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Gilani Syeds

February 21, 2017
Khuda Aur Mohabbat
February 21, 2017
تاریخ مجلس و جلوس ، تعزیہ
February 21, 2017

Who are Syeds

I t is a title that has only been awarded to Aal-e-Rusul (Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wa Sallam) or Ehl-e-Bait. In other words, only those persons have rights to use this word with their names, who are direct descendants of Hazrat Fatima-tu-Zahra, Razi Allah Taala (Daughter of Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wa Sallam and her husband Hazrat Ali, Karam Allah Wajho. The actual meanings of respectable word “Syed” is Leader or Sardar. However Arabs commonly use “Al-Syedi” for Sir or Janab, but this word has no concern or connection with “Syed”.

Syed is not a caste

The caste of Syeds is Qureshi; Hashemites. There is no Kashmiri, Pathan, Bangladeshi, Mohajir, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Hindustani, Irani or Afghan in Syeds but those are all from Arabic Race or Origin. After leaving their native land (Arab) they migrated and permanently settled in different parts of the world that was known in those days. In the beginning they were Arabic speaking but as the time go on, they started adopting not only local languages but also culture and traditions of those areas, where they chose to reside.

Principal Links of Syeds

Principally Syeds have only two main links. Descendants of Hazrat Imam Hassan Alaih-s-Salam S/o Hazrat Ali, Karam Allah Wajho are called Hassni Syeds and children of Hazrat Imam Hussain Alaih-s-Salam S/o Hazrat Ali Karam Allah Wajho, named themselves Hussaini Syeds. But with the passage of time, kids of different Imams or dignitaries of both main links included references of their forefathers with their own names. This tradition is known as Nisbat (symbol of attribute or symbol of connection) with their ancestors. So now the Nisbat is not only a sign of distinction but also recognition of “Real Syeds”. Syeds of Hussaini Linage are using so many symbols (Nisbat) like Rizvi, Kazmi, Abidi, Jaffari, Tirmazi, Shirazi, Mashadi, Mousvi and Naqvi etc. But Hassni families continue to use only “Hashemites” or “Hassni” for their separate identification until the birth of Ghaus-ul-Azam Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani.

Hashmi, Alvi, Gardezi, Bukhari & Qureshi

In some accounts, Hashmis, Gardezis, Qureshis, Alvis and even Abbasis consider themselves “Syed” but it is not correct because none of them are descendants of Syeda-tu-Nisa Hazrat Fatima-tu- Zahra and Hazrat Ali Karam Allah Wajho. “Hashmis” belong from Bani Hashim, a sub tribe of Quresh Tribe which also was sub tribe of our holy prophet Hazrat Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wa Sallam but remember that not all Hashmis are descendants of Hazrat Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wa Sallam or Hazrat Ali karam Allah Wajho. So Hashmis have no right to call them “Syeds”. Instead of this, they commonly use “Makhdoom” for their separate identification.
“Alvis” are inheritors of Hazrat Ali Karam Allah Wajho but have no concern with Hazrat Fatima-tu-Zahra. Hazrat ali Karam Allah Wajho married 8 women apart from Hazrat Fatima-tu-Zahra. In addition of this, he had some slave girls also so he was father of 33 children [15 sons, 18 daughters] including Hazrat Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain, Zainab ul Kubra and Umme Kulsoom who were offspring of Hazrat Fatima-tu-Zahra also. So, all children of 13 sons [except Hazrat Imam Hassan & Hussain] of Hazrat Ali Karam Allah Wajho are “Alvis”. Although some “Awans” [who are descendants of Muhammad bin Hanfiyah or Muhammad al Akbar S/o Hazrat Ali Karam Allah wajho] call themselves “Alvi” but in Pakistan, they are in minority and their most population exist in Iran, Syria, Iraq and surrounding countries. No “Alvi” can write or declare himself “Syed”.
“Quresh or Quraish” was a big tribe of Arab as well as Makkah with 14 sub tribes. All the persons who belong from any branch or sub tribe of “Quresh” call themselves “Qureshi” but they are not “Syeds”. Abbasids, Umayyad and Fatimid Caliphates were also Qureshi. It is very interesting but historical fact that in Pakistan and India, all “Mirasi” [the genealogists and traditional singers and dancers of a number of communities] and “Qasaai” [Butchers] also write their cast “Qureshi”.
“Gardezis” are “Disputed Syeds”. Some researcher say that it is a Iranian surname only which was once in use by notable persons but at the other hand, few historians have written that “Syeds” migrated from Gardez [Iran] were called as “Gardezi Syeds” in different accounts. In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, there are still some members of this distinct ethnic group as mostly have been killed during several wars under Islamic rulers in India or have lost their original hegemony in these hundreds of years and ultimately mixed with the local ethnic population. Some “Gardezi” also write themselves “Mashhadi Syeds”.
“Bukhari or Bokhari” is also a common surname in Central and Western Asia, meaning "from Bukhara" (in today's Uzbekistan). Its Arabic version al-Bukhari was also used in the medieval Islamic world as a nisba (a specifier which is added at the end of names). This surname is also used by the “Naqvi Syeds”, descendants of the Hazrat Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wa Sallam through the lineage of Imam Ali al-Hadi.

