THE URS OF DATA DARBAR ALI HUJWERI IN LAHORE – CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES THROUGH THE AGES

THE URS OF DATA DARBAR ALI HUJWERI IN LAHORE

CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES THROUGH THE AGES

sacredness-questionable
sacredness-questionable

I was just a small child and my aunt Mehri took me for Salam to the grave of Data Darbar. She entered the Mazar and washed her hands with Rose water and started doing things, which I could not identify myself in any circumstances. Later on I read one day of the visit of Ashfaq Ahmad the writer to the grave of Data Darbar, and he writes that when he kissed the marble of the grave, he went into rapture, which not even the kiss of Hollywood heroine Marilyn Monroe could give him in actual life. Amazing then, amazing now! Mythical stories keep on floating day and night and it is surprising how naive the people of this region are in all ways. Carried away by fantasy of the Arabian Nights and 1001 stories in same.

Yes, Ali Hujweri migrated to Lahore from the Ghaznavid Empire, and settled in the city. Yes, he died in the city, and yes, he preached here. He wrote many books, of which mainly Kashf ul Majbub survives to this day, while another Risalah is also attributed to him. Like a typical person of his period, he hated women, and never liked marriage. But he himself says (in his own book) he succumbed to the charms of probably a Lahori girl, and repented as such. We are not taking into account the fantasy tales of how the Qiblah of the mosque he built was set wrongly, and he corrected it same, with his spiritual powers by uprooting the mosque and placing it in the correct position, in one night. His worshipers seriously believe all this. Good luck to them! Everyone has a right to believe things but no one should or can interfere in faith and beliefs. I believe in Allah and I believe that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was his last prophet. And I believe that after the Quran, the communication with Allah expired, and it can be only one way process from us. We can say anything we like to AL-MIGHTY. He speaks to us only through the Quran.

ms-written-at-dargah-1092-ah
ms-written-at-dargah-1092-ah

But this is not about Ali Hujweri. This is about his Urs. Rafiullah Shahab wrote one day in a newspaper that the Urs is not Ali Hujweris. It is a commemoration that Ali Hujweri himself held every year to coincide with the chelum of Hazra Imam Hussain. That is why the Urs of Data Darbar and Ali Hujweri are on the same day every year. Few people know this! But Ali Hujweri seems to have escaped historical account, for there is little mention of him in history. Prince Dara Shikoh was a big fan of Hazrat Miyan Meer as well as Baba Lall of Benaras. In his book on the life of saints, he mentions the Dargah of Ali Hujweri and places it inside the Lahore Fort itself. He proudly tells us that he had a brand new SARCOPHAGUS made for his grave, which was of pure white marble. Chandarban Brahman, the Munshi of Dara Shikoh tells us an additional thing. He says the Dargah as well as Lahore Fort was under the superintendence of the Hindu administrator Ishwar Dass. He further describes the Dargah of Ali Hujweri in a few words and says:

“Even though there are yearly and monthly impromptu performances throughout the city’s precincts, especially at the tombs and shrines of the giants along the path of esoteric Truth, the Thursday gatherings at the blessed tomb of the knower of mystical stages, Pir Ali Hujweri, creates an especially remarkable commotion. Darwishes and other free spirits, literati, poets, and all manners of people gather there to observe the spectacle of Divine Creation.” Rajeev Kirna’s translation.

We do find literature and diwans of all kind written at the Dargah, and we ourselves, have a few of them. For instance a Khadim of Pir Ali Hujweri, son of Sheikh Yar Muhammed wrote a Majumah Sultani at the Dargah in 1092 AH. In it we find the versified Risalah Qirat of Lutufullah Muhandis too. Lutufullah Ahmad was alive at that time and living in Lahore too.

Maharani of Ranjit Singh took a fancy to the Dargah of Ali Hujweri and contributed extension of the building. But at that time the environment was totally different. We are told that prostitutes used to dance every week on Thursday at the grave of Ali Hujweri. And what about today? Headlines of wrong doings. A Mutavalli tried to poison a feudal lord for his cash in a brief case and ended up poisoning his own son by mistake. The most famous serial killer of more than a 100 children roamed the area all the time, and seduced runaway children. You see pickpockets, thieves, seducer of innocent village women roaming the shrine most of the time. Seduction is a fair game here. Sexual antics in the basement. But even RAW the intelligence agency of India left its mark here, when the famous Duval, talked about Raw agents in the shrine. Bomb blasts galore here. A thousand precautions but no safety for visitors. The shrine is in disarray and the crores of rupees in cash collected by the administrators. For instead of trusting the Laws of Allah, people believe in the silliest things possible. A person told me that Ali Hujweri was very fond of almonds and if you give a plate of almonds at the shrine, you may get in return the gift of a house in DHA. Unimaginable hopes of every day people. No faith in laws of Allah, but in the charisma of a man dead long ago. We are indeed Grave Worshipers of all kind.

