Biography of Sayyiduna Shaykh Sa’di Sheerazi رحمۃ اللہ تعالی علیہ

A famous Sufi saint, Sayyiduna Shaykh Abu Muhammad Muslihuddeen Sa’di Sheerazi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was a great poet and a literary person. He was born in 589 Hijri, corresponding to 1333 AD in Shiraz, a city of Iran.

Reason of being called “Sa’di”

“Sa’di” is his Takhallus [pen-name]. His father, ‘Abdullah was a servant to king “Sa’d Zangi”. When the father of Shaykh Sa’di passed away, Sa’d Zangi took the responsibility of bringing him up and providing him with education and Tarbiyyat [edification]. Shaykh Sa’di رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه assumed the pen-name of “Sa’di” in connection with the king’s name. (Tohfah Dostaan Urdu Sharh Boostan, pp. 4; Hikayaat Sa’di, pp. 11)

Acquiring knowledge

When Sayyiduna Shaykh Sa’di رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was in his early age, war was being fought in the country which was a hindrance to acquiring knowledge. Therefore, he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه left his country and went to Baghdad where he got busy acquiring knowledge after gaining admission to “Madrasah Nizamiyah”. He kept acquiring knowledge till approximately 30 years and then returned to his country. (Tohfah Dostaan Urdu Sharh Boostan, pp. 5, 6)

Worship and ascetic practices

He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه has stated: Even from my childhood, I had great love for worship and ascetic practices and I had great yearning for Tahajjud Salah and recitation of the Holy Quran.


He رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه was a Mureed [disciple] of Sayyiduna Shaykh Shahabuddin ‘Umar Suharwerdi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه. Sayyiduna Shaykh Sa’di رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه progressed through the stages of Rah-e-Sulook [spiritual path] under the guidance of Shaykh Shahabuddin رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه. (Ibid, pp. 5, 7)



Sayyiduna Shaykh Sa’di رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه did sightseeing for approximately 30 years to such an extent that after Ibn Battuta, he has been declared to be the greatest eastern tourist. The places which he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه toured also include Syria, Asia, Rome and Africa. (Ibid, pp. 9)


Amongst the books he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه authored, ‘Gulistan’ and ‘Boostan’ are the famous ones. In Farsi [Persian] language, no book became famous amongst the common people and important personalities more than these two books. (Ibid, pp. 12)

Acceptance in the court of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and Rasoolullah صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ

A pious person had a dream that the angels were having platters of Noor in their hands. The pious person asked: ‘Who are they for?’ The angels replied: It is a gift for Sa’di Sheerazi because his one couplet has gained acceptance in the court of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ:


برگِ درختانِ سبز در نظرِ ہوشیار

ہرورتے دفتریست معرفتِ کردگار

(I.e. Amongst the leaves of the green trees, every leaf contains great details of Ma’rifat of “the Creator of the universe”.)

When that pious person woke up, he immediately went to Shaykh Sa’di’s house for giving this good news. He saw that Shaykh Sa’di رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه had lighted an oil lamp and was reciting the same couplet. (Mirat-ul-Asraar – translated, pp. 731; summarized)

Once, a person used bad words for Shaykh Sa’di رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم appeared in that person’s dream and expressed displeasure. As soon as that person woke up, he appeared in the court of Shaykh Sa’di رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه, sought forgiveness and pleased him. (Ibid)

2 Sayings

1     The value of a blessing is understood after it is taken away. (Malfuzaat A’la Hadrat, pp. 142)

2     Responding to an evil with evil is very easy but if you are really a courageous person, do treat the one with goodness who commits evil [against you]. (‘Ajaaib-ul-Quran, pp. 103)

Blessed demise

Sayyiduna Shaykh Sa’di رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه passed away (at the age of 102) on Layla-tul-Jumu’ah [night between Thursday and Friday] in Shiraz in Shawwal-ul-Mukarram, 691 Hijri, corresponding to 1435 AD; his blessed shrine is also located in Shiraz. (Mirat-ul-Asraar – translated, pp. 732; Hikayaat Sa’di, pp. 12)




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