The Rumi of Kashmir: Mian Muhammad Bakhsh Qadiri (may his secret be sanctified!)

Discussion in 'Biography of Urdu Writers' started by Heer, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Heer

    Heer Inactive Member

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    Just before you get to the major town of Mirpur in Azad Kashmir—going from Islamabad, past the local town of Dina which lies only 8 km from the famous fort of Rohtas built by Sher

    Shah Suri—you come to a scenic place amidst the winding road high up in the mountains. Known as KhaRi Sharif, which is one of the most famous Sufi shrines in the Subcontinent, it houses the sacred bodies of two Muslim saints—awliya: Hazrat Mian Muhammad Bakhsh and his Pir or Sufi preceptor (aka Shaykh or Murshid) Hazrat Baba Pir e Shah Ghazi ‘Bu Ali Qalandar more commonly known in the Punjab as DamRi Walay Sarkar as well as a few other shrines of related saints.

    Not much is known about the lives of either saint although from their works it is clear that both were Sunni Muslims who were Hanafis and both belonged to the Qadiri Order of
    Sufism (the most widespread in the world) founded by Piran-e-Pir Hazrat Sayyid Abd al Qadir al Jilani al Baghdadi (may Allah sanctify his secret and perfume his resting place!). Both are highly revered by all and sundry as Intimates of Allah-the awliya. One of the miracles attributed to Hazrat Pir e Shah Ghazi is that unless a quarter of a lac of small coins (damRi) are donated at his shrine each day he will not let the sun set! Hence the name. Such a feat—though miraculous—is not beyond the powers of Allah’s Saints whom He favours with whatever He wills. The praise of the courtier is really the praise of the King! It is also a principle amongst the scholars of Islam that any miracle performed by the Prophet of a nation is possible, in theory, for the awliya in his Ummah. Thus the saints amongst the Ummah of Prophet Jesus-upon whom be peace!—could raise the dead. The saints amongst the Ummah of Prophet Solomon could fly in the air, etc. Since our Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) is the Master of the Prophets [Sayyid al Anbiya’] and the greatest of them all—and since his miracles encompassed all the miracles of the other prophets—it follows that the awliya of his Ummah can do, in theory, all of these things which he did—upon him be the blessings of Allah and peace. And it is well-recorded in an authentic and famous hadith that Allah’s Messenger brought back the sun so that Hazrat Ali could read his namaz on time after it had set! (See Qadi ‘Iyad’s ash-Shifa for the reference). Anyway this digression was just to show that Islamically speaking such an astounding karamat is possible for a saint. Whatever your opinion of this, the fact is that the locals all believe it. Day and night you will find the shrines thronged by a multitude of people—old and young, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, male and female. Yet, despite the crowds of people there is a sense of deep calm and serenity which permeates the whole shrine complex.

    Near the shrine vendours of all sorts ply their
    trade and do roaring business. It is a part of the blessings of the pirs lying at rest inside! Anyway to return to the main focus of this little article, though Baba Pir e Shah Ghazi is famous, even more well-known is the name of his disciple—Mian Muhammad Bakhsh. His fame though rests more on a remarkable book of Sufi poetry he wrote—though he too is venerated as a Sufi saint and Islamic scholar. Indeed although he has many other books—mainly in Persian and Arabic about the technical aspects of Sufism, Islamic law, etc. as well as poetry, his magnum opus has become the Saiful Maluk—the Sword of Kings—which tells a love story involving fairies etc. as an allegory for the Sufi’s journey to God. The book is one of the classics of Punjabi literature and similar in theme—though much shorter—to Rumi’s Mathnawi; it is of a similar standard and has earned its author the epithet of Rumi e Kashmir—The Rumi of Kashmir. Indeed it is so famous that even the illiterate peasants often know whole chunks of it by heart and one of the common pastimes in the Punjab in all sorts of society is a gathering where the kalam of Mian Sahib is melodiously recited. Such a gathering is known as a Mehfil e Saiful Maluk. Famous as a majzub (a Sufi lost in the love of Allah) Mian Sahib wrote this work whilst still young in reply to his brothers who complained that he didn’t do anything all day! He lived in the mid 19th century and was revered by all. His book has ensured his name will live for ever and ever amongst the Muslims (and non-Muslims) of the Punjab and the Punjabi diaspora.


  2. Heer

    Heer Inactive Member

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    Mian Muhammad Baksh




    Hadrat Pir Mian Muhammad Baksh al-Qadiri [ 1324 H / 1907 CE] 'alayhir rahman w'al ridwan




    Mian Muhammad Baksh May Allah be pleased with him was a Sufi saint and also a Potohari/Hindko poet of great repute. He is especially renowned as the writer of a book of poetry called Sayful Muluk. Such was his reputation that he attained the richly deserved of ''the Rumi of Kashmir''! He was born in a village called khanqa peera shah gazi Khari Shaeef, situated in the Mirpur District (now in Azad Kashmir).



