(Last Updated on : 21/07/2020)
Shaikh Ahmad al-Faruqi was the successor of the great Sufi saint of the Naqshbandi Order
, Baqi Billah. He was born in the year 971 Hijri, in the village of Sarhind in India. He received his education through his father and through many other Shaikhs of his time. At the young age of seventeen years, he had been educated enough and authorized to train followers in all the three Tariqats: Suhrawardia, Qadiria, and Chishtia. Even though he had proved himself completely capable and was training his followers at the time, yet he felt that something was missing in him. He was constantly in search of this missing something. During this time he felt an interest in the Naqshbandi Order of Sufism. His spiritual quest eventually brought him to the presence of Shaikh Muhammad al-Baqi Billah, who had come for this purpose to India from Samarqand by the order of his Shaikh, Muhammad al-Amkanaki. He took the Naqshbandi Order from Baqi Billah and stayed with him for a little over two months, until Baqi Billah bestowed on him the divine knowledge that he had in his heart and gave him authorization to train his disciples in the Order.
It is said of Shaikh Ahmad al-Faruqi that the Prophet predicted his advent in one of his Hadith. He has described one of his great experiences in his book and has named it as 'Dayra Gazab Ilahi' or the vision of the 'God in All Encompassing Form'. In this he has described at length various appearances of the Almighty, including the furious and the alluring ones. Thereafter Shaikh Ahmad al-Faruqi has described in detail the journey further up from this vision and has mentioned, 'I travelled to the highest destination, which is beyond description, for which I am profoundly thankful to the God.' Shaikh Ahmad al-Faruqi mentioned that the Heavenly Guardians facilitated for him passage through time and space.
He came to understand that God was the essence of all matter and the presence of God in all matter without incarnation. Then he came to realise God together with all matter, God ahead of everything and thereafter following everything. Finally he reached a state where he saw God and nothing else. This is what he said to be witnessing the Oneness, which is also the state of Annihilation (Fana). Then he was lifted to the state of Subsistence ('Baqa'), which is the second step in Sainthood after Fana. Shaikh Ahmad al-Faruqi described that in the state of Subsistence he realised that the essence of all creations is the God and His essence is the Essence of Myself. He was lifted to the state of Annihilation, and then to the state of Existence, then he was brought back to be with people, in the Station of the common people. This he described to be the highest state in guiding people to the Presence of God, as it matches the understanding of human beings.
Shaikh Ahmad al-Faruqi said that with the grace of his Master Shaikh Muhammad al-Baqi Billah he received incredible blessings, and by his blessing he was granted a power of attraction that allowed him to reach every human being that the Almighty had created. He mentioned attaining a state that combines the state of the Ending with the state of the Beginning and of achieving all the states of Seeding and the Ending. With the support of the great Masters he was raised further up to the state of the Throne, then to the state of Beauty and to the state of the Greatest Spiritual Poles (al-qutubiyyati-i-cuzma). Shaikh Ahmad al-Faruqi said that the Almighty's Heavenly Care then attracted him to ascend to a State that is beyond that of the Qutubs, the Special Original State. Here the support of great Master Abdul Qadir Jilani pushed him up to the State of the Origin of Origins. Then he was ordered to come back down, and as he descended he passed by all the Sufi Tariqats other than the Naqshbandia and the Qadiria. The Shaikhs of these Orders threw on him all their treasures of divine knowledge, which unveiled to him realities, which had never been unveiled to any person in his time.
The science of subtle centres (spiritual Chakras) is the loci of the Naqshbandi way of practice. It is the path leading straight towards the goal that avoids undue hardship and risk of going astray. Shaikh Ahmad al-Faruqi was one of the greatest exponents of this science, better known as Ilm-e-Lataif.
A lot of miracles are associated with him. It is said that once in the month of Ramzan, he was invited by ten of his followers. He accepted the invitation of each of them. At the time of breaking the fast, he was present at each of their houses simultaneously breaking fast with them. Many of the courtiers of the Mughal emperor Jahangir were his disciples. He was opposed to heretical teachings that had crept in the then Muslim society and tries to restore Sunni Islam to its unspoiled condition. The Shia Muslims prejudiced Emperor Jahangir
against him and persuaded him till he put Shaikh Ahmad in jail. Shaikh Ahmad remained in prison for three years. His son, Shaikh Sayyid, used to say that although Shaikh Ahmad was put under very strict security in the jail, yet on every Friday he was seen in the mosque. In spite of reinforcing the security, he would disappear from prison and appear in the mosque. His disciples were enraged on his imprisonment and wanted to revolt against the emperor but Shaikh Ahmad asked them to refrain from doing so. The conduct of Shaikh Ahmad convinced Emperor Jahangir of his saintly character, so much so that the Emperor himself became a disciple of Shaikh Ahmad. Shaikh Ahmad al-Faruqi died in 1624 AD.