Brief History of Hazrat Sheikh Sharf-Uddin Bu-Ali Shah Qalandar R.A

Hazrat Sheikh Sharf-Uddin Bu-Ali Shah Qalandar R . A

His real name was Sheikh Sharf Uddin and Bu-Ali Shah the title. His father, Sheikh Fakhar Uddin was a great scholar and saint of his time. The mother, Bibi Hafiza Jamal, was the daughter of Maulana Syed Nemat Ullah Hamdani. His father came from Ganja, Azerbaijan in the year 600 Hijri and settled down in Panipat. His lineage with several links reached Hazrat Imam Abu Hanifa. One account says he was born in (1209-1324 CE) in Panipat, India. However an epitaph on his tomb in Persian gives his birthplace as Ganja in present-day Azerbaijan. It traces his descent from Imam e Aazam Nauman Ibn Thaabit Abu Hanifa.

Studies: He completed his studies at an early age and taught near the Qutub Minar in Delhi for 20 years. He was counted among renowned scholars, and ^Top^ ranking teachers regarded him with great respect.

Absorbed in Wonder: Once during the studies he was lost in absorption and wonder. He got up and threw all the books into the river and trudged into the forest and busied in prayers and meditation there.

During those days, the ruler of Delhi married a girl but was unable to perform whenever he would try to go close to her, though otherwise he was healthy. This was really frustrating and humiliating for him. At last, he summoned all the scholars of Delhi and told them about his strange problem. They were unable to figure it out, as the ruler was able to perform with other women of the harem. The ruler became furious, and warned all of the scholars of Delhi, that if they could not find the reason of his problem until tomorrow, he would kill them all. Bu-Ali Shah, who was only a religious scholar at the time, was also among them.

On the same day, a wandering dervish came to the school of Bu-Ali Shah, and asked his students about him. They told him that he went to the palace. That Dervish gave some written note to the students and asked them to give it to Bu-Ali Shah. When Bu-Ali Shah arrived at his school, his students told him about the dervish and gave him the written note.

It was written in that the ruler of Delhi has married his own daughter, that's why when he goes near her, God makes him impotent. In past, the ruler married a beautiful woman, and then for some reasons he left her. The woman was pregnant at that time. She took refuge in the house of an old man, who was a launderer. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and died shortly after giving birth to her. Because the old launderer was childless, he took the baby girl and raised her up as his own daughter. Since she was beautiful, the ruler had come to know about her beauty, and he married her. Through his condition, God saved him from committing a great sin. On next day, Bu-Ali Shah went to the ruler, and told him the whole story. Then the ruler inquired about that, and found it to be true.
After coming back to his school, Bu-Ali Shah threw away all of his books, and then went to look for that dervish who gave him the written note. On the third day he found him, the dervish was the great Sufi Saint Khwaja Qutub-ud-din Bakhtiyar Kaki, the spiritual Master of Baba Farid. Bu-Ali requested him to accept him as his disciple. Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki declined his request saying that he was not authorized to do so. He then said that all he could do is to take him to his spiritual teacher (murshid). After saying that, Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki took his hand and put it on the hand of Amirul Momineen Ali. Through Imam Ali, he received the required spiritual training, and after finishing Bu-Ali Shah became a dervish. From then on, he became famous with the title of "Bu-Ali", although his real name was Sharfuddin.

Prayer and Meditation
He undertook severe penance and meditation, stood in a state of absorption for several days in water till the fish ate away flesh form his calves. One day he was engaged in meditation, a voice he heard. It said, "Sharf Uddin, we granted you your prayer say, what do you want?" He said, "I need none save you. I will give away my life in love while standing at this place." The voice again descended, "Get out of water, you have to do much for us." He replied, "I will not emerge myself from the river of love. If you want it, then do it." Saying this he was lost again. He witnessed, in the state, that a saint appeared and lifted him out of the river and placed him on the bank.
Several chroniclers opine that the saint was Hazrat Ali himself. He taught him some divine secrets and disappeared. From that day he was regularly lost in spiritual wonderment. His heart was filled with heavenly light. From that day he was call Boo-Ali Shah.
Still some chroniclers say that he did not pledge obedience to a holy man but was admitted directly into the fold by Hazrat Ali. Some link him to the Mahboob-e-Ilahi whereas others bind him to Hazrat Qutub Uddin Bakhtiyar Ka'aki and Sheikh Shabu Uddin Suharawardy.

His stay in Panipat
He lived in Panipat till death and served the people form there. Hundreds drew spiritual or divine benefits from him. Besides, he undertook to regular teaching and propagation of Islam. Hundreds embraced Islam because of him. The Rajputs, who lived around, were the great beneficiaries. He left a deep impact on the royal dynasty of Delhi, and preached them of good conduct.

Revelation and Mysteries
One day a disciple of Shamsuddin Turk went to the city on an errand and saw Boo Ali Shah riding a lion and retold the episode to his teacher. Shamsuddin Turk said to his disciple, "Go to the residence of Boo Ali Shah and if you see him riding the lion, tell him: "The lion should live in the jungle." The disciple obeyed, found Hazrat Boo Ali Shah in the condition and conveyed his teacher's message. He rose from his place immediately and went to Ghote.

It is mentioned in 'Sair-Ul-Akhtab' that he died on 17, Ramazul Mubarak 724 Hijri(1324 CE) at Budha Khera but lay to rest in Panipat instead.

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