Remembrance by Begg, WD

Begg's office, Begg Building

Topdara, Ajmer (India)

14th October 1975


To Hazrat Wali Ali Meyer,

Mentorgarten, 410, Precita Avenue,

San Francisco (USA).


My dear brother-in-faith—may Allah bless you. Salaams.

I apologise for slight delay in responding to your gracious letter of 19th September, 1975, due to my ill health. It is a very great pleasure to hear that my old patron, the late Sufi murshid Ahmed Murad Chishti’s biography is being published by you so dutifully. I must congratulate you on this noble undertaking and pray for its successful completion when I shall expect to have a copy of it.

It was in 1962, when I had published the Holy Biography of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti of Ajmer for the first time in English, that I have had the honour of coming in contact with the great Samuel L. Lewis. I had sent him a copy and he was immensely pleased to see full-fledged biography of the Great Saint of Ajmer in English for the first time after his demise 750 years ago. He, being a "Chishti" Murshid, became my patron immediately and till his last breath, loved me and my humble mission dearly our correspondence continued unabated and whenever I was in financial troubles, the late Murshid used to help me to centime my mission till I published the Big Five of India in Sufism but, alas, he could not survive to see this masterpiece as it was out in 1972 and he was summoned back by the Divine Power in 1971. This is a sister publication of the Holy Biography of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti, containing fully descriptive biographies of his 5 great "Khalifas" who carried on the torch of his noble mission for more than 300 years after their murshid' s demise, and spread the Message of Islam and Allah in India from North to South and East to West. My personal loss and grief at the passing away of Murshid Ahmed Murad Chishti was terrible, as terrible as of all of you his dear and near ones. But God's "Will" had to be borne out with all due patience. I have learned something more about Western Sufism from the late noble soul and my office files are full of his highly learned and instructive letters—a precious record of more than 10 years' intimate association. It is my sheer bad luck that I could not have the pleasure of touching the feet of the late Murshid personally, although he had promised to pay a visit to Ajmer and the Dargah of Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin. We were, on both sides, much too busy, during his lifetime i.e. the period of our intimate connections. I wonder, if I can give you any special "write-up" of my personal experiences with him, than this letter? We always agreed on the propagation of Sufism in the West through English because it has been neglected by all modern historians. I am the first and only poor soul in India who published the above six illuminating biographies of our leading Sufi saints in England.

I took up this work in 1954 voluntarily and, thank God, I finished it successfully in 1972. During this period, I have had to work day and night incessantly at the age of 60-80 my health naturally gave way under this terrible pressure and I have now been living on diet and medicines, a crippled man of 80. But my spirits are young, by the grace of God, who is keeping me up. He alone knows why ? I have now put a second edition of the Holy Biography in press which is expected to come out by December, if God wishes. Both the books have been a tremendous success in the English speaking world at home and abroad.

I wonder if you know that Mr. Lomax has got copyrights of the Holy Biography for all U.S.A. and his edition is ready to come out ? Likewise, Mr. L. W. Carp of Holland has got copyrights of both the books for all Europe and hopes to bring his editions out early next year. My 2nd edition is for India and Eastern countries.

I shall be too happy to reply any particular questions you may ask about my late patron Murshid Ahmed Murad Chishti. In the "Big Five," I have already recorded my own homage to him and the Sufi Movement of the West in a special chapter along with his picture. May God help you to fulfill your noble undertaking with all due spiritual rewards, is my fervent prayer. Please do acknowledge this letter. 

Yours very sincerely,

W.D. Begg