HAZRAT MIAN MIR
The following information on the life and teachings
of Hazrat Mian Mir has mostly been derived from
chapter 111 of a forthcoming publication of Dr.
Zahurul Hassan Sharib:
Hazrat Mian Mir is a great Pir of the subcontinent
of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. He is considered
as an outstanding wali (friend of God) and an
eminent mystic. He traced his relationship from
the second caliph of Islam, Hazrat ‘Umar Farooq.
His grandfather was named as Qazi Qalandar. His
father, named, Qazi Sa’in Data belonged to the
Qadiriyya order of the Sufis. His mother, named
Bibi Fatima, was the daughter of Qazi Qadan. She
was a very accomplished woman of her time. He
had four brothers, namely Qazi Bolan, Qazi Mohammed
‘Usman, Qazi Tahir and Qazi Mohammad. Hazrat Mian
Mir was the youngest son of his father. All his
brothers were his spiritual disciples. He had
two sisters, namely Bibi Jamal Khatoonand Bibi
Hadia (the manuscript of Dr. Sharib gives: Hadi).
According to a document that has been said to
be correct by the relatives of Hazrat Mian Mir
and by trustworthy people and notables in Sehwan
and which was shown by the son of his brother
Mohammed, he was born in the year 957/1550.
Initiation in the Sufi order
the death of his father his only hope was his
mother. He continued to derive spiritual blessings
from his mother. He, at last, attained perfection
in inward knowledge. He severed his connections
from the world and the people of the world. Having
sought the permission of his mother, he left his
home in search of the truth. He underwent very
many hardships and ascetic practices.
search was at last rewarded. He was accepted as
a spiritual disciple by Hazrat Shaykh Khizr, who
was an enlightened friend of God. He belonged
to the Qadiriyya order. He used to roam about
in jungles and mountains. He had completely renounced
the world. Hazrat Mian Mir was greatly benefitted
by his company. The secrets of the divine mystery
were disclosed to him. He felt enamoured of a
higher life. He felt disgusted with the world,
its ways and methods. Hazrat Shaykh Khizr, finding
him spiritually perfect, allowed him to go wherever
the permission and blessings of his spiritual
guide and teacher, he left for Lahore where he
engaged himself in acquiring the outward knowledge
and learning. He counted Mawlana Sa’dullah as
his teacher. Mawlana Sa’dullah, who was considered
as one of the leading scholars of Islam of his
time, paid him special attention.
is also said, that he passed some years in the
company of Mawlana Ne’matullah, who imparted to
him knowledge and who, as he himself says, was
quite unmindful of his condition, spiritual attainments
and inner purification.
Departure for Sirhind
did not like the huge crowds of people and the
large number of devotees and admirers, who waited
upon him day in and day out. He left Lahore for
Sirhind. Reaching Sirhind he fell seriously ill.
The illness continued for long, without any apparent
hope of recovery. One night he invoked the help
of Hazrat Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir of Jilan, who is
also known as the Ghaws al-azam (the Great Helper)
and Piran-e-Pir (the Teacher of the Teachers).
His request did not go unheeded. Shaykh ‘Abdul
Qadir and his own spiritual guide appeared and
inquired about his health.
requested Shaykh ‘Abdul Qadir to restore him to
health. The shaykh showed him kindness. He rubbed
his hand on the body of Hazrat Mian Mir and gave
him a cup of water asking him to drink it. As
soon as Hazrat Mian Mir drank the cup of water,
he felt fully recovered. There was no trace of
his illness Hajji Ne’matullah of Sirhind served
Hazrat Mian Mir with all his heart and to the
utmost of his capacity. Hazrat Mian Mir was highly
pleased with him. He inquired from the Hajji,
whether he would like to receive spiritual blessings
from him, which might transform him completely
and thus would make him an enlightened friend
of God. Hajji Ne’matullah of Sirhind of course
showed his willingness to be spiritually benefited.