The Mela is dead too. To put a stall on the main road requires payment of bribes to many people. The persons who occupy the houses. The Municipal staff. The police staff. It is no longer feasible for the mela shops to put a shop for three days and profit by it. Blackmail abounds. Ruffians run in the crowd, teasing women, jostling the villagers, running away with their pags (head dresses) and what not? What is supposed to be a sacred gathering has become in reality a mirror of profanity. No one bothered with anarchy.

My friend tells me that a faqeer alim came and performed KASHF and saw hundreds of angels sitting there. I wonder what the angels were doing in an arena which no longer, or never upheld the principles of Allah. The Muslims are in deep hibernation, the angels must be feeling same.

A FORGOTTEN AMERICAN VISIT OF PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER – PM SUHARWARDY DESPERATE TRY TO SAVE HIS SEAT OF POWER

A FORGOTTEN AMERICAN VISIT OF PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER

PM SUHARWARDY DESPERATE TRY TO SAVE HIS SEAT OF POWER

president-eisenhower-welcomes-pm-suharwardy-1957
president-eisenhower-welcomes-pm-suharwardy-1957

Prime Minister Suharwardy wanted to visit the USA but there was no time available for him. He was in Cairo, when word came that the visit of French Prime Minister was cancelled and Prime Minister Suharwardy could visit the USA to meet President Eisenhower. The visit was a total failure and the US declined interest in the fate of Prime Minister Suharwardy. We see the resultant Martial Law in 1958.

prime-minister-suharwardy-photographs-us-president
prime-minister-suharwardy-photographs-us-president

The amazing photograph of the visit is not that of President Eisenhower receiving the PM but the photograph of the Prime Minister of Pakistan asking the US President to pose for his camera. Both foreign ministers, Foreign Minister Muhammed Ali Bogra and Secretary of State Dulles watch the event in mirth. It is worthy to share this memento with others.

A FORGOTTEN AND “DISCARDED VOICE’ OF A MUSLIM REFORMER – MAJID SIDDIQI ENGLISH MASTER ISLAMIA HIGH SCHOOL LAHORE

A FORGOTTEN AND “DISCARDED VOICE’ OF A MUSLIM REFORMER,

MAJID SIDDIQI ENGLISH MASTER ISLAMIA HIGH SCHOOL LAHORE

m-a-majid-siddiqi-english-master
m-a-majid-siddiqi-english-master

The reformative spirit in Lahore which made a progressive Pakistan

More than a hundred years ago the Islamic renaissance hit Lahore in number of ways. Educated people realized that reformation was required and the journey of their nation towards a tomorrow. The famous people we all remember and there is none like Dr Allama Iqbal, but there were others too, forgotten in time but not their living souls spirit. One such person was Majid Siddiqi Sahowalia English Master at Islamia High School Lahore.

majid-siddiqi-1915
majid-siddiqi-1915

I came across a book published by him in 1915 and it seems that it is written for today. The situational analysis is same, the answer is same. The Master addresses the semi westernized youth of those days and says that with lack of understanding the Arabic knowledge they have gone far from the Quranic ideals. He compares Islam as a DIAMOND RELIGION with others which are merely GLASS RELIGIONS. And he says that we must recognize the greatness of our ALLAH and the Quranic revelations as original compared to other religious books. Suffice to say the message is as relevant today as it was in 1915.

