Introduction to Ghamkol Sharif
The Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif is affiliated to the Darbar-i-Alia Ghamkol Sharif which is a Sufi centre situated outside of the town of Kohat in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.
The Mosque was built under the supervision and guidance of Hazrat Sufi Mohammed Abdullah Khan Sahib, who is a Khalifa (spiritual representative) of Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra), a Sufi saint who was the founder of the Darbar-i-Alia Ghamkol Sharif.
The aim of the members of the Mosque is to spread the teachings and practices of classical Sufi Islam – the heart of its philosophy is service to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and humanity. The Sufis advocate peace and goodwill to all of society and are committed to peaceful coexistence, through love, faith and tolerance. The Mosque houses a number of community projects which aim to improve the quality of life and well-being of the community. The Mosque is open to all visitors, regardless of their faith and beliefs, throughout the year whether it’s to find more out about the Mosque and its services, or to discover more about the teachings and practices of the Islamic faith.
“A Friend of Allah should have affection like the sun, generosity like a river and hospitality like the earth” (Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer Sharif, India).
Darbar Ghamkol Sharif
Darbar-i-Alia Naqshbandia Ghamkol Sharif, is a Sufi centre (Darbar) located in a valley outside the town of Kohat, in the North West Frontier of Pakistan.
The Darbar was founded in 1952 by Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra), who was a Naqshbandi Sufi Saint. Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) was the last and most important Khalifa (spiritual representative) of Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Qasim Sahib (ra) of Darbar-i-Alia Naqshbandia Mohra Sharif, Pakistan.
As a guidance to humanity, Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) sent Prophets to many peoples, during different time periods, finally revealing the Holy Qur’an to His Final Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was sent also as a practical example of His guidance. The Sahaba (the Companions of the Holy Prophet (may Allah be pleased with them)) followed the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and spread the message within their era. Then the Auliya (Saints) were given the responsibility of guiding the Muslim community, through the spiritual path of Sufism. Sufism and its Saints have primarily been responsible for the spread of Islam across the world, through the way of love, piousness, generosity and tolerance.
The Naqshbandia is a major Sufi Tariqa (order) of Islam, which traces its spiritual silsilah (lineage) to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) through the first Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him). The name Naqshbandi is taken from the founder of the Tariqa, Hazrat Khwaja Baha-uddin Naqshband (ra), a Sufi saint of the 14th century from Bukhara, in modern day Uzbekistan.
Under the spiritual guidance of Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra), many Khulafa (spiritual representatives) of the Naqshbandi-Ghamkolvi Tariqa have been appointed to spread its mission nationally and internationally, extending the Tariqa into the Middle-east, Southern Africa, Europe and the Americas. Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib’s (ra) first and most senior Khalifa is Hazrat Sufi Mohammed Abdullah Khan Sahib. Since his settling in the UK in the early 1960’s, Sufi Sahib has established the largest centre of the Tariqa outside its headquarters in Kohat.Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) passed from this world in 1999, and his spiritual successor in Ghamkol Sharif is his only son, Hazrat Khwaja Pir Baadshah Sahib. Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) has two grandsons Hazrat Pir Abaid-Ullah Shah Sahib and Hazrat Pir Habib-Ullah Shah Sahib.
Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) was born in 1912 in the village of Jungal Khel, district Kohat, Pakistan. Zindapir Sahib’s (ra) ancestors were from Afghanistan and migrated to Kohat. His Father’s name was Hazrat Pir Ghulam Rasool Shah Sahib (ra).
During Zindapir Sahib’s (ra) childhood there was a clear recognition of his spiritual qualities. For example, Hazrat Ghazi Baba, who was a Khalifa of Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Qasim (ra) in Kohat, informed Janab Hussain Shah Sahib, who was the elder brother of Zindapir Sahib (ra), that his brother was no ordinary person, and that he would become a great saint of his time and would be elevated to the maqaam of Ghausiyaat (highest ranking saint of his era).
Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) joined the civil sector within the army in 1938 as a master-tailor. During this time also, Zindapir Sahib (ra) was seeking a spiritual guide and visited many Darbars throughout Pakistan, but was unable to satisfy his spiritual thirst. Finally, whilst in Sialkot, he visited the Darbar of Hazrat Imam Ali-ul-Haq (ra) and was instructed to proceed to Darbar-i-Alia Naqshbandia Mohra Sharif, where his arrival was being eagerly anticipated
At Mohra Sharif, Hazrat Pir Nazir Ahmed Qasim (ra), the son of Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Qasim Sahib (ra), had been passed the duties of the Darbar by his father, who was suffering from ill-health, which included the initiation into the Tariqa. Zindapir Sahib (ra) on his arrival to Mohra Sharif, was shown in to the sanctum of Hazrat Pir Nazir Ahmed Qasim (ra), along with other visitors. Zindapir Sahib (ra) remained standing and heard a voice in his right-ear advising him to take ba’ait (vow of allegiance) only with Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Qasim Sahib (ra). Zindapir Sahib (ra) left the sanctum and requested Hazrat Pir Mubarak Khan (ra), the son of Hazrat Pir Nazir Ahmed Qasim (ra), to take him to his grand-father, which he did. Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Qasim (ra) welcomed Zindapir Sahib (ra) with open arms and said “I have been waiting here for 100 years in anticipation of your arrival. You are my last Khalifa (spiritual representative) and your faiz (spiritual blessings) will be the greatest. There will be plenty in your chapatti-basket” (a metaphor indicating the great spiritual gifts and blessings that would belong to Zindapir Sahib (ra)). Zindapir Sahib (ra) took ba’ait (vow of allegiance) at the hand of Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Qasim Sahib (ra) in 1938 and was given the Khilafat (spiritual representation) and the divine spirituality that is transferred in the chain of the silsilah (spiritual lineage) at the same time. Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Qasim Sahib (ra) departed from this world a few years later in 1942.
Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Qasim Sahib (ra) of Mohra Sharif
Zindapir Sahib (ra) continued to serve in the army for the next 10 years and his sainthood was a closely guarded secret within the Army Unit apart from a few close companions. Like many Sufi saints, he displayed many karamaat (miraculous occurrences), by the Grace of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).
Whilst the Unit was stationed in Sarai Alamghir, during the first India-Pakistan war in 1948, Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) would leave the camp in the evening to spend the night praying at a nearby watercourse. On this occasion when he went to pray, he would walk out on the surface of the water into the middle of the watercourse, lay out his prayer mat and offer prayers. One of the members of the Army Unit noticed that Zindapir Sahib (ra) was leaving the camp each evening and reported it to the Commanding Officer. The CO decided to investigate and the following night hid near the tent of Zindapir Sahib (ra), where he watched and followed Zindapir Sahib (ra) walk down to the watercourse and lay his prayer mat on the water. Zindapir Sahib (ra) was about to commence his prayer but paused and called the CO by his name and asked him to come forward. Amazed, the CO stepped out from behind some trees and Zindapir Sahib (ra) warned him not to disclose what he had seen to anyone and to issue the following three orders to the unit. Firstly, all members of the Unit were to fast from the following day. Secondly, the regiment roll call would take place in the Unit Mosque each evening where taraveeh prayers would be offered, and thirdly, during Ramadan the Unit would be permitted to a later start time in the morning. It had previously been the practice that the Unit were given a dispensation from observing Ramadan during a time of conflict.
Finally, later in 1948, whilst stationed in Abbottabad, it had become a wide known fact within the Unit that Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) was a saint of the highest rank. He left the army in 1949 but stayed in Abbottabad close to the Unit and continued practising as a Pir (spiritual guide). Hazrat Toori Baba Sahib (ra), who was a Pir-Bhai (fellow disciple in the Tariqa) of Zindapir Sahib (ra), lived in Lysaan Nawab a village near to Abbottabad and enjoyed a very close relationship with Zindapir Sahib (ra). Hazrat Toori Baba Sahib (ra) was the landlord of 1000 acres and offered 500 acres to Zindapir Sahib (ra) to move and practise from there. He would consider it an honour and himself very fortunate if Zindapir Sahib (ra) would accept. Zindapir Sahib (ra) responded and stated that he was soon to leave for Hajj and would, thereafter, proceed on the basis of his order from Medina Sharif.
