Abu Muhammad al-Madani ق
The man of God is drunken without water,
The man of God is full without roast meat.
The man of God is all confused, distraught,
The man of God needs neither food nor sleep.
The man of God, he is a boundless sea,
The man of God rains pearls without a cloud.
The man of God knows not of wrong but right.
His blessings reached everyone in his time. He was a Special One (khas), carrying the Secrets of the Prophetic Descriptions. He sat on the Throne of Guidance, spreading external and internal knowledge, especially from the Divine Presence. He was a master of this Order. He was distinguished among the Knowers. He was a Supporter of the weak. He had great miraculous power, that was visible wherever he went.
He was born in Kikunu, a district of Ghunib, in the state of Timurhansuro, Daghestan in the year 1251 H./1835 AD. He migrated with his family from Daghestan in the year 1314 H./1896 AD. to the city of Rashadiya, between Bursa and Istanbul.
He was a true inheritor of the physical appearance of the Prophet and his spiritual inheritor. He was very handsome, and he resembled the Prophet according to the description of the Prophet in the sirah (Life-Story). He authored a book entitled “Ya waladi”, “My Son,” in the tradition of Imam Ghazali who wrote “Ayyuha-l-walad”, “O My Son.”
The village of Kikunu, in which he grew up, was a spiritual place. The villagers kept the Shari`ah and all of them followed Shaykhs. One day before his birth, Shaykh Abu Ahmad as-Sughuri ق passed by the village and he said, “From this village an enlightened child is going to appear. His light will shine from earth to heaven. He is going to be a great saint.” He was predicting the birth and high station of Sayyidina Abu Muhammad al-Madani ق.
Daghestan in his time was known as “the Land of Saints.” During his early years, two great Shaykhs were living there, Shaykh Muhammad Effendi al-Yaraghi ق and Sayyid Jamaluddin al-Ghumuqi ق.
He received the power of guidance in six tariqats: Qadiri, Rufa`i, Shadhili, Chishti, Khalwati and Naqhsbandi. He was famous as a Shaykh in all six Tariqats.
One time, before Shaykh Muhammad al-Madani (q) took the Naqshbandi Order, Hajji Nuri and Hajji Murtaza passed by his village and they told him, “We are going to visit Ahmad as-Sughuri to take bayah from him. Would like to come with us?” He said, “Yes,” and all three of them made intention to take the tariqat from Sayyidina Ahmad as-Sughuri (q).
Sayyidina Ahmad as-Sughuri gave them advice, and then he called Abu Muhammad al-Madani, gave him bay`ah in the Naqshbandi Order and planted the dhikr on his tongue. He didn’t give anything to Hajji Murtaza and Hajji Nuri. He told them, “I gave the secret to Abu Muhammad al-Madani. There is no need to take the secret from me. Take it from him. Anyone who wishes to take my tariqat may take it through Abu Muhammad al-Madani.” They complained in their hearts, “Why did Ahmad as-Sughuri put Abu Muhammad al-Madani as an intermediary between us?”
One day there came a drought to their village. The people of the village asked them to pass by the village of Abu Muhammad al-Madani to ask him to pray to Allah for rain. On their way to see him they said to each other, “We will know now if he is truly a saint and why Sayyidina Ahmad as-Sughuri put him ahead of us.” On their way they passed a house, and saw a beautiful lady inside. They were so attracted to that lady’s beauty that they stood looking at her for a long time. Finally they arrived at Abu Muhammad’s house and they knocked at the door.
From inside, he said, “Who is at the door?” They were speaking with each other in low voices saying, “How could he be a Shaykh when he doesn’t know who is at his door?” They knocked again, but there was no answer. Then from behind the door came his voice, “ Hajji Murtaza and Hajji Nuri, it is easy for someone to become a Shaykh and a guide without knowing who is behind the door, but it is very difficult for someone to become a Shaykh and a guide who is following his desires in a way that is not acceptable, looking at naked women.” He said to them, “I cannot allow you inside my house.”
