MTAN MIR, HAZRAT (1550-1635), well known Sufi saint of the Qadiriyah order, was a contemporary of Guru Arjan (1563-1606) and Guru Hargobind (1595-1644). His real name was Shaikh Mir Muhammad. He was born the son of Qazi Sayandanah (Sain Datta to some chroniclers) bin Qazi Qalandar Faruqi in 957 AH/AD 1550 at Sahvan (also called Sevastan) in the present Dadu district of Sindh in Pakistan. The family claimed descent from Hazrat Umar Faruq, the second Caliph successor to Prophet Muhammad. Mir Muhammad`s father died when he was a young boy and he grew up under the care of his mother, Bibi Fatimah, daughter of Qazi Qazan, who put him under Shaikh Khizr Sevastani for study of Qadiri Silsila (School) of Sufi thought.

Under the guidance of his renowned teacher, he traversed various `stations` and `stages` of the mystic Sufi path in rapid succession and completed his studies at a comparatively young age of 25.He then shifted to Lahore where he joined the school of Maulana Sa`ad Ullah and subsequently of Maulana Ni`mat Ullah and Mufti Abdus Salam to study traditional and rational philosophies. He remained steadfast in his devotional prayers and spent most of his spare time in meditation in gardens and forests outside the city. He soon became known as a distinguished `Alim (scholar) much sought after by seekers of religious instruction. But Shaikh Mir Muhammad demurred at the publicity he was receiving and liked solitariness and was very selective in making disciples.

Perhaps for this reason he left Lahore and went to stay at Sirhind, but the climate at the latter place did not suit him and he returned after a year to Lahore where he stayed for most of his remaining life revered by kings and commoners alike.Emperor Jaharigir in his Tuzuk (autobiography) praises his piety and selflessness.Prince Dara Shukoh was one of his devout munds (disciples). The Sikh tradition is inclined to count several years of mutual friendship between Hazrat Mian Mir and Guru Arjan, though their actual spans of life will not support this. The latter is said to have had the foundation stone of the Harimandar in the midst of the sacred pool of Amritsar laid by the former in 1588.

Mian Mir could not save Guru Arjan from the bigotry of Jahangir which resulted in the Guru`s martyrdom in 1606, (probably the Emperor had not met the Shaikh by then), but he was instrumental in securing the release of Guru Hargobind from Gwalior Fort where he had been detained under Jahangir`s orders. Hazrat Mian Mir died at Lahore on 7 Rabi` ulAwwal 1045 AH/11 August 1635. His mausoleum in Hashimpura outside the old city lends his name, Mian Mir, to the whole locality.

References :

1. Sohan Kavi, Gurbilas Patshahi Chhevm. Amritsar, 1968
2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sri Gur Prntap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1927-35
3. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
4. Satbir Singh, Puratan Itihasik Jivanan. Jalandhar, 1969
5. Macauliffe, M. A., The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909
6. Madanjit Kaur, The Golden Temple: Past and Present. Amritsar, 1983
7. Harbans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983