Beginning of Gilanis

Syed Abdul Qadir was born in Jilan or Gilan. This town was in suburbs of Tibiristan (Iran). The other name of this town was Jeel or Geel and by these connections, Syed Abdul Qadir is called Gilani or Jilani.

After coming and settling at Baghdad, common people made “Gilani” as part of his name and now descendants of Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani all over the world called themselves “Gilani” with pride, delight and arrogance.

Gilanis are Najib-ut-Taraffain (Nobles on both sides that are to say, from father & mother) Syeds.

His father Abu Saleh Musa Jangi was from Hassani Lineage and his mother Syeda Fatima (Her Title was Umat-ul-Jabbar and Kuniyyat was Um-ul-Khair) was from Hussaini Family.

According to a most authentic book about Syed Abdul Qadir “Peeran-e-Peer” paternal lineage of Ghaus-ul-Azam is as under.

Syed Abu Saleh Musa Jangi S/o Syed Abdullah S/o Syed Yahya Zahid S/o Syed Muhammad S/o Syed Daud S/o Syed Musa Sani S/o Syed Abdullah Sani S/o Syed Musa Al Jaun alias Syed Musa Salas S/o Syed Abdullah Al Mehaz S/o Syed Hassan Musanna S/o Syed Imam Hassan S/oHazrat Ali Karam Allah Wajho.

Maternal lineage of Ghaus-ul-Azam is as under.

Syeda Fatima D/o Syed Abu Abdullah Somai S/o Syed Abu Jamal S/o Syed Muhammad S/o Syed Abu Tahir S/o Syed Abdullah S/o Syed Abu Kamal S/o Syed Abu Alla-ud-Deen S/o Syed Muhammad S/o Syed Ali Areezi S/o Syed Imam Jaffar Sadiq S/o Syed Imam Muhammad Baqir S/o Syed Imam Zain-ul-Abdeen S/o Syed Imam Hussain S/o Hazrat Ali Karam Allah Wajho.

There are some differences in respect of number of wives and children of Ghaus-ul-Azam Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani.

It is said that He was not interested in marriage and for a long time he avoided it but once Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Aalihi Wa Sallam ordered him to get married and four women became wives of Ghaus-ul-Azam.
  1. Bibi Madina Gilani D/o Meer Muhammad Masjidi
  2. Bibi Sadiqa Gilani D/o Muhammad Shafi
  3. Bibi Momina Gilani
  4. Bibi Mehbooba Gilani
They were mothers of 27 (and according to some books, 26) sons and 22 daughters. The names of 22 daughters of Ghaus-ul-Azam are as under.

