Hazrat Khawaja Yahya Madni (ra)
Do grasp the helpless with your grace
Do grant us a sip from the goblet of love
Be good to us, for the sake of the best of creation
Salutations to you, oh Qutab of Madinah, salutations
Have mercy Shaykh Yahya, master of kindness.
Shaykh Abu Yusuf Yahya ibn Mahmud (ra) was a great master of the Chishti Nizami order whose renown spread beyond the borders of the Indian Subcontinent, to the Arab World and even the Hijaz. Such was his greatness that he was afforded the title of Muhyin ad Din the reviver of religion by his contemporaries.
It is reported that he was a born wali, and upon completing his formal training in the Islamic sciences, he began a search for a spiritual guide. He soon became the murid of the elderly Khwaja Muhammad Chishti (ra), the famed Sufi master of Gujrat. Such was his degree of spiritual perfection, even at such a young age, that he was immediately awarded the khilafat-e-azam of Khwaja Muhammad for every silsilah in which he was authorized. He also( later) received khilafat from both his father and grandfather whilst still in India.
He settled in Dehli where he began the spiritual instruction of the people there. His fame soon spread to such a degree that Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughal Emperors, often sent messengers requesting to meet him. In the tradition of the Chishtiyyah, however Shayukh Yahya (ra) consistently refused to see him. Eventually, clearly growing exasperated, Emperor Aurangzeb decided to arrive unannounced at his Khanqah.
He arrived with his entourage and presented himself before the great saint, asking a question about Dhikr. Khwaja Yahya (ra) however, was unfazed by the appearance of Aurangzeb, the most powerful man in the known world at that time. He merely recited a verse from Holy Qur’an most likely,” Oh ye who believe, do not enter another’s house without permission of the owner and without greeting them with peace.”– as well as instructing the mighty Emperor about the Sunnah of visitation. Then he dismissed him, warning him that if he returned without permission he would suffer the consequences.
This astounding display of indifference in the face of one of the greatest temporal powers the world had ever seen who was also nototious for his lack of tolerance or humility-merely enhanced the respect in which Shaykh Yahya Madani (ra) was held. It prompted comparisons with the actions of the great elders of the Chishtiyyah order and their struggles with the ruling powers.
Shaykh Yahya was a great lover of Saama , and often used to arrange gatherings of saama at his khanqah, for the benefit of his muridin. His love for Rasullullah (saw) was deep and intense, so much so that he eventually emigrated to Madinah to live at the feet of the Holy Prophet (saw). This, of course, is the reason for his title ( ism al-nisbah), al-madani.
There are various reasons mentioned for his emigration. One states that during one of his saama sessions, a qawwal recited a verse about going to Madinah and meeting one’s beloved. At this he went into a state of ecstacy and declared, ‘I will go tomorrow!’ There awoke in him a great longing to live in the illuminated city of the blessed Prophet (saw). Another story says that Rasulullah (saw) came to him in a dream and asked him to journey to Madinah in order to live with him. One way or another, his longing grew too intense, and he left his khanqah and all his worldly possessions in order to end his physical separation from his beloved.
Before he left, he asked his mother’s permission, which she granted on condition that he would return for her Janazah. He thus left on the long and hard journey to Madinah; but immediately upon arriving, he promptly returned to his homeland in time to be with his mother through her final illness.
He performed her Janazah (funeral), then left once again for Madinah, where he settled until his won wisal, he passed on the 27th and was burried on the 28th of Safar 1122 AH. in Janna al-Baqi, near the mazar of Sayyidina Uthman (ra) although his own grave was later destroyed.