The Life of Waliullah Hazrat Sultan Bahu (R.A.)
Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) is from the progeny of Hazrat Ali (RA) and is a direct descended from Hazrat Ali (RA). Traditionally according to the law of the land he is Hashimi and belongs to the tribe of A'wan. Historically the A'wan tribe trace their descent to Ameer Shah, son of Qutub Shah whose family lineage is traced back to Hazrat Ali (RA). Hazrat Sultan Bahu's (RA) family genealogy is traced as follows:
Hazrat Sultan Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), son of Hazrat Bazid Muhammed ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), son of Hazrat Fatah Muhammed, son of Hazrat Alla-radatta, son of Hazrat Muhammed Tameem ,son of Hazrat Muhammed Mannan, son of Hazrat Mogila, son of Hazrat Muhammed Peera, son of Hazrat Muhammed Sughra, son of Hazrat Muhammed Noor, son of Hazrat Sulla'a son of Hazrat Muhammed Baharie, son of Hazrat Muhammed Jayoon, son of Hazrat Muhammed Hargun, son of Hazrat Noor Shah, son of Hazrat Ameer Shah, son of Hazrat Qutub Shah, son of Hazrat Emmaan Shah, son of Hazrat Husein Shah., son of Hazrat Firoze Shah, son of Hazrat Mahmud Shah, son of Hazrat Fartak Shah, son of Hazrat Nawaab Shah, son of Hazrat Darrab Shah, son of Hazrat Awhum Shah, son of Hazrat Abeeq Shah, son of Hazrat Ahmed Shah, son of Hazrat Ameer Zubeir, son of Hazrat Ali ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), son of Hazrat Abu Talib, son of Hazrat Mutallib, son of Hazrat Hashim, son of Hazrat Abdul Munaf.
THE MIGRATION OF THE SAINTS ANCESTORS FROM MEDINA TO PUNJAB.
The Holy Prophet of Islam (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) was born in 570 AD. The divine call of Islam came in the first decade of the seventh century. In the early years, the Muslims had to suffer persecutions of the worst type at Mecca. In 622 AD the Muslims migrated to Medina. That was the turning point in the history of Islam. The flight marked the birth of Islam as a temporal power. The Islamic state was established at Medina. The Holy Prophet of Islam (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) was a statesman, a soldier, an administrator, a thinker, a king a leader, in short the perfect man.
At the death of the Holy prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim0 in 632 AD, the influence of Islam extended up to the borders of the Arabian Peninsula. Across the border to the west was the ancient Byzantine Empire and to the east the great Iranian empire. When Islam appeared on the world stage, these empires stood exhausted by mutual wars and conflicts extending over several centuries.
KHULAFA-I RASHIDIN.---On the death of the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim), Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) became the Khalifa. Under his Khilafat the Muslims under the generalship of Khalid bin Walid won an astounding victory against the Byzantine army and the Muslims became the masters of Syria. Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) died in 634 and was succeeded by Hazrat Omar (RA) as the Khalif. It was under Hazrat Omar that Islam burst across the horizon both to the west and the east.
At the battle of Qadisiya in 637 AD the Muslims gained a decisive victory over the Persians. In 641 AD at the battle of Nihavand, the Persians were completely crushed by the Muslims and Persia once a mighty empire became a province of the Muslims. Within ten years of the Holy Prophets (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) Wisal , the Muslims became the masters of all the lands extending from Egypt to Khurasan.
Hazrat Omar (RA) was assassinated in 644 AD. He was succeeded by Hazrat Osman (RA) who also fell victim to the knife of an Assassin in 656 AD. Then he was followed by Hazrat Ali (RA) as the fourth Khalifa of Islam. He shifted the capital from Medina to Kufa in Iraq, and here he was assassinated in 661 AD. Out of the four `rightly guided Khaki's, three were assassinated at the hands of those who professed to be Muslims.
THE OMAYADS ---On the death of Hazrat Ali ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), Imam Hasan, the son of Hazrat Ali became the Khalifa. Amir Muawiya (RA) who was related to Hazrat Osman (RA) and belonged to the house of the Omayads, refused to accept Imam Hasan (RA) as the Khalifa and declared himself as the Khalipha. In order to avoid a war, Hazrat Imam Hasan (RA) withdrew as a khalifa and Amir Muawiya became the Khalifa of Islam.
Hazrat Muawiyah (RA) died in 680 Ad and was succeeded by his son Yazid. This was against the pact agreed between Hazrat Imam Hasan and Amir Muawiyah. Hazrat Imam Hussain ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), the brother of Imam Hasan (RA) challenged Yazid. Hazrat Imam Hussein (RA) was betrayed and martyred at the field of Karbala.
It was during the corrupt and repressive rule of Yazid and after the martyrdom of Hazrat Hasan (RA) and the martyrdom of Hazrat Husein (RA) at Karbala that the Bani Fatima household (progeny of Hazrat Bibi Fatima (Radii Allahu Anhu) and the other children of Hazrat Ali (Radhi Allahu Anhu) from his other wives, were all arrested and exiled to Damascus. The rest of them who did not accompany Imam Husein (Radhi Allahu Anhu) to Karbala lived and spent their time around the precincts of the tomb of the Prophet of Islam (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim). After some time those exiled to Damascus returned to Medina and some went to Egypt.
So it was during the rule of Yazeed that the Prophet's (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) household had to migrate to other lands. The rest of the descendants of Bani Fatima (Radhi Allahu Anhu) and Hazrat Ali (Radhi Allahu Anhu) who lived in Egypt and nearby lands had to leave for Turkistan and Iran due to the persecution of Hujjaj bin Yusuf Safaqi, a corrupt and tyrannical ruler, under whose rule thousands were killed or massacred. In Iran the tomb of Hazrat Imam Ali Musa Raza (Radhi Allahu Anhu), who was martyred, still stands as a reminder that they had migrated to and lived in the plains of Iran.
As time went by the descendents of Hazrat Ali (Radhi Allahu Anhu) migrated and resettled in other lands such as Bukhara and Hamadhan in Turkistan, Baghdad in Iraq -a border between Turkistan and Iran. Some migrated to Khurasan and others to Herat in the mountainous regions of present day Afghanistan.
After the heartbreaking events of Karbala, the descendents of Hazrat Bibi Fatima (Radhi Allahu Anhu) passed the rest of their lives in seclusion and solitude in the remembrance of Allah. And the rest of the offspring of Hazrat Ali (Radhi Allahu Anhu) from the Aloewi/Hashimi clan, showing off their valor, passed onto Herat and other cities, subduing and overcoming the highlands and mountainous country further south in the Indo-Pak subcontinent.
THE FATHER OF HAZRAT SULTAN BAHU (Radhi Allahu Anhu).
As we have stated earlier, the father of Hazrat Sultan Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), Hazrat Bazid Muhammed (RA) was from this A'wan tribe. He was a titleholder and an office bearer in the court of the Mughals. He was a pious and devout scholar and a strict follower of the Shariat. He later married Hazrat Bibi Rasti (RA) who belonged to the same social class of the same family.
Hazrat Bibi Rasti (RA) was a devout, pious and saintly wife. Her piety had a marked influence on her husband, so much so, that the love of Allah kindled in his heart. This fire of love forced and compelled him to give up his government service, and passed the rest of his life in the service of Allah. He settled in Multan.
Hazrat Bibi Rasti (RA) joined her husband in Multan. In the mean time, as a recognition of his services, the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, conferred on Hazrat Bazid Muhammed (RA) an estate in the vicinity of the small town of Shorkhote in District Jung, Punjab Province.
Hazrat Bazid Muhammed (RA) and Hazrat Bibi Rasti (RA) settled and spend the rest of their lives in Shorkhote.
THE BIRTH AND YOUTH OF SULTAN BAHU (RA).
According to some sources Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) was born in the village of Shorkhote in Punjab Province in the year 1039 AD, during the reign of the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.
Already as a child his Saintly qualities became apparent. He too, like Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), refuses to drink his mothers? milk from Sehri to Iftaar (before sunrise to sunset). Despite showing inherent spiritual qualities his training responsibility fell in the lap of his pious, devout and saintly mother, Ma Rasti (RA). In his childhood and early days, she was responsible for both his inward and outward training, colouring his personality in the Prophetic light. In many of his writings, Sultan Bahu (RA.) refers to his saintly mothers? piety and spiritual station. In one of his Persian couplets, he refers to her devotion to truth as follows:
` Bliss of God for Rasti be
For with truth is gifted she?
Interestingly ` Rasti ' itself in Persian means
`Truth'. At another place he writes:
`Mercy of Allah be on Rasti who named me Ba -Hu?
Ma Rasti (RA) saw a vision that soon she will be blessed with a child with inherent spiritual qualities whose light of Faqr will benefit many a seeker till the end of time. She was instructed to name the child `Ba Hu' -meaning -`With Allah'. This name, most certainly suited this holy personality, for he was always drowned in the Love of Allah. Hazrat Sultan Bahu's (RA) name is incomparable and has no parallel. His very name reflects his lofty spiritual station, pure qualities and attributes. We will, very briefly, attempt to examine and elucidate further on the characteristics and the quality of the saints name Bahu. This would help to absolve the fallacy
and misunderstanding concerning the disposition of the Saints name.
True meaning and implication of the name BAHU.
The characteristic of the name has a multidimensional qualitative feature, which identifies itself with the personality of the Saint himself. In one of his poems he says :
`With one dot Ba-Hu becomes Ya-Hu.... and Bahu is always steeped in the remembrance of Ya-Hu'.
At another place he says:
`Whatever you want, ask Bahu....... for conversely Ba-Hu is Wah-hab '
In the morphology and syntax of the language used by the Saint to express his thoughts and ideas a mere change in the movement of a dot alters the meaning of a word. So by adding a dot to the first letter of the name Ba-Hu, it becomes Ya-Hu and conversely Ba-Hu becomes Wah-hab (Gods attributive Name-The Giver of abundance). Here the Saint refers to his total personality being annihilated, colored and imbued with divine attributes, a goal of a Sufi and has nothing to do with the concept of `Hama- oest' i.e. God incarnate.
In the science of numerology the sum total of the name Ba-Hu is 14, the date of the full moon and the start of adolescence. It is a symbol of completion and perfection. There are so many qualities of the name Ba-Hu, that it would require a research of its own. In short, Sultan Bahu (RA.) himself says in one of his writings:
`Qualitatively my name (in its effects) is like Isme-Azam ' and at another place he says; ` My name brings light to the oblivious heart '.
It has been seen and experienced by many a true seeker that by simply mentioning or hearing his name, the seeker has gone into ecstasy proclaiming `Ya Hu Haqq Bahu'. Many a doubtful and acrimonious mind will think that because of our strong belief we have overestimated the experience of true seekers regarding the above. But even a person who is completely objective and impartial will have to acknowledge that the name `Bahu' has a unique and distinctive accentuation and intonation with multi-dimensional meanings and even a critical analysis of the experience will reveal the inherent blessings of the name Ba-Hu.
enigmatic term nomenclature aphorism epigram clich?
Critics will take offence at the maxim `Haqq-Bahu' and might object that it is a proclamation of Kufr (Ma-aaz-Allah -God forbid). Indeed this is only THEIR misconception due to their ignorance, unawareness and heard heartedness. We find it necessary to explain this further. In the maxim ` Haqq-Bahu', the word `Haqq' is not used in the sense alluding to the Person (Zaat) of Allah. But instead it signifies righteousness, pureness truthfulness, virtuousness and words of similar import, terms which are opposite of falsehood (`baatil'). So the epigram indicates and signifies that Sultan Bahu (RA.) is truthful, genuinely connected, submerged and annihilated in the Name and Love of Allah the Supreme. In fact he foretells in one of his works:
` the maxim of `Haqq' will be adjoined to Ba-Hu ...... this attachment will manifest even from Ba Hus grave '
and of course nearly 300 years have passed, this prophesy has proved to be true to the latter. What a blessed name that it penetrates into the reaches of the heart. For a conscious hearted Gnostic this name is a glimpse through which he perceives the higher levels of realisation and reality. This condition has to be experienced before one can reject the said effects.
It is narrated that in the early years of his life , whenever Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) ventured out of his house, he caused consternation and alarm because whenever his blessed sight fell onto non-believers, they (the non-believers) would involuntarily recite the Kalima -Shahaadah ( declaration of Faith ). The townsfolk sent a delegation to the parents of the Saint( may Allah be pleased with them), requesting that a guard or sentry be posted near their house, so that whenever `little' Bahu would venture out a siren would be sounded so that the people would take shelter from the penetrating gaze of `little' Sultan Bahu. This trait in his personality remained with him till the very end of his life. As he says in one of his works"
` Half gaze of Bahu is better than one hundred suns'
The above stated fact is true. Three centuries later, the tomb of Sultan Bahu (RA) is like a beacon of light, attracting thousands of true seekers, radiating their inward with his spiritual attraction. Many a dead hearted persons first sight of the Saints tomb produces in him an involuntary and spontaneous outburst of zikr (remembrance) of Allah.
