The Salvation Story of Sheikh Farid (Fariduddin Ganjshakar)

Fariduddin Ganjshakar was the most revered and distinguished Muslim Mystics of the medieval period. He is also popularly known by the name ‘Farid al-Din Masʿud Ganj-i-Shakar Baba’ and as Sheikh Farid. Baba Sheikh Farid was a great intellectual, a perfect ascetic, and a great Muslim devout. A humble soul, Sufi Saint Baba Sheikh Farid had sympathy for the entire mankind. He used to put balm through his sweet and soothing speech on the hurt psyche of people perpetuated by the Muslim invaders to neutralize the impact caused to the image of Islam due to excessive orthodox. This humbleness in his behavior and his sweet soothing speeches made him popular with the name ‘Sheikh Farid ud-din Maund Ganj-I-Shakar’. 

Muslims believe Allah is ‘Bechoon’. God is formless, He is bodiless. He cannot be seen. Yet they also say that ‘Khane Qaba’ is the house of God and Allah is seated there. Allah’s power is everywhere. His authority is everywhere. After death, they will be able to see the face of Allah. Both statements contradict due to ignorance. This is because they lack true spiritual knowledge and have been misled by their religious gurus, Mullahs, Kazis for ages. This write-up will prove that God is in human form. He made humans like His own self. Allah Ta'ala talks and walks the same as we humans. Allah/God descends on this earth in all four ages and meets His virtuous souls and imparts true spiritual knowledge to the pious souls in the form of a ‘Bakhabar’ / an enlightened saint and makes them worthy for the attainment of salvation. 

Similar happened with one pious soul Sheikh Farid who had longingness to attain Allah. Merciful Allahu Akbar Kabir blessed his dearest soul ‘Sheikh-Farid-Shakar-ganj’ and met him when he was nearing death. 

Let us know more, What happened when Allahu Akbar Kabir met Baba Sheikh Farid?

  • Who was Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar/ Sheikh Farid?
  • Why was Sheikh Farid given the title ‘Shakar Ganj’?
  • Devout Sheikh Farid abandoned the house to attain Allah
  • Devotee Sheikh Farid sacrificed one eye for his Master
  • Guru Ji cured Sheikh Farid’s eye
  • Sheikh Farid did force meditation to attain Allah
  • Allah Kabir met Baba Farid Ganj Shakar / Sheikh Farid
  • Sheikh Farid attained salvation

Who was Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar / Sheikh Farid?

Sheikh Farid was born in the Muslim religion in a Sheikh family in 1173 A.D. at the village Kothiwal near Multan (Pakistan). He was one of the most significant Sufi preachers in Punjab famous amongst both the Hindus as well as Muslims. He was well versed in Arabic, and Persian language, also he had command and fluency in the Punjabi language. He wrote most of his couplets in Punjabi and it won’t be wrong to call him the founder of traditional Punjabi literature and modern Punjabi culture. The existing city Faridkot in Punjab got its name from Baba Sheikh Farid. He left this Deceased world in 1266 A.D. at the age of 92 years. His burial place outside the town of ‘Pak Pattan’ is called ‘Martyr’s Grave’ which is believed to be the place of great Sufi thoughts. His successors are called ‘Chishti’. 

Why Was Sheikh Farid Given The Title ‘Shakar Ganj’?

Ref: Chapter ‘Parakh Ka Ang’, speech no 1217-1248 from Mukti Bodh book written by Jagatguru Tatvadarshi Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj

In his childhood, Sheikh Farid was counted as the notorious and restless child. It was very difficult for his mother to complete her household work therefore, she motivated him to do Namaz (prayer to Allah). Child Farid showing tantrums asked his mother, ‘why should I do Namaz? What will I get praying to Allah?’. His mother knew he is too fond of dates, she told him ‘If you will do Namaz then Allah will bless you by providing dates to eat’. Child Farid got highly motivated and agreed. His mother spread a prayer sheet and told him to sit quietly on it with eyes closed and pray. ‘Allah! Please give me dates’. She told her that if he would disobey and open his eyes then Allah will not give him dates. He followed his mother’s instructions religiously and used to sit for hours praying Allah intending to receive dates. 

