Born at Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, Northern India on Jan 9th 1914. Became Head of the Gudri
Shahi Order of Sufis in 1970. Passed away in Hospital in Jaipur, Rajasthan on April 9th 1996.
Lies buried near the Chilla of Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India.
The following brief account of his life has been received from
Mr Siraj Mohammed Elschot, a devoted Dutch disciple and
his official biographer.
Brief Biographical Notes on Dr Zahurul Hassan Sharib
The family traced its descent from Hazrat Zubair, the close companion
of the Holy Prophet Mohammed and hence the family members came to be
called and known as "Zubairi". Hazrat Maqdum Sama Uddin Suhrawardy (A.H. 808-901) is a
bright star in the Zubairi community. The family is the direct descendant of the great saint
Hazrat Maqdum Sama Uddin Suhrawardy, who was a patron saint of Sultan Sikandar Lodi (A.D.
1488-1517), the second king of the Lodi dynasty, who ruled India. His father Sultan Bahal Lodi
(A.D. 1451-1488) was equally devoted to the great saint and often came to him to seek his
blessings. Of Maqdum Sama Uddin it is said that he was the last towering Sufi saint belonging
to the Suhrawardy order in India. He lies buried in Mehrauli, New Delhi.
His mother Ishrat Un Nissa, though not a Hafiz or a Qari, could recite the Koran with precision
and accuracy. She would read the Koran regularly every day, keep the fast and offer prayers.
At an advanced age her unfulfilled wish was also fulfilled. She with her husband performed Hajj.
His mother belonged in fact to that category of women of days past, who sought their salvation
in the service of the husband. His father Nur ul Hasan possessed all the traits of a middle class
gentleman. He offered his morning prayers and recited his Wazifa without fail. He did not follow
any profession or avocation, since he had inherited sufficient property landed and urban both
from his father. When he left for Pakistan in September 1950, all his property was taken over by
the custodian under the law then in force. He was fond of English novels, newspapers,
magazines, bridge and above all of politics. He relished good food, good society and liked to be
a member of a club. He was not an honour conferring nobleman, but he was certainly a dinner
On his attaining the age of four years, four months and four days, Zahur's Bismillah was
performed with due display of pomp and pageantry. Subsequently his father and mother began
to differ on his immediate future education. His mother wanted that he should finish the Koran
first and after that he should be sent to a school, where he would learn English and other
subjects. His father thought otherwise. He thought that he should receive English education first
and after completing his education, study the Koran. Ultimately a compromise was reached and
according to the terms of the compromise he would study the Koran first at home and along
with the Koran learn Urdu and if possible the English primer too. After finishing the Koran, it was
so decided, that he would go to school.
During his stay in Ajmer his uncle Nawab Khadim Hasan Zubairi Moini Gudri Shah showered
many blessings upon him, some of which he realised years after. He, to the great surprise of his
father and his teachers, wrote a book in English entitled "Biography and Sayings of Holy
Saints", which was published when he was still staying in Ajmer with Nawab Sahab. The
inspiration came from Nawab Sahab. It was his first publication, when he was about fifteen years
old. This book in a way decided his future literary career.
Nawab Sahab began to improve his Persian and gave him "Tarikhe Farishta" to read. Since
then he felt interested in Persian literature, an interest which lasted throughout the rest of his
life. Afterwards he read the choicest books of Persian literature, particularly those written by the
From the time that he offered "Rural Government in the United Province of Agra and Oudh" as
the subject of his thesis for the doctoral degree, he felt drawn towards the rural life and felt
interested in the rural problems facing India with the result, that he did whatever he could to
uplift the rural masses.
After passing his M.A., he had spent some time with his Chacha Mian (as he called his uncle,
Nawab Sahab) at Ajmer. This can be said to be a formative period in his life. He was at the
cross of the road, not knowing which way to take. There were many conflicting pulls. His father
had always wished to see him an officer, belonging to the I.C.S. cadre, earning money and
enjoying power and prestige. His mother was a little less ambitious. She wanted him to be an
earning member of the family, so that the economic slump, which set in in India in 1929 due to
the failure of crops and which had hit the family fortunes too, may be compensated.
His Amman, as he called his grandmother, had no other wish but to see him a married man, as
was the case with the middle-class family in those days, where security meant: a wife, children
and a house. His Chacha Mian, who ever showed an interest in his life, did not say anything
directly but once he recited a verse in Persian, which translated runs thus:
'Everybody is brought into the world for some work.
The love of that (work) is put into his heart.'
This was a clear indication that it was better to entrust the future to the Future and to wait and
He gave up the idea of entering politics and instead took to social and literary work, which the
legal profession reluctantly allows. Rural India offered him a new vision of service and: "I was
drawn day by day to the real India, which is rural India with its abject conditions of living, famine
and flood and its more than half a million villages scattered throughout". Having passed the
L.L.B. examination, he undertook the Advocate's training, as required by law. Mr.P.N. Raina
was the senior advocate at Agra with whom he took training. Babu Bindeshri Prasad was
another senior advocate, who evinced a great interest in his training. The training lasted a year.
After that he returned to Moradabad. He was enrolled as an advocate of the Allahabad High
Court in November 1938. He started his practice in January 1939. The first case that he got
related to the Small Cases Court. Its valuation was ten rupees only (about 20 pence in 1999
terms)and from this the amount of his fee can easily be concluded. He, after some time, started
practice on the criminal side, which was certainly better paying than the civil practice. He did not
accept any case relating to taxation, labour laws and mercantile law.
He cannot be said to be a great success at the Bar, for the simple reason that his heart was
elsewhere. His attention was divided. Divided attention implies less concentration on legal
practice and the law is a jealous mistress. He was writing books and he was establishing
societies and institutes of the social and literary type. He took service rendered to the people in
an unselfish spirit as another good way of pleasing God. He established the Rural Welfare
Society of India, which rendered relief and rescue work to the Indian villages. He established
Better Living Societies in some villages, which aimed at a better living, a better business and a
better farming for the teeming millions inhabiting the villages.
Discipleship is not a contract voidable at the option of the parties, but is a relationship, which
even death cannot severe. To be bound by such a relationship is really an occasion of joy and
a source of satisfaction. His joy knew no bound, when he was admitted in the Order at a brief,
simple but solemn ceremony on the 19th of August 1942. He felt relieved of a burden. The
search has its reward. He says thus: "I felt as if some burden had been removed. I felt light,
relaxed and relieved. It gave me inner satisfaction and peace of mind, which I had been looking
In October 1945 he was married to Shakila Khatoon at Agra. He has three daughters namely
Mah Noor, Meher Noor and Bahar Noor. He has one son named Inaam Hasan. One of his
daughters named Noor Jamal died in infancy, when she was eleven months old.
The soothing, silent looks of his Chacha Mian, Hazrat Khadim Hasan, had a potent and
powerful influence on his life. He to him was an institution. His close and intimate contact and
relationship from 1929-1970 lent colour to his life. As he himself says: "I was drawn towards
towards different colours. Some colours fascinated me and some colours attracted me. Some
colours were fast, some colours were bright and some colours were dim. The flying colours
soon vanished into air, into thin air leaving not a trace behind. But the colour, which was
permanent and enduring, remains with me to this day. It is the life-giving colour of the one,
whose life epitomized the rainbow colour. It is the soothing, pleasing and inspiring colour born
of spiritual states and ecstasy of the one, to whom I looked for guidance, light and help in
moments of spiritual crisis".
Contributed by Mr Mohammed Siraj of Holland
Published by The Zahuri Sufi Web Site March 2002
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