Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (Hazrat Usman Marwandi)

Hazrat Sayed Usman Marwandi, popularly known as Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (لعل شھباز قلندر), was a Sufi saint and poet of present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (Hazrat Usman Marwandi)

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was born in Marwand, Sistan to a family from Baghdad. He eventually settled in Sindh and helped many people in converting to Islam and was revered by the local Sindhi population. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar had also been reputed for performing many miracles and was seen as a very holy figure in Sindh.

The 19th-century spiritual Sufi Manqabat Dama Dam Mast Qalandar is dedicated to Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and is widely popular in the sub-continent.

He is called Lal ("ruby-colored") because of the ruby-like glow on his face/forehead and "Shahbaz" to denote a noble and divine spirit and "Qalandar" as he was a wandering spiritual man.

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is sometimes called Jhulelal (Sindhi/Urdu: جھولےلال). The term Jhulelal means "red bridegroom". According to the Garland Encyclopedia, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was referred to as Jhulelal (red bridegroom) because he was promised marriage to a daughter of his friend, but the friend died and later his friend's son refused to allow the agreed-upon marriage, which caused Lal Shahbaz Qalandar grief.

Life of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar:

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, son of Syed Kabeeruddin, was born in Marwand to parents from Baghdad, Iraq. He later settled in Sehwan, Sindh under the reign of the Ghaznavid and Ghurids (today's Punjab, Pakistan).

A contemporary of Rumi, he traveled around the Muslim world and settled in Sehwan, Sindh where he was eventually buried. There is evidence of his presence in Sindh in 1196 when he met Pir Haji Ismail Panhwar of Paat and he is believed to have arrived in Sehwan around 1251. There he established a meeting house (khanqah), taught in the Fuqhai Islam Madarrsah, and wrote his treatises Mizan-us-Surf, Kism-e-Doyum, Aqd and Zubdah. Lal Shahbaz lived a celibate life.

In Multan, he met Baha-ud-din Zakariya of the Suhrawardiyya order, Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar of the Chishtiyya and Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari. The friendship of these four became legendary. They were known as the Chahar Yar (In Persian "the four friends"). According to some historians, the four friends visited various parts of Sindh and Punjab (in present-day Pakistan).

This was also the time period when Ghiyas ud din Balban (reigned: 1266 – 1287) ruled India.


The shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 1356, expanded by Mirza Jani Beg and his son Mirza Ghazi Beg of the Tarkhan Dynasty, but was not completed until 1639 when Nawab Dindar Khan paved the courtyard with glazed tiles. The silver work on the gate, the balustrade around the tomb, and the top of the dome were gifted by Mir Karam Ali Talpur of the Talpur Dynasty. Later on, the shrine was decorated with Sindhi 'Kashi-tiles', mirror-work, and a gold-plated door was installed by the late Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.