Hazrat Meerza Agha Mohammad (R.A.) was born in early part of the 19th century in Lucknow, India. He, from his very childhood was interested in knowing the way to GOD. He was obsessed with a question as to how to find ALLAH? He would ask his parents, teachers, and religious scholars but was never satisfied with the answers. An event in his early life transformed him and triggered off his spiritual search leading him from Sufi Shaykh Shah Maqsus Alam (R.A.) to Sufi Shaykh Hazrat Taj-ul-Aualiya -Shah Nizamuddin Hussain Niazi (R.A.). Later as a Sufi Shaykh himself, He got settled in Jabalpur India.He passed away on August 17,1917.
The life of Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.) is a true reflection of ALLAH’s Sifat (attribute)-e-Jalal (Majesty) and Jamal (Beauty) at its Kamal (Zenith). He, from his very childhood had a burning desire to find ALLAH? This desire transformed into love for ALLAH and ultimately into the compassion for humanity. He had walked on earth like a ‘Spiritual Sun’ emanating rays of wisdom that would penetrate the dark wall of ignorance enshrouding a thirsty soul and made the moon of His heart glow with spiritual satisfaction.
Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.) was born in Lucknow, India in the early 1800’s. His family had migrated to India from Persia. Due to their status and the family background, they soon became part of the elite class of Lucknow. Hazrat Sahib’ s parents were very religious by nature. As a child, Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.) had inherited this religiousness and always preferred it on other playful activities of children.
However, He was born with a fire of longing in his heart to know ALLAH. He had a deep curiosity about it and would always wanted to have a concrete answer as to how to find ALLAH. He had been receiving all sort of replies but none to His satisfaction. This ever-increasing enquiry transformed into a burning desire leading Him from one teacher to another. Once, He came to know of a wandering Sufi Shaykh who was staying in one of the cottages in the city. Hazrat Sahib started visiting him quite frequently in search for his answer. One evening, He arrived late and while he was about to enter Shaykh’s residence, He heard Shaykh’s wife asking Shaykh to provide food at least for the innocent children as it was then three days that the whole family had been starved. As Hazrat Sahib belonged to a rich family, this situation was new to Him and it really very much moved Him. He immediately went back to his home and told the whole thing to his mother who arranged food for the Shaykh’s family and Hazrat Sahib returned happily with this food. When Shaykh noticed the food, He gladly informed his wife, ‘Look! ALLAH the Provider has arranged for the food’. The Shaykh’s wife started waking up the starved children while He alongwith Hazrat Sahib went for ablution leaving the food at the door. When they returned, they found out that a dog was eating the food.
The Shaykh thanked ALLAH and sat quietly in his cottage. His wife became very upset at all this and said to Shaykh,’ “Is this the justice of your ALLAH? The children of human beings remain hungry while animals are being fed. How will I make these children sleep again? Hazrat Sahib was too young to understand all that! This was too much for Him and tears started flowing from his eyes.
The Shaykh approached at the door and said to Hazrat Sahib. ‘Do not cry! This is how ALLAH wanted. You have done whatever you could do to help us – ALLAH rewards you for that!’ By hearing that, emotions welled up within him and he could not stop crying.
The Shaykh came out of the cottage and embraced him and said,’ Go home! and remember, today I have embraced you and tomorrow you cannot even conceive who is going to embrace you’. Hazrat Sahib arrived back home but could not sleep the whole night and as soon as his family woke up for the morning prayers, He ran to his mother and told her everything. She immediately arranged for some food and He went back to Shaykh’s cottage.
When Hazrat Sahib reached at the Shaykh’s cottage, He was shocked to find out that the cottage was deserted as no one had ever lived there. The Shaykh with his family had left for an unknown destination without leaving any trace. This whole event transformed Hazrat Sahib completely. He lost interest in the world and spark of his love for ALLAH turned into a flame of determination to find HIM.
One day at a local mosque, He heard of another Sufi Shaykh Shah Maqsus Alam (R.A.) residing in the town of Banda. He felt such a longing for the Shaykh that without any fear of the consequences, He left his home quietly without telling anyone else to meet Hazrat Shah Alam (R.A.). At such a tender age and with a well-protected home environment, it was not an easy journey for the young soul. However, He was determined to find ALLAH. On His way to Banda, He stopped by at Kanpur where one of his father’s acquaintance recognized him and took him to his home with the intention of sending him back to Lucknow the next day.
