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Hazrat Syed Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari

Also called Sayyed Jalaluddin Bukhari as well as Shah Mir Surkh-Posh of Bukhara (c. 1192-1291 AD) and also Pir Jalaluddin Qutub-al-Aqtab Makhdoom-e-Jahanian Jahan Gusht was a prominent "Suhrawardiyya" Sufi Saint and revered missionary. Hazrat Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari was called Surkh-posh ("Red-clad") on account of the red mantle he often wore. His name was Hassan Jalaluddin, while Jalal Azam and Mir Surkh (Surkh-Posh) Bukhari were his titles. He was also known as Jalal Ganj. He was born on Friday, 5th Zilhaj 595 Hijri in Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan. He was the son of Syed Ali Al-Moeed and grandson of Syed Ja’far Hussain. He got his early education in Bukhara under the supervision and guidance of his father. He completed his education in his seventh year and is known to have performed several miracles even in childhood. 1,500 learned men had accepted him as their spiritual leader before he had actually reached manhood.
He spent his whole life in traveling and several tribes, such as the Soomro, Samma, Chadhar, Sial, Dahir, Mazari and Warren etc. embraced Islam owing to his efforts.
He married Syeda Fatima, daughter of Syed Qasim in Bukhara. She was blessed with two sons, Syed Ali and Syed Ja’far.
After the death of his first wife, Syeda Fatima in Bukhara, he along with his two sons -Syed Ali and Syed Ja’far migrated at the age of forty years from Bukhara to Bhakkar, Punjab in 635 Hijri. However, as per the book "Makhdoom Jahanian Jahangasht" written by Muhammad Ayub Qadri, both the brothers went back to Bukhara after some time.
Syed Jalaluddin Hassan Mir Surkh Bukhari died in the age of 95 years on 19th Jamadiul Awwal 690 Hijri (20 May 1294) in Uchch Sharif, Punjab.
He is also known as Sayyid Jalal or Sher Shah Sayyid Jalal. His history and pedigree are given in extend in such works as the Mazher-i-Jalali, the Akber-ul-Akhyar, the Rauzat-ul-Ahbab, Maraij-ul-Walayat, Manaqabi Qutbi, the Siyar-ul-Aqtar, the Siyar-ul-Arifeen, the Manaqib-ul-Asifya etc. These books only exist in manuscript and are generally found in the possession of Bukhari Sayyids. Sayyid Jalal's life is given in brief below:
He also met Chengiz Khan, the mongol, and endeavoured to convert him to Islam, but Chengiz Khan ordered him to be burnt alive. The fire however turned into a bush of roses and on seeing this miracle Chengiz Khan became inclined to be more sympathetic towards Islam and Muslims. Chengiz offered to give his daughter in marriage to Hazrat Jalaludin. He at first refused to take Chengiz's daughter as his wife but then he heard a divine voice say that his descendants would spread far and wide and were destined to be Qutubs "saints" of the world, he consented to the marriage.
This proved to be true as his descendants are quite numerous, and many Sayyid families in the Punjab, Sindh, the United Provinces (Uttar Pradesh), Kachchh and Hyderabad Deccan, claim descent from him, and trace their origins to Uchch Sharrif.
His two male issues from his second wife, Fatima, the daughter of Sayyid Qasim Hussein Bukhari, Sayyid Ali and Sayyid Jaffar, are buried in tombs at Bukhara. He brought his son Sayyid Baha-ul-Halim with him to Sindh and he settled in Uchch in 1244 AD.
Sayyid Jalaluddin afterwards married Zohra, the daughter of Sayyid Badar-u-Din Bukhari, of whom was born Sayyid Mohammad Ghaus. On Zohra's death he married the second daughter of Sayyid Badar-u-Din, who give birth to Sayyid Ahmed Kabir, the father of Makhdoom Jahania. In 642 Hijri when Nassir-u-Din Mahmud, son's of Shams-u-Din Altamash, was Sultan (ruler) of the kingdom of Delhi, Sayyid Jalal reached Uch, which was then called Deogarh, and its people began through him, to embrace Islam. The Raja Deo Singh, its ruler, was greatly incensed at this, and spared no effort to cause him trouble, but being overawed by the Sayyid's miracles he fled to Marwar. Innumerable miracles are attributed to him. The reverence which he enjoyed may be judged from the fact that rulers used to wait upon him at Uch, for example in 642 H. Nassir-u-Din Mahmud, the eldest son of Shams-u-Din Altamash, paid him visit at Uch.
