Sultan Pir Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Shah was born on Monday, 14th of Dhul al-Hijjah, 1242 AH (July 19th 1827 AD) in evening in Chotti, district Dera Ghazi Khan, Pakistan. His father, Pir Fazal Shah was the disciple of Hazrat Khawaja Suleman Taunsvi who was a great Saint of the Chishti order and through Divine inspiration told of the birth of Pir Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Shah and of his highest rank in these words, “Congratulations! Your son would be a perfect Saint.”
Seeing the Holy Prophet in dream
He was eight when his father died and twenty when his mother passed away. He had completed his religious education by the age of eighteen. As he gained religious knowledge, his soul became more and more restless. However, one day he was sleeping under a tree when he saw the Holy Prophet in his dream. Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and Sultan Bahoo were also there. The Holy Prophet said to him, “You have been chosen for entrusting the Trust of Faqr, go to Ahmadpur East where Sayyid Abdullah Shah Jilani is waiting for you.” On waking up he at once set on his journey towards Ahmadpur East as per given orders.
Beloved and lover
He reached Ahmadpur East on Tuesday, 8th Shawal, 1267 AH (5th August 1851 AD). A man standing at the corner of a street called him by his name. Surprisingly, Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah looked at him. The man said, “Abdullah Shah has called you.” He reached a mansion with that man and saw a Saint with an enlightened countenance sitting on a bed.
As soon as Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah saw Pir Abdullah Shah, his deep rooted restlessness and anxiety vanished and his heart witnessed that this was the face in whose search he had been wandering about. He went close to him, warmly kissed his feet and sat on the floor with great respect. Abdullah Shah asked him about his condition. Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah told everything and helplessly started crying at his feet. He embraced him and said, “You take some rest today, we will talk tomorrow.” This was the first meeting of the lover and the beloved. Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah reached those heights of love (Ishq) where he became beloved from the lover and the difference of you and I ended.
Quotes on Divine love
The origin of universe is the eternal Divine love and the creation of man is for its sake.
- The passion of Divine love must arouse in the inward of the seeker of Allah for the Divine vision. In fact, the relation of the soul and Allah is that of the ardent Divine love. Without it, neither the soul is awakened nor, can it find the vision of Allah.
- The absolute eternal love for Allah is the only confirmation of success in His court.
- Only the Divine love can set to the internal spiritual journey towards Allah.
- The ardent Divine love leads to the observation of Divinity and possesses the Essence of true mystic knowledge, but intellect has access to the superficial knowledge only.
عشق آں شعلہ است کہ چوں بر افروخت
ہر چہ جز معشوق باقی جملہ سوخت
Explanation: Love is that flame when enflamed burns everything except the beloved.
Soul and mind found peace as soon as Sultan-ul-Sabireen reached the court of his spiritual guide and wished to serve him eternally. Abdul Ghafoor Shah was of the age when one wishes to earn money and buy comforts of life for himself. He found such tranquillity in his guide that he even did not bother to look back at his home. He spent eight years, eleven months and twenty-one days in the company of Abdullah Shah and served him wholeheartedly.
Next day, when he went in the service of Pir Abdullah Shah, he assigned him the task to level the mud of the well in the mansion. While levelling the mud, Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah’s hands started bleeding. Despite the wounds, he kept on working. After sometime Pir Abdullah Shah called him, saw his hands and said, “Your hands are so soft and delicate. Why have you hurt them so much?” He replied, “Respected! I have set out to search Allah, I do not care even if my hands are cut in this journey.”
Without a doubt, he annihilated in his spiritual guide. The annihilation was of that extent that he found none more beautiful than his guide. In addition to this, Abdul Ghafoor Shah said, “Throughout my life I have not seen anyone as beautiful and elegant as my beloved Murshid.”
Death of spiritual guide
The health of his Murshid, Sayyid Mohammad Abdullah Shah, started deteriorating six months before death. One day when Sayyid Mohammad Abdullah Shah became very sick, Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah took permission from him and went to the shrine of Sultan Bahoo to make request for the improvement of his health. He had just started praying at the shrine when someone greeted him from back. While replying he looked back and saw his Murshid Sayyid Mohammad Abdullah Shah standing behind him.
His Murshid put his right hand on the sacred grave of Sultan Bahoo and embraced Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah with his left arm. He felt as if one ocean of Divine light came out of the shrine and another ocean came from the inward of his Murshid and both flooded his heart. In simple words we can say that the Divine Trust and the treasure of Faqr were transferred to Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah.
He felt as if he entered a state of trance due to the intensity of the moment. When he regained consciousness, he asked about his Murshid from the people around but everyone said that they have not seen him. He became confused and worried so he left for Ahmadpur East immediately but when he reached back his Murshid had died and the time of his death was exactly the same when he had seen him at the shrine of Sultan Bahoo.
