Sultan ul Sabireen Sultan Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Shah
Sultan ul Sabireen Sultan Pir Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Shah is the 27th Shaikh of the Sarwari Qadri order. After Sultan Bahoo, the trust of Faqr was transferred to Sultan ul Tarikeen Sultan Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah and from him the trust of Faqr transferred to Sultan ul Sabireen.
Sultan ul Sabireen was born on Monday, 14th of Dhul al-Hijjah, 1242 H (July 19th, 1827 AD) in the evening in Chotti, district Dera Ghazi Khan, Pakistan.
Oath of Allegiance:
Sultan ul Sabireen was only twenty-five years old when Prophet Mohammad and al-Ghawth al-Azam came in his dream. They gave him the good news that Allah has chosen him for the trust of Faqr. Therefore, he must go to the sacred court of Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah in Ahmadpur. On this Sultan ul Sabireen immediately left for Ahmadpur to attain the trust of Faqr. He then took oath of allegiance on the hands of Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah in 1891.
Love for his Murshid
After oath of allegiance, Sultan ul Sabireen began to exclusively serve his Murshid. He spent almost 9 years in the company of his Murshid. During this time, he spent every minute of his life in the love for his Murshid and serving him. He also wrote, several eulogies in Saraiki language, expressing the grandeur of his Murshid, Sultan ul Tarikeen. In addition to writing eulogies in the splendor of his Murshid, he also wrote eulogies in honor of Sultan Bahoo and al-Ghawth al-Azam. In his eulogies, he beautifully expressed the beauty, elegance, traits, and beneficence of his Murshid.
Eulogy Written by Sultan ul Sabireen in Honor of his Murshid
چشمہ کُھلیا نورِ حقانی
شاہ عبد اللہؒ فیض رسانی
احمد پور وچ نور برسدا
جتھے شاہ عبد اللہؒ وسدا
واقف لوح قلم تے مسدا
ہے وچ ملک بہاول خانی
شاہ عبد اللہؒ فیض رسانی
عَرف عجائب عارف باللہ
طالب ویکھ عجب سلسلہ
شکر پڑھن الحمد للہ
ویکھ جمال رسولؐ نشانی
شاہ عبد اللہؒ فیض رسانی
Explanation: The spiritual beneficence of Syed Mohammad Abdullah Shah is just like a flowing spring of an-Nur which is benefitting everything on its way. Ahmadpur, where Shah Abdullah lives, is a blessed city which is showered with the torrents of the an-Nur of Allah. Shah Abdullah has reached the honorable status of Oneness with Allah after crossing the stations of Fana Fillah (annihilation in Allah) and Baqa Billah (being immortal with Allah. Thus, he has acquired the Divine knowledge of totality. He knows whatever Allah has written in the Guarded Tablet with the Divine pen and the Divine ink. Due to Shah Abdullah’s presence, the district of Bahawalpur has become the center of Divine Benevolence.
Murshid is an-Nur of Allah per Sultan ul Sabireen
The Holy being of Shah Abdullah has annihilated in the an-Nur of the Divine Self, so he has become the manifestation of Allah and possesses the An-Nur and beauty of Prophet Mohammad. The An-Nur which manifests from Shah Abdullah, attracts and mesmerizes everyone. It seems as if Shah Abdullah has cast a magic spell on everyone. That is why he is known as a magician.
However, the seekers and knowers of Allah gain the recognition of Allah by observing that an-Nur in his sacred self. Sultan ul Sabireen further says that his Murshid grants his seekers the Divine knowledge as he is the perfect knower of Allah. They are pleasantly surprised to see all the signs and morals of their beloved Prophet in his holy self and thank Allah for making this peculiar arrangement for the seekers of Allah and Lovers of His Prophet, to meet and see them and get their beneficence through Syed Abdullah Shah.
Transference of Trust of Faqr to Sultan ul Sabireen
On Friday, 29th Ramadan 1276 H (April 20th, 1860 AD), Sultan ul Tarikeen Syed Abdullah Shah, the Murshid of Sultan ul Sabireen passed away. Before, Syed Abdullah Shah passed away, he had already transferred the trust of Faqr to Sultan ul Sabireen at the shrine of Sultan Bahoo. Almost a year after the death of his Murshid, Sultan Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor went to Shorkot. Here, he stayed for more or less a year. During this time Pir Syed Bahadur Ali Shah took oath of allegiance on his hands.
In 1862, Sultan ul Sabireen migrated to Mud Rajbana, Garh Maharaja district Jhang and stayed there till his death. During this time thousands of seekers got the beneficence of Ism-e-Allah Zaat from him.
Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah as a Disciple of Sultan ul Sabireen
Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah was the fortunate seeker of Allah, whom Sultan ul Sabireen transferred the trust of Faqr, two days before his death at the sacred shrine of Sultan Bahoo on 8th Safar 1328 H (19th February 1910). Then, two days after, on 10th Safar 1328 (21st February 1910), Sultan ul Sabireen passed away from this physical world. His shrine is in Mud Sharif which is 13 kilometers, East of Garh Maharajah, district Jhang. The Urs (death anniversary) of Sultan ul Sabireen is commemorated every year on 9th and 10th Safar.
Poetry of Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah in Honor of Sultan ul Sabireen
Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah spent forty-nine years in the company of his Murshid. Sultan ul Sabireen nurtured the inward of Pir Mohammad with such excellence that is truly reflected in the poetry of Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah.
Arif is the one who worships Allah after having Divine vision and recognition. Pir Bahadur Shah must have gained such extravagant gnosis of Allah that al-Ghawth al-Azam awarded him the title of Shahbaz-e-Arifaan, which means, ‘the falcon of Arifs’.
Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah wrote eulogies in the honor of his Murshid, Sultan ul Sabireen Pir Mohammad Ghafoor Shah. The main theme of his poetry is Divine love, ishq for Prophet Mohammad and his Murshid. His poetry is not based on imagination rather it is the expression of the Divine realities and is nothing but truth. He beautifully expresses the love for his Murshid in his poetry. Few abyat from his poetry are as follows:
Find Murshid to Attain Gnosis of Allah
اللہ دی خبر نہ بھلیاں نوں، بُھلے پیر توں ربّ نوں بُھل گئے
رفیق بناں طریق ناہیں، اوجھڑ جنگل دے وچ رُل گئے
ہویا علم حجاب کبیر اکبر، تولے نفس ہوا دے تُل گئے
سلطان بہادر شاہؒ جنہاں پیر پالیا، آہے جز تے ہو اوہ کُل گئے
In this stanza Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah is emphasizing on the importance of following Murshid to attain gnosis of Allah. He has engrossed in the vision and love of his Murshid, Sultan ul Sabireen. Hence explaining his grandeur, he says that an ignorant has no knowledge about Allah because he is away from the perfect Murshid. As without Murshid, it is impossible to find Allah. This is verified from the saying of the Holy Prophet, meaning: “First find a companion (Murshid) then set on the journey (to Allah).”
Since the ignorants are without a companion that is why they have gone astray in this dark jungle of the world. According to a Hadith, “(The outward) knowledge is the greatest veil”, their outward knowledge has become a veil between them and Allah. As due to it they think that they are complete and do not need anyone’s help and guidance to reach Allah. Outward knowledge is a veil also because it makes them proud over their knowledge. Undoubtedly, pride is the most undesirable attribute in the court of Allah. Being away from Allah and Murshid, they are easily trapped by their an-Nafs and its lusts. However, those who have found the perfect Murshid, have reached Allah, got one with him and became the whole from a mere part.
Mere Knowledge Does not Grant Gnosis of Allah
Those who think that merely reading books, they can attain gnosis of Allah, remain trapped in books and are not able to experience the gnosis of Allah practically. Like Prophet Mohammad said:
اَلْعِلْمُ حِجَابُ الْاَکْبَرْ
Meaning: Knowledge is a big veil.
It is a fact that purgation of innerself cannot be done on our own. For purgation of innerself, one does need guidance and company of Murshid who holds the status of ‘the man of Divine Command’. Like the Sultan ul Sabireen, the Murshid of Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah. Because only a perfect spiritual guide is fully aware of the Satanic illusions and traps.
Satan became arrogant on his knowledge and did not prostrate before Adam at the order of Allah, thus lost his rank. Similarly, being arrogant on knowledge and believing that it has given command over everything, is one of the biggest diseases of an-Nafs. Pir Mohammad says that only a perfect spiritual guide like Sultan ul Sabireen, through his spiritual attention can help alleviate this disease from the inward of the seeker. In fact, spiritual guide like Sultan ul Sabireen through his spiritual attention eliminates the diseases of innerself from the seeker. Rather he brings up and polishes the hidden qualities of the seeker and sets him on the journey of success for both this world and hereafter.
Murshid Reminds the forgotten Promise to Allah
تار توار الست والی، سوہنے پیر دتی تعلیم مینوں
آیا کلمہ بلیٰ دا یاد بھائی، تسلیم ہوئی تعظیم مینوں
صورت عبد آداب سکھا دِتّے، ہادی ہو کے ربّ کریم مینوں
سلطان بہادر شاہؒ ہوئے دکھ دور سارے، جد پیر کیتی تفہیم مینوں
Explanation: Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah in this piece of poetry says that I had forgotten the promise of Alast. (The promise made to Allah, when He bestowed all souls with Divine vision and asked: اَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّکُمْ , meaning: “Am I not your Rab (Creator and Sustainer)?” The souls replied, قَالُوْا بَلٰی, meaning: “Yes! You are”).
