Shah Inayat Qadiri

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Shah Inayat Qadiri Shatari (Punjabi: شاه عنایت قادري , also called Enayat Shah 1643 - 1728) was a Sufi saint of the Qadiri-Shatari lineage (silsila) who was born in Qasur, in the Punjab region of present-day Pakistan. Shah Inayat Qadiri is famous as the spiritual guide of the universal Punjabi poets Bulleh Shah and Waris Shah.[1]

Shah Inayat belonged to Arain tribe. He earned a living through agriculture or gardening by taking care of his mango garden where he also used to seedling the onions. He was actually belonged to Kasur and used to live in Kasur but, due to the animosity of the governor of Kasur, moved to Lahore. The Afghan governor of Kasur Hussain Khan was died due to a natural disaster and according to the followers it was a God punishment for him. Shah Inayat remained in Lahore until his death and his mausoleum is also situated in Lahore.

Poetic references[edit]

In the "Song of the Saints of India" (Bang-i-Auliya-i-Hind) occurs the following reference;

From the tribe of gardeners was brother Shah Inayat,
He received honor from Shah Raza Wali Allah.
He earned his living in the small town of Qasur Pathana.
The ruler Husein Khan of this town was his arch enemy.
From there Inayat Shah came to the city of Lahore;
Two miles to the south of the city he made his habitation.
It is at this place that we find his tomb.
In 1141 he departed from this world.

Bulleh Shah says about his beloved teacher Shah Inayat:

Bullah has fallen in love with the Lord. He has given his life and body as earnest. His Lord and Master is Shah Inayat who has captivated his heart.

Bulleya taira murshad kaamal Shah Inayat Saain!
Tun neewaan jeh sayyad vi ein uchha Saain Araain!

O Bullah! Your able mentor is Master Shah Inayat!
Though you are a Sayyad you still are less and great is the Master who is Araain!

A Sayyad is a direct descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him and on his following, and as such is held in highest social reverence in Muslims. Bulleh Shah shows his humility in this couplet in Punjabi saying that albeit he is a Sayyad, he still is less than his great master Shah Inayat who is an Arain by caste.

Shah Inayat wrote "Dastur-al-Amal" in which he describes the methods of ancient Hindu rishis who were the habitants of Indian subcontinent and were considered passing through these stages as necessary for God-realization.[2]

Quoting from Syed Ahsan Ullah "Great Sufi Poets of the Punjab": " The Wazai-i-Kalaan" gives the year of his death as 1728 AD, during the time of Emperor Muhammad Shah Jahan. He had acquired a good knowledge of Persian and Arabic. As he was born in an Arain house, his ancestry goes back to those Arabic tribes of Damascus who arrived at Indian subcontinent with Muhammad Bin Qasim.[3][4] He had mystic disposition and later he became a disciple of the famous Sufi scholar Muhammad Ali Raza Shattari." He further goes on to say , Shah Inayat "migrated to Lahore where he established an institution of his own. In this institution came men of education for advanced learning in philosophy, Sufism and other spiritual sciences of the time."

"Shah Inayat wrote considerably on Sufism and its developments. His writings were mostly in Persian. He was an erudite scholar whom Bulleh Shah made his Hadi or Peer o Murshid."

See also[edit]


  • Great Sufi Poets of The Punjab", by R. M. Chopra, Iran Society, Calcutta, 1999.