The ancestors of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo lived in Anga. It is a village in the valley of Soon Sakesar (tehsil Naushehra, district Khushab, Punjab Pakistan). In fact their shrines and remains of houses are still present in Anga and its vicinity. The shrine of Sultan Bahoo’s grandfather Sultan Fateh Mohammad is in the graveyard of Anga. Markedly this shrine is famous for curing the patients of gout. A large number of patients of gout visit the shrine and return cured and healthy. As well as the shrine of Sultan Bahoo’s grandmother is beside it. A few yards ahead, there is an old graveyard across the road where the grave of his maternal grandfather is present.
The name of Sultan Bahoo’s father is Bazayd Mohammad. Often he mentions while introducing himself in the beginning of his books e.g.
“A book by Bahoo who is a Fakir. He is the son of Bazayd Mohammad and belongs to the Awan tribe.”
Bazayd Mohammad was a soldier by profession and held a special position in the army of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Likewise he was a virtuous man, followed sharia perfectly and had memorized the Quran by heart. He spent his youth in jihad. Afterwards, Bazayd quietly left the royal court and married his relative, Bibi Rasti. She was a Saint and was famous in the family for her piety. Therefore she spent most of her time in prayers and invocation (dhikr / zikr). The remains of the place where she used to meditate, absorbed in the invocation of Ism-e-Allah Zaat, can still be found near a spring in the valley and that place is famous in Anga.
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo’s love for his mother
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo shows great devotion and love towards his mother in his books. In fact he says:
“Thousands of blessings of Allah upon Bibi Rasti for naming me Bahoo.”
Similarly he also says:
راستیؒ از راستی آراستی
رحمت و غفران بود بر راستیؒ
Explanation: Truth and veracity are the virtues of Rasti. May Allah bless her with compassion and salvation!
Bibi Rasti stationed at the highest level of Faqr was annihilation in Hoo ھُو . Therefore, she knew of Sultan Bahoo’s grandeur and spiritual status before his birth through inspiration. So she named him Bahoo, which means ‘with Hoo ھُو ’, in obedience to Allah’s order. Sultan Bahoo got his early spiritual education from his mother.
In his book Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan, Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo says:
“My mother’s eyes bled while invoking. I also experienced this state. It is called the Divine presence.”
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo’s father was a pious man
Bazayd Mohammad was highly impressed by Bibi Rasti’s piety and devotion towards Allah. Moreover, he had also reached the age where a person evaluates his life. He wishes to do something for the betterment of the life hereafter. Certainly Eternal Divine benevolence attracted him. So he renounced the activities of material world and decided to spend the rest of his life in the remembrance of Allah only.
He quietly left his home and went to Multan. Here, state servants caught him who were searching for him. As he had abandoned the army and his description had been publicized everywhere by the state. Hence the state servants presented him before the ruler of Multan. Now the ruler was very impressed by his attire, weapons and mare of high breed. He released him and fixed a daily stipend of Rs. 2 for him. Bazayd stayed in a small house in Multan and spent the rest of his life in prayers and remembrance of Allah. Thus he reached the highest level of closeness to Allah. As Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani said:
“The person directly attracted by the Divine favour without any medium does not need any hard mystic exercises. He finds Allah in no time. Intellect is useless like a lame horse in this way. Allah is the Possessor of the greatest favours and benevolence, He bestows this favour upon whomsoever He wishes.” (Manaqib-e-Sultani)
An incident from the life of Bazayd
During Bazayd’s stay in Multan, war broke out between Raja Marwat and the ruler of Multan. The ruler did not ask Bazayd to fight. However he voluntarily approached the ruler of Multan equipped with arms, riding his mare and had offered his services. The ruler asked:
“Which battalion of army would you like to join?”
“Since I have been taking the salary alone, I will serve on my own with all my ability.”
Everyone present in the court laughed at his offer but the ruler allowed him to go ahead. He requested the ruler for someone’s company to show him the way and a portrait of Raja Marwat. The ruler granted both his requests.
He set on the way with an escort and they reached near the fort of Marwat. He sent the escort back and entered the city alone. Bazayd crossed the wall of the fort in just one jump of his mare. Rode directly to the court of Raja Marwat, beheaded him and put his head in a bag in the presence of all the courtiers. The incident happened so suddenly that everyone in the court was shocked and no one had the courage to stop him. All the gates of the city had sealed so that he could not escape but his mare crossed the wall of city.