Sultan Bahu (RA) tomb is situated in a village near the banks of the river Chenub situated not far from the town of Shirkot in the district of Jung - Punjab Province. In this age of forgetfulness and materialism, the tomb serves as an elixir to the immoral and corrupt hearts and souls of people. Millions of pilgrims from far and wide visit the tomb to receive blessings and benefits. This can be observed during the first 10 days of Muharram (Muslim New Year) when over 2 million people gather to celebrate the annual anniversary - Urs -of this renowned Saint. The pilgrims receive countless inward and outward blessings. Often it has been experienced by many a seeker that in one to three nights their hearts desire is fulfilled. Ordinary people receive guidance in their dreams, the elite in Muraqaba (meditation), and the elite of the elite `in a waking state'.
The tomb of Sultan Bahu (RA) is unique in this case. He gives attention to true seekers in such a fashion that the entire personality of the seeker is spiritualized ...... dancing in ecstasy they reach their hearts desire. This holy personality's generosity and blessings is immeasurable because for a true Faqir (Spiritual Master), life and death, inward and outward is the same. It has been experienced many a time that a thought would pass in one's mind and `supra-rationally it would be answered and made clear. His grave is not a tomb but a furnace from where one's soul is purified.
In his lifetime the Sheikh used to bless people without revealing himself. His love for anonymity was such that before his death, he predicted that his resting place would be unknown. But Allah Willed otherwise. The resting place of this great Saint was made famous for the benefit of mankind. The discovery of his resting place itself is a miracle. In `Munaqabi-Sultanie' it is documented that the Chenub River flooded and its waters reached an old mud fort where a few old graves were situated. One very pious Sayed from a neighboring village saw in a vision Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) indicating to him the location of his grave, which was being threatened by the flood. He asked the Sayed to remove his body and take for burial to a safer place. Sayed Sahib together with a few friends did as instructed but was disappointed not to find the body in its grave. The following evening he was again instructed to bring along a casket and leave it overnight at the graveside and to return the next day when he would find the casket heavy with the body inside. The following day, with the help of his friends Sayed Sahib loaded the casket onto a camel and proceeded towards a graveyard (known as Hazrat Peer Abdur Rehan Qureishi's graveyard), when on the way they came across an enclosure, which was famous for its macabre and uncanny surroundings. This surrounding was screened and preserved with a fencelike structure so that no man or animal could venture therein. On reaching the place the she camel sat down, despite being goaded to move on. Witnessing the camel?s strange behaviour, they deduced that Allah must have reserved this sanctuary as the resting place for Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). Spontaneously, the camel rose and entered the enclosure and sat on a neat clean clearing. Taking this as divine approval, they buried the casket.
From this chosen site started a spring of blessings and instructions, which turned into an ocean of benefit and guidance as time passed on. Later his great Persian and Punjabi works in prose and poetry, which lay hidden in the guise of anonymity became available. Scholars and seekers after truth travelled far and wide to acquire the invaluable treasures of Hazrat Sultan Bahu's(RA) writings. These were copied, distributed and studied. As the saint himself says that when he did not find any true seeker to impart his spiritual wealth and blessings, he decided to transform this esoteric wealth into writing and thus made it available for generations to come.
For 150 years, the tomb of the great saint illuminated the hearts and minds of the people. The river Chenub once again raised its waters, coming dangerously close to the shrine. This time it was Hazrat Sultan Noor Ahmed (RA) who was instructed to once again shift the tomb to where it stands today.
Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) did not acquire the worldly sciences. Due to immense spiritual attractions and ecstasy it became difficult to attain to formal education. Yet his own person was luminous with Divine Light. In one of his writings the saint refers to this when he says that: ` I did not have time to spare for formal education but spiritual experiences, divine favour and guidance and esoteric conquests has enabled me to acquire such vast knowledge that it would require many files of paper to record. Spiritual realities have so enlightened my inward that both the esoteric and exoteric sciences have been revealed to me....neither did I have the time to perform daily litanies (wird) because since the beginning I have been immersed in the ocean of Unity (Tauheed) '. He was a strict upholder of the Shari'a and did not in his entire life forego even one Mustahab.
INITIATION AND SEARCH FOR A MURSHID.
According to Sufi practice, one who seeks to traverse the "Spiritual Path?, has to become the disciple of some Sheikh of ripe experience and profound knowledge who could guide the seeker in attaining the goal. If one intends to save himself from the sickness of the soul than the remedy suggested by all saints is to search for some noble spiritual guide and be attached to him. The company of pious and saintly people is very essential to acquire and maintain sound
spiritual health, because the Sufi Sheikhs are physicians of men's souls.
Sultan Bahu(RA) belonged to the Qaderi school of Sufis. At the bottom rung of the Sufi ladder of all schools stand the mystic himself. Immediately above him stands his Murshid (Sheikh) or master, who is more than a philosopher, guide and friend to him. Next higher is the Murshid of the mystic's Murshid and so on. At the top stands the Prophet (Peace BE UPON HIM) of Islam who is the fountain -head of all mystic experiences and orders. In his Abyat Sultan Bahu(RA) refers to the Spiritual Masters when he says : ` Joys of Union with your Allah
If you wish, your master serve
Kindly glance of his, on a rose-bud
Turns it into flowery curve
Transforms you so fully, truly
Head and heart, and bone and nerve
Here and There win success, Bahu
Serve your Murshid with full verve.'
Sultan Bahu's(RA) initiation into the spiritual world was both esoteric and exoteric. In his book ` Amirul Kaunain ' he writes that `for thirty years I have travelled far and wide in search of a Perfect Murshid (Spiritual Master) '.During this period he met innumerable spiritual guides and spent time with many of them, serving them in every respect and receiving spiritual light and blessings from them.
Esoterically, Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) was initiated by the Prophet Muhammed (Peace BE UPON HIM ) himself. He received instructions and spiritual guidance from the fountain -head of all lights himself (PBUH) and was accepted as a child of light in the court of Hazrat Bibi Fatima (Radhi Allahu Anhu.), the lady of light and her husband Hazrat Ali (Radhi Allahu Anhu).
In one of his treatise,` Risala Ruh Shareef' Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) refers to this esoteric initiation when he says:
`Bahu, on whom Prophet(PBUH) bent
Initiate Bahu in lovers way Accepting Bahu in families tent'
Esoteric initiation in the life of the saint was experienced on two occasions.
It is narrated in ` Muraqaba Sultani ' that the first esoteric initiation took place in the vicinity of Shorkhote when the saint was in his adolescence. In his own words the saint describes this experience. He says:
` Once in my youth a very handsome and awe -inspiring person on horseback approached me. He held my hand and asked me to accompany him. I asked him who he was. He replied `I am Ali IBM Abu Talib and I have come to take and escort you to the exalted and holy court of the Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu -Alaihi-Wasallam. Suddenly I found myself in the august court of the Prophet (SALL ALLAHU ?ALAIHI WA SALLIM). All the Prophets (Peace BE ON THEM), Companions of the Prophet (PEACE BE ON THEM) including the four Khalifa -RASHIDIN (Hazrat Abu baker Siddiq, Hazrat Omar, Hazrat Othman Ghani, Hazrat Ali (Peace BE ON THEM) together with Panjaten Paak (i.e. Hazrat Bibi Fatima, Hazrat Imam Hasan, and Hazrat Imam Hussein (PEACE BE ON THEM) were present in the assembly. Also present in the court were Hazrat Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir Gilani (Rah. lay) and many more Sufi Saints. This was a most illustrious court, heavenly in nature, full of light and tranquility. The Holy Prophet (SALL ALLAHU ?ALAIHI WA SALLIM ) was seated above all the others bestowing light and blessings like a shining star. The Holy Prophet SALL ALLAHU ?ALAIHI WA SALLIM) was very much pleased to see me and putting me on his lap initiated me as his spiritual son. Thereafter all the Holy Personalities present in the assembly did likewise putting me on their laps. Especially the four Khulafa-e-Rashideen, Panjaten Paak, and Hazrat Ghauth-e-Azam Sheikh Abdul Qadir Gilani (PEACE BE ON THEM), who blessed and graced me with love, special care and spiritual attention '.
The second initiation took place in the years of maturity. Hazrat Sultan Hamid ( Rathi Allahu ?anh),the son of Hazrat Sheikh Ghulam Bahu(RA) writes about this incident in `Munaqabi Sultani' that he heard his father say that this discourse has been passed on from generation to generation that Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) use to often talk about this second esoteric initiation. Sultan Bahu (RA) use to say ` The second time too, I was presented in the court of the Holy Prophet(PBUH) by
Hazrat Ali (RA). The Holy Prophet(PBUH) asked me to stretch forth my hands. Taking both my hands into his(PBUH),he initiated me and I was blessed with his special spiritual attention, love, care and barakah.
Thereafter the Holy Prophet(PBUH) gave my hands into the hands of Sheikh Abdul Qadir(RA) and instructed him to train his spiritual son, Sultan Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), in the Qaderi Tariqa (order). After being blessed by the greatest Saint, all the holy personalities in the assembly blessed me with their spiritual light and barakah. The Prophet SALL ALLAHU ?ALAIHI WA SALLIM) than addressed me that I should guide the true seekers to the path of Allah '.Accordingly up to the end of time Hazrat Sultan Bahu's(RA) teachings have been preserved in the form of his books, which are a beacon of light in this dark age we live in. As mentioned earlier, a mere
perusal of his works opens for the seeker the doors of Marifat (spiritual knowledge).
Despite being initiated on the esoteric level and being a born saint it was important that Hazrat Sultan Bahu attach himself to a Kaamil (perfect) Sheikh. All the saints in Islam had to undergo practical training in the company and guidance of Murshid's or Sheikhs. Hazrat Abu Saeed Abul Chair (RA) was the Sheikh (teacher) of Sayed Abdul Qadir Gilani ( Rathi Allahu ?anh),Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi (RA) was the Sheikh of Hazrat Shelby ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), Hazrat Kwaja Hasan Basri(RA) was the Sheikh of Hazrat Habib Jamie ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), Hazrat Kwaja Uthman Harooni(RA) was the Sheikh of Hazrat Kwaja Gharib Nawaaz ( RA) and so on.
Invocations to his Murshid have been addressed by Sultan Bahu(RA) in many of his `Abyat'(Punjabi Poems) as will be found. In one stanza he says:
` Murshid should be like a goldsmith
Roasting dross in crucible
Taking out the wholesome metal
Shape rings irresistible
Polish them for ladies' ears
Who will look adorable
Through true Murshid, every moment Bahu's Fate is changeable '.
At another place he says:
` Mystic ways without a Murshid
Try to tread and, sure, get lost..... Murshid perfect keeps you happy
In this life and life to come
Rids you of the pangs of hunger
Turns to silver pure and shining....'
So exoterically, Sultan Bahu's(RA) request to his mother to be his Murshid, in the mystical sense, was not granted. She directed him to seek spiritual guidance and initiation from a Sufi named Hazrat Shah Habibullah Qadir (RA). Sultan Bahu's(RA) search took him to the east. On reaching a town called `Baghdad?, he presented himself to Sheikh Habibullah Qadir(RA).
It was the habit of Sheikh Habibullah (RA) that he always kept hot water on the ready. Any new seeker that arrived in his Khanqah, was asked to put his hand in the water and on doing so the seeker would reach a state of `Kashf'(clairvoyance). Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) sat on the perimeter observing the phenomenon and the spiritual advancements attained by the other new seekers. After the happenings were concluded Sultan Bahu(RA) presented his petition and request to the Sheikh, who asked him why he never put his hand in the water, for then he would have reached his hearts desire. Sultan Bahu(RA) answered that on perceiving the states of the novice seekers, putting his hands in the water would not have quenched his spiritual thirst and aspirations. Sheikh Habibullah Qadir (RA) then entreated that Sultan Bahu(RA) perform `mujaahida' (struggle for spiritual purification ) and to attend to certain duties, one of which was to assist in brining water to the mosque for ablution.
Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) requested for a leather bag to carry the water to fill the fountain, pond and ablution block, which was empty at the time. As the other dervishes looked on, one bagful of water brought by the new aspirant was enough to fill the entire pond and ablution block. This miracle was immediately reported to Sheikh Habibullah( Rathi Allahu ?anh), who commanded Sultan Bahu(RA) to free himself from any worldly attachment that he might still possess, as two different responsibilities cannot be shouldered at the same time.
