Sultan Bahu

Sultan Bahu (Punjabi: سلطان باہو) (ca 1628 – 1691) was a Muslim Sufi and saint who founded the Sarwari Qadiri Sufi order. Sultan Bahu was born in Anga, Soon Valley, Sakesar in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Like many other Sufi saints of South Asia Sultan Bahu was a prolific writer. More than forty books on Sufism are attributed to him, mostly in Persian. Most of his books deal with specialized aspects ofIslam and Islamic mysticism, but his Punjabi poetry had popular appeal and made him a household name in the region. His verses are sung in many genres of Sufi music including qawwali and kafi. Tradition has established a unique style of singing his couplets. Sultan Bahu is a direct descendant of Ali, the cousin of Muhammad. He is Hashimi, and belongs to the Awan tribe which traces its descent from Ameer Shah, son of Qutub Shah. The mausoleum of Sultan Bahu located in Garh Maharaja, Punjab, Pakistan was originally built on his grave but has had to be moved twice when the Chenab River changed its course. It is a popular Sufi shrine, and the annual Urs festival commemorating his death is celebrated with great fervour. The Urs festival is held during the month of Muharram. Every year on the 9th of Muharram, a ghusal (bath) is also conducted under the supervision of Muhammad Najeeb Sultan, Sajjada Nasheen (Chair-holder) of the Sultan Bahu shrine, in which the descendants of Sultan Bahu wash his shrine with rose water.

Spiritual Genealogy / Tareeqa

Shrine of Sultan Bahu near Jhang, Pakistan.Sultan Bahu belonged to the Qadiri Sufi order, and later initiated his own offshoot, Sarwari Qadiri. He refers to Muhiyuddin Abdul Qadir Gilani as his spiritual Master in a number of his books and poetry, though Abdul Qadir Gilani died long before the birth of Sultan Bahu. However some Sufis maintain that Abdul Qadir Gilani has a special role in the mystic world and that all orders and saints are always indebted to him directly or indirectly in some way.

Sultan Bahu's education began with his mother, Mai Rasti, herself a saintly woman who has her own Mausoleum in Shorkot, Punjab, Pakistan. She told him to seek spiritual guidance from a wali (friend of GOD). After some time he moved to Delhi for further 'polishing' under the guidance of Sheikh Abdul Rehman al Qadari. Soon Sheikh Abdul Rehman al Qadari felt that he can not add anything to Sultan Bahu's knowledge as Sultan Bahu already knew more than Sheikh Abdul Rehman al Qadari. This did not take long, after which Sultan Bahu returned to his own, familiar surroundings. The complete spiritual lineage (Silsila) of Sultan Bahu is as follows .