Hazrat Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi is popularly known by being the Murshid of Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan-ul-Faqr V Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo RA. He belonged to the progeny of Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu. Many details about his life are hidden from the world just as details about other Mashaikh of Sarwari Qadri Order are hidden. They all do not appreciate fame, so they keep themselves away from publicity. Thus, the details about their lives remain a secret.
Hazrat Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi RA is the descendant of Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu. His family lineage reaches Hazrat Ghaus-ul-Azam in the following order:
Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi son of Syed Abdul Qadir son of Sharf-ud-Din son of Syed Ahmed son of Alla-ud-Din Sani son of Syed Shahab-ud-Din Sani son of Sharaf-ud-Din Qasim son of Mohi-ud-Din Yahya son of Badar-ud-Din Hussain son of Alla-ud-Din son of Shams-ud-Din son of Saif-ud-Din Yahya son of Zaheer-ud-Din son of Abi Nasar son of Abu Saleh Nasar son of Syed Abdul Razzaq Jilani RA son of Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu.
Birth & Family
Hazrat Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani was born in 1024 Hijri (1615 AD) in Hamah, Syria. His father Syed Abdul Qadir RA was a dervish and a perfect saint. He got his early education from his father. At the age of 35, he came to Baghdad from Hamah and remained in seclusion for 3 years at the shrine of his ancestor, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu. He was then esoterically ordered by Ghaus-ul-Azam to go to India and meet Syed Abdul Jaleel RA. At this time, he was 38 years of age. On the Tuesday of 13th Ziqa’ad 1062 Hijri (15th October 1652 AD), he reached India through Iran and Afghanistan in the reign of Shah Jahan. He met Syed Abdul Jaleel RA who resided near the River Indus or Burhanpur or Aadilpur and swore bayat upon his hands on Monday, 10th Zilhaj 1062 Hijri (10th Nov 1652 AD). Then at his orders, he went to Dehli on Wednesday 9th Safar 1063 Hijri (8th January 1653 AD). Here, he bought some land and built his house and a khanqah, where his shrine is situated now. He also built closets for the residence of the disciples on the land around the khanqah and a mosque, which is now known as Shah Abdul Rehman Mosque. Present Sadar station and quarters of Muslim Waqf board are built on his land.
On Monday the 6th of Jamadi-us-Sani, 1065 Hijri (12th April 1655 AD), Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani RA married a woman of Jilani Sadaats, Syeda Zahida Khatoon in Dehli. In 1070 Hijri (1660 AD), he had his first son, Syed Taj-ul-Arifeen but he died as a result of diarrhoea in 1075 Hijri (1665 AD). In 1082 Hijri (1671 AD) his second son, Syed Abdul Aziz was born.
Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani died in 1088 Hijri. His wife died 10 years later in 1098 Hijri (1687 AD). The great grandson of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani and grandson of Syed Abdul Aziz, Syed Abdullah Shah Madni Jilani RA leaded the Sarwari Qadri Order after Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo RA. His shrine is in Ahmadpur Sharqiah, Bahawalpur district, Pakistan.
Hazrat Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi RA spent his life in anonymity. He never appreciated fame and never went to the royal court or met the rulers or officials. He was a Sahib-e-Tasarruf Qadri Faqeer (had Divine powers). Lacs of people in Dehli and its vicinity benefitted from him spiritually and lacs of people became his disciples. He was a “Qaim Maqam Faqeer” i.e. a Saint who benefits people while staying at one place. He spent the rest of his life at Delhi once he took residence over there.
The spiritual lineage of Faqr reaches Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi RA from Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu in the following order:
Hazrat Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi was a disciple of Syed Abdul Jaleel who was a disciple of Syed Abdul Baqqa disciple of Syed Abdul Sattar disciple of Syed Abdul Fattah disciple of Syed Najam-ud-Din Burhan Puri disciple of Syed Mohammad Yahya Sadiq Jilani disciple of Syed Abdul Jabbar bin Abu Saleh Nasar disciple of Syed Abdul Razzaq Jilani disciple of Syedna Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu.
Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan-ul-Faqr V Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo RA was the Khalifah-e-Akbar (senior spiritual successor) of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani RA. Khalifah-e-Asghar (junior spiritual successor) included Shah Habib Allah Qadri and Syed Mohammad Siddique who was the first caretaker of his shrine and had no children.
