|Religion||Islam, specifically the Chishti Sufi order|
|Other name(s)||Baba Fareed|
Kothewal village in Multan
|Period in office||Early 13th century|
|Predecessor||Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki|
|Successor||Various, including Nizamuddin Auliya and Alauddin Sabir Kaliyari|
Hazrat Bābā Farīduddīn Mas'ūd Ganjshakar (Persian: حضرت بابا فرید الدّین مسعود گنج شکر, Punjabi: حضرت بابا فرید الدّین مسعود گنج شکر, ਫ਼ਰੀਦ-ਉਦ-ਦੀਨ ਗੰਜਸ਼ਕਰ) (1173–1266) or (1188 (584 Hijri) - May 7, 1280 (679 Hijri)), commonly known as Baba Farid (Punjabi: بابا فرید, ਬਾਬਾ ਫ਼ਰੀਦ), was a 12th-century Sufi preacher and saint of the Chishti Order of South Asia.
Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar, a Muslim Sufi, is generally recognized as the first major poet of the Punjabi language and is considered one of the pivotal saints of the Punjab region. Revered by Muslims and Hindus, he is also considered one of the fifteen Sikh Bhagats within Sikhism and his selected works form part of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh sacred scripture.
Bābā Farīd was born in 1173 or 1188 CE (584 Hijri) at Kothewal village, 10 km from Multan in the Punjab region of Pakistan, to Jamāl-ud-dīn Suleimān and Maryam Bībī (Qarsum Bībī), daughter of Sheikh Wajīh-ud-dīn Khojendī. He was a descendant of the Farrūkhzād, known as Jamāl-ud-Dawlah, a Persian (Tajik) king of eastern Khorasan.
He was the grandson of Shaykh Shu'aib, who was the grandson of Farrukh Shah Kabuli, the king of Kabul and Ghazna. When Farrukh Shāh Kābulī was killed by the Mongol hordes invading Kabul, Farīd’s grandfather, Shaykh Shu'aib, left Afghanistan and settled in the Punjab in 1125.
Farīd’s genealogy is a source of dispute, as some trace his ancestors back to al-Husayn while others trace his lineage back to the second Caliph Umar ibn Khattab. Baba Farid's ancestors came from Kufa, while Abdullah ibn Umar died during the Hajj, and was buried in Makkah. The family tree of Baba Fareed traces through Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Adham, whose ancestors came from Kufa. Kufa was the capital of the Caliphate of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, and it is a known fact in history that Abdullah ibn Umar refused until his death to pledge allegiance to 'Ali ibn Abi Talib when the latter became Caliph. It is also relevant to mention that the same Abdullah ibn Umar did accept Yazid as Caliph, as well as his father Muawiyya ibn Abi Sufyan. Therefore it is fair that his genealogy from Nasab o Nisbat Farid tracing back to 'Ali ibn Abi Talib also be included in his biography, in addition to the second version tracing back to Umar ibn Khattab. This is why the famous Hadith scholar of India, a follower of the Chisti school wrote in Mashaikh e Chist about the ancestor of Baba Farid, Ibrahim bin Adham Qalandar: "His ancestry through the medium of five predecessors, links up with Hadhrat Umar. Some people claim that he was a Sayyid of the line of Hadhrat Husain. He was born in the city of Balkh. His nickname was Abu Ishaq. Khwajah Fudhail Bin Iyadh had conferred the mantle of Khilaafate to him. Besides being the Khalifah of Hadhrat Fudhail, he was also the Khalifah of Khwajah Imran Ibn Musa, Khwajah Imam Baqir, Khwajah Shaikh Mansur Salmi and Khwajah Uwais Qarni."
Baba Farid's genealogy tracing back to Husayn from Nasab o Nisbat Farid is as follows:
The alternative version of his genealogy tracing back to Umar ibn Khattab is as follows:
Bābā Farīd received his early education at Multan, which had become a centre for education; it was here that he met his master murshid, Quṭbuddīn Bakhtiyār Kākī, a noted Sufi saint, who was passing through Multan, from Baghdad on his way to Delhi. Upon completing his education, Farīd left for Sistan and Kandahar and went to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage at the age of 16.
Once his education was over, he shifted to Delhi, where he learned the doctrine of his Master, Quṭbuddīn Bakhtiyār Kākī. He later moved to Hansi, Haryana. When Quṭbuddīn Bakhtiyār Kākī died in 1235, Farīd left Hansi and assumed the role of spiritual successor to his Master, though he did not settle in Delhi but in Ajodhan (the present Pakpattan, Pakistan). On his way to Ajodhan and passing through Faridkot, he met the 20-year-old Nizāmuddīn, who went on to become his disciple, and later his successor (khalīfah).
Bābā Farīd married Hazabara, daughter of Sulṭān Nasīruddīn Maḥmūd. The great Arab traveller Ibn Baṭūṭah visited him. He says that he was the spiritual guide of the King of India, and that the King had given him the village of Ajodhan. He also says that Shaikh Farīduddīn, as he calls him, was so careful about purity that if his clothes touched those of another person he would wash them. He also met Bābā Farīd's two sons. When Ibn Baṭūṭah was due to leave the Shaikh bade him farewell from the top floor of his house, and sent him some sugar as a parting gift. He died on the fifth of Muharram, Tuesday, 7 May 1266 CE (679 Hijri) during Namaz. His shrine (darbār) is in Dera Pindi, and his epitaph reads, "There is only one Farīd, though many spring forth from the bud of the flower".