In their hurry to leave, they forgot to tell him that they had come to ask him to pray for rain. After five minutes he came running behind them and told them, “As for what you came for, as soon as you reach your village it will be raining.” As soon as they reached the village, the clouds gathered and it began to pour down rain.
The Russians were so afraid of him and his miraculous power that they took him to Siberia with the intention of killing him. He was able to free himself and escape to Turkey. The people of Daghestan remember well how hard he fought the Russians, both physically and spiritually. Even the Russians used to speak about his courage and his spiritual miracles. Many of the events that are known about him were recorded by his enemies.
One time he was fighting the Russians, until they came in overwhelming strength against him. He escaped to a house, and no one knew he was there. A woman saw him from the roof of her house. She told the Russians, “Muhammad al-Madani is in that house.” They came to capture him. The found that the house he was hiding in was surrounded with green grass because of the blessings of his presence, although due to the heat of summer there was no green vegetation to be seen anywhere else. Thanks to the information given by the woman, they were able to capture him. That night the woman became very ill, and the next day she was dead. As Allah Almighty and Exalted revealed to the Prophet in the holy Hadith, “Whoever comes against one of My saints, I will declare war against him.”
They put him under house arrest, and told him he could go to a nearby restaurant to eat. He refused to eat in their restaurant and he never ate their food, saying, “You are my enemy and I will never eat your food.” He did not eat their food for months, and they did not know how he was surviving. Finally someone came from the State of Sartar, saying to the governor, “If he is not eating from your food, give him to me, I will take him to my country to care for him.” They sent him there.
There was a boy from Kikunu studying in Bukhara who was engaged to a girl from Sartar. He was studying the sharaca. He had been gone for many years and had not returned. In the meantime, that girl had decided to marry someone else. The news of this reached Bukhara, where the boy heard it. He was very upset. That night, before he fell asleep, he heard a voice saying, “Come back to Sartar. Come back to Sartar.” He heard that voice the next night and the following day. He decided to go back. He had a very long journey, nearly to Moscow, to reach Sartar. He walked and walked until he finally reached the village.
He found the people all gathered in one place, carrying food. They told him, “A great Shaykh has come to Sartar from Kikunu, and he is healing people and feeding the poor. We were so attracted to his spiritual powers that we have all become his followers. Come with us to see him.” He went with them. The people of the village said to the Shaykh, who was Sayyidina Abu Muhammad al-Madani, “You might be taken away by the Russians. Please leave someone here who will be authorized to guide us in the tariqat.” When that boy arrived at the house of the Shaykh, the Shaykh told him, in the same voice he had heard in Bukhara, “O my son, you heard our message, you heard our voice. Come! You are going to be my deputy and you are going to teach these people what they need of spirituality and of the obligations of religion. And you are going to marry your fiancée.” The boy was very happy. He took initiation from the Shaykh in the Naqshbandi Order and the other five tariqats. Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Madani married him to his fiancee.
This was a miraculous gift for the city of Sartar, from Abu Muhammad al-Madani. It was also a sign that his days in Sartar were ending. The next day, the Russians came to take him to Siberia. He was locked inside a high security prison. Though they locked him in his room, they would often find him in the yard, praying, sitting, or reading. The guards were surprised and took him back. Then after after a few hours they would find him outside again. So they chained him to the wall. Still they found him outside the room, walking with someone. Later he would tell people, “I was walking with Sayyidina Khidr (s). They again chained him up and again they found him outside his cell. They were so upset that they wrote to Moscow asking advice on how to hold him. Moscow told them, “Put him underground in a very deep prison.” They tried to do that, but no matter how far down they put him he would always be found outside his cell. Finally they were so fed up with his escaping that they allowed him to go free within the borders of Russia. His intention was to escape to Turkey.
When they left him free in Siberia, he saw an officer and told him, “My son, I will see you in Istanbul, Turkey. We will meet you there.” Later that young man got fed up serving in the Russian Army and deserted. With his family he fled to Turkey, and ended up in Istanbul. There he met Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Madani, as the Shaykh had foretold.
