Syed Muhammad Hussaini, commonly known as Hazrat Khwaja Banda Nawaz Gaisu Daraz (July 13, 1321 -November 1, 1422), was a famous Sufi saint from India of the Chishti Order, who advocated understanding, tolerance and harmony among various religious groups.
Gaisu Daraz was a murid (disciple) of the noted Sufi saint of Delhi, Hazrat Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehlavi. After the death of Chiragh Dehlavi, Gaisu Daraz took on the mantle of the successor (khalifa). When he moved to Daulatabad around 1398, owing to the attack of Timur on Delhi, he took the Chishti Order to South India. He finally settled down in Gulbarga, at the invitation of Bahamani Sultan, Taj ud-Din Firuz Shah.
Banda Nawaz was born to Syed Muhammad Hussaini in Delhi in 1321. At the age of four, his family shifted to Daulatabad in Deccan (now in Maharashtra). In 1397, he went to Gulbarga, Deccan (presently in Karnataka) at the invitation of Sultan Taj ud-Din Firuz Shah.
At the age of fifteen, he returned to Delhi for his education and training by Nasiruddin Chiragh Dehlavi. He was also a very enthusiastic student of Hazrat Kethli, Hazrat Tajuddin Bahadur and Qazi Abdul Muqtadir. After teaching at various places such as Delhi, Mewath, Gwalior, Chander, Aircha, Chatra, Chanderi, Miandhar, Baroda, Khambayat and Gulbarga in 1397 and died in Gulbarga in the year November 1422.
His name as well as patronymic was Abul-Fatah and Gaisu Daraz was his title. Among the scholars and theologians he was Sheikh Abul-Fatah Sadr Uddin Muhammad Dehlavi but people called him Khwaja Banda Nawaz Gaisu Daraaz.
He was the descendant of Hazrat Ali (R.A). His forefathers resided in Hirat. One of them came to Delhi and settled down here. Hazrat Sheikh Muhammad was born here on 4, Rajab, 721 Hijri. His father Hazrat Syed Yousaf or Shah Raju Qatal was a holy figure and devoted to Hazrat Nizam Uddin Aulia.
Sultan Muhammad-bin Tughlaq once transferred his capital to Daulatabad (Devgiri) and along with him went many scholars, theologians, and mystics. His parents also migrated to the place. He was four years at the time Malik-ul-Umar Hazrat Syed Ibrahim Mustafa, his maternal uncle, was the governor of Daulatabad.
Childhood and early education:
His father always stressed the importance of education. From his childhood he was inclined towards religion and spent time in meditation and prayer. His father died when he was ten and his maternal grandfather assumed responsibility for his education and training and taught him initial books but he took lessons on Misbah and Qadoori from another teacher
On the death of his father his mother grew angry with her brother, and returned to Delhi. He was fifteen at the time. He had heard a lot about Hazrat Nizam Uddin Auliya and Hazrat Nasir Uddin Roshan Chiragh Dehlavi from his father and maternal grand father and grew devoted to them. One day he went to say his prayer in the Jama-Majid of Sultan Qutub Uddin, there he saw Hazrat Sheikh Nasir Uddin Mahmud Chiragh Dehlavi and pledged obedience to him on 16, Rajab. Under the guidance of Hazrat Nasir Uddin Chiragh Dehlavi he engaged himself in prayers and meditation and so much enjoyed them that lie forbade studies and requested his teacher to allow him to do so. Hazrat Nasir Uddin denied him permission and instructed him to study with attention Usool-e-Bizoori, Risals Shamsia, Kashaf, Misbah so he restarted the studies under the guidance of renowned teachers.
One day he with other disciples lifted the palanquin bearing Hazrat Nasir Uddin. His long hair stuck into the foot of the palki and pained him severely but he did not disentangle them for love and respect to the teacher. When Hazrat Nasir Uddin learned of the episode, he was overjoyed and recited the Persian couplet:
"Har ki murid Syed gesu daraaz shud Vallah khilaf-e-nest ki Uoo ishq baaz shud." ("Syed Gesu Daraaz has pledged his obedience; there is nothing wrong in it because he has deeply fallen in love.")
He thus gained the title "Gesu-Daraaz".
In Afghanistan and Balochistan:
Syed preached Islam in Afghanistan and Balochistan too. In Afghanistan he married a Pathan woman of the Kakar tribe and had two sons, Stouryani (Ustarana) and Hazrat Syed Masood Ali Shah (Mashwani). From the lineage of Ali Ibne Abitalib a popular prince or governor from Persia (Iran) Syed Kalan Gesu Daraz who was devoted to mysticism as per local sayings around 800 ce who was the son of syed qaf the fourth generation from the Islamic scholar and imam jafare sadiq was very popular here at that time too which matched with the title Gesu Daraz of the Bande Nawaz Gesu Daraz.
Having lived for over forty years in Delhi, he moved to Gulbarga at the age of around 76. Firoz Shah Bahmani ruled over the Deccan during this period. He gave him much respect. For a long time he was engaged in religious discourses, sermons, and spiritual training of the people.
Bande Nawaz attained an age of 101 years, died on 16 Ziqa'ad 825 Hijri in Gulbarga and was buried there. His tomb is a place of Ziyaarat.