Shaikh Sharfud-dîn was the son of Shaikh Yahiâ maneri bin Taj Faqeeh from Al-Khaleel (Palestine). His birthplace is Maner sharif (1), a village near Patnâ in Behâr province of India(Ancient Bihar was a part of Magadh empire and British rule included it in Bengal presidency).
A love of knowledge and the religious life, and signs of spiritual greatness, were found in him from his early childhood.
A strange Being was once seen by the cradle of the baby. The mother, frightened, reported the matter to her father, Shahâb-ud-dîn Peer Jagjot (2) prince of Kashghar at that time, and a great saint too. The latter consoled her, saying that the mysterious Presence was no less a Being than the Prophet Khedhr (3) Himself, and that the baby was expected to be a man of great spiritual advancement. He acquired traditional knowledge of Arabic, Persian, logic, philosophy and religion under Ashraf-ud-dîn Abu Towama Bokharaei (4) in Sonargaon near Narainganj present Dhaka, a famous professor of those days. He first refused to marry, but had to yield when, being ill, he was advised by the physician to take to marriage as the remedy for his disease. He married with his teachers daughter BiBi Badaam. He left home after the birth of a son, named Zakiuddin (5) in 1289.
In search of a spiritual guide he travelled to many places including Khanqah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia of Dehli, and was at last initiated (at or near Delhî ) by Najîb-ud-dîn Firdausî (6). The latter made him his deputy on earth under a deed drawn twelve years earlier under the direction of the Prophet of Islâm Himself, as declared by Najîb-ud-dîn Firdausî himself. The Firdawsīs would have remained unknown, had Khwājah Najīb al-Dīn not been so fortunate as to find a disciple of the fame of Shaykh Sharaf al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Yahòyā Munyarī (also known as Maneri) 13 The master asked him to leave the place, and quitted his body shortly after. At this stage , Sharf-ud-dîn Rahmatullahi alayh lived for many a long year in the woods of Bihiâ and the Râjgir Hills (7). Shaykh chose to do ascetic exercises in the lonely Rajgir hills of Bihar, where Buddhist monks and Hindu sages loved to establish their hermitages. He would go to Bihar Sharif near Patna each Friday for congregational prayers, returning to the Rajgir forest afterward. Later, in 782/1381, he was forced to settle down in Bihar Sharif (now the HQ of Nalanda district), where he lived throughout the greater part of the reign of Muhòammad ibn Tughluq. 14 His teachings are embodied in several collections of his letters to his disciples, both 'ulamā' and Sufis. He also wrote to the state dignitaries and even to Fīrūz Tughluq. One of the collections comprising one hundred letters was compiled in 747/1346-47, and the other, containing 151 letters, was compiled in 769/1367-68. 15 His Malfūzòāt (Discourses) were also compiled and give an authentic picture of his spiritual contributions to his contemporaries and to posterity. Through Quranic verses, ahādīth, anecdotes and parables from classical Sufi works, he discussed the religious and spiritual duties of Islam and the social and ethical responsibilities of Muslims in a vocabulary enriched by his own contemplative vision of the realities of things. Frequently quoting the Quranic verse "Despair not of the mercy of Allah" ( 39: 53), he used to affirm that the divine fire consumed the root of despondency and the young shoots of desperation. Mystical knowledge was the seed of love .
In his later days he adopted BihârSharif (now a subdivisional town in Nalanda) as his residence, at the request of some of his friends and disciples. He died on Thursday, the 6th of Shawwâl, 782 Hijra, in the opening years of the I5th Century A. D. Hazrat Sultan Sayyad Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Semnani (
Rahmatullahi alayh had known this beforehand by revelation (Kashf). The funeral prayer was said according to the will of this departed saint. At night in the khanqah, Hadrat Makhdoom Ashraf Rahmatullahi alayh, had a glimpse of Hadrat Makhdoom Sharfud-dîn Bihari who gave him his khirqah-(a cloak like patched garment). The titular names of Shaikh Sharfud-dîn are Makh-dûm-uI-MuIk, 'Master of the Kingdom or the World' , Sharfa Bihari ; Makhdum-e- Jahan. He was equally proficient in secular learning and esoteric Knowledge, and possessed superhuman powers. His tomb at Bihârsharif is still resorted to as a place of sanctity by a large number of devout Muslims