Hazrat Sultan Bahu is one of the distinguished saints of the world. He is one of Walis(friend of Allah) who has achieved a great status in spiritualism. He was an inspiration for thousands of people and will be inspired from his works and sayings. Hazrat Sultan Bahu in his writings emphasis on the TAUHID a lot. His teachings and writings are worth studying. Above picture is one of his poetic phrases in which he signifies oneness and importance (firstness) of Allah(God), then he commemorates (praises) his teacher , sheikh , Murshad for showing him the right path. Also he give us the lesson how much the right path and rightly guided Sheikh or teacher is important.
ABOUT HIS ANSESTORS:
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).
WHY HE IS SO FAMOUS AND DISTINGUISH
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 fence like 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 behavior, 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 traveled 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 (Tau heed) '. He was a strict upholder of the Shari'a and did not in his entire life forego even one Mustahab.
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' (S.A.W) (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 Muhammad (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.
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) 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 symbolize the nature of a shopkeeper.
2) 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).
(3) The live hearted remains perpetually in the remembrance of Allah and in this way the heart becomes perfumed with the light of Allah .
(4) Silent Zikr (remembrance) is symbolized outwardly as journeying on the land and inwardly it is a journey of the heart.
(5) Knowledge is a necessary an indispensable characteristic on the `path of Faqr'-- because ignorance divests the heart of spiritual luminosity and leads to obliviousness.
(6) 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.
(7) When you enter the garden of Tauhid (Oneness)eliminate the thorns of shirk and kufr.
(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 recognizes the characteristic that deny the self (nafs), for to
recognize 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 recognizes his self, recognizes 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.
Courtesy: The Hadhrat Sultan Web Site