spiritual revolution. Hujur Maharaj spent most of his time in Raipur except for a few years when he served in Farrukhabad. He lived a very simple and pious life. He was very kind hearted and had no prejudice against any religion or caste. Persons from all classes and belonging to all religions including Hindu, Muslim and Christians used to visit him.
Hujur Maharaj was among the first people who spread the Sufi way of life and spiritual practice amongst the Hindus without any discrimination. He was completely free from religious prejudices and never participated in any religious debates or disputes, nor did he ever criticise any religion. If someone criticized any religion in front of him, he would leave that place. He pronounced that religions are many but their essence is one i.e. to gain spirituality. One should follow the dictates of one's religion but should not be guided by religious prejudices. The social or religious rituals do not bind spiritual life. If any Hindu suggested that he would convert and adopt Islam, he used to feel very upset. He disapproved of conversion, rejecting it outright. He used to say that everyone must observe the discipline of one's religion. Among the many disciples that he accepted, he declared Mahatma Ram Chandraji as his successor. This is a unique example of a Muslim Sufi giving away his entire spiritual treasure to a Hindu without conversion.
Hujur Maharaj did not accept offerings or allow anyone to touch his feet. Instead he himself often comforted his disciples by looking after their requirements so much so that many a times he would press the legs of his tired disciples. Often for days together his family lived on scanty food or with no food at all. Even then if he received some money from someone, he would distribute it to others. Hujur Maharaj had a strange habit. Even when he had some money with him, he used to take loan from others. Once, one of the Satsangis asked him the reason for his doing so. Hujur Maharaj answered, 'By doing so I not only remain grateful to the person from whom I have taken the loan but it also helps me in not having a feeling of pride of not being a debtor.'
Hujur Maharaj spent most of his time in meditation. He proceeded to his heavenly abode on 30 November 1907. His mausoleum is situated in Raipur.