Qadiri Saints Of Chakrali Budhal

Qadiri Saints Of Chakrali Budhal
The veneration of saints is very common in the Pothohar region in Punjab. Like those of other Sufi saints, the shrines of Qadiri Sufis are found in several villages in Pothohar. In particular, the Gujar Khan tehsil of Rawalpindi district hosts several popular shrines of Qadiri Sufi saints.

Some of the eminent Qadiri sufi saints in Gujar Khan include Divan Abdul Baqi (d. 1662) at Beval town, Abdul Qadir Siham at Jalhari Bhai Khan village, Shah Shahabuddin at Nata Gujarmal, Syed Mir Kalan at Rokhia Sharif village, Divan Datta Shaikh Saidi alias Datta Shaikh Shaadi (d.1756-7) at Sukho town, Mian Faiz Bakhsh at Dulmi village, Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem at Sangni Sharif,Shaikh Khair Muhammad Qadiri Naushahi (d. 1783-4) at Jabba village, Shaikh Muhammad Qadiri Naushahi (d.1759) at Jand Najjar village, Mian Muhammad Saed Qadiri Naushahi at Jairo Ratial village, Mian Muhammad Azeem Qadiri Naushahi at Bhadana, Sain Kala (d. 1863) at Barki Budhal, Mian Fazaluddin Qadiri Naushahi (d. 1885) at Wasala village, Syed Ghulam Shah (d. 1871) at Mankrai village, Mian Ilamuddin Qadiri Naushahi (d. 1937) at Bhagwal near Krumb Baloch, Mian Sharaf Ali Qadiri Naushahi (d. 1914), Mian Habib Qadiri (d. 1912) at Habib Chowk Mian Fazal Illahi Qadiri Naushahi (d. 1930) at Duman village, Mian Kamaluddin Qadiri Naushahi (d. 1922) at Wasala village, Syed Alam Shah Gilani (d.1930) at Jand Gujjar,  Syed Shuhabal Shah Qdiri Sarwari (d. 1932) at Gorsian village, Sain Mahiya (d. 1897) at Jand Najjar, Shah Abdul Rasool (d. 1876) at Mohra Shera village and many others.

Domed ceiling of Sahibzada Fazal Illahi and Sahibzada Ghulam Rasool's tomb

Like many other villages in Gujar Khan tehsil, Chakrali Budhal village is also known for the shrines of Qadiri Sufi saints. Chakrali Budhal village is located in Gujar Khan tehsil. It is situated about 8 km from Kallar Syedan town on the Kallar Syedan–Beval Road. The shrines belong to the descendants of Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem, whose shrine is located inside the Sangni fortress. I have written an article titled “Sangni and its Saint” on the Sangni fortress and Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem. Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem was a deputy of Murid Khan Gakhar alias Haji Bagga Sher. Haji Bagga Sher was a deputy of Pira Shah Ghazi Qalander Damri Wali Sarkar (d. 1742), whose shrine is located at Khari Sharif in Mirpur district in Azad Kashmir. I have also written an article on Haji Bagga Sher which appeared on 21 April 2020 in TFT-ND. According to Tazkira Muqimi by Mian Muhammad Bakhsh Qadiri, Pira Shah Qazi Qalandar was a disciple of Syed Shah Muhammad Amir Bala Pir, who was from the family of Syed Bawal Shah Gilani alias Bahawal Sher Qalander (d. 1565), whose shrine is located at Hujra Shah Muqeem in Depalpur tehsil, Okara.

Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem who was a deputy of Haji Murid Khan alias Haji Bagga Sher is located inside Sangni Qila. He was first buried in Chakrali Budhal and later his mortal remains were shifted to Sangni Fortress.

Chakarli Budhal is a historical village in Gujar Khan tehsil. According to Waja Tasmia Dehat Pargana Dangali wa Pharwala by Raizada Brijnath, it is believed to have been founded by Chakar Khan Budhal, after whom it is known as Chakrali Budhal. It was founded during the reign of Hathi Khan Gakhar in the first quarter of the 16th century. The village is known for the shrines of Qadiri Sufis which, except for Shah Nihaluddin, are spiritually connected to the Qadiri saints of Hujra Shah Muqeem.

