Sunday, 23 February 2014

Marriages of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (ra)

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)

Children of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (ra)


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.

Physical Characteristics of Hazrat Sultan Bahu (ra)


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 (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.

Meeting with Hazrat Sher Shah - 2 Witness's

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 Court 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 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 (RA), 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 first visit to the tomb in 1982.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

On the Art of Dying while Living.

If you wish to learn the art of dying while living

Go and sit in the company of the mystics.

If someone splatters you with dirt,

Be like a dung-hill, take it without reproach.

Let them hurl abuse at you

accept it in humility.

Bear complaints, censure, blame, calumny with patience

For the sake of the Beloved.

Our strings are in the hands of the AlMighty,

Let us live in submission to His Will.