CLUES OF JAINS IN LAHORE – RE JAIN MANDIR A DAILY WORD IN LAHORE

CLUES OF JAINS IN LAHORE
JAIN MANDIR A DAILY WORD IN LAHORE

jain-mandir-lahore
jain-mandir-lahore

MAHVIRA THE LAST JAIN LEADER

a-fallen-jain-mandir-lahore
a-fallen-jain-mandir-lahore

Texts and Inscriptions reveal clues about Jains. In comparison to Buddhist, they wee literally more extreme in nature. Totally non aggressive, they yielded everything to others. They would roam completely naked in jungles, eat by begging only, eat in a standing position and defecate in a standing position too, without attaining the crouching condition necessary for that. One can just imagine the results. Whereas like Buddhists, Jains were wiped out of the region by the Hindus themselves. In fact we have relics of Jains in Lahore, both from under the ground as well as above the ground.The last famous downfall of a Jain Mandir in Lahore was in retaliation of breaking of the Babari Masjid in India.

jain-head-lahore
jain-head-lahore
jain-lahori
jain-lahori

Every day the word JAIN MANDIR is used in Lahore and yet no one knows anything about the JAINS. A fascinating account of a civilization which came and was wiped out of existence in a rather short period of time.

jain-sculpture
jain-sculpture
jain-by-ustad-behzad-lahori
jain-by-ustad-behzad-lahori

PRINCE OF WALES VISIT TO LAHORE 25TH FEBRUARY, 1922 – POLITICAL UNREST AND RIOTS WERE EXPECTED IN LAHORE

PRINCE OF WALES VISIT TO LAHORE 25TH FEBRUARY, 1922

POLITICAL UNREST AND RIOTS WERE EXPECTED IN LAHORE

prince-of-wales-visit-1922
prince-of-wales-visit-1922

PRESENTATION BY AHMADIYAH GROUP TO THE PRINCE

news-report-of-visit
news-report-of-visit

The Prince of Wales made a tour around the world. He came to India too, and also visited Lahore. That was on 25th February, 1922. Unrest was expected here as there was political instability. But tempers cooled down or were brought down by strategy. Various groups reacted in different way. The Ahmadiyah in Lahore collected one anna (16 annas to Rupee) each from the 500,000 members and made a presentation to the Prince. A reply was received from the Chief Secretary of the Prince of Wales. The Prince was asked to study Ahmadiyah literature. These are the kinds of events that developed in Lahore to make it a hotbed of politics.

gift-for-prince-by-ahmadiyah-group
gift-for-prince-by-ahmadiyah-group

The result Dr Allama Iqbal emerged on the scene and convinced Quaid e Azam Muhammd Ali Jinnah To wage a battle for Pakistan. The moderate elements of Islam won the game and Pakistan was created in letter and spirit. The Ideology of Pakistan finally gave a geography to practice the reconstruction of religion in Islam.

-by-ahmadiyah-group-1922
-by-ahmadiyah-group-1922

THE STRANGEST ROLE OF DANCING GIRLS AT MUGHAL HAREM – EMPERORS EVEN GAVE PRESENT OF DANCERS TO THEIR WIVES

THE STRANGEST ROLE OF DANCING GIRLS AT MUGHAL HAREM
EMPERORS EVEN GAVE PRESENT OF DANCERS TO THEIR WIVES

A bizarre gift by any consideration

mughals-learnt-the-dance-too
mughals-learnt-the-dance-too

Emperor Babur entered Hindustan with his own ideas. Things were different here and it made differences to the life of the Mughals. The Mughal ladies were fascinated with Hindu dancing girls. The historian Rumer Godden writes about the impressions of Gulbadan, daughter of Emperor Babur:

umrao-jan-ada
umrao-jan-ada

“Undulating hips the Muslims were used to — belly dancing as it is called now was the mark of Muslim dancing girls — but they had never seen the subtle movement of neck and head and shoulders, the intoxicating movements of Hindu dance. Though used to music, the throbbing of the tabla drums was new and disturbing as were the tiny silver thumb and finger cymbals the girls used or percussion, and the tinkling of anklet bells a music made with heel and toe”.

nautch-girls-as-obsession
nautch-girls-as-obsession

Emperor Babur was concerned about entertaining the ladies in his harem, which included aunts, cousins, wives, sisters, etc. He knew that happy ladies meant happy existence of husbands. The women were allowed to do many many things. Interest in literature, poetry on one hand, sports activity on the other. Archery. polo, sword fighting, what not? The ladies were given free hand to entertain themselves. But the most bizarre gift the Emperors gave were the dancing girls to keep their wives happy and in good mood. Unbelievable!

