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 scholar and saint of the Qadiri-Shatari silsila (lineage).[1]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Kasur, in the Punjab region of present-day Pakistan. Shah Inayat was known as the murshid (spiritual guide) of the Punjabi poets, Bulleh Shah (1680 CE - 1758 CE) and Waris Shah (1722 CE - 1798 CE).[2][1]


Baba is an honorific term used as a sign of respect to Sufi saints. It is a term similar to "father" or "wise old man". Shah is another honorific referring to a king. Inayat is an Islamic male first name. Qadiri is an Islamic surname. Shatari or Shattari refers to a tariqah, a Sufi mystical order.


Shah Inayat was born in Kasur. Kasur is a town about 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Lahore, Pakistan. He was born to an Arain family.[1] The family had connection to Arabia, as being Araen the ancestors of Shah Inayat came via Sindh along with Muhammad bin Qasim. The tribe had an ancient repute in Lahore and surrounding areas. Shah Inayat Qadir's family tree meets to a well known Umayyad Sahabi Hadhrat Usman Ghani R.A. A famous PTV actor Mehmood Aslam is a direct descendant of Shah Inayat and one of his tv program Mazak raat he told that a residential area inside the walled city Lahore "Ghani Muhalla" was established by his ancestors.[3] Prior to his religious life, Shah Inayat was a farmer and orchardist. Shah Inayat became proficient in Persian and Arabic. He became a religious disciple of Syed Muhammad Ali Raza Shah Shattari. Shattari encouraged Shah Inayat to move to Lahore and establish his own theological institution. On his move to Lahore, Shah Inayat became known as Inayat Shah Lahori because he spent the rest of his life in Lahore.[1] He became the imam of the Unchi Masjid (mosque) at the Bhati Gate, Lahore. Shah Inayat died in about 1730 CE (1728 CE - 1735 CE). He is buried near the Fatima Jinnah Medical University on Queens Road, Lahore with his two sons resting beside him. His tomb is located in a shrine with a mosque close by. Devotees of Shah Inayat attend his Urs (annual memorial service). They offer fatiha (prayers) to him.


As Shah Inayat was born in an Arain house, his ancestry is with the Arabic tribes of Damascus who arrived in the Indian subcontinent with Muhammad Bin Qasim."[4][5]

Shah Inayat was a Sufi scholar of the Qadiri-Shatari silsila (lineage). Almost all of the Qadiri Sufi orders trace their lineage to Abdul-Qadir Gilani (1077 CE - 1166 CE). Shah Inayat was the son of Mawlawi Pir Mohammad of Kasur, who was an Imam.


Legend tells that Shah Inayat was exiled to Lahore by the ruler of Kasur, Hussain Khan. After Shah Inayat had departed, a drought came upon Kasur and the governor of Kasur Hussain Khan died. According to legend, these things happened because of the ruler's treachery towards Shah Inayat and were the ultimate punishment from God.


Shah Inayat is remembered as a preacher, a religious scholar, a philosopher and a saint. Shah Inayat was a scholar of mysticism. He wrote mostly in Persian. His works include:

  • Dasturul Amal[1]
  • Islahul Amal
  • Lataif-e-Ghaibya, and
  • Ishartul Taliban[1]

In Dastur-al-Ama ("The Handbook of Practice") Shah Inayat describes the methods of ancient Hindu rishis (inspired poets of vedic hymns) who were the ancient inhabitants of Indian subcontinent and were considered passing through stages necessary for "God-realization".[1][6]


Bulleh Shah, the Sufi poet, said of his teacher, Shah Inayat,[7]

"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."

In the Punjabi couplet below, Bulleh Shah shows his humility to Shah Inayat. He states that although he, himself is a Sayyid (a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad), he considers himself less than the master, Inayat, who was not a Sayyad but an Arain.

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


O Bullah! Your able mentor is great master Shah Inayat!
Though you (Bulleh Shah) are a "Sayyad" you are still of a lesser stature than your great Master who is an "Arain"!

Bang-i-Auliya-i-Hind wrote a poem called Song of the Saints of India which pays respect to Shah Inayat.

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g The Life of Bulleh Shah (includes profile of Shah Inayat Qadiri) Academy of the Punjab in North America (APNA) website, Retrieved 6 June 2018
  2. ^ [1] YouTube.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Qadri Facebook page Facebook.
  5. ^ [2] Arain Council UK
  6. ^ Ernst C. W. Refractions of Islam in India: Situating Sufism and Yoga SAGE Publications India, 2016 p289. ISBN 9351509656, 9789351509653. Accessed at Google Books 29 June 2017.
  7. ^ Arbab M. Sufi Saints of Indus Valley ISBN 1329580885, 9781329580886 Accessed at Google Books 29 June 2017.

External links[edit]

  • Dastur ul Amal at Google Books.
  • Chopra R. M. (1999) Great Sufi Poets of the Punjab, Iran Society, Calcutta.