Hearing this the young Sultan Bahu(RA) took leave and started his journey back home. Through intuition Saintly Ma Rasti ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), the mother of Sultan Bahu( Rathi Allahu ?anh), became aware of his intentions and instructed his wives that they hide their valuables for use in times of need. The wives obeyed, burying their valuables. On arrival, the young Sultan Bahu(RA) made known his intentions saying that it was the instruction of Hazrat Shah Habibullah (RA). Agreeing with him, his Saintly mother said that he should carry out the instructions.
Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) recognized a ring on the finger of his son Nur Muhammad ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), which belonged to one of his wives. Getting rid of the ring he looked around if there were any more valuables in the house. Through intuition Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) found the hidden valuables and disposed of it.
Taking leave of his mother he once again proceeded to Hazrat Shah Habibullah Qadir (RA). On arrival the Sheikh told him that although he has got rid of his worldly valuables, what about the obligations to his wives for they were still his responsibility. Thus once again Hazrat Sultan Bahu ( RA) made the journey back home to set his wives free from wedlock. Saintly Ma Basri(RA) came to know of her son's intentions and assured his wives her protection. When Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) arrived home Saintly Ma Rasti(RA) and her daughter-in-laws absolved him of his responsibilities and obligations towards them, allowing the wives to remain in wedlock. However she exhorted that he return home to his wives after he reached the state of `realisation (Maarifat-Gnosis of God), and if not, he need not worry of his obligations towards them.
As Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) upheld the Sharia (Islamic Law) very strictly he heeded his mother's counsel. Taking leave of his mother and his wives he journeyed back to Hazrat Shah Habibullah
Qadiri(RA) and remained with him for some time. When it was time the Sheikh gave his full spiritual attention (Tawajjuh) to him and kept on enquiring about the experiences and revelations achieved. The young saint replied, ?The states experienced during your Tawajjuh have been accomplished by me in my childhood."
To test his claim Hazrat Shah Habibullah Qadiri(RA) miraculously vanished. Using the same metamorphic powers Sultan Bahu(RA) also
vanished and met the Sheikh in a distant land. Recognising him the Sheikh again disappeared and Sultan Bahu(RA) followed suit. For a third time the Sheikh disappeared to a distend land, where Sultan Bahu(RA) found him teaching Quran to children in the mosque.
Being satisfied and Recognising Sultan Bahu's(RA) claim and spiritual status, the Sheikh took him back to his Khanqah.
Seated in his retreat Hazrat Sheik Habibullah Qadiri(RA) said:
"What you are seeking is beyond me, however, I will guide you to a place where you can achieve your heart's desire. Go and present yourself to my Spiritual Master Hazrat Pir Abdur-Rehman Shah Dehlvi Qadiri( Rathi Allahu ?anh), who is the master of his time. He will guide you to stages of higher knowledge." Taking leave of his teacher he proceeded east towards Delhi.
On his way to Delhi, Hazrat Sultan Bahoo(RA) met many a dervishes, Sufis and saints who received spiritual blessings and baraka from him.
Describing him through intuition, Hazrat Pir Sayyid Abdur-Rehman Delvi Qadiri(RA) send one of his mureeds (disciples) to receive the Faqir Sultan Bahoo(RA) at the outskirts of the city. On arrival, he was immediately ushered to the presence of the Sheikh, who was expecting him in his retreat (place of seclusion). In utter silence and respect, one glance of spiritual attention from the Sheikh fulfilled Sultan Bahu?s(RA) hearts desire and he obtained his quest of higher knowledge.
His aspirations and needs fulfilled, he was given leave to depart by Hazrat Pir Sayyid Abdur -Rehman (RA). It was a Friday. Full of Spiritual Joy and confidence he proceeded to the marketplace, conferring in one gaze, to one and all, his newly acquired spiritual wealth and attention. Its effects became apparent manifesting in ecstasy, thereby causing great consternation. He was immediately summoned to the presence of Hazrat Pir Abdur Rahman(RA) who enquired of him his strange behaviour.
Sultan Bahoo(RA) replied "I have only experimented and tested out what I have been given by your Holiness. To experience, perceive and sense what is the reality of the spiritual wealth you have blessed me with. However, I have also been instructed by the Prophet (PEACE BE UPON HIM ) to give spiritual benefit and blessings to the creation of Allah. This has also been your instructions and teaching." So saying he took leave of his Teacher, benefiting and realizing ever so more. The ocean of blessings and pearls of light overflowed from the heart of Sultan Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), as he proceeded once again towards the marketplace. It was time for Juma (Friday) prayers. The King Aurangzeb was also present at the Delhi Jaame Masjid, which was overflowing with worshippers. As the mosque was packed to capacity, Sultan Bahoo(RA) stood right at the rear end of the mosque. Standing there he opened the doors of his inner light, giving his spiritual attention to one and all. The congregation went into a state of heavenly bliss, rapture and ecstasy, accept for three people who were not touched by this extraordinary display of spiritual power, the King Aurangzeb, his Prime Minister and the Mayor of Delhi. Witnessing this phenomenon, the King and his retinue stood respectfully, with hands folded, in the presence of Sultan Ba hoo(RA) and queried why they were not influenced by the Saints inner light. His Holiness replied:" It was due to the hard hearted condition of your inner selves." The King implored and begged the Saint to bless him with inner light. His holiness agreed on one condition that the King will not meet him or any member of his family in the future and also not visit his home, thus keeping his family free from getting involved in matters of state. The King Aurangzeb agreed to this request. Hazrat Sultan Bahoo(RA) attended to the King blessing him with inner light and baraka. The King entreated the Saint to leave him with something by which he could be remembered. Standing there his Holiness began to relate his teachings, which was immediately written down by the Ki ngs scribe. This teaching became known as " Aurang -Shahi " and this treatise is one of the many books of Sultan Bahoo( Rathi Allahu ?anh), which is still existent. It contains in its very brief form the teachings, advise and philosophy of the great Saint. If available, it should be studied by would be seekers, as a means to understand this great mystic saint of Islam. After this encounter with the king, Hazrat Sultan Bahoo(RA) departed homewards to return to his own familiar surroundings. It was during this journey back home that a group of Hindu sanyasies accepted Islam at the hands of the saint. It is narrated that one of the sanyasies had disturbed a resting Bahoo asking for the right way .The saint replied " La Ilaha Illallah Muhammedur Rasulullah is the way" .On hearing this the group went into a state of rapture, embraced Islam and through the blessings of the Saint, all of them reached the stage of being an `Abdal' (hierarchy of Muslim saints). This famous and renown happening, has been narrated from generation to generation.
HAZRAT SULTAN BAHU'S FEATURES, FAMILY AND CHILDREN.
The Saint had four wives. The first wife was from the family of Hazrat Makhdoom Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), who was one of the `Khalifas of the great Sufi, Hazrat Sheikh-ul Islam, Sheikh Bahauddin Muhammed Zakhariya Multani (RA). His second and third wife was from his own tribe and family. His fourth wife belonged to a Hindu family of Multan and was given in `niaaz' (marriage) to the saint by Hazrat Sheikh Bahauddin Zakaria(RA). Sultan Bahoo(RA) had renounced all worldly pleasures in his early years, yet he was obliged to marry more than one time ,to honour the `Sunna' of the Holy Prophet Muhammed(PEACE BE UPON HIM). The permission for having more than one wife is based not on conditions of lust, nor on any benefit accruing to the marrying male, but on the principle of sacrifice. The permission is conditioned by ones ability to deal equitably with his wives, which even at the formal level is an extremely difficult condition to fulfill except for those who are thoroughly disciplined, stick to spiritual and moral values above everything else and enter into marriage for spiritual considerations -for the sake of obtaining Devine Pleasure. So in Islam the institution of marriage is a religious matter rather than a worldly matter only and is based on the principle of interdependence of man and woman in ensuring fullness of life for each other through mutual affection, mutual confidence
and mutual protection as husband and wife. As the Quran says by using a metaphor of profound beauty:
` They are a garment unto you, and ye are a garment unto them '. (11:187)
Hazrat Sultan Bahoo(RA) had eight children, all boys. They are in order of eldest to youngest: Hazrat Sultan Nur Muhammedur) Hazrat Sheikh Sultan Wali Muhammed (RA)
Hazrat Sultan Lateen Muhammed (RA)
Hazrat Sheikh Sultan Saleh Muhammed (RA)
Hazrat Sheikh Sultan Ishaaq Muhammed (RA)
Hazrat Sheikh Sultan Fateh Muhammed(RA)
Hazrat Sheikh Sultan Shareef Muhammed(RA)
Hazrat Sheikh Sultan Hayaat Muhammed(RA)
The last son passed away in his infancy. All the children were educated in the than institutions of learning.
HAZRAT SULTAN BAHU'S FEATURES.
He is said to have been of medium height. His round shaped head was often shaven showing off a wide and broad forehead. The eyebrows were thick and black. His beautiful black eyes had a look of majestic grandeur and always looked as if they were steeped in divine intoxication. The nose was not very long but was slightly pointed upwards. His cheeks and chin were appropriately shaped, set on a beautiful face, which was neither round nor long. Hazrat Sultan Bahu's (RA) beard was thick and he often dyed it with henna, which enhanced his beauty even more. His chest, which was always filled with divine light, was covered with hair, which was not in excess. His hands, thicker than normal looked very strong. His bone structure was sturdy and strong, covered by flesh appropriate to his structure. His fair and ruddy complexion gave off a piercing brilliance, which was easily recognizable wherever he went. In short his beauty was so luminous that wherever he went people were attracted to his radiant beauty and personality.
HAZRAT SULTAN BAHU AND WORLDLY ATTACHMENTS.
It is not clear with reference to the Saint whether he adopted or assumed any worldly trade or business or for that matter any other worldly occupation. Yes, this much is known, that on two occasions he sponsored himself by purchasing two bullocks each time to help cultivate the land. Even this he could not sustain because on both occasions the Saint abandoned his notion of cultivating the land. This was due to the intense luster of Divine Light, which perfumed his inward and outward personality and a strong yearning for Allah the Beloved. He was a wandering dervish and sometimes passed his time in jungles in remembrance of Allah.
As mentioned earlier, the then Mogul Emperor had conferred on the saint?s forefathers an estate in the vicinity of Shorkhote. Hazrat sultan Bahu (RA) had inherited this estate. It was a vast estate comprising a well-built brick fort and hundreds of acres of well developed agricultural land. In the vicissitude of life he remained indifferent to the demands of this huge estate and did not concern himself or even inclined towards its responsibility. He chose and concerned himself with the pure and unalloyed state of `Faqri-Muhammadi' () (a spiritual state of renunciation and contentment given to a few selected and noble souls).
Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) is of the opinion that a Faqir should imitate the Prophet Muhammed
(Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) and the ahle-bait in matters of worldly attachments.
He is of the view that a Faqir's poverty and wants are the building blocks of a spiritual mi'raj and
that this 'Faqr' projects him to the proximity of Allah.
Hazrat Sultan Bahu(RA) obeyed, followed and copied the `Faqiri lifestyle of the Prophet of Islam (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) and his household. He kept his person clean from the slothfulness of the world. His dislike and aversion
to `worldly attachments is well documented. He refers to this dislike in his famous book of prose,
the `Abyat' were he says:
` Ah! This worldly life polluted
Washing, bathing all in vain
For its sake the doctors, scholars,
Crouch in corners, cry in pain
For its sake these worldly people
rest not, sleep not. Ah! their bane!
Hermits, mystics, ascetics, Bahu!
Burn their boats-the wise, the sane! ' The Sufis do not enjoin celibacy or withdrawal from the world. The attitude of a true Sufi regarding `worldly attachments' -- is detachment from sence pleasures; attachment is only to the One reality. The Sufis maxim is `Be in the world but not of the world .The Saints philosophy on `Faqr will be discussed separately in the second section of the book.
HAZRAT SULTAN BAHU'S SPIRITUAL TARIQA.
The Tariqa of the Saint is Sarwari Qadiri. He records in his book `Ainul Faqr' that there are two categories of Qadiri mureeds. One is referred to as `Qadiri Zahidi' and the other as Sarwari-Qadiri. The first way of the Zahidi Qadiri is that the Sheikh places the seeker into established practices and techniques of spiritual exercises and strivings. The seeker is ordered to devote much time to mystic struggles including to spend a certain period of time in seclusion to attain to mystic communion and mystic union. Then according to the seekers labors and efforts and the seekers own ethereal capacity, he reaches his spiritual goal and metaphysical purpose. This journey takes some aspirants ten years to complete. Some complete it in twelve years and others up to fourty years before they are introduced in the court of Hazrat Sheikh Sayyid Abdul Qadir Gilani (RA) by their Sheikh (Murshid). It is from this court then that the Saint of Gilani (RA) presents the seeker into the exalted and sublime court of his Holiness, the Prophet of Islam (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim).