    He belonged to the Gujjar caste, and was a fourth generation descendant of Pir-e Shah Ghazi Qalandar Dumri-Vala, Allah be pleased with him, who was buried in Khari Sharif. Pir-e Shah Ghazi's khalifah was Khwajah Din Muhammad; and his khalifah was Mian Shamshuddin, who had three sons: Mian Bahaval Bakhsh, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh - the subject of this article -, and Mian 'Ali Bakhsh. Mian Muhammad Bakhsh's ancestors originated in Gujrat, but had later settled in the Mirpur district of Kashmir.




    There is much disagreement about his year of birth. Mahbub 'Ali Faqir Qadiri, in a biography printed as an appendix to the text of Sayful Muluk gives the date as 1246 AH (1826 CE), a date also followed by the Shahkar Islami Encyclopedia; 1830 and 1843 are suggested in other works but are almost cetainly erroneous. Mian Muhammad Bakhsh himself states in his magnum opus - Sayful Muluk - that he completed the work during the spring in the month of Ramadan, 1279 AH (1863 CE), and that he was then thirty-three years of age- hence he must have been born in 1830.


    He was brought up in a very religious environment, and received his early education at home. He was later sent with his elder brother, Mian Bahaval, to the nearby village of Samval Sharif to study religious sciences, especially the science of Hadith in the madrassah of Hafiz Muhammad 'Ali. Hafiz Muhammad 'Ali had a brother, Hafiz Nasir, who was a majzub, and had renounced worldly matters; this dervish resided at that time in the mosque at Samval Sharif. From childhood Mian Muhammad had exhibited a penchant for poetry, and was especially fond of reading Yusuf o Zulaikha by Nur ad-Din Abd ar-Rahman Jami May Allah be pleased with him. During his time at the madrassah Hafiz Nasir would often beg him to sing some lines from Jami's poetry, and upon hearing it so expertly rendered would invariably fall into a state of spiritual intoxication.



    Mian Muhammad was still only fifteen years old when his father, falling seriously ill, and realising that he was on his deathbed, called all his students and local notaries to see him. Mian Shamshuddin told his visitors that it was his duty to pass on the spiritual lineage that he had received through his family from Pir-e Shah Ghazi Qalandar Dumri-Vala; he pointed to his own son, Mian Muhammad, and told those assembled that he could find nobody more suitable than he to whom he might award this privilege. Everybody agreed, the young man's reputation had already spread far and wide. Mian Muhammad, however, spoke up and disagreed, saying that he could not bear to stand by and allow his elder brother Bahavul to be deprived of the honour. The old man was filled with so much love for his son that he stood up and leaving his bed grasped his son by the arms; he led him to one corner and made him face the approximate direction of Baghdad, and then he addressed the founder of their Sufi Order, Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani May Allah sanctify his secret, presenting his son to him as his spiritual successor. Shortly after this incident his father died. Mian Muhammad continued to reside in his family home for a further four years, then at the age of nineteen he moved into the khanqah, where he remained for the rest of his life. Both his brothers combined both religion and worldly affairs in their lives, but he was only interested in spirituality, and never married - unlike them.




    Despite the fact that he had essentially been made a khalifah (successor) of his father, he realised that he still needed to make a formal pledge of allegiance or bay'ah (oath) to a Sufi master. Having completed his formal education he began to travel, seeking out deserted locations where he would busy himself in prayer and spiritual practices, shunning the company of his fellow-men. He took the Sufi pledge of allegiance or bay'ah with Hadrat Ghulam Muhammad 'alayhir rahman, who was the khalifah of Baba Baduh Shah Abdal, the khalifah of Haji Bagasher (of Darkali Mamuri Sharif, near Kallar Syedan District Rawalpindi), the khalifah again of Pir-e Shah Ghazi Qalandar Dumri-Vala. He is also said to have travelled for a while to Srinagar, where he benefitted greatly from Shaykh Ahmad Vali May Allah be pleased with him.




    Once he had advanced a little along the Sufi way he became more and more interested in composing poetry, and one of the first things he penned was a qasidah (quatrain) in praise of his spiritual guide. Initially he preferred to write siharfis and duhras, but then he advanced to composing stories in verse. His poetry is essentially written in the Pothohari dialect of Panjabi, and utilises a rich vocabulary of Persian and Arabic words.

  3. Noor

    Noor Inactive Member

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    nyc sharing

    keep sharing
    Heer likes this.
  4. Heer

    Heer Inactive Member

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    ThanQ Noorie....keep visiting
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