Ya Hoo! Some Mystical Moments With The “Sultan”

Muhammad Afsar Raheen | October 06, 2016

Sultan-ul-Arifeen Sultan-ul-Faqr Hazrat Sakhi Sultan Bahoo Blog Article

Mystical poetry is such an important and magnificent aspect of our Eastern literature that our culture and civilization remains incomplete and inferior without it. Sub-Continent especially Pakistan is the homeland of such great Sufi saints and mystics and their fame has spread all over the globe. Hazrat Sultan Bahoo (R.A) is one of such great personalities.

This outstanding and marvelous ‘Faqeer’ spent his whole life in the service of great mystics and taught the lessons of mysticism and sacred love of God to his disciples to become true lovers of Almighty Allah.  


Sultan Bahoo (R.A) has written more or less one hundred and forty books (140) and Diwan-e-Bahoo is one of them. There are fifty one (51) odes in this collection. In his many books, you can find Persian versus focusing on love of God and oneness.  The following ode is the opening of his literary collection:-

یقین دانم در این عالم کہ لا معبود الا ھُو

ولا موجود فی الکونین لا مقصود الا ھُو

چو تیغ لا بدستِ آری بیا تنہا چہ غم داری

مجو از غیر حق یاری کہ لا فتاح الا ھُو

بلا لا لا ہمہ لا کن بگو اللہ واللہ جو

نظر خود سویٗ وحدت کن کہ لا مطلوب الا ھُو

ھو الاوّل ھوالاآخر ظہور آمد تجلی اُو

بذاتِ خود ہویدا حق کہ لا فی الکونین الا ھُو

اَلا ای یار شو فانی مگو ثالث مگو ثانی

ھوَ الواحد ھوَالمقصود لا موجود الا ھُو

ھو الھو ھو ھو الحق ھو، ندانم غیر الا ھُو

ھو الھو ھو ھو الحق ھو، نخوانم غیر الا ھُو

یکی گویم یکی جویم، یکی در دل چو گل رویم

ھمو یک را بہ یک پویم، نہ پویم غیر الا ھُو

بہ گرد عالم چو گردیدم، ھو الحق ھو پسندیدم

یکی خواندم یکی دیدم، ندیدم غیر الا ھُو

منم غمخوار خود خستم، بہ جزیاھونہ  در دستم

دل و جان را بہ ھو بستم، نہ بستم غیر الا ھُو


I am certain within universe there none worthy of worship besides Hoo

There is no existence or objective in both worlds besides Hoo

In hand with sword of negation come alone without grief of hesitation

Depending on acquaintance other than truth is no triumph besides Hoo

Negate all besides Allah and seek Allah from Allah

Keep your sight toward unison there is no purpose besides Hoo

He is first He is last manifests His splendor 

Actual Divinity manifests from truth there is none besides Hoo

Listen o friend of passion there is no trinity or duality

He is One He is the purpose none exists beside Hoo

He is Hoo He is truth I know none other than Hoo

He is Hoo He is truth I don’t recite none other than Hoo

I mention one I search one and one I keep in my heart like flower

That one I find one besides that I find none other

I traversed entire universe I only liked that Truth (Haqq)

I called out one seen one and seen none other than one

I am consoler of myslf nothing is in my hand besides Yahoo

I have attached my heart and soul with Hoo and not attached with none other besides Hoo


Now let us comment on these holy distiches taking them as an ode. His poetry is mystical according to structurre and style and encomposses mystical secrets of sacred love of Allah. This becomes more clear and transparent when we comment his work crtically. As one critic explained, “ His ode has broader meanings and insights with reference to structure and style. It does not mean the mere use of langauage and expression;these are critical and philospical texture. Unless you consider the art of critique and aesthatic philosphy, you cannot understand  the importance of his work’. 

