Mian Muhammad Bakhsh
Biography of Mian Muhammad Bakhsh
Mīān Muhammad Bakhsh (Punjabi: میاں محمد بخش ) was a Sufi saint and a Punjabi / Pahari poet. He belonged to the Qadri tariqah. He is especially renowned as the author of a book of poetry called Saif-ul-Malūk. He was born in a village called Khari Sharif, situated near Mirpur, Azad Kashmir.
He was a fourth generation descendant of Damriyan Wali Sarkar, who is buried in Khari Sharif. Damriyan Wali Sarkar's khalīfah was Dīn Muhammad; and his khalīfah was Mīān Shamsuddīn, who had three sons: Mīān Bahāval Bakhsh, Mīān Muhammad Bakhsh - the subject of this article -, and Mīān 'Alī Bakhsh. Mīān Muhammad Bakhsh's ancestors originated in Gujrat, but had later settled in the Mirpur District of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. He was a poet of Phari language (widely spoken in different parts of Kashmir).
Dispute About Date of Birth
There is considerable disagreement about his year of birth. Mahbūb 'Alī Faqīr Qādirī, in a biography printed as an appendix to the text of Saiful Malūk gives the date as 1246 AH (1826 AD), a date also followed by the Shāhkār Islāmī Encyclopedia; 1830 and 1843 are suggested in other works. Mīān Muhammad Bakhsh himself states in his magnum opus, Saiful Malūk, that he completed the work in the month of Ramadan, 1279 AH (1863 AD), and that he was then thirty-three years of age. Hence, he must have been born in 1829 or 1830.
He was brought up in a very religious environment, and received his early education at home. He was later sent with his elder brother, Mīān Bahāval, to the nearby village of Samwal Sharīf to study religious sciences, especially the science of Hadith in the madrassah of Hāfiz Muhammad 'Alī. Hāfiz Muhammad 'Alī had a brother, Hāfiz Nāsir, who was a majzub, and had renounced worldly matters; this dervish resided at that time in the mosque at Samwal Sharīf. From childhood Mīān Muhammad had exhibited a penchant for poetry, and was especially fond of reading Yūsuf ō Zulaikhā by Nur ad-Din Abd ar-Rahman Jami. During his time at the madrassah, Hāfiz Nāsir would often beg him to sing some lines from Jami's poetry, and upon hearing it so expertly rendered would invariably fall into a state of spiritual intoxication.
Mīān Muhammad was still only fifteen years old when his father, falling seriously ill, and realizing that he was on his deathbed, called all his students and local notaries to see him. Mīān Shamsuddīn told his visitors that it was his duty to pass on the spiritual lineage that he had received through his family from Pīr-e Shāh Ghāzī Qalandar Damriyan Wali Sarkar; he pointed to his own son, Mīān Muhammad, and told those assembled that he could find nobody more suitable than he to whom he might award this privilege. Everybody agreed, the young man's reputation had already spread far and wide. Mīān Muhammad, however, spoke up and disagreed, saying that he could not bear to stand by and allow his elder brother Bahāvul to be deprived of the honour. The old man was filled with so much love for his son that he stood up and leaving his bed grasped his son by the arms; he led him to one corner and made him face the approximate direction of Baghdad, and then he addressed the founder of their Sufi Order, Shaikh 'Abdul-Qādir Jīlānī, presenting his son to him as his spiritual successor. Shortly after this incident his father died. Mīān Muhammad continued to reside in his family home for a further four years, then at the age of nineteen he moved into the khānqāh, where he remained for the rest of his life. Both his brothers combined both religion and worldly affairs in their lives, but he was only interested in spirituality, and never married - unlike them.
Formal Pledge of Allegiance
Despite the fact that he had essentially been made a khalīfah of his father, he realized that he still needed to make a formal pledge of allegiance or bay'ah to a Sufi master. Having completed his formal education he began to travel, seeking out deserted locations where he would busy himself in prayer and spiritual practices, shunning the company of his fellow-men. He took the Sufi pledge of allegiance or bay'ah with Hazrat Ghulām Muhammad, who was the khalīfah of Bābā Badūh Shāh Abdāl, the khalīfah of Hājī Bagāsher (of Darkālī Mamuri Sharīf, near Kallar Syedan District Rawalpindi), the khalīfah again of Dumriyan Wali Sarkar. He is also said to have travelled for a while to Srinagar, where he benefitted greatly from Shaikh Ahmad Valī.