He died in 690 H. in the reign of Ghayas-u-Din Balban, and was buried at Sonak Bela 3 miles of Uch, but the river Ghaggar reaching quite close to his grave; his descendants removed his remains to Uch and buried them at the place where the shirne Hazrat Sadar-u-Din Rajan Qattal is now situated. Again in 1027 H. the then Sajjada Nashin Makhdoom Hamid son of Muhammad Nassir-u-Din, removed the remains, buried them in the present spot and erected a building over them. In 1261 H. Nawab Muhammad Bahawal Khan III made some additions to it and built a tank and well, called the khan sir, in compound of the shrine. In 1300 H. Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV had it repaired and made some additions. Both Hindus and Muslims in and outside the state have a firm faith in this Khanqah and all kinds of vows are made there.

His Mission: He spread Islam to Sindh and Southern Punjab and is responsible for conversion of Soomro and Samma tribes among others to Islam. He also laid the foundations of a religious school in Uch (also spelled Uchch). He moved back to Bukhara once and later returned to finally settle in Uchch in 1244 C.E.

He was founder of the "Jalali" Section of the Suhrawardi("Suhrawardiyya") Sufi Order. "Jalali" being named after him. Some of his successors in the line went to Gujerat and became very famous there. This includes Jalal b. Ahmad Kabir, popularly known as Makhdum-e-Jahaniyan (d. 1384 AD), who made thirty-six visits to Mecca; Abu Muhammad Abdullah, popularly known as Burhanuddin Qutb-e-Alam (d. 1453 AD) and Sayyed Muhammad Shah Alam (d. 1475 AD).
It is narrated that Makhdoom Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari had urged Gengis Khan to spare the innocent people and embrace Islam. Enraged by this bold act of Jalaluddin, Gengis Khan ordered that he might be thrown in fire. But to the utter surprise of Gengis Khan and his courtiers the fire did not hurt Jalaluddin Bukhari.

The great pioneers of the 13th century Sufi movement in South Asia were four friends known as "Chaar Yaar". Baba Farid Shakar Ganj of Pakpattan [1174-1266]; Jalaluddin Bukhari of Uchch [c. 1192-1294]; Baha-ud-din Zakariya of Multan [1170-1267] and Lal Shahbaz Qalandar of Sehwan [1177-1274 ] . It is said that 17 leading tribes of Punjab accepted Islam at the hands of Baba Farid . Some of these tribes were Kharals, Dhudhyan, Tobian and also Wattoo, a Rajput tribe. Hazrat Jalaluddin Bukhari converted the Soomro and Samma tribes of Sindh as stated earlier, the Sial, Chadhar, Dahir and Warren tribes of Southern Punjab and Sindh, and the Mazaris and several other Baluch tribes while Shahbaz Qalandar had a great following in Multan and Northern Sindh.
He is also reported to have met Makhdum Shah Daulah, a saint buried in Bengal, at Bukhara where he presented Makhdum Shah with a pair of gray pigeons as a token of good wishes. From Bukhara the Makhdum Shah party proceeded towards Bengal and settled at Shahjadpur, a locality under the jurisdiction of a Hindu king whose kingdom extended up to Bihar. The king ordered for the expulsion of Makhdum Shah and his companions. Consequently there ensued a severe fight between the two parties in which Makhdum Shah with all his followers, except Khwaja Nur, embraced martyrdom.
Mai Heer of the Sial tribe and of the "Heer-Ranjha" fame was daughter of Choochak Sial who was disciple of Hazrat Syed Ahmed Kabir, grandson of Hazrat Jalaluddin Bukhari.
His family was one of the most revered and prominent Muslim families during the rule of the Turkish dynasties in India including the Tughlaq Qabacha(Kipchak) and Mamluk dynasty of Delhi dynasties. His descendants are called Naqvi al-Bukhari. The part of Uchch where this family settled is called "Uchch Bukharian]] to this day. There are magnificent tombs of his descendants and disciples there. These include Hazrat Jahaniyan Jahangasht, Hazrat Rajan Qittal; Bibi Jawindi, and Channan Pir among others. Many of his disciples are buried in Bhanbhore and Makli near Thatta.
There were many religious leaders and sufi saints in his lineage. Among them Hazrat Shah Mohammad Ghouse migrated from Uchch and settled down in the Punjab, Hazrat Shah Jamal of Ichchra, Lahore' and numerous others.
Part of his family moved back to Turkistan and there were inter-marriages with the Tatar Mongol ruling clan of Bukhara. It is said that he was married to Genghis Khan's daughter as well. A branch of the family moved subsequently to what is now Bursa in Turkey.
