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Shah Inayat Shaheed

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Shah Inayatullah
TitleSufi Shah Inayat Shaheed
Born1655 (AH 1665)
Died7 January 1718 (Safar 17,1130 AH)
RegionSindh, Mughal Empire
CreedSufism, Mystic
Main interest(s)Sufi poetry, Dhikr, Social reformer
Notable idea(s)Mysticism, Sindhi Sufi poetry

Shah Ïnayatullah (Sindhi: شاه عنایت اللہ ‎) (c. 1656 – 1718),[1] popularly known as Sufi Shah Inayat Shaheed, Shah Shaheed or Shah Ïnayat of Jhok, sometimes referred as the First Social Reformer of Sindh was a 17th-century Revolutionary from Jhok, Sindh who was executed on the order of the Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar in early eighteenth century. Sufi Inayat was accused of leading small army of peasants (Harees) of his area to challenge the domination of Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar, local feudal landlords and Mullahs. His mantra, “Jo Kherray so Khaey” (Sindhi: جو کيڙي سو کائي ‎), means the one who ploughs has the foremost right on the yield. The popularity of Sufi Shah Inayat forced the feudal landlords of the area to contact Mughal King Farrukhsiyar who on wrong information ordered the ruler of northern Sindh Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhoro to uproot the Sufi Inayat and his companions. A prolonged siege of Jhok resulted in the offer of negotiations from Kalhora commander and Sufi Inayat accepted the offer to avoid further bloodshed. As he arrived for the negotiations in the enemy camp he was arrested and later executed in Thatto.

Journey in quest for Truth[edit | edit source]

Termed as the 'first socialist sufi' in Sindh, Shah Inayat was born in 1655/56 A.D in Miranpur. He had his early education from his father Makhdum Fazlullah. He travelled to different parts of the subcontinent to quench his thirst for knowledge and to find a spiritual guide, or a murshid in sufi terms. He arrived in Bijapur India and there he came under the wings of Shah Abdul Malik ibn Shah Ubaidullah Jilani Qadiri.

He stayed there for one year, enduring rituals of vigorous meditation. When his learning was complete, he took leave from his murshid. Before his departure, Shah Abdul Malik placed four things before his disciple: a tasbeeh, a prayer mat, a karaa, and a sword. Shah Inayat chose the sword, to which his murshid asked: ‘O fakir what price will you pay for this gift?' He replied: "The price is my head."

Pleased with the answer, Shah Abdul Malik had one more instruction for his pupil: "Cover your face during your journey to Miranpur or people on the way will be smitten by it and follow you wherever you go." During his journey, whenever strong gusts of wind blew the veil and exposed his face, people around were duly magnetized an followed him to his destination in huge numbers.

Shah Inayat's influence on people[edit | edit source]

Once back in Miranpur, Shah Inayat spent his days in meditation and prayers. His message was one of love, tolerance and equality. Peasants left their respective lands to work for Shah Inayat as he had organized collective farming on his lands. Countless people came under his spiritual light. Soon the population of Miranpur increased many-fold.

He established a Khangah a monstary at Miranpur and distributed his land among the landless tillers (Harees). A Sufi in action,he was opposed to Zamindar (Landlords) on the one hand and to the orthodox theologian on the other. Countless people came under his spiritual light. Soon the population of Miranpur increased many fold. His influence with the people around him caused jealousy among the landlord and orthodox Mullah who conspired against him by complaining to Azam Khan,governor of Thatta Sarkar that Shah Inayat was trying to overthrow the government.

Battle of Jhok or Siege of Jhok[edit | edit source]

Sufi Shah Inayat's rising influence among his followers in the area of lower Sindh (Thatta Sarkar) caused much discontent in Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhoro who enjoyed political sway over Bakhar Sarkar(Northern Sindh) and Sehwan Sarkar (Central Sindh) and thus wanted to control over Thatta Sarkar which was still under the direct rule of Mughal Nawabs.
Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhoro's drive to consolidate his power on whole of Sindh, found this 'Social Movement of Sufi Shah Inayat' a main hurdle in realizing his ambition. Thus he in connivance with other influential landlords of the area, and Pirs of Dargah succeeded in persuading the Delhi government to act against Shah Inayat and his band of peasant followers for rebellion against Mughal Empire. A battle was launched on the order of Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar with the combined forces of Kalhora Chief and Mughal army of governor of Thatta.
A siege was laid to the town of Jhok for about four months but the follower of Shah Inayat gave stiff resistance. Finally,Shah Inayat was preparing to attack the invaders on 1 January 1718 AD when Kalhora chief sent Shahdad Khan Talpur with the Quran to invite Shah Inayat for peace talks. However, when Shah Inayat met the Kalhora Chief, Yar Muhammad Kalhoro, for talks, he was arrested, brought to Thatta and presented to Mughal governor.

Shahadat of Sufi Shah Inayat[edit | edit source]

Shah Inayat was questioned and beheaded a few days later on 7 January 1718. During his trial Shah Inayat appeared to long for death and therefore is known as Hallaj of Sindh and is venerated as crowned head of Sufis. His last words to his executioner was in the following verses:

"You have released me from the chains of existence, May Allah bless you now and hereafter."

The slain head was taken to Delhi in the court of Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar. On the way the head recited 700 verses, proving that those martyred in the name of Allah live on till eternity.

According to various sources, he was assassinated with orders of Mughals. He was handed over to them by Mian Yaar Muhammad Kalhoro, the first ruler of Kalhora dynasty. This started the Kalhora dynasty. On betrayal of Mian Yaar Muhammad Kalhoro, Shah said following verse:

"ڏونگري ڏني ڏاڙھي، ڪوه ڪتي جو پڇ."

(The opressor had promised (by touching his beard), it [the beard] was just like the tale of a dog.)

In Farrukhsiyar's court were present two ardent devotees of Shah Inayat Shaheed. When they saw what had happened, blood rose in their eyes and in an act of fury, both of them blinded Farrukhsiyar with red hot irons. Chaos ensued and One of the disciples was killed while the other managed to escape with the head of his Shaheed Master and made it to Jhok.
A sayyid from Thatta built a shrine, where Shah Shaheed was buried. The other thousands of martyrs were buried in seven mass graves each known as 'Ganj-e-Shaheed'
A total of 24,000 followers were martyred during this battle, which is comparable only to the Battle of Karbala.
Battle of Jhok was not a fight between two rulers. It was a clash between the mighty Mughal forces along with their local cronies, and a band of brave Sufis who chose to revolt against the corrupt feudals and imperial order of the day.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Mohan Lal (1991). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: Sasay to Zorgot. Sahitya Akademi. p. 3941. ISBN 9788126012213.

External links[edit | edit source]

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