Poetic Talents and Works
Once he had advanced a little along the Sufi way he became more and more interested in composing poetry, and one of the first things he penned was a qasidah (quatrain) in praise of his spiritual guide. Initially he preferred to write siharfis and duhras, but then he advanced to composing stories in verse. His poetry is essentially written in the Pothohari dialect of Panjabi, and utilizes a rich vocabulary of Persian and Arabic words.
His works include: Siharfi, Sohni Mahiwal, Tuhfah-e Miran, Tuhfah-e- Rasuliyah, Shireen Farhad, Mirza Sahiban, Sakhi Khavass Khan, Shah Mansur, Gulzar-e Faqir, Hidayatul Muslimin, Panj Ganj, Masnavi-e Nīrang-e ‘Ishq. He also wrote a commentary on the Arabic Qasidat-ul-Burda of al-Busiri and his most famous work, entitled Safarul ‘Ishq (Journey of Love), but better known as Saiful Maluk.
He died on the 7th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah 1324 AH (1907 AD), and was buried in Khari Sharif, not far away from his great great grandfather, Damriyan Wali Sarkar. To this day many people visit his tomb with the intention of receiving spiritual blessings.
Mian Muhammad Bakhsh's Works:
Siharfi, Sohni Mahiwal, Tuhfah-e Miran, Tuhfah-e- Rasuliyah, Shireen Farhad, Mirza Sahiban, Sakhi Khavass Khan, Shah Mansur, Gulzar-e Faqir, Hidayatul Muslimin,Panj Ganj, Masnavi-e Nīrang-e ‘Ishq
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Mian Muhammad Bakhsh Poems
The pots of the nori, filled with tears, turn and empty them into soul, Not for every will this hustle be, nor the good times. If love has been absorbed by a heart, it never leavers it, Even if it comes a thousand beauties, the beloved is never exchanged.
Firstly all praise to Allah, who is the owner of everything, Whoever remembers His name is never a loser in any field. Pour the rain of mercy, O Allah! turn the shriveled garden green, Make the plant my hopes and longings full of fruit.
Aval Hamd Sanah Elahi
Remembering the beloved again again, they eat, frying pieces of their liver, Like a fruit drink, from the hands of the beloved, they drink the cups of poison. During the night they cry continuously, washing off sleep from their eyes, In the morning, they are called the humble ones, and consider themselves lower then everybody.
If you do good to pious men, they never forget it for generations, If you do good to mean people, in return they will injure your feelings. Come, O dear girl, fill your pitcher with water before the sun goes down, When the sun sets and darkness prevails, you'll be afraid of going home alone.
What do we gain by back-biting? Save yourself O Muhammad! for as you sow, so shall you reap. The saints (favorites of Allah) do not die, they just hide behind the veil, So what if they leave the world silently?
Be patient, patience will be rewarded, so the Holy Book informs us. Patience unlocks all the doors of difficulties. Glass is a stone, so is a pearl. Both have the same color and look alike, But when they are presented to jewelers, they point out the limitless difference between the two.
Those who desert their own species to join an alien species will never enjoy any pleasure, Their sorrows will increase with every passing moment. The greatness of a truthful man is higher than angels. O Mohammad, don't tell this secret t avoid a possible conflict.
I should stay close to the genuine ones, I, the fake of the world, May He cover may falseness, He always has the concern. Whatever he gave me, so was it, the provider was one, Whether just the bread, whether with some butter, whether delicious morsels.
Remembering the beloved again again, they eat, frying pieces of their liver,
Like a fruit drink, from the hands of the beloved, they drink the cups of poison.
During the night they cry continuously, washing off sleep from their eyes,
In the morning, they are called the humble ones, and consider themselves lower then everybody.
This body of send of yours contains gold inside it, which can't be seen except,
When you wash pouring water of your tears, the sand and dirt washes off.