Historical Monuments of Multan, Pakistan

SHRINE OF HAZRAT BAHAUDDIN ZAKARIYA

Monument

SHRINE OF HAZRAT BAHAUDDIN ZAKARIYA.

Location

ON THE EASTERN FRINGE OF QILA QASIM BAGH

Status

Protected by Directorate of Archaeology, Govt. of Punjab under Punjab Special Premises Act 1985

Owner

Auqaf Department, Govt. 0f Punjab

Use

FORMER: TOMB
PRESENT: TOMB

Period / Date

1260-67.Demolition in 1849, rebuilt between 1850-55. Repaired and renovated several time afterwards.

Historical Notes

Sheikh Baha ud din Zakariya commonly known as Bah ul Haq was born at Kot Karor, district Leiyah, in A.H.566 (A.D. 1169-70). The saint was born in the house of Sheikh Wajeehuddin, better known as Muhammad Ghaus. Historians, however, differ in date of his birth (565 to 578 AH) and the family background of his mother named Fatima as to whether she was from from Baghdad or Kot Karor. His date of death also varies from 656 to 666 AH. His father died when he was only twelve years old. He received his initial education at Kot Karor where he learnt the Quran by heart according to its seven methods of recitation. Thereafter, he went out to visit great centers of Islamic learning at Khurasan, Bukhara and Medina. While in Medina, he learnt Hadiths with an eminent scholar Shaikh Kamal al-Din Muhammad Yamani. After the completion of his formal education, and visiting several religious centers, he reached Baghdad and became a disciple of Shaikh Shahab al-Din Suharwardi. At this time, he was, as his master put it, ‘like a dry wood, ready to catch fire’. The Shaikh appointed him his successor and ordered him to proceed to Multan and establish a Suharwardi Khanqah there. He arrived in Multan in 614/1217 and was buried in the mausoleum built by himself in his lifetime. His son and successor Sheikh Sadruddin is also buried beside him. It is believed that beside the tomb, he built a magnificent Khanqah and a Sarai during his life time He was married to Bibi Basran, the daughter of his uncle Sheikh Ahmad of Kot Karor and subsequently married another lady named Rashida Bano. He had several children from both of them. But Sheikh Sadruddin, a son from the first wife succeeded him. However it was his grandson Hazrat Ruknuddin or Rukn-i-Alam that surpassed all others in fame and following. The famous Persian poet Fakhruddin Iraqi was the son-in-law of Hazrat Bahul Haq.

Description / Main Features

It is the earliest type of square mausoleum building (53’x53’ internally & 61’-9”X69’-9” externally) which is topped by a dome with an octagonal second storey in between the two. The tomb (total height 80’-8”) stands in the middle of the vast enclosure (260’x230’) enclosed by a perimeter brick wall now much decayed and crudely repaired over time. The entrance to the shrine is from two gateways in the east and west through a courtyard. The courtyard is paved with large size brick-tiles (11”x8”x2”). The monument is a three storied brick masonry structure square in plan on the ground floor. The second storey is octagonal and the third one is the hemi-spherical whitewashed dome. The space within the tomb contains several other graves of the-family .members and disciples of the saint. The tomb is adorned with several inscriptions rendered in Multani tile work. Opposite to the door of the shrine is a small grave adorned with blue tiles, which covers the body of the brave Nawab Muzaffar Khan, who died at the gate of the shrine in 1818, defending himself against the assault of the Sikh invaders.

Access / Environs

The tomb is accessed by the roads within Qila Qasim Bagh from Deh Gate , Sikki Gate and the a new access road into the Qila from the north. It has an incredible view of the entire Multan cityscape below. Just adjacent to the tomb on the south are the ruins of the Parhladpuri Temple.

Present Condition

The tomb building is in a good condition and the structure is stable on account of several renovations. The present structure, on the whole is of 19th century having been reconstructed after its incurring massive damage during the siege of Multan by the British from the Sikhs.