Hazrat Mian Mir transformed him completely within
a week and thus he was able to reach a high position
in the spiritual domain.
recovering completely, Hazrat Mian Mir left Sirhind
for Lahore. He settled in Lahore permanently and
began to preach and propagate the doctrine of
Relations with the imperial court
Mian Mir did not like to meet anybody. But sometimes
he was asked to do so. Emperor Jahangir reposed
faith in the friends of God. He was fond of meeting
Hazrat Mian Mir. The emperor, one day, sent a
special messenger to Hazrat Mian Mir requesting
him to honour him by his visit to him, regretting
his (i.e. Jahangir’s) inability to visit him due
to the distance and the pressing demands of the
business of the state. Hazrat Mian Mir accepted
this request and went to the royal palace. The
emperor showed him his utmost respect.
inspiring company had such a great effect on the
emperor, that he sought his permission to abdicate
and devote himself exclusively to the remembrance
of God. The emperor further told him, that he
made no distinction between gold, silver, precious
stones and bricks and stones.
Mian Mir then said thus: ‘A perfect Sufi is one,
who does not make any distinction between a stone
and a jewel. Since you say that you make no such
distinction, you are a Sufi’.
The emperor submitted that by giving such arguments,
he wanted to kill him.
Thereupon Hazrat Mian Mir replied: “your existence
is necessary for looking after the people. By
the blessings of your justice, the faqirs are
concentrating on their work’.
The emperor implored him to pay him attention.
Hazrat Mian Mir told the emperor: ‘At first you
secure a conscientious and able man like you for
the service of the people. Thereafter I will take
you with me and get you engaged in the remembrance
This reply was highly appreciated by the emperor.
The emperor then wanted to know if Hazrat Mian
Mir required anything.
Hazrat Mian Mir replied that he did not require
anything, but he wanted permission to leave.
The emperor bade him farewell with all the honour
due to him.
Shah Jahan, like his father, also showed Hazrat
Mian Mir great respect. The emperor twice visited
him in his khanaqah (Sufi centre). He found him
a perfect wali. On the occasion of his first visit,
the emperor was accompanied by four persons.
Mian Mir advised the emperor, that he should look
after his people and the affairs of the state.
He should not indulge in pleasure. He should be
just to all. He should spend all his time in the
service of the people, for if the people are satisfied,
they will be happy and the state exchequer likewise
will be full.
the occasion of his second visit, the emperor
submitted that he should pay him some attention.
Thereupon Hazrat Mian Mir replied: ‘It is advisable
that when you perform a good deed and make others
happy, that you say a prayer for yourself at that
time. Do not ask anything from anybody except
Dara Shikoh was of a mystic turn of mind. He loved
the company of the Sufis and mystics. He reposed
faith in the spiritual powers of Hazrat Mian Mir.
Dara Shikoh met him a number of times. The letters
written by Hazrat Mian Mir and addressed to Dara
Shikoh are revealing and searching, as they point
to sad events, which actually happened, resulting
in the catastrophe when Dara Shikoh was beheaded.
breathed his last on the 7th of Rabi’ al-awwal
1045 or the 22nd of August 1635 three hours before
the end of Tuesday. He was eighty-eight years
then. He lies buried near Lahore Cantonment. His
grave can be found at about a mile distance from
the city near ‘Alamganj (= World Treasury: It
has perhaps received this name as several Sufis
lie buried here), that is at the southeast of
his outstanding spiritual caliphs may be mentioned
1. Hazrat Mulla Shah
is the spiritual guide and teacher of Dara Shikoh.
He belonged to Badakhshan. In the prime of his
youth he left his home in the search of the truth.
He visited Kashmir. From Kashmir he proceeded
to Agra. During his stay in Agra he heard a great
deal about the spiritual perfection of Hazrat
Mian Mir. He left Agra for Lahore. He wanted to
be accepted as a spiritual disciple. Hazrat Mian
Mir advised him to acquire knowledge and learning
first and to come to him thereafter. Consequently
he was engaged in the pursuit of knowledge for
ten years continuously. Afterwards he was accepted
as a spiritual disciple by Hazrat Mian Mir. In
a very short time he attained spiritual perfection.