Restlessness after death of spiritual guide
Sign of a true lover is that he always desires vision of the beloved. His peace lies in proximity and serving the perfect spiritual guide. The death of his beloved Murshid made Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah almost insane. He wandered in the jungles bare footed and remained hungry unless found something to eat. He stayed in this state of helpless insanity for almost a year.
One day, in a state of perplexity he was drawing lines on ground with a wooden stick, suddenly he felt a stroke of light enlightened his body and his Murshid appeared in him inwardly and said, “Where are you searching for me? I am right inside your soul.” Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah annihilated in the sacred self of Sayyid Mohammad Abdullah Shah, hence, the duality within himself ended. What is the peak of love? The annihilation of lover in the beloved. Sultan-ul-Sabireen due to intense love reached the station of:
اَنْتَ اَنَا وَ اَنَا اَنْتَ
Meaning: I am you and you are me.
He found his spiritual guide within himself therefore restlessness ended.
Divine secrets revealed
Lovers are strange. They do not say anything other than the beloved and so was the case of Sultan-ul-Sabireen. He wrote numerous poetry in honour of his spiritual guide. Extracts are:
مجھے بھاتے ہیں یا حضرت اذکار تیرے
میرا ورد وظیفہ ہیں وہ خوش اسرار تیرے
Explanation: O perfect spiritual guide! Your Divine words enlighten my inward and make me blissful and the Divine secrets revealed upon me by you have become my recitals.
I am only yours O spiritual guide
He is engrossed in the company of his spiritual guide in such a way that he uttered:
کسی سے کچھ غرض نہیں ہم ہیں سرکار تیرے
اگر زاہد و عابد ہیں دِگر گناہ گار تیرے
Explanation: I have nothing to do with anyone else, I am only yours O my Murshid. Moreover, you not only bless the ascetics and pious ones but also the sinful.
Beholding perfect spiritual guide
Likewise it has said by Sultan Bahoo:
مرشد دا دیدار ہے باھُوؒ، مینوں لکھ کروڑاں حجاں ھُو
Explanation: To behold spiritual guide is like performing hajj multiple times.
Similarly, Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah sees the Divine and Mohammadan light in his spiritual guide which gave him peace. He writes about the link of his guide with Prophet Mohammad and Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani:
جو حضرت مصطفیؐ کے ہیں تمام اطوار تیرے
جو حضرت غوث الاعظمؓ کے ہیں سبھ آثار تیرے
نظارا خاص وجہہ اللہ وچ دیدار تیرے
جو اکبر حج ہوتا ہے مجھے دربار تیرے
Explanation: I find all the morals and attributes of Prophet Mohammad manifested in your sacred self and all the signs of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani in you. For me, seeing you means having the privilege of seeing the Divine Face. Particular, visiting your holy court is the greatest pilgrimage for me.
Divine light is everywhere
Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah felt that Divine light is sprouting from his spiritual guide Abdullah Shah’s sacred being and wherever he goes it is also the same:
چشمہ کُھلیا نور حقانی
شاہ عبداللہؒ فیض رسانی
احمدپور وچ نور برسدا
جتھے شاہ عبداللہؒ وسدا
واقف لوح قلم تے مسدا
Explanation: The spiritual beneficence of Sayyid Mohammad Abdullah Shah is just like a flowing spring of light which is benefitting everything on its way. Ahmadpur, where Shah Abdullah lives, is a blessed city which is showered with torrents of Divine light. Shah Abdullah has reached the honourable status of Oneness with Allah after crossing the stations of annihilation in Allah and being immortal with Him. Thus, he has acquired the Divine Knowledge of totality. He knows whatever is written in the Guarded Tablet with the Divine Pen and the Divine Ink.
He further adds:
نور اللہ کر آیا تجلّٰی جوڑ شکل شاھانی
پیر عبداللہؒ شاہ گُل کھِڑیا باغوں شاہ جیلانیؓ
Explanation: Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah is admiring the beauty of his spiritual guide Pir Syed Abdullah Shah Madni Jilani. Importantly, he says that the light of self disclosure of Allah has manifested in the sacred being of Pir Abdullah Shah who is a precious gem of the family of Ghaus-ul-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani.