Hazrat Sultan Bahoo (R.A) has created a fabulous ode. Though rhymes have importance in ode, yet a few bouts of rhymes are being overemphasized. But a deeper look can make you understand the focus of Hazrat Bahoo (R.A) and his wisdom and one forgets the use of a few rhymes. This wisdom appears in the use of words “IllahHoo’ and ‘Hoo Hoo’. These words are fitted into the beautiful ode in such a delicate and charming manner that listener gets lost in spiritual touch and gets islolated from the world. This special feature of Hazrat Bahoo (R.A) can be found in many other distiches. Just have a look at the following distiches:-


من من مگو تو من من، ھیھوی گوی ھا ھا

ھا ھا و ھای ھی ھی، ھو ھا یھای ھا ھا

اسرار، کس نداند این ھا یھوی ھی را

واقف کسی نگردد، ھیھوی ھای ھا ھا

 شوق دلم نداند، ھیھی چہ چارہ سازم

از خود چرا براندی، ھیھوی ھای ھا ھا


You don’t mention I am but say that it is He

Yes it is He it is He only He 

None knows the secret of this innhialtion

It is only He no one is aware of this proclimation

No one knows passion of my heart what effort I can make

Why have you distanced me alas so sad so sad


This expression can be better termed as linguistic excellence. This is the same work done by great poet Jilal-ud-Din Muhammad Balkhi in ‘Kulyat-e Shams’. Read carefully the following distiches:-

باز آکنون بشنوز من، یرلی یلی یرلی یلی

ھر دم زنم تن تن تنن، ، یرلی یلی یرلی یلی

ساقی بیار آن جام می، مطرب بزن آواز نی

برگو تلا لا تا للا ، ، یرلی یلی یرلی یلی


Come back a hear melody yer le yele yer le yele from my inner

I am mentioning every moment tan tanan yer le yele yer le yele

O cupbearer, bring that goblet and sing in the sound of flute

Then say Tala lala tala lala yer le yele yer le yele absolute


Or more

بس از سر مستی، ھمہ این نالہ بر آرند

قو قو بققو بق بققو بق بققیقی

من بندہء شمس الحق تبریز کہ مہ کرد

شقا شققا شق شققا شق شققیقی


Due to absorption every lament sound

Qu Qu beQuqu beq beququ beq beququ

I am slave of Shams ul Haq Tabrizi who had taken this immaterial thing to hight

Shaqa Shaqaqa Shaq Shaqaqa Shaq Shaqaqiqi


Such distiches are called distiches of emotions because here rhymes and traditional style of expression is not given importance. Here the poet talks about his inner spiritual feeling of love and devotion. He is not concerned about form and structure; it is all useless effort. Distiches of Hazrat Sultan Bahoo (R.A) are cultivated with truth and common understanding; they do not contain the fantasy of love and beauty. Sometimes, mystical passion reaches the highest level and aesthetic form of ode is challenged. His distiches revolve around faith and oneness and artificial aesthetic sense is often ignored because faith is his life. As the distiches of Hazrat Sultan Bahoo (R.A) reveal, he seems to follow the tradition and style of two famous poets, namely, Hazrat Mevlana Jamal-ud-Din Muhammad Balkhi (R.A) and Khawaja Shams-ud-Din Muhammad Hafiz Sherazi (R.A).

If a person had studied ‘Kulyat-e-Shams’, he would have easily inferred that Diwan-e-Bahoo’ has similarities in several distiches with that of Hazrat Mevlana in terms of rhymes and alteration. As we have already explained, Hazrat Mevlana is the originator of such style. Similarly, the style of Hafiz Sherazi can also be found in several odes of Hazrat Sultan Bahoo (R.A). Now compare the following distiches:- 

ای عزیزان شناسندہء رہ، بھر خدا

از کہ پرسم سکن یار، کہ آن یار کجاست؟

Those friends familiar with the path for sake of God guide me

With whom I could mention me beloved that where He resides.


And now Hafiz’s

ای نسیم سحر آرا مگہء یار کجاست؟

منزل آن مہ ء عاشق کش عیار کجاست


O morning breeze where is beloved abode

Moon that pulls ardent lover itself where is its abode.


Thus, we come to know that Hazrat Sultan has not only considered the poetic style of Mevlana, but he is also fond of Hafiz Sherazi. In poetic collection of Hazrat Sultan, you can find numerous ecstatic distiches representing his mental and emotional state. This phenomenon is also reflected in poetic work of several other Sufis and revolves around enthusiasm and emotivity.

It is quite apparent that a distich represents the beliefs, feelings and emotions of metrifier; a piece of paper is an index of inner feelings emanating from the core of his heart. Therefore, he said, what he felt in his spiritual heart.

The distiches of Hazrat Bahoo (R.A) are perfumed vase of mystical thoughts and observations, filled with blissful rays of lovers, a purified mystical and spiritual echo at the shrine of Methodism, and oblation of holy saints.



This article was originally presented in International Hadrat Sultan Bahoo Conference arranged by MUSLIM Institute