He was born in Samas, a village in the suburbs of Ramitan, 5kms from Bukhara, in present day Uzbekistan. He later owned a small orchard in Samas, where he tended the fruit trees. From a young age he memorized the Quran, studied it’s meaning and also studied the Traditions of the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him). He then studied jurisprudence, theology, logic and philosophy, until he became a walking encyclopedia of Islam, Sufism and the arts and sciences.
He became the pupil of Khwaja Ali Ramitani al- Azizan, who guided him to be constantly engaged in the struggle against his ‘self’. Khwaja Baba as-Samasi secluded himself on a daily basis until he reached such a state of purity, that his Shaykh was permitted to transmit to his heart. Khwaja Ali chose him as his successor before his death and ordered all his students to follow him.
Khwaja Baba as-Samasi was famous for his high station of sainthood and for his miraculous powers. When he used to pass the village called the ‘Pavilion of the Truly Wise’ (‘Qasr al-Arifin’), he would say, “I smell the scent of a spiritual knower who is going to appear and after whose name this entire Order will be known.” One day he passed the village and said, “I smell the scent so strongly that it is as if the knower has been born. “ Three days passed and the grandfather of a child came to Khwaja Muhammad Baba as-Samasi saying, “This is my grandson. “
The Khwaja said to his followers, “This baby is the knower that I was telling you about. I see in his future that he is to be a guide for all humanity. His secrets are going to reach every sincere and pious person. The heavenly knowledge that God is going to shower on him will reach every house in Central Asia. God’s Name is going to be engraved (‘naqsh’) on his heart. And the order will take its name from this engraving.”
This baby was Muhammad Bahauddin Shah Naqshband, who Khwaja Baba as-Samasi later accepted as his spiritual son.
Khwaja Ubayd Allah al-Ahrar related that Muhammad Baba as-Samasi had a small orchard in the village of Samas. He would sometimes prune its shoots, deriving great pleasure from this task. Whenever he clipped a twig, a spiritual state would overwhelm him and the knife would fall from his hands.
Khwaja Muhammad Baba as-Samasi had four Deputies, including Khwaja Sufi Sukhari, who is buried in the village of Sukhar, Khwaja Muhammad Sammasi, the Khwaja’s son and Mawlana Danishmand Ali. He passed the secret of the Golden Chain to Khwaja Sayyid Amir Kulal.
Khwaja Muhammad Baba as-Samasi died in 1354 AD in Samas, near present day Alamdor, 20kms north west of Bukhara.
May God be well pleased with him.
Extracts from:- ‘The Naqshbandi Way – History and Guidebook of the Saints of the Golden Chain’ by Mawlana Shaykh Hisham.
‘Rashahat Ain al-Hayat – Beads of Dew from the Source of Life. Histories of the Khwajagan The Masters of Wisdom’ by Mawlana Ali ibn Husain Safi.