Shah Hussain (1538 – 1599) was a Punjabi Sufi poet and Sufi saint. He was the son of Sheikh Usman, a weaver, and belonged to the Dhudha clan of Rajputs. He was born in Lahore (present-day Pakistan). He is considered a pioneer of the kafi form of Punjabi poetry.
Shah Hussain’s love for a Brahmin boy called “Madho” or “Madho Lal” is famous, and they are often referred to as a single person with the composite name of “Madho Lal Hussain”. Madho’s tomb lies next to Hussain’s in the shrine.
His tomb and shrine lies in Baghbanpura, adjacent to the Shalimar Gardens. His urs (annual death anniversary) is celebrated at his shrine every year during the “Mela Chiraghan” (“Festival of Lights”).
Hussain’s poetry consists entirely of short poems known as “Kafis.” A typical Hussain Kafi contains a refrain and some rhymed lines. The number of rhymed lines is usually from four to ten. Only occasionally a more complete form is adopted. Hussain’s “Kafis” are also composed for and have been set to music deriving from Punjabi folk music.