Pir Mohammad says, when I saw my Murshid, Sultan ul Sabireen, I was reminded of this forgotten promise. I remembered that I had the vision of Allah in pre-eternity and at that time I promised to always believe him as my master. Now it is obligatory upon me to obey my Murshid, Sultan ul Sabireen in every condition. It is such a great kindness of Allah that He Himself appeared in the form of Insan-e-Kamil (the Universal Divine Man) and guided me towards the Reality and also taught me the manners of His slavery. O Sultan Bahadur Shah all my grievances and worries ended when my Murshid, Sultan ul Sabireen made me understand the Truth.
Perfect Murshid Grants Divine Vision
ثابت صدق یقین سہتی، جیہڑے پیر دے آ مرید ہوئے
انہاں نَحْنُ اَقْرَبُ پہچان لیا، اوہ ماہر حَبْلِ الْوَرِیْد ہوئے
فیْٓ اَنْفُسِکُمْ ط اَفَلَا تُبْصِرُوْن، اوہ صاحب شان مزید ہوئے
سلطان بہادر شاہؒ قدیر ہے پیر بیلی، بے سمجھاں دے فکر بعید ہوئے
Pir Mohammad in this piece of poetry while talking about the beneficence of his Murshid, Sultan ul Sabireen says when a seeker of Allah with true and complete faith goes to my Murshid, he blesses him with Divine vision and gnosis. Undoubtedly, Allah is closer to our jugular vein. But only those experience it who have firm faith in the beneficence of their Murshid. As Allah says in Quran:
وَنَحْنُ اَقْرَبُ اِلَیْہِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِیْد
Meaning: I (Allah) am closer to you than your jugular vein. (50:16)
Only those seekers of Allah who have a strong faith on their Murshid can understand the reality of this verse. Because only then they feel Allah near themselves. As Allah says in Quran:
فیْٓ اَنْفُسِکُمْ ط اَفَلَا تُبْصِرُوْن
Meaning: “I am within you, can’t you see” (Al-Zariyat-21)
When seekers of Allah find Him within themselves according to the aforementioned verse, they become honorable in both the worlds because they manifest the an-Nur of Allah. O Sultan Bahadur Shah! Your Murshid, Sultan ul Sabireen, is in fact the all-powerful but the ignorants do not have the wisdom to understand this fact.
Allah Almighty is Concealed in Every Human Being
It is a fact that Allah Almighty is concealed in all human beings. But because of the filth on the innerself, we cannot see Him. Thus, one just needs to work on removing the veils between the an-nafs and the soul to have Divine vision. However, this is possible only through the spiritual attention of the Murshid and invocation and contemplation of Ism e Allah Zaat. The fortunate seekers of Allah who get purgation of their innerself in the sacred company of a Murshid can attain the gnosis of Allah and reach the actual status of human. Those who are unable to understand the grandeur and rank of the Murshid can never attain gnosis of Allah. Rather such people can not even attain Allah’s proximity.
Sultan ul Sabireen is at the Status of Being Immortal with Allah
شک نہیں ہویا پک مینوں، پیر پوج خدا پوجار پیارے
پیر پرست خدا پرست ہوندے، ایہہ عارفاں دے نروار پیارے
پیر پرستی ہے فرض پہلا، پچھے واجب ہے ذکر اذکار پیارے
سلطان بہادر شاہؒ ہے علم گمان جنہاں، اس راہ کولوں بیزار پیارے
Explanation: Sultan ul Sabireen is the perfect Fakir who is at the level of being immortal with Allah. Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah says I have no doubt that obeying Murshid is in fact obeying Allah and the lover of Murshid is actually the lover of Allah. This is surely the right way to reach Allah which is followed by all the Saints and knowers of Allah. The first obligation upon the seekers of Allah is to obey their Murshid while other prayers have secondary importance. However, those who take pride in their apparent knowledge and consider it enough for their guidance, do not like to adopt this way.
Sign of a Perfect Murshid
A prominent sign of the perfect Murshid is that he grants Ism e Allah Zaat. The invocation and contemplation of Ism e Allah Zaat verifies that the Murshid is perfect and accomplished. Obedience of such Murshid is in fact the obedience of Allah and Prophet Mohammad.
