Sultan Bahu

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Sultan Bahu
سلطان باہو
Shrine of Sultan Bahu
Born Bahoo
17 January 1630
Shorkot Jhang District British India
Died 1 March 1691
Resting place Village Sultan Bahoo via Gharmaharaja Jhang District Pakistan
Ethnicity Punjabi and Persian
Education Marifat
Known for Sufism, poetry, Sarwari Qadiri Sufi order
Title Sultan-ul-Arifeen
Predecessor Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi
Successor Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah Madni Jilani
Religion Islam

Sultan Bahu (also spelled Bahoo; ca 1630–1691) was a Sufi mystic, poet and scholar active mostly in the present-day Punjab province of Pakistan. He belonged to the Sufi order known as Qadiri, and the mystic tradition he started has been known as Sarwari Qadiri.

Little is known of Bahu's life, other than a hagiography written by a descendant of his seven generations later, entitled Manaqib-i Sultani.[1] Sultan Bahu was born in Shorekot, Jhang in the current Punjab Province of Pakistan. More than one forty books on Sufism are attributed to him, mostly in Persian, and largely dealing with specialised aspects of Islam and Islamic mysticism.[2] However, it is his Punjabi poetry which had popular appeal and earned him lasting fame.[1]:14 His verses are sung in many genres of Sufi music including qawwali and kafi, and tradition has established a unique style of singing his couplets.


Sultan Bahu's lineage, like that of many famous personalities in Islam, is traced as

  1. Ali
  2. Abbas ibn Ali
  3. Ubaydullah al Madni
  4. Abul Abbas Hasan
  5. Abul Qasim Hamza
  6. Jafar ibn Hamza
  7. Ali ibn Jafar
  8. Qasim ibn Ali
  9. Muhammad at Tayyar
  10. Abu Yalla Hamza
  11. Yalla Qasim
  12. Qutb Shah
  13. Sheikh Ameer Shah
  14. Sheikh Noor Shah
  15. Muhammad Hargun
  16. Muhammad Jayoon
  17. Muhammad Baharie
  18. Muhammad Sulla
  19. Muhammad Noor
  20. Muhammad Sughra
  21. Muhammad Peera
  22. Muhammad Mogila
  23. Muhammad Mannan
  24. Muhammad Tameem
  25. Sheikh Allah Ditta
  26. Fateh Muhammad
  27. Bazid Muhammad
  28. Sultan Bahu


Sultan Bahu's education began with his mother, Mai Rasti, herself a pious woman who has her own mausoleum in Shorkot. She told him to seek spiritual guidance from some Shah Habib Gilani whose shrine is found in the village of Baghdad Sharif, near Mian Channu, to this day.

Around 1668 Sultan Bahu moved to Delhi for further training under the guidance of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi , but soon returned to Punjab where he spent the rest of his life.

Literary works[edit]

Sultan Bahu written one hundred and forty books.All books in Persian Language except Abyat-e-Bahoo which is Punjabi poetry.[3]Only Following books are available now.

  • Abyat e Bahu
  • Risala e Ruhi
  • Sultan ul Waham
  • Nur ul Huda
  • Aql e Baidar
  • Mahq ul Faqr
  • Aurang e Shahi
  • Jami ul Israr
  • Taufiq e Hidiyat
  • Kalid Tauheed
  • Ain ul Faqr
  • Israr e Qadri
  • Kaleed e Jannat
  • Muhqam ul Faqr
  • Majalis un Nabi
  • Muftah ul Arifeen
  • Hujjat ul Israr
  • Kashf ul Israar
  • Mahabat ul Israr
  • Ganj ul Israr
  • Fazl ul Liqa
  • Dewaan e Bahu

Spiritual lineage[edit]

In his writings, Sultan Bahu refers to Abdul Qadir Jilani as his spiritual master, even though Jilani died long before the birth of Sultan Bahu. However, most Sufis maintain that Abdul Qadir Jilani has a special role in the mystic world and that all orders and saints are always indebted to him directly or indirectly in some way.[4] Thus, whilst referring to Jilani's Qadiriyya tradition, Sultan Bahu has left an offshoot of his own which he named Sarwari Qadiri.

Bahu's Sarwari Qadiri tradition (or Sufi order) is similar in its overall philosophy to the Qadiri order. However, unlike many other Sufi orders, the Sarwari Qadiri tradition does not prescribe specific dress code, ascetic practices, breathing exercises, etc., and instead focuses on mental exercise, an important one being visualisation of the word الله (Allah, God) as written on own heart.

According to tradition, the lineage reaches Sultan Bahu as follows:

The tradition has been continued to this day by Sultan Bahu's successors.


Shrine of Sultan Bahu near Jhang, Pakistan.

The shrine of Sultan Bahu, located in Garh Maharaja, Punjab,[5] was originally built on his grave but has had to be moved twice when the Chenab River changed its course. It is a popular Sufi shrine, and the annual Urs festival commemorating his death is celebrated there with great fervour on the first Thursday of Jumada al-Thani month. People come from far off places to join the celebrations.[6]

Sultan Bahu also used to hold an annual Urs to commemorate the martyrs of Karbala from the 1st to the 10th day of the month of Muharram. This tradition continues to this day and every year, thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine during the first 10 days of Muharram.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sult̤ān Bāhū (1998). Death Before Dying: The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-92046-0. 
  2. ^ Syed Ahmad Saeed Hamadani. Sultan Bahu Life & Work. 
  3. ^ Sultan Hamid Ali,"Manaqib-i Sultani" Malik Chanan Din Publishers (Regd) Lahore Pakistan 1956
  4. ^ S. Padam, Piara. Dohrhe Sultan Bahu. s. n. 
  5. ^ Sadia Dehlvi. Sufism: Heart of Islam. HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 185–. ISBN 978-93-5029-448-2. 
  6. ^ Book Name: Tareekh-e-Jhang, Author:Iqbal Zuberi, Publisher: Jhang Adabi Academy, Jhang Sadar, Pakistan, First Edition, Date: 2002