Lal Shahbaz Qalandar

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Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
Religion Islam, specifically the Suhrawardiyya Sufi order
Other names Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
Born 1149
Marwand, Afghanistan
Died 1299
Sehwan, Sindh
Parents Ibrahim Kabiruddin (father)
Senior posting
Based in Sehwan, Najaf
Title Shahbaz
Period in office 12th/13th century
Predecessor Baha-ud-din Zakariya
Successor Syed Muhammad Raza Shah Subzwari

Sayed Muhammad Usman Marwandi[1] (1149–1299), also known as Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (Sindhi: لال شھباز قلندر‎), was a Sufi philosopher-poet of present-day Pakistan. He belonged to the Suhrawardi order of Sufis.

Called Lal (red) after his usual red attire, Shahbaz to denote a noble and divine spirit.


Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, son of Habib(Ibrahim Mujaab), was born in Marwand.[2] to a dervish, Syed Ibrahim Kabiruddin[2] His ancestors had migrated from Baghdad and settled in Mashhad, before moving again to Marwand.

He lived when the Ghaznavid and Ghurids ruled in South Asia.[3] A contemporary of Rumi, he travelled around the Muslim world and settled in Sehwan where he was eventually buried.[4] There is evidence of his presence in Sindh in 1196 when he met Pir Haji Ismail Panhwar of Paat and he is believed to have arrived in Sehwan around 1251. There he established a meeting house (khanqah), taught in the Fuqhai Islam Madarrsah and wrote his treatises Mizan-us-Surf, Kism-e-Doyum, Aqd and Zubdah. Lal Shahbaz lived a celibate life and died in the year 1279 at the age of 130.

In Multan he met Baha-ud-din Zakariya of the Suhrwardiyya, Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar of the Chishtiyya and Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari. The friendship of these four became legendary, they were known as the Chahar Yar (In Persian "the four friends"). According to some historians the four friends visited various parts of Sindh, Punjab (in present day Pakistan) and southern part of India.[citation needed].

Shahbaz became a profound scholar of religions, fluent in many languages including Pashto, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Sindhi and Sanskrit.[citation needed]


The shrine around his tomb was built in 1356 and decorated with Sindhi 'kashi-tiles', mirror-work and a gold-plated door donated by the late Shah of Iran, Reza Shah Pahlavi and installed by the late Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[5] The inner sanctum is about 100 square yards with a silver-canopied grave in the middle, according to Nadeem Wagan, Cutharo silver donated by Sardar Mahboob Ali Khan Wagan (Chief Sardar of Wagan Tribe) on one side of the marble floor is a row of about 12-inch-high (300 mm) folding wooden stands, on which there is a set copies of Quran for devotees to read. On the other side, beside a bundle of incense, are rows of oil-lamps lighted by devotees. Thousands of devotees visit the tomb particularly every Thursday[citation needed].

Mela / Urs (Annual Fair)[edit]

Lal Shahbaz's annual Urs (death anniversary celebration), held on the 18 Sha'aban – the eighth month of the Muslim lunar calendar, brings more than half a million pilgrims from all over Pakistan. On each morning of the three-day feast the narrow lanes of Sewhan are packed with pilgrims, fakirs and devotees making their way to the shrine to commune with the saint, offer tributes and make wishes. Most of the people present garlands and a green chadar (shawl)" with Quranic inscriptions in silver or gold threads, humming verses or singing and dancing in praise of the saint late into the night. The devotional dance known as 'dhammal', an ecstatic swirl of the head and body, is performed to the rhythm of the naqqara, a big barrel-shaped drum, placed in the courtyard of the shrine. Bells, gongs, cymbals and horns make a thunderous din, and the dervishes in robes, beads, bracelets and coloured head-bands whirl faster and faster until, with a final deafening shout,

Lal Shahbaz Mast Qalandar is also celebrated annually by Sindhi people in Rajkot, Gujarat. The mela is held during the month of February or early March on a Monday known as "Green Monday" (Sao Sumar) singing from 6am till 8am the next day. They invite bands of folk-singers (mandali) from different regions each year.

In poetry and prose[edit]

A qawwali sung by many Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi singers and musicians like Noor Jehan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen, Sabri Brothers, Wadali brothers, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Mika Singh, Reshman and Runa Laila, "Lal Meri Pat Rakhiyo ..."(See Dama Dam Mast Qalandar). This poem was initially written by Amir Khusrow, then further modified by Baba Bulleh shah. It is interesting to note the same poem is modified and is sung by Hindu Sindhis.\, "O Lal Meri Pat Rakhiyo Bala Jhule lalan....." to praise Hindu mystic Jhulelal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sarah Ansari (1971) Sufi Saints and State Power: The Pirs of Sindh, 1843–1947. Vanguard Books
  2. ^ a b I A Rashid (2004) Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. Story of Pakistan. 6 March. Retrieved on 27 January 2008
  3. ^ N B G Qazi (1971) Lal Shahbaz Qalandar ʻUthman Marwandi'. RCD Cultural Institute.
  4. ^ M Inam (1978) Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar of Sehwan Sharif[citation needed]. Karachi.
  5. ^ N M Mathyani (2002) Lal Shahbaz Qalandar: A great saint. Retrieved on 27 January 2008

Nadeem Wagn Template:Article on Wagan Tribe

External links[edit]