The second category is referred to as Sarwari-Qadiri. In this Tariqa the Sheikh guides and presents the seeker directly into the sublime and celestial court of his holiness the Prophet of Islam (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) without having to undergo undue spiritual hardships and strivings. The seeker is nourished by the Prophetic light in that he receives directly from his Holiness his bounty, favour and beneficence. After receiving guidance, direction and religious instructions from this exalted court, he is then handed and advanced to the Saint of Jilan, Sheikh Abdul Qadir-al- Jilan (RA) for further polish. Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) own testimony to this effect is found in many of his writings where he records his esoteric initiation at the hands of His Holiness, Prophet Muhammed (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) himself and his own life is full of such wonders where he elevates many a seeker in one instant to the court of Allah and the Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim). The wonder and excellence of his bounty is that it manifests itself in the form of a spiritual perfection of the highest order. He makes the seeker attain to his goal in a very short time without having to undergo the burden of difficult spiritual strivings.
TIMES OF HAZRAT SULTAN BAHU AND THE POLITICAL EVENTS
OF THAT PERIOD.
Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) was born during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. The emperor?s rule, known as the golden period of the Mughal's, lasted for 31 years beginning from1036/1628.Historians agree that Shah Jahan was kind and benevolent and held the shari'a in reverence. He was a great builder, especially of beautiful and magnificent mosques. His personal life was blameless and he used to place reliance on the advice of the scholars and the pious around him. His Prime Minister S'ad Ullah Khan `Allami (d 1066/1656) was a noted scholar and educator.
Whatever the view of the personal character of Sha Jahan, his rule was a marked difference from the rule of Amber who had brought about a policy of promoting concepts and rules which were alien to Islam With the liberty and freedom of Akbar's religious beliefs and practices, Sha Jahan only object was to restore the shari'a rather than to persecute believers of other religions. His personal conduct showed as much reverence for religion as his state policy demonstrated
his desire to restore the tenets of Islam. Sha Jahan had conferred on the father of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) an estate in the proximity of the small town of Shorkhote in Punjab Province. The Saint was born in this town in 1039/1631.However,it was during the rule of Aurangzeb, the son of Sha Jahan that Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) lived most of his life.
Prince Dara Shikoh, the son of Sha Jahan began to lean towards the ideas and beliefs of Akbar causing serious misgivings to the Muslim community, for they had been a witness to the indignities heaped on Islam and the muslims during Akbar's rule. So the Muslims were in a way sympathetic to the Prince Aurangzeb, who was God fearing and the defender of the orthodox faith. This provided a golden opportunity to the practical and intelligent Aurangzeb to take advantage of the situation. The final outcome of the war of succession is too well known to be recounted here. Aurangzeb ascended to the throne in 1068/1659 and ruled over the country for almost half a century.
We need not give any detailed account of the personal character and conduct of Aurangzeb who was acclaimed by his contemporary historians as a believing, pious ruler free from vice. He used to sleep for three hours only, and on awakening use to offer his usual prayers. In the words of a historian...."Every year he goes into a forty days retirement, during which he sleeps on the ground. He fasts and gives alms....Thus in twenty-four hours his rule is to eat once and sleep three hours. His cloths are plain and he wears few ornaments....nothing but a small plume......He wears no strings of pearls ....... and his coats are of a very moderately priced material." Aurangzeb had displayed a concern for the faith from the very beginning. There was not a field of activity-- political ,social and moral in which he did not try to bring about improvements. He passed a number of ordinances for restoring the rules of Islam in his administration and bringing the lives of the people into closer accord with the moral teachings of the Quran. These steps earned him the title of `Muhyiuddin'. Allama Iqbal deemed Aurangzeb to be one of the protectors of the true faith in India.
The book `Aurang-Shahi', written by Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) alludes to the meeting between himself and the King Aurangzeb. This incident took place in Delhi during the saint?s days of wandering. His Holiness related his teachings to the King, which were written down by a scribe immediately. The teaching became known as `Aurang-Shahi' and this treatise is still extant today. It contains in its very brief form the teachings, advice and philosophy of the great Saint.
CONTEMPORARIES OF HAZRAT SULTAN BAHU (RA).
Sheikh Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Delvi Qadiri (RA) was a contemporary of the Saint. He was a scholar of great repute. From the Shuhrawardi Silsila Sheikh Muhammed Ismail (RA) was his contemporary. From the Chisti Silsila Hazrat Kwaja Gesu Deraz (RA) and from the Naqshabandi Silsila Kwaja Muhammed Masum ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), son of Hazrat Mujaddid Alphi-Thani Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi (RA). There is no record of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) meeting any of them.
MAP AND OUTLINE OF THE PRESENT TOMB -COMPLEX.
The present Darbar is situated in such a demographic location that it is surrounded and encompassed by a well populated area all round. two miles from here is a village called `Gharmaharaj'. To the south is `Ahmedpur'. To the east is the river Chenub. Crossing the river is the town of Shorkhote and two and a half miles further west is the main road to Multan.
The Mausoleum contains the grave of the saint and his children. A beautiful mosque stands on the right hand side of the Mausoleum. The area in front of the mosque is very wide and spacious, large enough to hold hundreds of worshippers. In the same open area towards the east and opposite the mosque and the shrine is a very large ablution block. The inside of the mosque is covered by beautiful marble enhancing the interior of the mosque considerably.
An open section stands between the tomb and the mosque. This space is usually used by the pilgrims for the recitation of the Quran-the recitation of which carries on till late at night. There are two entrances to the Mausoleum of the Saint. The main entrance is from the east and the other from the west. Entering from the eastern side, on the right hand side is the tomb of Hazrat Sultan Noor Ahmed (RA) and on entering from the west, also near the door on the left hand side is the tomb of Hazrat Sheikh Ameer Sultan. Hazrat Sultan Bahu's (RA) tomb stands in the centre of the Mausoleum, covered on top by a beautiful covering and surrounded on all sides by a beautiful woodwork giving it an appearance of a fencelike-design. Altogether fifteen tombs make up the number of graves in the Mausoleum.
Once in the Mausoleum one is greeted by pilgrims from all walks of life, poor and rich, busy in the remembrance of Allah and the recitation of the Quran. Outwardly the mausoleum and the mosque is covered by beautiful decorated tiles. The inner boundary of the complex is surrounded on all four sides by `hujras' or small rooms (for the use of dervishes and other visitors). Close by to the mosque, on the northern side is the shrine of Hazrat Nur-ul-Hassen. In some of the small rooms and also outside the perimeters of the boundary walls of this complex are found the graves of some of the Saints khalifas.
There is a large `langarkhana' or public kitchen for the poor, which serves the daily needs of the pilgrims. During the Urs celebration, which takes place on the first ten days of Muharram, the public-kitchen serves thousands of people. The natural surroundings outside the boundary walls of the complex is decorated by loosely scattered trees and sandy patches of roadwork, which is sometimes covered by thinly, veiled grass. This land area is so vast that during the Urs celebration of the saint over two million people gather here. Those who visit every year and others who frequent the shrine often have built for themselves their own little units or small rooms. After the open tract of land surrounding the complex is a large dam protected by an embankment. Towards the east of the dam is the area called Atthara Hazarie from where passes the road to Ahmedpur.
DICTATES AND SAYINGS OF HAZRAT SULTAN BAHU (RA).
Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) was not only a Saint but also a scholar of great repute. His works carries the impress of his scholarly exposition on Sufism. The spiritualism, which such expositions unfold, has the precision of a treatise and the coherence of a system and methodology.
In his writings we come across flashes of faith, wisdom, insight (into the mysteries of the self), knowledge and wisdom when the Saint pours forth what is in his innermost being. If we dive deep into the depths of his writings, we come across sparkling gems of wisdom and spirituality in the shape of `maxims' of Sultan Bahu (RA). Some of the expressions, which emerge from his, works `Huq-nu-Ma' and Aql-e- Baidaar'are:
(1) The means to attain to the Marifat (Gnosis) of Allah and Faqr (Poverty) of the Prophet (Sall
Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) is to abide by the Shari'a and to sever one's self from all else besides Allah and consequently to be absorbed in the Divine.
(2) Namaaz (prayer), fasting and supererogatory acts of worship is associated with striving and struggle in the performance of spiritual exercises whilst secrets of mystic knowledge is associated with being absorbed in the Divine.
(3) Through striving (riyaazat) and struggle-effort (mujahida) one is led to attain this secrete. Slave hood of God leads to Providence; Gnosis of God leads to everlasting life; Love leads to effacement in the Reality and effacement leads to assimilation into His Will-(a perceptual experience).
(4) A Murshid (spiritual teacher) who is not beneficent in purifying the inward of the seeker is wanting and imperfect as his spiritual self still dwells in the domain of this material plane -because a true Gnostic (teacher) is a manifestation of the light and attributes of Allah -- he is one who has attained a state of witnessing.
(5) The beginning of sulook (spiritual journey) is annihilation of the self (nafs) and its end is (fana-fillah) annihilation or assimilation in Allah.
(6) The path of Marifat (Gnosis) is based on three modes of certainty of belief. In the first (Ilm-ul-Yaqeen) the seeker adheres to the outward law (shari'a); in the second (Ain-ul-Yaqeen), the seeker, due to the heat of remembrance (zikr) and not having the strength and capacity to withstand the witnessing of the Tajalli manifestation of the light of Allah on the mirror of his heart, experiences various spiritual ailments such as qabz (contraction), bast (expansion), sukr (intoxication) sahwa (oversight) etc. -- these ailments dominate the state of the seeker -- hence he becomes perplexed in an ocean of wonderment and due to his fervor, he remains in a state of confusion -- thus he becomes a frenzied and insane lover (diwana-majnu), which ultimately leads him to be lost in divine meditation (majzub). The third mode-certainty (Haqq-ul- yaqeen) is loftier of the two. Here the seeker, through (tasarruf) the use of the Personal Name Allah and (Tasawwur) meditation and contemplation of the Personal Name Allah inculcates in himself the capacity and vessel ship to withstand the Divine Light--thus with courage and determination he succeeds in his endeavour to attain Marifat (Gnosis-knowledge of God). Such a persons heart, through the blessings of the Personal Name Allah becomes one with his Creator. People think him to be gregarious with the people but in reality he is constantly in communion with Allah --his sustenance is to strive and struggle in the `path'; his vision -- a witness to Reality; his speech characterizes his state; his state -annihilation in the Truth. Such a one is called the `perfect' man amongst the community of the Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim).
(7) For a dervish, each morsel of food taken with a presence of mind is a seed planted on the
land of the heart. A seed, though earned lawfully but planted in a state of unawareness, robs the seeker of the tranquility of the mind.
(8) The glitter and sparkle of this world is like an ephemeral flash of lightning. Love of this world is like a transitory black cloud. Do not be charmed and attached to the good things of life; neither should one lament at the agony and sorrows of life. Wisdom is to save oneself from bitterness and rancor.
(9) Oh you, who are wise ! be cognizant of the reality of the grave, for it is your final destination. Value the time you have left as a precious jewel, for time is a one sided sword. It would profit you to spend your time in attaining nearness to God.
(10) Silence is a secret of a dervish --speak with Truth, for speaking without Truth illustrates coarseness and crudity of character.
(11) It is the sagacious seeker that recognises the characteristic that deny the self (nafs), for to
recognise it is against the nature of the self, and to deny the self is to walk in the path of Allah (leads to piety).
(12) Abstention means to deny and check the desires of the self -- as the Lord says that he who
denies the pleasures of the self, his place is in paradise -- and as it comes in a Tradition that he who recognises his self, recognises Allah.
(13) Divine help guides the seeker to identify the attributes of the self and the light of Gnosis (Marifat) steers the seeker to the realization and recognition of the Reality.
(14) Cultivate a healthy and perfect (rightly guided) heart --then take on surrender to His Will. As the lord says -- he who comes with a healthy and contrite heart will profit with his Lord.
(15) The sign of a healthy heart is that it remains in the remembrance of Allah without the movement of the tongue --this should be done with fervor. A Gnostic's inward should be immense -- like a river of honey -- that is, he should be able to assimilate the entire river into his being -- without having to faint at the mere taste of it.
(16) Silent Zikr (remembrance) is symbolised outwardlyas journeying on the land and inwardly it is a journey of the heart.
(17) Knowledge is a necessary an indispensable characteristic on the `path of Faqr'-- because ignorance divests the heart of spiritual luminosity and leads to obliviousness.
(18) Notwithstanding that all Faqir's perceive, recite, meditate, educate and instruct themselves in the Supreme Name Allah, you will find them in one of two states ; some Faqir's will be characterised by an indigent and needy state --always dissipated and in need of sustenance; while others, though they remain free of wants and do not depend on anybody, control and have under their direction and at their disposal all the treasures of the world. The reason being that the latter comprehends and discerns the respect and honour of the Supreme Name Allah -- he perceives the grandeur, majesty and greatness of the Personal Name Allah which projects him to the proximity of Allah, the Merciful. The ulema (theologians) also encounter similar ailments concerning their knowledge -- it is the pious ulema that receive divine help and guidance.