Mullah Shah was very pious and saintly. He did
not marry. He was also a good poet. His poems
have been collected in a book entitled “Divan-e-Mulla
Shah”. He took to renunciation. For thirty long
years he lived in the darkness. When one night
Dara Shikoh came to him, he had the lamp lighted
in the house after these thirty long years…
2. Shaykh Nattha
belonged to Lahore. During his last illness he
would sit on the porch of the house of Hazrat
Mian Mir, absorbed in meditation. At the moment
of his death his body remained upright in the
contemplative position and only when his hands
were touched it was realized he had died. Hazrat
Mian Mir experienced the passing a way of shaykh
Nattha as a void in his life and he grieved intensely
over the death of his favourite mureed. He died
in the year 1027 A.H./1618-19 and lies buried
in Lahore Cantonment. It is said that the shaykh
‘could communicate with leaves, animals and with
all sorts of animate and inanimate objects. He
could also stop rains and hailstorms’.
3. Shaykh Ismail
was a perfect dervish, who derived spiritual blessings
from Hazrat Mian Mir.
4. Shaykh Ne’matullah of Sirhind
was a friend of God upon whom Hazrat Mian Mir
showered his spiritual blessings.
5. Mulla ‘Abdul Ghafoor
died during the lifetime of Hazrat Mian Mir. He
was a teacher in Lahore. Giving up all worldly
interests and resigning his post, he went to Hazrat
Mian Mir. His holiness at first paid him no attention.
He became very sorry and sad on that account.
But very soon he was able to win the pleasure
of Hazrat Mian Mir, who confided to him the divine
secrets and acquainted him with various manifestations
of the spiritual science. And thus, through the
blessings of Hazrat Mian Mir, he attained spiritual
perfection. He lies buried in Kala Nur.
6. Mian Hamid Qadiri and 7. Miran Shah Sa’id are
his two other caliphs.
Traits of character
Mian Mir was of a retiring nature. He hated publicity.
He used to devote himself to prayers and remembrance
of God in desolate and deserted places. He did
not like to mix with the people. He used to control
his breath to such an extent, that for some time
he breathed only once in the night. When he grew
old he used to breathe four times in the night.
He accepted a few people as his mureeds.
was a man of faith. He exhibited marvellous self-control.
He would not eat anything for weeks together.
For thirty long years there was nothing cooked
in his house. Contentment was his armour. In the
closing years of his life, he allowed one kind
of food to be cooked in his house. His devotees
used to cook food in earthen pots for him. He
ate very little.
was ever absorbed. He was unmindful of the weather,
the month, the day or the year. He slept little,
talked little and mixed with the people little.
did not go to the house of anyone, for he used
to say that if you did not like the people to
visit your house, you should not go to the house
of the people. He had no love or regard for the
people. He was lost in the thought of the Friend.
One of his devotees once submitted to him that
he might be pleased to remember him at an opportune
time. He replied: ‘Woe be to the time, when I
may remember you’.
Mian Mir did not wear the dress of the dervishes
or faqirs. He did not wear a robe or a cloak.
He wore an ordinary dress. He had great respect
and regard for the dervishes and faqirs. He was
not very fond of Sufi music. He was very courteous
to Hazrat Mian Mir there are two ways of reaching
One way is to be absorbed and thus to be united
with Him. The one who is drawn by God towards
Him, becomes united with Him.
2. The other way is that of sulook, treading on
the spiritual path, which is a stair to reach
upto God either by asceticism and rigours or through
the help or assistance of some friend of God.
Mian Mir says that the search of God is not an
easy thing. To reach God implies hardship. Unless
you are lost in His search, you will not be able
to find Him for the simple reason that the heart
is one, and in one heart only one thing can be
contained. Hence it is necessary to pursue the
ideal with single-minded devotion. In the pursuance
thereof, you should severe your connections from
the world and take to renunciation, because by
being entangled in the world you cannot become
an enlightened one and thus you cannot pay your
undivided attention in the right direction.
Mian Mir lays down that for those treading on
the spiritual path, it is necessary that they
should eat little, talk little and sleep little.
holds that the dress of a dervish should be like
those of the common people, so that he may go
The lover of the renunciation of the world is
he indeed, who does not achieve his object.
2. A Sufi is one who does not exist, i.e. he is
united with God.
3. The thought of anyone else besides God reduces
your degree of renunciation and asceticism.
4. The urge of submission to God and of doing
good is greater when the friends of God are young
and it increases during the period of old age.