Bazayd returned victorious to Multan with the head of Raja Marwat. Everyone was surprised to see this miracle.
Shah Jahan’s order to Bazayd to join army again
Fame of his heroic action reached the court of Delhi. Shah Jahan ordered him to join the army again. He refused and requested to let him spend the rest of his life in the remembrance of Allah. Not only his request had accepted but also awarded with twenty five thousand acres of land in Shorkot as a reward for his previous services. Hence, he left Anga and relocated to Shorkot with his wife Bibi Rasti.
Death of Parents
The correct year of death of Bazayd Mohammad and Bibi Rasti is not available in any book of history. Though the book Manaqib-e-Sultani states that Bazayd Mohammad died during the childhood of Sultan Bahoo but Bibi Rasti was alive when Sultan Bahoo reached the age of forty year.
The writer of Tazkirah Auliya-e-Jhang has written 997 H as the birth year of Bazayd Mohammad. Further he wrote 1056 H as the death year and stated his age as sixty years. According to these facts and figures, the age of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo at the time of his father’s death would have been seventeen years. This cannot be correct because according to all the traditions, Sultan Bahoo’s father died during his childhood.
Similarly, the writer of Tazkirah Auliya-e-Jhang has written 1068 H as the year of death of Bibi Rasti. This also seems to be incorrect because she was alive when Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo went to Delhi to take oath of allegiance. At that time, Sultan Bahoo was forty years of age and the year was 1078 H.
Shrines of Parents
The shrines of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo’s parents are in Shorkot. They are famous by the name of Mazar Mai Bap Sultan Bahoo (Shrines of Sultan Bahoo’s father and mother).
Confusion that has arisen of Bibi Rasti’s shrine
No doubt these are their shrines but due to a mistake in Manaqib-e-Sultani, confusion has arisen about the shrine of Bibi Rasti. According to the writer of Manaqib-e-Sultani, her shrine is in Multan instead of Shorkot. Sultan Hamid writes in Manaqib-e-Sultani:
- The shrine of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo’s father is in Shorkot. It is also the birth place of Sultan Bahoo. His shrine and khanqah are near the grave of Shaikh Talha Qureshi. Which is in the courtyard of the mosque of Quraishis. It is in the south western side of the said town.
There is a difference of opinion about the shrine of his mother. Some say that her shrine is also in the same mosque. While according to others it is in the graveyard of great Sayyids of Bibipur near Lutfabad in the vicinity of Multan in the village of Ranwa Kalan which the state of Delhi granted to Sultan Bahoo’s father, who afterwards shifted to Bibipur with his wife in the neighbourhood of the great and pious Sayyids. She died there and had buried near the shrines of Sayyids. (Manaqib-e-Sultani, Ch 1, Section 2)
What Bilal Zubairi of Tazkirah Auliya-e-Jhang had to say about the shrine
The writer of Tazkirah Auliya-e-Jhang Bilal Zubairi also agrees with Sultan Hamid. He writes;
- This pious lady (Bibi Rasti) died in 1068 H, the last year of Shah Jahan’s reign. She is buried in the Bibian graveyard in Multan.
Many objections were raised on this statement of Tazkirah Auliya-e-Jhang’s first, second and third edition. Mr. Bilal Zubairi answered these objections in the fourth edition as:
- There is a difference of opinion about the shrine of Sultan Bahoo’s mother. I have written in my book that her shrine is in the Bibian graveyard in Multan. On the contrary some elders have said that it is not correct. Moreover there is no authentic evidence about the exact location of the shrine. One can know only through Manaqib-e-Sultani. Under the details of Bibi Rasti’s life, the complete reference of the said book is given. One can consult it to clarify the misunderstanding. (Page 10-Edition 4)
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman’s answer towards the confusion of the shrine
Now, we would try to resolve this misunderstanding through proper research. We will try to find out why the writer of Manaqib-e-Sultani has written that Bibi Rasti’s shrine is in Multan. First, those logical arguments are present which every writer has discussed in his book. So as to prove that the shrines of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo’s parents are exactly those which are famous in Shorkot by the name of Mazar Mai Bap instead of those in Multan.