THE PASSING OF SHAH JAHAN BY M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI – ALL NEW SIR CECIL BURN’S VERSION COMES TO LIGHT

THE PASSING OF SHAH JAHAN BY M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI

ALL NEW SIR CECIL BURN’S VERSION COMES TO LIGHT

sir-cecil-burns-sitting-in-centre-1903
sir-cecil-burns-sitting-in-centre-1903

Various artists with varied imagery of same subject

fake-last-days-of-shah-jahan
fake-last-days-of-shah-jahan

Abanindranath Tagore, the Bengalli Indian Master first worked on the subject in 1897. The original was on wood and later made on paper. M.A. Rahman Chughtai got repulsed with the imagery of the Indian Master and presented his own version of same in 1920. The work was exhibited in Bombay in 1921 and won a commendation there in an exhibition show. Another version attributed to Chughtai but not by Chughtai was made famous in the 1980s. A fake by any standards. No other version was known. We came across a printed version of a version of the LAST DAYS OF SHAH JAHAN in an album and the artist was Sir Cecil Burns.

passing-of-shah-jahan
passing-of-shah-jahan

Sir Cecil Burns was born in 1863 and died in 1929. He was Curator of Victoria and Albert museum in Bombay and Principal of the J. J School of Art (Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy) in Bombay for many many years. On his planned return to England, many of his works were destroyed in a fire on Bombay docks. An unfortunate incident but among the works set on fire was a version of the LAST DAYS OF SHAH JAHAN. We present here an image for the first time in the regional history.

the-last-days-of-shah-jahan-tagores-version
the-last-days-of-shah-jahan-tagores-version

Different versions by artists of different cultures reflect the diversity in approach to art. Sir Cecil Burns version does not have the environment or persona of the great tragedy being illustrated by people. The Emperor does even look like a dying person and all three ladies are nor relevant to the scene. The first thing we observe is not the Taj Mahal but the rather erotic hips of the girl supporting the dying Emperor. That such a scene was possible that day is impossible and the lusty scene shows lack of consideration for the poignant subject. The other lady looks with annoying eyes at the other two and her face is full of malice too. But the daughter shown is the most absurd of them all. Holding the hands of her father, her face looks moronic like a servant. It is a scene in which Sir Cecil Burns exhibits his own hidden sexuality not the evident and not reflect the sorrow and tragedy of that moment. What more can we say? The costumes shown are all wrong in every way. The Emperor himself has no grace or edge of royalty about him. We can dissect it bit by bit, for the work annoys not soothes us in any way.

cecil-burns-saw-it-here-1921
cecil-burns-saw-it-here-1921

Sir Cecil Burns saw the work of M.A. Rahman Chughtai at the show in Bombay in 1921 (part of the committee) and must have thought of making his own version. The version lost in history and an image remains of same. An addition to our knowledge of the important painting which made history in India by selling for the highest sum ever paid for a modern work. It was purchased by the Prime Minister of Nepal then. Now it is Art history and a reflection of the two nation theory of our region.

cecil-burns-version-of-shah-jahan
cecil-burns-version-of-shah-jahan

THE GADD MAKERS OF LAHORE IN MOZANG AREA – CARRIAGE MAKING SPECIALTY OF TAR-KHANS

THE GADD MAKERS OF LAHORE IN MOZANG AREA

CARRIAGE MAKING SPECIALTY OF TAR-KHANS

gadd-with-impossible-weights
gadd-with-impossible-weights

Carpenters galore in the city

The background of the word Tar-Khan is not even clear to this day. Many believe that the word has its origin in a special tribe of the Mongols, meaning High Ranking Khans. Chengez Khan himself was an iron smith and that is why Lohars are famous in his legacy. These people were wonderful craftsmen for centuries.

punjabi-gadd
punjabi-gadd

Tongas were very particular to Lahore. The new Tonga we used to see recently is not the Lahori Tonga. The Lahori Tonga was a deep well carriage, which in times of flood or river crossing would act like a boat itself. It was an all terrain vehicle. The buggy carriages made in England wee duplicated here, but the Lahori Tonga had its own merits. Tonga making was usually done in Sultan de Seran outside Delhi Gate and even today tonga materials are still to be found there. People from other cities come to Lahore to buy the Tonga accessories.

modern-gadd
modern-gadd

Very few people would know that GADD making was a speciality of Lahore too. To make a Gadd is not an easy task, and usually we have a two buffalos Gadd. But there was one buffalo Gadd too. The most difficult part was to select the proper wood, season it properly and make the wheels. The Komanis used to be of wood too, buffered by thick rubber. Later Kamanis of trucks were used to cushion impacts. These people were concentrated mostly in Mozang Lahore and there children have now new occupations. Master Khursheed was a Master Gadd maker of those days.

