Hajveri and the Revelation of Mysteries
Abul Hasan Ali Hajveri (c.990-1077), popularly
known as Data Ganj Bakhsh, was born in Ghazna and died in
Lahore (now in Pakistan), where he had been living since
sometime after 1030. In Secrets and Mysteries (1915-1922)
by Iqbal, he appears as a guiding force of Muslim civilization
and a role model.
Hajveri wrote many books but his only surviving
text is Kashful Mahjub (Revelation of the Mystery),
which is nothing less than a miracle of non-fiction art:
one of the earliest treatises on Sufism, it remains a standard
reference work equally suited to the novice as well as the
most advanced scholars even more than nine centuries later.
The book consists of twenty-five chapters.
The first fourteen deal with general concepts of Sufism,
such as the affirmation of knowledge, poverty, the etymology
of Sufism, and so on. Hajveri’s approach in these
chapters is distinguished from Qushayri, the author of a
multi-volume treatise on mysticism and some other predecessors,
since he seems to be more concerned more with giving insight
The last eleven chapters offer a revelation
each, from which the book derives its title. These eleven
“revelations” are: maarifat (knowledge of the
mysteries) of God; unification; faith; purification from
foulness; prayer; alms; fasting; pilgrimage; companionship,
rules and principles; definitions; and sama (devotional
music). It is obvious from the list that Hajveri has based
his “revelations” essentially on the obligatory
forms of worship and other tenets of Islam practiced by
the majority of believers in their everyday lives.