Arguments # 1
- Sultan Hamid Ali writes in Manaqib-e-Sultani that Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo’s father died in his childhood. His mother was alive when he was forty. This means that she was alive till 1078 H (as the birth year of Sultan Bahoo is 1039 H). In 1078 H Aurangzeb ruled India not Shah Jahan. It is a fact that she was alive and still living in Shorkot when Sultan Bahoo went to Delhi to take oath of allegiance at the hand of Abdul-Rehman Jilani Dehlvi.
Argument # 2
- There is not any such tradition available which could prove that she had ever left Shorkot after they relocated. She stayed there with her husband and even after his death.
Argument # 3
- Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo’s father had left behind a vast land. Since Sultan Bahoo was never interested in this property, Bibi Rasti had to look after it. She was so busy looking after it that she never had time to go out of Shorkot.
Argument # 4
- When she died, Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo was (at least) forty years old and was present in Shorkot. He must have buried his mother near his father’s grave in Shorkot. Why would he bury his mother in any other remote area?
All the above given arguments are enough to prove that the shrine of Sultan Bahoo’s mother is in Shorkot. However, this is also true that there is another old shrine of ‘Bibi Rasti’ made of beautiful turquoise glazed tiles in the Bibian graveyard which is in the south of railway station of Multan and is now famous by the name of graveyard of Bibi Pak Mai or Bibi Pak Daman.
Who is the other Bibi Rasti who is buried in Multan
Now the question arises that if the shrine of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo’s mother is in Shorkot then who is this ‘Bibi Rasti’ who is buried in Multan. After complete research we have come to know that the Bibi Rasti buried there was the princess of Farghana (Afghanistan) who came there with her father Sultan Jamaluddin Mohammad al-Farghani to meet the famous Sufi Saint of the Soharwardi order, Bahauddin Zakariya. Sultan Jamaluddin took oath of allegiance upon his hand. Bahauddin Zakariya married his son Sadruddin Arif to Bibi Rasti and gave her the title of Pak Daman and Asmat Ma’ab (sacred and respectable). Bibi Rasti got famous by the title of Pak Mai Bibi Pak Daman (The Sacred Lady). Shaikh Rukunuddin Abu al-Fatah was her son. She died in 695 H and was buried in the Bibian graveyard.
Lineage of Bibi Rasti buried in Bibian graveyard
Sayyid Najamul Hasan Fazli has given the lineage record of Bibi Rasti Bibi Pak Daman wife of Sadruddin Arif in Ashraf-e-Arab:
Bibi Rasti titled as Bibi Pak Daman, daughter of Shaikh Jamaluddin Mohammad Al-Farghani son of Sultan Abdul Rahim Ahmad son of Sultan Abdul Khaliq Mehmood son of Sultan Abdul Razzaq Khalid son of Sultan Abdul Latif Umar son of Sultan Abdul Hamid Qasim son of Sultan Abdul Samad Yahya son of Sultan Abdul Qadir Zakariya son of Abdul Rauf Tajuddin Ali son of Abdul Sattar Mehmood son of Abdul Ghani Mehmood son of Abdul Rahim Zain-ul-Abideen son of Abu-al-Noor Ali son of Abu al-Qasim Mohammad son of Abdullah son of Usman Ghani.
What Doctor Memon Abdul Majeed Sindhi said about Bibi Rasti of Multan
Doctor Memon Abdul Majeed Sindhi writes about this Bibi Rasti in his book Pakistan Mein Sufiana Tehreekain:
- Rukunuddin Abu al-Fatah was a great Sufi Saint and spiritual guide. He was the son of Sadruddin Arif and the grandson of Bahauddin Zakariya. His mother’s name was Bibi Rasti who held the grand status of ‘Rabia Basri of her time’ due to piety. She got spiritual education from her father-in-law Bahauddin Zakariya. She had great devotion towards the Holy Quran and used to recite the entire Quran daily. (page 389-section 5)
So, the lady buried in the Bibian graveyard (graveyard of Bibi Pak Mai or Bibi Pak Daman) Multan was the daughter-in-law of Bahauddin Zakariya, wife of Sadaruddin Arif and mother of Rukunuddin Abu al-Fatah.
Sultan Hamid went to Multan while he was writing Manaqib-e-Sultani and also visited the shrine of Bibi Rasti. This is the shrine which he had mentioned in Manaqib-e-Sultani. Probably, he got confused due to the similar names. All the authentic biographers of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo agree that the shrines of his parents are those which are famous by the name of ‘Shrines of Mai Bap’ in Shorkot, district Jhang, Pakistan.