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Islam and Spiritualism (02 Aug 2009 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Sufi Saint Sarmad Shaheed: The ‘Disbeliever’ Who Was Adored By Believers

By Arif Mohammed Khan 

In Delhi, buried outside Jama Masjid, lies the great naked Sufi saint Sarmad who was beheaded in 1661 during the reign of Aurangzeb. Apparently, the charges framed against Sarmad by the officials of Aurangzeb included violation of Shariat norms — as he refused to wear any apparel to cover his body — and public display of heresy and disbelief. Sarmad was executed after the staging of a summary trial, but it is fascinating to note that the man declared guilty of blasphemy and disbelief has become a legend in Sufi lore and is acknowledged as a martyr commanding universal reverence and adoration.


Who was Sarmad and why was he beheaded? History does not give much of an account and it appears that the political correctness of the period kept historians from narrating the details of the tragic episode. However, the reluctance of the historians could not suppress popular imagination which associated numerous miraculous stories with Sarmad, and these were duly recorded by latter-day chronicles.

Most historical accounts describe Sarmad as being of “foreign origin, an Armenian merchant who came to India in the reign of Shah Jahan”. Like other Iranian traders, Sarmad first came to Sindh and settled in Thatta, a prosperous trading town. It was here that Sarmad passionately fell in love with a local girl, became distracted and lost all his merchandise and wealth. He became so obsessed with his love that he would go about the streets naked and give poetic expression to his feelings, unmindful of public attention.

Other accounts insist that the focus of his affection was a young boy — Abhi Chand. Sarmad would go and sit at his beloved’s door and shower him with poetic praises. The father of the boy, seeing the purity of Sarmad’s feelings, allowed him to come to his house. Over a period of time, Sarmad and Abhi Chand became so attached that they could not bear to live apart. Later, both of them left Thatta for Delhi. Sarmad’s reputation as a man of piety and supernatural powers had preceded him and the people of Delhi flocked around him.


Prominent among his devotees in Delhi was Dara Shukoh, the saintly Mughal prince. Sarmad had, on one occasion, predicted that Dara Shukoh would inherit the empire. But after the bloody war of succession, it was Aurangzeb who captured the throne. The new emperor not only eliminated his rival siblings but actively pursued the partisans of his brother. In this situation, there was no escape for Sarmad, who not only sympathised with Dara Shukoh but had publicly denounced the royal bloodbath.

THIS WAS THE background when Aurangzeb deputed his chief justice, Mulla Qawi to prepare the ground to punish Sarmad. Accordingly, inquiries were made and Sarmad was summoned to appear before the royal court.

Apart from nudity, Sarmad was Shikoh with denying the night journey [mairaj] of the Holy Prophet, on account of what he had said in the following couplet:

The mullah says that Ahmad went to the heavens

Sarmad says that the heavens were inside Ahmad!


Further, he was accused of not reciting the full kalima — the Muslim formulae of faith. Sarmad used to exclaim, “There is no God,” but did not affirm “except Allah”. When pressed to explain, Sarmad said: “I am drowned in negation and have not yet reached the state of affirmation. If I recite the full kalima now, it will be a lie.” The Qazi’s verdict condemned him to death, but the popular verdict hailed him as a martyr, who was executed to please a spiteful king [¼]

Arif Mohammed Khan is a former Union Minister

Source: Covert Fortnightly Magazine

URl: http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamIslamAndSpiritualism_1.aspx?ArticleID=1592


  • Aaj kal itna intellectual level hi nahi bacha ke sarmad aur mansoor ko samajh sake... Seeing is believeving waley kaafir jamaa hue hai... Dekh kar saudaa nahi hota!! 

