misled people as well as to those in the West who have misunderstood Islam. In my opinion,what we actually need is to explain to the people that maslak (creed) which I call the Sufis’ viewof Islam (sometimes called qalb-i-Islam, the inner aspect of Islam). Islam is peace and rahma(mercy) and its Prophet (PBUH) brought rahma to the world. Sufis all over the world have beenthe true representatives of this rahma wherever they went or wherever they lived in anycommunity. I belong to Hadhrat Sultan Bahu’s Sufi order called Qadri tariqa and I have devotedeach and every moment of my life to preach his views and teachings. Then as a representative of his Sufi order I can also realize my responsibility to persuade and inspire others who arecompetent to do the work and to co-operate with me in this mission. I am happy that Prof. SyedAhmad Saeed Hamadani has already written more than a dozen books about the life and work of my Murshid and my illustrious ancestor Hadhrat Sultan Bahu. He is well known among the SufiScholars for his knowledge of history and spirit of Sufism. Now he has translated a veryimportant book of Hadhrat Sultan Bahu, Ain al-Faqr, originally in Persian, into English. In fact,it is the first complete and comprehensive book written by Hadhrat Sultan Bahu, which has beentranslated into English by an eminent scholar like Syed Ahmad Saeed Hamadani.
Hadhrat Sultan Bahu
The Sultan al-Faqr and Sultan al-Arifin
Hadhrat Sultan Bahu is one of the most renowned Sufi saints of the later Mughal period in thehistory of Indo-Pakistan sub-Continent. He is often called Sultan al-Arifin (the Sultan of Gnostics) in the Sufi circles. His ancestors belonging to a tribe of Alvis called Awan and comingfrom Arabia via Hira (Afghanistan) had settled in the Soon Sakesar Valley of Khushab Districtin Punjab. His father Sultan Bazid had served in the army of the Emperor Shah Jahan as a highranking officer and so in recognition to his services he had been awarded a jagir in the Shorkotarea. The family migrated to the place and settled at Qalai Shorkot a settlement at the bank of River Chenab (now in District Jhang, Punjab). Hadhrat Sultan Bahu was born there probably in1628 AD. Even in the early childhood, it was perceived by all those around him that a strangelight shone upon his face which compelled even the Hindus to utter Kalima Tayyiba (There is nogod but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger) in his presence. His father died when he was just a child but his mother Bibi Rasti, remained alive till he was forty years old. His mother supervised his education but it must have been irregular because he was often found under theinfluence of ecstatic states. It seems that his education remained informal to the end. Whatever he expressed or wrote after-wards, it was in the light of his own spiritual vision and knowledge.His mother taught him the essential Sufi exercises of dhikr (invocation of Allah and His Names)and he probably needed no more guidance after that. He was initiated to walk the path of Sufisintuitively. His spiritual experiences and vision enriched his mind and spirit with so muchknowledge that he far excelled his contemporary Sufi masters and Sufi poets in Tasawuf (Sufism) and Suluk (all about the Sufi Way and its stations and states). In a book he remarks: