For centuries the people of the Indo Pak subcontinent have made the spiritual values and blessings a cornerstone of their lives because of which the subcontinent has become a centre of spiritual enlightenment. With the spread of Islam across the world, saints descended in this region to spread the pious message of God, to enlighten and educate the people. The spread of Islam across the length and breadth of the subcontinent owes much to the efforts, exertions and the personal examples of the Muslim saints and sufis who made concerted and diligent efforts to reach out to the masses and sensitise them about the teachings of the Islam. By the sheer strength of their piety, devotion of their prayers, their affection and kindness and their high moral character, they were instrumental in the spread of the religion of peace across the subcontinent and millions of people embraced Islam and were alleviated of their sufferings.
Before they started preaching, they set noble and brilliant example through their behaviour and conduct. Islam was preached by them in a simple, pragmatic and flexible way, contrary to the ulema who laid much emphasis on the rigidity of rules. They also highlighted Allah’s positive and merciful attributes to ignite a love of God in people’s hearts. People referred their everyday needs and problems to the saints and found solace in the message of God spread though them. The Khanqas’ of the sufi saints soon started becoming a centre of enlightenment where people of the subcontinent came for their spiritual blessings, preaching the message of Allah, character building and learning.
The saints fulfilled their duties in such a manner which ensured the self purification of the people and enrichment in their lives. One of these Righteous saints was Hazrat Mehbob Alam Hazrat Pir Shah Jewna who touched the lives of the million of the people spread across the subcontinent. He was instrumental in changing the lives of the people through his kindness, affection and piety. Such was his influence over the people of the subcontinent that his followers are increasing manifold despite the passage of centuries.
The 458th death anniversary (Urs) of Sufi Saint Hazrat Mehboob Alam known as Hazrat Peer Shah Jewna will be observed with great respect and honour at his shrine, located some 30 kilometres north of Jhang. A large number of followers and devotees throng the shrine every year to pay homage to the great mystic saint to seek blessings. Former Federal Minister Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat is a Sajjada Nasheen, the descendant of Hazrat Shah Jewna.
Hazrat Shah Jewna was descendant of Hazrat Jaffar Tuwaab Bin Imam Ali Naqi. Hazrat Qutbuddin Bukhtiar Kaki and Khawaja Nizamuddin Aolia Dehlwi were also part of this pedigree which shows that Shah Jewna belongs to the same lineage of the mentioned great scholars of the subcontinent.
Hazrat Shah Jewna’s grandfather Makhdoom Syed Jalaluddin Surkh Bukhari migrated to the subcontinent from Bukhara in the reign of slave dynasty. The great saint also moved to subcontinent to preach and promote Islam in this region. The great saints of his era were Hazrat Ghous Bahawal Haq Zakariya Multani, Hazrat Khawaja Fareeduddin Ganj Shakar and Shahbaz Qalandar.
Likewise, Hazrat Shah Jewna’s another ancestor Makhdoom Jahanian Jahan Ghasht’s caliph Hazrat Madad Alaf Sani’s grandfather was Rafiuddin which shows the holy shrine of Hazrat Shah Jewna was among the great shrines of subcontinent.
Makhdoom Jahanian Jahan Ghasht breathed his last in Uch Sharif (Bahawalpur). After his death, the forefathers of Hazrat Shah Jewna moved from Uch Sharif to Kannuaj (India) where Peer Shah Jewna was born in 1493 in the reign of King Sikandar Lodhi. His father Syed Sadaruddin Shah Kabeer was a Polyhistor and also among the advisors of King Sikandar Lodhi.
Hazrat Shah Jewna learnt the religious knowledge from his father and spent a large part (around 66 years) of his life in Kannauj. He got education in Arabic, Persian, Quran, Tafsir, Hadith and Islamic jurisprudence from his teacher Qazi Bahauddin and thus became a prominent scholar. The fame of his piety and simple lifestyle spread to far-flung areas and many great scholars and saints of his era used to pay visits to him.
