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Mausoleums of Multan

Mausoleums of Multan

Due to Multan's rich heritage of pirs and saints, the city also has many mausoleums and shrines. Here are some of the best-known mausoleums that can still be visited today.

Mausoleum of Hazrat Baha-ud-Din Zakaria

Standing at the north-eastern fringe of the ancient fort of Multan, is the eternal abode of Al-Sheikh Al-Kabir Sheikh-ul-Islam Baha-ud-Din Abu Muhammad Zakaria Al-Qureshi Al-Asadi, one of the greatest saints of the Suhrawardiya Silsila and one of the most distinguished disciples of Sheikh Al-Shuyukh Shahab Al-Din Suhrawardy. He was the founder of Suhrawardiya Silsila in the Sub-Continent. He was born in 1170.

Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakariya known as Bahawal Haq was born at Kot Kehror, a town of Layyah District near Multan, around 1170. For 15 years he went from place to place to preach Islam and after his wanderings Bahawal Haq settled in Multan in 1222. He died in 1267. The Mausoleum is a square of , measured internally. Above this is an octagon, about half the height of the square, which is surmounted by a hemispherical dome. The Mausoleum was almost completely ruined during the siege of 1848, but was soon afterwards restored by the Muslims.

Mausoleum of Shah Rukn-i-Alam

The tomb of Shah Rukn-i-Alam grandson of Shaikh Bahauddin Zakaria, which was built between 1320 and 1324, is an unmatched pre-Moghul masterpiece. The Mausoleum of Rukn-i-Alam could possibly be considered the glory of Multan.

From whichever side the city is approached, the most prominent thing that can be seen from miles all around is a huge dome. This dome is the Shrine of Sheikh Rukn-ud-Din Abul Fath commonly known by the title Rukn-i-Alam (pillar of the world). The tomb is located on the southwest side of the Fort premises. This elegant building is an octagon, in diameter internally, with walls high and thick, supported at the angles by sloping towers. Over this is a smaller octagon , on the exterior side, and high, leaving a narrow passage all round the top of the lower story for the Moazzan, or public caller to prayers. The whole is surmounted by a hemispherical dome of external diameter. The total height of the building, including a plinth of , is . As it stands on the high ground, the total height above the road level is 150 feet.

Besides its religious importance, the mausoleum is also of considerable archaeological value as its dome is reputed to be the second largest in the world, after 'Gol Gumbad' of Bijapur (India), which is the largest. The mausoleum is built entirely of red brick, bounded with beams of shisham wood, which have now turned black after so many centuries. The whole of the exterior is elaborately ornamented with glazed tile panels, string courses and battlements. Colors used are dark blue, azure, and white, contrasted with the deep red of the finely polished bricks. The tomb was said to have been built by Ghias-ud-Din Tughlak for himself, but was given up by his son Muhammad Tughlak in favor of Rukn-i-Alam, when he died in 1330.

Mausoleum of Shah Shams Sabzwari

The mausoleum of Shams-ud-Din, commonly known as Shah Shams Tabrez, is located about half a mile to the east of the Fort site, on the high bank of the old bed of the River Ravi near Aam-Khas Garden. He was a descendant of Imam Jaffer and was born in 1165. He died in 1276 and the shrine was built by his grandson in 1330. The tomb is square, in height surmounted by a hemispherical dome. It is decorated with ornamental glazed tiles.

Mausoleum of Shah Gardez

Within the city (Multan) there is a shrine of Hazrat Muhammad Shah Yusaf Gardezi commonly known as Shah Gardez just inside the Bohar Gate. It is a rectangular domeless building decorated with glazed tiles, a work of considerable beauty. He came to Multan in 1088 and revitalized the then-dead city. Shah Yousaf Gardez converted many people to Islam and performed numerous miracles which can be found in history books. His descendants are known as Gardezis and are one of the few old noble families in the country. They are also very well educated and have been to Ivy Leagues, and Oxford and Cambridge.