In 1952 Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) left for his first Hajj (pilgrimage) to Makkah Sharif in Saudi Arabia. Whilst in Medina Sharif, Zindapir Sahib (ra) stood in front of the Roza Mubarak (holy grave) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and respectfully requested what the order for him was. Zindapir Sahib (ra) was then shown a vision in which he saw some mountains. On one of the mountains was written “Zindapir” and “Darbar-i-Alia Ghamkol Sharif”. This is when the name Zindapir was given by the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) himself. He was thus instructed to proceed to Ghamkol Sharif.
Upon returning from pilgrimage Zindapir Sahib (ra) made a Hijrat (migration) from Abbottabad to Kohat, following the instructions he had received in Medina Sharif. Once in the valley of Ghamkol Sharif, Zindapir Sahib (ra) took refuge in a cave half way up one of the mountains. He asked a companion to block the entrance to the cave in order to shut himself away in prayer. This cave has been preserved to the present day and is visited by those who come to the Darbar. A stone staircase has been constructed to provide the visitors with a safe and accessible route up to the cave. Zindapir Sahib (ra) secluded himself in the cave for 3 days and 3 nights in prayer and the zikr (remembrance) of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).
The first cave in the valley of Ghamkol Sharif
Zindapir Sahib (ra) was then commanded that he had not been sent to Ghamkol Sharif to close himself away from the world but to go and spread the message of Islam. Zindapir Sahib (ra) moved down into the valley to another cave which is located just above the room where he received visitors during his lifetime. From here he began to teach and soon the news of his presence began to spread. This practice continued for several years and the number of disciples and visitors began to increase.
Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) had love for saints that belonged to the four main Tariqas of the Naqshbandia, Qadiria, Chishtia and Suhrawardia, but he was particularly fond of and would often speak about Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (ra) of Ajmer Sharif, who was also known as Gareeb Nawaz, who according to Zindapir Sahib (ra) was the first light of the Tariqat in the Indian subcontinent. Zindapir Sahib (ra) began to visit the Roza Mubarak (holy grave) of Hazrat Ibrahim Khandozi (ra) in the nearby village of Shaikhaan. He would visit around 2am and offer tahajjud prayers and then return back to Ghamkol Sharif before Fajr prayer. This practice continued for a number of years. It is important to note that Hazrat Ibrahim Khandozi (ra) passed faiz (spiritual blessings) to Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (ra) during the latter’s childhood.
The first construction within the perimeters of the Darbar was its Jamia Mosque. This project was completed under the guidance and supervision of Zindapir Sahib (ra) and he himself took part in the building work, regularly working during the night whilst other workers and visitors to the Darbar where asleep. The Mosque, with its gleaming white domes and lofty minarets, stands elegantly in the valley.
Jamia Mosque Darbar-i-Alia Ghamkol Sharif, Kohat, Pakistan
The rest of the Darbar began to take shape gradually under the guidance of Zindapir Sahib (ra) and the voluntary labour of the disciples. Most of the construction was and is focussed on the annual ‘Urs’ celebration which is the main event at the Darbar. Arrangements need to be made to accommodate thousands of visitors, which mean expanding current and building new facilities to house the guests. The Darbar’s langar (food) is available to all free of charge. The langar-house is overseen by appointed Khulafah and manned by volunteers. Visitors are encouraged to partake from the langar as it is believed to be a source of spiritual blessing.
And so, the Darbar has evolved during the past 50 years, culminating into the present truly impressive Sufi centre, which Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) has built from almost nothing to its present day splendour. During his lifetime he attributed this development to the blessings of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and his beloved Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). When Zindapir Sahib (ra) first arrived in the valley of Ghamkol Sharif he considered himself a guest of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and subsequently all those that visit the Darbar are also seen as the guests of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).
Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) was a unique, charismatic and exemplary individual who devoted his life in the way of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). He was the Ghaus-e-Zaman (the highest ranking saint of his era). His speech and every action was in accordance to the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).Throughout his lifetime he never left the Darbar except to go on pilgrimage and spent his time in constant zikr of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). He never slept, regularly fasted on a daily basis and thus ate very little. He saw visitors on a daily basis, often into the early hours of the morning, advising them on their religious and worldly affairs, a fountain of knowledge, awakening and illuminating the hearts of those that he encountered. Visitors to the Darbar are overwhelmed by its spirituality, beauty and tranquil setting. The vocal zikr of the Tariqa “la ilaha illalah” (“there is no God but Allah”) echoes through the surrounding valley and has become the hallmark of the Tariqa, soothing the mind and heart of those whose ears it reaches.
Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) departed from this world on Sunday 21st March 1999. Disciples poured into Ghamkol Sharif not just from Pakistan but from all over the world as the news spread. Sufi Sahib arrived from the UK the following day and led the janaza (funeral) prayer of his Pir Sahib (ra). The janaza was attended by thousands of followers. Zindapir Sahib (ra) was buried in the courtyard outside the room where he used to receive supplicants. The construction of the Roza Mubarak (mausoleum) started almost immediately and was completed under the supervision of Hazrat Pir Habib-Ullah Shah Sahib (grand-son of Zindapir Sahib (ra)). The Roza Mubarak has become the identity symbol of Ghamkol Sharif with its green dome and marble arch ways.
Roza Mubarak of Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra)
The annual Urs, held in October to commemorate the death anniversary of Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Qasim (ra), is now observed as the Urs of Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra). Hazrat Khwaja Pir Baadshah Sahib the son of Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) now sits on the spiritual seat in Ghamkol Sharif and has become the head of the Tariqa.
Sajadah Nasheen Darbar-i-Alia Ghamkol Sharif, Hazrat Khwaja Pir Baadshah Sahib
Sahibzada Pir Abaid-Ullah Shah Sahib & Sahibzada Pir Habib-Ullah Shah Sahib
May Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for the sake of his Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) raise the maqaam (rank) of our Grand Shakyh Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) and may we continue to benefit from his faiz (spiritual blessings). Ameen
Birmingham - UK
During the 1950s and 1960s, the UK received a large migration of labour from the Indian sub-continent. There was an obligation for the many Muslims that arrived in Britain, to fulfil their religious and spiritual needs and also to make dawah amongst the non-Muslims. To help address these needs, Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) sent his first and most senior Khalifa (spiritual representative), Hazrat Sufi Mohammed Abdullah Khan Sahib, to the UK in 1962.
By the blessings of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and his Beloved Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the faiz (spiritual blessings) of Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) Sufi Sahib established the largest centre of the Tariqa outside its headquarters in Kohat - there are also many sub-centres in the major towns and cities of the UK. During 1996, under the guidance of Sufi Sahib, the largest mosque in Western Europe was completed, with a capacity to accommodate 5000 worshippers at any one time. This is a true testament of Sufi Sahib’s commitment, devotion and love for his Pir Sahib (ra) in the mission he was assigned.
Hazrat Sufi Mohammed Abdullah Khan Sahib
Sufi Sahib was born in 1923 in the village of Behkri, district Chakwal, Pakistan. Upon completing his formal schooling, Sufi Sahib entered the army in 1940. He served in World War II serving in the British Army, but was taken as a prisoner of war by the Germans and held captive for a number of years. After the war, Sufi Sahib returned to Pakistan. He was very keen on reciting Naat Sharif (poem praising the Holy Prophet ) at religious gatherings at the Unit mosque within the barracks. This is where he met Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib in 1945 whilst stationed in Abbottabad.
Sufi Sahib took ba’ait (vow of allegiance) a year later in 1946, at the hand of Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra). He became a disciple and continued to serve his Pir Sahib whilst they were both in the army. When Zindapir Sahib (ra) returned from Hajj in 1952, and embarked upon his Hijrat to Kohat, Sufi Sahib accompanied his Pir Sahib on that historic journey. Sufi Sahib spent much time at the Darbar during its early founding years and would regularly spend his entire leave from the army at Ghamkol Sharif. Sufi Sahib naturally became a very close companion of Zindapir Sahib (ra). Sufi Sahib continued visiting the Darbar and serving his Pir Sahib over the course of the next 10 years.
