Ghous al-‘Alam Sayed Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Simnani – Born in 708 AH as the Prince of the Kingdom of Semnan (an area in modern day Iran).
Makhdoom Ashraf began his education aged 4 years, 4 months and 4 days, he showed immense talent for Islamic Scholarship. By the age of 7 he had memorised the Quran with seven types of qirat (recitation methods). At the age of 14 he has mastered all the subjects of Islamic Sciences including theology, philosophy quickly maturing into a world renowned scholar.
At the age of 15 he ascended to the throne, becoming the sixth Sultan of Semnan. During his reign Semnan was blessed with peace and harmony. At the age of 23 he met Hadrat Owais Al Qarni (May Allah be pleased with them) in a dream. This encounter lead to the loss of Makhdoom Ashraf’s desire to rule his kingdom.
It was at the age of only 25, Allah (SWT), commanded Hadrat Khidr (AS) to appear before Makhdoom Ashraf in a deep rooted message. The message was to abandon the throne in search of his murshid (spiritual guide); Hadrat Shaykh Ala al-Haq Wadeen Ganje Nabat Rahmatullahi alayh in India, and propagate the message of Islam through peace and love.
And so after 12 years of rule, the 25 year old Makhdoom Ashraf he abdicated the throne to journey into India in seach of his murshid.
During his journey Makhdoom Ashraf came across some of the most illustrious and spiritual personalities in Islamic History. Among his initial stops was Multan, where he met Sayed Jalal ‘al-Din Bukhari.
Next stop was the famous shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore. A visit reminiscent of that when Khwaja Gharib Nawaz made his well documented visit of the shrine.
The journey continued to Bihar. It was here he performed the Janaza (Funeral Prayer) of Mahkdoom Sharfuddin Yahya Muneri. The late saint had written in his will that his funeral prayer should be lead by one who was a Sayed of Hassani and Husseini lineage, A Hafiz of Quran with mastering of seven qirats and a deserter of a throne. Makdoom Ashraf fulfilled all these requirements.
After performing the funeral prayer, Makhdoom Ashraf has a dream where he was visited by Makhdoom Sharfuddin, where he was handed a cloak by the late saint. The khadim (keeper) of the shrine of the late saint kept the garment until it was decided who the new rightful owner would be. With the cloak placed on the shrine and the crowds present with their out stretched hands the cloak remained still. Until Makhdoom Ashraf reached out. The cloak immediately came into his hands.
From Bihar, Makdoom Ashraf left for Bengal, arriving in Malda where his Murshid was awaiting him. It was here where his finally met Hadrat Ala al-Haq Wadeen.
After fulfilment of the usual rituals, Makdoom Ashraf became a disciple of Hadrat Ala al-Haq Wadeen in the Chistiya and Nizamiya silasil (sufi orders), attaining ijjazah (permission) of both.
After years in the company of his Shaykh, Makhdoom Ashraf attained all the secrets of akhlaq (virtue) and ihsaan (spirituality) from his tutor. At this point Hadrat Ala Al’Haq Wadeen said to his disciple;
”O’ Ashraf, I have completed all haqiqah-al-marif (realities and knowledge) on you: I would like to set a place for you where you have to light the candle of rectitude and reformation.”
This lead to Makhdoom Ashraf to leave his Shaykh and head for the final stop in his journey – Kichocha.
And it was in Kichocha where Makhdoom Ashraf left his mark on this world. He personally helped build the Khanqah-e-Ashrafiyah in Kichocha. Along with the help of his disciples Makhdoom Ashraf help build two mosques and dig out the famous moat seen around his tomb.
To this day Kichocha remains the spiritual home of the Silsila-e-Ashrafiya (Sufi Order of Ashrafiya).
For a more in depth biography on Sayed Makhdoom Ashraf visit the Spiritual Foundation page.
A biography of Makhdoom Ashraf titled “Life sketch of the Founder of Silsila-e-Ashrafiya Makhdum Sultan Sayed Ashraf Jahanghir Samnani” written by Mohaddise Azam Hind is also available in physical format. A PDF copy is being worked on.