Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, also known as Lal Shahbaz Qalandar or simply Lal Shahbaz, was a prominent Sufi saint and poet who lived in the 13th century. He holds a revered place in the hearts of millions of people, especially in the Sindh region of present-day Pakistan. His real name was Syed Usman Marwandi, and he was born in 1177 CE in Marwand, present-day Afghanistan.
The life of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is surrounded by myths and legends, but some key events from his life have been recorded in historical accounts and Sufi literature. He belonged to the Qalandari Sufi order, which focused on asceticism, mystical experiences, and a deep devotion to God. The Qalandari order emphasized the concept of divine love and sought spiritual enlightenment through renunciation of worldly desires.
At a young age, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar left home and began his spiritual journey. He traveled extensively, seeking knowledge from various Sufi masters and spreading the message of love, peace, and unity. He is said to have visited many places in the Middle East and Central Asia before finally settling in Sindh, specifically in the city of Sehwan, which was then known as Sehwan Sharif.
Sehwan Sharif became the center of his spiritual teachings and activities. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar lived a life of simplicity and devotion, captivating the hearts of people from all walks of life. His poetry and teachings focused on the idea of oneness with the Divine and love for humanity. He was known for promoting tolerance and harmony among people of different religions and backgrounds.
One of the most significant aspects of his life was his dance, which became an integral part of his spiritual expression. This form of ecstatic dance is known as the “dhamaal,” and it is still performed by his followers and devotees during his Urs (anniversary of his death) celebrations.
Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar passed away on the 19th of Sha’ban in the year 1274 CE (approximately), and his tomb in Sehwan Sharif has since become a major pilgrimage site. His Urs is celebrated with great enthusiasm and attracts thousands of devotees from all over the world, regardless of their religious affiliations.
Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s teachings continue to inspire millions to this day, and his legacy lives on through his poetry, dance, and the message of love and unity that he propagated during his lifetime.