Sufi Sahib left the army in 1962 when it was decided by Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) to send him to the UK. Sufi Sahib became overcome with self-doubt in how he would manage such a task. Zindapir Sahib (ra) reassured him and stated that “Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is with you”. Upon Sufi Sahib’s departure for the UK, Zindapir Sahib (ra) conferred upon him the Khilafat (spiritual representation) of the Tariqa and gave him the following words of wisdom in 1962:
- to stay firm on the “aqeeda-e-tauheed” (belief in the oneness & supreme being of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala)
- to always have at the forefront of your mind the “rahza” (pleasure) of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) & His Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) before embarking upon any task
- to use your “il’m (knowledge) & aq’ l” (intellect/sense) for the “rahza” (pleasure) of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) as this results in attaining the “shaf’qat” (love, affection) of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him)
- do not undertake any task for your personal “iz’at” (honour) or that which leads to “be-iz’zatee” (dishonour/disgrace)
Once in the UK, Sufi Sahib proceeded to Birmingham where he knew a few people with whom he had arranged to stay. He soon found employment and began on the mission his Pir Sahib had assigned for him. Sufi Sahib discovered that most Muslims were not even aware of the direction of the qibla (Makkah) in order to establish prayer. There were no Friday Juma (congregational) prayers held and the month of Ramadan passed by without knowledge. Soon, through the blessings of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), His Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and the faiz (spiritual blessings) of his Pir Sahib, Sufi Sahib began to reach out and touch the hearts of those he encountered. A weekly zikr circle, Friday Juma prayers and monthly Giyarvee Sharif, were initiated. Sufi Sahib acquired his own accommodation, a house in Durham Road, Sparkhill, and this became the venue for the Tariqa’s gatherings. The Tariqa began to gather momentum and the following increased to such a level that more space was needed. Sufi Sahib went on his first Hajj in 1970 which was, by the blessings of Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), the first of twenty-seven that he completed. Zindapir Sahib (ra) also attended that year and this was their first meeting since 1962.
In 1973 the Birmingham Central Mosque was built and this venue was then at this time used for the Tariqa’s annual events, the Milaad Sharif (celebration marking the birthday of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him)) and Urs Sharif (death anniversary of the founding Saint of Mohra Sharif). During 1973 the jaloos (procession) was introduced. This was the first Muslim jaloos in the history of the UK and it was led by Sufi Sahib, despite being advised by members within the Muslim community that this practice may give rise to agitation against the marchers and subject them to physical and verbal abuse. However, Sufi Sahib was not dissuaded and Alhamdulillah (all praise is due to Almighty Allah) until this day there is not been a single incident since 1973. This involved marching through the streets of Birmingham reciting the zikr “la ilaha illala” (there is no God but Allah) an open declaration of faith in public. The jaloos became an integral part of the annual Milaad and Urs Sharif celebrations.
Sufi Sahib leading the Jaloos during the early and late 1970’s
The Tariqa was expanding rapidly with a number of new followers. Sufi Sahib moved residences from Durham Road to Warwick Road, Sparkhill in 1975. The new premises were much larger and the ground floor reception rooms were converted into a mosque. This was to provide some relief to the need for space, but a similar pattern was developing and soon housing the increasing number of followers was again proving a challenge within a few years.
In 1983, Darul-Uloom Islamia Rizvia was established on Golden Hillock Road, Small Heath. A disused factory hall with four adjacent houses was purchased. The factory hall was converted into a mosque and was able to accommodate approximately 600-700 worshippers. During the mid 1980s, a number of projects aimed at the local community were launched in conjunction with Birmingham City Council. A purpose built community centre and an employment resource centre were established on the site. Also at this time, a boarding facility for students from outside of Birmingham, who were wishing to compliment their academic schooling with religious studies in particular Hifz (memorising by heart) of the Holy Quran, was established.