However, in the middle of the night, Hazrat Sahib slipped quietly from his home to proceed towards Banda. He survived the next few days by selling his gold earring, but then He had no money to get food. He reached at a mosque in a small town, where He did not ask for any food though terribly hungry. Mir Insha Mian – a locally renowned person noticed the imminent contrast in Hazrat Sahib’s condition as a noble boy in rags. He immediately approached Him and offered Him some food, but He refused. Again, then He asked him to give tuition to his children in exchange for food. Hazrat Sahib agreed, but did not accept the food before giving first tuition to the children. After passing few weeks in this town, He moved on to Banda to meet Hazrat Maqsus Alam (R.A.) and became his disciple.
In Banda, Hazrat Agha Sahib not only acquired spiritual education, but also obtained worldly education. Later, Hazrat Maqsus Alam (R.A.) nominated Him as his successor. However after the death of Hazrat Maqsus Alam (R.A.), he went to Bareilly to visit Hazrat Tajul-Aulia Shah Nizamuddin Hussain (R.A.) to tread further on the spiritual path. He devoted himself wholeheartedly to this cause and with the permission of Hazrat Tajul-Aulia (R.A.) started a Khaneqah (Sufi centre) in Jabalpur.
Though later He got married and had children, but in His worldly lifespan, He had always been dominated by The Sufi way of Remembering ALLAH at all times and at any costs. Travelling, attending functions, even death of His two children could not stop Him to alter His daily schedule of prayers and meditations. His spiritual strength can somewhat be felt from the following events of his life:
a) One afternoon, He was coming back to His home after meditating at a quiet place away from the town. On His way back when He passed near a pond, a woman who came to fill her earthen pot with water tried to pass Him as He was walking slowly. As He raised his lowered eyes to gaze at her, she felt that her whole body started burning with an invisible fire. He broke the earthen pot on her head with His stick and water made her wet, but still the sensation of burning remained and she ran towards his home and told his wife that Hazrat’s gaze had put her on fire. In the meantime, Hazrat arrived and told her ‘there is no fire that could burn you’ and she immediately felt relieved. The present Shaykh Hazrat Dr. Meerza Ikhtiyar Hussain has commented on this that it was the effect of ‘Shaghal-e-Aftabi’- a Sufi meditation method in which an advanced spiritual soul gazes at sun from sunrise to sunset for a particular time period.
b) A few weeks before His visaal (departure from this physical plane of existence), the answer to His only enquiry of life i.e. How to find ALLAH? became imminent in His complete absorption in ALLAH (Istaghraq-kulli). He started losing in touch with the physical needs of his life. He even could not recognize people around Him. In those days, He could only be recalled to the physical plane of existence by mentioning the name of His Shaykh i.e. Hazrat Tajul-Aulia (R.A.). This is what the real love is! This is how; Sufis are able to provide such a beautiful literature saturated with love to the world. In those days, one of his disciples Shirin bai fell seriously ill and diagnosed by the Doctors as incurable. She was in Mumbai and could not pay a visit to her Shaykh i.e. Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.), hence she sent another fellow disciple to Jabalpur to mention her condition to Hazrat Agha Sahib (R.A.). He had been recalled to the physical plane by mentioning the name of Hazrat Tajul-Aulia (R.A.) and after listening to the condition of Shirin bai, He wrote something on paper and handed it over to the disciple to give it to Shirin bai. Interestingly, she had been cured at the time while He was writing on the piece of paper. Later, after the visaal of Hazrat Agha Sahib, it was noticed that he wrote on the paper,’Darbar-e-Agha Mohammad Shirin bai Muraad bar aayee’i.e. Shirin bai’s demand to be cured has been accepted in the kingdom of Agha Mohammad.
c) Near the time of His visaal, most of His disciples had been living close to Him. At the time of His death, his successor Dr. Meerza Murtuza Hussain (R.A.) visioned a dream like reality that a large earth shaped ball was bouncing in front of Him and it started moving up, up and further up till it reached at the sky and exploded into numberless pieces. These pieces started shining like stars and each star was reflecting the face of Agha Sahib. Hazrat Dr. Sahib felt a kind of fear and awe from such a majestic view. Immediately, he heard the voice of Hazrat Agha Sahib,’Why are you afraid? It’s me! Agha Mohammad.’ After listening to this, Hazrat Dr. Sahib felt relieved and came out of this trance like state, but at the same time heard a loud voice of Hazrat Agha Sahib calling, ‘Ill-ALLAH'(Affirm! that only ALLAH exist). This voice was so loud that even the disciples who were fast asleep woke up and that was the moment when Hazrat Agha Sahib passed away from the physical plane of existence, leaving the echo of ‘Ill-ALLAH’ that still resonates in the lives of people attached to his silsila (order).