I met the Qalander, Sufi & a Saint [3 of 4]

Qalandar is a free spirit, he has no wordly shackles and they are different from all ordinary human nature. In popular folk beliefs its considered that one Qalandar possesses the power of hundred Walis (saints). Qalandars discard the lower human nature and fly to their Lord. Qalandars can seem to be strange or act or dress strange.
Their personality is different and sometimes bizarre, but in reality a Qalandar is in Jazb, a secret reality intoxicated in the love of God and Divine Figures, messengers and saints.
They closely resemble to wandering ascetics in their outward modes and sometime in their fierce madness due to intoxication into ‘other reality’. Often time they are give nspecial vision and hidden mysteries of reality are made known to them. Some define Qalandar as an itinerant sufi, a wandering dervish, who learns and teaches during his travels and wandering.



by Farah Karamat Raja


Now the gate keeper was in the way of Sufism too, he was furious, full of wrath, abusing at the top of his voice calling names to wives, daughters etc. of the imprisoned person that I am the one working so hard, toiling in the way of God but Ali Maula and Hussain have paid no attention to me, have not accepted my “Salam” even and had visited this son of…. He was madly striking his “danda” on the iron bars. The prisoner was more scared, thought he, I want to be saved but Ali Maula and Hussain are playing games with me.

Early in the morning, they came to make the preparation; the prisoner could not stand the death, fear had clutched him badly – he was half dead already. He said “Ali Maula, this is not fair, in reward of my good deed I am getting this. I’m going to die for no reason and you are playing tricks”. Time was flying but they didn’t take him for hanging, the file was lost and the jailer according to the jail manual could not hang the man. The whole jail was turned upside down, each and every cupboard, locker, record room was searched but they couldn’t find the file. His hanging kept on being delayed, he now had a hope that he will be saved.

Ali Maula is helping me, thought he. Most importantly during all these days, the horse and the rider with the hood came to visit him each night. Now he was popular in the jail, considered a great Sufi, that Ali Maula comes to visit him each night. People started to ask him to pray for their pardon etc. As he was also free he became intense in his prayers. The family also appealed to the president, but his appeal was rejected, so the sentence of death was still in force. At least three years passed like this and the man set free again.

It so happened that when the file was found, the government changed. He was freed later.

I asked Agha Khan are you mureed [7] of someone? He said yes, I am mureed of my brother. I was surprised I asked him who is he? He said he is at present in Germany; he had controlled Lama’s over there.

Once his brother came to Pakistan and Agha Ali Khan insisted, I want to “bailt”[8]at your Pir’s hand. His Pir[9] is “Bu Ali Qalander”. He said I can’t do anything in this matter. As I pray Tahajjud[10] during the night time you should sit outside the closed door. Never knock at the door nor call me. If some day I call you then do come inside respectfully. Agha Ali Khan agreed to it. His brother used to pray Tasbeehat[11] for two or three hours, it was winter and Agha Ali continued sitting quietly outside the door, doing Zikr in his heart.

One night he heard, his brother calling him. He opened the door and went inside. The person on “Jai-Namaz”[12] was his brother but his voice was not his, style of speech was not his, it was someone else who was speaking Persian and beautiful poetry of Bu Ali Qalander in his own voice. He had  “bait” upon his hand.

Agha Ali Khan said to me, understand whatever meaning you want to understand, if you can. If you can’t, then too, it’s all right. That’s how my bait took place. I’m mureed of Bu Ali Qalander.

He had a motor cycle in his youth, used to smoke pipe. He was a lawyer by profession; one day a Sufi, a Qalander  “ Baba Mast Qalander” came and he (after seeing him) said you will be a commissioner soon and without any seriousness or intention he was deputy commissioner.

But his lifestyle has been of a Qalander. He went to a graveyard for concentration. There he used to practice fasting as prescribed in Islam but he kept them for 50, 90 days – used to do a lot of Tasbeehat, 9,000 times Darood Sharif a day. All night he kept standing before God on Namaz. He said in those days he used to fly.

Imtiaz Bukhari asked him what is the significance of Tasbeehat.? He replied that, if Rafique Ahmad Akhtar recommended Tasbeehat, it is because Tasbeehat are like plowing the barren land. Tasbeehat prepare and purify the land of heart for the seed of God. He said “I also started from Tasbeehat”.

When I asked that as you’ve said, you used to fly, was it your miracle? He looked at me, all of these are sidetracking, don’t go for them, we are out in search of God. We don’t demand and perform miracles. We demand God. He said all these things are worldly institutions. Like Jins or black magic, these are unnatural and inhuman. Natural and human intuition is directed from God.

I asked him how can we differentiate between a genuine saint and a worldly saint? He said, genuine saint will not try to make you rid of the worldly problems so that after one problem you will go to him for the second one. The genuine will make you rid of world, false will involve you more in it; while a genuine saint is like a rose, he spreads name and fragrance of Allah, whenever you leave his company, at least for few minutes you forget the world and think of God. I asked what if someone doesn’t get the right teacher.

He replied that we search for students but we don’t get them. Real students are rare. They are the ones who are in the way of God and those who are, they really find the teacher. And a student whether he gets a right person or not, he should keep on trying and should never give up because as Hazrat Shamas Tabraiz has said, Create the thirst first, for truth is given to a few. And most importantly the learner should never be disappointed because “Lover is never alone”.


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From the book “Prof. Ahmad Rafique Akhtar,  Mystery behind the Mystic”
[7] Mureed is a disciple, follower, student of some learned man, scholar, qalander, Sufi or saint. [8] Bait is a process of accepting a teacher, a guide, a saint or the head of a chain of sainthood (wilayat). [9] A Pir is a saint, a Wali, guide, or aspiritual teacher.n[10] Tahajjud is an optional prayer of Muslims. It is offered after midnight. [11]Tasbeehat are the recitations of holy verses. Though mostly recitations are of Quranic text, Tasbeehat are recitations / repetitions of holy verses as recommended by  a Pir, a Sufi, saint or a wali. [12] Jai-Namaz is usually a prayer mat or rug where Muslims offer prayers.
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