Sayyidina Muhammad al-Madani decided to pass through his homeland in the Caucasus to visit his parents and family on his way to Turkey. One day before he was to arrive, he appeared in a dream to his sister telling her that he was coming. She told her mother the next day, “O my mother, increase the food a little, because my brother is coming today.” Her mother said, “What are you saying? No one even knows if he is alive in Siberia and you are saying he will come here?” At that moment there was a knock on the door and Sayyidina Muhammad al-Madani appeared.
As he was eating with his family he told them, “I must hurry, because there is a ship waiting to take me to Trabzon through the Black Sea.” They told him in surprise, “We are in Caucasia, and you are talking of Trabzon?”
Sayyidina Muhammad al-Madani directed himself to the coast on the Russian side of the Black Sea. When he arrived there, the ship he expected was waiting to take him to Turkey. He went to the captain and told him, “Take me to Turkey on your ship.” The captain replied, “I have been trying to go for twenty days, but the ship is not running properly.” He said, “Now it will run. Take this money as my passage and take me to Turkey.” The captain took him and put him near the engine room. Then the captain went to sleep while the crew sailed the ship. The captain saw in a dream, that the engine had changed into the shape of the Shaykh, and the ship had grown wings and was flying, arriving at Trabzon. He awoke and ran outside. The crew told him, “We have arrived in Trabzon.” He ran down to the Shaykh’s room and the Shaykh asked him, “Have we arrived?” He said, “Yes, my Shaykh, I am coming to tell you that I want to take initiation from you. This trip normally takes three days, and we have arrived in one.” He took initiation from him in the Naqshbandi Order and the five other orders.
The Shaykh left the ship and went to a coffee shop. He saw in that coffee shop one prisoner who had been with him in Siberia, by the name of Muhammad at-Tawil. Muhammad at-Tawil said, “Alhamdulillah, my Shaykh, you have arrived here safely. You will be my guest in my home.”
When Sultan Abdul Hamid heard that Shaykh Muhammad al-Madani (q) had arrived safely in Trabzon, he sent a ship to carry him from Trabzon to Istanbul. Meanwhile the Shaykh remained as a guest in the house of Muhammad at-Tawil. As long as Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Madani was a guest in his home, Muhammad at-Tawil would find two golden coins under his pillow every day. He was so astonished that, after five days, he went to the Shaykh, who said, “As long as I am here and as long as you keep this secret, you will find these coins under your pillow every day. If you don’t tell anyone, these coins will continue to come.”
One day, some time after the Shaykh had gone on to Istanbul, the wife of Muhammad at-Tawil was cleaning the bed and she found two coins. She began to make a fuss asking from where he got the coins. Finally he told her that it was the baraka of the Shaykh. Immediately she went and told the neighbors. As soon as she told them, the miracle stopped.
That incident happened in 1308 H/1890 AD. However, the story was never told until the son of Sayyidina Muhammad al-Madani was visiting his father’s friend Muhammad at-Tawil sometime after his father had passed away. Muhammad at-Tawil told him the story at that time, and showed him the coins he had received so miraculously.
Sultan Abdul Hamid, the emperor of the Ottoman Empire, was a follower of the Naqshbandi Order, and he took initiation from Sayyidina Muhammad al-Madani. The Sultan gave him the choice of any piece of land in Istanbul on which to build a zawiya for the Order and a house for himself. He replied, “That choice is not up to us, but it is up to the Divine Presence.” So he waited until the next day, and Sultan Abdul Hamid eagerly came to him to hear the answer. Shaykh Muhammad al-Madani told him, “O my son, Allah has directed me to a place from which the Naqshbandi Order is going to flourish. That is where the sincere Daghestani followers will be and is where the Naqshbandi Order will grow, and where my nephew will take authority of the Tariqat.” The Sultan said, “Whatever you have decided, I will obey your decisions.”
The next day Abu Muhammad al-Madani (q) told the Sultan, “Send me to Yalova. Between Yalova and Bursa is the place I am going.” The Sultan arranged a horse carriage for him to take him wherever he wanted to go. When he reached the area of Yalova, he directed the horses to go as they like. They stopped in a place near Orhanghazi.
