In the galaxy of Tasauwwuf or Islamic Spiritualism, several stars shed brilliant splendour in the Muslim world. These Sufis, Mystics, friends of Allah are revered and honoured for their piety, purified Nafs, Ibadat, obedience to Allah (SWA), respectful affection for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), perfect observance of the Islamic shariah and last but not least, service to mankind for the pleasure of Almighty Allah (SWA), the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. The Auliya Allah rendered service in the course of Islam by disseminating true Islamic teachings by word and deed.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man and so it was that in the year 1850 was born Hazrat Shah Ghulam Muhammad Soofie Siddiqui Habibi (R.A) in a small village known as Kalyan which is about 70 km east of Mumbai.
After receiving the necessary education in the Islamic field, once he reached manhood he assumed the role of Imam in the local Musjid.
His interest in Sufism reached its focal point when on a Pilgrimage he had a vision and mystic tendencies began to appear within him and a Spiritual Guide was craved for.
Very soon Hazrat Soofie Saheb (R.A) became a devoted disciple of Shah Ghulam Mustafa Effendi (R.A) who eventually sent him to Hyderabad to Hazrat Khwaja Habib Ali Shah who became Hazrat Soofie Sahebs Murshid and mentor.
After several months of devotion and study Hazrat Soofie Saheb (R.A) was sent to South Africa in 1895 to propagate Islam. Arriving in Durban, Hazrat Soofie Saheb was spiritually guided to Riverside where he now lies at his Mazaar, buried at the side of his beloved Mother.
It was at this very place that the first of his miracles (Karamats) became visible when on his command a giant python left its place and disappeared into the Umgeni river.
Though the practice of Sufism has its fair share of detractors, most scholars agree that Hazrat Soofie Saheb (R.A) is an extraordinary human being.
“ LOVE ALL AND HATE NONE” –
the Sufi Chishti dictum – was the daily standard by which Hazrat Soofie Saheb (R.A) thought and lived. In name and deed, he was a true servant of the Holy Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It was this status of spiritual servitude to the Messenger of Allah that Hazrat Soofie Saheb (R.A) found so attractive in Tasauwwuf. It was his life-blood. It is not surprising, therefore, to learn that he was spiritually related to the Prophet of Islam via the Qadiriyyah and Chishtia Silsilas, first with Shah Ghulam Mustafa Effendi (R.A) at Baghdad and later with Hazrat Khwaja Habib A1i Shah (R.A) Khayrabadi.
There is a saying in Islamic culture that goes like this: ‘The true leader of a nation is the one who is its servant.’ Hazrat Sufi Saheb (R.A) can be said to have been a true servant of not only his community but of others who benefited from his help and de- voted work across the Southern African sub-continent.
There is in the personality of Hazrat Sufi Saheb (R.A), an example of the Qur’anic and Prophetic definition of the human being. The social institutions that Hazrat Saheb founded and maintained would serve to enhance, restore and consolidate for its communities a sense of belonging to the greater humanity. They reflect his pragmatic approach to the age old question of what defines a human being.
Fifteen years later this simple and humble man again brought about a miracle by establishing more than 12 mosques, Madrassas and orphanages in Southern Africa.
These structures provide individuals with both spiritual and social sustenance throughout their entire lives and for all stages of life. Values such as consultation, co-operation and interdependence are key elements of the Sufi ethos. In stark contrast, the modern industrial definition of the human being seems to be based on the concepts of individualism, selfishness and haughty independence.
This Wali of Allah who ate with the orphans, slept on a mat and cared for the destitute is remembered by all. People of all religions, races and creeds visit his Mubaarak Mazaar for blessings.
His work is still carried out by the succeeding generations of his family and this legacy of greatness is a lesson of LOVE and DEVOTION for all to follow and become better people.
The compassionate Allah has blessed the southern tip of Africa with one of the great beacons of guidance in the personality of Hazrat Soofie Qibla. He is one who promoted and kept alive the lamp of Divine Love. Be it friend or foe, every soul in this part of the world is fully aware of this great personality and his legacy is splendid and brilliant as the mid-day sun.
These beacons, the Aulia; friends of Allah, will continue to generate the energy and radiation of divine love no matter what the world says or does. If the gravity of the moon can make the 7 oceans dance, then why not will the divinely blessed powers of the Aulia conquer the hearts and souls of creation?