(19) To a `faqir' the state of the `worldly' people is one of indigence while to the `worldly' people a `faqir' symbolises poverty; but the opposite is actually true regarding the faqir because through divine help the faqir is always in control of worldly treasures --though he does not incline towards it.
(20) It is surprising that despite being deprived of the light of Gnosis and nearness to Allah, people still claim to be true seekers and teachers; these people symbolise the nature of a shopkeeper.
(21) Eyes of alchemy is to make the `dead' heart alive with the remembrance of Allah and secondly to annihilate the desires of the self (nafs).
(22) The live hearted remains perpetually in the remembrance of Allah and in this way the heart becomes perfumed with the light of Allah .
(23) A distinctive characteristic of a perfect teacher (Murshid) is that he utilizes his intrinsic spiritual attention to ennoble the seeker to enter the spiritual court of his Holiness, the Prophet Muhammed (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) --such a teacher also introduces and acquaints the seeker in the ethereal court of the Saints of Allah from where he receives spiritual nourishment and guidance.
(24) If a seeker retrogresses spiritually or commits asin, the perfect teacher would, through the intercession of the Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim), have him forgiven immediately in the court of Allah.
(25) ....or understand that a perfect teacher is like the blazing sun and his disciple like a particle of the same sun, neither distinct from each other.
(26) A peerless and valiant `zakir' (an individual who remembers Allah much ) is a slayer of his baser self.
(27) What is tawakkul (trust in God) ? --It is to free oneself of created things which distances and makes one absent from his Lord.
(28) All 18,000 creations is enfolded and in the grip of the Supreme Name Allah.
(29) The Supreme Name Allah only settles in a pure heart.
(29) The heart is the treasure house of Allah's secrets.
(30) Eliminate the thorns (distractions) on the garden of the heart.
(31) When you enter the garden of Tauhid (Oneness)eliminate the thorns of shirk and kufr.
(32) When you enter the garden of Knowledge eliminatethe thorns of ignorance.
(33) When you enter the garden of Generosity eliminatethe thorns greed and avariciousness.
(34) When you enter the garden of the Sunna (Practice and behaviour of the Prophet, Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) eliminate the thorns of innovation and heresy.
(35) When you enter the garden of Fear eliminate the thorns of egotism and self-worship.
(36) When you enter the Garden of Hope eliminate the thorns of animosity and rancor.
(37) The beginning of `sulook' is annihilation of the self and its end is annihilation in Allah.
(38) Many honor the self but few worship the Lord.
(39) Become a man by cleansing and purging yourself of embellishment, greed, lust, rage, passion and covetousness.
(40) A dervish should be coloured by the remembrance of Allah.
Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA.) belonged to the Qaderi order of the Sufis, that is, those who owe spiritual allegiance to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) of Islam through Muhiyuddin Abdul Qadir Al Jilani (RA.), one of the most revered mystics, scholars and saints of Islam who lies buried in Baghdad. In the shaping of the life and thoughts of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA.) the saints of this order, especially Sheikh Abdul Qadir AL Jilani (RA.) played a very constructive and creative role. The sublime lives of these saints enriched with love and knowledge of God, lit the spiritual path that Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) chose to tread in his search for the Truth. The spiritual genealogy of Sultan Bahu (RA) is as follows:
SAYYIDUNA HAZRAT MUHAMMED MUSTAPHA (SALL ALLAHU ?ALAIHI WA SALLIM).
HAZRAT ALI IBN TALIB (RA)
HAZRAT KHWAJA HASSEN BASRI (RA)
HAZRAT SHAH HABIB AL AJAMI (RA)
HAZRAT DAUD TAI (RA)
HAZRAT MARUF KARKHI (RA)
HAZRAT SARI AS SAQATI (RA)
HAZRAT SAYYID JUNEID BAGHDADI (RA)
HAZRAT SHEIKH SHIBLI (RA)
HAZRAT WALID ABD WAHID (RA)
HAZRAT ABUL FARRAH YUSUF (RA)
HAZRAT SHEIKH BU HASSEN (RA)
HAZRAT SHEIKH BU SAEED AL MUBARAK (RA)
HAZRAT SHEIKH SAYYID ABDUL QADIR JILANI (RA)
HAZRAT SAYYID ABDUR-RAZZAQ (RA)
HAZRAT SAYYID ABDUL JABBAR (RA)
HAZRAT SAYYID YAHYA WALI (RA)
HAZRAT SHEIKH NAJMUDDIN (RA)
HAZRAT SAYYID ABDUL SATTAR (RA)
HAZRA T SAYYID ABDUL BAQA (RA)
HAZRAT SAYYID ABDUL JALIL (RA)
HAZRAT PEER SAYYID ABDUR-RAHMAN (RA)
HAZRAT SHEIKH SULTANUL ARIFIN SULTAN BAHU (RA)
SULTAN BAHU AS AN AUTHOR AND A CELEBRATION OF HIS WORKS.
Sultan Bahu (R.A.) is acknowledged as one of the most prominent Sufi poets of the Indo Pak subcontinent. He is known to be the author of over 140 books in Persian and Arabic dealing with a variety of religious and mystic subjects.
The poems of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA.) are coloured by the consciousness of Faqr and mystical leanings. He is the leader amongst Punjabi Sufi Poets. For centuries now, the people of the Indo Pak sub continent have been captivated by his poems and books on Spiritual Knowledge. His Poems contain extreme impressions of spiritual reality and facts of life rooted in human existence.
To class the poetry of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA.) within the boundary of normal poetry is a great error for it sinks into the depths of the heart and soul. Whosoever listens or studies his works is effected and transported into higher realms of spiritual truths. The joy and ecstasy is such that even a casual reading produces spiritual attraction.
Visualize dervishes sitting around a fire, the light of which giving an occasional glimpse of those sitting around it. The Abyat of Sultan Bahu (RA) is being recited. Suddenly, the hearts of the dervishes is effected by a resounding ` HU '. That ` HU ' extinguishes the awareness of the surroundings and the listener and reciter is transported to higher levels of reality going back to his ` original ' homeland. The effects of the journey are so profound that the lesson learned is not obtainable at any university or madresssa. There is so much dept in his teachings that it distinguishes him from other Sufi poets.
In the opinion of Hazrat Faqir Nur Muhammad Sarwari Qaderi (RA.) Quote : I have myself collected around 40 -forty handwritten Persian Books of Sultan Bahu (RA.). I have read many a book by well known scholars and sufis - past and present - but the effects, barakah and esoteric knowledge which I have found in the writings of Sultan Bahu (RA.) is not to be found in any other works. Allah is my witness. It seems that the soul and spirituality of Sultan Bahu (RA.) is running through the pages of his works. Just by mere perusal, he is elevated to a state of ecstasy. Sometimes the reader without any effort or spiritual exercise reaches the stage of revelation and witnessing. Unquote Sultan Bahu?s (RA.) entire life has been purposely one of travel and secrecy, in order to avoid fame and fortune which was and is one of the norms of society. He would dress in the clothing of a beggar with a begging bowl in his hand to hide his true condition. Precious little is known about his early life and education. It is only through his writings that one is able to deduce the patterns of his life. However, his miracles and spiritual attractions are well documented (reference : Sultanul Awrad and Munaqabee Sultanee). He was a peace loving quiet boy with inherent spiritual qualities.
Sultan Bahu (RA) works is a true guide to the lost soul. It influences the seeker so much so that he is strengthened in his resolve for higher knowledge. His message is clear...... spend your Life for Allah, His Prophet (PBUH) and Truth. Your living and dying should be for Allah alone. Sultan Bahu?s (RA) philosophy or original idea is the Zaat of Allah. To him attainment to Allah is the `goal' and `reality'. His works should be widely translated and distributed to make people aware of this great soul, so that his works Heal the hearts of man. It is a most Urgent need especially in the English language. It should be noted that Hazrat Sultan Bahu's (RA.) works is couched in simple language, making it easily understandable. It is for this reason that some so-called learned persons do not regard these works as of high literary status. We should note that it was customary for the writers of that time to decorate their prose and poetry, in an incomprehensible fashion. Thus, unfortunately these so-called scholars are unable to see, and experience the practical effects of Hazrat Sultan Bahu's (RA) works.
Due to simplicity, and effectiveness of these works, one is almost obliged to think that this great holy personality knew through intuition that there will be a time like the present, when it will be difficult to find a perfect spiritual master. This is the reason why Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) clothed his spiritual treasure & Barakah, in the shape of his books. The master himself says in `Nurul Huda' that `for many years a true seeker has not passed my path to whom I could impart my spiritual wealth which is given to me as a trust. Thus he put his esoteric knowledge and spiritual wisdom and teachings in writing and in this way has forever made its benefit available for generations to come.
In his books the Saint discusses the realms of Tasawwuf (Sufism) and its domains. His writings give a clear insight into the reality and the realm of Sharia, Tariqat, Haqiqat, and Marifat of Allah. Essentially two unique and distinctive concepts and impressions underlie the philosophy of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). His original idea is the `Zaat' of Allah. This is attained through `tasawwur' of the Personal Name Allah, i.e. through reflection, contemplation and meditation of the Name Allah. Its object is to bring the seeker from the world of pluraty towards the chamber of unity and to take the seeker from the darkness of opacity towards the light of subtlety. The other concept is the knowledge of `Dawatul Qubur' or invocation of the spirits. The concept of `kashf ul-qubur'is found in many books but the concept of `dawatul qubur' is unique and only to be found in the writings of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). It is an invocation whereby the seeker comes out of the darkness of the opaque world and enters the luminous macrocosm of the invisible world and there mixing and meeting with the resplendent invisible creation of that world, he derives maximum esoteric benefits from them .These ideas will be discussed in the chapter on the Saints philosophy.
Although couched in simple language, he has recounted and explained, sometimes in a rhetorical fashion, the extreme limits of the different exalted and sublime phases and stations of Marifa and Faqr. Sometimes the novice seeker, due to his own shortcomings and sometimes by not being able to understand becomes desponded and relinquishes further study. This should not be allowed to happened. The reader should keep on studying the books constantly because the spirit of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) runs through the pages of his books and the Saints esoteric and intrinsic attention (twajju) is concealed and hidden in his writings. It is this quality of his hidden esoteric attention, which makes the book, become ones teacher and instructor, helping thereby in automatically resolving all the subtle points of bewilderment and confusion. The above is true and has been experienced by many a scholar that sooner or later one reaches ones hearts desire .With sincere devotion and respect and by continues reading an electricity of divine light is created in the heart of the reader, inculcating in him a spiritual revolution and attraction which gives rise to a strong yearning and affectionate longing for Allah the Beloved. One should not forget that all the writings of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) are divinely inspired.
In fact, his works are a true means of gaining access and entrance into the court of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). The effect of his works is such that a seeker, who peruses his works continually, will God-willing achieve his heart's desire. We would fail in our duty, if we do not mention in passing, the experiences of a great Sufi master Hazrat Faqir Nur Muhammad Sarwari Qaderi (RA.), regarding the works of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA.). He says: "Through calligraphy, I have penned the works of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA.) over and over for the last thirty years. During this period, I did not touch any work of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA.) without being in a state of ablution. Whatever spiritual reality & phenomena of 'the path' I copied in the day, was traversed in the night and the written esoteric reality & phenomena was made manifest to me. It appeared as though, the author had composed and bequeathed these books to me exclusively, because hither so far none has comprehended & benefited out of them like myself." It is a fact that the honour of acquainting the world with the real import of Hazrat Sultan-ul-Arifin's (RA.) works rests solely with Sultan-ul-Faqr Hazrat Faqir Nur Muhammad (RA.)
Due to vested interests, incorrect translations of Hazrat Sultan Bahu's (RA.) works are available, devoid of the 'true' meanings from the original, for the wealth of Faqr & Ma'arifat is passed from breast to breast. Some people, for their own purposes, read his holiness's books, expecting the spiritual realities mentioned to become manifest to them. But due to their own short-sightedness and shortcomings they give up further studies of the books. This is their own loss. The opposite is however true. It is the true seeker whose courage is stronger than the mountains, who with the staff of patience, strong resolve and determination surmounts his inabilities and becomes successful in attaining the higher knowledge described in the works. Those, who live a life of luxury and licentiousness, can not reach the goals of ma'arifat.
Thus, it is advisable for true seekers of the path who wish to succeed in their search for truth, to obtain CORRECT translated works of his holiness and with true sincerity, purity of heart and great resolve, peruse and study his works continually. This will, God-willing, bring into play the TAWWAJJUH (spiritual attention) of his holiness on the seeker. And if a perfect teacher is his partner, he unites the capable seeker with Allah, the Most High through a single attention or enters him in constant attendance in the court of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon HIM.)
