Sultan ul Tarikeen Sultan Sayyid Mohammad Abdullah Shah Madni Jilani
Sultan ul Tarikeen Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah is the 26th Shaikh of the Sarwari Qadri order. He is the spiritual guide of this order after Sultan Bahoo. He went to India from Madina on the order of Prophet Mohammad and got the Trust of Faqr from Sultan Bahoo, who then ordered him to settle in Ahmadpur East, Bahawalpur. Here thousands of seekers of Allah got beneficence from him. Since his death in 1860 AD, his sacred shrine has been a splendid source of spiritual benevolence for all.
Sultan ul Tarikeen was born on Friday night of 29th Ramadan, 1186 H (24th December, 1772) in Madina.
Genealogy of Sultan ul Tarikeen from Paternal Side
His ancestry reaches Ali ibn Abi Talib through Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and it is as follows:
- Sayed Abdullah Shah son of Abdul Raheem son of Abdul Aziz son of Sayed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi son of Abdul Qadir son of Sharfuddin son of Ahmed son of Alauddin Sani son of Shahabuddin Sani son of Sharfuddin Qasim son of Mohiyuddin Yahya son of Badruddin Husayn son of Alauddin son of Shamsuddin son of Saifuddin Yahya son of Zaheeruddin Masood son of Abi Nasr Mohammad son of Abu Saleh Nasr son of Shaikh Sayyid Abdul Razzaq Jilani son of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani.
Genealogy Sultan ul Tarikeen from Maternal Side
Again from maternal side, his ancestry reaches Ali ibn Abi Talib but through Imam Sayyid Mohammad Taqi. Given that his genealogical chain is as follows:
- Sayyida Momina daughter of Mohammad Zakiuddin son of Abdullah son of Mohammad Mubeen son of Ameer Akhwand son of Imamuddin son of Haider son of Mohammad son of Feroz son of Qutbuddin son of Imamuddin son of Fakharuddin son of Kamaluddin son of Badruddin son of Tajuddin son of Yahya son of Abdul Aziz son of Ibrahim son of Mehmood son of Zaid Shehwar son of Abdullah Zarbakhsh son of Yaqoob son of Ahmed son of Mohammad Aarij son of Ahmed son of Mohammad Musa al-Muberakah son of Imam Sayyid Mohammad Taqi son of Imam Sayyid Ali Raza son of Imam Musa Kazim son of Imam Jafar Sadiq son of Muhammad al-Baqir son of Zayn al- Abidin son of Husayn ibn Ali son of Ali ibn Abi Talib
Who was spiritual guide of Sultan Bahoo
It must be remembered that Sayyid Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi, the spiritual guide of Sultan Bahoo was the great grandfather of Sultan ul Tarikeen. First Sultan ul Tarikeen grandfather Sayyid Abdul Aziz migrated from Delhi to Baghdad in 1107 H (1696 AD). Then he went to Madina from Baghdad in 1109 H (1698 AD) and settled there permanently.
Childhood of Sultan ul Tarikeen
Since birth Sultan ul Tarikeen countenance was divinely luminous. Whoever beheld him got mesmerized. Moreover he had been inclined towards devotions since childhood. Therefore he was least interested in the worldly matters. Only in worships he found peace. Till the age of twelve he had learnt the Holy Quran by heart. Often his maternal grandfather Sayyid Mohammad Zakiuddin took him along to the tomb of the Prophet in Madina. At the tomb, his soul, which perpetually remained restless due to the Divine love, found spiritual bliss but it would return to the state before as soon as he would leave the tomb. Now this restlessness of his soul made him enraptured and it would be to such great heights that he ran engrossed in Divine love for miles until his feet bled.
Search for Divine Truth
After the death of Sultan ul Tarikeen mother, his uncle Syed Mohammad Yaqoob completely took control over the family business. Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah was already least interested in the material world so he did not bother to regain the possession of his rightful business back from his uncle. His fretfulness and anxiety were so overwhelming that he had lost interest in life. When his state of restlessness and unease would intensify, he would immediately find peace in prayers and recitation of the Quran but as soon as he paused, the same state occupied him again. This state of spiritual frenzy increased day by day and seemed like his tranquility was elsewhere. He felt as if the source of peace for him was some unknown Entity in whose search he wandered around in the scorching heat of sun.
Moreover, he used to quest on foot all the way from Madina to Makkah, seclude himself at Kaaba and circumambulate around it madly. He would cling to the wall of Kaaba, cry bitterly and request Allah for help. Sometimes he isolated himself in caves of Hira and Thaur and stayed there for weeks eating nothing but grass and herbs. When he reached an extreme awful state, Allah would send someone to feed him. Nine years went by in this plight.
Sultan ul Trikeen met Khidr
Once in the month of Shaban standing near Jannat al-Baqi, he was watching the tomb of Prophet Mohammad out of love and affection. A person approached him from his back, patted his right shoulder and said; “How are you Abdullah?”
