Hadrat Syed Ghulam Haider Shah (RA)
The teachings of Islam are so simple, straight forward and convincing that during the life time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his Caliphs the light of Islam reached as far as Azerbaijan and to the far eastern parts of Asia, despite the slow means of communications. The reason of wide acceptance is truthfulness, simplicity, practicability and universality of Islam. The political dominance may help to propagate any ideology and some historian allegedly attribute the spread of Islam as the foot step of Muslim forces. This is not correct, because one can witness that the deeper parts of Africa and far eastern parts of Asia, where Muslim army did no march and yet Islam spread into these areas.
In South Asia, Islam penetrated because of the glories teachings of Islam on all aspects of life that provide a comprehensive solution to a better individual and communal life. The other significant contributory was the impact and preaching of Muslim saints and Sufis, who modeled their lives according to principles of Islam. Their helping attitude, flawless personality, respect for human beings, straight forwardness and fair dealings with the local population, influenced and encouraged as large number to embrace Islam. Hazrat Syed Ghulam Haider Shah (1838-1908), a renowned religious figure and sufi, contributed a lot to the spread of Islam and to develop a through and deep belief on its teachings. Al-though century has passed yet his principles, teachings and attitude towards life is providing guidance to large number of his followers, all over the world. His impressive religious personality has turned jalalpur Shareef into a symbol of light and inspiration. He belonged to Chishtiya order of Sufism. Malik Muhammad Din, a writer, truly claims in his book: “Ziker-e-Habib” that India has been a kingdom of Chishties, from Ras-Kumari to Nanga Parbat, and Hazrat Syed Ghulam Haider Shah has been a ruler of the spiritual world and has been ruling the hearts of people.
Hazrat Syed Ghulam Haider Shah was born in a beautiful hilly town, Jalapur Shareef, situated on the western bank of River Jehlum, near Kahwera saltmines in district Jehlum. The grand father (Syed Sakhi Shah) and father (Syed Juma Shah) of Syed Ghulam Haider Shah have been renowned for their steadfastness and trustworthiness in the region.
His mother, from a Syed family of Khewah (Gujrat), had been very pious, a resolute lady and very considerate towards poor and needy ones. The alms were never turned down to beggars, visiting her doorstep. Since his childhood Syed Ghulam Haider Shah had decent habits, clear thinking and complete faith and confidence in the supremacy and authority of Allah. He learned Holy Quran from Mian Khan and his uncle Syed Imam Shah. Among other teachers were Mian Mohammad Kamil and Mufti Ghulam Mohaiuddin, who were distinguished scholars in the region at that time.
As he reached his youth, Allah blessed him with strong and healthy built. He had fair wheatish complexion and attractive black eyes, full of confidence and conviction. His father used to impress upon him to lead a life with chastity. He honoured father’s advice and through out his life, avoided even mnor touch with anyna-mahram lady. He got married at the age of sixteen. After two years he had to witness the bereavement of his father, who was at the same time a spiritual tutor and with whom he was deeply attached. Before the demise, his father instructed and advised him, “Lead simple, chaste and respectable life. Always remember the Supreme Authority, Allah and Sunnah (practice and preaching of holy prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him) should be the conduct of life. Be-caring and considerate to relatives and also towards needy and poor. Be respectful to elders and loving and caring towards younger. Most visit every day, the shrine of Syed Miran Shakir fro spiritual guidance and strength”.Syed Miran Shakir, whose shrine is about three miles up-hills from Jallalpur Shareef, is the eldest son of well known Syed Shah Muhammad Ghaus, who is buried in Lahore between Akbari and Dilli Gate).
The obedient son acted according to the will of his father. He led simple, contented and devout life according to the guide lines set by Quraanand Sunnah. He strived to gain know ledge and be beneficial for people. Because of his generosity he is remembered as Gharib-Nawaz (generous to poor). Despite his own early moderate economic conditions, he used to gi8ve alms to any beggar visiting his doorstep and helped the travelers and needy ones, irrespective of their religion or creed.
His non-discriminating attitude was according to the teaching of Islam. As every Muslim in his five prayers repeats nearly twenty times, every day: (Assalam-o-Alaina wa ala ibad Allah-is-saleheen), for the salamti (safety and survival) of himself and saleh (good) human beings, irrespective of their religion or creed.
Syed Ghulam Haider Shah mostly used to spend evenings and occasionally nights at Hazrat Miran Shakir’s shine that used to be deserted at nights. One night the heard a voice, instructing him to see Syed Ghulam Shah of a nearby town Haranpur for silsilah-e-bait (spiritual link). When he met Syed Ghulam Shah Haranpuri, he said,” Your bait is not easy for me, I will lead you to Khawajah Shamsuddin Sialvi (a well-known Sufi and religious scholar of his times)”.