Interventions

The tomb has a long history of renovations, interventions and alterations. The oldest known sketch of the shrine, as it existed prior to its destruction in 1848, is available in the book “MOOLTAN DURING AND AFTER THE SIEGE” published in 1849. There was little of original structure left intact as a result of severe bombardment during the prolonged siege of the city by British forces. In 1850 the local Government was requested for a grant of Rs.10000 for the repair of the two mausoleums in the fort, which was refused. However, soon thereafter, the building was rebuilt in 1860 by Makhdum Shah Mahmud Quraishi by means of public subscriptions. A careful analyses of surviving inscriptions on the edifice itself reveals an interesting story of interventions being carried out on from time to time particularly those in 1319/1901 (Muhammad Hameed Quraishi, 1927-28). “The recent renovation of the Mausoleum has resulted in giving the edifice yet another modern look, though according to the original scheme”. The two verandahs on the south and west were certainly added after 1850 as the number of graves of families of note increased. According to one inscription on the building, the southern Verandah was constructed by Shaikh Mureed Husain, a Sajjada Nasheen of the Sheikh. The eastern gateway of the khanqah, according an inscription fixed there, was rebuilt in the year 1343 AH / 1924 AD also by Mureed Hussein Quraishi. Another inscription records its restoration by one named Muhammad “… in the year…”(Not readable). On the eastern wall of the shrine an inscription commemorates the repair of the dome by Pir Muhammad of Thanesar. Similarly, the wooden canopy around the main grave is of a still later date. Hameed Quraishi has located one inscription which shows that this building was repaired once again in 1904. . After independence the building was once again renovated extensively in during 1974-1978 when the internal plaster and floor were replaced. During these repairs it was also revealed that the western wall was the only original wall. All other walls were repaired or rebuilt after the damage caused in 1848. Outside this gate was a well built by Nawab Baqir Khan which was closed down during 1974 repair work but an indication of it in the form of a Circular platform exists by the side of a new constructed Sabeel. Inside the well there was reported to be a foundation inscription but the same has also disappeared by now. There was definitely an original mosque built by the Saint himself but there is no evidence left of it. The present day mosque of the shrine in the south-east of the Mausoleum is said to have been built by the order of Aurangzeb Alamgir along with a well in front of it The well has disappeared and the mosque itself has been completely rebuilt According to a new inscribed tablet the construction work on this mosque was completed on 30th April 1982. The latest intervention is the current repair work that is going on presently on the western verandah including re-plastering of walls, pillars and pilasters. The floor has also been re-laid .

MIRACLES, MYTHS AND LEGENDS (Ahmed Nabi Khan, Multan and From Gazzeeter of Multan District 1923-24)

It has been related that at the time of the arrival Bahhuddin Zakria in Multan, some elite of the city did not welcome the Shaikh and instead sent him a cup of milk filled to the brim implying thereby that in the presence of several eminent Sufis and religious personages in the city, there was no need of yet another holy man. The Shaikh understood the message put a rose on the surface of the milk, he himself was more distinguished and possessed the quality of a rose which imparted fragrance and was, therefore, liked by all. One of his miracles was the preservation of a sinking boat, and the boatmen of the Chenab and Indus still invoke Bahwal Haqq as their patron saint in times of difficulty. A curious incident has been related by almost all the relevant authorities that occurred at the time of his death. According to these sources, on the morrow of the appointed day, the Shaikh al-Islam was busy praying in his Hujra when an old man appeared and delivered a sealed letter to Sadr ud-Din ‘Arif, his son with the instructions that it should be delivered to the Shaikh immediately. The son took the sealed letter to his father and, after delivering it, came out to find that the messenger had already left. No one knew about the stranger, it is said that the Shaikh read the letter and breathed his last. An invisible voice was then heard saying: dost ba dost raseed (friend had joined friend). The Saint left enormous sums of wealth to his son, Sadr-ud-din, who on coming into possession of it, at once disturbed the whole of it to the poor, saying that, although his father had sufficiently conquered himself to have no fear of an improper use of it, he himself, not being so advanced in sanctity, dreaded the temptation.

Proposal

The original character and epigraphic slabs seem to have been altered in the recent repair work. Efforts should make to restore its original character. Repairs should only be carried - out by experienced conservationists. There is a strong need to bring back its original character.

References

Cunningham ASIR (1872-73), V, 119; Cunningham, Ancient Geography, 230-245; Huqq,135-37, 190-204; Faridi, Tarikh-i-Multan, 139-146; Fikri, 449-458 and A. K. Khan, 188- 198 & Appendix VII, PP.335-348; Multan Gazetteer, 339-341; John Dunlop, Mooltan During and After the Siege, plates at p. 79 and 83 of the reprint of 2002; Muhammad Hamid Kuraishi, EIM, 1927-28; .Latif, 72-76;

Plans


Elevations


Sections


Photograph


Environmental Notes

  • Vehicular Access / Parking

    Vehicular access is available to front of the shrine; numerous parking spaces are available

  • Use of Space

    Use of the shrine is purely religious.

  • Visitor’s Facilities.

    Toilet and bath, blocks to north and east; langar khana near entrance to the shrine; drinking water available; dias for performances; shamiyana for shade ; pilgrimage facilities available for the Qila.

  • Electricity

    Electricity and KWH meters

  • Drainage

    Water flows downhill to the main road.

  • Sewerage

    Sewer pipeline serves the site.

  • Solid waste

    No solid waste visible at the site; system for prompt collection and removal is in place.

  • Pavement and surfaces

    Courtyard paved with brick; shrine paved with blue Multani tiles.

  • External threats

    None noted

  • Condition

    Portions of the monument have been restored and renovations works are currently in progress. The monument is structurally sound and in good condition. Sagging of roof was noted in corner of the verandah