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.