ʿANDALIB, NĀṢER MOḤAMMAD, Sufi writer (b. in Delhi 1105/1693-94, d. 1172/1759). His family, sqvyedsclaiming descent from Baha’-al-dm Naq§band, had come to India from Bokhara in the lith/17th century, served as officers, and intermarried with the Mughal family. In 1132/1720 young Naser Mohammad gave up the military service to devote himself to Sufism and was initiated into the Naqgband-iya Mojaddedlya; one of his masters was Shah Sa’dallah Golgan, the disciple of Ahmad Serhendi’s grandson, ’Abd-al-Ahad Gol, in whose honor he chose his takallos’Andal-ib ("Nightingale"). Golgan, a prolific poet in Persian, spent the last years ofhis life in ’Andal-ib’s house, where he died in 1140/1728. About l 147/1734, ’Andalfib had a visjon in which Imam Hasan introduced him into the Taniqa-ye Mohammadiya, a mystically deepened interpretation of strict Islam. His son KCaja Mir Dard, born in Il 3 3~ 1721 from his second wife Bak§i Begom, who came from a Qddeni family, was the first to be initiated bv his father into this new nath: father and son devoted their lives to teaching its tenets. ’Andalib was also close to Fir Mohammad Zobayr, the fourth and last qayytanof the house of Ahmad Serhend!, who died in Dul-qa’da, 1152/February, 1740. Deeply moved by his death, ’Andal-lb spent three nights telling his friends a mystical story in Hindi, out of which developed the long-winded Persian Nala-ye’Andalib,which he dictated to Mir Dard. The Nala(2vols.,1308/1890-91), which covers more than 1700 pages (large folio) in the Bhopal print, is an allegory of rose and nightingale and discloses finally, after long digressions, that the nightingale is no one but the Prophet himself, thus ’Andalfib claims identification with his ancestor, the Prophet Mohammad. The work contains interesting chapters about Indian customs, and the setting is typical of late Mughal lite; long paragraphs are devoted to the Yogis and Yoga practices as well as to music, in which ’Andalfib apparently excelled, like his son Dard and also Golgan. Theological statements and long digressions about minor points of ritual are found, Hindi verses interrupt the tale, and accounts are given of the dekr in Naqgbandi- fashion. Although the thread of the story is often lost, the Nalabecame for Dard and his followers a book second only to the Koran, and they studied it instead of Ebn al-’Arab-is Fosus al-hekarnand Fotuhatal-MakkTyaor ‘Omar Sohravard-is ’Awdref al-ma’aref, it was recited to the children in the family even after the original manuscript was destroyed during the rebellion of 1857. ’Andal-ib also composcd a book on mystical chess, Resala-yehu§-qfzJ (ms., Punjab University Library), and, faithful to Sa’dallah GoRan’s tradition, for years he organized meetings in the Zinat-al-masaijed, apretty mosque at the edge of the Red Fort, where problems of Urdu poetry were discussed. The mystic is also credited with invention of a "wandering tent" and a "candle without tears."

ʿAndalīb died on 4 Ša’bān 1172/2 April 1759 at the age of sixty-six lunar years. He is burned in the compound which Awrangzeb's daughter-in-law gave him and his family in about 1153/1740 outside Turcoman Gate. His son Dard claimed to have reached perfect identity with his father/shaikh and everything he wrote was connected with him, be it by opening each chapter of his ’Elm al-ketāb (Delhi, 1310/1892-93) with the words yā Nāser or by arranging each of the four treatises in Ćahār resāla (Bhopal, 1310/1892-93) into 341 Paragraphs, this being the numerical value of the word Nāṣer.



Nāser Nadīr Ferāq, Mayḵāna-ye Dard, Delhi, 1344/1925.

A. Schimmedl, Pain and Grace, Ledien, 1976.




(A. Schimmel)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: August 3, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 1, pp. 9-10