Contents > Chapter 9: Knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen) > Tawajjuh



We have already seen the passing of knowledge from one person to another through ilhaam and dreams (like the book Marif al-Mathnawi). Keeping with the subject of unusual modes of transmission of knowledge, we come across another Sufi concept, called ‘Tawajjuh.’


Tawajjuh as the Sufis claim is the miraculous power of a Sufi Shaikh to grant a great amount of knowledge or completely transform someone, by just gazing at that person. Following are some quotes form Moulana Zakariyah’s book Mashaikh-e-Chist…


1. “Abu Saeed Gangohi who was to be his Khalifah and representative in Hindustan. Any person, on whom Hazrat (Nizamuddin Deen al-Umri) cast his gaze, would become a Shahid-e-Shuhood immediately. (Shahid-e-Shuhood is a high ranking Wali those who dwell in a lofty state of Divine Presence and Perception – Translator of Mashaikh-e-Chist).”[1]

2. Moulana Zakariyah says: “Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Haqq Quddus Gangohi cast a powerful gaze of Tawajjuh on Moulana Jalalud Deen. In consequence, his entire treasure of knowledge was effaced.”[2]


3. Moulana Zakariyah says: “His (Khwaajah Moinud Deen Chisti) gaze was sufficient to transform a man into a Sahib-e-Marifat.”[3]


4. Khwaajah Moinud Deen Chisti became ba’yt to Hazrat Uthmaan Haaruni, and by his virtue of Tawajjuh, Moinud Deen Chisti attained perfection in Sulook in a single day.[4]


5. Khwaajah Moinud Deen Chisti once passed by an orchard of a hostile Shiah chief, who would kill any person who adopted the names, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthmaan. Moinud Deen Chisti sat near the pond. The Shiah appeared in a furious state intending to kill Moinud Deen Chisti. But when Hazrat glanced at him, the Shiah fell down. When he gained his consciousness, he was a transformed person and a staunch follower.”[5]


6. “Once Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi was asked to focus Tawajjuh on the Talibeen (Sufis). He said: “Why should I perform like yogis?”[6]


Here Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi himself admits that Tawajjuh is similar to the practice of the Hindu yogis. The Deobandis have borrowed these ‘staring exercises’ from the pagan religions. Such actions of Tawajjuh cannot be found from the life of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) who simply resorted to teaching the religion to his companions. Consequently, the companions like Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) who spent the most time with Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) acquired the most knowledge from him. Narrated Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu), “The people used to say, ‘Abu Hurayrah narrates too many narrations’. In fact, I used to keep close to Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and was satisfied with what filled my stomach.”[7] In this narration Abu Hurayrah (radhi allahu anhu) explains that the reason behind his exemplary knowledge of Hadeeth is that he spent most of his time with Allah’s Messenger memorizing his sayings, and not being bothered with seeking better livelihood.


Furthermore, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Knowledge is acquired by studying.”[8] And this is how the knowledge of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah has been transmitted from generation to generation, by memorization and writing. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “May Allah brighten a man, who hears my words and then delivers it to others.”[9] And he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Behold! Let him who is present convey (my words) to him who is not present.” [10]


Ironically, even the knowledge of Deoband, its Shaikhs, their biographies, their Mubashshirat, etc., etc., have been transmitted from one generation to the next in this same way and not by Tawajjuh – else there would be no real need for compiling books and establishing Madrasas (schools).   

[1] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.192.

[2] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.188.

[3] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.45.

[4] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.145.

[5] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.147.

[6] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.250.

[7] Saheeh al-Bukharee, vol.5, p.47, no.57.

[8] Silsilatul-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah (1/605/342).

[9] Sunan Ibn Majah (Eng. Trans.), vol. 1, no.230.

[10] Sunan Ibn Majah (Eng. Trans.), vol. 1, no.234.