Biography of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan-ul-Faqr Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh
Research on Outward Oath of Allegiance of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo

There is a difference of opinion among the researchers and biographers of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan-ul-Faqr Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh on his outward oath of allegiance upon the hands of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh, because they think that he didn't need to have outward allegiance as Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam himself took his oath of allegiance spiritually and inwardly and then assigned him to Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani for further spiritual training. More over, in all his books Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo has written the words of "Shaikh-e-Maa" (my mentor) for Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu. Another argument given by them is that Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo has never mentioned anything about his allegiance to Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani in his books and it is absolutely improbable that he had benefitted from someone and had not mentioned anything about him. This argument cannot be considered valid because it is not a hard and fast rule and we have many previous examples that a disciple has not mentioned the name of his murshid in his books like Hazrat Ghaus-ul-Azam Jilani Razi Allah Anhu has not either mentioned the name of his murshid Shaikh Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh in any of his books. Similarly, Syed Habib Allah Qadri Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh has not mentioned anything about his murshid Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani in his book "Sir'rul Habib".

Only in Manaqib-e-Sultani the writer has mentioned Sultan-ul-Arifeen's allegiance upon the hands of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani under his saintly lineage. Since, Manaqib-e-Sultani is the first biography of Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh, so it must be believed and there is not any reason to reject it.

Now, we discuss different opinions of different biographers and researchers.

