Section 6

On the arrival of Hazrat Azizan and a brief description of his circumstances

The explanation of this event is that the Leader of the Muslims, the Pole of the World, the Beloved of the Lord of Two Worlds, and the Light of the Nation and the Faith, Hazrat Khoja Muhammad Ishaq, son of Hazrat Makhdum-i Azam (May God bless their souls!) came from Samarqand to Kashgar. Muhammad Khan had come from Aqsu to serve his elder brother Sufi Sultan, and he rushed off to meet Hazrat Azizan. After they greeted each other, Hazrat Azizan asked Muhammad Khan: “Oh sultan, what is your name?” Muhammad Khan said in reply that his name was Muhammad. Hazrat Azizan smiled and said: “My coming to this region was probably due to the attraction of this name. Oh Baba Muhammad, there’s no use being lazy, you must exert yourself.”

Muhammad Khan returned to his domain, and sat thinking to himself, “If I become a devotee of Hazrat Azizan, I am still young, will I be able to live up to it? Time is precious, and if I don’t…” Hazrat Azizan had a vision,[ref]Here and elsewhere Mahmud Churas describes such spontaneous insights as “becoming ishrāqī.” The Ishraqi were a philosophical school associated with Shaykh Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi (d. 1191), whose ideas drew on pre-Islamic gnostic thinking. The author’s idiom here must relate to the ideas of this school in some way, but since this usage is not mentioned in any dictionaries I have consulted, Churas’ precise meaning is not clear.[/ref] at which he requested an ink-stand and a pen and wrote off a note to Muhammad Khan. In the note he wrote these lines of poetry:

Never mind the weakness of your heart and the paleness of your complexion,
In love no step is taken without the aid of the beloved.

As soon as this letter arrived, Muhammad Khan rushed off into the service of Hazrat Azizan. Hazrat Azizan received Muhammad Khan and showed him courtesy. Muhammad Khan was honoured to enjoy the great man’s discourse, and was sincerely impressed. Hazrat Azizan offered a blessing for that upstanding sultan. Mulla Qasim Khalifa (May God’s mercy be upon him!), with his followers and family members, became his disciple, and Mulla Ibn Yusuf Khalifa (May God’s mercy be upon him!) also came from Hotan in the company of his own retinue of followers, and was honoured by the kiss of Hazrat Azizan. Hazrat Azizan said a good prayer for those two great deputies. The people of Kashgar saw these great men and were won over to them immediately. After that they went to Yarkand, where the nobles of Yarkand greeted them. After they had made camp ʿAbd al-Karim Khan came to greet Hazrat Azizan, and Hazrat Azizan was in his retreat. Hazrat Azizan was informed of the coming of the Khan and he insisted that he go before the Khan. His companions tried to prevent this, saying that ʿAbd al-Karim Khan was a wild man and a Moghul, that it would be better to wait a while and then go before him. For this reason they delayed. ʿAbd al-Karim Khan and Khoja Ubaydulla were followers of Muhammad Vali Sufi (May God’s mercy be upon him!). For this reason the Khan’s mind became troubled. Khoja Ubaydullah was jealous and said “let’s go back to the orda.” The Khan immediately set out for the orda, and thus a dispute arose between the Khan and Hazrat Azizan. For some time Hazrat Azizan was occupied with the instruction of the Muslims, after which he travelled in the direction of Hotan.

The people of Toqquzkent came out bringing gifts, and made supplications in faith and sincerity. Hazrat Azizan reached the country of Hotan and Quraysh Sultan greeted him in the company of the local nobility and presented offerings. Hazrat Azizan went on a trip to the resting place of the Sacrificed Imam, and was occupied for three years in the region of Chira with the guidance of the ignorant.

The wife of Quraysh Sultan passed away and he sent someone to Hazrat Azizan. Quraysh Sultan had given his own son Khudabanda Sultan in service to Hazrat Azizan, and he had become a follower and a believer. Hazrat Azizan came and Quraysh Sultan greeted him with tears in his eyes. Hazrat Azizan asked him the situation. Quraysh Sultan went to his private quarters and sent someone to say that Hazrat Azizan should bring his wife back to life. Hazrat Azizan was annoyed and said: “Such a request should have been made earlier. Now it is no use.” He placed the matter in God’s care. Hazrat Azizan was annoyed at Quraysh Sultan and set out for Aqsu. After […] he said: “Oh Quraysh Sultan, your line will not attain the throne!”

He went to Aqsu. At that time Muhammad Khan was residing there, he came out on a three-day journey to welcome him, and performed worthy service. [Hazrat Azizan] said of Muhammad Khan that his line would become king, and he alighted in Aqsu. Those who had pure hearts realised the value of the Hazrat Azizan’s coming, and they admired him and became faithful believers. Those whose hearts were lacking lustre did not submit. Hazrat Azizan addressed Qutluq Muhammad Mirza Churas, saying “Oh Qutluq Muhammad, why are the people being indolent?” Qutluq Muhammad Mirza stood up and said “I will go and relate this to the people.” Qutluq Muhammad Mirza went and said to the people of Aqsu: “Friends, (19) the arrival of Hazrat Azizan in this land is an honour for us in this life and our liberation in the next. In our view, kissing the threshold of Hazrat Azizan is good fortune in both worlds.” Among the men of Aqsu one man spoke out rashly, saying “Everyone who comes from Ferghana says that they’re a khoja and a holy man…” He got this far in his speech when Shutur Khalifa (May God’s mercy be upon him!), who was going around between Hazrat Azizan and the people of Aqsu, became possessed. He took a cudgel in his hand, and came and hit this wicked man so hard that his body made an indentation on the ground. The people of Aqsu who were witness to this miracle by Shutur Khalifa became followers and devotees of Hazrat Azizan. Qutluq Muhammad Mirza Churas was among the first to submit. [Hazrat Azizan] said a blessing for Qutluq Muhammad and his brother Mamuq Mirza. These two mirzas requested a child from Hazrat Azizan, so Hazrat Azizan indulged them and said a benediction. This prayer was answered: seven sons and four daughters were born to Qutluq Muhammad Mirza, and five sons and seven daughters were born to Mamuq Mirza. Qutluq Muhammad Mirza is the great-great-grandfather (jadd-i siyyum) of the author of these disorderly pages.

Eventually, Hazrat Azizan left for Küsän,[ref]Küsän is an old toponym corresponding to today’s Kucha[/ref] and sent Shutur Khalifa (May God’s mercy be upon him!) to Turfan. Hazrat Azizan stayed in Küsän, and the population of Küsän submitted and became his followers without exception. Shutur Khalifa arrived in Turfan and met the people there. The people of Turfan did not submit, for they were faithful to the shrine of Alp Ata. Shutur Khalifa went to the radiant tomb of Alp Ata and climbed atop the tombstone. The tombstone started to move and threw Shutur Khalifa to the ground. Shutur Khalifa jumped up and mounted the tombstone again, wrestling with it. The tombstone split, and a lion appeared. Hazrat Azizan sent his protection, and rescued Shutur Khalifa. The people of Turfan and Chalish made entreaties. Shutur Khalifa returned to the company of Hazrat Azizan, and after that Hazrat Azizan returned to his ancestral home of Samarqand.

One of his companions requested that Hazrat Azizan direct his mental energies for a moment so as to destroy ʿAbd al-Karim Khan, but Hazrat Azizan said that ʿAbd al-Karim Khan was a just king, and that the Prophet was his patron.