Khwaja Moeenudeen Hassan Ajmeri Gharib Nawaaz as a Preacher
ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِين
(Oh Beloved Prophet!) Call to the way of your Rabb (Sustainer) with wisdom and good advice and argue with them in a way that is best. Surely your Rabb (Sustainer) knows well who has strayed from his way and he knows well those who are steadfast. (Surah Nahl Chapter 16 Verse 125).
Allamah Ibn Katheer states:
يقول تعالى آمرا رسوله محمدا – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أن يدعو الخلق إلى الله ) بالحكمة )
Allah has revealed this verse commanding his Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, to call Allah’s creation to him with wisdom.
قال ابن جرير : وهو ما أنزله عليه من الكتاب والسنة ( والموعظة الحسنة ) أي : بما فيه من الزواجر والوقائع بالناس ذكرهم بها ؛ ليحذروا بأس الله تعالى .
Imam Ibn Jareer at Tabri states: “It is from amongst the many things which Allah revealed upon his Prophet, like Allah has revealed the Book (Quran) and Sunnah, so has Allah revealed wisdom and a good way of speech. In other words even those incidents found of him being seemingly harsh in reprimanding people, it was only to warn people from the wrath of Allah.
وقوله : ( وجادلهم بالتي هي أحسن ) أي : من احتاج منهم إلى مناظرة وجدال ، فليكن بالوجه الحسن برفق ولين وحسن خطاب ، كما قال : ( ولا تجادلوا أهل الكتاب إلا بالتي هي أحسن إلا الذين ظلموا منهم ) [ العنكبوت : 46 ] فأمره تعالى بلين الجانب ، كما أمر موسى وهارون – عليهما السلام – حين بعثهما إلى فرعون فقال : ( فقولا له قولا لينا لعله يتذكر أو يخشى ) [ طه : 44 ]
Allah saying “And argue with them in a way that is best” means that even if the need to debate or argue arises, it should be done in a good manner with equity and kindness and a good method of speech. As he has said in another verse “(Oh Muslims!), Do not dispute with the followers of the book except in a best manner, excluding those of them who commit cruelties” (Surah Ankabut Chapter 29 Verse 46). So Allah has commanded him to be kind and gentle even when approaching the enemy like he commanded Musa and Haroon Alaihimasalaam, when they were to approach Fir’aun. “But speak to him gently perhaps he may be mindful or may fear” (Surah Taha chapter 20 verse 44) (REF TAFSEER IBN KATHEER)
Ibn Mardwiyyah reports that Abu Laila Al Ash’ari narrates that Rasoolallah صلى الله عليه وسلم said “Hold on firmly to the obedience of your A’immah (Imaams, religious leaders), and do not go against them. Verily obeying them is obeying Allah and disobeying them is actually disobeying Allah. Verily Allah has sent me to call towards his path with wisdom and good advice. So whosoever goes against me in this regard will be destroyed, and Allah and his Rasool are absolved of his responsibility. Whosoever takes charge of your affairs and does not practice on this then upon him is the curse of Allah and the angels and all of mankind.” (Ad Durr ul Manthoor Fit Tafsiril Ma’thoor by Imam Jalaaludeen As Suyuti)
In light of the Quranic verses and Hadith presented above, when we study the life and services of Sultaan ul Hind Ataa e Rasool Khwaaja e Khwaajegaan Khwaja Mo’eenudeen Hassan Sanjeri Ajmeri (popularly known as Ghareeb Nawaaz), we find that he was a unique personification of the phenomena of spreading the Deen with wisdom and kindness.
He was outstanding in various aspects, amongst which one of the highlights was the number of people that accepted Islam at his hands without bloodshed or major violence. The biggest reason being that not only was he a family member of the Holy Prophet, but was also his successor and inheritor. Hence he inherited the legacy of kindness and good conduct even when spreading Islam to non – Muslims.
Sayyiduna Abu Darda narrates that he heard the Holy Prophet saying “Verily the Ulama (the knowledgeable leaders who possess true knowledge) are the heirs of the Ambiyaa. The Ambiyaa do not leave as inheritance Dirhams and Dinaars but what they do leave as inheritance is ILM (Knowledge), so whoever has acquired ILM has a acquired a great portion. (Sunan Abu Dawood Volume 2 Kitaabul Ilm Hadith no. 3641
Khwaja Gharib Nawaaz had not only inherited knowledge but also inherited the fragrance of good conduct, manner of speech, wisdom and inner purity to attract people to the beauty of Islam. How unfair it is for certain people to claim that Islam was spread by the sword. They should reflect upon which sword was used to revert nine million people into the folds of Islam.
The great Hadith Master Shaykh Abdul Haq Muhadith Dehlawi (958-1052/ 1551-1642) has compiled the following incidents in his master piece on biographies of the Awliyaa, Akhbaarul Akhyaar Fi Ahwaal il Abraar).
“When Khwaja Gharib Nawaz visited Madina tul Munawwarah, he sat engaged in devotion in Musjidun Nabawi, The Khadim of the Raudha Shareef heard the voice of Rasoolallah ordering him to call Mo’eenudeen Chishti. When Khwaja Gharib Nawaaz entered the Raudha Sharif he heard the voice saying to him that it was now time for him to uproot the roots of Kufr and shirk, to spread the religion of Islam in Hindustaan and that he was to now proceed to Ajmer.
On the way to Ajmer Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaaz’s awesome personality created a tremendous renaissance amongst the people and tribes he passed by. His awe-inspiring brilliant face captivated thousands of hearts who embraced Islam on his sacred hands. It is reported that before reaching Ajmer ninety-two thousand hindus embraced Islam on his hands without him uttering a single word. Another narration reports that a figure of approximately 700 Hindu tribes embraced Islam on his hands.”
Even when the opponents were harsh towards him and ill-treated him he practiced the Sunnah of Rasoolallah in Taif, of patience and perseverance and still showed kindness. This is what attracted people to Islam.
“On his arrival in Ajmer, Hazrat Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaaz settled down under a tree next to an open field where the camels of the Hindu King rested. When the royal scouts arrived to tend the camels, they were surprised to find a group of foreigners camped nearby. They ordered them to vacate the area as it was exclusively set aside for the king’s camels. Hazrat Khwaja and his Mureeds totally ignored the scouts. This aggravated them and they became harsh in protest. Hazrat Khwaja saw their attitude and told them, “We will leave and your camels will sit here”. A miracle manifested when the camels sat put and refused to get up. The scouts tried tirelessly to get them up but miserably failed. The scouts reported this dilemma to the king who advised them that the only solution to this problem was to seek forgiveness from the dervish whom they had harassed.” (Ref Akhbaar ul Akhyaar fi Ahwaal il Abraar volume 1 Page 143).
Such was the conduct and wisdom that the great Khwaja used in spreading Islam, where did take violence as an option, rather he displayed the beauty of Islam and allowed people to be attracted to the Deen themselves. Definitely, a great example and torchbearer of the calling people to the path of Allah with wisdom and good advice. Not only did he admit people into Islam, but he also nurtured them and beautified their inner selves with spiritual excellence, instilling in them morals, values and the character preached and practiced by the Holy Prophet.