His mother used to keep some dates wrapped in leaves under the prayer mat. After she gets free from her household work she used to ask Sheikh Farid to open his eyes and see what is kept beneath the prayer mat. Sheikh found dates and felt elated. Thereafter, whenever his mother used to ask him to pray to Allah he followed his mother, and every time he used to get dates beneath the prayer mat. This continued for some days and young Sheikh Farid got sincere in offering prayers. One day her mother asked Sheikh to pray but forgot to keep dates under the prayer mat. After getting free from her work when she came and asked Sheikh Farid to open eyes; to her surprise she found Sheikh Farid eating dates. She asked ‘where did you get dates from?’ He replied, ‘Allah provides me dates every day’. Hearing this her mother was struck with amazement, ‘Did Allah provide him dates?’. 

Note: Merciful Allah in many ways does miracles for his beloved souls. Child Sheikh Farid used to glorify; How Allah used to bless him by providing sweet dates every time after the prayer. This true account gave him the title of ‘Shakar Ganj’.  

Important: Allah is in human form. He resides in the eternal world ‘Satlok/Sachkhand’. All holy scriptures provide sufficient evidence.

Allahu Akbar Kabir tells in His nectar speech-

अर्श-कुर्श पर अलेह तख्त है, खालिक बिन नहीं खाली। 
वोह पैगंबर पाक पुरुष थे, साहेब के अब्दाली।।

Arsh-Kursh par Aleh Takhat hai, Khalik bin nahee khalee, 
Voh Paigamber paak purush thay, Saheb ke abdaali”

Also read Form of God      

Devout Sheikh Farid Abandoned The House To Attain Allah

God-loving devout soul ‘Sheikh Farid’ had longingness to meet Allah since childhood therefore, left home to attain God. He started living in an ascetic’s ashram, who was a Bohemian mystic and was famous for his spiritual powers. 10-12 other disciples also used to live in that ashram, they used to serve their master turn-wise. They had divided each day’s work amongst themselves. The saint of that ashram although does not eat meat but used to smoke tobacco. After every meal in the evening, or in the afternoon whenever he used to eat, it was compulsory for him to smoke tobacco; so disciples had divided their work. 

Sheikh Farid had left home to attain Allah/God only. It’s told through spiritual knowledge that serves the Guru with utmost dedication. The bonding between the Guru and disciple should be strong and loving, there shouldn’t remain any flaw between both, then one will attain God/Allah.

Allah Kabir in His nectar speech has said

कबीर, हरी के रूठते गुरू की शरण में जा | कहे कबीर गुरू रूठ गए तो हरी ना करे सहाय।। 

‘Kabir Hari ke ruthte Guru ki sharan mein jaa, Kahe Kabir Guru ruth gaya toh hari naa kare sahay’

With this perspective, Sheikh Farid used to serve his Guru Ji wholeheartedly. His entire focus was that Guru Ji shouldn’t be displeased, if Guru Ji will be displeased then Allah / God will be displeased and my life will be a waste. His Guruji was pleased with his services and knew that he had pure intentions. 

Devotee Sheikh Farid Sacrificed One Eye For His Master

Once it was a rainy day and the rain had stopped. Few other disciples living in the ashram were slackers, used to mess up. They thought in their mind that Guru Ji has some special affection for ‘Sheikh Farid’ therefore, somehow we should humiliate ‘Sheikh Farid’ in front of Guru Ji. They waited for such a chance. It was their routine to cook according to their turn, they would lit the fire with dried cow dung and cook. Until the fire is ready they will serve food to Guru Ji and prepare his tobacco that Guru Ji needed immediately after a meal. Guru Ji was very short-tempered and if his tobacco is even five minutes late, or any of his work isn’t complete on time, then he used to beat with a rod, he had a stick, and didn’t give that disciple any service for days and made him sit inside. 

One day when ‘Sheikh Farid’ went inside the hut to serve food to Guru Ji, those slacker disciples sprinkled water on the fire in the kitchen which was a bit far from the hut and extinguished it. ‘Sheikh Farid’ came thinking that in two minutes he would prepare tobacco and serve, but when he came there was no fire there. He thought the weather is bad, he didn’t even suspect that someone might have done some nuisance. He took a smoking pipe and went to a nearby village where he saw smoke, where some sister was trying to light the brick stove. He ran and went there. 

Since it was a rainy day she was trying hard to fire that fireplace, but it got extinguished. She had to blow, her eyes were crying due to smoke. ‘Sheikh Farid’ ran and went there. He was a young boy of 20-22 years. He said, ‘Mother please give me some fire’. She was crying, troubled with smoke, she said, ‘getting fire is not easy, you need to blind your eyes in smoke’. ‘Sheikh Farid’ removed his one eye from a tong and said ‘take this eye mother, and give me fire’. She got scared, that you were just taunting and he actually blinded himself. His guru is a renowned saint, he may curse you. She gave him fire. He took it and ran immediately. 

