This week followers of Hazrat Sharafuddin Shah Wilayat, a revered saint of Uttar Pradesh, will celebrate his birthday and urs with traditional enthusiasm. Shah Wilayat’s message endures as a symbol of the Gangetic Plain’s unique tradition of syncretic culture, the famous ‘Ganga-Jaamuni tehzeeb’. One may go so far as to say that love is eternal and it creates room for itself in any condition.
Hazrat Sharafuddin Shah Wilayat, a medieval mystic, has long been considered one of the great Sufi saints. He migrated from south Asia to India and found a suitable place in Amroha, then known as Azizpur town. His primary mission was to preach love and humane behaviour. In Amroha he was informed about another Saint, Hazrat Shah Nasruddin, who was short tempered and intolerant of other spiritual leaders on his turf.
Hazrat Sharafuddin present him a bowl of rose water through one of his colleagues. The message was that ‘I am here to spread the essence of humanity’. Hazrat Nasruddin responded by dipping a rose in it, which made the water overflow from the bowl. The message was that here is no room for anyone else. When Hazrat Sharafuddin refused to leave the locality, Shah Nasruddin said if he stayed there, his grave would be the breeding ground and habitat of deadly scorpions.
Knowing this Shah Wilayat said to his messenger, go and tell him I am here to preach love not hatred. Love may create room for itself. Indeed, the scorpions will guard my grave and yet they will be as peaceful as saints themselves, if my love has any power.
They will never harm any human being. These powerful words came true. Even today one may find countless scorpions in the graveyard of Hazrat Sharafuddin Shah Wilayat living side by side with humans in utter peace. Such, it seems, is the power of love that can alter the very nature of even deadly Creatures. Why, them, cannot we human beings benefit from love, to live peacefully in the world that was originally for all of us by Almighty?