Faqeer Noor Mohammad Kalachvi writes in Makhzan-ul-Asrar: "There is not any clue about the outward oath of allegiance of Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh". (Makhzan-ul-Asrar-pg 259-260)
On the contrary, when Faqeer Noor Mohammad Kalachvi writes the Shajrah-e-Tareeqat (saintly lineage) of Sarwari Qadri order on page 8 of his book "Anwar-e-Sultani" the Punjabi exegesis of Sultan-ul-Arifeen's poetry, he writes the name of Pir Rehman (Syed Abdul Rehman Dehlvi Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh) before the name of Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh, thus contradicting his own statement. Furthermore, Faqeer Noor Mohammad Kalachvi's son Faqeer Abdul Hameed Sarwari Qadri (who is also his successor) also writes the name of Syed Abdul Rehman Dehlvi before the name of Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh, as Pir Rehman in the Shajrah-e-Tareeqat of Sarwari Qadri order in his book "Hayat-e-Sarwari" on page 132-133 and 219, which shows that he also admits that Syed Abdul Rehman was the mentor of Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh, thus he also contradicts his father's opinion.
Doctor Sultan Altaf Ali, who belongs to the family of Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo, writes in "Deewan-e-Bahoo" that Sultan-ul-Arifeen had no need of an apparent murshid. And in the foreword of his book "Sharah Abiaat-e-Bahoo" writes that the murshid of Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo was Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu whom he had frequently referred to as "Shaikh-e-Maa" (my murshid) in his books. But in his book "Mirat-e-Sultani" (Bahoo Nama Kamil) Doctor Altaf Ali changes his opinion and writes: "Shaikh Habib-Allah Qadri Said to Sultan-ul-Arifeen 'O Faqeer! I do not have what you want. You should go to my Murshid Syed Abdul Rehman Gillani in Dehli. When Sultan-ul-Arifeen reached Dehli, he found that Syed-ul-Sadaat Hazrat Pir Abdul Rehman Dehlvi was already waiting for him, he at once, bestowed the eternal treasure upon Sultan-ul-Arifeen". (page 114)
In the same book, Professor Sultan Altaf Ali writes the Shajrah-e-Tareeqat (saintly lineage) of Sarwari Qadri order on page 120 and 121 and in it, writes the name of Syed Abdul Rehman Dehlvi before the name of Sultan-ul-Arifeen, which shows that he admits that Sultan-ul-Arifeen had sworn oath of allegiance upon the hands of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani.
In this context, the most rigid opinion is that of Professor Ahmed Saeed Hamadani. He has discussed this matter in detail in his book "Sultan-ul-Arifeen Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh (Hayat-o-Taleemat)" under the topic "Shaikh-e-Maa", Hazrat Sultan-ul-Arifeen ke murshid".
First, he gives the reference of the following statement of "Manaqib-e-Sultani":
"Hazrat Shah Habib-Allah Qadri was a famous Shaikh who lived in Garh Baghdad at the bank of river Ravi. Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh met him. It is said that he took different tests of Sultan-ul-Arifeen but found him better in courage and spiritual strength than his own self. At last, requested him to go to his Shaikh Syed Abdul Rehman Qadri Dehlvi Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh".
According to the writer of "Manaqib-e-Sultani" a dervish Sultan Hameed who belonged to Bhakar and was his Khalifah accompanied Sultan-ul-Arifeen in his journey to Dehli. When Sultan-ul-Arifeen met Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani, he took him in privacy, Sultan-ul-Arifeen got his "eternal destiny" in only one step, thus, he found what he wanted".
Then contradicting this statement of "Manaqib-e-Sultnai", Professor Ahmad Saeed Hamadani writes:
"The writer of Manaqib-e-Sultani thinks that Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani is Sultan-ul-Arifeen's murshid and has also given a Shajrah-e-Tareeqat in accordance, but before writing the above incident he has also stated a spiritual experience of Sultan-ul-Arifeen which shows that he got the spiritual beneficence by the Awaisi way and was already permitted by the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam through Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu to guide and persuade men of Allah on the way to Reality. The writer of Manaqib-e-Sultani Hazrat Sultan Hamid had heard tradition of this spiritual experience from his ancestors, generation after generation. Sultan-ul-Arifeen had this experience while he was awake. One day he was standing somewhere in Shorekot, an honorable and dignified rider appeared who held his hand and let him sit on the horse behind him…. This rider was Hazrat Ameer-ul-Momineen Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib Karam Allah Wajhu. (The proceedings of this incident have been mentioned in SEARCH FOR THE DIVINE TRUTH AND OATH OF ALLEGIANCE). After having presence in the Divine Assembly of the Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam and being satiated with benevolence of the sacred companions and Ahl-e-Bait Razi Allah Anhum, he was assigned to Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu, for further guidance".
In "Risala Roohi Sharif" when Sultan-ul-Arifeen mentions the names of Seven Divine Sultan-ul-Faqr souls, he writes about Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani that meaning: "One of these souls is my Shaikh (murshid) the true Divine self, absolute celestial Light and the Perfect manifestation of Eternal Reality Hazrat Shaikh Mohiyud-din Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu".
If this revelation is compared to the tradition of Sultan-ul-Arifeen's meeting with Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani, contradiction between the two becomes obvious. When, after this greatest truimph, Sultan-ul-Arifeen was directly being bestowed upon by the Divine Light of the Essence, and was permitted by these elite glorious spirits to guide and persuade people towards the righteousness, then receiving "Eternal destiny" from some other 'Pir' is out of question, as he already held the position of a Perfect Murshid himself".
Professor Ahmad Saeed Hamadani proceeds as:
"It is also writeen in Manaqib-e-Sultani that since Sultan-ul-Arifeen Quds-Sir'ru-Hoo was a born saint, he had complete knowledge of Divine Secrets by birth. Moreover, Sultan-ul-Arifeen himself says, 'I had no time to get apparent education or do hard mystic prayers due to the excess of luminous effects of revelations of The Divine Essence. I always remain absorbed in The Divine Oneness and busy in enjoying the pleasure of The Divine Company". If he did not need apparent education or superagotary prayers, then he must not need any apparent Murshid too. It seems that just like in the age of cultural deterioration, modern members of different fields and circles were left with following, and unnecessarily emphasizing upon the apparent rules of superficial system only, similarly in Tareeqat too, the importance of apparent form of connectivity was unnecessarily enhanced. If someone did not have a teacher in poetry, he was considered untaught, similarly, in Tareeqat, if someone was not attached to a Pir (mentor) he was considered unguided. As far as, Hazrat Sultan-ul-Arifeen is concerned, he did not care this rule at all and had never mentioned anything about Habib Allah Shah or Pir Syed Abdul Rehman Qadri in any of his books, however, he often mentions his above discussed revelation and getting benefit through Awaisi way. But perhaps, his descendants found it necessary to attach him to some traditional saintly lineage in accordance with the specific cultural background of their age, so it became necessary for them to give reference of some apparent Murshid". (Page 4-50)
Mumtaz Baloch writes in "Hoo Dey Bait":
"Hazrat Sultan-ul-Arifeen's allegiance upon the hands of Syed Abdul Rehman Dehlvi is just a presumption which has no connection with reality and neither it seems possible". (page 61)
Mumtaz Baloch is not a research scholar, whatever he writes about Faqr in his books is limited to superficial knowledge only. He has written the above statement just on the basis of those statements of Sultan Altaf Hussain, Professor Ahmad Saeed Hamadani and Faqeer Noor Mohammad Kalachvi, in which, these respected persons appear to be against Sultan-ul-Arifeen's outward allegiance.
Maulvi Mohammad Din Gujrati writes, in his Risala (booklet) on Sultan-ul-Arifeen Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh, published in 1927, that:
"Pir Abdul Rehman Qadri Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh held the hand of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh and took him in his closet and said to him 'indeed you are rich with the Divine benefits of Oneness and the Holy Prophet's sacred hands are upon your hand and you are guided by Hazrat Piran-e-Pir Dastageer Razi Allah Anhu. After getting this divine inspiration, Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh came to the market of Dehli and blessed the people there with his Divine attention, thus all the shopkeepers and other people got ecstatic".
Sultan-ul-Faqr sixth Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh who was a Sahib-e-Mussama Ism-e-Zaat Murshid (having all the attributes and Powers of Ism-e-Allah Zaat), the possessor of Divine trust and stationed at the venerable grand status of Sultan-ul-Faqr, belonged to the family of Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh. He used to say:
"Sultan-ul-Arifeen's apparent allegiance upon the hands of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani was amongst the necessities and requirements of Faqr, so he met Syed Abdul Rehman only once, took oath of allegiance and returned, because in Faqr apparent allegiance is necessary. If he had not taken the oath of allegiance at the hands of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani then the chain of Sarwari Qadri order which reached Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani from Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani in a continuous manner would have broken and Sultan-ul-Arifeen would not have remained a linked mentor of this chain."

