History Of Khadims

History Of Khadims

Genealogy and history of Syedzadgan Khuddam e Khawaja
(Harke-Khidmat Kard Makhdum Shud)

Hazrat Khwaja Syed Fakhruddin Gurdezi (RA) was Hussaini syed born in 544 hijri at Gurdez. Hazrat Khwaja Syed Fakhruddin Gurdezi (R.A.) and Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A.) were first cousins and spiritual brothers. Hazrat Khwaja Syed Fakhruddin Gurdezi (R.A.) was also the Khadim-e-Khas of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A). He used to attend on Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.) day to day matters. Therefore, he and his descendants the present Khadim community took pride and deemed it as an honor to be called “Khadims” of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A).
They are also referred to as Mujavirs, Syedna, Sahibzadas, Khuddam, Gaddinashins, etc. by the devotees and pilgrims, who pour all kinds of offerings (Nazar) upon them, in the name of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A).
Khwaja Hussain Nagori has alluded these Khadims as equivalent to Ridwan (the door keeper of heaven), and this shows how great Saints of the time held the Khadims in high esteem, and appreciated their role.
When Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A) proceeded for India, his Peer-o-Murshid (spiritual mentor) Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni (R.A) asked him to take one of his blood relative and follower, Hazrat Khwaja Syed Fakhruddin Gurdezi (R.A.) along with him.
Hazrat Khwaja Syed Fakhruddin Gurdezi (R.A), the Khadim-e-khas used to attend on Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A) day to day matters.
Hazrat Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki of Delhi in his book ‘Munis-ul-Arwah’ writes as under : ‘During my twenty years company with my ‘Shaikh’ (spiritual leader), I did not find any other person , except Fakhruddin so near to him.
Hazrat Khwaja Fakhruddin stayed with the Huzoor Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (RA) up to his last breath and when Khwaja Saheb kept himself busy in prayer and meditation or in seclusion for a number of days he looked after all his affairs and management of Khanqah and Langar Khana (Kitchen for Poor).
Hazrat Khwaja Syed Fakhruddin Gurdezi (R.A) died in Ajmer, on 25th of Rajab 642 A.H./1245 (nearly a decade after the Wisaal (demise) of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.) and was buried near Mazar-e-Pak of Khwaja Saheb in the Hujra, which is now known as “Toshk Khana”. His annual Urs is celebrated on the 25th of Rajab, with all religious ceremonies, by the Khadims, (Syedzadgan).
The Khadims of Huzoor Gharib Nawaz (R.A) known as “Syedzadgan” and trace their descent from Hazrat Khwaja Syed Fakhruddin Gurdezi (R.A) through his Sons; Hazrat Khwaja Syed Masood (R.A), Hazrat Khwaja Syed Mahboob Bahlol (RA) and Hazrat Khwaja Syed Ibrahim(R.A). The Khadim’s of Huzoor Gharib Nawaz(RA) are performing the religious duties since eight centuries, i.e-since demise of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz(R.A).
Undoubtedly, the Khadims, who have been attached to the Shrine since its inception, played a key role in the smooth functioning and in keeping strict discipline in all the rituals and ceremonies. As a result, they often invited the ill-will and wrath of pilgrims and other officials. But their genuine concerns are to perform all the ritual smoothly with centuries old custom.
The keys of the Holy Shrine including the Toshak Khana are in the custody of the Khadims since inception according to centuries old Baridari system of our ancestors. Only the Khadims have the privilege to open (after giving Azan at the door step of the Shrine) & close the doors of the Holy Shrine at the fixed time, for centuries in religious & hereditary capacity.
They serve the Mazar-e-Pak (Holy Shrine) and pray for those People who come and also for those unable to come to the Holy shrine but are desirous of obtaining the blessings of Gharib Nawaz (R.A).
This is their right to serve the holy Shrine, to perform all religious rituals and arrange spiritual functions, to receive all kinds of Nazar are hereditary and its all judicially recognized.
The documentary evidences are in the “Malfoozat” (Sayings) of Chishtia order and historical literature, Shahi Faramin, Sanads etc. (Imperial orders). The jagirs and honours conferred upon the Khadims from time to time not only by Muslim Rulers but also by many Hindu Rajas and Chieftains of India and even by the British Government during their succeeding regimes.
Khadims are the custodians of the Shrine, the whole management & control of all the affairs inside the Shrine (Gumbad Mubarak- Aastana Auliya), belong to Khadim community.
Although Khadims have faced a number of revolutions and changes of the Government policies but under all circumstances and worst political upheavals, Khadims and only Khadims are custodian of the Holy Shrine and performing all the traditional rituals, duties and welcoming the devotees.
The Mazar-e-Aqdas (Holy Shrine) of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A) always remained under the custody and care of the Khadims from the very beginning. All the mundane customs & traditions of the Mazar-e-Aqdas (Holy Shrine) are performed by Khadims only, according to centuries old Chishty tenet.
Only Khadims are entitled to take Pilgrims for Ziyarat at the Holy Shrine, and they have the right to receive all kinds of Nazar & Niyaz (offerings) at the Holy Shrine (Mazar-e-Aqdas) of Huzoor Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A).
The Khadims has kept the glorious traditions of secular character and composite culture of this institution alive for the last 800 years.

