Sheikh Farid

What does the Holy Quran tell us? / Sheikh Farid

Sheikh Farid

Story of Devotee Sheikh Farid

Devotee Farid was born in the Muslim religion in a Sheikh family. Sheikh Farid was extremely mischievous in his childhood. Whenever he went to play in the street, he would beat up the children. People remonstrated with his mother, and she used to become distressed. Mother thought, “Farid is very fond of dates. I shall ask him to offer Namaz (prayer).” As per her plan, the mother said to Farid, “Son! Offer Namaz (prayer) to Allah.” Farid said, “What will Allah (Lord) give?” The mother said, “Allah gives dates.” Farid said, “Tell me, when do I have to offer Namaz?” Whenever the mother was busy with household chores, Farid used to escape outdoors. The mother specified the same time for Namaz. She spread a sheet and said, “Close your eyes and keep saying: O Allah! Give me dates; O Allah! Give me dates.” His mother spread the sheet under a tree and said, “Keep your eyes shut and keep praying until the sun shines on you.” When Farid closed his eyes, his mother placed a date on a palm leaf and put it under a corner of the sheet. Farid opened his eyes when the sun shone on him. When he looked, he did not find a date. He got up and came to his mother. He said, “You lied. I will never pray. Allah did not give a date.” Mother said, “Son! Allah does everything in secret. Look under the sheet; you will definitely find a date.” When Farid picked up the sheet, a date was kept there. He happily ate the date. He said to his mother, “When do I have to offer namaz (pray) again?” His mother said that she would tell him when to pray. She would lay a bed sheet every day at the time of her household chores. Farid would sit down with his eyes closed. Mother would keep the date. One day, his mother forgot to keep the date. Farid opened his eyes as soon as the sun shone on him. He searched for the date. The date was kept under the sheet as usual. Farid was walking around eating the date. His mother thought, “Today I have made a big mistake. Farid will never listen to me now. He will cause me trouble.” Farid came to his mother while eating the date. His mother asked, “Son! Where did you get the date from?” Boy Farid said, “Mother! Allah gives date every day at the time of Namaz.” Mother said, “Tell me the truth.” Farid said, “Mother! I am telling the truth. Look! Allah comes and keeps the date on this leaf.” The mother also understood that he was not a normal child. Farid used to do all the spiritual practices of Islam. One day, he met a Sufi saint. He told him, “God is attained by doing (tap) penance. He will not be attained by this spiritual practice. I am also born in Islam religion. A Sufi saint showed me this path, then I worshipped as per his guidance. This is my name. I have an ashram at this place outside the village.” After a few days, Farid ji went naturally to that saint's ashram. After going there, he realised that the saint had many (siddhis) spiritual powers. Other people, who were Muslims, and used to visit the ashram also told him about it. After that, Farid renounced his home and becoming a disciple of that Fakir (Muslim mendicant/saint), started living in his ashram. That Fakir (saint) had accomplished some (siddhi) powers. He used to smoke hookah. There were a total of seven disciples in the ashram who had left their homes. Every day, one servant used to offer all the services e.g., cooking food for Guruji, filling the hookah immediately after the meal and giving it to Guruji, and washing guruji’s clothes etc. Sheikh Farid used to wholeheartedly serve Guruji and clean the ashram. Guruji used to praise Sheikh Farid excessively which made other disciples jealous of him. All of them thought of making Sheikh Farid fall out of favour with Guruji. They conspired that it is rainy season. Guruji smokes hookah immediately after the meal. If any disciple delayed filling the hookah, the Fakir used to beat him with sticks. He was denied service for several days. Sheikh Farid had never made a mistake. One day, Sheikh Farid cooked food. He had made a fire as usual. He served food to Guruji. When he went to the stove to put the fire in the chillum, he saw that the fire had gone out. There was no fire. Fearing that Guruji might get angry, Sheikh Farid ran to the village which was half a kilometre away. A Mai (mother) was cooking roti (bread) by lighting a fire in a clay-stove. Sheikh Farid said, “Mother! Give me fire. I have to fill Guruji’s hookah. Our fire has gone out. If Guruji gets angry, my life will become hell.” The mother had lit the fire with great difficulty after repeatedly blowing at the clay-stove. The weather was rainy. The mother said, “Fire is obtained by gouging eyes out. I have prepared fire by gouging out my eyes. You also gouge out your eyes, then you will get fire.” Sheikh Farid struck a pair of tongs in one of his eyes. He pulled out his eye and placed it near the lady and said, “Look Mother! I have gouged out one of my eyes. At least now give me fire.” The woman got scared. She knew that the Fakir was a Siddh and had spiritual powers. She thought that he will harm her. She immediately pulled out the fire from the stove. Sheikh Farid ran with fire in the chillum. The Fakir used to call out twice. He used to say, “Bring hookah.” Then he used to call the name of the disciple. For the third time, he used to take a stick and go to hit the disciple. When Guruji called the first time, Sheikh Farid was halfway there. When Guruji called the second time, Sheikh Farid had entered the ashram. The second time, Guruji said, “O Sheikh Farid! Where are you?” Sheikh Farid said, “I am coming, Guruji!” Sheikh Farid had tied a cloth over the injured eye. He told Guruji, “The fire in the ashram was doused by rain. I ran to the village and have brought it from there.” Guruji could only see a little in the dark. Seeing the cloth tied on Sheikh Farid's eye, he asked, “What happened to the eye?” Farid said, “Nothing, Guruji. Everything is fine by your grace.” Guruji also did not pay much attention. In the morning, the woman brought Sheikh Farid's eye on an earthen lid to the ashram and asked Fakir ji for forgiveness for her mistake. She said, “Your disciple had come to collect fire last evening. He said, “Mother, give me fire. The fire of the ashram has gone out. Guruji smokes hookah as soon as he has food. He gets annoyed when there is a delay in filling the hookah. He does not provide service for many days. If Guruji gets angry, my life will become hell.” The woman said, “I had made the fire with great difficulty. My eyes had turned red from the smoke. I was troubled by repeatedly blowing at the clay-stove. I told the devotee that fire is made by gouging the eyes out. Gouge your eyes out, then you will get fire. He really pulled his eye out with the tongs. He said that if Guruji got angry, then what is the use of these eyes? I have brought this eye.” Guruji called Sheikh Farid. He said, “Remove the cloth tied over your eye.” When Sheikh Farid removed the cloth, the eye was healthy. But it was slightly smaller. When the woman saw all this, she went to the village and exalted the Fakir and said, “The saint has magical powers. He cured the eye in front of me.” Guruji embraced Sheikh Farid. He blessed him, “May your worship be successful!”