SULTAN BAHU (R.A.) AS AN AUTHOR.
It is not certain, the number of works actually written by him. According to tradition, he is supposed to have been an author of over 100 works and treatises. It can be said, though, that Sultan Bahu (RA.) may have completed more than the number of works mentioned above. The following is a list of the important works of Sultan Bahu (RA.) still extant today.
1. 1. Nurul Huda
2. 2. Aql Baidaar
3. 3. Mahq-ul-Fuqara
4. 4. Qurb Daidaar
5. 5. Aurang-Shaahi
6. 6. Jami-il-Asraar
7. 7. Taufiq-Hedaayat
8. 8. Kaleed Tauheed
9. 9. Ainul Faqr10.Shamsul Arifeen 11.Magzane Faiz 12.Ameerul Quonain 13.Asrare Qaderi 14.Kaleed Jannat 15.Muhqamul Fuqara 16.Majaalis-tun Nabi 17.Muftahul Arifeen 18.Hujjatul Asraar 19.Jannatul Firdaus 20.Kash-ful Asraar 21.Risaala Ruhi Shareef 22.Abyaat Bahu
THE MIRACLES OF MUSLIM SAINTS.
Many of my friends advised me that in the book I should write about Hazrat Sultan Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), I should merely deal with human aspect and avoid the super-natural side of miracles. But a reference to the miracles of saints could not be avoided.
Miracles are events in the phenomenal world that imply a break in the causal chain. It is not miracles that should be queried. This is ignorance. The source of the matter is the nature of what seems to be the causal chain. It lies in perception. It is better to discuss the matter following the performance of a miracle. This is not an unusual event for the people of knowledge (the Fuqara) and no fuss is made about it.
Miracles are happening around us every moment and all that is necessary is to develop the sight, which can discern through such happenings. Our human intellect can bear with us to a certain extent only. Beyond the intellectual horizons there are other worlds, and all that happens in such worlds are miracles. It is an extraordinary event produced in nature but not by nature. Being a deviation from the natural law, it is an anomaly and an exception. Therefore a miracle is an exception that proves the rule.
In Islam miracles may be classified as Karamat and Mu'jizat. Miracles falling in the first category are vouchsafed to saints, while the miracles in the second category are the exclusive prerogative of the Prophets. A Karamat is a favour, which Allah bestows on a saint, while a Mu'jiza is an act, which cannot be imitated by anyone. Thus miracles worked by the Saints are of a lower order than those of the Prophets.
On the concept of miracles Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), author of `Kashful Majzoob', holds the view that miracles may be vouchsafed to a saint so long as he does not infringe the obligations of the religious law. Such miracles are not intellectually impossible because their manifestation does not contradict any principle of the religious law . A miracle is a token of a saint's veracity, and as such cannot be manifested by an imposter. it is an extraordinary act performed while the Saint is still subject to the obligations of religion. He reconciles Karamat and Mu'jiza, by holding that the Prophet establishes his Prophesy by establishing the reality of Mu'jiza, while the Saint by the Karamat which he performs establishes both the Prophesy of the Prophet and his own Saint ship. He further states that when a Prophet performs a miracle in evidence of the genuineness of his Prophet hood, and a miracle is subsequently performed by a Saint, such a miracle is merely a confirmation of the genuineness of the Prophet of whom the Saint is a follower.
Some Sufi schools of thought hold that whereas the miracles of the Prophets are wrought in the state of sobriety, miracles to Saints are vouchsafed only when they are in a state of intoxication. It is argued that as a Prophet is a man of law and a Saint is a man of inward feeling, a miracle will not be manifested to a Saint unless he is in a state of absence from himself when his faculties are entirely under the control of Allah. When Saints are with themselves, they are veiled, but when the veil is lifted they are bewildered and in a state of intoxication. A miracle cannot be manifested except in the state of unveil ness which is the rank of proximity. That is a state of intoxication with which no human being except the Prophets is permanently endowed.
According to the al-Junayd school of thought to which Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) belonged miracles are manifested in a state of sobriety and composure, and not in the state of intoxication. The argument is that the Saints of Allah are the governors of His kingdom, which Allah has committed to their charge; therefore their judgments must be the soundest of all and their hearts must be the most tenderly disposed towards the creatures of Allah. They are mature, whereas agitation and intoxication are marks of inexperience. With maturity a saint?s agitation is
transmuted into composure.
The reality of Karamat wrought by the Saints of Allah is established in the Quran and Traditions itself. the Quran tells of the Karamat of Asif-b-Barkhiya who brought the throne of Bilqis to Hazrat Sulaiman (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) in the twinkling of an eye. We are also told of Mary (Allah's blessings be on her) that whenever her chamber was visited by Zakaria (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) there were to be found winter fruits in summer and summer fruits in the winter and the shaking of the palm tree by Mary (Allah's blessing's be on her) when she retired to the wilderness. Among the genuine traditions there is reference to a Karamat when the Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) related the story of a cave, whose entrance was blocked and how an opening was made when the persons stranded told of their good deeds. Another Tradition is of the three infants who were miraculously endowed with speech. There is also the happening of Ala-b al Hadrami who having been sent on a warlike expedition by the Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim), walked dry sod across a river. There is also the story of Khalid-b-Walid (RA.) who said `Bismillah' and drank deadly poison which did him no harm. There are many other Traditions supporting the concept of Karamat's (miracles) wrought by the Saints of Allah. Suffice it to say that no Sufi uses miracles for the sake of self aggrandisement. He is obliged to display them unavoidably to fight the `devil in man', only to meet extraordinary emergencies.
MIRACLES OF SULTAN BAHU (RA).
The Sufis themselves set little value upon the exercise of such miraculous powers. There are several references to the concept of miracles of Saints in the works of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). He holds the view that the phenomena of Karamat (Miracles) of Saints can be divided into two; spiritual or celestial and terrestrial or worldly and he makes a clear distinction between the two. He is in favour of miracles which pertain to the spiritual phenomena rather than those which pertain to the terrestrial. He is of the view that the performance of miracles on the terrestrial and temporal level is a phenomena open to anyone who overcomes his lower self through ascetic practices and seclusion, thereby reviving and awakening his terrestrial self. In short, while acknowledging the wonders of this terrestrial self, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) never the less holds the view that even an irreligious, non praying and unorthodox person can perform such earthly feats as flying in the air like a bird, enter fire without being burnt, walk over water, dive here and appear there, and reach in a single breath and a single step from the east to the west after overcoming his lower self. It is for this reason that Hazrat Sheikh Junayd Baghdadi (RA) says : ` When you see a man flying in the air and walking over water and he has relinquished even a single tradition out of the traditions of the Prophet of Allah (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim), strike him with your shoes, for he is a Satan and what he displays is fraud and deception.'
We are told that Hazrat bu Yazid al Bustami (RA) said:
`The Saints do not rejoice at the answers to prayers which are the essence of miracles, such as walking on water, moving in the air, traversing the earth and riding on the heavens, since the prayers of unbelievers receive an answer and the earth contains both Satan and men, and the air is the abode of the birds and water of the fish. Let not anyone who is perplexed by such things put any faith in this trickery.'
As Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) himself says; ` With one glance I can turn dust into gold but I am not happy with this state .He holds the view that miracles performed on the spiritual and celestial level have a permanent and lasting effect on the individuals personality and benefits the receiver of the miraculous blessing in this world and the hereafter. He says in one of his works ; ` Prophet Jesus (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim), use to make the `dead' `alive'. The ` dead ' use to live for a few days and expire again. But when we, the Fuqara and Aulia (saints) of the followers of the Prophet Muhammed (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim), give one `tawajju' (spiritual attention) to anyone, we make his `dead' heart into a `living' heart and this heart never dies again in this world or the hereafter and always remains in a state of celestial splendor. We thus make him alive forever.'
This is one of the miracles of Sultan Bahu (RA) that is still experienced in his writings today and the same effects are felt when visiting his tomb. In the words of a great Sufi, Hazrat Faqir Nur-Muhammed Sarwari Qadiri ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), Hazrat says: ` It seems that the soul and spirituality of the author is running through the pages of his works. Just by mere perusal, one is elevated to a state of ecstasy. Sometimes the effects are so profound that the reader without any
effort or spiritual exercise reaches the stage of revelation and witnessing.'
However, as far as miracles are concerned, Hazrat Sultan Bahu's (RA) life is said to have been be a wholesome mixture of both the phenomena ; celestial as well as terrestrial. Miracles or legends of the saints, although sometimes not resting on historical grounds have their merit in throwing light upon the personality of the saint to whom these remarkable powers have been ascribed and still more perhaps, in showing the high regard in which such a saint is held.
There is no lack of miracles ascribed to Sheikh Sultan Bahu (RA). Most of them tend to show Gods care for His servant and his needs and to justify the servants complete dependence on Him. As indicated above some of them allude to the Saints exceptional quality of awakening the `inward'.
SOME MIRACLES OF SULTAN BAHU (RA).
(1) THE MIRACLE OF THE SAYYID AND THE GOLD.
It is narrated that a poor but respectable Sayed was advised by a dervish to seek Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) for his material needs. Going from village to village the Sayed finally found Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) working in one of the fields under intense heat. It must be mentioned here that this was the only time during which the Saint had been occupied in any sort of worldly occupation and this too he had discarded after some time. The Sayed was disappointed that what can this Faqir give me when he himself seems in want and dressed in tattered clothes. Disappointed, the Sayed decided to return to his village. As he was turning back, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) called out " Sayed Sahib, why are you turning back.... speak what do you seek ?" Taken aback by this sudden forte and calling, the Sayed lamented his material needs to the Saint. Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) asked the Sayed to excuse him while he attended to the call of nature. Returning from the call of nature, the Saint threw the stone with which he dried himself in anger at the direction of the Sayed. Wherever the stone made contact with the clay ground where they were standing turned into gold ingots. The Sayed was told to take the gold for his needs and depart immediately so that nobody could be aware of what had taken place. It is said that this gold in the form of jewelry is still extent in the same family for several generations. This writer himself, during his journey to the tomb of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) in 1982 met a person at the tomb who had a friend who had personally seen the jewelry at the home of the said family.
(2) THE MIRACLE OF THE CAVE AND THE DEER.
It is narrated that on one of his travels which he so often took, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) was accompanied by his attendant Sultan Naurang Khatran ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), a dervish who was blessed with spiritual light by the Saint himself. His entire life had been spent in serving the Saint and had accompanied him on many of his travels. When they approached the vicinity of Kellar Kahar, the approach of the month of Ramadan had been heralded in by the drumbeat of a caller from a nearby village. Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) spend the entire month of Ramadan, meditating in an isolated cave in the mountains nearby. Drowned in the Ocean of Mercy and remembrance, the entire month of Ramadan passed without the intake of food on the part of the Saint. The dervish who accompanied the Saint had received daily his food for `Sehri' and `Iftaar' miraculously by a deer which use to appear with the food tied on it's horns. This happening has been put into verse by Hazrat Naurang Khatran ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), the attendant himself. He
" Strange and wondrous; my sight did witness
spectacle of Bahu,
Load of lover; carried on horns of a deer."
At the approach of Eid a call was heard from the nearby village announcing the end of Ramadan. Disturbed by the sound of drumbeats from the village, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) raised his head from meditation and enquired from his attendant as to what all the noise was about. Sultan Naurang Khatran (RA) replied " Hazrat the Eid moon has been sited and you have been in a state of intoxication and annihilation in the remembrance of Allah for the entire month of Ramadan?. The Saint exclaimed: " What about my fast, salaat and tarawee for the month of Ramadan". It is narrated by his attendant that despite having being in a state of intoxication in the remembrance of Allah, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) performed all his qaza fasts and salaats. This is the state of the true friends of Allah that they do not even for one moment leave aside the Sunna of the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) or any other obligatory commands of the shari'a. It is said that this episode of the cave is the only one time that Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) had been in a state of intoxication, otherwise his entire life had been spend in a state of sobriety, so much so, that he did not miss even a single mustahab act of the shari'a.
Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) completed his qaza fasts and salaats. It is narrated that thereafter the Saint made tawajju (gave spiritual attention) on the deer and it expired. A grave was dug and the deer was buried nearby the cave in which the Saint had passed his month of Ramadan. Very soon it became a very popular place of ziaarat and today people still visit this place known as `Ahu Bahu'. My grand sheikh, Hazrat Faqir Noor Muhammed Sarwari-Qaderi ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), visited this place of ziaarat and reported that even today one can feel the spiritual light, radiance, brilliance and luminous vibrational energy in the cave and surrounding area......it has such a magnetic effect on the visitor, that any sincere seeker sitting in the cave in the remembrance of Allah experiences a state of illumination.