Or re-evaluating and re-assessing our rights by way of memorandum some relevant facts were put before Joint Parliamentary Committee for Waqf on 4th and 5th July 2002 for their just and due consideration which is as follows;

  1. It is rather unthinkable for a moment that the Khadim community in this long history of the institution has everacted against the interest of the institution or the country on the contrary we have always contributed for the strengthening of the institution and also contributed in construction and renovation of several parts in Dargah Sharif for the Pilgrims. The Khadim community has kept the glorious traditions of secular character & composite culture of this institution alive for the last 800 years. There are some false and created discredit for Khadim community in general out of jealousy & obvious reasons.
    The Khadims, with all their devotion, have all along been undisputed first and foremost persons in attendance of the Holy Saint, and later on with the Holy Shrine. The ancient and intimate relationship of Khadims with the institution is not only born out from the long history, but also their relation are recognized by the Sufi order of all.
  2. Relation between Huzoor Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.) & Huzoor Khwaja Syed Fakhruddin Gurdezi (R.A.):
    1. Both of these Personalities were the first cousins and were descendants of Hazrat Ali (A.S) the son in law of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (S.A.W)
    2. Both of these Personalities were Mureeds (Disciple) from the same Peer-o-Mursheed (spiritual mentor) Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni (R.A.) thus they were Peer Bahi too (spiritual brothers).
    3. But most important fact is that Hazrat Khwaja Syed Fakhruddin Gurdezi (R.A.) was the Khadim-e-Khas (Chief attendant) of Huzoor Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A.)
    4. Mughal Documents 1526-1627 by S.A.I. Tirrmizi:- Mr. S.A.I. Tirmizi former director of Archeological Survey of India has compiled the Mughal documents translated the Persian Farmans (imperial orders) into English (1526-1627) which was published by Manohar publications, Ansari Road, Darya Ganj, New Delhi in which there are several Mughal documents which establishes the fact, that Mujavirs (Khadims) of Khwaja Sb. have also received Nazars, Jagirs and Farmans (imperial orders) from Mughal emperors as offerings.
    5. Aban, Ilahi 9/24 Ramazan 1023 A.H./18 October 1614 A.D. (Pg.94)

