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Shahbaz Qalander

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Shahbaz Qalander

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
Religion Islam, specifically the Suhrawardiyya Sufi order
Other name(s) Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
Born 1177
Marand, Iran
Died 1274
Sehwan, Pakistan
Senior posting
Based in Sehwan
Title Shahbaz
Period in office 12th/13th century
Predecessor Baha-ud-din Zakariya
Successor Various

Syed Usman Marwandi known as Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and Jhule Laal (1177–1274) (Sindhi: لال شھباز قلندر), a Sayed Sufi saint, philosopher, poet, and qalandar. Born Syed Hussain Shah,[1] he belonged to the Suhrawardiyya order of Sufis.

He preached religious tolerance among Muslims and Hindus. His mysticism attracted people from all religions. He was called Lal (red) after his usual red attire, Shahbaz due to his noble and divine spirit, and Qalandar for his Sufi affiliation . Thousands of pilgrims visit his shrine in Sehwan every year, especially at the occasion of his Urs.


Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (Syed Usman Marandi) also known as (Shah Husain (delivered this name by his father Hazrat Syed Ibrahim Kabir Uddin Jawabi (Ibrahim Mujaab) was born in Marwand (Now Marand).[2] Retrieved on 27 January 2008 to a dervish, Syed Ibrahim Kabiruddin[2] whose ancestors had migrated from Baghdad and settled in Mashhad, a center of learning and civilization, before migrating again to Marwand.

During his lifetime he witnessed the Ghaznavid and Ghurids rules in South Asia.[3] A contemporary of Baha-ud-din Zakariya, Fariduddin Ganjshakar, Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari Surkh-posh of Uchch, Shams Tabrizi, Mehre Ali Shah Mast and Rumi, he travelled around the Muslim world and settled in Sehwan (Sindh, Pakistan) where he was eventually buried.[4] Evidence shows that Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalander was in Sindh before 1196 when he met Pir Haji Ismail Panhwar of Paat. It is believed he arrived in Sehwan in 1251. He established a Khanqah there and taught in the Fuqhai Islam Madarrsah: during this period he wrote his treatises Mizan-us-Surf, Kism-e-Doyum, Aqd and Zubdah.

In Multan Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar met Bahauddin Zakariya Multani of the Suhrwardiyya, Baba Farid Ganjshakar of the Chishtiyya and Makhdoom Jalaluddin Surkh Bukhari. Their friendship became legendary: they were known as Chahar Yar (Persian = the four friends). According to some historians the four friends visited various parts of Sindh,Punjab in present day Pakistan and Southern part of India. Saints of Sindh including Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Makhdoom Bilawal and Sachal Sarmast were followers of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.

His dedication to the knowledge of various religious disciplines enabled him to eventually become a profound scholar. He became fluent in many languages including Pashto, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Sindhi and Sanskrit. Lal Shahbaz lived a celibate life. He died in 1274 after living 97 years.

in poetry and prose

A qawwali sung by many Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Singers like Noor Jahan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen, Sabri Brothers, Wadali brothers, Reshman and Runa Laila, "Lal Meri Pat Rakhiyo ..."(See Dama Dam Mast Qalandar) is in honour of Shahbaz Qalandar. It is said that the original qawwali was written by Amir Khusrow and was then modified completely by the Sufi Saint (and poet) Abdullah Shah (popularly known as Bullehshah). Apparently, Bullehshah gave an entirely different color to the qawwali and added verses in praise of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. His version of the qawwali gives it a large tint of Sindh culture.


The shrine around his tomb, built in 1356, gives a dazzling look with its Sindhi kashi tiles, mirror work and one gold-plated door – donated by the late Shah of Iran, and installed by the late Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.[5] The inner sanctum is about 100 yards square with the silver canopied grave in the middle. On one side of the marble floor is a row of about 12-inch-high (300 mm) folding wooden stands on which are set copies of Quran for devotees to read. On the other side, beside a bundle of incense, are rows of oil-lamps lighted by devotees. Thousands of devotees visit the tomb, particularly every Thursday.


Lal Shahbaz' annual Urs (death anniversary celebration) is held on the 18 Sha'aban – the eighth month of the Muslim lunar calendar. Sehwan springs to life and becomes the focal point of more than half a million pilgrims from all over Pakistan. On each morning of the three-day feast the narrow lanes of Sewhan are packed to capacity as pilgrims, fakirs (dervish) and devotees make their way to the shrine to commune with the saint, offer tributes and make a wish. Most of the people present garlands and a green chadar (shawl)" with Quranic inscriptions in silver or gold threads, humming verses, singing and dancing in praise of the saint till late at night. The devotional dance known as ‘dhamal’, an ecstatic swirl of the head and body, is performed to the rhythm of the dhol, a big barrel-shaped drum, some of giant size and placed in the courtyard of the shrine. Bells, gongs, cymbals and horns make a thunderous din, and the dervishes in robes, beads, bracelets and colored head-bands whirl faster and faster until, with a final deafening shout, they run out into the courtyard.

Mela of Lal Shahbaz Mast Qalandar is celebrated in India as well, by Sindhi people every year for more than 30 years in Rajkot, Gujarat. The mela is held during the month of February, or beginning of the month March on special Monday. Sindhi people refer to Monday as 'Sao Sumar (Green Monday)' they usually celebrate on that day a lot - having fun and sing from morning 6am till the morning of next day 8am. They invite 'mandli (band of folk-singers)' from different region on every year.

All Sindhis who attend this festival possess full faith in Mast Qalandar.

legends and stories

On his way from Balochistan to Sindh he (Qalandar) stayed in present-day Karachi's Manghopir area for meditation (Muraqaba), and it is said that Manghopir's natural warm fountain started to flow from beneath the hill on which Lal Shahbaz sat. The fountain is still flowing continuously and is said to have miraculous healing power especially for asthma patients.

It is also believed that he turned into a falcon to pick up his friend Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar from the gallows. Another legend tells that the incumbent fakirs in Sehwan sent him a bowl of milk filled to the brim, indicating that there was no room for anything more. However, he returned the bowl with a beautiful flower floating on the top.

Baba Sajid Saleem, an expert on Sufi legend, teaching in GIKI head of humanities department, also narrates another legend, in which a fellow Murid was requested meat by Shahbaz. The fellow Murid went to a town of pagans. The pagans tear the fellow and ate him. When Shahbaz knew about the incident he called him as if he was listening. The Murid came out of the stomach of pagans, integrated into the Murid and came back to service of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.

See also


External links

  • Site Reference of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
  • Official shrine website

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