Sheikh Farid is numbered among the greatest Indians saints. He was born in Kothawal in 1173 A.D. in the month of Ramzan, which is devoted to fasting according to Muslim tradition. It is said that the newborn child refused to drink his mother's milk during the hours ordained for fasting. He was named fariduddin Masaud or Farid, which is Arabic word for 'unique'. He was also called 'Shakar-Ganj'. Being fatherless, Farid was brought up by his very pious mother, Qarsum Bibi. She educated him in the essentials of religion and strict duties enjoined upon believers of Islam. It is said that by the age of eight the child had learned the Qu'ran by heart.
He was called 'Shakar-Ganj' because his mother regularly induced him to say his prayers by placing a packet of Shakar (sugar) under his prayer mat. Once it is said that she forgot to place this incentive in the usual place. Such was the piety of the child and such the divine favour bestowed upon him that a package of Shakar nevertheless appeared in the usual place. But the real explanation of the name may be derived from the blessing which he is recorded to have received from his spiritual preceptor, Khwaja Qutbudin Bakhtiyar Kaki, who praised his sweetness of disposition, and remarked: 'You shall be as sweet as sugar' .
Once the 'King of Enlightened Ones', Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Hasan (Qutbuddin's Master) visited Qutbuddin, who presented his own disciples to him. Each got blessings in accordance with his merit. After that the Master asked, 'Master Qutbuddin, is any one of your disciples still remaining?' He replied, 'A hermit named Masaud is undergoing chilla (constant prayer for forty days with head hung downwards) and thus has not been able to come'. The Master got up and said, 'Come let me see that wilderness.' Then both of these great saints, lords of spiritual experience, came to the isolated cell of Farid. As the door opened, Shakar-Ganj was seen to be so weak that he could not even bend to make his obeisance. So, tears welled up in his eyes and he placed his fore head on the ground. When the Master saw this he said, 'Qutbuddin how long will you torment this poor soul with these ascetic exercises? Come, let us confer our blessing on him.' So they held him up one arm each and Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Hassan, turning his face heavenward, prayed: 'Thou Lord God of Highest Glory! Accept the penance of Farid and bestow upon him the highest sainthood.' At once a voice replied, 'I have accepted Farid. He is unique and unequalled among mankind.' This divine oracle sent Farid into state of ecstasy. When Qutbuddin saw this, he transmitted to him the 'Great Name'. Divine Illumination was revealed to Farid and no veil was left to intervene between him and God, the Supreme Lord of all. Then the Master Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Hassan conferred on him his own special robe, and Qutbuddin gave him his turban and shawl and whatever else was needed to appoint him his successor.
Farid's Teachings: True devotees are those whose hearts are sincerely in love with God. Those whose heart is contradicted by their tongue are hypocrites. The true devotees soaked in God's love are ever in ecstasy of realization. Those indifferent to him are burden on the earth. The true devotees are those whom God attaches unto Himself. Blessed is their birth and their life is truly fruitful. Worship those who have realized God. Seek shelter only in the Lord. He alone is the Bestower of forgiverness.