At this time, with the expansion of activities on the site, there was a need to find car parking facilities for the newly constructed community centre. There was vacant land opposite the Dar-ul-Uloom Islamia Rizvia, which was occupied with 35 derelict houses. The management committee enquired to its status from the City Council and the Council responded by stating that if the land was purchased for the purpose of building a mosque then the Council would sell it at a third of its actual asking price. Sufi Sahib requested that they be given a week to make a decision, and within the week the Council were taken up on their offer. On the 15th March 1992, during the holy month of Ramadan, work commenced on the construction of the Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif, and the construction of the 3 storey mosque was completed in 1996.
Sufi Sahib participating in the construction of the Mosque and also Khalifa Haji Mirza Talib & Khalifa Haji Fazal Elahi (right)
The Mosque represented a perfect and true testament of Sufi Sahib’s commitment, devotion and love for his Pir Sahib in fulfilling the task he was assigned. The Tariqa had, in parallel with the construction of the new Mosque, also established an impressive portfolio of projects within the community, a day care centre, printing press, Ghamkol Sharif Academy (in conjunction with City College), Right Start Foundation, Sure Start, Ghamkol Sharif House (sheltered accommodation for those with mental illnesses) and a Funeral Service.
Sufi Sahib has very successfully established the Tariqa in the UK. He has devoted and committed his life in the service of Islam through his Pir Sahib. Sufi Sahib provides the perfect example of how a mureed (disciple) should relate with his Pir, possessing and displaying the utmost respect, love, devotion and obedience towards Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra). Sufi Sahib states “my Hazrat Sahib (ra) is the true master of my every happiness and sorrow since taking ba’ait in 1946”.
Sufi Sahib during the annual Urs celebration in Birmingham 2008
May Almighty Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) for the sake of his Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and our Grand Shaykh Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir Sahib (ra) raise the maqaam (rank) of our Shaykh Hazrat Sufi Mohammed Abdullah Khan Sahib and grant him health and a long life in the service of his Lord. Grant us the strength to follow his blessed example and serve Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and His Prophet (peace be upon him). Ameen
Spiritual Lineage - Silsilah
After the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) departed from this world his Sunnah was assumed and practised by many elite Sahabah, on the authority of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). These eminent Sahabah included Hazrat Abu-Bakr Siddiq (ra) & Hazrat Ali (ra) and before they departed they also nominated their successful students to carry on this Sunnah. Thus this tradition has been passed down from one generation to the next through an authentic chain of Friends of Allah the Auliya (saints).This chain is known as a Silsilah and varies according to the Sufi order.
The representation of the silsilah (chain) is referred to as the shajara (tree). This traces back the chain of transmission to the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).
The Shajara is recited on all spiritual gatherings of the Tariqa.
In the Qur'an, Almighty Allah ((subhanahu wa ta’ala) says about Bai'at (vow of allegiance):
"Verily, those who Swear Allegiance unto thee, O Muhammad , in truth Swear Allegiance to Allah: The Hand of Allah is over their hands: then anyone who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and anyone who fulfils what he has covenanted with Allah,- Allah will soon grant him a great Reward."
Holy Qur'an 48:10
The Naqshbandi-Ghamkolvi Shajara:
1. HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
2. Hazrat Abu Bakr-as Siddiq (may Almighty Allah be pleased with him)
3. Hazrat Salman Farsi (ra)
4. Hazrat Qasim Imam (ra)
5. Hazrat Jafaar Imam (ra)
6. Hazrat Shakyh Akhbar Bayazid (ra)
7. Hazrat Abul Hassan of Khirkaan (ra)
8. Hazrat Khwaja Abu Qasim of Girgaan (ra)
9. Hazrat Khwaja Boo Ali of Farmid (ra)
10. Hazrat Khwaja Abu Yusuf of Hamdaan (ra)
11. Hazrat Khwaja Abdul Khaliq of Gujdawaan (ra)
12. Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Arif of Rewagar (ra)