Grave of Sahibzada Ghulam Akbar

The earliest shrine in the village belongs to Shah Nihaluddin, who was the father of Abdullah Shah alias Diwan Huzoori, whose shrine is located in Diwan Huzoori village in Sohawa tehsil of the Jhelum district. Shah Nihaluddin was a learned man who preached in Takhat Parri (formerly Akbarabad) and surrounding villages in the Rawalpindi district. He converted many to Islam. He was deeply devoted to Sufism and travelled to the popular shrines of Sufi saints. He also visited the shrine of Abdul Qadir Gilani/Jilani (d. 1166) in Baghdad. We are told that he spent most of his time in mediation and prayers. He moved from Takhat Parri to Chakrali Budhal village for preaching where he died in 1025 A.H/1616 A.D and was buried in the village. The tomb of Shah Nihaluddin also contains the grave of his wife Hafiza Fatima.

Shrine of Shah Nihaluddin in Chakrali Budhal

Apart from the shrine of Shah Nihaluddin, Chakrali Budhal village is also noted for the shrines of the descendants of Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem. Sahihbzada Abdul Hakeem had two sons, Sahibzada Said Khan and Sahibzada Sher Muhammad. Both were eminent Qadiri saints of Chakrali Budhal. Chakarli Budhal became a thriving centre of Qadiri Sufis in the time of Sahihbzada Abdul Hakeem and his sons Sahibzada Said Khan and Sahibzada Sher Muhammad. Hanif Hanifi (1997), the author of Faqar Di Ankh believes that Sahibzada Said Khan was a disciple of Budoh Shah, who himself was a deputy of Haji Bagga Sher and Pir Bhai of Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem. The shrine of Sahibzada Said Khan is located near the Sangni fortress while Sahibzada Sher Muhammad is buried in Chakrali Budhal. Sahibzada Said Khan had three sons Sahibzada Ghulam Rasool, Sahibzada Jamaluddin and Sahibzada Wahabuddin.

Shrines of Sahibzada Jamaluddin and Sahibzada Wahabuddin

There are five shrines in Chakrali Budhal, of which four belong to the descendants of Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem. To the south is the shrine of Araiytullah (Ayatullah) who according to Sahibzada Zafar, a descendant of Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem, was the son of Haji Bagga Sher. This tomb contains a single grave, that of Araiyatullah. Adjacent to this tomb is the shrine of Sahibzada Fazal Illahi and Sahibzada Ghulam Hussain. Both were sons of Muhammad Ali son of Sahibzada Ghulam Rasool. Sahibzada Muhammad Ali was the great-grandson of Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem.

Adjacent to the shrine of Sahibzada Fazal Illahi and Sahibzada Ghulam Hussain is located a historical mosque that is now completely renovated. To the north of the shrine of Sahibzada Fazal Illahi are located two shrines inside a walled enclosure. These shrines belong to the sons of Sahibzada Said Muhammad son of Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem. As one enters the wall enclosure, one notices the tomb of Sahibzada Jamaluddin first. Behind the tomb of Sahibzada Jamaluddin is that of Sahibzada Wahabuddin.

The shrines of Qadiri sufi saints in Chakrali Budhal

To the northeast of the shrines of Sahibzada Jamaluddin and Wahabuddin is the grand tomb of Sahibzada Ghulam Akbar. He was son of Sahibzada Wahabuddin. According to Hasan Nazaw Shah, the author of Gujar Khan Ke Suhrwardi Mashaikh, Sahibzada Ghulam Akbar was a disciple of Syed Arif Ali Gilani (d.1917) of Hujra Shah Muqeem. Sahibzada Ghulam Akbar was an eminent Qadiri Sufi of the twentieth century. He died in the second quarter of the twentieth century and was buried in a grand tomb that was built by his descendants. This tomb is the most impressive in the entire shrine complex of Chakrali Budhal. The interior of the tomb was painted with great regard to aesthetics. Now, these paintings are lost due to frequent renovation. It has only survived on squinches and the domed ceiling of the tomb. There are several graves on the eastern, southern and northern sides of the tomb which belong to the descendants of Sahibzada Ghulam Akbar.

The shrines of the descendants of Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem are sites of pilgrimage in Chakrali Budhal for the local community. Chakrali Budhal is popularly known as Chakrali Sharif now due to the presence of the shrines of Sufi saints. These popularly visited village shrines also reflect the spiritual and political power of the descendants of Sahibzada Abdul Hakeem.

The author is an anthropologist. He tweets at: @Kalhorozulfiqar