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Nizam ad-Din Awliya : Morals of the Heart - ' Fawa'id al-Fu'ad '

  • Nizam ad-Din Awliya : Morals of the Heart - ' Fawa'id al-Fu'ad '
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Paperback - 404 pages


Shaykh Nizam ad-din Awliya (1242-1325), whose conversations are recorded in Fawa'id al-Fu'ad, is one of the seminal personalities in the history of the Islamic mystical movement in South Asia. For about half a century he lived and worked in Delhi to save humankind from sin and suffering. His efforts to inculcate in people a respect for moral and spiritual values had a deep and far-reaching impact on medieval Indian society. His message of humanism, love, and benevolence still echoes through the corridors of time. In the Tughluq dynasty Sultan Firuz Shah (ruled C.E. 1351-1388) addressed him as Sultan al-Masha'ikh (King of the mystic teachers).  Ziya ad-din Barani, a renowned historian of the time, gives the following account of his popularity and influence:

Shaykh Nizam ad-din admitted [all sorts of people into his discipline]—nobles and plebeians, rich and poor, learned and illiterate, citizens and villagers, soldiers and warriors, free men and slaves. These people refrained from many improper things, because they considered themselves disciples of the Shaykh—[As a result of his teachings] the general public showed an inclination to religion and prayer. Men and women, young and old, shopkeepers and servants, children and slaves, all came [to the mosques] to say their prayers.... Many plat­forms with thatched roofs over them were constructed on the way from the city to Ghiyathpur; wells were dug, water-vessels were kept, carpets were spread, and a servant and a reciter of the Qur' an (hafiz) was stationed at every platform so that the people going to the Shaykh may have no difficulty in say­ing their supererogatory prayers. Owing to regard for the Shaykh's discipleship all talk of sinful acts had disappeared from the people.

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