Farman of Jahangir to the officials states that the Nazurat of the Rauza of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A) which were deposited in the qindil were divided into shares as follows: children of Masud, 1½ share; children of Bahlol, 1 share; children of Ibrahim, I share. (All these three brothers were distinguished sons of Hazrat Khwaja Fakhruddin Gurdezi (R.A) to whom Khadims trace their lineage.) Rajab 992 A.H./June-July 1584 A.D. (Pg. 62)
Agreement regarding division of Nazurat among the Khadims of the Shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty (R.A). It is agreed that the Nazurat should be divided among the Mujawirs according to past practice as follows. (Pg. 33) The Nazurat or offerings made to the Shrine were deposited in the qindil and were divided among the Mujawirs (172). (Pg. 33) C 1000 A.H./1591-92 A.D. (Pg. 68)
However, in the closing decade of the fifteenth century Shaikh Jamali arrived at Dargah in company of his Pirzadah Shaikh Nasiruddin, (son of Shaikh Samauddin Kamboh) and observed that quite number of Hindus regularly pay homage at the Shrine of the great Chishti Saint, and as a mark of respect offers all Nazar to the Mujaviran. Shaikh Jamali was very much impressed by the Saint like qualities of 80 years old Maulana Masud, the Khadim and direct decendant of Khawaja Fakhruddin Guedezi and referred to him as Mujavir-e-Azim-ul-Qadr (greatly respected Mujavir). Jamali had also consulted the Malfuzat of the Khwaja Sahib compiled by Maulana Ahmad which was with Maulana Masud. Khwaja Khanun Gawaliari had also developed close links with the famous Syed Matha (Khadim) during his stay at Ajmer.
Source: Asanid-us-Sanadid, pp. 3-5, 79-83; 117-18; Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, (tr.) op. cit., Vol. II, pp 143-44; Akbar Namah, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 542; Ain-I-Akbari, op. cit., Vol. I, p.422. It is important to note that Akbar’s relations with the Khadims of Dargah did certainly influence his religious perception and policy. Details of the Emperor’s lengthy discussions and sittings with Khadims have been furnished by many contemporary writers, where matters about religion, philosophy, Sufism, especially of Chishty order, were the themes of talk and discussions. It is fact that the Khadims bring in the light with the Mughal Emperor, the need of the persuasion and propagation of Chishty ideals of humanism, piety, tolerance, and brotherhood, in the pluralistic society of India. For example, it appears that after each of his earlier visits to the Dargah, Akbar abolished the practice of enslavement of war prisoners (1562), remitted the pilgrimage tax (1563), and finally abolished Jaziya, after paying homage to the Shrine of Shaikh Niazamuddin Auliya (R.A) at Delhi.
It has also been claimed that Akbar had received the Wazifa (litany) of ‘Ya-Hadi’ Ya-Moin, which he frequently used in the wars, from the Khadims of the Shrine. He was the first and foremost Emperor in the history of Muslim rule in India (of course followed by his son, Jahangir) who had inscribed ‘Ya-Moin’ on his famous gold coins Adal-Gatka, Lal-I-Jalali Gird, and even introduced a new coin called Moini. He even had dispatched several Haj caravans from Ajmer in a company of these Khadims. He once brought Raja Man Singh with him in the Dargah, for getting the blessings of the Saints, for success of the campaign against Rana of Kokanada and Kombhelner. Here it will be interesting to note that Mahrana Pratap too had prayed and invoked the blessings of the great Saint, for his own success, against Mughals as has been mentioned by Dayal Das in Rana Raso. Stipends to the students belonging to Khadims community were also sanctioned by the officials of Akbar.
Source: For details see: Akbar and the Ajmer Shrine, op. cit., Asnanid-us-Sanadid, op.cit., pp. 14-19, 22-23, 25-26.
During the stay at Ajmer once Jahangir fell seriously ill and made a vow at Dargah that after the recovery from illness, he would perforate his ears, wear ear-rings as a mark of slavery to Khwaja. On regaining health, he fulfilled his vow by perforating his ears and wore ear rings as a mark of slavery to Khwaja Baba. Many of his nobles also followed the Emperor and wore ear-rings. He also offered a golden railing around the Mazar Sharif, and issued a gold coin bearing the novel inscription of Ya-Moin on it. He also presented a Degh (cauldron) and cooked the food and distributed it with his own hands, performed the ritual of candle lighting (Roshni) and distributed cash and kind rewards to many recluses and also offered Nazar to the Khadims.
Source: Tuzuk-I-Jahangiri, Vol. I (tr.) op. cit., pp. 267-68, 256, 279, 297, 329 W. Foster (ed.), early travels in India (1583-1619), London, 1927, pp. 171, 280. Purchas and his Pilgrimages (op. cit.), P. 491, Ajmer through inscriptions, p. 18, M.K. Hussain: Jam-e-Sahat coin of Jahangir, the journal of Numismatic society of India, Vol. XLI, pt. II (Varanasi 1997), pp. 103-15.

