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|Mian Mir |
Dara Shikoh with Mian Mir and Mullah Shah Badakhshi
Lahore, Punjab (modern-day Pakistan)
|Venerated in||Mahdavia order of Sufism, Sikhism|
|Major shrine||Shrine of Mian Mir, Lahore|
Baba Sain Mir Mohammed Sahib (c. 1550 – 22 August 1635), popularly known as Mian Mir or Miyan Mir, was a famous Sufi Muslim saint who resided in Lahore, specifically in the town of Dharampura (in present-day Pakistan). He was a direct descendant of Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab. He belonged to the Qadiri order of Sufism. He is famous for being a spiritual instructor of Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. He is identified as the founder of the Mian Khel branch of the Qadiri order. His younger sister Bibi Jamal Khatun was a disciple of his and a notable Sufi saint in her own right.
Mian Mir and Emperor Jahangir
Mian Mir was a friend of God-loving people and he would shun worldly, selfish men, greedy Emirs and ambitious Nawabs who ran after faqirs to get their blessings. To stop such people from coming to see him, Mian Mir posted his mureeds (disciples) at the gate of his house.
Once, Jahangir, the Mughal emperor, with all his retinue came to pay homage to the great faqir. He came with all the pomp and show that befitted an emperor. Mian Mir's sentinels however, stopped the emperor at the gate and requested him to wait until their master had given permission to enter. Jahangir felt slighted. No one had ever dared delay or question his entry to any place in his kingdom. Yet he controlled his temper and composed himself. He waited for permission. After a while, he was ushered into Mian Mir's presence. Unable to hide his wounded vanity, Jahangir, as soon as he entered, told Mian Mir in Persian: Ba dar-e-darvis darbane naa-bayd ("On the doorstep of a faqir, there should be no sentry"). Pir Mian Mir, replied in Persian: Babayd keh sag-e-dunia na ayad ("They are there so that the dogs of the world/selfish men may not enter").
The emperor was embarrassed and asked for forgiveness. Then, with folded hands, Jahangir requested Mian Mir to pray for the success of the campaign which he intended to launch for the conquest of the Deccan. Meanwhile, a poor man entered and, bowing his head to Mian Mir, made an offering of a rupee before him. The Sufi asked the devotee to pick up the rupee and give it to the poorest, neediest person in the audience. The devotee went from one dervish to another but none accepted the rupee. The devotee returned to Mian Mir with the rupee saying: "Master, none of the dervishes will accept the rupee. None is in need, it seems."
"Go and give this rupee to him," said the faqir, pointing to Jahangir. "He is the poorest and most needy of the lot. Not content with a big kingdom, he covets the kingdom of the Deccan. For that, he has come all the way from Delhi to beg. His hunger is like a fire that burns all the more furiously with more wood. It has made him needy, greedy and grim. Go and give the rupee to him."
Mian Mir and Sikhism
According to Sikh tradition, the Sikh guru Guru Arjan Dev Ji met Mian Mir during their stay in Lahore. This tradition does not appear in the early Sikh literature, and is first mentioned in the 18th and 19th century chronicles. However, it may be possible that this tradition is historically true, and may have been suppressed during the earlier period because of Sikhs' conflicts with the Muslim Mughals and Afghans.
Legend about foundation of Harmandir Sahib
According to Tawarikh-i-Punjab (1848), written by Ghulam Muhayy-ud-Din alias Bute Shah, Mian Mir laid the foundation of the Sikh shrine Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), at the request of Guru Arjan Dev. Although the earliest Sikh records state that the foundation stone was laid by Guru Arjun himself, the later Sikh records mention the legend that appears in Tawarikh-i-Punjab. The legend is repeated in several European sources, beginning with The Punjab Notes and Queries. Even the Report Sri Darbar Sahib (1929), published by the Harmandir Sahib temple authorities, have endorsed this account.
However, this legend is unsubstantiated by historical evidence. Sakinat al-aulia, a 17th century biography of Mian Mir compiled by Dara Shikoh, does not mention this account. It appears only in the later accounts, and may have been invented to strengthen the Sikh-Muslim relationship.
Death and legacy
After having lived a long life of piety and virtuosity, Mian Mir died on 22 August 1635 (7 Rabi' al-awwal, 1045 according to the Islamic Calendar). He was eighty-eight years old.
He was buried at a place which was about a mile from Lahore near Alamganj, that is at the south-east of the city. Mian Mir's spiritual successor was Mullah Shah Badakhshi. Mian Mir's Mazar (Mausoleum) still attracts hundreds of devotees each day and he is revered by many Sikhs as well as Muslims. The tomb's architecture still remains quite intact to this day. His death anniversary ('Urs' in Urdu language) is observed there by his devotees every year.
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- Mayor Lahore pays visit to Mian Mir Hospital, lahorenews.tv website, Published 19 April 2017, Retrieved 17 June 2017
- Death anniversary of Mian Mir observed in Lahore, The Nation newspaper, Published 20 December 2015, Retrieved 17 June 2017
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