Sultan ul Tarikeen surprisingly looked at him and inquired: “Who are you?”
The man replied: “I am Khidr! I direct people to the right path”.
Sultan ul Tarikeen: “Which way are you going to direct me?”
Khidr replied: “Seek your heritage from your maternal grandfather.”
In surprise Sultan ul Tarikeen replied, “My grandfather has died and the heritage from him and my father is in possession of my uncle and I do not want it back.”
Khidr pointed towards the tomb of Prophet Mohammad and said: “I am talking about your grandfather, Prophet Mohammad and his heritage of Faqr.” He further added; “Go sit obediently in the court of your grandfather and do not come out of the Prophet’s tomb until he bestows you with his heritage of Faqr. Hold on to this state even if death accompanies you in the process.” Khidr vanished after that.
Sultan ul Tarikeen Stay at Tomb of Prophet Mohammad
On Sunday, 27th Shaban 1226 H (15th December 1811 AD), at the age of forty, Syed Abdullah Shah secluded himself at the tomb of Prophet Mohammad with the intention of seeking the heritage of Faqr and started serving there. He stayed isolated from people, kept working quietly and absorbed in prayers and services of the sacred tomb and only requested for Faqr. This was the only place where he found peace for his restless self.
Dream after 6 Years
After six years of service, he was blessed with the delightful vision of Prophet Mohammad in his dream who asked him, “What do you want in reward to your services”. Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah replied, “O’ Master! You know better that this slave of yours wants nothing but Faqr”. Prophet Mohammad replied, “In order to get Faqr, you need to go to Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo in India.”
Sultan ul Tarikeen was very surprised and worried to think that why Prophet Mohammad had referred him to Sultan Bahoo while he himself is the origin of righteousness and Divine guidance. Hence, he continued his routine services at the tomb. After another six years Prophet Mohammad again came to his dream and asked the same question, “What do you want in reward to your services?”
Sultan ul Tarikeen again gave the same answer: “O’ Lord! You know this slave wants Faqr”. Prophet Mohammad replied, “You can get Faqr only from Sultan Bahoo”. This time Syed Abdullah Shah further stated, “O’ Prophet! I am totally unaware of the language, lifestyle and cultural norms of that region”. Prophet Mohammad replied, “I give you in guardianship of my beloved Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. He is assigned to spiritually train you and help you reach there.” When Syed Abdullah Shah woke up he followed the order. Hence, after twelve years of stay, he finally stepped out of the tomb, on Monday 23rd Ramadan 1238 H (2nd June 1823 AD).
Spiritual Journey of Sultan ul Tarikeen
On waking up, he immediately set for the shrine of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani in Baghdad. Under his guidance, Sultan ul Tarikeen visited the shrines of all the spiritual leaders of Sarwari Qadri order according to their sequence in the chain, got their beneficence and eventually reached the shrine of Sultan Bahoo in Jhang, India (now Pakistan) in 1241 H (1825 AD).
Sultan Bahoo esoterically transferred him the Divine Trust and order of Faqr. Henceforth Sultan ul Tarikeen stayed at the shrine of Sultan Bahoo. During that period Sultan Bahoo trained him spiritually. After six months, he ordered him to settle in Ahmadpur East and guide the seekers of Allah on the path of Faqr. Hence Sultan ul Tarikeen obeyed the order and spent the rest of his life in Ahmadpur East. Moreover there a large number of people got beneficence from him. Also included among his devotees was the Nawab of Bahawalpur state, Nawab Bahawal Khan III.
Transference of the Divine Trust of Faqr
Sultan Bahoo transferred the Divine Trust of Faqr to Sultan ul Tarikeen in that meeting. Hence, almost after one hundred and thirty-nine years the process of the transference of Divine Trust got resumed from where it had discontinued. Sultan Bahoo spiritually trained him for six months and then ordered him to go to Shorkot to get married. He also told him to move to Ahmadpur East, Bahawalpur (Pakistan) afterwards and keep himself hidden. Seekers of Allah would be guided towards him to whom he has to bless with the (invocation and contemplation of) Ism-e-Allah Zaat.
As per order, Sultan ul Tarikeen went to Shorkot, got married and then moved to Ahmadpur East.
The title of Sayyid Abdullah Shah is Sultan-ul-Tarikeen. In fact the Prophet himself conferred it in his court. Moreover Sultan-ul-Tarikeen literally means the ‘Sultan of renouncers’. Now he was given this title because he is among those few Saints about whom Allah says in the Qudsi Hadith:
“There are some of My friends who remain concealed beneath My robe. Nobody knows them except Me.”
Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and Sultan Bahoo spiritually address him as Shah Sahib. Which is why he is famous with this title as well.
Markedly ‘Sultan’ is part of his name which denotes association with the spiritual order of Sultan Bahoo.
Jilani and Madni
While ‘Jilani’ depicts his genealogy and ‘Madni’ marks his birth in Madina.
Personality of Sultan ul Tarikeen
In the manuscript of Pir Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Shah, his son Pir Abdul Haq writes:
“Sayyid Abdullah Shah had a very humble personality. Also he liked to wear simple, unpretentious attire which was always according to the sharia. Moreover his usual dress consisted of plain long shirt and trousers along with turban. He used green, blue and white coloured turbans. White turban had two to three spans erect edge over it.”
On special occasions such as Eid, he used to wear tehmad (traditional leg sheet popular in Punjab) and kurta (collarless white shirt worn in South Asia).
First he was unique in his beauty and grandeur. Second he had a charming personality and an enlightened countenance. Furthermore his forehead was broad and eyes were very beautiful. Mostly he used to stay absorbed in meditation and due to deep engrossment he had redness in his eyes. He had a sharp nose and he used to keep the length of his hair till his ears. His beard was grey, thick and very appealing in width and length and he had an average height.
People who came to meet him with any purpose were so much mesmerized by his magnificent beauty that they forgot everything. Even the young lads, when came in his service, used to get absorbed in the beautiful aura of his presence forgetting their fun and play. Pir Abdul Haq related that his father Pir Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor used to say:
“I have never seen anyone as exceptionally beautiful as my spiritual guide Sayyid Abdullah Shah. Also he was the best in his morals and behaviour as well.”
What is mystic way of Sultan ul Tarikeen
Sultan ul Tarikeen belonged to the Sarwari Qadri order. Moreover he was the spiritual leader of Sarwari Qadri order after Sultan Bahoo. With this in mind it is written in the manuscript of Pir Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Shah:
- The spiritual chain of Sultan ul Tarikeen Sayyid Abdullah Shah is Sarwari Qadri. Further he guided and persuaded the seekers through this spiritual way.
As a matter of fact there are two spiritual ways of the Qadri order; Sarwari Qadri and Zahidi Qadri. First, the perfect spiritual guide in the Sarwari Qadri way blesses the seeker of Allah with proximity to Him. Second, he does not indulge them in hard worships and endeavours. Hence he blesses them merely by the effect of the attention of perfect spiritual guide and his special Divine guidance.
While, in Zahidi Qadri way, the secret of Divine Reality is revealed after an extended period of intense struggle and lengthy devotional exercises.
The mystic way followed by Sultan ul Tarikeen was Sarwari Qadri. Therefore he blesses the seekers of Allah with his spiritual beneficence without long duration of worship and struggle. Hence, the secret of Allah was revealed upon them just by his most effectively benefitting glance. Also he verbally inculcated the special spiritual instruction in the true seekers of Allah.
Sultan ul Tarikeen had only two daughters and one of the daughter, Noor Bibi, died at the age of seven years. While the second daughter Saleha was known by the name of Bibi Pak Daman. Markedly she was a perfect Saint blessed with Divine sight.
She died few years after the death of Sultan ul Tarikeen and her shrine is near the shrine of Pir Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Shah in Mud Mopal, Garh Maharaja, district Jhang, Pakistan. She was unmarried.
Sultan ul Tarikeen Shah died on Friday afternoon, 29th Ramadan, 1276 H (20th April, 1860) in his khanqah in Ahmadpur East and is buried there.
Sultan ul Tarikeen shrine is in Fatani Chowk, Ahmadpur East, district Bahawalpur, Pakistan.
Who built the present shrine of Sultan ul Tarikeen?
During the life of Sultan-ul-Tarikeen, one of his disciples expressed a keen desire to build his shrine. He did not give him permission and said: “My shrine would be constructed by somebody who will be exactly like me.” In 2012, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman left no stone unturned to make sure the renovation and reconstruction of the shrine happens in correspondence to the architecture of the shrine of Sultan Bahoo. He also requested in his Holy court to resume his spiritual beneficence for the seekers of Allah, which was gladly accepted in his sacred court.
Books on Sultan-ul-Tarikeen Sayyid Abdullah Shah by Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications
The Spiritual Guides of Sarwari Qadri Order
The book ‘The Spiritual Guides of Sarwari Qadri Order’ holds the complete biography of Sarwari Qadri spiritual guides from Sultan Bahoo onwards. Therefore you will find Sultan ul Tarikeen biography in second chapter of the said book.
For detail study of life history please study;
- Chapter # 2 of The Spiritual Guides of Sarwari Qadri Order
Author: Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman.
Life History of Sultan-ul-Tarikeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah Madni Jilani
Moreover Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications also published his complete biography in a separate book with the title ‘Life History of Sultan-ul-Tarikeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah Madni Jilani’.
In order to read complete biography of Sayyid Abdullah Shah Madni Jilani please read the book;
Author: Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman.
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