Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo belonged to the Awan tribe whose genealogy traces back to Ali ibn Abi Talib. Awans are the progeny of Ali ibn Abi Talib from wives other than Fatimah bint Mohammad.
Like contemporary writers, he adopted the way of writing few lines to introduce himself in the beginning of his books. Next Sultan Bahoo would shed light upon the objective of the book. Wherever he introduces himself, he always writes Awan with his name. In his book Nur-ul-Huda Kalan, he writes:
- The writer of this treatise is the Fakir of Sarwari Qadri order and annihilated in Hoo ( ھُو ). The son of Bazayd belonging to Awan A resident of Qila Shor (may Allah save it from tribulations and troubles). I always speak the truth.
He writes same lines, with change of a few words, in almost all of his books. Thus this proves that he genuinely belonged to the Awan tribe.
Who Are Awans?
Who are Awans? From where did they migrated? The author Sultan Hamid Ali who belonged to the family of Sultan Bahoo penned about Awans in his book Manaqib-e-Sultani. Further it is the first book on life of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo in Persian. Where he writes that they are the descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib.
When Sayyids left Arab
Now, Sayyids left Arab due to troubles they had to encounter there. Consequently, they started living in different areas of Iran and Turkistan. The Awan tribe helped them in those hard times as they were their close relatives. That is why their family name changed from Alvis and Hashmis to Awans which means ‘those who helped the Sayyids’. Moreover the Sayyids continued their religious obligations even when they left Arab. On the other hand Awans engaged themselves in wars and battles and conquered Herat. Qutb Shah, the ancestor of Awans, died while he was the ruler of Herat. The title ‘Shah’ is usually a part of the names of Sayyids but Awans also use this title.
Migration to India
When Sayyids migrated from Khorasan to India due to chaos and tribulations, Awans accompanied them. In short they entered Punjab through the mountains of Kalabagh and river Indus or river Attock. Here also, Sayyids remained engaged in religious obligations rather than involving in worldly affairs. Thus, Sayyids of various castes like Bukharis, Gilanis, Shirazis, and Hamdanis from areas of Uch Sharif, Bhot Mubarik, Choa Saidan Shah and Danda Shah Bilawal respectively guided people towards Islam and blessed them with their beneficence. While, Awans occupied Kalabagh and entering through the western bank of river Attock captured the Hindu forts of Malik Dhani, Pothohar, Koh Pakhro, valley of Soon Sakesar, Koh Patao, Koh Tawa, Koh Khaon and settled there. The Hindus of these areas accepted Islam due to the influence of Awans. Now Awans are in majority in these areas.
Mir Qutb Shah – Forefather of Awans
Professor Ahmad Saeed Hamdani elaborates about Awans and their forefather Mir Qutb Shah in his book Ahwal-o-Maqamat Sultan Bahoo:
- Mahmud of Ghazni set for India to attack the Somnath temple. Then a troop of Alvis headed by Mir Qutb Shah (or Mir Qutb Haider) requested to accompany him. Hence Sultan Mahmud allowed them and named them Awan. Afterwards, they became famous by this title.
Awans fought the battle valiantly so Sultan Mahmud was pleased with them. When they returned, Mir Qutb Shah requested Sultan to allow them to crush the Rajput landlords and nawabs who ruled other areas of the country. Sultan Mahmud accepted the request.
So Mir Qutb Shah attacked the Janjuas and Chauhans’ Rajputs. They ruled the surrounding areas of present Pothohar Plateau and the Salt Range (now in Punjab, Pakistan). He drove them down the mountains. Hence Awans captured the beautiful valleys of these mountains and settled here. Later, they became famous as Qutb Shahi Awan.
An article writer of Urdu Daera Ma’arif Islamia (Punjab University) writes:
- The ancestors of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo came to India from Arab after the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali. Firstly, they settled in Pind Dadan Khan District Jehlum (now in Punjab, Pakistan). Then they spread Islam among the Hindus of that area. Later on they shifted to Shorkot, District Jhang.
Qutb Shahi Awans
Mir Qutb Shah is actually the person after whom Awans are called Qutb Shahi Awans. Under his leadership, Awans joined the army of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni and then settled in the valley of Soon Sakesar.
Genealogy according to Professor Ahmad Saeed Hamdani
Professor Ahmad Saeed Hamdani writes about him:
“Mir Qutb Shah’s genealogy traces back to Mohammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, son of Ali ibn Abi Talib. His ancestors reached Afghanistan with the Sayyids who are progeny of Ali ibn Abi Talib and Hazrat Fatimah. While protecting them and fighting for them with the rulers and settled in Herat. Afterwards, they joined the army of Sultan Mahmud.
