Sultan Rahi

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Sultan Rahi
ﺳﻠﻄﺎﻥ ﺭﺍﮨﯽ
Muhammad Sultan Khan

(1938-06-24)24 June 1938
Died9 January 1996(1996-01-09) (aged 57)
Cause of deathMurder
  • Actor
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1956–1996
Spouse(s)Shaheen (divorce)
Naseem Sultan
Children5, including Haidar Sultan[1]
AwardsNigar Awards

Sultan Rahi (Urdu: ﺳﻠﻄﺎﻥ ﺭﺍﮨﯽ; June 24, 1938 – January 9, 1996) was a Pakistani actor, producer and screenwriter. He established himself as one of the leading and most successful actors of Pakistani and Punjabi cinema,[2] and received a reputation as Pakistan's "Clint Eastwood".[3] During a career spanning 40 years, he acted in some 703 Punjabi films and 100 Urdu films, winning around 160 awards.[4]

Rahi earned two Nigar Awards for his work in Babul (1971) and Basheera (1972).[5][6] In 1975 he portrayed Maula Jatt in Wehshi Jatt, winning his third Nigar Award. He reprised the role in its sequel Maula Jatt. Some of his other films include Sher Khan, Chan Veryam, Kaley Chore, The Godfather, Sharif Badmash and Wehshi Gujjar.[2][3]

Life and career[edit]

Rahi was born in Saharanpur, UP, in 1938[7] to an Arain family during the British Raj. His father, Subedar Major Abdul Majeed, was a retired officer from the British Indian Army.[8]

He began his film career in 1959 as a guest actor in the film Baghi. His first breakthrough came with the film Wehshi Jatt (1975). This was the unofficial prequel to Maula Jatt (1979). Maula Jatt was released on 11 February 1979, which became his most successful Pakistani film. His other works include Behram Daku (1980), Sher Khan (1981), Sala Sahib and Ghulami (1985).

Sultan Rahi appeared in key roles in over 535 films.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He had five children, of which one, Haider Sultan, is also an actor.[10]


On 9 January 1996, Rahi and his friend Ahsan, a film director, were travelling from Islamabad to Lahore on the main highway in Pakistan, Grand Trunk Road. Their vehicle got a flat tyre near Samanabad Chungi, not far from Gujranwala.[11] While they were installing a spare tyre, thieves approached the vehicle and tried to rob them. When Rahi resisted, they shot him and injured Ahsan. Rahi died as a result.[3][12][13][14]


Rahi worked in the Punjabi film industry for over four decades.[15] He was the highest paid Pakistani actor of his time.[3] He was named in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most prolific actor.[16] Director Altaf Hussain told media about his death and added that "I think such actors are only born once. He was a trendsetter – his films were copied in other countries but no one was able to perform like him."[17] Bahar Begum reacted by saying: "I remember Sultan always saying that this industry will miss him when he’s gone but at the time, I don’t think we fully understood what he meant, but he truly proved his worth, There was only one Sutlan Rahi in Lollywood and there will always be one Sultan Rahi – no one can replace him".[18] Mustafa Qureshi commented that "Our onscreen chemistry was unique in a number of ways. Our pairing was the most popular film partnership throughout Lollywood's history, It’s true, there will never be another Sultan Rahi, ever. Everything he earned was a result of sheer hard work and talent".[19] Film director Pervaiz Rana added: "Even though we are still making Punjabi films and many new heroes have entered and left the industry, I don’t think the golden era of Sultan Rahi will ever come back. His dialogues are etched in our hearts and memories, It’s the country’s love for Sultan that continues to reflect in his pictures and posters being plastered in shops and on buses."[19]

Awards and honours[edit]

Nigar Awards




Year Film Language Director Source
1956 Baghi Urdu Ashfaq Malik
1956 Wehshi Urdu Munawar H. Qasim
1956 Hatim Urdu Daud Chand
1957 Yakkay Wali Punjabi M.J. Rana
1957 Palkan Punjabi Amin Malik
1957 Murad Urdu Daud Chand
1957 Sardar Urdu M.S. Daar
1957 Zulfan Urdu Agha Hussaini
1958 Zehr-e-Ishq Urdu Masood Parvez
1958 Rukhsana Urdu Fazal Deen
1958 Darbar Urdu Riaz Ahmad
1958 Mumtaz Urdu Mohammad Ali
1958 Pehla Qadam Urdu A. G. Thawni
1958 Akhri Dao Urdu A.K. Chodhary
1958 Aadmi Urdu Luqman
1958 Jagga Punjabi Saqlain Rizvi
1959 Yaar Beli Punjabi Khalil Qaisar
1959 16 Aanay Urdu Agha Hussaini
1959 Sahara Urdu A. Rauf
1959 Bodi Shah Punjabi S.M. Ahmad, Qalandar
1959 Raaz Urdu Humayun Mirza
1959 Nagin Urdu Khalil Qaisar
1959 Lalkar Urdu T.H. Riaz
1959 Shera Punjabi M.J. Rana
1959 Himmat Urdu Amin Malik


