Mian Mir’s death anniversary celebrations are commencing today.

Mian Mir is regarded as one of the greatest Sufi saints of the Subcontinent. He belonged to the Qadiria order of the Sufis. He was famous for being a spiritual instructor to Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who also held Mian Mir in great esteem.

Dara Shikoh was a devoted disciple of the saint. His father, Shah Jahan, often requested the saint to pray for his empire.

Mian Mir was the earliest Sufi saint who promoted the Qadiria order in Lahore.

He shunned worldly selfish men and proud high-ups of his time. He used to post his mureeds (disciples) at the gate of his house to stop rich people from entering.

Once Emperor Shah Jahan, with his attendants, came to pay homage to the great dervish. Mian Mir’s disciples stopped the emperor at the gate and requested him to wait, until permission was given. Shah Jahan felt insulted, but controlled his temper and composed himself.

After a while, he was ushered into Mian Mir’s presence. When the emperor came across the saint, he said, ‘Ba dar-e-darvish darbane naa-bayd’ (On the doorstep of a dervish, there should be no sentry).

The saint replied, ‘Babayd keh sag-e-dunia na ayad (They are there so that the materialistic, selfish men of the world may not enter). The emperor was ashamed and requested forgiveness.

Mian Mir holds a legendary place in Sikhism and in Sikh history. Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh Guru, often visited Lahore, the birthplace of his father’s the fourth Guru, Guru Ram Das to meet his relatives. Once Guru Arjan called on Mian Mir. The two remained close life long friends, after the first meeting. Mian Mir was thirteen years older than Guru Arjan. He invited Mian Mir to lay the foundation stone of the Harmandir Sahib, one of the most sacred places for Sikhs.

After a long life of piety, Mian Mir passed away on August 11, 1635 (seven Rabi-ul-Awwal, 1045 according to the Islamic Calendar), at the age of 88. Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh led his funeral. He was buried near Alamganj, a place in the south of the city. His spiritual successor was Mullah Shah Badakhshi.
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