(3) THE EPISODE OF THE WOODCUTTER.
It is narrated that some dervishes accompanied Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) on one of his travels. During the course of the journey one of the dervish companions asked : " Hazrat, what is meant by `eyes of elixir' ? " At that moment, at a distance not to far away a woodcutter was about to pick up his wood. With one gaze, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) transmitted his spiritual attention to the woodcutter, who became motionless, staring in the sky. Turning to the dervish, The Saint said : " Do you see that woodcutter over there ? He will answer your question on our return journey".
It is said that on the return journey, they passed the woodcutter who was still starring into the sky. Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) once again gave his spiritual attention to the woodcutter. With one gaze the woodcutter returned to his normal original state. He fell at the feet of the Saint, lamenting and imploring him to return him to the state he was in. The Saint asked the woodcutter to explain what he had experienced so that his companions could understand what is meant by `eyes of elixir'.
The woodcutter said : " Sir, the other day you were passing by when you looked towards me. As soon as your gaze fell on me, I experienced a state of illumination, peace and felicity. I felt myself being drowned in the ocean of Allah's Light and Mercy, annihilated in a blissful rapture. Please Sir, for the sake of Allah, return me to that delightful and ecstatic state again".
The Saint turned to his companion dervishes and said : " You have received your answer to your question from the woodcutter himself. This what you have witnessed is but a small drop from the reality of what is meant by `eyes of elixir?. You cannot comprehend and withstand the full force of it's reality?. Turning to the woodcutter he told him to carry on his work, counseling him not to despair as his inner state was now luminous and that intermittently he would be experiencing the same state of ecstatic rapture. Bidding him farewell, the Saint carried on his journey. By Allah, what an eyesight! Such is the reality of the Faqir's of Allah. With one gaze they turn a woodcutter into a Gnostic of Allah. With one gaze they turn a `dead' heart into a `living' heart, to remain always immersed in the remembrance of Allah.
EPISODE OF THE SAINT SHER SHAH (RA).
This fact is well known that Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) passed most of his life in travelling from one place to another. This helped him in concealing his real identity. Many of the miracles wrought by the hands of this great saint have been manifested during his travels.
It was during one of these travels that Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) came to a village where a Sufi saint Hazrat Sher Shah (RA) was well known. At the border area of the village Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) retired to a little hillock where he sat in a state of deep meditation. Immersed in Divine light the saint became oblivious of his surroundings. At that moment some disciples of Hazrat Sher Shah (RA) were on their daily errands of collecting firewood for the kitchen. One of them came close to Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) and offered salaams. Once again Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) demonstrates to us the power of the gaze of a true Faqir of ALLAH. Returning the greeting the saint's `eyes of elixir' irradiated the inward of the disciple, whose heart became alive with the zikr (remembrance) of ALLAH. Crying in ecstasy he fell at the feet of the saint. Noticing this spectacle the second disciple hurried to inquire the condition of his friend. Seeing the saint he too fell into ecstasy. The third disciple raced off to his master, Hazrat Sher Shah (RA) to report on the incident. Sher Shah ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), together with some of his disciples and dervishes hastened to confront the enchanter 'who had cast a spell over his disciple. He confronted Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) :"Many a Spiritual court have I attended, including the Holy Cour t of his Holiness Prophet Muhammed (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim). In none of these Courts have I seen you present. You must be an illusionist or trickster and have cast a spell over my disciple. Cease and desist from such action and bring my disciples to their original state or else I will complain about you in the court of his Holiness (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim)." Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) responded " Shah Sahib, you be present in the court of his Holiness and I too will try to be present in the august court of his Holiness (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim). Tomorrow we will meet at this same place and decide on the outcome." Shah Sahib departed promising to meet the next morning.
That same evening, Shah Sahib was blessed to be present in the spiritual court of his Holiness, Prophet Muhammed (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim). Respectfully he looked around the assembly to see if he could see the `enchanter' dervish who had cast a spell over his disciple. Not seeing him in the assembly he thought to himself that tomorrow in the morning we will deal with him. For the moment let me be respectful in this august court.
Suddenly from behind a spiritual curtain ( a place which is reserved for the Prophets (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) household) a beautiful child appeared. The child went straight to the Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) and sat on his Holiness lap. The Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) of Allah very lovingly and affectionately embraced this beautiful child, stroking him with his blessed hands. The child was similarly blessed by Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, Hazrat Omar, Hazrat Othman Gann, Hazrat Ali, Imam Hassen and Hussein, various Prophets present in the court, Hazrat Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jilani and other believers (peace be on them all). Finally the child came to rest in the lap of Sher Shah (RA) who also embraced the child lovingly. Playfully the child pulled at the beard of Sher Shah (RA) with his little hands pulling out two pieces of hair. Thereafter the child of light again returned to the blessed lap of the Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim) from whence he disappeared behind the curtain from which he had entered.
The next morning Hazrat Sher Shah (RA) accompanied by his companion dervishes went to the agreed meeting place. On meeting Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) he said angrily " Oh dervish, I did not see you present in the blessed court of the Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim). I looked all around but you could not be seen. So you must be an enchanter and juggler. I once again warn you to give up this trickery otherwise the end will be not good for you."
Sultanul Arifeen Sultan Bahu (RA) replied: " Oh Sher Shah. How many witnesses do you need according to the Sharia that I was present in the court of his Holiness." Sher Shah retorted " two witnesses." Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) took out the two pieces of hair which belonged to Shar Shah (RA) saying: " here is my proof of me being present in the august court of the Prophet (Sall Allahu ?alaihi wa sallim)." Recognising the hair of his beard, Sher Shah (RA) immediately apologised to the great saint. Thereafter they both retired into seclusion to discuss the deeper secretes and meanings of the spiritual path. On the request of Sher Shah ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) blessed him with higher realms of spiritual knowledge and some say that he was blessed with khilafat also. Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) further counselled him to carry on his work by bringing people to the reality of the truth.
THE BABY WHO BECAME A MAJZUBA SAINT.
During the course of his travels, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) had twice crossed over the river Sind towards the areas of Dera Gazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan giving off generosity, compassion and spiritual `baraka' ( baraka -- it is a form of subtle energy which flows through everything. Its highest realm of activity is the human being. This energy is purity itself, which is light. It is transformative, healing and immeasurable.)
It was during one of these travels, on the eastern side of the river Sind, that the Saint, together with some of his companion dervishes passed through the area of Dera Gazi Khan. In one of the villages nearby a town called Fateh Khan, they decided to rest for an afternoon meal. Some companions approached a lady cook who was attending to her crying baby, to bake some bread for them. She refused as her baby girl was crying profusely due to pain in her eyes caused by an infection. Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) requested that the lady cook put her baby in a cradle for him to look after while his companions assist her in sifting the flour and preparing a fire to bake the bread.
Reluctantly the lady agreed to this request. No sooner had she left the baby with the Saint, the child stopped crying. This was due to the spiritual attention that Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) had given to the child. Once again the Saint exhibits his extraordinary powers of spiritual `baraka' and gives the spiritual aspirant an insight into what is called `eyes of elixir'. No sooner had the spiritual energy reach and envelop the little heart of the baby, it sprang into the commemoration and remembrance of Allah. Every follicle on the baby became alive with the remembrance of Allah. Becoming aware of the child?s silence ,she ran to enquire about her baby?s well-being. Hazrat Sulta n Bahu (RA) informed her that he had made her child `alive' forever, in this world and the hereafter. Not being satisfied, she removed the baby?s face covering. At that moment the `little' heart was spiritually energised and immersed in the remembrance of Allah. On seeing her baby and witnessing this marvel , this audible display of `zikr' of Allah emanating from her child, the mother also went into ecstasy exclaiming Allah! Allah! Blissfully she fell at the feet of the Saint displaying her euphoria and delight.
The duration of time transformed this `little' girl into a majdhuba Saint. She became renowned as Ma Fatima Mastooien. Mastooien indicating a state of majdubiyat ( majdhub ---a person who is mad-in-the-Devine. A spiritual condition which in itself has an elevated capacity to teach wisdom and sometimes it also reflects as a spiritual condition of complete absorption in divine light cutting off contact from body function i.e. eating and sleeping). Even today her tomb stands as a beacon of light and hope, illuminating the hearts and minds of the people. Her tomb stands
as a reminder to seekers after truth `that where there is hope, there is a way'.
SPIRITUAL POWER FROM THE TOMB.
In Islam wilayat, the condition of a wali, refers uniquely to the gnostic station of a person. The station of a wali is the station of knowledge of the Real by direct seeing. Thus in the Spiritual Kingdom of Allah, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) holds a very high position of his own. He is referred to as `king of the gnostics' an appropriate title, as he himself says, that for a true Faqir life and death is the same. It is a well known fact that in the temporal world, an officer loses his powers after retirement or on death but not so for the saints of Allah. In the spiritual world the powers of the saint?s of Allah remain as good as they were in their lifetime, nay, their powers even increase as they are no longer constricted and obstructed by their physical bodies. Their spiritual powers comes into play immediately after death. Just as they illumined the hearts and the minds of the people during their lifetime, so too, after their demise from this world, they illumine the seekers after truth. One should not be surprised by such occurrences.
This holds true for Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). His tomb stands as a unique guiding post for humanity at large. Many a dead hearted soul has drunk from the waters of his tomb, receiving his spiritual `baraka' and thereby attaining to high spiritual stations to benefit humanity at large. Countless sublime souls have been blessed with `khilafat' at his tomb, as is the case of my grand sheikh Hazrat Faqir Nur Muhammed (RA). We will narrate for the benefit of the reader a few instances about the spiritual power which still emanates from the tomb of this great Saint.
THE TREE THAT MOVED.
It is narrated in `Munaqabi Sultani' that Hazrat Muhammed Siddiq (RA) and some of his companions had sojourned for a while at the tomb of Hazrat Sultanul Arifeen Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). In those days, at the entrance to the tomb of the saint stood a large berry tree. One day a blind man on his way to the tomb had injured himself with a trunk from this tree.
Seeing his condition, the dervishes gathered at the precincts of the tomb to consider what should be done to avoid such an injury again. After due consultation it was decided to cut the tree. But as all the dervishes who were staying there at the time were live hearted saints, they decided to seek `spiritual guidance' from Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) on the matter.
That very night `khalifa' Muhammed Siddiq (RA) was blessed with a vision of Hazrat Sultan Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), who told him not to cut the tree. He was informed that the tree would relocate itself to the northern side of the tomb, an area which was behind the head side of the tomb. That very night Hazrat Muhammed Siddiq (RA) informed the other dervishes of his vision and retired to his cell again. The next morning to everyone?s surprise the tree had relocated to the northern side of the tomb. This tree still stands there today, its branches protruding outwards towards the heavens, as a monument to demonstrate to us the reality of the saints of Allah.....that these are the men of knowledge. The writer had himself seen this tree on his fist visit to the tomb in 1982.
THE SAINTS BOUNTY ON AN ORPHAN CHILD .
In his early years Hazrat Mohsin Shah (RA) lost his father. His upbringing was left to his mother. They passed their life in dire need and poverty. In those days their lived in Gotki a potter who had received `spiritual baraka' from Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). His spiritual reputation soon followed him wherever he went. After a while he settled in his hometown Gotki again. People began to flock to him.
One day the mother of little Mohsin also approached him. She appealed to his good nature that the next time he went to see his Murshid (teacher) Hazrat Sultan Bahu (Rathi Allahu ?anh), he should take her Mohsin with him and present him to Hazrat Sultanul ARIFIN (RA) with a message that the Saint should bless him with spiritual insight and wisdom and that she has given Mohsin to him in the path of Allah. So the next time the potter Faqir went to visit his Murshid, he took Mohsin with him and presented him to Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) with a message from the mother. With love the Saint passed his blessed hands over the head of the orphan boy, telling the potter dervish to entreat his mother to enroll him in an institution of religious learning and that once he had completed his studies he should be brought back to him (Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA)) to crown his inward with spiritual illumination and to irradiate both his outward and inward. The Saint sent a message to the mother that she should not worry as her child was destined for greater heights.
The potter Faqir went back to Gotki and delivered the message of his teacher. Acting on the guidance of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (Rathi Allahu ?anh), the mother entered her son in an institution of learning. Completing his studies he was again sent with the potter dervish to the Saint for further polish as promised by the Saint himself. No sooner had he reached the presence of the Sheikh, Mohsin went into ecstatic rapture at the sight of the Saint. With one look the Saint made him traverse one spiritual path after the other, illuminating and transforming his personality. Mohsin's inward and outward became replete with the light of Allah. Very soon, through the blessings of Hazrat Sultan Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), Mohsin Shah's fame spread far and wide as a Sufi of great repute and his person became an asylum to all and sundry.