Year Film Language Director Source
1960 Yeh Dunya Urdu Nazir Sufi
1960 Watan Urdu Anwar Kamal Pasha
1960 Bhabhi Urdu Syed Atta Ullah Shah Hashmi
1960 Ayaz Urdu Luqman
1960 Khaibar Mail Urdu Agha Hussaini
1960 Dil-e-Nadan Urdu Najam Naqvi
1960 Daku ki Larki Urdu Saleem Ahmad
1960 Saheli Urdu S.M. Yousuf
1961 Farishta Urdu Luqman
1961 Habu Urdu Rahim Gul
1962 Aulad Urdu S.M. Yousuf
1963 Baji As Extra Urdu S. Suleman
1965 Heer Sial Punjabi Jafar Bukhari
1965 Devdas Urdu
1967 Imam Din Gohavia Punjabi M. Aslam
1967 Insaniyat Urdu Aslam Dar
1969 Diya Aur Toofan Urdu Rangeela


Year Film Language Director Source
1970 Rangeela Urdu Rangeela
1973 Khushia Punjabi
1973 Ik Madari Punjabi Sagheer Ahmad
1973 Banarsi Thug Punjabi Iqbal Kashmiri
1975 Sharif Badmash Punjabi Iqbal Kashmiri
1975 Sheeda Pastol Punjabi
1975 Wehshi Jatt Punjabi Hassan Askari
1976 Chitra Tay Shera Punjabi Iqbal Kashmiri
1976 Licence Punjabi Aslam Irani
1977 Sadqay Teri Mout Tun Punjabi Inayat Hussain Bhatti
1978 Ranga Daku Punjabi Arshad Mirza
1979 Maula Jatt Punjabi Younis Malik
1979 Hathiar Punjabi M. Akram
1979 Permit Punjabi Imtiaz Qureshi
1979 Wehshi Gujjar Punjabi Anwar Kamal Pasha
1979 General Bakht Khan Urdu Sarshar Akhtar Malik


Year Film Language Director Source
1980 Behram Daku Punjabi Rauf Abbasi
1981 Khan-e-Azam Punjabi Younis Malik
1981 Anokha Daaj Punjabi Aslam Dar
1981 Athra Puttar Punjabi Altaf Hussain
1981 Jatt in London Punjabi Younis Malik
1981 Chan Veryam Punjabi Jahangir Qaisar
1981 Sher Khan Punjabi Younis Malik
1981 Chan Suraj Punjabi Rauf Abbasi
1981 Muftbar Punjabi Hassan Askari
1981 Jeedar Punjabi Kaifee
1982 Wehshi Daku Punjabi Ali Tahir
1982 Ik Doli Punjabi M. Akram
1982 Maidan Punjabi Masood Butt
1982 Charda Suraj Punjabi Basir Rana
1982 Lalay Di Jan Punjabi Naveed Anwar
1983 Jatt Tay Dogar Punjabi Imtiaz Qureshi
1983 Des Pardes Punjabi Iftikhar Khan
1983 Moti Dogar Punjabi Jahangir Qisar
1983 Wadda Khan Punjabi Diljeet Mirza
1983 Rustam Tey Khan Punjabi Altaf Hussain
1983 Dara Baloch Punjabi Masood Butt
1983 Sher Mama Punjabi Imtiaz Quresh
1983 Jagga Tay Shera Punjabi Imtiaz Quresh
1984 Kalia Punjabi Waheed Dar
1984 Sholay Punjabi Younis Malik
1984 Sajawal Daku Punjabi Agha Hussaini
1984 Pukar Punjabi Aizaz Saeed
1985 Angara Punjabi M. Akram
1985 Khuddar Punjabi M. Akram
1985 Ghulami Punjabi Hasnain
1985 Shah Behram Punjabi Kaifee
1986 Baghi Sipahi Punjabi Fiaz Sheikh
1986 Qaidi Punjabi Masood Butt
1986 Yeh Adam Punjabi Irshad Sajid
1986 Malanga Punjabi Raseed Dogar
1986 Mela Punjabi Hassan Aksri
1987 Moti Sher Punjabi Imtiaz Qureshi
1987 Gernail Singh Punjabi Younis Malik
1987 Silsila Punjabi Aslam Dar
1988 Roti Punjabi Idress Khan
1989 Sarfarosh Punjabi Iqbal Kashmiri
1989 Kalka Punjabi Shahid Rana