13. Hazrat Khwaja Mahmood-al-Khair of Fagna (ra)
14. Hazrat Khwaja Aziz Ali of Ramatin (ra)
15. Hazrat Baba Samasee (ra)
16. Hazrat Shah Kalaal Mir (ra)
17. Hazrat Khwaja Baha-Uddin Naqshband of Bukhara (ra)
18. Hazrat Khwaja Alauddin of Ataar (ra)
19. Hazrat Yaqoob of Charkh (ra)
20. Hazrat Khwaja Abaid-Ullah of Araar (ra)
21. Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Zahid (ra)
22. Hazrat Khwaja Darwish Mohammed (ra)
23. Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Mazhar (ra)
24. Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Baqi Billah (ra)
25. Hazrat Khwaja Mujjaddid Alif Thani of Sirhind (ra)
26. Hazrat Mohammed Shah Hussain (ra)
27. Hazrat Syed Abdul Basit (ra)
28. Hazrat Abdul Qadir (ra)
29. Hazrat Syed Mahmood (ra)
30. Hazrat Khwaja Abdullah (ra)
31. Hazrat Shah Inayatullah (ra)
32. Hazrat Hafiz Ahmed (ra)
33. Hazrat Khwaja Abdul Saboor (ra)
34. Hazrat Khwaja Gul Mohammed (ra)
35. Hazrat Abdul Majeed (ra)
36. Hazrat Abdul Aziz (ra)
37. Hazrat Mohammed Shah Malook (ra)
38. Hazrat Shah Nizamuddin (ra)
39. Hazrat Khwaja Mohammed Qasim (ra) of Mohra Sharif
40. Hazrat Khwaja Zindapir (ra) of Ghamkol Sharif
41. Hazrat Khwaja Baadshah Sahib of Ghamkol Sharif
42. Hazrat Sufi Mohammed Abdullah Khan of Birmingham, UK
Overview of Mosque Central Jamia
Mosque Ghamkol Sharif
Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif is located on Poets Corner in Small Heath, Birmingham, along the A45 coming out of the city centre. It is one of the largest mosques in Western Europe with a capacity to accommodate 5000 worshippers over three floors.
The Mosque was the vision of Hazrat Sufi Mohammed Abdullah Khan Sahib, Khalifah-e-Azam Darbar-i-Alia Ghamkol Sharif and was thus built under his guidance and supervision. The foundation was laid on 15th March 1992 by students of Dar Ul Uloom Islamia Rizvia (supplementary school) during the holy month of Ramadan. The overall cost of the project amounted to approximately £3.5 million. Many volunteers kindly donated their labour and skills in the construction of the Mosque. The Holy Quran was recited on site each and every night during the construction period. The Mosque was completed in 1996. However, the Mosque was utilised from Friday 29th July 1995 onwards when the first Juma prayer was held, being led by Allama Shah Ahmed Noorani Sahib (ra).
The Mosque is the focal point within the Muslim community and the hub of religious activity not just within Birmingham but for the whole of the UK. The Mosque, apart from the five daily prayers, is utilised for religious celebrations, lectures, national and international conferences, community and educational purposes.
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) stressed the importance on visiting the mosque frequently. Abu Hurairah, a Companion of the Prophet, relates that The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"For him who proceeds to the mosque morning or evening, Allah prepares entertainment in paradise every time he proceeds, morning of evening."
(Sahih Bukhari & Muslim)
"He who makes his ablutions at home and then walks to one of the houses of Allah to discharge of obligation imposed on him by Allah, one step of his wipes out a sin and another step raises his status"
Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif has three floors with the following facilities and is fully accessible to wheelchair users.
- Mosque Office
- Prayer room for daily salaah (capacity for 100 worshippers)
- Additional Prayer Hall (capacity for 400 worshippers)
- Conference room
- Library (for reference purposes only containing English, Urdu & Arabic books)
- Kitchen from which pre-prepared food is served
- Lift (accessible via Ladies entrance and serves all floors)
- Ablution/Washrooms for men & women
- Car-park (capacity for 150 cars)
- Main Prayer Hall (capacity for 3000 worshippers)
- Ladies Prayer hall (capacity for 1500 worshippers)
- Additional side hall
- Visitors Gallery
The mosque has a dome and a minaret which provides a panoramic view across the surrounding suburbs of Birmingham.
In addition to in-house events at Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif, functions are held by third party organisations.
These functions include but are not limited to;
1. Mawlid celebrations
2. Celebrating significant Islamic events in the calendar
3. Visiting scholars delivering lectures
If you wish to arrange an event at Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif, please contact the main office.