    By Waseem Qadri - 6/18/2018 10:47:07 AM

  • this is totally a fake story...remove this article.
    By arora - 5/31/2014 3:44:13 AM

  • yeah i have read the same history about Sarmad in my Persian Class at high school. jaab unse kaha gya k Kalima-ye-shahadat padho to wo Lailaha padh k khamosh ho gaye ...jab unse agey padhney ko kaha gya to kehney lagey abhi main fikr ki manzil mein....as per Islamic shariah agr koi muslaman murtad ho jaye yani islam se phr jaye samjhaney par bhi tajdeed iman ko tyyar naho aur apney kufr pe qayim rahey to uski saza qatl hai......ye saza ik islami hukumat hoto bila shubeh hukumat ki taraf sey di jayegi...........isi treh anal haq ka sada lganey waley Mansoor Hallaj jesey nam nihad sufi ka bhi hua ttha.....................
    By shiraaz - 3/26/2014 12:39:12 PM

  • the above article to totally false request you to remove the article at the earliest



    By S M PASHA - 3/26/2014 2:23:05 AM

  • This article is based on false statements and impose no reality. the author belongs to tableeghi jamat and that is why he has written this articel against sarmad shaheed ra 
    By Moderate - 11/18/2013 12:37:12 AM

  • He was Majzoob, when he was beheaded, the word Allah was written on his heart. at the sight of that, Aurangzeb ra got inspired  repentance  and made his mazaar. 
    By Moderate - 11/18/2013 12:34:38 AM

  • read the full story, you will fall in love, compassion with Sarmad shaheed rahmatullah alihi
    By Moderate - 11/18/2013 12:30:51 AM


    By SYED JILANI HUSSAINI AAMIRI - 11/17/2013 3:51:43 AM

  • Huzoor ko kya kiya logon ne shikayat ki zaroorat hi nahi hai. Woh to jahil hi they aisa na karte to kya karte. Huzoor ne jawab kya khoobsoorti se diya woh taarif ke qabil hai. Manhoos hain woh Musalman jo har waqt rote rahte hain.

    Siayasat na karo to aisa hi hoga ji ki sher ko bolo, Sir, main to vegetarian hoon. Abe, sher maanega? Aur chhod dega? Hargiz nahi. So politics aapka peecha nahi agar chhodti hai to achchhi politics karo. Siyasat mein ghalat kya hai?

    Swords can take life, Sufi's can give life. If with the excuse of Shariah, someone brandishes sword, Sufi's Shariah is to give life. They are really deviant. Islam asks to snatch the sword if someone says this is Shariah and has to be obeyed. Muslimsare suppose to obey only Allah, not any Shariah enforcer.

    By sadaf - 7/28/2013 11:27:04 AM

  • THe GOD Allah was not a bit disturbed by the nudity of Adam including of Hawa. What a scene it would had been in the heaven!
    Lo! a man called Aurangzeb acted more than God and as a result the head of the Sarmad was separate from his body.
    Since Sufis are deviant people so they are tolerant in beliefs but are helpless before the Sharia. Sharia is a naked sword which don't spare except one who holds it.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 7/28/2013 8:20:41 AM

  • only belivers can believe that a man with his head in hands can recite a kalima and can ascend the stairs. this is one hight of belief and another a misali musalman killed him. 
    don't know how sadaf takes his gay love as a sufi lover. what will a sufi if becomes king would do with such a man like sarmad? will not he apply sharia because i am told shariyat and tareeqat has the same goal that is implementation of sharia.
    recall sufis gave approval to mansoor's sentance and mansor complained.
    there are countless people in the world whose first encounter with sex is in the form of homosexuality. it is not a new phenomenon. only difference is people are expressing it through various forums.

    By rational mohd yunus - 7/27/2013 7:50:09 PM

  • aql kaa mara kahonn ya deewana kahoon tujhe, 
    bete jab haz mohammed aur unke saathiyon ko makke se khdaer diya to makke waasiyon kaa kiya qasoor. aap logon ki rozi roti chheene unke maaboodon ko bura kahen unke buzurgon ko gumrah kahen aur ummed karen ki log phool barsaayenge. bhala muslamn din rqat shikayat karte hain dekho huzoor ko zaalimon ne watan se nikal diya. ghlazat phenki.
    bete agar yeh sqb nahi kahoge to kaise rasoolullah ko chamkaaoge. yehi daleel tum kiyon bhool jaate ho. phir agar abu jahl aur abu lahab aisa nahi karte to mohammed ki wah wahi kaise hoti. makke wale bechare khata kha gae jaise guru ji kha gaye aur anjaam kar paspaan hue. abdullah bin sarah apni jaan bachata phir raha hai. abu sucyan ne mauqa dekha aur kar liya islam qabool taki bano hashim ki band baja sake. aur agar yeh taareekh sahi hai to usne aisa kiya bhi. 
    bete yeh siyasat nahi to aur kiya hai. pigjambri siyasat nahi thi to aur kiya thi. nubuwat ka daur khtam hogaya yeh siyasat nahi to aur kiya hai. 
    bete is hisaab se duniya men kuchh bhi ghalat nahi hua. sabse zyada shikayat to muslamaan hi karte hain. america ne yeh kar diya england ne woh kar diya yahoodiyon ne aisa kardiya. are bhai aap logn ne kiya kiya aur kiya kar rahe hain.
    yeh tiflaan harkaten chodo aur zara kaqm ki baat dhang se karo.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 7/27/2013 7:33:39 PM

