Qutb al-Aqtaab Shah Rukn-e-‘Aalam رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه
Muhammad Nasir Jamal Attari Madani
From among those blessed personalities of the Indo-Pak Subcontinent who strived day and night to light the illuminating lamp of Islam, who brightened dark hearts with the rays of light from the lamp of Islam, who gathered scattered minds upon the centre of guidance, who quenched thirsty eyes with the drink of love and devotion, who brought coolness to burning hearts with Islamic manners and etiquettes and who granted the refuge of their mercy to those who were burning in the intense heat of their woes, is the great leader of the Suharwerdi Way, Qutb al-Aqtaab, the fountainhead of grace and generosity, Rukn-e-‘Aalam, Abul Fath Rukn al-Din Suharwerdi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه.
He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه was born on 9 Ramadan al-Kareem 649 AH, corresponding to 25 November 1251 CE, on the day of Friday, in Madina-tul-Awliya, Multan (Pakistan). His grandfather, Shaykh al-Islam Baha al-Din Zakariyya Multani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه, named him ‘Rukn al-Din.’
The household in which Shah Rukn-e-‘Aalam رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه opened his eyes contained the beautiful scenes of his noble grandfather, Shaykh Baha al-Din Zakariyya Multani’s worship and spiritual practices, his honourable father, Shaykh Sadr al-Din ‘Arif’s ascetism and piety, and his noble mother, Bibi Rasti’s nights of worship. His noble mother paid special attention to cleanliness and purity. Whenever sheرَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَیْھا would give him milk, she رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْها would first perform Wudu, and as she رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْها was a Hafizah of the Quran and it was her habit to complete the entire Quran every day, sheرَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَیْھا would continue to recite the Quran whilst giving him milk; if the Azan would be called during this time, he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه would stop drinking the milk and listen attentively to the Azan. The mother of Shah Rukn-e-‘Aalam رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه had told all of the servants in the home to not encourage the child to say anything besides Ism al-Jalalah (الـلّٰـه) nor to say any other words in his presence other than this. The result of this attentiveness was that the first word that he ever spoke was Ism al-Jalalah (الـلّٰـه). (Yaadgar-e-Suharwerdi, p. 181)
His outward education and training were undertaken by his noble father, Shaykh Sadr al-Din ‘Arif رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه, and his spiritual training was carried out by his honourable grandfather, Shaykh Baha al-Din Zakariyya Multani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه. When he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه reached the age of 4 years, 4 months and 4 days, his noble grandfather, Shaykh Baha al-Din Zakariyya Multani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه, taught him ‘الـلّٰـه بِسْمِ’, and his noble father, Shaykh Sadr al-Din ‘Arif رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه, began to teach him the memorisation of the Quran. It was his habit that when he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه would recite a quarter of a Juz three times, he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه would memorise it. After memorising the Quran, he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه began to seek Islamic knowledge, and at the age of only 16, he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه completed his study of all of the sciences, attaining mastery in Tafseer, Hadith, Fiqh, rhetoric, literature, poetry, mathematics, logic, etc.
He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه was extremely beloved to his father and grandfather, and he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه too had boundless respect for both of them. It was due to the blessings of these two great personalities that signs of spirituality began to appear in him at a young age. He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه attained perfection in worship, spiritual practices, piety, religiosity, humility, compassion, forbearance, forgivingness, modesty, awe, etc. One day, his grandfather, Shaykh Baha al-Din Zakariyya Multani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه, removed his Imamah and placed it on the bed. Shah Rukn-e-‘Aalam رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه (who was 4 years old at that time) picked up his grandfather’s Imamah and placed it on his head. His father was sitting close by, and chided him, but Shaykh Baha al-Din Zakariyya Multaniرَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه said, ‘Do not say anything to him, for he is rightful to it; I have given him this Imamah.’ Thus, this Imamah was placed in that wrapped state in a box. When Shah Rukn-e-‘Aalam رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه became his successor, he رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه placed this Imamah upon his head and donned the cloak that was given to his grandfather, Shaykh Baha al-Din Zakariyya Multani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه by Sayyiduna Shaykh Shahab al-Din Suharwerdi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه.
He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه was the true successor of his noble father, Shaykh Sadr al-Din ‘Arif رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه, and his noble grandfather, Shaykh Baha al-Din Zakariyya Multani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه. He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه spread the call to righteousness and showed the path of truth to his disciples and devotees for 52 years. Countless individuals took Bay’ah at his hands and reached the stations of excellence through his saintly gaze. His righteous representatives became from the most pious and righteous individuals of their age.
Here are some profound words of wisdom uttered from the blessed tongue of Shah Rukn-e-‘Aalam رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْـه:
* Until the grace of Allah Almighty assists a person, the purification of the heart is not possible.
* For a person to see his own faults is a sign of Allah’s grace and bounty.
* A person should have such control over his limbs that he stays away from the things prohibited in the Shari’ah, in word and action. He should also avoid immoral gatherings; this refers to such gatherings which take a person away from Allah Almighty and cause him to incline towards the world. He should also stay away from those who seek the world.
He رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه passed away on 7 Jamad al-Oola 735 AH, in accordance to 13 January 1335 CE, on a Tuesday, in the state of prostration. His blessed shrine, which is located in the graveyard which Ghiyaas al-Din Tughluq had built, is visited by both, the common and the elite. It is an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of the city of Madina-tul-Awliya, Multan.
 Seerat Pak Hazrat Shah Rukn al-Deen wal-Aalam, p. 5
 Allah kay khaas banday, p. 624, Tazkirah Awliya e Pak o Hind, p. 96
 Yaadgar-e-Suharwerdi, p. 181, Khazinah tul Asfiya, Vol. 4. P. 81
 Seerat Pak Hazrat Shah Rukn al-Deen wal-Aalam, p. 10
 Mahfil-e-Awliya, p. 257
 Khazinah tul Asfiya, vol. 4. p. 81
 Tufa-tul-Karam, p. 359
 Akhbar Al-Akhyar, p. 63
 Akhbar Al-Akhyar, p. 63
 Akhbar Al-Akhyar, p. 63
 Akhbar Al-Akhyar, p. 64
 Multan aur Silsilah Suharwerdi, p. 129, Seerat Pak Hazrat Shah Rukh al-Deen wal-Aalam, p. 169