He was spiritual successor of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo transferred the Divine Trust of Faqr to Sayyid Abdullah Shah. Hence he became the next spiritual leader of the Sarwari Qadri order.
Sayyid Abdullah Shah was born on Friday night of 29th Ramadan, 1186 H (24th December, 1772) in Madina.
Genealogy from Paternal Side
His ancestry reaches Ali ibn Abi Talib through Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and it is as follows:
- Sayyid Abdullah Shah son of
- Sayyid Abdul Raheem son of
- Sayed Abdul Aziz son of
- Sayyid Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi son of
- Sayyid Abdul Qadir son of
- Sayed Sharfuddin son of
- Sayyid Ahmed son of
- Sayyid Alauddin Sani son of
- Sayed Shahabuddin Sani son of
- Sayyid Sharfuddin Qasim son of
- Sayyid Mohiyuddin Yahya son of
- Sayed 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 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
- Sayyid Mohammad Zakiuddin son of
- Sayed Abdullah son of
- Sayyid Mohammad Mubeen son of
- Sayyid Ameer Akhwand son of
- Sayed Imamuddin son of
- Sayyid Haider son of
- Sayyid Mohammad son of
- Sayed Feroz son of
- Sayyid Qutbuddin son of
- Sayyid Imamuddin son of
- Sayed Fakharuddin son of
- Sayyid Kamaluddin son of
- Sayyid Badruddin son of
- Sayed Tajuddin son of
- Sayyid Yahya son of
- Sayyid Abdul Aziz son of
- Sayed Ibrahim son of
- Sayyid Mehmood son of
- Sayyid Zaid Shehwar son of
- Sayed Abdullah Zarbakhsh son of
- Sayyid Yaqoob son of
- Sayyid Ahmed son of
- Sayed Mohammad Aarij son of
- Sayyid Ahmed son of
- Sayyid Mohammad Musa al-Muberakah son of
- Imam Sayyid Mohammad Taqi son of
- Imam Sayyid Ali Raza son of
- Sayyid Imam Musa Kazim son of
- Sayyid Imam Jafar Sadiq son of
- Sayed Imam Mohammad Baqir son of
- Sayyid Imam Zayn al- Abidin son of
- Imam Husayn son of
- Ali ibn Abi Talib
Spiritual Guide of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo was Great Grandfather of Sayyid Abdullah Shah
Must be remembered that Sayyid Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi, the spiritual guide of Sultan Bahoo was the great grandfather of Sayyid Abdullah Shah. First Sayyid Abdullah Shah’s 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.
Since birth Sayyid Abdullah Shah’s 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.
Stay at the Tomb of the Prophet
After the death of his parents, Sayyid Abdullah Shah fed up with the world completely, left his home and started living at the tomb of the Holy Prophet. There, he kept himself absorbed in prayers and services of the tomb. Hence, he was blessed after six years of service and spiritual struggle. Sayyid Abdullah Shah saw the Prophet in his dream. To enumerate all the conversation an extract is given below:
First the Prophet asked him:
“What do you want in reward of your services?”
Then he replied humbly:
“O Lord! You know better that I seek nothing but Faqr.”
Second the Prophet said:
“For Faqr, you would have to go to India to Sultan Bahoo.”
Thereupon he woke up surprised and worried. That why the Prophet had referred him to Sultan Bahoo. While he himself is the fountainhead of righteousness and Divine guidance. Hence, he continued his routine services at the tomb.
After another six years, the Prophet again came into his dream and asked the same question:
“What do you want in reward for your services?”
Again Sayyid Abdullah Shah replied as he has before. That he only wished Faqr. Then the Holy Prophet said:
“You would get Faqr only from Sultan Bahoo”.
Sayyid Abdullah Shah respectfully stated:
“I am totally unaware of the language, culture and life style of that region.”
Then Prophet Mohammad replied:
“I hand you over to my beloved Abdul Qadir Jilani. Now it is his responsibility to guide and help you reach there”.
His Spiritual Journey Starts
On waking up, Sayyid Abdullah Shah immediately set for the shrine of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani in Baghdad. Under his guidance, Sayyid Abdullah Shah 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-ul-Arifeen 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 Sayyid Abdullah Shah 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 Sayyid Abdullah Shah 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.
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.”
Furthermore Pir Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Shah, the superior spiritual successor of Sayyid Abdullah Shah writes in a manuscript (malfuzat) compiled by his son Pir Abdul Haq:
- He was an independent Saint and perfect Mystic. Also he was amongst the most pious ones who remained hidden from the world according to the Qudsi Hadith (mentioned above). He remained in solitude indifferent to the worldly fame. Likewise he remained meditating with complete attention towards Allah in the state of deep engrossment.
He always kept himself away from the limelight and the affairs of the state and court. In addition he never visited the gatherings of any Nawab or leader and always stayed at his khanqah. When the true seekers of Allah came to him, he blessed them with Divine benevolence. With spiritual persuasion he cleansed their innerselves and purified their souls.
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-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo.
Jilani and Madni
While ‘Jilani’ depicts his genealogy and ‘Madni’ marks his birth in Madina.
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.”
RELIGIOUS SCHOOL OF THOUGHT
Sayyid Abdullah Shah was a Sunni Muslim and belonged to the Hanafi school of thought.
ORDER OF FAQR
Sayyid Abdullah Shah 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 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 endeavors. 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 Sayyid Abdullah Shah 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.
Sayyid Abdullah Shah 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 Sayyid Abdullah Shah and her shrine is near the shrine of Pir Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Shah in Mud Mopal, Garh Maharaja, district Jhang, Pakistan. She was unmarried.
Sayyid Abdullah Shah died on Friday afternoon, 29th Ramadan, 1276 H (20th April, 1860) in his khanqah in Ahmadpur East and is buried there.
Sayyid Abdullah Shah’s shrine is in Fatani Chowk, Ahmadpur East, district Bahawalpur, Pakistan.
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-ul-Arifeen Sultan Bahoo onwards. Therefore you will find Sayyid Abdullah Shah’s biography in second chapter of the said book.
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’.