A Qadiri Saint of Sukkur

Publication Year : 2018

There are many Sufi shrines in every major city, town and historic village of Sindh. These Sufi saints played important roles in spreading the message of peace, love and tolerance among different communities. These values won the hearts of many non-Muslims who were impressed by the teachings of these Sufis and accepted Islam. One such Sufi saint who converted many to Islam was Shah Khairurddin Jilani, popularly known as Jeay Shah Badshah. The shrine of Shah Khairuddin Jilani is located in old Sukkur and is one of the most popular and early Qadiri shrines in the city of Sukkur.It is believed that Shah Khairuddin, son of Amir Ahmed Shah Jilani, was born in Baghdad in 911 AH/1505. He was from the family of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (1077-1166 AD), the founder of the Qadiri Silsila of Sufism. He received early education at Baghdad and became an erudite scholar of Quran, Hadith and Tafsir at the age of 40. At the age of 40 he moved to Makkah where he is believed to have stayed for twelve years and performed 12 Hajj. Afterwards, he went to Madinah and stayed some years there too. After spending several years in Arabia, he came to Sindh for preaching in the last quarter of the sixteenth century. He spent his initial years preaching in lower Sindh where he met an eminent Sufi poet Abdul Karim Bulri (1536-1623 AD). Shah Khairuddin Jilani spent some time with him and both engaged in religious discourse together in Bulri, where some other religious scholars also attended these sessions. Later Shah Abdul Karim Bulri took him to eminent Suhrawardi Sufi saint Makhdoom Nuh (1506-1589) of Hala. It is believed that four of the saints – Shah Khairuddin Jilani, Shah Abdul Karim Bulri, Makhdoom Nuh andYousaf Shah Rizviused to have daily religious discourses for quite some time at Hala, which subsequently left a deep influence on Shah Khairuddin Jilani – to accept Makhdoom Nuh as an established Sufi saint of the sixteenth century.Although he was impressed by the religious knowledge of Makhdoom Nuh, he did not become his disciple as many of the modern Sindhi writers have claimed in their books. He remained attached to Qadiri Sufi traditions.

The author is an anthropologist and teaches at the Department of Development Studies, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE)

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