Shah Nimatullah Wali


Shah Nimatullah Wali
Qutb, Muslim scholar
Hazrat Sayyed Nur'uddin Kermani
Title Shah Nematollah Vali
Died 1431 A.D (835 Hijri)
Influences Ibn Arabi and Abd-Allah Yafe'i

Shah Nimatullah Wali or Shah Ni'matullah Wali (1330–1431) (Persian: شاه نعمتاللهِ ولی, Shāh Ni'matullāh-i Walī ), also spelled as Ne'matollah, Ni'matallah and Ni'mat Allah, was an Islamic scholar and a Sufi poet from the 14th and 15th centuries. Descended from the Ismaili Imam Muhammad ibn Ismail, Ni'matullah was the Qutb of a Sufi order after his master Sheikh Abd-Allah Yafae.[1] Today there is a Sufi order Nimatullahi that considers him its founder.[2]

Contents

Biography

Born in Aleppo, Syria, Ni’mattullah traced his own descent from the seventh Ismaili Imam, Muhammad ibn Ismail in both a poetic work as well as an epistle reproduced by his biographers ‘Abd al-Razzāq Kirmānī and ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Wā’iẓ.[3] Ni'matullah travelled widely through the Muslim world, learning the philosophies of many masters, but not at first finding a personal teacher he could dedicate himself to. During this time, Ni'matullah also studied the writings of the great Sufi philosopher and mystic Ibn al-‘ Arabi.

Ni'matullah met Abdollah Yafe'i in Mecca and subsequently became his disciple. He studied intensely with his teacher for seven years until, spiritually transformed, he was sent out for a second round of travels, this time as a realized teacher.

Ni'matullah temporarily resided near Samarkand, along the great Central Asian Silk Road. It was here that he met the conqueror Tamerlane, but to avoid conflict with the worldly ruler, he soon left and eventually settled in the Persian region of Kerman. His shrine is in nearby Mahan.

By the time Ni'matullah died, his fame had spread throughout Persia and India, and it is said[vague] he initiated hundreds of thousands of followers in the path now known by his name.

Ni'matullah's son Shah Khalilullah was the next qutb (master) of the Nimatullahi order. On the invitation of Sultan Ahmed Shah Al Wali Bahamani Of Bidar Sultanate Deccan to Shah Nimatullah Wali, he replied "I am 104 yrs old, I can not come, I am sending my son Shah Khalilullah " to Deccan (around 1430 A.D). The silsilah (spiritual lineage) then moved to Ashtoor outside Bidar in the Deccan. Before Shah his brother Shah Nasrullah came to Bidar and was later married to Sultan's daughter. The place where Sultan received Shah is now Khalilabad outside Bidar. The Sultan saw Shah in his dream and wished that the saint come to Bidar. This dream according to many history books was realized, as when he received Shah he told his counsels, "If this is the same person I saw in my dream he should be carrying an octagon -shaped head cap”, and hence he was satisfied when Shah Khalilullah presented him with the cap. Today, even the Tomb of Shah is octagonal.

The Tomb of Shah Khalilullah

Shah Khalilullah's tomb is located outside Bidar fort and known as "chokundi". Today it is under the Archeological Survey of India. Shah Khalilullah was succeeded by numerous other qutbs (masters) including Shah Mir Mahmud Deccani, Shams al Din Deccani and Reza Ali Shah Deccani. In Hyderabad, Deccan there are tombs of 12 qutbs of the Nimatullah order [1] order in Hind (India). The silsilah moved back to Iran after the Sufi master Reza Ali Shah Deccani’s ordered his disciple Ali Shah Deccani in the year 1194 AH, nearing the end of Karim Khan Zand’s dynasty to depart to Iran with his family and entered Shiraz. Not long after the establishment of the Safawid Shi’i state, the Ni’matullahi order publicly declared itself as Shi’i.[4]

One line of succession from Hazrat Shah Khalilullah returns to Iran and is linked with several current schools, such as the Oveyssiyeh,[5] Moonesiyeh and Kowseriyeh maktabs.

Poetry

Shah N'imatullah Wali has a left a Persian Language Diwan (poetry).This contained predictions about the events which would occur on-wards in the world. His diwan indicates that his father’s name was Harun Rashid who lived in Bhara Kahu Diwan of Hazrat Shah Ni'matollah Wali

Notes

  1. ^ Virani, Shafique N. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p. 113.
  2. ^ Liyajat Nathani Takim. Shi'ism in America. (New York: New York University Press, 2009) p. 43
  3. ^ Virani, Shafique N. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p. 241.
  4. ^ Virani, Shafique N. The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (New York: Oxford University Press), 2007, p. 113.
  5. ^ http://www.mtoshahmaghsoudi.org/website/PDF/sufismGeneology.pdf

Bibliography

  • Masters of the Path: A History of the Masters of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publications, New York and London, 2nd Edition, 1993, ISBN 0-933546-03-3 and ISBN 978-0-933546-03-5

External links


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