Shah Kamal Qadri Kaithaly

who renewed the old tradition of rejuvenation of deen.


In the earlier years of the 10th century Hijra, when spiritual decline had set in among the Muslims in India, many intrusions had begun in the helds of Shariah and Tariqah. and the effort for tabligh and rectification was often replaced by flattery and selfishness. There was a clear need for a forthright and perfect man of truth who could again work to improve this fallen condition by regaining spiritual heights and guiding misguided people to turn again to the path of righteousness and right thinking. The Qadriah branch of sufism has been specially distinguished by the fact that in times of difficulty for Islam, the Qadriah elders left their seclusion and helped to set right the crumbling walls of shariah and Tariqah, so as to create stability in the deen of Islam. Right at the beginning, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani was given the title of Mohy-ud-din because, at the time when deen had become like a life-less body in the 6th century Hijra. he (with the help of Allah Subhanhu wa taallah) was able to re-inject life into it and through speeches, revelation (Kashf) and miraculous events, was able to so change the conditions of the Muslims of the time that the glory of the Islamic era appeared once again.

About four hundred years after this event when India and the Muslims living in India again underwent a spiritual depression, and the components of Belief and steadfastness again became unbalanced, another jewel (Khanwada) of this very Qadriah series, who had the benefit of divine light and grace, appeared on the horizon of India and replaced the spreading spiritual darkness, through his spiritual enlightenment This messenger of light from the Qadriah line (quilt) was named Shah Kamal Kaithali who,travelling through many countries, came to India from Baghdad in 928 Hijra and made Kaithal his abode. This is in the heart-land of the Geeta of the Hindu’s and is full of the effects of warlike poetry of the Geeta.
(There is one lamp in this house, from which a lighted assembly has arisen wherever you look)

It is related that Abdul Qadir Gilani told him (in a dream)” Shah Kamal, your work here is complete, now go to India where, through your training, a person, will be prepared who will be the cause of the whole universe becoming illuminated”. Kaithal was located 124 miles north of Delhi and was in the neighborhood of Karnal and Panipat, the ancient historic cities of India culture. Attempts had been made before this also to remove the effects of Hindu culture and now Shah Kamal’s selection of this place as his abode was a result of this very motivation to obliterate the effects of idol-worship and such non-Islamic customs (which - persisted among Muslims in that area) and replace them by the message of one Allah and His Nabi (SAW). Since the true friend of Allah is one who, with sincerity, maintains himself on the worship of the one Allah and preaches the commandments of Allah, therefore Shah Kamal chose for his preaching and spreading of Islam a place which was under the effect of Kufr and misguidance and where proclaiming the oneness of Allah and preaching the commandments of Allah was an invitation to troubles and difficulties. The Quran tells us “These are the people who fulfilled the promise that they made with Allah” which is an indication that the full setting up of shariah is in fact the work of the wali and fulfillment of the promise is the sign of the “friend” of Allah. The steadfastness in fulfilling “ the promise” shown by Shah Kamal Qadri produced the result that thousands of irreligious people as well as mushrikeen became true Muslims, and Kaithal attained the status of the Centre of spiritual training where people from all over India came for relieving their spiritual uneasiness and attained spiritual relief and contentment.

Kaithal (the place of the monkeys) which, at one time, was the largest Centre dedicated to the worship of Hanoman (the monkey-god), soon became known as Kaithal Sharif the fountainhead of guidance and enlightenment. Shah Kamal was one of the most accomplished Mashaikh.Many miracles and unusual events are connected with him and one of the results of these unusual events was that a great number of people who were going astray were guided towards the true religion of Islam. One of the features of such miraculous happenings is that Allah, through these unusual powers gifted to his special servants, makes the people admit the absolute power of Allah Subhanwataalah. Infact, the miraculous happenings of the mashaikh or Aulia of Allah go to support and verify the miracles attributed to prophets of Allah, because the aulia of Allah are, in a spiritual sense, the successors of the prophets of Allah. When the prophets of Allah experienced difficulties and obstruction in their efforts to guide mankind, they were granted the prophetic miracles. In the same way, the spiritual divines (entrusted with the guidance and training of mankind) were granted these miraculous performances (Karamaat), so that these may aid them in bringing people to the obedience of Allah. Thus we see that, through these Karamaat’s of the chosen friends of Allah, even robbers and dacoits became transformed into good Muslims. As Allah(subhanahuwataalah) has told us (through a hadith of prophet (SAW):
“when someone attains nearness to Allah, Allah begins to like him. And when Allah likes him, Allah becomes his ear with which he listens, his eyes with which he sees, his hand with which he grips, and his feet with which he walks; and then whatever he asks, Allah grants him”.

Indeed Shah Kamal had reached that stage of spiritual enlightenment in which this condition is attained:

“I have become you and you have become me,
I am the body, you are the life.
So that, after this, no one shall say.
You and I are apart”.

Shah Kamal undertook such great spiritual exercises and became so immersed in the remembrance of Allah that he was practically out of this world, with no inclination to eating or sleeping or meeting people, some times, for months at a time, he would be lost in remembrance of Allah behind the closed door of his room:

We have forgotten all that we have read.
We are repeating the litany of the beloved again and again

Sheikh Ahrned Sirhindi; Mujadid Alfe Thani, in describing Shah Kamal‘s spiritual status, says “when we look carefully at the line of the Qadriah, then we don’t find anyone more shining than Shah Kamal, after Ghaus-ul-Azam Abdul Qadir Gilani. It is as difficult to enumerate Shah Kamal’s attributes as it is to count the stars in the sky. He is so respected and looked up to among the mashaikh of the day that Ularna and Sufis of great eminence are proud to be linked with his silsila of baiyet” As we know, Mujadid-e-A1fe Thani’s father, Malik-ul-Ulama Sheikh Abdul Ahad Kabuli, was his disciple and mujadid-e-Alfe thani (whose birth was the result of Shah Kamal’s duaa to Allah) was himself the khalifa of Shah Kamal’s grand-son and successor, Shah Sikander Qadri. Sheikh Majadid-e-Alfe Thani says aboutthis Khilafet:

“When I was granted the Qadriah cloak, there was such an over- whelming shower of divine blessings that I had no desire to turn towards any other line (of sufism)”.

Many of the wazirs and landowners were devoted to Shah Kamal and were keen on gaining from his associations, but he maintained a distance between himself and the rich, considering the world to be a home of temptation. Sher Shah Soori, who was also devoted to Shah Kamal, once sent to him some bags of gold coins, but Shah Kamal did not accept these and wrote in reply “ I take you to be my friend, but you send me that which Allah does not like”. This is reminiscent of the attitude of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani, who, on receiving, from the Sultan of Sanjar, an order for the governorship of Nimroz province of Iran, wrote a verse on this very order saying:

May my love grow black like the face of the Sanjar bird(?)
If there were in my heart any desire for the land of Sanjar;
Since I have, got my weapon from the country of midnight,
I would not buy the province of Nimroz for a grain of barley.

In Multan among those personages who were his special students and associates, Shah Shakoor, Syed Eisa Bukhari, Sheikh Noor Jamal and Jalal-ud Din Khaggah Multani are noteworthy. After spreading the light of hidayat in Multan, he went to Kamaliya, which got its have from him; the local raja, who was a Kharal rajput, became a muslim. Shah Kamal then proceeded, through Lahore, Ludhiana, Sarhind and Samana, to Kaithal. Innumerable people benefited from his association and teachings and he breathed his last on 28th Jamadi-ul-Akhir 981 Hijrah. Zauq has said:

Those spiritual persons who are disciples of Shah Kamal,
Have all got pigeons (?) of great excellence

The spiritual blessings of his son, Abu-ul-Makarim Shah Musa Qadri, are still to be found hereabouts; Bahawalpur was populated by Muluk Shah Ghazi (R.A) and, in Multan, Slier Shah Mashadi and Hafiz Ismail Multani were notable. Dera Ghazi Khan was also to be irrigated by the Qadriah stream, so Allah Taala sent Syed Ali Ahmad Shah Gilani, the 11th successor of Madarsa Sikandri al Kamali, in 1949 to Dera Ghazi Khan; he was a born Wali and, having obtained spiritual enlightement in his family tradition, whoever entered his assembly would be filled with spiritual calm md love for the prophet (SAW). Ali Ahmad Shah died in 1962, but the Qadriah flame is still burning and we pray that Allah Taala keep it alive forever.

Even if the world should all go to ruin
The flame of deen never dies.