  • Aurangzeb got his brothers killed for throne. He overthrew his father and put him under his custody. He thought himself to be champion of Islam. Did he learnt all this from the personal example of the Prophet he believed in? How can he be understood that he understood Islam well and practiced it perfectly. Islam asks to not even rebuke your parents, not to even say, offo, or show disgust towards parents, then how come he did exactly opposite of what Islam teaches and then how come such ulta-khopadi, be considered expert on Islam and be revered as some kind of saint by some ulti-khopdi Muslims?

    Aurangzeb, did what Modi is doing now. Aurangzeb did it at India level, Modi is doing it at state level. If Uma Bharti is to be believed, ek bhay ka vatavaran bana diya hai Modi ne Gujrat mein, main Modi ko vikas nahi vinaash purush kahoongi. Aurangzeb too must have done something like that, which must have encouraged all communal minded Muslims to have a free rein. Sainyan bhaye kotwaal to phir dar kahe ka?

    May be Modi was not involved in killing anyone with his own hand, but sitting at the position of authority, his just an ishara ki enough to damage whom he disliked. Aurangzeb must have done partiality and excesses. Jab saale ne baap ko nahi baqsha to aur  kisi ko kaise baqshta? Bekaar hi sab rote rahte hain ki humare Guru ko maar diya waghairah waghairah. Yahan woh bhai ko maar raha tha, woh kisi bhalte ke guru ko kyon chhod deta? Logic hai na? Ab usmein Aurangzeb ka kya dosh ki Guru ko maar diya. Woh to sabko maare chal raha tha, jo uske raaste mein aa raha tha. Guru ne mauqe ki nazakat ko theek se nahi samjha, uske hatthe chadh gaye. But then Guru amar bhi to ho gaye. Naam to unhi ka liya jaa raha hai na, is qurbaani ke liye. Phir shikayat kahe ka? Same must have happened with Sarmad. Raha honga koi saint, aur saint waise eccentric hote hi hain, gaali galauj bhi karte hain, par dil ke saaf hote hain. Par bhala, Aurangzb ko saint ke dil ki kya padi, muhzori kiya saint nein, Allah miya ko pyare they hi, aur pyare kar diye gaye.

    Sab day to day life mein practically aise hi hota hai, jab do logon mein anban ho jaati hai, to jo mazboot hota hai, chhadhh dabata hai. Baad mein chadh dabane wala Modi ke jaise badnaam ho jaata hai, aur jo mara gaya, shaheed kahlane lagta hai.

    By sadaf - 7/27/2013 11:28:11 AM

  • Islam does not allow any person to be a naked. A person who roamed naked, dis believed Mairaj of Prophet, Sal lallahoo alyhe wasallam and had phisycal relation with same sex can not be a saint.If he recited half Kalimat and did not recited remaining part of it, he can  not be a saint .What Aurangzed did is true and correct.
    By Imtiaz - 7/27/2013 9:48:26 AM

  • I think it was the right decision of King to execute such a person who was not yet reached the level of full human being and was still roaming naked. I don't accuse him but in this article it was mentioned that he was allured to a girl or a boy for their beauty. Was he saint or a lost person who tried to cover up his frustration. His prediction was proved to be wrong that is why the King turned against him and he was tried in a court. There is no evidence and it cannot happened that a dead body can utter anything forget about Kalima. King was the man of reality and he did what was according to the culture and religion of that time. There cannot be a saint who can lack civlization and roam naked. May God show the right path to those who still believe such perosn could be a saint.
    By Human - 6/6/2013 4:52:35 AM

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