Hadhrat Syed Ali bin Uthman al-Hujweri, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh (Bestower of Spiritual Treasures) belonged to a place called Hujwer in the town of Ghazna, Afghanistan. He lived during the 5th century A.H. (11th century A.D.) and was well versed in all the Islamic sciences such as Tafsir (exegesis) of the Qur'an, Hadith (Traditions of the Prophet), Fiqh (Muslim Law) and dogmatic theology (Ilmu Kalam). Al-Hujweri's spiritual lineage traces back to Hadhrat Junaid Baghdadi through the three intermediaries al-Husri, an-Nasrabi, and Shibli.
In the course of his spiritual journey to God, he journeyed physically to many countries, often alone and with hardship. These places included Turkestan, Transoxania, Iran, Iraq, and Syria where he met innumerable Sufi shaikhs, many of whom he has mentioned in this book. He went to Lahore in the later part of this life to spread Islam, converting large numbers of Hindus into Muslims. He passed away in Lahore in 469 A.H. (1077 A.D.) where his maqam currently stands, visited by people of all walks of life, from near and far.
Kashful Mahjub, originally in Persian, was written at the request of a student of Sufism at that time. He had asked the shaikh to compile a comprehensive study on tasawwuf (Sufism) as a guide for spiritual aspirants. Although al-Hujweri was a master in the science of Islamic scholasticism and his judgments based on logic, the conclusions he arrived at were the result of his deep spiritual experience, where he has shown the absence of any conflict between true Sufism and Islamic Shariah.
Starting from the life of the Prophet's brimful experience of Divine nearness, Presence, Union and Communion, this book describes the spiritual experiences of the Companions of the Prophet, Companions of the Companions (tabi'in), their Companions (taba-tabi'in), and the Imams (heads) of the four schools of Islamic law (Ahli Sunnah wal Jama'ah ), showing in truth, "when Sufism was made to leave Islam," and that it is not the so called question of "when Sufism 'entered' Islam." This book also explains the various aspects of Sufism in a thorough yet simple manner.
This Edition of Kashful Mahjub, contains for the first time ever, an invaluable comprehensive English Commentary by a practicing Sufi Shaikh, further clarifying in today's language and context, the various subtleties of Sufism in an understandable form rarely found elsewhere.
This is a book that must be read not only by those interested in Sufism, but by all who yearn for tranquility and inner-peace in this present day of lop-sided, imbalanced and over-materialistic tendencies, where man has deplorably failed to strike a balance between his physical and spiritual life. This imbalance is now resulting in untold misery, restlessness, frustration, worries, woes, conflicts and confrontations which have virtually torn this world asunder.