Bābā Farīd's descendants, also known as Fareedi, Fareedies and Faridy, mostly carry the name Fārūqī, and can be found in Pakistan, India and the diaspora. His descendants include Sheikh Salim Chishti, whose daughter was Emperor Jehangir's foster mother. Their descendants settled in Sheikhupur, Badaun and the remains of a fort they built can still be found.
Fareed, this world is beautiful, but there is a thorny garden within it.
Fareed, do not turn around and strike those who strike you with their fists.
Fareed, when there is greed, what love can there be? When there is greed, love is false.
Laden with my load of misdeeds, I move about in the garb of black garments.
And the people see me and call me a dervish.
My promise to my love, a long way to go and a muddy lane ahead
If I move I spoil my cloak; if I stay I break my word.
One of Farīd’s most important contributions to Punjabi literature was his development of the language for literary purposes. Whereas Sanskrit, Arabic, Turkish and Persian had historically been considered the languages of the learning, the elite and in monastic centers, Punjabi was generally considered a lesser refined folk language. Although earlier poets had written in a primitive Punjabi, there was little beyond Punjabi literature besides the range of traditional and anonymous ballads. By using Punjabi as the language of poetry, Farīd laid the basis for a vernacular Punjabi literature that would be developed later.
Among the famous people who have visited his shrine over the centuries are the famous scholar-explorer Ibn Battuta, who visited in 1334, and the Founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, who met the then head of the shrine, Sheikh Ibrāhīm, twice, and his meeting led to the incorporation of 112 couplets (saloks) and four hymns by Bābā Farid, in the Sikh Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib, by the fifth Guru, Arjan Dev in 1604. Guru Nanak was familiar with the verse of Bābā Farīd, and not only includes these verses in the Holy Book, but even comments on some of them. These verses are known to the Sikhs as the Farīd-Bānī; Guru Arjan Dev also added eighteen saloks from the Sikh Gurus, which add commentary to various of Bābā Farīd's work.
The city of Faridkot bears his name. According to legend, Farīd stopped by the city, then named Mokhalpūr, and sat in seclusion for forty days near the fort of King Mokhal. The king was said to be so impressed by his presence that he named the city after Bābā Farīd, which today is known as Tilla Bābā Farīd. The festival Bābā Sheikh Farād Āgman Purb Melā' is celebrated in September each year, commemorating his arrival in the city. Ajodhan was also renamed as Farīd's 'Pāk Pattan', meaning 'Holy Ferry'; today it is generally called Pāk Pattan Sharīf.
Faridia Islamic University, at Sahiwal, Punjab, Pakistan is named after him, and in July 1998, the Punjab Government in India established the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences at Faridkot, the city which itself was named after him.
Various accounts are related as to why Bābā Farīd was given the title Shakar Ganj ('Treasure of Sugar'). One legend tells how his mother used to encourage the young Farīd to pray by placing sugar under his prayer mat. Once, when she forgot, the young Farīd found the sugar anyway, an experience that gave him more spiritual fervour and led to his being given the name..
Other accounts and legends also says that Baba Farid once a caught a bolt of thunder with his bare hands and placed it into a pot, which saved the lives of many civilians.
His mazar/mazār(shrine) is located in Pakpattan/Pākpattan Sharīf. Saint Nizamuddin Auliya/Khawaja Nizamuddin Aulia constructed his tomb. The tomb is made of white marble. The shrine has two doors, namely the Nūrī Darwāza or 'Gate of Light' and the Bahishtī Darwāza, or 'Gate of Paradise'. Charity food (langar) is distributed all day by visitors and the Auqaf Department, which administrates the shrine. The shrine is open all day and night for visitors. The shrine has its own huge electricity generator that is used whenever there is power cut or loadshedding, so the shrine remains bright all night, all year round. There is no separation of male and female areas but a small female area is also there. There is a big new mosque in the shrine. Thousands of people daily visit the shrine for their wishes and unresolvable matters; for this they vow to give to some charity when their wishes or problems are resolved. When their matters are solved they bring charity food for visitors and the poor, and drop money in big money boxes that are kept for this purpose. This money is collected by the Auqaf Department that looks after the shrine. A village hospital, Ganj Shakar Trust Hospital (9 km on Sahiwal Road from Pakpattan) is run by a local NGO, Baba Farid Ganj Shakar Educational and Welfare Trust Pakpattan.
Every year, the saint's anniversary is marked in the first Islamic month of Muharram. The Bahishtī Darwāza/Gate of Paradise is opened once a year, during the time of the urs/fair. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, visitors and faith followers from all over the country and world come every year to pay homage. The door of Bahisti Darwaza is made of silver, on which floral designs are inlaid in gold leaf. This "Gate to Paradise" is padlocked all year and only opened for ten days from sunset to sunrise in the month of Muharram. Some followers believe that by crossing this door all of one's sins are whitewashed. Some critics say it is unholy to pass this door with this intention but believe in its sanctity. Others argue that it is good to pass this door with a resolution not to do sins in future life. During the opening of this Gate of Paradise, extensive security arrangements are made to protect people from stampedes. In 2001, 27 people were crushed to death and 100 were injured in a stampede. There is a large brick tomb adjacent to the main tomb; this brick tomb is the resting place of the Saint Farid' siblings. Thousands of devotees come to visit this white marbled shrine daily from within the country and from abroad. His 'urs (death anniversary) is celebrated every year on the fifth, sixth and seventh of the Islamic month of Muharram.
Redirecting to Fariduddin Ganjshakar