So i am making an online booklet on different personalities and one of them is "Hazrat baba fariduddin masud ganj shakar" What is some biographical data, focusing on his services in his specific...

So i am making an online booklet on different personalities and one of them is "Hazrat baba fariduddin masud ganj shakar"

What is some biographical data, focusing on his services in his specific field, that I could include in my booklet?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Hazrat Fariduddin Masood Ganjshakar, or Baba Farid, is a saint of Sufism, a form of Islam. As a writer and thinker in the Sufi form of Islam, Baba Farid's works force us to reexamine the modern depiction of the religion.

I think that you can include some interesting aspects of Baba Farid's biography in your booklet.  His emergence towards religious identity is very interesting. As the young boy  would ask his mother why he should pray.  She responded that he should pray for sugar.  She would always include a small dollop of sugar under his prayer mat as a reward for his prayer.  One day, after an intensely long prayer session, he found a larger than normal amount of sugar under his prayer mat.  When he told his mother about it, expressing his joy, she was taken aback. This one time, she did not put the sugar under the prayer mat.  She was convinced that the sugar was divinely placed.  From that day on, she nicknamed him Shakar Ganj, meaning "treasury of sugar."

Another fact that is very interesting to note about Baba Farid concerns language.  Baba Farid did most of his writing in Punjabi. At the time, the Punjabi language was not considered a very "holy" language like its regional counterparts such as Sanskrit, Urdu, or Arabic.  However, Baba Farid wrote in Punjabi, and as a result, he elevated the respect of the language.  His writings made him the "Father of Punjabi Literature" and the "Poet Laureate of Punjab."

Baba Farid took to the Sufi brand of Islam.  This is a form of Islam that is about the mystical element of spiritual exploration. A common topic of Baba Farid's writing as a Sufi saint was articulating the relationship between the individual and the divine.  Some of his writing is quite profound on the subject.  Consider one of his famous lines to a raven:

O Raven, you have searched my skeleton, and eaten all my flesh. But please do not touch these eyes as I hope to behold my Beloved.

The Sufi willingness to examine the deepest of emotional realms concerning love and faith are brought out in this line.  In a world where the most common associations of Islam are with terror, silencing voices, and strict adherence to dogmatic ideas, Sufi thinkers like Baba Farid force us to reevaluate what we think about Islam.  Baba Farid's writing on Islam is complex, and defies the standard thinking on the religion: 

Not every heart is capable of finding the secret of God's love. There are not pearls in every sea; there is not gold in every mine.

Baba Farid might be really important to include in your booklet because his writing makes us challenge the stereotype of Islam that is dominant in our world today.  Sufis like Baba Farid believed in the idea that there is a very deep and mystical connection that exists between the individual and their God.  This brand of Islam that reveals the religion's intricacy. It is far from what we see on the television or in the news.  Baba Farid brought this out in his scholarship and writing.  I think that including some of these lines in your booklet would be essential.

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gsarora17's profile pic

gsarora17 | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

Baba Farid, Hazrat Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar was a Sufi preacher, a people’s poet, very pious, humble and religious man of impeccable character and one of the most significant saints in Punjab during the 12th century. Baba Farid was born in the month of Ramzan in 1173 CE at Kothewal village, Punjab (now in Pakistan).

He is generally recognized as the first major poet of the Punjabi language. Farid was to Punjabi what Chaucer was to English. One of Farīd’s most important contributions to Punjabi literature was his development of the language for literary purposes. By using Punjabi as the language of poetry, Farīd laid the basis for a vernacular Punjabi literature. There was something in his poetry akin to prayer. He spoke of his people in the people’s dialect and asked them to use Punjabi for religious purposes. He started a ‘silsilah at Pak Pattan and established a mystic organization, a ‘Khanqah’ (Monastery) upholding the rule of mind over matter in the ultimate analysis of human affairs.

He communicated to the common folk and revealed divine messages through the medium of sweet, soothing Punjabi language. Farid lived a householder's life marked with contentment and perseverance. One of the greatest virtues of his life was his love and sympathy for mankind. The unique humanitarian values of compassion, love, sympathy, mutual understanding and appreciation are clothed in the hymns of Farid as fragrance is in flowers. For his sweet words, sweet ideals and sweet behaviour, Farid became known as an epitome of Sweetness (Shakarganj ).

The essence of the hymns of Farid can be stated as follows:
· Never forget Death under any circumstances.
· Avoid all quarrelling & polemics.
· Non-violence is the most beautiful ornament of Peaceful life.

Farid’s religious text is small in volume but has moved mankind over the last eight centuries. 116  hymns of Sheikh Farid are available at 3 different places in the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (SGGS).

Truly Baba Sheikh Farid, was a great intellectual,  perfect ascetic and committed devotee of the Timeless Lord.

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