There in the forest, he built the first house out of wood. After a short while 680 houses had sprung up in the forest. And that place was named Rashadiya, after Sultan Rashad, and is now known as Gunekoy.
All emigrants who came from Siberia and from the Caucasus moved to that village, where Shaykh Muhammad al-Madani ق , as well as Shaykh Sharafuddin (q) and Shaykh `Abdullah ق were present. One time the people came to Shaykh Muhammad al-Madani complaining, “How are we going to eat? There is nothing here.” He stamped his foot on the ground, and where he stamped his foot, a mine of clay and iron was found. At the same time a tree fell down. From these signs he showed them that they would earn a living by mining clay and iron and harvesting wood. There were soon 750 houses and two mosques and one school containing sixteen rooms, for teaching the children.
Years later, during the Balkan Wars, the Greek and Serbians who were fighting the Turks came to this village. Many homes were destroyed and many villagers fled. There remained 220 homes after that attack. Nothing happened to the mosque, however, and all the prayers continued to be held.
In that village no evil or corruption could be found. No drinking, no gambling, no wrongdoing occurred. From early childhood, everyone was raised doing dhikr. It was a piece of paradise. Everyone lived in harmony, doing dhikr every night. It was the ideal village and the ideal city. That is why the Shaykh had told Sultan Abdul Hamid, “Light is going to stream out of that village.”
That village was full of blessings. They needed no provisions from outside. The wood was there for burning in the cold weather. They had their own animals and they used to grow their own food. The people made every movement and every deed with Dhikr. The mothers nursed the children with Dhikr. The men worked to the sound of the dhikr. The entire village was filled with dhikr. This was how Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Madani, Shaykh Sharafuddin, and later Shaykh `Abdullah ad-Daghestani raised the people of the village. It became known throughout Turkey as the “Village of Dhikr.”
Turkey was involved in the Balkan War. One time Shaykh Muhammad al-Madani’s neighbor, Hasan Muhammad al-Effendi, came to him and said, “I want to go and fight and die as a martyr.” He told him, “There is no need for you to go outside the village to become a martyr. You are going to be a martyr here.”
Soon the armies of the Greeks and Serbs approached the village. The armies were shooting, into the village, and in one of these attacks Hasan Muhammad al-Effendi was shot and killed. He died as a martyr as he had wished and in the way the Shaykh had predicted.
Shaykh Abu Muhammad (q) had been married for years and all his children were girls. He had no boys. One day he said to the people, “I am seeing that three boys are coming to me.” The people were very surprised, because his wife was old and past childbearing age. Shortly after this, his wife fell ill and passed away. Later he remarried and with his new wife he had three boys.
One time on the 27th of Ramadan, Lailat ul-Qadr, he was leading the dhikr with the whole village. He said, “Everyone is engaged in dhikr. All the animals are doing dhikr with us. The worms are doing dhikr with us. The birds are doing dhikr. Every being in this village is doing dhikr with us except one animal who is disconnected from his father and is depressed. Allah is not happy. The Prophet is not happy and the saints are not happy. And this is all because of a childish prank!”
He spoke to the owner of the house in which they were doing dhikr, “Go to your son and ask him what he has in the box.” He went to his son and asked him, “What do you have in a box? What animal have you captured?” The boy was confused, “What box? I only have a little matchbox, in which I put one little worm.” He was told, “Take that worm and put it back in the earth.” From that, the people of the village understood and raised their children with an understanding that harming any creature, no matter how small, causes unhappiness and earns the displeasure of God, of the Prophet , and of saints. Because of such deep teachings, the village was pure and innocent of any wrongdoing.
He died on the 3rd of Rabi`u’l-Awwal, a Sunday, 1331 H./1913 CE. He was buried in Rashadiya (Gunekoy), and his grave is visited until this day by the people of the Daghestani community and especially by the family of Shaykh Shamil.
He passed the secret of the five tariqats that he was holding and gave authorization in them to his nephew, Shaykh Sharafuddin Daghestani ق along with what Shaykh Abu Ahmad as-Sughuri had passed to him from the secret of the Naqshbandi Order.