After Guruji's death, Sheikh Farid left the ashram. Guruji had told that salvation is attained by doing penance. Sheikh Farid was following Guruji's orders with complete devotion. For twelve years, he did penance by hanging upside down in a well. During that time, he only ate fifty kilograms of food which was nominal. (On an average, eleven to twelve grams per day.) The body had become a skeleton. Sheikh Farid used to lie down and sit outside the well for some time. One day, the crows, considering him dead, sat on his forehead to eat his eyes. There was no flesh on the rest of the body. Farid said, “O crows! Spare my two eyes and eat the rest of the flesh on my body. I want to see God. Therefore, spare my eyes.” When Farid spoke, the crows flew away. Sheikh Farid tied his feet with a rope and hung himself in the well like every day. God Kabir in the guise of a Jinda Baba (Al-Khijr) came to the well and grabbing the rope, started pulling Farid out of the well. Sheikh Farid said, “Brother! Do not disturb me. Do your work; I am doing mine.” God said, “What are you doing?” Farid said, “I am doing severe penance to see Allah.” God said, “I am Allah Akbar.” Farid said, “Brother, do not joke. Allah is formless (bechoon). He does not come in human form.” God said, “On the one hand you say that God is formless, but on the other hand you are saying that you are doing severe penance to see God.” It is said “Ghaam ka aur Gyaan ka to chamka-sa hi lagta hai.” (It means that a glare of the sun is enough to cause sunstroke, that is, it affects suddenly. Similarly, those who have to be influenced by the knowledge, they gain knowledge with one or two points only, and start doing bhakti). Sheikh Farid thought, “Even if he is not Allah, he is definitely well-informed (Baakhabar) about Allah. Sheikh Farid held God’s feet. He understood true spiritual knowledge, and got his welfare done by performing the spiritual practice preached by God Kabir.

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