Spiritual Sufi Order
Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi is one of the most recognized Sufis of the Qadri order after its founder Abdul Qadir Jilani. The Order of Faqr of Hazrat Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi RA is Qadri Order later termed as Sarwari Qadri through his heir Sultan Bahoo RA. Hence, he is the 24th Shaikh of the (Sarwari) Qadri Order
The Sarwari Qadri Order lineage reaches Hazrat Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani RA as follows:
- Prophet Mohammad Sall’Allahu Alayhi Wa’alihi Wasallam
- Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib Karum Allah Wajhu
- Hazrat Khawaja Hassan Basri Razi Allah Anhu
- Hazrat Shaikh Habib Ajmi RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Daud Tai RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Maroof Karkhi RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Sirri Saqti RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Junaid Baghdadi RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Jafar Abu Bakr Shibli RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Hars Bin Asad Yemeni Tamimi RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Abu-al-Fazal Abdul Wahid Yemeni Tamimi RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Mohammad Yousaf Abu-al-Farrah Turtoosi RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Abu-al-Hassan Ali Bin Mohammad Qureshi Hankari RA
- Hazrat Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi RA
- Ghaus-ul-Azam Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu
- Hazrat Shaikh Taj-ud-Din Abu Bakr Syed Abdul Razzaq Jilani RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Syed Abdul Jabbar RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Syed Mohammad Sadiq Yahya RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Syed Najm-ud-Din Burhan Puri RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Syed Abdul Fattah RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Syed Abdul Sattar RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Syed Abdul Baqqa RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Syed Abdul Jaleel RA
- Hazrat Shaikh Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi RA
Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani RA died in the reign of Emperor Alamgir on Friday night, the 21st of Ramadan 1088 Hijri (16th November 1677 AD).
He was buried in his apartment. His Khalifah Syed Mohammad Siddique was the first caretaker of his shrine. He died in the reign of Alamgir. During the British rule, a road and railway track was passed from the land around his shrine and the Sadar Railway station was also built here, but special care was taken to keep his shrine safe. A compound was made around the shrine to keep it separate from the railway system.
The people who migrated to India from Pakistan in 1947 after the division of the Sub-continent occupied the vast land adjacent to the shrine of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi RA by conspiring with the members of Muslim Waqf Board, just as they had done with the other shrines and Muslim monasteries. Now his shrine is just a small room and Shah Abdul Rehman Mosque is present nearby. All the surrounding land which actually belonged to Syed Abdul Rehman and was a part of his shrine is now in the custody of illegal occupants.
Address of the shrine: Old Dehli 6-towards the East of Lahori Darwaza near Sadar Railway Station, Railway Colony, Muslim Waqf Board Quarters, Dehli-6-India.
Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi’s Urs is celebrated on 21st Ramadan with great devotion from a long time now. To date, devotees celebrate his Urs on 21st Ramadan.
Correction of Some Misconceptions
According to the writer of Manaqib-e-Sultani:
“Syed Abdul Rehman Dehlvi held a government post in Dehli and was the key holder and trustee of the royal treasury. He was provided with armed security and a safe place to live. When he met his disciples, he used to hide his face with a veil because people could not bear the effects of the Light of The Divine Reality and Majesty luminous on his sacred face. Thus, he held a great position in worldly life as well as in Faqr.”
This statement of Manaqib-e-Sultani gives rise to following confusions:
- Since Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi held a great position in Faqr, many Seekers of Allah had been meeting him to reach the Divine Truth through his mediation. The Indian writers have also stated in their books that lacs of people were benefited through him. Had he been on a high government post, it would not have been possible because then, he must have been busy in doing his worldly duties. Moreover, none of the Indian historians have mentioned his name as a high royal official. Other Indian writers have mentioned just a few lines about him in reference to his shrine. If he was a high government official and incharge and trustee of the royal treasury, he must have contacts with all the members of the royal family, other officials and servants. In the reign of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, dozens of historians were appointed to write each and every moment of the history but no one has ever mentioned his name as an important royal official, which seems absurd.
- When Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo went to the mosque of Dehli immediately after meeting Syed Abdul Rehman, everyone in the mosque was affected by his attention except Aurangzeb, Qazi and Kotwal. Afterwards Aurangzeb requested Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo for the blessings. Hence, he wrote Risala Aurang Shahi for him. It is not possible that during this meeting, Aurangzeb had not asked him about his purpose of coming to Dehli, and he would not have told him that he had come to meet Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi. Had Syed Abdul Rehman been a government official, Aurengzeb would have recognized him immediately and must have added him to his special advisors.