The Guru called him when he was just 200 feet away. He called once, ‘O Farid! Where have you died? He said, ‘yes Guru Ji coming’. Guru Ji asked, ‘Where did you go? You took so long’. Sheikh Farid had covered his eye that he had blinded with a cloth and told, ‘the fire was extinguished due to bad weather. I was arranging’ and gave the filled tobacco pipe. Guru Ji said, ‘why have you covered your eye?’ Sheikh Farid told, ‘Nothing Guru Ji! it’s your mercy, nothing happened’. Guru Ji smoked and slept, but Sheikh Farid remained uncomfortable with the pain the whole night. His intention was that Guru Ji shouldn’t get displeased, the eye is not important, but the Lord shouldn’t be annoyed. 

Guru Ji Cured Sheikh Farid's Eye

The next morning that lady came to the ashram. That lady was scared, she couldn’t sleep the whole night. She pleaded to the saint, ‘please forgive me Guru Ji for my mistake’. The saint asked ‘what happened?’ Then she narrated the whole account as to how did Sheikh Farid blind himself?. She thought the saint might get furious and will curse her. The saint called ‘Sheikh’ and inquired what happened?. Sheikh said, ‘Nothing my lord, this body is yours, what are eyes in front of you, you shouldn’t get annoyed, this body is least important’. The saint asked to uncover his eyes. When Sheikh opened his eye, he saw it was perfectly fine with the Saint’s blessing. When that lady saw Sheikh’s eyes were fine, she narrated the entire story and glorified that Saint in the whole village saying, ‘no one is like him, he cured the eye of his disciple’. Sheikh Farid was perfectly fine but the eye was a bit smaller than the original. Saint intentionally did this to keep it as evidence that the saint has cured the eye. 

Sheikh Farid Did Force Meditation To Attain Allah

After a few days, Saint died. The disciples were worried that ‘Sheikh Farid’ was dear to Guru Ji, he might become chief of that Ashram, but God-loving souls focus on worship only not for the post. Sheikh Farid left the ashram and started austerity in jungles. He remembered that his Guru Ji had asked him ‘to do more tenacity, with more tenacity and more physical pain you will attain God’. He got engrossed in austerity completely. It’s said in 12 years he just ate 1.25 ‘munn’ i.e. 50 kgs grains. He did severe penance. He became very weak, merely a skeleton was left. He used to hang in the well and to trouble himself more, he used to tie his feet up to the tree because outside, the crows could take out his eyes. He used to come out, eat, and then again hang in well. 

One day he was tired, he came out and laid. Crows thought he was dead, they came and sat on him but could not find any flesh on his body, merely a skeleton was left. They came and sat on his forehead to eat his eyes, there was some flesh in them. Then Sheikh Farid said, ‘Crows do not eat my eyes, you may eat flesh from elsewhere on my body but spare my eyes, I want to have a glimpse of Allah Ta'ala. If you will ruin my eyes then I will not be able to have Allah’s sight’.

When he spoke the crows flew, that this person is still alive. What he thought, if he will remain outside, the crows will finish him, even eyes as well and my life will go waste by not having a glimpse of Allah Ta'ala. I did not attain God and my body is to end, with this perspective, he gradually hanged himself again in the well. His feet were tied and he thought, either I will die hanging here else I will meet Allah/God.  

Allah Kabir Met Baba Farid Ganj Shakar / Sheikh Farid

God Kabir, Allah-O-Akbar came and stood above the well and took Sheikh Farid out with the rope. ‘Sheikh Farid’ asked ‘who are you, brother? Don’t do mischief with me’. Because earlier when he used to hang in the well children used to come and swing him through rope, and ‘Sheikh Farid’ used to hit the sides of the well. The kids used to push once and run away. Ignorant Sheikh Farid thinking the kids will leave in some time he questioned Allah. He realized that this person has taken him out of the well, and thought him to be a nuisance chap. ‘Sheikh Farid’ said to God that ‘don’t trouble me, you do your work and let me do mine’. Then Allah Kabir asked ‘what are you doing Saint Ji?’ Sheikh said ‘I am practicing to have a meeting with Allah Ta'ala, to attain God, to have sight of Allah. Then Allah Kabir said ‘this is not the correct way of worshipping whom you adore’.

