Shah Inayat Qadiri

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Baba 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]

Bulleh Shah says about his beloved teacher Shah Inayat:

Bullah has fallen in love with the Master. 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 or "Hashmiat" holds a highest social reverence by Muslims. Bulleh Shah shows his humility in this couplet in Punjabi saying that albeit he is a Sayyad or "Hashmiat", the tribe of Prophet Muhammad but even then he considers himself less than his great master Shah Inayat who was not Sayyad but was an Arain, the Arab tribe that was entered in subcontinent through Sindh. The Arain murshid of Bulleh Shah used to earn his livelihood by farming and gardening in his inherited orchard located in Kasur.

Shah Inayat Qadiri Shatari was later known as Inayat Shah Lahori when he had to migrate to Lahore. This was during the time of the ruler of Kasur, Hussain Khan who treacherously orchestrated the exile of the saint from Kasur due to jealousy. When Shah Inayat left Kasur, the town suffered from a major drought that year and The ruler of Kasur who exiled him also died soon after that. According to the legend it was due to his treachery towards the Saint and was the ultimate punishment from God. He spent the rest of his life in Lahore thereafter.

Shah Inayat was from the Qadiri-Shatari lineage (silsila) which is a sufi order branching from The Qadria silsila (or chain). Almost all the Qadri sufi orders trace their path to Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani. He was son of Maulvi Pir Mohammad of Kasur who was an Imam of a mosque.

Thousands of devotees throughout Pakistan attend his urs ( death anniversary ) ceremony every year and offer fatiha ( prayers) for the preacher, saint, author and philosopher of the 16th and 17th century. Hazrat Shah Inayat was a religious scholar, spiritual leader and the writer of several books on mysticism. Dasturul Amal, Islahul Amal, Lataif-e-Ghaibya and Ishartul Taliban are his popular books. He was also the Imam of the Unchi masjid in lahore Bhatti gate. He died roughly around 1728 and is buried near Fatimah Jinnah medical college on Queens road lahore. There is also a Mosque built next to his tomb which is in a shrine and his two sons are also buried next to him.

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.[2][3]

He had mystic disposition and later he became a disciple of the famous Sufi scholar "Muhammad Ali Raza Shattari." Upon saying of his spiritual teacher Muhammad Ali Raza Shattari, 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 and also Waris Shah considered their "Hadi" and "Peer O Murshid."

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.

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.[4]

See also[edit]


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