- To cover the face had never been a tradition of Sarwari Qadri Mashaikh. This act makes a person more famous and known among people, while Sarwari Qadri mentors never like fame and prefer to remain unknown. They also prefer to keep away from the rulers and like to remain among common people.
- His shrine is in old Dehli at a long distance from Lahori Darwaza. Adjacent to the shrine is Shah Abdul Rehman Mosque. This also shows that he did not live inside the fort. Rather, he always lived among common people and blessed them with his benevolence.
All the above arguments prove that the writer of Manaqib-e-Sultani has not researched before writing the above statement about Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani, nor did he travel to Dehli to confirm it. He only wrote what he listened from someone in the family without confirmation.
In 1934, Syed Tajammal Shah Naqvi Achvi’s book “Bagh-e-Sadaat” was published. Its second edition was published in 1947. Nowadays this book is rare, although it is verified that its first edition was published in 1934, as its reference is present in Sharif-ul-Tawareekh which was also published in 1934 after it. On page 61 of “Bagh-e-Sadaat”, the family lineage of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani is given as:
- Ghaus-ul-Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani Razi Allah Anhu
- Syed Abdul Razzaq Jilani RA
- Abu Saleh Nasar
- Syed Yaseen
- Syed Ahmad Shah
- Syed Abdul Qadir
- Syed Abdul Latif
- Syed Abdul Rehman, commonly known by the name of Bholoo Shah buried in Dehli, Murshid of Sultan Bahoo RA.
This lineage continues as:
- Pir Habib Shah
- Pir Rajab Shah
- Mohammad Shah
- Pir Allah Baksh
- Pir Karum Shah
- Hazoor Shah
- Noor Shah
- Zaman Shah
The main objection on this lineage record is that Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani RA has never been known by the name of “Bholoo Shah”. In fact Bholoo Shah was another Qadri Saint in 1200 Hijri. His shrine is at a distance of two or three kilometers from the shrine of Syed Abdul Rehman. We can find a few details about him in the old and new Indian history books. All the writers have written his name “Bholoo Shah” except Ghulam Yahya Anjum, who has written his name “Shah Behlan urf Bholoo Shah” in “Tareekh Mashaikh Qadria” volume III.
Bholoo Shah was a Majzoob Qadri saint who migrated to Dehli from Punjab. He was the disciple and Khalifah of Abdul Hamid in Qadri Order. In the book “Waqiat Dar-ul-Hakumat Dehli” (vol:II) it is written about him that:
“The shrine of Bholoo Shah RA (1201 Hijri) which was in Kabli Darwaza, has been removed but its remains are there and everyone knows its place. He was a saint of Qadri Order who died in 1201 Hijri. The shrine of his disciple Shah Mohammad Hafeez is near his shrine and his son Shah Ghulam Mohammad is also buried nearby. The Urs of Bholoo Shah is held on the 19th of Muharram. (page 473)
The book “Mazaraat-e-Auliya-e-Dehli” compiled by Mohammad Alam Shah Fareedi and published in 1927 AD is the first book on the shrines of Dehli. Its second edition was published in 1930. The writer and publisher migrated to Pakistan in 1947. This book was republished in 2006 from Dehli with rectifications and additional information by Doctor Hafeez-ur-Rehman Siddiqui. In this book, it is written:
“Bholoo Shah, 1789-Shrine in old Delhi near Kabli Darwaza: He belonged to Punjab and was the Khalifah of Shah Abdul Hameed Rehmat-ul-Allah Alayh in Qadri Order. He also had the privilege of having the company of Maulana Fakhr-ud-Din Chishti and Shah Nano. Bholoo Shah was a Majzoob saint. He died on the 20th Moharram 1204 Hijri (1789 AD) in the reign of Shah Alam II. His shrine is outside Kabli Darwaza.” (page 157-158)
In “Rehnuma-e-Mazaraat-e-Dehli” it is written about him that:
He (Hazrat Bholoo Shah RA) was a disciple and Khalifah of Hazrat Shah Abdul Hameed RA in Qadri Razzaqi Order and had enjoyed the company of Hazrat Shah Nano and Hazrat Shah Fakhr-ud-Din. He died on the 20th Moharram 1204 Hijri. His shrine is near the railway line, under the left side of the Mithai Bridge (Lahori Gate 4, Old Dehli 6) and a mosque is built nearby. Hazrat Shah Hafeez-ur-Rehman was the special disciple of Shah Bholoo, who died on the 30th Ziqa’ad 1236 Hijri during the reign of Akbar Shah II and was buried near his Murshid. Hazrat Shah Ghulam Mohammad was Shah Hafeez-ur-Rehman’s son and Khalifah. His grave is at the feet of his father’s grave who was also his Murshid.” (page 284-286)
Ghulam Yahya Anjum writes in “Tareekh Mashaikh Qadria” (vol:III):
“Hazrat Shah Behlan, commonly known by the name of Bholoo Shah RA, belonged to the Qadria Razzaqia Order. He was the disciple and Khalifah of Shah Abdul Hameed RA and also benefited from Maulana Fakhr-ud-Din Chishti. He was a Majzoob devotee who died on the 19th Moharram 1204 Hijri (1789 AD) and was buried in ‘Takya Bholoo Shah’ which is adjacent to Kabli Darwaza in Dehli. His devotees celebrate basant in the spring season at his shrine with great enthusiasm.” (page 291)
All the above statements prove that the lineage record of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi RA given by the writer of “Bagh-e-Sadaat” by the name of “Bholoo Shah” is definitely not related to Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani but is about Bholoo Shah RA who migrated to Dehli from Punjab and got spiritual beneficence from Shah Abdul Hameed of Qadria Order. His family remained back in Punjab, which is why, his Khalifah Shah Mohammad Hafeez became his successor and the supervisor of his shrine. After Shah Mohammad Hafeez, his son succeeded him. Their shrines are also near the shrine of Bholoo Shah RA. The shrine of Syed Abdul Rehman Jilani Dehlvi RA is situated about 2 kilometers away from his shrine at Lahori Gate, Sadar Bazar Railway Station, Railway Colony Muslim Waqf Board Quarters, Old Dehli 6.
- Manaqib-i-Sultani–hagiography written by Sultan Hamid
- Shams-ul-Fuqara–an encyclopedia of the teachings of Sultan-ul-Arifeen written by Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman ISBN 978-969-9795-04-6
- Sultan Bahoo-The Life and Teachings: (Shams-ul-Fuqara in English): written by Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman and Translation of by Yasmin Khurshid Malik Sarwari Qadri, Ambreen Moghees Sarwari Qadri, Neyn Tara Sarwari Qadri ISBN 978-969-9795-18-3
- Sufism:Heart of Islam written by Sadia Dehlvi ISBN978-93-5029-448-2
- Mujtaba Akhir Zamani-life history of the Mashaikhs of the Sarwari Qadri Order written by Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman ISBN 978-969-9795-07-7
- The Spiritual Guides of Sarwari Qadri Order: (Mujtaba Akhir Zamani in English): Written by Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman and Translation of by Yasmin Khurshid Malik Sarwari Qadri, Ambreen Moghees Sarwari Qadri, Neyn Tara Sarwari Qadri
- Kalam Mashaikh Sarwari Qadri–poetry of spiritual guides of Sarwari Qadri Order written by Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman ISBN 9789699795237
- Mirat-e-Sultani written by Dr. Sultan Altaf Ali
- Tazkira Auliya-e-Jhang’ written by: Iqbal Zuberi
- Tazkarah-tul-Auliya written by Hazrat Farid ud Din Attar RA
- Tareekh-e-Jhang written by: Iqbal Zuberi
- Biographical Encyclopedia of Sufis by N. Hanif ISBN 9788176250870
- Rehnuma-e-Mazaraat-e-Delhi by Mohammad Asim-ul-Qadri Sanbhli
- Mazaraat-e-Auliya-e-Delhi by Mohammad Alam Shah Faridi
- Rehnuma-e-Maqamat-e-Muqaddas Delhi by Mirza Aftab Baig aka Nawab Mirza Baig Dehlvi
- Aasar-e-Delhi by Qamsia Library Dargah Sharif Sadhora, Haryana, India
- Tareekh Bazurgan-e-Delhi by Kalim Mukhtar Ahmed Sabzwari