Year Film Language Director Source
1990 Insaniyat Kay Dushman Punjabi/Urdu Hassnain
1990 Sarmaya Punjabi Idress Khan
1990 Sher Dil Punjabi Hasan Askri
1991 Kalay Chor Punjabi/Urdu Nazrul Islam
1991 Gandasa Punjabi Hasan Askri
1991 Watan Kay Rakhwalay Punjabi/Urdu Hassnain
1991 Cobra Punjabi/Urdu Shahid Rana
1991 Riaz Gujjar Punjabi Hassan Askari
1992 Daku Raaj Punjabi Idrees Khan
1992 Majhu Punjabi Masood Butt
1993 Zamana Punjabi/Urdu Javed Fazil
1993 Zabata Punjabi/Urdu Jahangir Qaisar
1993 Akri Shehzada Punjabi Mohammad Aslam Malik
1994 Gujjar Badshah Punjabi Masood Butt
1994 Sher Punjab Da Punjabi Shahid Rana
1994 Zameen Aasman Punjabi/Urdu Hasnain
1994 Saranga Punjabi Masood Asghar
1994 International Luteray Urdu/Punjabi Iqbal Kashmiri
1994 Pajero Group Punjabi/Urdu Idrees Khan
1994 Ghunda Raj Punjabi/Urdu Saeed Rana
1994 Danda Peer Punjabi -
1995 Madam Rani Punjabi/Urdu Masood Butt
1995 Jungle Ka Qanoon Punjabi/Urdu Masood Butt
1996 Sakhi Badshah Punjabi  


Zāhid ʻAkāsī, Sult̤ān Rāhī : Pākistānī filmon̲ kā sult̤ān, Lahore : Jumhuri Publications, 2019 (reprint of the 2010 edition), 169 p. Biography.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pakistan Artists Database Entry for Haidar Sultan". Pakistan Film Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2020
  2. ^ a b Singh, Pashaura; Fenech, Louis E. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies. Oxford University Press. pp. 488–. ISBN 9780199699308.
  3. ^ a b c d Abdul Kareem (8 January 2016). "January 9, 1996: Pakistani actor Sultan Rahi shot dead". Gulf News. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  4. ^ M. Saeed Awan (26 October 2014), "The dark side of Lollywood", Dawn News. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b Sultan Rahi's Nigar Award (1971) on website Retrieved 6 June 2019
  6. ^ a b Sultan Rahi's Nigar Award (1972) on Retrieved 6 June 2019
  7. ^ Mushtaq Gazdar, Pakistan Cinema, 1947-1997, Oxford University Press (1997), p. 132
  8. ^ "Honouring Sultan Rahi, the 'Clint Eastwood' of Lollywood". 9 January 2021. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  9. ^ Malik, Iftikhar Haider (2006). Culture and Customs of Pakistan. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 182–. ISBN 9780313331268.
  10. ^ "PTV to Commence Long Plays Again, First Play Main Woh Aur Main Underway!" (2 November 2018), HipInPakistan. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  11. ^ "When 'Maula Jutt' was killed; Death anniversary of Sultan Rahi – Dunya News".
  12. ^ "Remembering Sultan Rahi on his 24th death anniversary". 9 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Death Anniversary of Sultan Rahi Observed".
  14. ^ "The mysterious murder of Sultan Rahi and other Lollywood tragedies". 9 January 2017.
  15. ^ "The heroes who shaped Pakistan's film industry".
  16. ^ "22nd death anniversary of Sultan Rahi observed". 9 January 2018.
  17. ^ "The 'Sultan' of Lollywood: Rahi remembered on death anniversary". 9 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Sultan Rahi being remembered on his 22nd death anniversary". 9 January 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Lollywood still trying to recover from Sultan Rahi's loss". 10 January 2017.
  20. ^ "Nigar Awards (1972 - 1986)". The Hot Spot Online website. 5 January 2003. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2020.

External links[edit]