Returning to Gotki, Hazrat Mohsin Shah (RA) chain of activities gained fame far and wide. Thousands of people repented at his hands and trotted the path of righteousness under his guidance. He sat up a free public kitchen or alms house (`langarkhana') where countless of people satisfied their hunger. The public kitchen was spacious and extensive and free of wants. He had a magnanimous breath of vision coupled with deep spiritual insight. It is narrated that nobody in the vicinity of Gotki challenged his decisions or acted contrary to the Islamic law. Even today the mosque build near his tomb stands as a reminder of his services to Islam and his tomb a reminder that here once ruled a Faqir of extraordinary qualities.
SULTAN BAHU (RA) AND THE BRAHMAN PHYSICIAN.
As has been mentioned earlier that whenever his sight fell onto a non Muslim, they would involuntarily recite the Kalima-the Islamic declaration of faith. This trait in the Saints character use to cause mayhem and consternation among the populace.
One day the Saint fell ill, and the town physician (who was a Brahman) was summoned to attend to the Saint. Realizing and knowing of this quality of Sultan Bahu (Rathi Allahu ?anh), he refused to go and attend to him. The physician asked instead that they bring a sample of the Saints urine for diagnoses. The disciples brought the urine in a bottle like container to the physician. On seeing the bottle the physician immediately recited the Kalima (declaration of Islamic faith). This well-known and famous miracle is still talked about in the vicinity, near and around.
METAMORPHIC POWERS OF INVISIBILITY.
Hazrat Kaloo Shah (Rathi Allahu ?anh), the son of Hazrat Juneid Qureishi (RA) was a mureed of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). One day, due to the pangs of separation, love and desire he decided to visit his Sheikh Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). When he arrived at the Saints house, he heard the sound of a resounding `Hoo' coming from within the small chamber. He went inside to meet his Sheikh but there was no sign of Hazrat sultan Bahu (RA). Standing inside the chamber in wonderment, he heard the sound of a resounding `Hoo' coming from outside the chamber. Sheikh Kaloo went outside again hoping to meet his Teacher but there was no sign of him. Every time he heard the `Hoo' he went inside or outside but still there was no sign of his Sheikh. Hazrat Kaloo Shah stood outside perplexed and bewildered by the happening. At that moment he recited the following;
`Inside is Hoo -- outside is Hoo
Where is Sheikh Bahoo
The love of Hoo, the desire for Hoo
Has kindled my yearning for Hoo.'
Seeing the condition of his mureeds (disciples) bewilderment and shock, Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) once again demonstrates the benevolent and compassionate trait of his character. Reciting the following couplet, the Saint unveils his invisibility in a tractable manner and makes himself visible to Kaloo Shah.
`Wherever the Light of Hoo reflect
Runs darkness in despair
Oh Bahu! Whosoever realizes Hoo
Both the worlds are his forever.'
After removing the curtain of invisibility, the Saint blesses Kaloo Shah aplenty with his bounty and favour. Hazrat Kaloo Shah and his father Hazrat Juneid Qureishi (RA) are both buried at a place called Sarwarpur. (Munaqabi-Sultani) Therefore, we have with us today, as witnesses, two of Hazrat Sultan Bahu's (RA) greatest miracles. His tomb which is a beacon of light giving solace to the broken hearted and seekers after truth. And secondly his writings-his works which even today bear testimony to his greatness. Whosoever listens or studies his works is affected and transported into higher realms of spiritual truths. This miracle of his will remain forever -Insha Allah-ameen.
THE DEMISE OF THE PARENTS OF HAZRAT SULTAN BAHU (RA). Hazrat Bazid Muhammed ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), the father of Hazrat Sultan Bahu passed away in Shorkhote when Sultan Bahu (RA) was still a child. Hazrat Bazid was a Hafiz of the Quran and a Qari. A handwritten copy of the Quran transcribed by him was last seen in the family of Hazrat Sheikh Talha (RA). (They probably still have it in there possession). The shrine of Hazrat Bazid Muhammed (RA) is in Shorkhote situated near the tomb of Sheikh Talha (RA). Hazrat Bibi Rasti ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), the Saintly mother of Hazrat Sultan(RA) lived for many years after the passing away of her husband. When Sultan Bahu (RA) went to Delhi to meet Hazrat Sayyid Abdur-Rahman Qadiri (RA) in Delhi, Ma Bibi Rasti was still alive. At that time Sultan Bahu (RA) was fourty years old. At many places in his writings he eulogises his Saintly mother asking Allah to bless her. In one of his Persian couplets, he refers to her devotion to truth as follows:
`Bliss of God for Rasti be
For with truth is gifted she'
There is a difference of opinion regarding the location of her tomb. Some say that her grave is in Bustan, district of Multan and that she lies buried there in a graveyard called Bibi Peer Sayyid Sahibaan. But most scholars are of the opinion that she lies buried besides her husband in Shorkhote. A mosque stands not too far away from the tomb. Further down east, at a considerable distance from their tomb stands a rest house to accommodate the pilgrims who frequent the town.
THE DEMISE OF HAZRAT SULTAN BAHU (RA).
The blessed soul of Hazrat Sayyidi-Murshidi, Sheikhul-Masheikh, Maulana-Murshidina, Sultanul-Arifeen Hazrat Sheikh Sultan Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh),departed in a blissful state to its Lord on a Thursday evening, on the 1st of Jamadu-Thani, in the year 1102 AD/1693 at the blessed age of
HIS FIRST RESTING PLACE (TOMB). The Saints funeral took place in the vicinity of Shorkhote, in a small village called Qahergan which lies in the principality of Multan. He was buried in a brick-built fort. This fort stood on the very land and estate that the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had conferred on the Saints father in lieu of his services to the state. Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) blessed body rested in this shrine for over 70 years.
Then in the year 1180AD/1771 the fort fell forcefully in the hands of Jandha Singh and Gundha Singh, both of whom were administrative managers of the locality. Under their occupancy and becoming aware of their evil designs, the pious spiritual successors to Sultan Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), migrated to another place. Hazrat Sheikh Sultan Muhammed Hussein ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), the paternal grandson of the Saint and son of Hazrat Sheikh Sultan Wali Muhammed ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), together with the family members, left the fort and settled in another region.
HIS SECOND RESTING PLACE. (TOMB)
After the emigration of the family, the shrine was left in the care of a few faqirs and dervishes. The waters of the river Chenub began to rise threatening the structure of the fort and the graves inside. The faqirs and dervishes of the shrine began to excavate the caskets containing the bodies of those buried in the fort. All were found except the casket containing the blessed body of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). The dervishes became despondent and discouraged at not finding the body. Suprarnaturally they were informed by the Saint not to be perturbed, for the one who is worthy and capable to touch his body will approach the grave site at dawn and take the casket out of the grave. As promised, at the approach of dawn, a pious Sayyid arrived and excavated the casket containing the blessed body of the Saint. This spectacle was witnessed by hundreds of people who had gathered for the occasion. It is narrated that the masses made `ziaarat'-that is, had the privilege of seeing the blessed body of the Saint. It is said that he was just as if his body had the ritual bath -the water still dropping off his henna coloured beard. Fragrance and scent began to perfume the environment and spread considerably to outlying neighborhoods. Some of those present, on seeing the sacred body, passed into ecstatic rapture. Even today, after almost 400 years, the same effects and vibrations are still felt and experienced when visiting the Saints tomb. The pious Sayyid, together with the faqirs and dervishes, loaded the casket onto a camel and proceeded towards a graveyard (known as Peer Abdur Rehan Qureishi's graveyard), when on the way they came across an enclosure which was famous for its macabre and uncanny atmosphere. This surrounding was screened and preserved with a fencelike structure so that no man or animal could venture therein. On reaching the place the she camel sat down, despite being goaded to move on. Witnessing the camel?s strange behaviour, they deduced that Allah must have reserved this sanctuary as the resting place for Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). Spontaneously the camel rose and entered the enclosure and sat on a neat clean clearing. Taking this as divine approval, they buried the casket. From this chosen place started a spring of blessings which turned into an ocean of benefit and guidance for humanity at large. This tomb was built in 1180/1771.Those who had emigrated began to return and began to built their homes around the compound.
HIS THIRD RESTING PLACE. (TOMB)
For approximately 150 years, the tomb of the great Saint illuminated the hearts and minds of the people. The river Chenub once again raised its waters, coming dangerously close to the existing shrine. This incident and happening relates to the year 1336 AD/1927,during the spiritual reign of Hazrat Sultan Noor Ahmed ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), who was instructed ecclesiastically by the Saint to once again shift the tomb to where it stands today. Once again his body could not be found. During his lifetime the saint had predicted that his grave would remain unknown. But Allah willed otherwise. After being informed by the saint where to dig, the casket was removed. Due to the intense fragrance nobody could stay for long in the grave. The casket was finally removed with much difficulty and reburied before the 10th of Muharram in the year 1336 AD/1927 at a site one mile away to where it stands today in all its splendor. INCIDENT/EPISODE WITNESSED BY MY GRAND SHEIKH.
I would like to record this incident for the satisfaction of the readers, lest it escape the memory and be lost forever. My Grand sheikh Hazrat Faqir Noor-Muhammed Sarwari Qaderi of Kulatchi was present during those days at the tomb. He refers to this incident when he says :
` During the days when the river Chenub was washing away the old Darbar (shrine), the blessed casket/coffin of Hazrat Sultanul Arifeen Sultan Bahu (RA) was lying excavated. His spiritual reflection was usually more evident at the new Darbar than the old one. we had heard stories that the river will sweep away the shrine of the saint during Muharram. His coffin would be pulled out. He would come out of it and shout. At hearing that all the people present there would turn into live-hearted saints. On seeing the opposite, I was lying dejected and broken hearted in the parlour of Hafiz Musa. In a dream/vision I saw myself walking in the populace of Sarang Khan Baloch, near Shorkhote, where the parents of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) use to reside when he was a child. Unintentionally, I chanced to enter that old house of his where he had brought up. I saw his father sitting on a bed and mother sitting on the earth by the hearth. On seeing me enter the house his mother Hazrat Bibi Rasti Sahiba (RA) had raised in her hands the little innocent figure of Hazrat Sultan Bahu ( Rathi Allahu ?anh), and showing him to me said: `Noor Muhammed! This is my child Bahu?s have brought him up in my hands like this." When his lucid brilliant glance fell on me I was attracted and opened my eyes exclaiming Haq Bahu, Haq Bahu. '
(Hayaate - Sarwari)
The spiritual successor of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA) during this time, Hazrat Nur Ahmed (RA) had a special liking for my Grand sheikh .After his time came the regime of his eldest son Hazrat Amir Sultan (RA) who also cherished a special affection for and made a distinguished companion of my Grand sheikh with whom he often used to discuss spiritual and other matters, so much so that he appointed my Grand sheikh as a special tutor to his sons. Hazrat Faqir Noor Muhammed (Grand-sheikh) also enjoyed the honour of remaining the tutor of the daughters of Hazrat Peer Sayyid Haider -al- Qaderi- al- Gilani-al- Baghdadi (RA).
THE SAINTS SPIRITUAL DESCENDENTS AND KHALIFAS.
As mentioned earlier, Hazrat Sultan Bahoo(RA) had eight children, all boys. In the scope of our study, however, we are only concerned here with those descendants who succeeded the Saint as his spiritual successors.
Hazrat Sultan Nur Muhammed was the eldest of the eight. He migrated with his family to the west of the river Sind, towards the vicinity of Fateh Khan. He settled here with his wife and three children. After an absence of twenty years, he sojourned to visit the tomb of his father Sheikh Sultan Bahu (RA). During his stay here he passed away and lies buried in the sepulcher of his fathers tomb. His wife and children lie buried near the Khanqa of Hazrat Fatima Mastowien (RA) in the vicinity of Fateh Khan.
It was during his absence of twenty years that his younger brother, Sheikh Sultan Wali Muhammed (RA) was appointed and nominated as the first spiritual successor to
Hazrat Sultan Bahu (RA). It is through his family genealogy that the chain of spiritual succession of the Saints order (silsila) has flourished and prospered. Sheikh Sultan Wali Muhammed (RA) was followed by Sheikh Sultan Muhammed Hussein (RA) as second spiritual successor.
He was succeeded by Sheikh Hafiz Sultan Muhammed (RA) as the third spiritual heir to Sultan Bahu (RA). After his demise, he was succeeded by Sheikh Sultan Ghulam Bahu (RA) as the fourth spiritual heir. His reign was ensued by Sheikh Sultan Hafiz Saleh Muhammed (RA) as the fifth spiritual successor. He was succeeded by Sheikh Sultan Noor Ahmed (RA) as sixth spiritual successor. His control was followed by Sheikh Muhammed Amir Sultan (RA) as the seventh spiritual heir to Sultan Bahu (RA).
Courtesy: The Hadhrat Sultan Web Site