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Pak's Bombed Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine and India's 'Jhulelal' Connection


A woman clad in burqa walks in the hallway of the tomb of Sufi saint Syed Usman Marwandi, also known as Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, in Sehwan Sharif, in Pakistan's southern Sindh province. Picture taken September 5, 2013. (Reuters)



New Delhi: The Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar at Sehwan in Pakistan’s Sindh province which came under attack from Islamic State suicide bombers on Thursday is connected to a qawwali which is very popular in India - Dam Aadam Mast Qalandar

The verses of the Sufi song or qawwali was written in the honour of revered Sufi Saint of Sehwan, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar of Sehwan Sharif in Jamshoro district of Pakistan.

On Thursday, an Islamic State suicide bomber struck inside shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in southern Pakistan, killing at least 75 worshippers.

The original name of the Sufi saint was Syed Usman Marwandi, but he was later came to be known with his title Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.

Sadia Dehlvi, who wrote extensively on Sufism told News18, "He was a lover of Hazrat Ali and that's why the name of the lyrics were based on Ali. He was also a good friend of Baba Farid, another Sufi mystic."

"Lal Qalandar is also known as 'Jhule Lal' after the Hindu God Varuna. He is revered by both Hindus and Muslims alike," she added.

The lyrics of the qawwali Dama Dam Mast Qalandar are Punjabi spiritual lyrics is believed to be written by many sufis prominent among them Hazrat Amir Khusrow, Baba Bulle Shah between 16th to 17th Century.

Also Read: Pakistan: 75 Killed in ISIS Suicide Attack in Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine

The most famous quatrain or the stanzas associated with Sufi Shahbaz Qalandar is "Haider-e-um Qalandaram Mastam, Banda-e-Murtaza Ali Hastam, in which the saint expresses his love for Ali, the fourth Caliph of Islam, and the household of Prophet Muhammed .

These stanzas written in Persian are believed to be written by Bu Ali Shah Qalandar, a sufi saint of Chisti order.

The Sufi saint was born in around 11th century in the historical city of Marwand in Afghanistan. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar's parents migrated to Indian sub continent from Baghdad in Iraq.

The Sufi saint is said to be a descendant of the Holy Prophet , from the lineage of Imam Jafar-as-Sadiq, who is also revered by Shia Muslim as their sixth Imam.

In India as well as in Pakistan, people from different religion and sects regularly visit shrines of various sufi Saints prominent among them Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer to pray and seek blessings.

The extremist group also known as Daaesh in Arabic views Sufi shrines like the one targeted on Thursday as a form of idolatry. The group also views Shias as apostates and has targeted Pakistan's Shiite minority in the past.


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