It is widely known that Sher Shah Sur built hundreds of serais in India for the comfort of travellers in 16th century. But very few people are aware of the fact that Sher Shah also built a serai at Makkah. This information is provided by Zubdat al-Tawarikh by Shaikh Nurul Haq Delhvi which was written during the reign of Mughal emperor Jahangir. Shaikh Nurul Haq’s grandfather was Shaikh Rizqullah Mushtaqi (born in 1495 AD) who saw the reigns of Sikandar Lodi, Ibrahim Lodi, Babar, Humayun, Sher Shah Sur, Islam Shah Sur and others, and had firsthand information about Sher Shah Sur.
The author of Zubdat al-Tawarikh writes that Sher Shah Sur built a serai at Makkah which was abode of Afghan (Pashtun) faqeers (mendicants) during his times (early 17th century). It appears that Sher Shah had built the serai for Pashtun pilgrims. Almost two centuries after the death of Sher Shah, Ahmad Shah Abdali also built a serai at Makkah for Pashtun pilgrims which was referred to as Rabat al Sulaimani by Arabs. Rabat means serai in Arabic and Sulaimani was the term by which Pashtuns were known among Arabs. Rabat al Sulaimani was demolished by Saudis in 20th century.