Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Imam Husain’s Great Devotee – Lal Shahbaz Qalandar

 Imam Husain’s Great Devotee – Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
By Dr.Mazhar Naqvi

“Murtaza Sheir e Yazdan Hast Ali 
Shah Ali Walayat Aan Hast Ali 
Hazrat Hassan Hussain Jan Hast Ali 
Har Do Alam Key Namoneshan Hast Ali 
Haideriam” ( Persian)
(Ali Murtaza Sher- e- Yazdan Hain 
Un Ke Welayat Bohot Buland Hay
Hazrat Hassan Hazrat Hussain Mula Ali Kay Dil Kay Tukray Hain
Yeh Dono Shehzaday Apnay Baba Kay Wajood o Baqa Ke Alamat Hain
Main Haideri Hun) Urdu Translation

“Imam ALi is Sher- e- Yazdan
His Walayat is very higher
Imam Hussain And Imam Hassan are part of the heart of Imam ALI
these two princes are symbols of Imam Ali
I am Haideri” (English Translation)

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, the composer of above praise of Maula Ali and his sons Imam Hasan and Imam Husain, is revered as a prominent Sufi philosopher and poet of Indian sub-continent but his great love for Imam Husain is not highlighted the way it should be. As a result, a large section of ‘Ashiqu-E-Husain’ (lovers of Imam Husain) does not pay the kind of respect he deserves as a true follower of Ahle-Bait –E-Athar. It however does not amount to any kind of deliberate apathy towards Lal Shahbaz Qalandar but it surely indicates the need for portraying him not only as a Sufi of Qalandaria or  Suhrawardi order but also as a slave of Imam Husain who dedicated his entire life to the propagation of  Ahle-Bait’s message in a territory where Islam was being spread not through love but by bloodshed.        
He was born to Syed Ibrahim Kabir-Ud-Deen, a direct descendant of Imam Jafar Sadiq and  a caretaker of Imam Husain’s shrine at Karbala. He earned the title of ‘Mujab’ ( One who is answered) when he was able to talk to Maula Husain and started getting answers to his queries.  One day he saw Imam Husain in a dream and he told Syed Ibrahim that he was his true devotee and has looked after his shrine very passionately and in an effective manner. The  Imam also instructed Mujab to get married and promised him to gift him a  “Baaz” (Falcon) that was given to his  Nana( Grandfather Prophet Mohammad )on the occasion of  “Meraj” (the ascension of Prophet Mohammad) .

Even though he was aged 75, Mujab followed the instruction and got married to a princess and in due course Lal Shahbaz Qalandar born out of  this wedlock in 1177.. He was named as Syed Shah Hussain  because of his father’s attachment to the King of Martyrs Imam Hussain.

The child showed from his infancy, signs of a deep spiritual nature. At a very young age, he is believed to have possessed divine and miraculous powers and learnt Quran by heart by the age of seven. He received his early education from his mother and then he went to Medina from where he proceeded to Karbala. He became a caretaker of Imam’s shrine like his father and began taking its care as the sole mission of his life.

He too had the honor of the Ziarat of Imam Husain in a dream but he received a different instruction from the king of martyrs who asked him to go to Hindustan (Indo-Pak Subcontinent). After receiving orders, he left Karbala and visited Mashhad(Iran).He stayed there at the shrine of Imam Raza  and then he entered Hindustan through Makran and reached Karachi. He visited and stayed at  the mausoleum of Syed Sadr-ud-din, Sukhar (Sindh) and from then reached  Uch sharif in Bahawalpur( Now in Pakistan). A contemporary of Rumi, he lived during the reign of Ghaznavid and  Ghoris  in South Asia. His presence is proved in Sindh in 1196 because of his meeting with Pir Haji Ismail Panhwar of Paat. After Uch, he left for Multan where mostly the believers of a faith called Karamatia resided. He apprised these people about Prophet Muhammad and Ahle-Bait. The King of Multan became a follower of holy Prophet and his family as a result of Lal Shah Baz Qalandar’s teachings. After preaching in different parts of Hindustan, the Sufi visited  Ajmer Sharif , Kashmir, Pothohar , Peshawar , Dera Ismail khan , Mianwali , Jhang , Dera Ghazi Khan , Sibbi , Jacobabad and Dadu towns before arriving at  Sehwan. Where ever he went he preached teachings of Prophet Muhammad and Ahle-Bait. He also taught people  how to mourn for Imam Hussain (A.S.) and how he was martyred at Karbala in the most trying conditions.. Most of his preaching confined to the tragic loss of Prophet’s Grandson and Imam Ali’ s Son.  He also repeatedly told the people as to how so called Muslims of the time turned against the actual Islamic authority of Imam Husain. He urged people to  love Prophet Muhammad  and his family if they wished to be a true believer and appease Allah. He told people that mourning on Ahle-Bait was a prerequisite for attaining Marzi-E-Ilahi as soon as one leaves prophet and his family one is bound to go on a wrong path.

At Sehwan, he initially stayed out of city and had two disciples known as  Boodla Bahaar and Sachal Sarmast. Both were appointed by their patron to preach inside the city and say “Ali Haq” (Imam-Ali is the ultimate Truth).His most of his teachings as is evident from his poetry also emphasized on following Imam Ali  and mourning for his son Imam Husain. In Sehwan, he established a Khankah,, taught in the Fuqhai Islam Madarsa and authored his  treatises namely  Mizan-us-Surf, Kism-e-Doyum, Aqd and Zubdah. Lal Shahbaz lived a celibate life and breathed his last in  1274 at the ripe age of 97. He is called Lal (red) due to his red robe. Shahbaz denotes a noble and divine spirit and Qalandar for his association with the order. His mysticism attracted people from all religions and he preached brotherhood among followers of different faiths and developed an inter-faith understanding among a vast number of people. His last resting place is also in Sehwan (Pakistan) and thousands of devotees visit his shrine every year on the anniversary of his death. His shrine dazzles the eye with its Sindh Kashi tiles, mirror work and gold-plated door. He is equally known and revered in India on account of his poetry that has been sung by famous   singers.(Reference available on Request)