So it is, that the urge to get a thing when an
individual is young increases during the period
of his (her) old age.
5. The self is reformed by shariat, the heart
is reformed by tariqat and the soul is reformed
6. The hold of the friends of God is the same
after their death as it was during their lifetime.
7. When a faqir becomes perfect and his heart
is cleared of doubt, then nothing can give him
(her) harm or cause him (her) injury. He himself
becomes a king then. He does not pay any regard
to a king. The kings, on the contrary, are overpowered
the brother of Hazrat Mian Mir came to him from
his native town after a long time. He received
his brother cordially. But unfortunately he had
nothing in his house that day. He could not entertain
him. He asked his brother to sit and himself went
to the garden. He offered the prayers. After the
prayers were over, he said this: ‘O, great God!
I have received a guest and reposing my faith
in Your grace, I have caused him to sit in my
house. I have no one else except You to help me!’.
voice was heard, saying: ‘We have fulfilled your
want before your asking’.
the meanwhile his brother came to him in the garden
and informed him, that just after his leaving
the house, a certain person brought food and was
waiting for him. Hazrat Mian Mir was surprised
to see a beautiful young man waiting for him.
The young man made a salaam to Hazrat Mian Mir
and conveyed the information to him that God,
the Almighty, in His grace and kindness had sent
the food for him and had also sent something in
cash. God has assured him that he would give Hazrat
Mian Mir whatever he asked for.
Mian Mir asked the young man as to who he was.
He replied that he was just an ordinary person.
Hazrat Mian Mir took food with his guest. The
young man, on the pretext that he was keeping
a fast did not join them. After the young man
had left, it came out that he was an angel.
DEATH OF HAZRAT MIAN MIR
Dara Shikoh (1615-1659) was the oldest son of
the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
At a young age the prince got acquainted with
Hazrat Mian Mir, who came from Sehwan and who
had come to Lahore as a representative of the
Qadiriyya order. Dara Shikoh and his about a year
older sister Jahanara became the mureeds of a
successor of Mian Mir, who is called Molla Shah.
Among the many books of the prince his “Sakinat
al-Awliya” (= The Inward Peace of the Friends
of God) is the most famous. It contains, among
other things, a detailed biography of Mian Mir
who almost always has been mentioned by using
his title of honour “Mian Jiw”.
the “Sakinat al-Awliya” (the following part has
been translated from the German version of Annemarie
Schimmel) here is what Dara Shikoh tells about
the death of Hazrat Mian Mir:
After a stay of more than sixty years of Hazrat
Mian Jiw in Lahore, he got dysentery, an illness
about which there is a reliable hadith: ‘The one
who dies because of dysentery, dies as a martyr’.
It lasted for five days and at the 7th of Rabi’
al-awwal 1045 or the 22nd of August 1635 three
hours before the end of Tuesday, the bird of his
pure soul was released from the cage of bondage
because of the human existence, and it raced to
the world of the Absolute Divine, which was his
native country. He became a drop in the ocean.
All of this took place in the area of the town,
which is known as Khafipura, in the cell, which
was the place wherein he stayed.
Khwaja ‘Abdullah Ansari has said: “By God, next
to Whom there is no other god! For a good servant
there will never come a day which is more beautiful,
more serene and more pleasant than the day on
which the angel of death comes to him and says:
‘Do not fear, as you are going to the All-Merciful
and you return to your native country and it is
a day of festival’!” This world is a place for
a temporal stop, it is a prison for the believer.
This existence is only on loan. This place is
a pretext and suddenly the veil is being removed
and takes him away and the human being returns
to the Truth and enters an eternal life.
death of a pious person is a life without end
Many of them have died and are kept alive by the
blessed Abu Bakr-e Zaqqaq has said: “The one who
has a longing experiences at the gate of death
a greater enjoyment than someone who is alive
when taking honey”. These kinds of people are
so full of joy at the moment of death and they
know how to enjoy it as their residence is the
world of those without a place. From the final
Prophet come these words: “Love of your native
country belongs to the faith”. The meaning of
this hadith is not hidden to those who have a
heart; what is clear does not need an explanation.