Syeda Afia Gilani, Syeda Yaseen Gilani, Syeda Aleema Gilani, Syeda Taj Gilani, Syeda Zahida Gilani, Syeda Zakirah Gilani, Syeda Um-Al Fazal Gilani, Syeda Sharifa Gilani, Syeda Abida Gilani, Syeda Khadeejah Gilani, Syeda Riji Gilani, Syeda Um-Al Fateh Gilani, Syeda Zahra Gilani, Syeda Jamal Gilani, Syed Khair-un-Nisa Gilani, Syeda Shah Khatim Gilani, Syeda Shah Bibi Gilani, Syeda Fakira Gilani, Syeda Fatima Gilani, Syeda Um-e-Salma Gilani, Syeda Fazal-un-Nisa Gilani and Syeda Taj-un-Nisa Gilani.

Out of above-mentioned, no one except Syeda Khair-un-Nisa Gilani reached her prime age or got married. Only she was married to Syed Shahab-ud-Deen S/o Abu Ahmed Abdullah S/o Syed Abu Saleh Musa Jangi Dost but stood childless.

Out of 27, names of only 12 sons have been recorded, which are as under.

Syed Saif-ud-Deen Abdul Wahab Gilani, Syed Sharf-ud-Deen Essa Gilani, Syed Abu Abdul Rehman Abdullah Gilani, Syed Shams-ud-Deen Abdul Aziz Gilani, Syed Taj-ud-Deen Abdul Razzaq Gilani, Syed Abu Al Fazal Muhammad Gilani, Syed Abu Zakirah Yahya Asghar Gilani,Syed Abu Ishaque Ibraheem Gilani, Syed Abu Nasser Musa Gilani, Syed Abdul Jabbar Gilani, Syed Abdul Ghaffar Gilani and Syed Abdul Ghani Gilani.

All Gilanis are descendants of above-mentioned 12 (or 27, according to some sources) sons of Ghaus-ul-Azam Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani.

Gilanis Migrated from Baghdad

According to some authentic histories seven sons of Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani decided to stay in Baghdad. Those were Syed Saif-ud-Deen Abdul Wahab Gilani, Syed Abdul Jabbar Gilani, Syed Taj-ud-Deen Abdul Razzaq Gilani, Syed Muhammad Gilani, Syed Abdullah Gilani, Syed Yahya Gilani and Syed Abdul Rehman Gilani. They all were buried at Baghdad.

But when “Shias” took control of Baghdad, their descendants were compelled to leave their native city. After some time when situation become normal, some members of Syed Abdul Razzaq Gilani’s family returned to Baghdad for permanent residence. Out of them Syed Abdul Rehman Faiz Allah Gilani, Syed Abdul Aziz Gilani, Syed Ali Al-Kabeer Gilani, Syed Mahmood Gilani, Syed Mohammad Gilani (Naqeeb-ul-Ashraaf) and Syed Rasheed Ali Gilani (Ex Prime Minister of Iraq) were prominent.

Other than seven sons of Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani, mentioned above, Syed Sharf-ud-Deen Essa Gilani migrated to Egypt, Syed Abdul Aziz Gilani, Jabbal (Kurdistan), Syed Abu Ishaque Ibraheem Gilani, Wasta and Syed Musa Gilani migrated to Syria.

Some sons of Ghaus-ul-Azam were died before prime age.

Gilanis in Pakistan & Hindustan

There is very much difference of opinion, that which was the first Gilani Syed, who came to that area, now called Pakistan and Hindustan (India) but this is a solid fact that Gilanis not came in a row or in shape of a caravan to these areas in some specific period. They came separately, at time to time, individually or with families or their Mureeds and these arrivals are continue till day.

Mufti Ghulam Sarwar Lahori, author of “Khazeena-tul-Asfia” has written that Syed Abdal Gilani S/o Syed Nasser Gilani (father of renowned Sufi, Syed Ismaeel Gilani) was first Gilani Syed, who came to Hindustan around 1400 A.D (802 H).

But unfortunately this is not correct.