Beauty of his perfect spiritual guide
He says of the beauty of his guide in these words:
حسن کمال خوابیدہ چہرہ ویکھ سیرت انسانی
او لُٹ پون مہتاب صحی کر جلوہ شاہ نورانی
تاب کنوں بے تاب کرے اُو صورت یوسف ثانی
Explanation: Your gracious self reflects all these blessings and favours. Ahmadpur is greatly honoured to have your presence. The disciples and devotees are enchanted by your majestic beauty which is more luminous and attractive than the beauty of the moon. Definitely, they are ready to sacrifice themselves on your sacred self which is the manifestation of all the holy attributes of the Divine Universal Man. Your unprecedented beauty resembles that of Prophet Joseph which excites the keenness of seekers of Allah.
Abdul Ghafoor Shah is perfect
After enveloping in the love of spiritual guide he beautifully says:
شاہِ خوباں محبوباں دا ہادی ہے لاثانی
شمس قمر تے لیل قدر سبھ ویکھ رہن حیرانی
عارف کامل خاص مکمل صاحب عین عیانی
سَے مشتاق جمال اللہ تے جان کرن قربانی
Explanation: Pir Abdul Ghafoor Shah is admiring the Divine beauty of his Murshid Pir Syed Abdullah Shah Madni Jilani. He says that the light of self disclosure of Allah has manifested in the sacred being of Pir Abdullah Shah who is a precious gem of the family of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. He is the king of Divine beauty and is an incomparable guide of the true lovers on the way to Allah’s Closeness. Indeed, the sun, the moon, the stars and all the creatures are mesmerized by his dazzling beauty. Also, he is the most accomplished knower of Allah and the complete manifestation of all the attributes and the Essence of Allah and the beauty of Allah which reflects perfectly from him has made countless Lovers of Allah fond of him, so much so that they are ready to sacrifice their lives upon his Divine beauty.
Divine beauty of spiritual guide
He says of his love for spiritual guide:
خوبی نرگس ناز نظر دی
نیتی طاقت ہوش صبر دی
عبدل آہی لیل قدر دی
واہ روشن او سِرّ سبحانی
شاہ عبداللہؒ فیض رسانی
Explanation: Not only the Divine beauty radiating from the sacred face and infinitely attractive eyes of my spiritual guide Sayyid Abdullah Shah has taken my breath away but also It has made me so impatient that I cannot wait to sacrifice myself on my beloved Murshid and annihilate in his being. Although, I intend to be patient and keep myself poised but now it has become impossible for me. That is why my days and nights are spent in sobbing and moaning. However, due to the benevolence of my Murshid Syed Abdullah Shah my pain and cries do not go in vain. Rather, this agony and desperation open up spiritual portals for me and the Divine Secrets are revealed upon me.
In another verse he says:
بھاہیں حسن تیرے دیاں بَلیاں ہوک لگی تن کانی
عشق چراغ بلیا وچ دل دے شوق گھتی گل گانی
حُب دیدار تیرے دی غالب کیتی سِک روحانی
تھی راہی گھر چھوڑ چلیم، توں واگ چھِکی جسمانی
پیر عبداللہؒ شاہ معظم آل رسولؐ نشانی
Explanation: Clearly, the flame of your majestic beauty has lit the fire of your love (Ishq) in my heart and now I am too fragile to bear your separation now. Moreover, the intense desire of seeing you and remaining close to you eternally is consuming my being and this desire has overpowered my soul and is attracting me towards you. Importantly, leaving the world, I have come to you and want to remain in your service forever.
Benevolence of spiritual guide
He says of benevolence of his spiritual guide in these words:
شفقت نال سمہالین ہر دم گنج دیوین ارزانی
ظاہر باطن کرو توجہ نال کرم احسانی
نال نظر ارشاد کرین دس اسمِ اعظم سبحانی
Explanation: Definitely, he takes great care of the seekers during their spiritual journey and saves them from all the dangers of the way. Furthermore, he also blesses them with precious advices and pearls of the Divine secrets and with his kind attention, he not only improves the outward self and behaviours of the seekers but also elevates them spiritually and inwardly. As well as his Divine sight reveals the reality of Ism-e-Allah Zaat upon the seekers.
Sources of Mystic poetry
To read mystic poetry of Sarwari Qadri Saints in Urdu click on the link:
You can read online, download or even can purchase the book at the most reasonable price from the aforementioned website.
Moreover, the same mystic poetry is available in audio and video form on the following websites of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr:
Same can be watched and listened on youtube, dailymotion and soundcloud.
This blog is English translation of an Urdu article of the magazine ‘Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore’ for the month of October, 2019. The title of the Urdu article is:
سلطان الصابرین کا عشقِ مرشد اور عارفانہ کلام
Sultan ul Sabireen ka Ishq e Murshid aur Arifana Kalam
Originally penned by Faiza Saeed Sarwari Qadri is presently in English by Sahibzadi Muneeza Najib Sarwari Qadri exclusively for the website. Do not forget to visit the original article to which you only have to click the link
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