Syed Pir Meher Ali Shah was born on AD 14 April 1859(Monday, 1st Ramadan, 1275 A.H) in Golra Sharif. Golra Sharif is located midway between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The time just before his birth saw the war of Independence of 1857 fought between the British and the Muslims. He is renowned as a Sufi saint, a great Hanafi scholar upholding the position of Hazrat Abdul Haqq Muhaddith Dehalvi, and especially for being at the forefront of the anti-Ahmedi movement. He wrote several books most notably Saif e Chishtiyai, [the Sword of the Chishtis].
Pir Meher Ali Shah reported that he loved seclusion since childhood, feeling uncomfortable in the midst of throngs of people, and finding deserted places serene. Quite often, he said, he would quietly leave the house at night after everyone else had gone to bed, and spend much of the night wandering the nearby wooded ravines. As he grew, he started experiencing a feeling of such unusual heat within his body that he was sometimes compelled- even on cold winter nights- to bathe in the ice-cold water of the canal, and also rub pieces of ice on his body. When he left his room late at night after finishing his studies, he used to experience the same kind of comfort from contact with the cold mountain air that a thirsty person normally derives from cool water at the height of summer. Sufis believe such heat is generated due to excessive amounts of Zikr/Dhikr.
Mehr Ali received his early education of the Holy Quran at his family Khaneqah [Sufi hospice] and was given classes in Urdu and Persian in the local Madrassah. He completed his intermediate level religious education here. His stay in this Madressah was for about 2 and(1/2) years.
After completing his education at Angah at the age of 15, he decided to continue further studies in the United Provinces of India (U.P). Therefore, Pir Meher Ali, in 1874 set out for higher education, to different parts of India such as Kanpur, Aligarh, and Saharanpur. His stay at Aligarh at the Madressah of Maulana Lutfullah of Aligarh was for 2 1/2 years.
When Pir Meher Ali Shah returned home after completing his studies, his marriage took place with the daughter of Syed Charagh Ali Shah who belonged to his respected mother’s family living in Hasan-Abdal Town, a few miles away from Golra.
- Tahqiq-ul-Haq Fi Kalima-tul-Haq (The Truth about Kalima-tul-Haq)
- Shamsul Hidayah
- I’la Kalimatillah Fi Bayan-e-Wa Ma Uhilla Bihi Legharillah
- AlFatuhat-us-Samadiyyah (Divine Bounties)
- Tasfiah Mabain Sunni Wa Shi’ah
- Mulfuzaat-e-Mehria (Sayings of Meher Ali Shah)
As a Sufi of the Chishti order
Hazrat Pir Meher Ali Shah Sahib was a disciple and Khalifa of Hazrat Shams-ud-din (R.A) in the Silsila-e-Chishtia Nizamiyah. His biography, Meher e Muneer, records that he also received a Khilafat [i.e. was made a khalifa] by Hazrat Hajji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (R.A), when he visited the latter in Makka. Hajji Imdadullah advised him to return to India, where a great storm was about to rise against Islam, which Hazrat Meher Ali Shah must crush. Haji Imdadullah was of course predicting the Qadiyani heresy.
As Supporter of Wahdat-ul-Wjood
Pir Meher Ali Shah was a supporter of Ibn Arabi's ideology of Wahdat-ul-Wjood but he made distinction between the creature and creator (as did Ibn Arabi). He wrote a masterpiece explaining the Unity of Being doctrine of Hazrat Ibn Arabi.