The Prophet has also said: “Death is a bridge,
which unites the friend with the Friend”. (This
is by the way no saying of the Prophet, but it
is probably a saying of the important Iranian
Sufi Yahya ibn Mu’adh (d. ca. 871-2), the ‘preacher
is more beautiful in his world to long for,
As that the friend reaches the Friend?
There it was misery; here it is peace everywhere.
There it was only words, here it is an embrace.
have claimed that Hazrat Mian Jiw had reached
an age of 107 years, while others state that he
had become 99 years old. According to a document
that has been said to be correct by the relatives
of Hazrat Mian Jiw and by trustworthy people and
notables in Sehwan and which was shown by the
son of his brother Muhammad Amin, he was born
in the year 957/1550. He was therefore 88 (lunar)
years old, but God knows best what is true. There
are no differences of opinion about the year,
month, day and the time of death of the master.
I’ve recorded it as I’ve heard it from and checked
it not only by means of his disciples who were
present at that time, but also by means of Nur
Muhammad, his servant, who was day and night sitting
next to him during the days of his illness.
just-mentioned Nur Muhammad has told this: ‘One
day before he died, Wazir Khan, the governor of
the city, came to visit the master. He was standing
outside of the cell and sent him a message of
his arrival. The master answered: ‘Let him go
home!’ The servants then tried to persuade him
to change his opinion as he had come to visit
the patient and he wanted to pay him his respect.
Then he said: ‘He is allowed to enter, but he
cannot sit down’.
Wazir Khan entered he said: ‘I’ve brought an excellent
physician with me, so if you like he can treat
The master answered: ‘The Absolute Physician is
sufficient for me’ – and he asked Wazir Khan to
I (= Nur Mohammed) noticed that he was a little
restless and I asked him: ‘What is causing this
He answered: ‘I would have remembered God for
nothing during all of my life, when I sensed restlessness
in myself at this moment’.
which Hazrat Mian Jiw wanted to say with these
words was: ‘It is like this that restlessness
of necessity stems from the body and from the
human nature, and it is caused by the struggle
at death. This however is not important as the
spirit and the heart are quite peaceful and are
active with the remembrance of God. This excitement
may come from a too strong a longing of which
those who are present are not conscious’.
day he said: ‘I had heard that the prophets experience
a struggle at death as well as restlessness. That
is why I was extremely fearful in my heart and
from that day on I was worrying about it, until
the day when one of my friends, who was one who
had experienced inner states, was close to death.
Then he started to move his hands and feet quite
wildly. I asked him: ‘How about your state of
inner concentration? What has happened to it?
And why are you thus moving your hands and feet?
He answered: “My state of inner concentration
is even stronger than before, and I don’t experience
what you suggest’.
This answer made it clear to me that the hearts
of the friends of God is at peace at that time
and that the external restlessness is not really
the governor of the city was informed about the
terrible event of the departure of the master
he returned to the cell together with his family,
the great ones, the scholars and people of merit
of the city. The disciples and the servants of
the master were occupied with the final preparations
and put him in the funeral cloth. A little later
the prayer for the deceased was accomplished by
a great number of important people and other Muslims.
Then they respectfully carried the corpse of the
master from the city to the spot, which had been
recommended by the master himself during his lifetime:
‘Take me to the spot where my friends are resting!’
carried the corpse and exactly buried this pearl
among the knowers of God in this earth which was
like paradise, and which could be found at about
a mile distance from the city near ‘Alamganj,
that is at the south-east of the city. Both the
high and the low were very sad because of the
departure of the master. They experienced this
day to be as difficult as the Day of Resurrection
and repeated the following verse over and over:
The one who renounced the world completely,
Has left the world:
As pure as he was when he entered it,
As pure he has left it.
The circle around the centre of the world,
Became sad because of his death.
The centre of generosity has left us.
The falcon of his soul,
Which was hunting for the highest wisdom,
Had heard the drum of the King
And quickly went away.
The heart in the body is sad,
As the trustworthy one has gone away.
The soul has escaped from the body:
Its strong support has gone away!
A creative man, Molla Fathullah wrote this chronogram:
Mian Mir, you are the opening
Of the book of the enlightened.
