Sultan Bahu or Bahoo was a Muslim Sufi and saint, who founded the Sarwari Qadiri sufi order.
Sultan Bahu was born in Anga, Soon Valley, Sakesar in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Like many other sufi saints of the South Asia, Sultan Bahu was also a prolific writer, with more than forty books on Sufism attributed to him. Most of His books are in Persian language. However, as the majority of his books deal with specialised subjects related to Islam and Islamic mysticism, it is his Punjabi poetry that has generated popular appeal and made him a household name in the region. His poetic verses are sung in many genres of sufi music, including qawaalis and kaafis. Tradition has established a particular style of singing his couplets, which is not used in any other genre of sufi music.
The Mausoleum of Sultan Bahu is located in Garh Maharaja, Punjab, Pakistan. It is a popular and frequently-visited sufi shrine, and the annual festival is celebrated with the usual fervour, which is now a distinguishing feature of what is being called a 'shrine culture' of the South Asia. Annual festival is held during the holy month of Muharram. Every year on the 9th of Muharram (Islamic calendar month) a ghusal (bath) is also taken place under the supervision of Muhammad Najeeb Sultan (Sajjada Nasheen (Chair-holder) of Sultan Bahoo shrine), in which all decedents of Sultan Bahoo wash His shrine with tones of pure rose water.
Spiritual Genealogy / Tareeqa
Sultan Bahu belonged to the Qadiri Sufi order, and later initiated his own offshoot, Sarwari Qadiri. He refers to Muhiyuddin Abdul Qadir Gilani as his spiritual Master in a number of his books and poetry, though Abdul Qadir Gilani died long before the birth of Sultan Bahu. However some Sufis maintain that Abdul Qadir Gilani has a special role in the mystic world and that all orders and saints are always indebted to him directly or indirectly in some way.
Sultan Bahu's education began with his mother, Mai Rasti, herself a saintly woman who has her own Mausoleum in Shorkot, Punjab, Pakistan. She told him to seek spiritual guidance from a wali (friend of GOD). After some time he moved to Delhi for further 'polishing' under the guidance of Sheikh Abdul Rehman al Qadari. Soon Sheikh Abdul Rehman al Qadari felt that he can not add anything to Sultan Bahu's knowledge as Sultan Bahu already knew more than Sheikh Abdul Rehman al Qadari. This did not take long, after which Sultan Bahu returned to his own, familiar surroundings.
Hazrat Sultan Bahu is from the progeny of Hazrat Ali and is a direct descended from Hazrat Ali (cousin of Muhammad, husband of Fatima and father of Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali). Traditionally according to the law of the land he is Hashimi and belongs to the tribe of A'wan. Historically the A'wan tribe trace their descent to Ameer Shah, son of Qutub Shah whose family lineage is traced back to Hazrat Ali.
After the incident of Karbala, the household of Muhammad had to migrate to other lands. Many of his descendants who lived in Egypt and nearby lands departed for Turkistan and Iran due to persecution at the hands of Hujjaj bin Yusuf.
As time went by, they resettled in places such as Bukhara and Hamadan in Turkistan, and Baghdad in Iraq. Some migrated to Khurasan and others to Herat in the mountainous regions of present day Afghanistan. The ancestors of Sultan Bahu migrated and settled in South Asia, and the father of Sultan Bahu, Bazid Muhammed, became an important titleholder at the court of the Mughal emperors of South Asia.
The actual number of books written by Sultan Bahu is not certain. According to tradition, he is supposed to have authored over one hundred works and treatises. The following is a list of the important works of Sultan Bahu that still exist today, and can be traced back to him with credibility. Nurul Huda, Risala-e-Roohi, Aql Baidaar, Mahq-ul-Fuqar, Qurb nnvnvn, Aurang-Shaahi, Jami-il-Asraar, Taufiq-Hedaayat, Kaleed Tauheed, Ainul Faqr, Shamsul Arifeen, Magzane Faiz, Ameerul Quonain, Asrare Qaderi, Kaleed Jannat, Muhqamul Fuqar, Majaalis-tun Nabi, Muftahul Arifeen, Hujjatul Asraar, Jannatul Firdaus, Kash-ful Asraar, Risaala Ruhi Shareef, Abyaat Bahu (poetry), Muhabbatul Asraar, Ganjul Asraar, Dewaan Bahu, Panj Ganj, Fazlul Laqa, Jhook Sultany, Ameerul Mumineen.
Of the above, Nurul Huda (Light of Guidance) and Risala-e-Roohi (Book of Soul) are the most popular, along with the poetry collection Abiyaate Bahu.