As both of them reached Sial Shareef, a town in district Jhang, Syed Ghulam Shah Haranpuri introduced him to Khawajah Shamsuddin Sialvi, “He is a Syed from Jalalpur and is desirous of bait”.Khawajah Shamsuddin Sialvi, as if waiting for such a pious, devout and capable figure, welcomed him and entered him to silsilah-e-bait. This bait resulted in his spiritual growth and uplift. Gharib Nawaz developed too much attachment and attraction for his Murshid (Spiritual guide) Khawajah shamsuddin Sialvi and used to visit to Sial Shareef, he was awarded Khilafat and permission to accept hait from any follower. He also studied books of Sufism, e.g., Muraqa Shareef Kashkaol, etc. from his Murshid.
The virtues, purity and piousness of Syed Ghulam Haider Shah earned great respect form Khwajah Silavi, who used to instruct a number of salikeen and mureedain to go and seek bait of Syed Ghulam Haider Shah, Jalalpuri instead of his own. He used in his bait and that of Syed Jalalpuri’s bait.
Gharib-Nawaz Syed Ghulam Haider Shah, used to spend most of his time remembering Allah, offering prayers, even not missing nowafils (Non-obligatory worship), acquiring knowledge, study of sufi literature and guiding and helping visitors. At the same time he was very attentive towards the welfare and betterment of his family, followers and other matters of daily life. He maintained Langar (free meals for followers, travelers and needy ones). He used to keep himself abreast of political situation of the country and about the international affairs. He was very perturbed over the deteriorating political conditions of Muslims in general and riots of 1907 in Bengal and Punjab. In Islam there is no Rehbaniyat (Monkey or Participation both in religious as well as in worldly activities. Every worldly deed becomes a religious activity when it is performed according to guide lines and teachings of Islam and remembering and fearing Almighty Allah all the times.
Gharib-Nawaz Syed Ghulam Haider Shah led simple, clean and graceful life. He was very generous and consistent in his commitments. He used to preach and practice love for Allah, His Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), Murshid and mankind and regarded it as a part of faith. He desired his family and followers to be pious, cooperative, knowledge and prolific. He hardly used to become angry with any one. He was always a well wisher and never wished bad for anyone. Almighty Allah, the Merciful, mostly rewarded whenever he prayed for the betterment of any one, who visited him and requested for pray. Syed Mehr Ali Shah Golarvi was peer-bhai (brother in spiritual order) and contemporary of Syed Ghulam Haider Shah. Both had great respect and regard for each other and worked jointly for the cause of Islam.
In 1905, Syed Ghulam Haider Shah, handed over Khilafat to his Younger ason Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah and advised to help and guide people, continue Langar Shareef and contribute in construction of facilities for the visitors and followers. On afternoon of 5th July 1908 (5th Jamadi-us-Sani, 1326 Hijra), following minor temperature he expired. Malik Muhammad Din had written the biography, “Ziker-e-Habib” of Syed Ghulam Haider Shah. Many scholars and learned people expressed sorrow and grief by written articles, poems and verses. Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal, also wrote quatrain indicating his high stature and date of expiry in Persian.
It translates as, “Every one who visits the grave of peer Haider Shah, described it as the glory of Koh-e-Toor (where Allah manifested His glory to Prophet Moses).
An angel descended, from heaven and kissed hi grave, when asked about his year to expiry, the angle replied, Maghfoor, (meaning pardoned and exonerated one; the digit sum of the letters of Maghfoor is 1326, the year according to the lunar calendar). The follower and devotees from all around the world will gather to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Syed Ghulam Haider Shah at Jallalpur Shareef, district Jehlum in Second week of July.
After Syed Muzaffar Shah, his son, Hazrat Abdul Barkat Syed Muhammad Fazal Shah, graced dargah Jallalpur Shareef. He was a great spiritual as well as a religious leader and activity participated in the movements for independence of Pakistan and Kashmir. The volunteers of his Jamaat Hizbullah, fought and struggled to liberate Azad jamun Kashmir from Indian atrocities.
These days Hazrat Syed Anis Haider, the grand son of Syed Muhammad Fazal Shah, is the spiritual leader and Sal adah Nasheen of Jallahpur Shareef. He is highly qualified and has worked abroad for a long tiem. He worked in UNO as Country Director for Afghan Affair. On account of commitments and responsibilities entrusted upon him after the sad demise of his father Syed Barket Ahmed (ex Joint Secretary, Government. of Pakistan and Senator) he resigned from UNO in 2002. The mile-stones of his mission are Education, Unity among Muslims and Welfare and Development of the followers, Pakistan and Muslims in general. He is paying special attention towards grooming and education of male and female students of Dar-ul-uloom Jamia Haideriah at Jallalpur Shareef. He strongly desires that the education and knowledge acquisition of Quran and Sunnah must proceed hand in hand with scientific and technical education. Out of his busy schedule he takes out time for spiritual guidance of the followers and also for developmental and social activities.
His brother Hazrat Syed Tanveer Haider is also foreign qualified. He had been working in the Computer field at GHQ but left job, while availing an opportunity to stay in Masjid-e-Nabvi, Madina Shareef.
Both brothers have high spiritual standings and are providing inspiration and guidance to the followers. Both are looking after all the affairs of Jallalpur Shareef jointly. May Allah be merciful and beneficent to them and all Muslims and give us strength to follow the straight path indicated and followed by His Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and His pious and good people who have been rewarded by Him.