The Golden Chain

Khwaja Darwish Muhammad

Khwaja Darwish Muhammad as-Samarqandi (may God sanctify his innermost being) is the twenty second Shaykh in the Naqshbandi Golden Chain and at the same time, the thirteenth Khwaja of the ‘Khwajagan’ – the Masters of Wisdom of Central Asia.

He was the nephew of Khwaja Muhammad az-Zahid (may God sanctify his innermost being), who conveyed the secret of the Naqshbandi Order to him. He grew up in the house of his uncle, who taught him the best manners, educated him in spiritual and religious knowledge and provided a transmission of the morality and ethics of the Naqshbandi Way. This teaching elevated him until his heart became a house of inspiration, as God said in the Holy Tradition, “Neither My heaven nor my earth could contain Me, but the heart of My believing servant contains Me.” He was known in his time as Darwish Wali.

Once after a gathering, Khwaja Muhammad az-Zahid told him to travel to a certain hill and wait for him there – the Khwaja said he would be coming later. Darwish Muhammad obediently went as his Shaykh instructed and waited for the Khwaja to come. He went immediately, without using his mind to ask such questions as, ‘How shall I go there?’ or ‘What should I do when I get there?’Time for the afternoon prayer came and the Khwaja did not come. Then the time of the evening prayer came and went. His ego told him, ‘Your Shaykh is not coming – you have to go back. Maybe the Shaykh forgot?’ His true self, however, told him, ‘O Darwish Muhammad, believe in your Shaykh. Believe that he is certainly coming, as he said he would – you have to wait.’Night came and as it was very cold on the hill, he spent all night awake. His only source of warmth was doing ‘Dhikr Allah’. Dawn came and the Khwaja still hadn’t come. He was hungry and started looking for something to eat. He found some fruit trees, ate this fruit and continued to wait for the Shaykh. The day went, and then the next day. He was again in conflict with his ego, but he kept thinking, ‘If my Shaykh is a real Shaykh, he knows what he is doing.’A week went by and then a month and the Khwaja still didn’t come. The only activity Darwish Muhammad had whilst waiting was doing ‘Dhikr Allah’ and his daily prayers. He continued these until the power of his Dhikr made the animals come and sit around him, to make Dhikr with him. He realized this miraculous power had come to him from his Shaykh.Winter came and the Khwaja still did not come and it began to snow. It was extremely cold and there was no more food, so he began to eat the bark, roots and leaves of trees to feed himself. Then another miracle occurred to him when a deer appeared and allowed him to take milk from her. He was lifted to higher and higher levels, whilst his teacher sent him spiritual knowledge through miracles and visions.

Khidr then appeared to him and began to teach him.

A year passed, and another, then a third and fourth year, and the Khwaja did not come. Darwish Muhammad was in a state of complete patience, as he kept thinking, ‘My Shaykh knows’. At the end of the seventh year he smelt the sweet fragrance of his Shaykh, so he ran to meet him, with the wild animals following behind.When he saw Khwaja Muhammad az-Zahid, Darwish Muhammad felt intense joy in his heart and an immense love for his Shaykh. He went to the Shaykh and kissed his hand, telling him how much he loved him. The Khwaja said, “What are you doing here?”Darwish Muhammad replied, “O my Shaykh, you said to come here and wait for you – so I waited for you.”The Khwaja said, “What if I had died, or perhaps forgot?”Darwish Muhammad said, “O my Shaykh, how are you going to forget when you are the representative of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) on earth. If I had not stayed here and waited for you and obeyed you, you would not have come by the instigation and blessing of the Prophet. Darwish Muhammad had detected in his heart that his Shaykh was coming by the order of the Prophet.The Khwaja laughed and said, “Come with me.” At that moment he poured the secret and power of the Golden Chain of the Naqshbandi Order into him. Darwish Muhammad remained in his Shaykh’s service until Khwaja Muhammad az-Zahid passed away.

Khwaja Darwish Muhammad had many followers throughout Central Asia. His Mosque and house were filled with visitors who were seeking his guidance.

Khwaja Darwish Muhammad died in 1562 AD in Kitab, 100 kms from Samarqand in the Shakhrisabz region of Uzbekisatan. He is buried near to his Mosque, which is still being used for regular prayers. He passed his secret on to his son, Khwaja Muhammad al-Amkanaki.

May Allah be well pleased with him.


Source:- ‘The Naqshbandi Way – History and Guidebook of the Saints of the Golden Chain’ by Mawlana Shaykh Hisham.