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Baba Bulle Shah

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Hazrat Syed Abdullah Al Maroof Baba Bulleh Shah

Bulleh Shah, sometimes Bulla(h) Shah (1680–1757) (Punjabi: بلھے شاہ(Shahmukhi); ਬੁੱਲ੍ਹੇ ਸ਼ਾਹ (Gurumukhi); born Syed Abdullah Shah Qadri) was a Punjabi humanist and philosopher. His first spiritual teacher was Shah Inayat Qadiri, a Sufi murshid of Lahore. Bulleh Shah gathered spiritual treasures under the guidance of his murshid and was known for the karamat (miraculous powers) he had.

Bulleh Shah lived after the Pashto Sufi poet Rahman Baba (1653–1711) and lived in the same period as Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (1689–1752). His lifespan also overlapped with the Punjabi poet Waris Shah (1722–1798), of Heer Ranjha fame, and the Sindhi Sufi poet Abdul Wahab (1739–1829), better known by his pen name Sachal Sarmast. Amongst Urdu poets, Bulleh Shah lived 400 miles away from Mir Taqi Mir (1723–1810) of Agra.

Bulleh Shah practised the Sufi tradition of Punjabi poetry established by poets like Shah Hussain (1538–1599), Sultan Bahu (1629–1691), and Shah Sharaf(1640–1724).

The verse form Bulleh Shah primarily employed is the Kafi, popular in Punjabi(Saraiki) and Sindhi poetry.

Bulleh Shah’s writings represent him as a humanist, someone providing solutions to the sociological problems of the world around him as he lives through it, describing the turbulence his motherland of Punjab is passing through, while concurrently searching for God. His poetry highlights his mystical spiritual voyage through the four stages of Sufism: Shariat (Path), Tariqat (Observance), Haqiqat (Truth) and Marfat (Union). The simplicity with which Bulleh Shah has been able to address the complex fundamental issues of life and humanity is a large part of his appeal.

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