According to most reliable sources, arrival of some renowned Gilani Syeds is as under.
  1. Syed Abdul Raheem Gilani S/o Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani S/o Ghaus-ul-Azam Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani was first Gilani Syed who came to this area from Hirat, Afghanistan for permanent residence. His marriage was took place with Jamila Khatoon, elder sister of Baba Fareed Ganj Shaker, at Khatwaal, Multan (native town of Baba Fareed Ganj Shaker). This is definite that their son Syed Alla-ud-Deen Ali Ahmrd Gilani alias Syed Sabir Gilani [Sabir Piya], who was greatest Saint of his time, was born at Khatwaal [according to some sources at Hirat, Afghanistan] in 1195 A.D (19th Rabi-ul-Awwal 592 H). Historians have mentioned 1187 A.D (596 H) to 1194 A.D (592 H) as period of his migration to Hindustan.
  2. One of the ancestors of Syed Abdul Hakeem Gilani, named Syed Yaqoob Gilani came Hindustan from Iran in 1421 A.D (824H) during regime of Irani Badshah Abu Al-Fateh Mubarak Shah. He permanently settled at Multan.
  3. Syed Muhammad Ghous Gilani S/o Syed Shams-ud-Deen Gilani S/o Syed Shah Meer Baghdadi came from Halab (Syria) to Uch in 1482 A.D (887 H).
  4. Some historians have mentioned Syed Shah Feroz Gilani as oldest Gilani who came to Lahore from Baghdad. He died here in 1536 A.D (933 H).
  5. Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani S/o Syed Jamal-ud-Deen Gilani came from Baghdad. He went to village Moodi (Distt Amritsar) then Patna, Hindustan but he selected Lahore for his permanent residence. He died here in 1535 A.D (942 H).
  6. Syed Abi Al-Hayat S/o Syed Taj-ud-Deen Mehmood Gilani (father of Syed Qumais-ud-Deen Gilani Sadhori) migrated from Baghdad around 1580 A.D (988 H). He resided in Bengal for some time but then permanently settled in Sadhoora (Khizarabad) District Anbala, Punjab.
  7. Syed Abdullah Gilani Teehi came Hindustan in 1613 A.D (1021 H) by the order of Allah. He was only 15 at that time. Syed Abdullah Gilani selected a small village named Taaha near Delhi. With reference of this village he is called as Syed Abdullah Gilani Teehi. Some has mentioned the name of village; Bohat and they called him Syed Abdullah Gilani Bohti.
  8. Syed Abdullah Shah Gilani came to Iran from Gilan. After some stay, he went to Qandhaar (Afghanistan) in 1640 A.D (1051 H). Nawab Ali Mardan Khan was the ruler of Qandhaar at that time. He honored him and when he transferred to Lahore, Syed Abdullah Shah Gilani was also with him. Syed Abdullah Shah Gilani died at Lahore in 1655 A.D (1066 H).
  9. Syed Mehmood Gilani, an ancestor of Syed Abdullah Gilani alias Syed Abdullah Shah Sahabi (forefather of Gilanis of Kashmir and Hazara etc) left Baghdad and settled at Thatta (Sindh). Year of his migration is not known.
  10. Ancestors of Syed Ahmed Sheikh-ul-Hind Gilani S/o Syed Abdul Razzaq Gilani S/o Syed Taj-ul-Arfeen came from Arab and settled nearWazirabad (Punjab). They also found a village named Kotlah near Wazirabad.
  11. Ghaus-e-Dauran Syed Tahir Alla-ud-Deen Al-Gilani came from Baghdad in 1955 and selected Quetta for his residence. He died at 7th June 1991 (23 Ziqaadah 1411 H) in Germany but buried at Lahore.

These are only few examples of migrations of Gilani Saints or their Families to Pakistan and Hindustan. This is a solid reality that Gilani Syeds have played a vital and imperative role in preaching Islam not only in Pakistan, Hindustan and Bengal but also in Iran, Afghanistan, (now) Russian States and neighboring areas.

It is also a historical fact that no District of above-mentioned areas is without shrines of Gilani Saints. Numerous exclusive towns and villages of Gilani Syeds are also existed in different parts of Sub Continent.

So this can be stated that, Gilani Syeds are a powerful and strong clan not only in Arab world but also in other parts of Asia, particularly in Pakistan and Hindustan.
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