Many of the proselytizing saints who arrived in Sindh from Iran or Middle East gave their mission a boost by putting down roots in ancient Hindu places of worship, or even by allowing themselves to be identified with Hindu gods. Sehwan Sharif, where Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s tomb is located, is the site of an important Shiva centre. The name Sehwanistan, as it was known untill recently, derives from Sivistan, city of Shiva, and the modern faqirs still dress like Shaivite yogis, in torn clothes, with matted hair.
Lal Shahbaz Qalandar also used to be called Raja Bhartari by hindus ; and when I visit his shrine I see, flashing in red neon Urdu script above his tomb, the words Jhule Lal, one of the many Hindu names for god of water. At least untill the nineteenth century, it was believed by Muslims and Hindus that the Indus waxed and waned according to Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s whim.
Courtesy: Empires Of The Indus by Alice