Sultan Bahu (ca 1628 – 1691) was a Muslim Sufi and saint, who founded the Sarwari Qadiri sufi order. Sultan Bahu belonged to Awan tribe. Awans are the descendants of Ali. 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. 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.
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-Fuqara, Qurb nnvnvn, Aurang-Shaahi, Jami-il-Asraar, Taufiq-Hedaayat, Kaleed Tauheed, Ainul Faqr, Shamsul Arifeen, Magzane Faiz, Ameerul Quonain, Asrare Qaderi, Kaleed Jannat, Muhqamul Fuqara, 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.
(Hazrat Sultan Bahu’s poetry collection)
- Alif Allah Chambe Di Booti (Jasmine of Allah’s Name.)
- Baghdad Shehar Dee Kiya Nishani (The city of Baghdad)
- Charh Channan Te Kar Roshnai (Rise, O moon, and spread your light)
- Dil Darya Sumoondron Dhoonge (The heart is deeper than the ocean)
- Eh Tan Meraa Chashmaan Hove (Were my whole body festooned with eyes)
- Jo Dam Ghaafil, So Dam Kaafir
- (Any moment you are negligent in remembrance of God
– a moment spent in denial of God)
- Panje Maihal, Panjaan Wich Chaanan
- (Within me are five great mansions- All five brightly lit)