His role in the Muslim Rishi tradition in Kashmir: His disciple Lal Ded (or Lalleshwari (Hazrat Nuruddin Nurani's First Teacher)exercised a seminal influence on Hazrat Nurani's own spiritual development. Lal Ded's life is shrouded in mystery and legend, the first references to her being made in Farsi Muslim chronicles many years after her death. It is believed that she was born in the village of Sampora, near Srinagar, in 13th century C.E. in a Kashmiri Pundit family. As was the then prevalent custom, she was married off at a very young age to a Brahmin temple priest from the village of Padmanpora, the present-day Pampore. Her mother-in-law is said to have cruelly mistreated her, and her husband, jealous of her spiritual attainments and her growing popularity among the people, forced her out of his house. She then took to the jungles, roaming about completely naked, performing stern austerities and meditational practices. She met Hazrat Jalaluddin Bukhari Makhdum Jahaniyan Jahangasht (d. 1308 C.E.) and embraced Islam at his hands, after which she 'ascended the stages of suluk (the Sufi path)', and thereafter travelled widely with him all over Kashmir.
She is called Lalla 'Arifa ('Lalla, the Gnostic'), Lalla Madjzuba ('Lalla, the Ecstatic') and Rabi'a-e-Sani. According to local lore, Lal Ded died in 1400 C.E. just outside the Jami'a mosque at the town of Bijbehara. Her body was not to be found, and in its place her followers discovered a pile of flowers. Her Hindu disciples consigned them to the flames, while her Muslim followers buried them, each in accordance with their own religious customs. She in turn influenced Hazrat Nuruddin Nurani who is considered by the Kashmiris, both Hindus as well as Muslims, as the patron saint of Kashmir. For this reason, he is lovingly referred to as the Alamdar-e-Kashmir ('flag bearer of Kashmir'), as well the Shaikh-ul 'alam ('the teacher of the whole world'). Although he was himself a Muslim and the order that he founded played a major role in the spread of Islam in Kashmir, he is regarded with deep veneration by the Hindus of Kashmir as well, for his message was one of universal love and harmony. Till this day, scores of people from all walks of life and from different religious communities flock to his shrine at Charar i Sharief. (The Muslim Rishis of Kashmir: Crusaders for Love and Justice, by Yoginder Sikand)
His Philosophy: The factors which gave birth to organised sufism were indeed serious ailments which had afflicted Muslim society for some time and had assumed menacing proportions by the 12th century A.D. It was easily discernible that Muslim political structure was crumbling and its entire moral and social fabric facing extinction. The most redeeming feature of this dark and dismal period was that this challenge was successfully met by the Muslim society from its own resources and from its own inherent strength by employing its own moral and intellectual weapons. The answer to this grave challenge was the sufi movement. Sufism gave a new lease of life to the Muslims, provided them with a bright vision, opened up fresh vistas for them, and guided them towards unexplored horizons. It was a glorious and splendid performance, unparalleled and unsurpassed in human history.
Hundreds of devoted workers left their hearths and homes, spread out over unknown regions hazarding strange climes and conditions with hardly any material resources to aid and assist them. Poverty and privation stalked their efforts while distance and inaccessibility stood in their way. But undaunted and undeterred they marched forward demolishing the distances, breaking the barriers, conquering the climes. And lo! they succeeded. What was the secret of their success? They had both strength of character and courage of conviction, were selfless and devoted to a cause.
Sufism became organised, and adopted a form and institution in the 12th and 13th centuries A.D. The two great pioneers in this field were Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani and Hazrat Abu Hafs Umar al-Suhrawardi (Persian:عمر سهروردى) 1144 - 1234) a.k.a. Shahabuddin Suhrawardy. By introducing the system of ’silsila’ which was a sort of association/order, and takia/khankha, a lodge or hospice, they invested the movement with a sense of brotherhood and provided it with a meeting place. The ’silsila’ and the takia/khankha were the king-pins of the organization. With a stream of selfless workers available and with no dearth of devoted and assiduous leadership, the movement made swift progress and spread far and wide.
The beginning, popularity and propagation of Sufism have been attributed to many causes among which may be mentioned: to free religious thought from the rigidity imposed by the ulema; to emphasise in the Islamic teachings the element of God’s love and mercy for His creation rather than His wrath and retribution; to practise what one professes and not merely indulge in slogans and soliloques; to stress the essence of faith rather than mere observance of formalities; to move away towards rural areas from the evil and debilitation effects of wealth, monarchy and bureaucracy concentrated in big cities; to demolish the edifice of false values based on pelf and power and restore morality to its proper place in the niche of Muslim society; to combat the fissiparous tendencies and centrifugal forces which were spreading their tentacles in the Muslim world; to discourage parochial feelings and eliminate racial pride which had assumed primary importance in Muslim thinking relegating the ideal of brotherhood to a secondary place etc.