Almighty Kabir said ‘I am that ‘Allah-O-Akbar’. Sheikh Farid thought he might be some shepherd, he is completely worthless and He claims to be Allah Ta'ala. Then too, the saints talk politely, Sheikh said don’t say this else you will be a sinner. Allah cannot be seen, He is ‘Bechoon’, He is formless, a human cannot be Allah Ta'ala. Then Kabir Saheb said brother your theory and practical don’t match. On one hand, you say Allah is ‘Bechoon’, He is formless, Allah/God cannot be seen and on the other hand, you say you are worshipping to see Allah; how can you see a formless? Why are you wasting time?’. 

Then ‘Sheikh Farid’ thought this man is genuine. He said the correct thing. It’s said – ‘Correct Knowledge and Sun glare, both surprise’. One incident is enough for the one who wants to meet the Lord. Sheikh’s mind immediately changed, that it is true that on one hand we say Allah is formless, and then we try to see Him, that ‘I will attain Allah/God, I will get His sight’. How can you attain a formless? Sheikh Farid then understood this mystery. He caught Kabir Ji’s feet while hanging itself and said – ‘Saint, please tell me the correct path, I left home for Allah/God. I have spoiled my body for my Lord, and he is not even near to me.

It has been mentioned in Sukshamveda in the nectar speech of Almighty KavirDev

लागी का मार्ग ओर है लागे चोट काडजा करके।

कुँए में शेख़ फ़रीद ने कैसी मीठी बोली भाषा। 

तुम चुन-चुन कागा खा लियो रे मेरे हाडों पर का मांसा। 

मेरे दो नैना मत छेड़ियो मोहे राम मिलन की आशा। 

जिन करी तपस्या घोर थी वो होए आसरे हरके। 

लागी का मार्ग ओर है लागे चोट काडजा करके। 

Laagee ka marg ore hai laagey chot kaadja karke

Kunye mein Sheikh Farid ne kaisee meethi bolee bhasha

Tum chun-chun kaagaa khaa liyo re mere haadon par ka maasa

Mere do naina mat chediyo mohe Ram milan ki aashaa

Jin karee tapasya ghore thee vo hoye aasrey harke

Laagee ka marg ore hai laagey chot kaadja karke

Sheikh Farid Attained Salvation

Allah Kabir said ‘Sheikh! in this way you may practice for thousands of years then also your Allah / GOD cannot come near you. With meditation one becomes a ruler of a kingdom and then after the ruling, is doomed for hell and the 84 lakh species of life and death. Your Guru Ji showed you the wrong path and was unknowledgeable. He has wasted your life. I will tell you the way, How can you attain Allahu Akbar, I have it with me, my child. You need to do correct worship then only you can attain Allah Ta'ala". 

Allah Kabir says 

कबीर, ज्ञान हीन जो गुरु कहावे, आपन डुबा औरों डुबोवे ||

Kabir, gyan heen jo guru kahave, aapan dooba auron dubovey.

Then Kabir Ji said you should eat as well, do not trouble your body to this extent. You get this body with much difficulty. Following the correct way of worship as told by Allah Kabir, Sheikh Farid attained salvation. 

Important: It’s said – We should have control over our food intake and worship as advised by an Enlightened saint/ a Bakhabar.

It has been said in Bhagavad Gita chapter no. 6 verse no.16 ‘O Arjun, this worship is not successful for one who eats too much, nor for one who doesn’t eat, nor even for one who sleeps a lot, and not even for one who hardly sleeps. We should have control over our food intake and worship as advised by an Enlightened saint. First, have disciplined eating habits, do not eat so much that you sleep a lot out of laziness, then how will you worship? And don’t even starve, then also you can’t worship. So we need to have control of the food we take. Eat appropriately so that you can worship and you shouldn’t be lazy. 

Conclusion

Sheikh Farid wanted to have a glimpse of Allah yet he has the primitive thinking as the Muslims have that Allah is ‘Bechoon’, He is formless and cannot be seen. Allah Kabir made Sheikh Farid realize the truth that Allah/God is in human form and can be attained by doing true worship as told by a ‘Bakhabar/enlightened saint’. This is the advice one must take His refuge as the ‘Bakhabar’ is truly the representative of Allah Ta'ala.

Great Tatvadarshi Sant Rampal Ji Maharaj is the same ‘Bakhabar’ who has the complete course of emancipation. Identify Allah, do true worship and become worthy for the attainment of salvation similar to Sheikh Farid and get rid of the vicious cycle of birth and rebirth, land back to your native eternal world ‘Satlok’, and attain supreme peace.