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Shah Ghulam Ali Dehlavi
--: Biography of Shah Ghulam Ali Dehlavi :--


Shah Ghulam Ali Dehlavi

Shah Abdullah alias Shah Ghulam Ali Dehlavi  was a very prominent Sufi Shaykh in Delhi during early 19th century. He was a master of the Naqshbandi tradition and also in other major Sufi orders such as Qadri and Chishti.

He was born in 1156 AH (1743 C.E) in Patiala, Punjab in current-day India. His father was Shah Abdul-Latif, a scholar and Sufi shaykh belonging to the Qadri tariqah. It is reported in his biographies that his father had a dream before his birth in which he saw Sayyadna Ali who told him to name the baby on his name (Ali). Later after he grew up, he modified his own name to be Ghulam Ali Similarly, his mother had a dream in which she saw Prophet Muhammad who told her to name the baby Abdullah. Hence his real name is still known to be Abdullah while his alias is Ghulam Ali.

Due to his powerful memory, he is reported to have memorized the Quran in a single month's duration. In 1170 AH he came to Delhi to take the oath of allegiance to Mirza Mazhar Jan-e-Janaan who was a famous Shaykh of Naqshbandi tariqah in Delhi at that time. After getting trained in the major Sufi orders including Naqshbandi for 15 years, he received complete Khilafat (spiritual Ijazah) from his Shaykh.

He had many Khulafa (deputies) who spread the Naqshbandi Sufi order to a vast number of people in the whole Muslim world at that time. His Khulafa went to Bukhara, Baghdad, Madinah and Turkey. His famous khalifa was Mawlana Khalid al-Baghdadi who had hundreds of thousands of followers in his lifetime, and many Naqshbandi's today in Turkey and nearby countries follow him.

He is quoted to have said: "My Faid (spirituality) has reached far off countries. Our Halqa is held in Makkah and our Halqa is held in Madinah. Similarly our Halqa is held in Baghdad, Rome (now Turkey and Cyprus) and Maghrib (Parts of Europe and Africa facing Asia). And Bukhara is our parental home."

He died on 22 Safar 1240 AH (15/16 October 1824) and was buried alongside his Shaykh's grave in Khanqah Mazharia in Delhi.


He wrote multiple books, the most famous of them is Maqamat Mazhari in Persian, which is a complete biography of his shaykh Mirza Mazhar Jan-e-Janaan Shaheed. His other books are:

Risalah dar Tariqah Ba'yat wa Azkar
Risalah dar Tariqah Naqshband
Risalah Sitri Chand dar Ahwal-e-Shah-e-Naqshband
Risalah dar Aitarazat Shaykh Abdul-Haq bar Hazrat Mujaddid
Risalah Mashgooliyah
Sulook Raqia Naqshbandia
Makateeb Shareefa (collection of his letters)



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