Thereupon the progeny of Mir Qutb Shah flourished in Pothohar. They got married with the daughters of the defeated rajas after they accepted Islam. These newly convert Muslims and the tribes who earlier came with Qutb Shah had now become relatives, due to inter marriages and had children. For this reason they all related themselves to Mir Qutb Shah. As he was the source of link and the most famous and outstanding person between them. Even now, they call themselves Qutb Shahi Awans wherever they live. In summary it is a known fact that Mir Qutb Shah lived in Anga in the valley of Soon. Yet nothing about the year of his arrival or death have been mentioned by the writers. Neither anyone mentions period of stay nor whereabouts of his shrine.”
Genealogical tree according to book Manaqib-e-Sultani
- In Manaqib-e-Sultani, Sultan Hamid Ali writes the genealogical tree of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo. Albeit with the reference to a book which he got from the library of Awan landlords of Kalabagh, Pakistan. The lineage is given below:
Sultan Bahoo son of Bazayd Mohammad son of Shaikh Sultan Fateh Mohammad son of Shaikh Allah Ditta son of Shaikh Mohammad Tameem son of Shaikh Mohammad Manaan son of Shaikh Mohammad Moghla son of Shaikh Mohammad Paida son of Shaikh Mohammad Saghara son of Shaikh Mohammad Anun son of Shaikh Mohammad Slaa son of Shaikh Mohammad Behari son of Shaikh Mohammad Jaimoon son of Shaikh Mohammad Hargan son of Shaikh Anwar Shah son of Shaikh Emir Shah son of Shaikh Qutb Shah son of Amaan Shah son of Sultan Husayn Shah son of Feroz Shah son of Mehmood Shah son of Shaikh Fartak Shah son of Shaikh Nawab Shah son of Shaikh Darab Shah son of Adham Shah son of Shaikh Abeeq Shah son of Shaikh Sikandar Shah son of Shaikh Ahmad Shah son of Hajar Shah son of Emir Zubair son of Ali ibn Abi Talib. (Manaqib-e-Sultani)
Difference of opinion on genealogical tree given by Sultan Hamid Ali
The genealogy of Awans is correct and authentic from Mir Qutb Shah onwards. Before him, there is some difference of opinion. Malik Sher Mohammad gives a genealogical record in his book Tareekh-ul-Awan. He is a member of Kalabagh family. This record is different from that mentioned in Manaqib-e-Sultani. According to Sultan Hamid Ali, the lineage of Awans reaches Ali ibn Abi Talib through his son Emir Zubair while Malik Sher Mohammad says that it reaches Ali ibn Abi Talib through his son Mohammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah.
Genealogical tree according to Malik Sher Mohammad author of Tareekh-ul-Awan
The lineage given by Malik Sher Mohammad in Tareekh-ul-Awan is as follows:
Mir Qutb Shah son of Shah Ataullah Ghazi son of Shah Tahir son of Shah Tayyab Ghazi son of Shah Mohammad Ghazi son of Shah Umar Ghazi son of Shah Malik Asif Ghazi son of Shah Batal Ghazi son of Abdul Manaan Ghazi son of Mohammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah son of Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Sultan Hamid Ali writes that the lineage of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo traces back to Hazrat Ali razi Allah anhu. Further it reaches him in twenty eight steps through his son Emir Zubair. Mother of Emir Zubair was Memna. She belonged to the progeny of Rostam Farrokhzad (a powerful Sasanian general). However, none of the reliable books of history (e.g. The Kitab Al-Ma’arif, Tareekh-e-Tabri) mention any son of Ali ibn Abi Talib by the name ‘Emir Zubair’ or any grandson by the name ‘Hajar Shah’. Some people solved the confusion by concluding that Abu Zubair must be the patronym of Mohammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah. Which is why, some people have written only Zubair instead of his full name.
Shaikh Abu Bakr Sindhi the writer of Anees al-Waizeen
Only the writer of Anees al-Waizeen Shaikh Abu Bakr Sindhi briefly mentions about Emir Zubair in his book in these words:
- Emir Zubair stepped forward from the army of At that time, Husayn had three brothers with him i.e. Zubair Ali, Talha Ali and Jafar Ali. Zubair was the only son of his mother. When he came forth to fight, Husayn said to him:
“O brother! Do not put your mother in trail. She does not have any other son.”
His mother replied loudly from her place:
“O Husayn! Please do not say so. Let me and my son sacrifice our lives for you. Without you, our life is useless.”
Husayn wept on listening this and embraced Zubair.
Further the writer of Anees al-Waizeen adds:
“After this, Zubair attacked the enemy with all his power and got martyred.”