Hadrat Sultan Bahu: Language And Style

Posted on at

Hadrat Sultan Bahu: Language And Style


It may be noted that Hadrat Sultan Bahu is original that sometimes the language he uses appears unpolished. Actually Hadrat Sultan Bahu has no regard for formalism. While writing, his his whole attention is concentrated upon the communication of knowledge that is outcome of his own inner experiences. He adopts the diction which he thinks suitable for its correct presentation. He is so particular about it that he often uses the terms coined by himself with the combined phrases and words not in much use.

Hadrat Sultan Bahu, even ad as a writer, never forgets about his own position as a Sufi master and he is well aware of the originality of his views and visions. It is remarkable that as an author he presents his teachings with high degree of intensity and seriousness.



His language may be unrefined and his style may be the manifestation of his individualistic characteristics in writing but it is not so because he had not studied others and he was not well acquainted with the others’ style. As it has already been remarked, whatever he wrote in the light of his own states and stations [Ahwal-o-Maqamat].like many other Sufi authors, almost all of his writings were the dictates of his spiritual inspiration [ilham]. In the beginning of many of his books he mentions about the presence of the prophet who blessed the composition with approval. Some of his treatises seem to be written in trance like state. Frithjof Schuon explains about such states and their effect upon the Sufis attitude:



Now the authors see in the state source of inspiration, and of course not without reason ; they do not dream of reading what they have written ,nor, least of all, submitting their production to the scrutiny of a critical intelligence which in their eyes is ‘profane’ because not ecstatic, and thus alien to the breath of the spirit; they leave to the reader the task of fishing for pearls in the deepest and darkness of water.’’




In such cases the method of presentation and style may be considered at a secondary level while the inspiration reigns supreme. Consequently the general reader whose literary taste has been cultivated by the study of literary masters finds difficulty in the appreciation of Sufi’ works. Then the Sufi often use ‘’scatter method’’ by mixing up theories, stories, fables, legends and verses in their books. For that reason modern reader often maintains that the whole work is illogical. He can see no scheme in the arrangement of material for production and the topics under discussion seem to him unrelated to each other. The most prominent example is Maulana Rum’s Mathnavi with all the characteristics of the Sufi style. The way of description seems to biological. ‘’yet there is a secret order behind this seemingly illogical work, similar to the design of the dome of Karatay Medrese, where large and small many-pointed stars are connected in mysterious ways.