According to Hasan Nizami, Suhrawardy sufis were the first to arrive in India and made their Headquarters in Sind. Suhrawardy order attained great influence in Pakistan under the leadership of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakaria of Multan. The famous Qadirya order later entered India through Sind in 1482 A.D. and Syed Bandagi Mohammad Ghouse, one of the descendants of the founder (Shaikh Abdul Qader Jilani 1078-1116) took up residence in Sind at Uchch and died in 1517 A.D.” (An Introduction to History of Sufism By A.J.Arbery.)
Uchch Sharif: Alexandria: Uchch was founded by Alexander the Great as "Alexandria" on the bank of the River Indus. Many followers came to study under him and later spread his theological message throughout the region.
Naqvi family: He is the primary progenitor of the "Syed" sub-clan called "Naqvi al-Bukhari". The clan is known as "Naghavi" in Iran and there are considerable numbers of "Naghavi" Syeds living in Iran and elsewhere. In Jordan and Iraq this surname is spelled "Naqavi".
The Shrine: He was buried in a small town outside Uchch, but his tomb was damaged by floods, so in 1617 AD, his shrine was rebuilt in Mohalla Bukhari in Uchch by the Nawab of Bahawalpur, Bahawal Khan II. In the 18th century, the Abbasi Nawabs annexed Uchch into the princely state of Bahawalpur. The shrine lies a short walk away from the cemetery and is also built on a promontory, so one can look out onto the rolling plains below and the desert in the distance. To one side is an old mosque covered with blue-tile work and in front of a pool of water is the tomb proper. A carved wooden door leads into the musty room containing the coffin of Hazrat Syed Bukhari.
The Town of Uchch: During the Islamic era in the subcontinent Uchch and Multan became the greatest centers of academic and cultural excellence. The twin cities attracted the persons having expertise in various prevalent arts and sciences from every corner of the world. Numerous personalities enjoying reasonable socio-religious and academic status stood attached to the city of Uch. Hazrat Safi-ud-Din Gazruni (980-1007 A.D) introduced the first academy of letters at Uch. Ali bin Hamid bin Abubakar Koofi, compiler of the most authentic historical document “ Chuch Nama” migrated from Iraq to Uch. Syed Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari (c.1198 A.D) made Uch a center of religious education and preaching. Hazrat Jahanian Jahan Gasht (1308-1384) belonged to this land of piety and righteousness. The well known reference of history “Tabqate Nasiri’s" writer Minhaj Siraj spent most part of his life at Uch.
Uchch Bukhari is the oldest settlement, dating back to about a thousand years and the monument complex. The complex is located on a mound that is considered the city’s highest point. Hundreds of small, unmarked graves lead up to the monuments and palm trees dot the landscape beyond the fields that were once the riverbed of the Sutlej below. The three largest tombs, of Bibi Jawandi, Hazrat Baha Ul Halim and Ustad Nurya, were all once complete mausoleums covered with exquisite glazed tile-work. Now they are in ruins, yet with their intricate tile-work still apparent, it is not difficult to imagine them in the prime of their glory.

There is not much information available on the individuals who were buried in these tombs, the actual graves of Bibi Jawandi, Ustad Nurya and Hazrat Baha Ul Halim are no longer marked by a cenotaph. Ustad Nurya is said to be the architect responsible for Bibi Jawandi’s mausoleum while Hazrat Baha Ul Halim was a direct descendant of Syed Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari. Bibi Jawandi's mausoleum is the oldest of the three. The architectural style of her tomb is indigenous to Upper Sindh and Lower Punjab, where moulded bricks are used as decorative elements. According to historian Holly Edwards, who has done extensive research on Bibi Jawandi’s tomb, the bastions of the mausoleum are peculiar to the region. She has found only one other similar tomb in Central Asia. In addition, the wedge-shaped tiles that have been knitted into the structural core of the building are unique to this monument.
The Mela (Folk Festival): Mela Uchch Sharif is usually held in March/April and is a weeklong celebration. A large number of people from southern Punjab come to the historic town Uchch Sharif to pay homage to the great sufi saint, Hazrat Jalaluddin Surkhposh Bukhari , for spreading Islam.
Following the centuries old tradition, people visit the shrine of Hazrat Jalaluddin Surukhposh Bukhari to start the mela. Majority of the people and devotees of Hazrat Syed Jalal spend the entire day at the shrine and offer Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid built by the Abbasid rulers.
The mela is held to mark the historic congregation of sufi saints held in 600 AH on the invitation of Hazrat Jalaluddin Surkhposh Bukhari. The mela is celebrated when Hindu calendar month 'Chait' starts where people perform folk dances, circus, plays and traditional bazaars are set up, selling sweets and drinks.

When communication means were poor in the past, people stayed in Uch Sharif for four to five days to enjoy the mela, but improvement in transportation had changed the atmosphere of the mela. Visitors return to their houses at night.