Nazrana (Offerings)
It is one of the prominent feature of Dargahs & Khanqas (Spiritual monasteries):-
It is an Arabic word meant for any kind of offering (both in cash & in kind) the pilgrims & Mureeds offer voluntarily to their respective Duwagos (Khadims of Khwaja Baba.) for the “satisfactory – spiritual services” (Dua) rendered by them. It is also paid on the fulfillment of one’s own vow (Mannat) it is a gesture of appreciation paid for rendering satisfactory spiritual services hence it is just a personal intention or wish. It is neither pre-determined nor pre-fixed but self willing on the fulfillment of one’s cherished desires. Based on age old Sufi tradition of Dargahs & Khanqas it is purely meant for Khadims use.
To quote in support the view of Sheikh Djamali, a mystic and historian of the times of Humayun, “Every year, many distinguished men come to kiss the dust of the Astana (Dargah of Ajmer) and present amounts of cash to the Khadims of this magnificent tomb, and pay them their respects.”
Sheikh Djamali, Siyar-ul-Arfin, p. 13 (Translation from Persian supplied). Also cited in Jawab Namah, p. 112 being the printed answers of the Khadims to the questionnaire issued by the Dargah Khwaja Sahib (Ajmer) committee of enquiry (1949).
Candid opinions in the form of questionnaire (Istifta) were invited by Fida-Ul-Mulk, Arshi Ajmeri on 11th Moharram 1378 A.H. from different Ulemas (Scholars) and Muftis (religious authorities) to give their religious verdict (Fatwas) on this subject which are as under Istifta (Questionnaire) option.

The position of Khadim is two fold – on the one hand he is “duty bound” for the hereditary services of the Shrine and on the other hand it is purely spiritual to the entire satisfaction of the pilgrim in return for a religious act (Dua) for the fulfillment of his vows (Mannat) either before or after. Thus Ajmer is both religious and historical for people of all caste and creed. Actually there is unity in diversity and that is why they – the prince, the politicians, Actors, poor, rich anyone who comes here, they wanted to be in tune with the spirit once again. The “Sufi Saint” bestows his blessing on all regardless of rank, race and region this is the living miracle of the Saint.

Court Verdicts

  1. “The defendant is a Khadim of the Dargah, and the Khadims of Dargah are hereditary Khadims, not in the sense of house hold servants. THEY PERFORM PRIESTLY FUNCTIONS THIER CONNECTION WITH THE SHRINE IS NOT ONLY ANCIENT BUT INTIMATE. They introduce pilgrims to the Shrine and their business keeps them attached to the Dargah, and to be present in it and to go to it at all hours of the day. They look to the comforts of the pilgrims whom they introduce while inside the Dargah”
    AIR 1959 Raj. P. 177 = RLW 1959 P. 503. Para. 21
  2. “The Khadim’s right to receive offerings which has been judicially recognized is in no manner affected or prejudiced by the impugned provisions. Even after the Act came into force pilgrims might and would make offerings to the Khadims and there is no provision in the Act which prevents them from accepting such offerings when made”
    AIR – 1961 Supreme Court – Page 1402

Zaireen (Pilgrims)
As far the facilities of the Zaireen are concerned it is the duty of every Khadim to treat them with due honor and dignity and to provide every possible facility to them. The devotees to the Holy Shrine, factually speaking are the guests of Huzoor Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (R.A) and have been treated as such all along by the Khadims. It is a fact that despite all the efforts made by the Dargah administration and the local administration, most of the pilgrims stay with their respective Duwagos (Khadims). Moreover, Khadims try to make their pilgrims stay as much comfortable as possible. And for the last 800 years, we are keeping with this tradition earnestly & religiously.
All the Khadims houses are offered and used for Zaireen accommodation, (as per Khanqahi Nizam) free accommodation & food are provided to Zaireen without any charges. Whatever Zaireen offers to his Mujavir (Khadim-E-Khawaja) in form of Nazrana, it is purely voluntary.
Nazrana: – It is one of the prominent features of Khanqahi Nizam (Spiritual monasteries)