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Hazrat Sufi Sarmad Shaheed

Hazrat Sufi Sarmad Shaheed

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Hazrat Sufi Sarmad Shaheed
Hazrat Sufi Sarmad Shaheed

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Hazrat Sarmad Shaheed: The Naked Sufi MartyrTranslated from the Urdu book Tazkira-ye Awliya-e-Pak oHind: Khum-khanah-ye Tassawuf [Memoirs of the Saints of India and Pakistan: the tavern of Sufism] by Dr. ZahurulHasan SharibBismillah ar-Rahman ar-RahimSarmad the Martyr was unique in his age and the saint of his time.Sher Khan Lodhi is of the opinion that, ³his origin wasforeign and he was Armenian. [1]´ He was from an Iranianfamily; some scholars are of theopinion that he was originally a Christian whereas othersthink he was Jewish.His homeland was Kashan [2]; there was a large Armeniancommunity in Iran of which some were Christian and someJewish. He accepted Islam. He is famous as Sarmadalthough in some books he is referred to as Sarmad theCheerful (Saeedaaye Sarmad).From his Letters and Quatrains it is apparent that he wasvery learned in the traditional Islamic sciences. He had greatcommand over the Persian language and also knew Arabic.
Professionally, he was a trader.A turning point in his lifeIn those days Persian works of art were greatly valued inIndia and one could get a good price for them. Thus, Sarmadgathered some works of art and set off for India. Heintended to sell these works of art in India and buy preciousgems with the money and then sell these gems in Persia. Inthose days travellers went to India via Sindh and he too took that path. When he got to Thatta, he fell in love with aHindu boy. He was so lost in love that he forgot his own self but became completely oblivious to his trade too! Thehistorians are divided as to the exact location of thisincident. Ali Quli Khan Daghistani places this incident inSurat [3]. Azad Bilgrami has said that it took place inAzimabad, Patna. Sher Khan Lodhi writes, ³In the town of Thatta for trade, he fell ardently in love with a Hinduboy[4].´This ardent love [µishq] caused a visible change in his life. Hebecame unconcerned with matters of trade. His heartbecame tired of the world. All thoughts of luxury andrelaxation fled from his mind and he roamed around in astate of bewilderment and amazement. After a while clothestoo seemed a burden and he removed these as well. Now heroamed around naked.His entry into DelhiHe reached Delhi in this state of nakedness. Prince Dara
Shikuh was Sufi-orientated and a friend of fakirs. When hediscovered that Sarmad had entered Delhi he ensured thathe became acquainted with the Shaykh very soon. After hegot to know the Shaykh closely, he was greatly affected byhis spiritual power. He respected the Shaykh very much.Prince Dara Shikuh was one of his admirers. Thus hebecame to have much influence at court.A change of governmentPrince Aurangzeb defeated Dara Shikuh and took the reignsof power into his own hands in lieu of Shah Jahan. DaraShikuh began to wander from desert to desert andsettlement to settlement. This period was a testing one forDara Shikuh¶s sympathisers, supporters and associates.Hazrat Sarmad was one of these too. Some people had fledwith Dara Shikuh and those who remained consideredthemselves in danger. Hazrat Sarmad chose not to leave ashe knew that his burial place would be in Delhi.AccusationsThe accusations which were made upon him were not freefrom political machinations. The first accusation was that hehad apparently rejected the Prophet¶s (Allah bless him andgive him peace) physical Ascension [mi¶raj] in the followingquatrain [5]:Every man who is aware of his secretHe becomes concealed even from the skiesThe mullah says that Ahmad [6] went to the heavens

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