In all the books published from India e.g Aasar-e-Dehli, Rehnuma-e-Mazaraat-e-Dehli, Mashaikh-e-Qadria, Mazaraat-e-Auliya-e-Dehli and in many other books, wherever the name of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani is mentioned, it is also written with it that he was Murshid of Punjab's famous saint Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh.

All the research scholars, who are against Sultan-ul-Arifeen's outward allegiance have their own points of view based upon their own knowledge and the books available. Our research is not meant to contradict them, rather it is meant to proceed their work. Although, it must be stated respectfully that a research scholar just tries to find the truth and it is possible that his research proves to be wrong. Still, we agree that these scholars are right, as far as, their apparent knowledge is concerned, because Sultan-ul-Arifeen himself states that:

1. Sarwari Qadri is actually the one who swears allegiance upon the hands of Hazrat Mohammad Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. All the evils and immoral behaviors are removed from his self and is blessed with the taufeeq (Divine favour) to adopt the way of Shariat-e-Mohammadi. (Mehek-ul-Faqr Kalan)
2. Some Sarwari Qadris have such elite status that they are blessed with benevolence of Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam directly, and then he assigns them to Hazrat Mohayyud-Din Shah Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu. He blesses them in such a way that they are never separated from him, even for a single moment. (Mehek-ul-Faqr Kalan)

Those, who have rejected the outward allegiance of Sultan-ul-Arifeen have based their argument on the Awaisi way, Awaisi way actually exists and we do not deny it. In this way a devotee gets spiritual benefits directly from the Holy Prohphet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam or from some saint who has died. There are three kinds of Awaisy way:

1. The great persons, who have to adorn the throne of divine guidance and persuasion must swear outward allegiance despite of being benefitted from the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam through Awaisi way because they should be a Murshid-e-Itesal (linked with the chain or series of mentors of a specific spiritual order or way). Here, the argument can be given that why did Hazrat Ghaus-ul-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu need to swear allegiance? He was also a born saint, his status among all saints is so high that his footstep is at the neck of all of them, he swore allegiance upon the hands of the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam on the night of Meraj (ascension to Allah), and without his benevolence, no one can find even the fragrance of Faqr. He also found the complete spiritual treasure through Awaisi way, as is written by Hazrat Shah Wali Allah Muhadas Dehlvi in Hamma'at: "After Hazrat Ali Karam Allah Wajhul Kareem, starts a series of sacred sufis and saints. The most powerful and superior among all the saints, and the one who travelled the mystic path with utmost excellence through the actual Awaisi way is Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu".

This proves that Hazrat Ghaus-ul-Azam found everything through Awaisi way. Sultan-ul-Arifeen considers him his mentor and calls him "Shaikh-e-Maa" (my murshid). If he had got everything through Awaisi way, then why did he need to swear apparent allegiance upon the hands of Hazrat Shaikh Mubarak Makhzoomi Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh? His allegiance has never been controversial and is stated in the books of Tasawuf with confirmed and authentic traditions. It is said that Ghaus-ul-Azam met his Murshid Hazrat Shaikh Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi once, he gave him the Khirqaa (a cloak which used to be a symbol of allegiance in those days) and that was all. Hazoor Ghaus-ul-Azam Razi Allah Anhu started the duty of guidance and persuasion of men of Allah from the same day. Sultan-ul-Arifeen's allegiance was also on the same pattern. He met his apparent Murshid only once and found complete spiritual treasure in just one meeting because he had already completed his spiritual journey through Awaisi way. The statement of Maulvi Mohammad Din Gujrati referred above, supports our argument.

Now the question arises, why is it necessary to have outward allegiance in order to hold the throne of divine guidance and persuasion? The answer is that, in Faqr a system of spiritual chains has been established which reaches step by step and link by link to the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam. Every Perfect Mentor should be a Murshid-e-Itesaal (link of this chain) i.e this chain and linkage should not break anywhere, unless this saintly lineage reaches the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam through Hazrat Ali Karam Allah Wajhu. If this linkage is broken anywhere in between, great disorder and trouble can arise because then certain wicked person would try to creep in this saintly series and would claim the throne of guidance and persuasion saying that he has been blessed by the Holy Prophet Sall'Allahu Alayhi Wa'alihi Wasallam directly through Awaisi way and he does not need to swear allegiance on any Murshid. If someone claims this, he is an absolute liar and must be punished. These evil persons claim false saintlihood, just as people claim false Prophethood and being fake Imam Mehdi. Now a days, we can find such fraud and fake pirs everywhere, who refuse apparent allegiance and claim that they are directly blessed, or born or hereditary saints.

The outward allegiance of Hazoor Ghaus-ul-Azam and Sultan-ul-Arifeen was to fulfill the above mentioned requirement, as they had to hold the throne of guidance and persuasion and benefit lacs of people of their age, and their spiritual order has to continue till Doomsday. Their outward allegiance was necessary, also because no one in future would use their example to claim that he is permitted to hold the throne of guidance and persuasion by the Holy Prophet through Awaisi way. There is not a single example in the history that a saint who holds the throne of guidance and persuasion was not a Murshid-e-Itesaal and was without an outward allegiance.

Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani says:

"The great Mashaikh (mentors), whose chain/series of Faqr reaches Hazrat Ali Karam Allah Wajhu in a continuous manner and then from this Baab-e-Ilm (Doorway of knowledge, Hazrat Ali Al Murtaza) reaches to the core of knowledge (Hazoor Alayh Salat-o-Wasalam), call people towards Allah through wisdom". (Sir'rul Asrar Chp:5)

This statement supports our argument that to hold the throne of guidance and persuasion, it is necessary for a saint to be a Murshid-e-Itesaal (properly linked with the chain of spiritual lineage).

2. The second Awaisi way is that, in which the benefiter does not have to hold the throne of guidance and persuasion, he just has to do some important duty related with the religion or for the Ummah. For example, Allama Iqbal got the spiritual benefit from the soul of Maulana Rome Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh through the Awaisi way. Although, Allama Iqbal had sworn allegiance in Qadri order when he was young but he never mentions the name of his apparent mentor in his poetry, rather considers Maulana Rome his actual Murshid.
3. Third Awaisi way is the one, in which a seeker is given the preliminary spiritual guidance in the beginning of his journey towards Allah and then he is sent to the apparent Murshid for complete guidance. A seeker may or may not know it.

It is hoped that this research would clarify many misapprehensions about the outward allegiance of Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh.

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