For the seekers of Allah, love of Murshid is in fact true prayer. As through Murshid they attain Divine proximity. Thus, such seekers do not engage in hard mystic prayers, rather they remain busy serving their Murshid day and night. The seekers who annihilate in their Murshid, in fact annihilate in Prophet Mohammad and reach the status of annihilation in Allah and being immortal with Allah.
Those who think they do not need a perfect spiritual guide for Divine Union, and they can reach Allah based on reading just Quran and Hadith are in fact far from the fragrance of Faqr.
The Spiritual Sight of Murshid Turns the Seeker of World to Seeker of Allah
مجرم نوں محرم پیر کرے، بخشے جاہل نوں علم عیان بیلی
کافر فاسق تے جیکر نظر کرے، ہووے کامل اہل ِعرفان بیلی
وسیلہ اہل ِایمان تے فرض ہویا، ثابت نال آیت قرآن بیلی
سلطان بہادر شاہؒ رموز تے راز کھلن، جد مرشد کرے دھیان بیلی
Explanation: The attention of Murshid Kamil is like an alchemy. It can convert a sinful person into a friend of Allah and an ignorant person into a scholar of the Divine Knowledge. If he casts a glance over a non-believer, he changes him to a perfect knower of Allah. As Allah says in the Holy Quran:
Meaning: Believers adopt piety and search a source towards Allah. (Al Maida-35)
Hence, it is an obligation upon the believers to search a source to reach Allah and that source is Murshid Kamil who knows the way to Allah. O Sultan Bahadur Shah! All the Divine Secrets will be revealed upon you when your Murshid, Sultan ul Sabireen will bless you with his sacred attention.
Sultan ul Sabireen is a Sarwari Qadri Murshid
Sultan ul Sabireen Sultan Abdul Ghafoor Shah is the Sarwari Qadri Murshid. Since Sarwari Qadri Murshid is on the footsteps of Prophet Mohammad, he sanctifies the innerself of his disciples just like Holy Prophet sanctified the innerself of his Companions. When the innerself is cleansed from all bad traits, only then the inward of the seeker is enlightened with the knowledge and true understanding of Quran and Hadith.
It is by virtue of the spiritual attention of the Murshid that the darkness of the inward is purified, and the seeker becomes capable of Divine vision and union.
Only a Sarwari Qadri Murshid holds the spiritual power to sanctify and purify the inward of the seeker. In fact the spiritual attention of the Sarwari Qadri Murshid can change the destiny of the seeker. Furthermore, he turns the seeker from being the lover of world to the Divine lover. As Iqbal says:
کوئی اندازہ کر سکتا ہے اس کے زورِ بازو کا
نگاہِ مردِ مومن سے بدل جاتی ہیں تقدیریں
Explanation: Can you imagine what spiritual powers the Universal Divine Man (Murshid Kamil) holds? His spiritual attention can change the destiny of the seeker. (Meaning change the seeker of world to seeker of Allah).
Find Medium to Reach Allah
Even in Quran, Allah ordains as follows:
Meaning: O believers! Fear Allah persistently and find medium (to approach and get closer to) Him. (5:35)
According to Mystics and Sufis, in the above verse, medium means perfect spiritual guide. When the seeker of Allah goes to the court of the perfect Murshid with sincerity, then Murshid reveals the Divine secrets upon him. Until and unless the seeker is accepted as a sincere seeker in the court of Murshid, he does not gain gnosis and proximity of Allah. Certainly, only the spiritual attention of the Murshid takes the seeker on the journey of Faqr. Without that, a seeker may not progress a single step on the path of Faqr.
Poetry of Pir Mohammad reflects his love for Sultan ul Sabireen
Each and every word of the poetry of Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah reflects the grandeur and honor of his Murshid, Sultan ul Sabireen. His poetry in fact shows the intense love for his Murshid. This is a great lesson and take away for those who want proximity of Allah. A seeker of Allah must be like Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah. As until he loves his Murshid wholeheartedly, he cannot progress on the path of Faqr.
The traits and qualities of Murshid that Pir Mohammad Bahadur Shah has mentioned in his poetry, are clearly present in Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen, who is the perfect spiritual guide of the present era. Therefore, those who wish to achieve gnosis of Allah and get on the path of Divine love are invited to take oath of allegiance on the hands of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen. As his spiritual attention will sanctify their innerself and cleanse the inward from the filth of the worldly desires.
May Allah grant us the ability to get the benevolence of the Imam of era, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen and attain the limitless treasure of Faqr. Ameen
This article is the English translation of the article سلطان الصابرین حضرت سخی سلطان پیر محمد عبدالغفور شاہ ہاشمی قریشیؒ. Waqar Ahmad Sarwari Qadri originally penned this article in Urdu and Fatima Noor Sarwari Qadri translated it using American English vocabulary with some changes. If you want to read the original article, click the following link: