About this text
The author of this biography of Indian saints and mystics Wajihuddin Ashraf lived in Lucknow and, according to the autobiographical statement in the text, was still composing the work in 1788-89. Bahr-e-Zakhkhār is divided into eight parts, beginning with the prophet Muhammad’s children and wives, covering the various orders of Sufi saints, many of whom were the author’s contemporaries, and concluding with female saints. As the selected extracts reveal, the Sufis not only had their own discourse of dearth and ascetic practice, they also directly intervened, often through prayer, miraculous powers of fasting, and charitable acts, or by reinterpreting religious injunctions on food, during times of dearth, famine, and pestilence.
Mauj: aḥwāl-e- Hazrat Shaikh Allahbakhsh wai nesthori ast az tawābe‘a-e- Sārangpur Mālwah. Dar Gulzār nawisad ṣāhib-e-paida karāmat bood, sāli bārān nayāmad, mardumān-e- qaryah pish-e- Shaikh nālish āwurdand, farmood har kas shirini āwurdeh ḥāz̤ir sāzand, chunān kardand, be khādimi farmood dar pāye man rasan bastah gird-e- qaryah bekashand, chunān kardand, bārān nabārid, pas guft, man sazāwār-e- sangsāram naubat badān ḥarakat narasid ke abr padidār shudeh chandān bārid ke kishtzār rā sairāb gardānid.
Mauj: Account of Hazrat Shaikh Allah Bakhsh. He is from Nesthor, a place in the vicinity of Sārangpur, Malwa. In Gulzār, it is mentioned that he is well-known for his Karamat. One year, the rains did not come. The villagers complained before the Shaikh. He said ‘If anyone has brought sweets bring him to me.’ It was done. He told one of his attendants, “Put a rope around my feet and drag me around the village.” They did so, but the rain did not come. He said, ‘I deserve to be stoned.’ It did not come to that before the clouds appeared and it rained so hard that all the sown fields were satiated with water.
20.Mauj: aḥwāl-e- Hazrat Ghulām Muḥammad, az rufqai Ghāziuddin Khan wizir bood hamrāh-e- ou dar Farrukhābad āmad, chun wizir qaṣd-e- Makkah kard ou hamanjā be zāwiah-e- khud mānd, ba martabah-e-mutawakkil bood wa modām dars-e- Qurān dādi, dar ān ayyām qaḥṭsāli wāqw‘a shudeh ba‘ad az seh roz be yak kaf-e- dast kunjad wa yak kāsah-e- āb ifṭār namoodi.
Mauj: Account of the great sufi, Hazrat Ghulām Muhammad who was one of the companions of Ghāziuddin Khān, the vizier, and came with him to Farrukhābād. When the vizier went to Mecca (for Hajj) he remained there in his convent. He had achieved the status of one who is reliant in God and used to teach the Qurān. During that time, there occurred a great famine. He used to break the fast after every three days with one fist full of sesame seed and one cup of water.
Mauj: āhwāl-e- Shāh Ghulām Mohiuddin: az aulāde- Shāh ‘Abdul Ghafoor ‘Azampuri ast. wairā kamālāt-e-bas buland ast. Shāh Mulhā Sarhindi bā pidar-e- khud hizam rā bar āwurdi wa befarokhti, rozi dar khidmat-e-ān ḥaz̤rat rasid shiftah-e- hāl-e- kamāl-e- ou shud. waqti khusksāli uftād, be khidmatash tamannāye bārish iltemās kardand, be banglah-e- khud ishāreh kard, dānāye guft banglah-e- iqāmatash rā az sar-e- nau kāh posh kunand, chunān kardand bārān be ikhteyār bārid ke ‘ālam sairāb gasht.
Mauj: Account of Shāh Ghulām Mohiuddin, belonging to the descendants of Shāh ‘Abdul Ghafoor ‘Azampuri: He has many miracles. Shāh Mulhā Sarhindi who used to collect wood with his father and sell it, once came to him (i.e. Shāh Ghulām Mohiuddin) and was impressed by his accomplishments. When famine occurred, people requested him to pray for rain. He pointed towards his cottage. A wise man said that they should cover it (the cottage) with grass as it was before. They did that and promptly the rains came and the world was satiated.
22.Muaj: aḥwāl-e- ḥaz̤rat bibi sāra wālidah-e- Shaikh Nizāmuddin Abul Moayyid. Dar Taẕkitul Aṣfia nawisad bisyār buzurg bood, waqti imsāk-e- bārān shud, pisarash Shaikh Nizamuddian rishtah az dāman gusistah be dast giraft wa guft khudāwandā be ḥurmat-e- ein rishtah-e- dāman-e z̤a‘aeefah ke hargiz chashm-e-nāmaḥram bar wai nayaftādah bārān befirist, bar faur ‘arz-e- ein kalemah bārān rasid wa ‘ālam sairāb gasht.
Mauj: Account of Bibi Sārā, mother of Shaikh Nizāmuddin Abul Moayyid. It has been noticed in the Taz kiratul Asfiā that she was much revered. Once there was dearth of rain. Her son Nizāmuddin pulled out a thread from her dress and said, “O Allah, for the sake of this sacred thread from the dress of an old lady who a stranger has never set eyes upon, send the rains.” As soon as he uttered this, it began to rain and the world was satiated.