The dust of the door
Of the envied elixir.
He just travelled on
To the eternal city.
Here, in the valley of tears,
He was sad and he was suffering.
The intellect wrote down
The date of his death:
‘Mian Mir went towards the Highest Paradise’.
chronogram can be found in the final line of this
poem in the words: ‘Ba-firdaws-e-wala mian mir
raft – Mian Mir went towards the Highest Paradise,
the numerical value of which is 1045 A.H. or 1635
night before the Friday (what is in the west the
Thursday night is already a Friday according to
Islam as a day starts at the setting of the sun)
the people went in large crowds to visit Mian
Mir in order to walk around the radiant resting-place
of this leader of the friends of God in order
to be blessed by God. Especially those who belonged
to the companions of Hazrat Mian Jiw think it
is necessary and think it to be an honour to walk
around this ka’ba of wishes. The one who has a
problem or a wish finds a solution or a fulfilment
of the wish after leaving this blessed place of
(In the following part prince Dara Shikoh, the
author of this biography of Hazrat Mian Mir writes
about his personal experiences in regard to the
death of the pir of his pir). By sheer bad luck
and because of the difficulties at that time with
many evil days I, the poor one, was not present
at the time of the death of the master, but I
was in Agra. One day, it was three hours before
the end of the day, I saw in a dream that I was
present with Hazrat Mian Jiw. He gave some advices
and then said to me: ‘You have to say the of the
dead for me!’
I could not understand this type of order, I became
quite excited and declined to do it, but the master
says it with a strong emphasis and at that very
moment I see that he clearly dies, and I say the
prayer of the dead as he had ordered me to do.
I awoke in a confused and sad state, and the marks
of sadness and tears were quite visible. This
event made me very astonished and I had to think
often about it. Several days later the horrible
message arrived from Lahore that at the same day
and at the exact same time as I had seen al of
this, the terrible event took place.
are in the caravan
Of the land of the living to the hereafter.
He was a hero,
And that is why he preceded us.
Like the pupil of the eye
I am drowned in a stream of tears.
From my wounded eyelashes
Many tears came forth.
I said; ‘Until my end
I will complain because of him.
The strength to speak
Has left me because of my sadness’.
The owners of a heart,
Who have dead before their deaths,
They drink from the cup of death
The water of eternal life.
They have removed their luggage,
From the temporal residence
And then went on their way
To the eternal kingdom.
We sacrifice our lives for those,
Who hardly took one or two steps
On the path of the seeker
And already sacrificed their hearts and souls.
pious man has told this: “In the night before
the day that the master wanted to return to the
mercy of God I saw in my dream an exciting situation.
Someone cried: ‘One of the servants of God has
returned to the mercy of God. Everyone who will
attend to his funeral prayer, his or her sins
will be forgiven!’ When I awoke I was thinking
who this servant of God might be. Suddenly someone
brought the message that Hazrat Mian Jiw had died
and I went to his funeral prayer”.
Fath Muhammad, who was a pious man, has told this
story: “Hajji Parasha, who had served the master
during his final illness, has said: ‘Shortly before
his death the master wanted to do something. He
became suddenly restless and wanted to rise from
his bed. I took his hand in my hand in order to
help him. He withdrew his hand from mine and said:
‘Don’t do that!’ He himself left his bed while
he was trembling a lot and said: ‘O, messenger
of God! Blessings and peace be upon you!’ Then
his breathing changed into a short type of breath
and while I put him down on his bed he recited
the words: “Allah! Allah!” and smiling he moved
his hands just like those people do who are in
ecstasy, until he entered the forgiveness of God’.”
Shaykh Muhammad Lahori told me (= Dara Shikoh):
“I was with Mian Jiw at the time of his death.
During his struggle at his deathbed I saw that
he slowly moved his lips. I approached him in
order to hear what he had to say and noticed that
his breath came from his breast and that he was
restless, until the moment that he said two times
‘Allah, Allah’ and it stopped. Most of us were
thinking that Hazrat Mian Mir never had practised
the remembrance of God aloud, but in this moment
it became clear that it has been always his dhikr.
But even in this moment it did not became clear
because of his wish, but because of his breath
was used to it; it was its habit so to say”.