He had witnessed the regime of Sultans Sikandar Lodhi, Ibrahim Lodhi, Zaheeruddin Babar, Naseeruddin Babar and Jalaluddin Akbar. He started preaching Islam from Kannauj where he strived day and night to accomplish his noble task. There is a town ‘Jewn’ associated with his name in the Tehsil Jalalabad of district Kannauj. Tehsil Jalalabad too linked with the name of his ancestor Makhdoom Jalaluddin Jahanian Jahan Ghasht while in district Kannauj, Sadaat Shah Jewna’s colonized towns -Siray-e-Miraan, Uch, Bibiyaan Jalalpur, Makhdoom Pur, Laal Pur (associated with the name of Saint Laal Bukhari) are still populated areas of the city. Siray-e-Miraan is the town where Shah Jewna used to impart religious knowledge to the students who used to come from other areas.
The miracles of Hazrat Shah Jewna were very popular in Kannauj and its premises. The patients were blessed with good health while troubled and anxious people used to get relief from their problems. These were ordinary miracles used to occur at his holy place and there were some big miracles too. In fact, he followed basic philosophy of the Holy Quran and Sunnah.
Once, when he was in Kannauj, the son of Raja was killed with a knife while playing with his friends. On the request of Raja, he prayed to Allah Almighty and recited some holy verses from Quran and put his hand on the place of wound. By grace of Allah, the boy opened his eyes. This marvellous miracle of Shah Jewna impressed Raja so much that he, along with thousands of other Hindus, embraced Islam.
Hazrat Shah Jewna inherited spiritual power from his forefathers. In a book ‘Hadeeqatul Aolia’ Page No 50, it is mentioned about the miracle of his grandfather Makhdoom Jalaluddin Surkh Bukhari that when in his teenage, he was playing with his friends, a funeral was brought but he stopped the people there to bury the dead body. He pronounced Allah is great and addressing the dead body, he asked to be alive on the orders of Allah, in a few seconds, the person was alive and lived for 40 years after that. Likewise, it was also written in book’ Anwaarul Aolia’ about his ancestor Makhdoom Jalaluddin Jahanian Jahan Ghasht that once he went to perform Hajj, and when he was staying at Jeddah for some time, a funeral of Shaikh Badaruddin Yamni was brought in a mosque he recited a holy verse from Quran and Sh Badaruddin opened his eyes and later, everyone present there offered their Zuhr prayer in his Imamat.
Peer Shah Jewna left Kannauj in 1558 and migrated to Pail Padhrar to preach Islam there. Pail Padhrar was an acid area without any vegetation at that time but his arrival made the deserted place populated and fertile. He impressed the people there who started embracing Islam in a great numbers. He prayed for blessings of Allah for this area which was granted and a proof of Shah Jewna’s blessings also exists even today in that area. This well is known as “Peers” well and people used the water of this to cure their physical and spiritual ailments.
From Pail Padhrar, he went to a town ‘Shah Jewna’ near Jhang which was also deserted but as soon as he reached the area, it was also filled with blessings of Allah. Hazrat Shah Jewna was a simple but pious and generous saint who always remained busy in helping the mankind and teaching and preaching Islam and ways of Quran and Sunnah to people.
He had firm belief in the injunctions of Holy Quran and was emotionally attached to Holy Prophet (PBUH). His love for Holy Prophet (PBUH) can easily be gauged from the fact that he made Surah Muzammil the centre of his life. Due to reciting Sur’ah Muzammil 10 million times in the bela of Chenab River, he was also known as ‘Peer Croreia.
Many years rather centuries have passed since his death, but even today, a large number of people not only from Jhang but also from far-flung areas still remember the services of this great saint and feel honour in paying homage to him and earn inner peace in return. In this modern era when everyone is anxious and looking for peace, the message of Hazrat Shah Jewna is still one of piety, modesty and honesty.