The Golden Chain

Stories and Sayings of Khwaja Yaqub Charki

Khwaja Yaqub al-Charkhi (may God sanctify his innermost being), the nineteenth Shaykh in the Naqshbandi Golden Chain and at the same time, the tenth Khwaja of the ‘Khwajagan’ – the Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia, said the following:-

Before embarking on a journey, Khwaja Yaqub al-Charki related that, “Khwaja Shah Naqshband said to him, ‘On your way back to your country of Balkh, if you meet Mawlana Tajuddin al-Kawlaki, keep your heart from gossiping in his presence because he is a great Saint and he will admonish you.’

I said to myself, ‘I am going back to Herat by way of Balkh, but I am not going through Kawlak, where Mawlana Tajuddin is living. So I do not think that I would see him.’ But on the way, the caravan with which I was travelling was obliged to change course and go by Kawlak. I remembered the words of Shah Naqshabnd and it came to my heart that he had caused the event to occur, so that I could visit the Shaykh. When we arrived in Kawlak, it was very dark, with no stars in the sky. I went to the Mosque to enquire about Mawlana Tajuddin, when a person came from behind a pillar and asked me, “Are you Yaqub Charki?” I was astonished, but he said, “Do not be surprised. I knew you before you came here – my Shaykh, Khwaja Shah Naqshband, sent me to take you to Mawlana Tajuddin. On the way to see him, we met an old man, who said, “O my son, our way is full of surprises – whoever enters it cannot understand it. The seeker must leave his mind behind.”

We then entered the presence of Mawlana Tajuddin and I found it very difficult to keep my heart free from any gossip. Mawlana Tajuddin gave me a piece of spiritual knowledge that I had never heard before – all that I had learned was nothing compared to his knowledge. I was so happy with my Shaykh, Shah Naqshband, and the way in which he arranged for me to meet with Mawlana Tajuddin, that my love greatly increased for him.”