Hz Khadim-e- Mohabbat could be said to have followed the path of blame. One of his contemporaries, Hz Mawlna Ghulam Azam (RA) recounted that when he first met the shaykh he observed something that caused him to abandon the shaykh’s company. As he said himself: ” I was a mere mawlawi” (meaning that he was focused on the zahir). Almost a decade later he happened to see the shaykh on the road ( “and at that time my eye had matured too” meaning he saw the signs of walaya) he realized his mistake and felt sorrow at what he had missed in those years. Thereafter he never abandoned the shaykh’s company till his death.
Those who have followed the path of blame are referred to in Islamic history as the Malamiyya or more often as the Malamatiyya. The later tradition has included them under the broad term of “Sufi” though there are differences of method and approach which have been noted by many including the Shaykh al-Akbar (RA).
Amongst the salient features of their path is of course “blame”, both that which they direct at themselves and that which others direct at them. Other features include anonymity and blending in with society through lack of public rituals/gatherings, earning a living, lack of any distinct dress or mannerisms that draw attention, and a lack of ibada beyond the common people’s practice.
Hz Khadim-e-Mohabbat exhibited most of these traits in his own inimitable way. As noted before he earned his living as a motor mechanic and used his income to help others; he never claimed the status of shaykh or spiritual master and treated all visitors with respect and as companions, he did not proselytize for any tariqa and de-emphasied the rituals common to all later sufis such as the bay’at, gatherings of dhikr etc. He remained unknown to those around him and had a very small circle of “friends” who visited him at his shop and after retirement at his home. His inner states remained hidden even from his closest companions. His concealment was such that he never even used a tasbih for dhikr. This is just a glimpse of his beautiful character.
Insha Allah, more on these people and their path later.