Lal Shahbaz Qalandar preached religious tolerance among Muslims and Hindus. His mysticism attracted people from all religions.
He was called Lal (red) after his usual red attire, Shahbaz due to his noble and divine spirit, and Qalandar for his Sufi affiliation.
Thousands of followers visit his shrine in Sehwan every year, especially at the occasion of his Urs.
The real name of “Lal Shahbaz Qalandar” was Syed Muhammad Usman who was born in 1177 AD in Marwand (now Afghanistan), Iran. His father, Syed Ibrahim Kabiruddin, was a virtuous and pious dervish, and his mother was a high-ranking princess. His ancestors migrated from Iraq and settled down in Meshed, from where they again migrated to Marwand. During the Medieval period, Meshed and other cities of that region were renowned centers of learning and civilization.
Even as a young boy, Shahbaz Qalandar showed strong religious leanings. He learnt the Holy Quran by heart just at the age of seven, and at twenty embraced the Qalandar order of Sufism.
“Qalandar” is a type of dervish who is generally dressed in beggar’s clothes, likes poverty and austerity and has no permanent dwelling. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar wandered throughout Middle East and came to Sind from Baghdad via Dasht- i-Makran.
Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is an overwhelmingly popular patron saint cherished and adored alike by Hindus and Muslims of Sind. He was a great missionary, mystic, scholar, philologist and poet. Several books in Persian and Arabic on philology and poetry are attributed to him.
He was “Lal” (red) because of his red attire, “Shahbaz” due to his noble and divine spirit that soared like a falcon higher and higher in the boundless heavens and “Qalandar” since he belonged to Qalandria order of Sufism and was saintly, exalted and intoxicated with love for eternal being of God.
Thousands of devotees flock to the tomb while every Thursday their number stands multiplied.—APP