Dr Zahurul Hassan Sharib: 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 calledand 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 giving gentleman.
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 Sufi saints.
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 to watch.
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 for".
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