BOḴĀRĪ, SHAIKH JALĀL-AL-DĪN (707-85/1308-84), popularly known as Maḵdūm-e Jahānīān and Jahāngašt, a celebrated Indo-Persian Sufi of Uch in the southern Punjab. His grandfather, Sayyed Jalāl-al-Dīn Sorḵ, had migrated from Bukhara to Multan and there was initiated into the Sohravardī order by Shaikh Bahāʾ-al-Dīn Zakarīyāʾ. After receiving formal training in Islamic sciences, the younger Jalāl-al-Dīn took his first Sufi vows from his father, Sayyed Aḥmad Kabīr, and later from the leading Sohrvardī Sufi of the time, Shaikh Rokn-al-Dīn of Multan. Soon thereafter he embarked on an extensive world-circling journey (hence his epithet Jahāngašt) that took him, among other places, to Jerusalem, Baghdad, Medina, and Mecca, where he studied for two years. After returning to India he was accepted into the Češtī order by Shaikh Naṣīr-al-Dīn Čerāḡ-e Dehlī (d. 757/1356).
During the reign of Sultan Fīrūz Toḡloq (r. 752-90/1351-88), Shaikh Jalāl-al-Dīn made frequent trips to Delhi where he cultivated close ties with the court of the Delhi sultanate. Like other Sohravardī shaikhs, he felt that the acceptance of government employment or stipends by holy men was not forbidden by Islamic Law and that Sufi influence in the court could be used to promote the welfare of the kingdom’s subjects. Hence he made numerous administrative or political recommendations pertaining to such matters as the reduction or abolition of taxes. On one occasion, in 763/1362, he even intervened in arranging peace terms between the sultan and one of his adversaries in southern Sindh.
Shaikh Jalāl-al-Dīn tended to be puritanical regarding Islamic rituals, opposing not only the use of Indian terms as substitutes for Allāh, but also the popular veneration of Muslim shrines and the boisterous celebration of folk festivals by the Muslim masses. In these respects he compares with other Central Asian Muslims of the 8th/14th century who viewed India as a religio-cultural frontier region and carried with them into the subcontinent a certain religious militancy. Boḵārī died in 785/1384 and was buried in Uch.
Although Shaikh Jalāl-al-Dīn is not known to have composed any works of his own, he did oversee the compilation of his oral discourses. Compiled in 781-82/1379-80 by one of his disciples, Abū ʿAbd-Allāh ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn ʿAlī, these discourses were entitled the Ḵolāṣat al-alfāẓ, jāmeʿ al-ʿolūm, a manuscript copy of which is preserved in the Asiatic Society of Bengal (Calcutta).
ʿAbd-al-Ḥaqq Moḥaddeṯ Dehlavī, Aḵbār al-aḵyār, Delhi, 1914.
Jamālī Kambōh Dehlavī, Sayr al-ʿārefīn, Delhi, 1893.
ʿAlī b. Saʿd b. Ašrāf, Serāj al-hedāya, ms., Ivanov, Catalogue, no. 1209.
S. A. A. Rizvi, A History of Sufism in India I, New Delhi, 1978.
(Richard M. Eaton)
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, pp. 330-331