Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai
Timeline (1689 - 1752)
Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (sometimes written Bhittai or Bhittaii) was a devout Muslim Sufi, but his spirituality was broad and welcoming, making room for Muslim and Hindu alike. He is one of the most revered poets and saints of the Sindh region of what is today Pakistan.
Although born into a well-respected family, he turned away from the comforts of life, revealing a natural ascetic tendency. He adopted the saffron-colored robes and simple lifestyle of the wandering fakirs and sanyasins of the region.
In his quest for inner truth, still a young man, Shah Bhitai left his home and began to travel extensively, favoring small villages and the countryside, interacting with the common people and other Muslim and Hindu ascetics. He quickly developed a reputation for holiness and absorption in meditation. At this time disciples began to gather about him.
Shah Bhitai returned to his family home for a while, where he married Bibi Saidha Begum, a young woman who was respected in her own right for her great piety. Sadly, she died at a young age, and Shah Bhitai never remarried.
Bhitai and his growing circle eventually moved to a place of retreat, a sand hill ("bhit") next to scenic Kiran Lake.
A fascinating story is told of his poetry. When Shah Bhitai was nearing death, he didn't want his poetry to simply waste away, so he had his writings thrown into the nearby lake. But, at the request of a disciple, Bhitai allowed his poetry to be re-written down by another disciple who had memorized them.