The famous historian Arnold J. Toynbee in his book "Between Oxus and Jumna" writes,

“………the tomb under whose shadow I am now writing ….. is the tomb of Shah Yousaf Gardezi. I am being entertained in the Gardezi family’s ‘Dewan-Khanah’, their family guest house, and the tomb, with the toms of the saints descendants clustering round it, is only a stone’s-throw away. Being named Joseph, I (like Stalin) am this saint’s namesake, but I cannot claim also to be a ‘Shah’; for, in Pakistan, ‘Shah’ signifies a Sayid: that is to say, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.

The legend declares that, nine hundred years ago, Shah Yousaf Gardezi came riding into Multan on a lion, with a live snake for a whip and a pair of pigeons fluttering over his head. He had ridden his lion all the way from Gardez in Afghanistan, and he had bought with him the teaching of the Twelve-Imam branch of Shi'ah sect of Islam (the form of Shi'ism that today is the national religion of Persia). In the course of Nine Hundred years both the saint's descendants and the pigeon's descendants have multiplied exceedingly. This whole quarter of the city (Multan) is now occupied by the houses of the Gardezis and the Gardezis' cousins' cousins. As for the Pigeons, they live on the Gardezis' roofs and cluster, in force, on the Gardezis' Saintly ancestor's tomb. The tomb is cased in blue tiles, dating from the reign of Mughal Emperor Humayun, and at intervals there are apertures in the tile works, opening into cavities specially provided to give the pigeons a lodging as close as possible to the spot where the saints’ body lies. It is a pretty sight to see them poking in and out, for all the world as if the tomb has been built solely for their benefits.

The pigeons flutter here below. The kites soar there, up aloft, at what looks almost like jet-plane altitude when one lifts up ones eye towards the sky. Since this is the Indian Subcontinent, the kites do not make pigeons their prey. They take their cue from the local human beings and leave the pigeons alone.

Nine hundred years of unbroken family history. What a sheet-anchor for the fortunate Gardezis in this swiftly changing world.”

Mausoleum of Musa Pak Shaheed

The Mausoleum of Syed Musa Pak Shaheed is inside the Pak Gate. Shaikh Abul Hassab Musa Pak Shaheed was a descendant of Abdul Qadir Jillani and was born in Uch. The Shrine of Musa Pak Shaheed is also frequented by a large number of Pashtuns from all parts of Pakistan.

Other Mausoleums and Tombs

In addition to the tombs mentioned above, Multan has several other historical and archaeological remains of the Muslim period. Prominent among these are:

Shahadna Shahaid is located near Delhi Gate and is the shrine of a faithful disciple of 'Bahaul Haq'.

The Mausoleum of Bibi Pak Daman is located near Basti Daira.

Mausoleum of Hazrat Sher Shah Syed on Multan-Mazzaffargarh Road.

Mausoleum of Hazrat Makhdoom Abdul Rashid Haqqani at Makhdoom Rashid Road.

Totla Mai near Haram Gate.

Shah Ali Akbar, a descendant of Shah Shams Sabzwari. He was the grandson of Hazrat Shah Shams. His mausoleums is situated in Shia Miani Multan.

Baba Safra near Eidgah.

The long brick tombs generally known as Nuagaza tombs, or the "nineyarder tombs". This term is generally applied, in the sub-continent, to the warriors and martyrs of Islam who, at the time of the early invasions of the Muslims fell in action against the Hindus.

Outside the Delhi Gate, nearly twelve yards (351/2 feet to be exact) in length, there is a stone of chocolate color with marks of light yellow on it, 27 inches in diameter and thick, with a hole through the middle in diameter. It is called Manka. People say the saint wore it round his neck, while some maintain that it was his thumb ring. The tomb is asserted to be 1300 years old. It is possible that it may belong to the times of the early Muslim invasion under Mohammad -bin-Qasim.

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