Sheikh Baha-ud-din Zakariya Multani who initiated the Sufi order Shurawardiyah in Sub-continent was born in 1170. His paternal grandfather who originally belonged to Qureshi tribe of Makkah migrated from Khwarazim to Multan while his maternal grandfather shifted to Multan during Mongol invasions. When he was twelve years old his father died. He left for Khurasan where he stayed for five years and completed his spiritual and temporal education. Then he moved to Bukhara and later to Hijaz. He served in Masjid-e-Nabvi for five years and acquired education of Hadith from Kamal-ud-din Yamini. Later he went to Baghdad and under Sheikh-ul-Shauookh Shahab-ud-din Shurawardi accomplished his spiritual training and became his khalifah (chief disciple). Sheikh assigned his duty at Multan.
He preached Islam to every class of society including kings and paupers. Although Nasir-ud-din Kabacha was the ruler of Multan, Sheikh Zakariya favored Shams-ud-din Iltumish who was a man of noble character, This offended Kabacha but later he also began to revere him.
Bahauddin Zakariya passed away on 21 December 1262. His mausoleum presenting a unique style of architecture is a prime attraction of the fort area in Multan. The main source of higher education for Multan has been named as Bahauddin Zakariya University.
This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 03, 2005