gadd-movement-towards-pakistan
gadd-movement-towards-pakistan

Whole mohallas used to be transported by Gadds as the same were very reliable carriages. A Gadd would go on its own, unhindered by obstacles on the way, come what may. In fact the Gadd driver could be found sleeping on the Gadd while the buffalo knew the routes towards home or otherwise. In fact Gadds were used to transport lakhs of people from India to Pakistan at time of partition in 1947.

old-tonga
old-tonga

PRESIDENT AYUB KHAN AT TOMB OF BAHADUR SHAH ZAFAR – FILLING MISSING CHAPTERS OF OUR WORTHY HISTORY

PRESIDENT AYUB KHAN AT TOMB OF BAHADUR SHAH ZAFAR

FILLING MISSING CHAPTERS OF OUR WORTHY HISTORY

bahadur-shah-zafar-facing-trial-for-1857
bahadur-shah-zafar-facing-trial-for-1857
bahadur-shah-zafar-1858
bahadur-shah-zafar-1858

A worthy ten years in service of Pakistan

president-ayub-says-fateha-at-grave-of-bahadur-shah
president-ayub-says-fateha-at-grave-of-bahadur-shah

The tragedy of Bahadur Shah Zafar is decline of our Muslim history in the region. Indian Heads have visited the tomb of Bahadur Shah Zafar, but here, one hardly knows the President Ayub Khan did so in his period of time too. Enjoy the visual of President Ayub Khan’s visit to the tomb of the last Mughal Emperor. A legacy from which we can learn many things.

tomb-of-bahadur-shah-zafar
tomb-of-bahadur-shah-zafar

AN EROTIC ROOM OF PRINCE MASOOD GHAZNAVI AT LASHKARI BAZAAR – INSPIRATIONS CAME FROM LAHORE THE NEW CITY OF RICH CULTURE

AN EROTIC ROOM OF PRINCE MASOOD GHAZNAVI AT LASHKARI BAZAAR

INSPIRATIONS CAME FROM LAHORE THE NEW CITY OF RICH CULTURE

Amazing pictorials lost in time

mehrab-of-sultan-masud-1112-ad
mehrab-of-sultan-masud-1112-ad
early-painting
early-painting

The historian Al-Baiqhi worked in the Court of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi and wrote a ten volume history of that reign. Only three volumes survive to his day and there is bizarre information in those volumes. One is about the SECRET ROOM of Prince Masud son of Mahmood Ghaznavi. In the construction of his palace at Lashkari Bazaar Afghanistan, he had made a secret room with EROTIC ILLUSTRATIONS. Literally a wall sexual manual of sexual positions.

earliest-depiction-of-muslim-woman-693-ad
earliest-depiction-of-muslim-woman-693-ad

We know of Sex Manuals in Islamic history. The earliest known is of Ahmad Al-Tifashi who died in 1253 AD. The famous PERFUMED GARDEN of Sheikh Nefzawi, came from Tunisia and he died after 1324 AD. But from where came the inspiration for the paintings in the SECRET BEDROOM of Prince Masood. By this time they were in touch with cities of Hindustan and they had conquered Lahore, the city of Culture. One probability can be some painter of Lahore who had not only seen the Kajaro Caves but also read the Kama Sutra. In some respects it may be conjectured that the Lahore Painter was inspired by the Kama Sutra, the Hindu guide to love, with impossible acrobatics. But Lahore was in possession of the Muslims then, from a short period of a 100 years or so. the greater possibility is of the inspiration from CHINESE SEX MANUALS. We know that painting in that period was inspired by Chinese and Central Asian models. It is much more probable that the painter or painters were Chinese themselves or were students of Chinese painters. One of the earliest dated painting of Sultan Qutb ud din Aibak has strong Chinese influences. The Secret Room probably owed its inspiration to China. The Chinese Sex Manuals were based on the experience of Chinese Emperors and were written in the earliest period as 1500 BC. The same would be in common knowledge in the period of Prince Masood Ghaznavi.

utbuddin-aibeg-1236-lahore
utbuddin-aibeg-1236-lahore
early-works
early-works

The room was cut short in its making. Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi was informed of this and reprimanded his son in very strong way. Before the Sultan could visit and see the room for himself, it was white washed and the room cleared of all the profanity. But it is a unique reference in early history of Lahore and Ghazni and the inspirations that went into it. There is no reason to doubt that China as a civilization was influencing the world.

chinese-painting
chinese-painting

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