CHUGHTAI MUSEUM UNDER SIEGE FROM MALIGNANT FORCES – SAVING THE LEGACY OF CHUGHTAI ART NOT A SIMPLE JOB AT ALL.
A fifty-year record memorable book is being written and we hope to issue it on 17th January, 2025. When M.A. Rahman Chughtai died on 17th January, 1975, he was torn about by conspiracies. I used to pat him on the back, when he used to panic about his legacy. Assuring him that his work will not be lost, but preserved forever. Not an easy promise to make, when both the Federal and Provincial governments were bent upon doing us wrong. Details will come but who can understand the anguish we went through, trying to do a job for the national good of Pakistan. There are too many details, which we need not go in here, but suffice to say, a national icon, who took the name of Pakistan all around the world. The father of Pakistani Art. Modern Master of Muslim civilization. And what not? Whose death was condoled by many foreign Heads of State, which included the Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, Queen Elisabeth of England, Vice President Nelson A Rockefeller of USA, President Walter Scheel of Germany, President of Azad Kashmeer, and even Dr Kurt Waldheim of U.N.O. And sorry to say that Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was at Chughtai’s house many times, could not condole the death of the National Hero of Pakistan. And his Cultural advisers started a tirade against us. Ms Marjorie Hussain often asks me, who saved me from the wrath of the politicians at that time? Allah! We are in siege right now. Conniving politicians turned new pages of tyranny. If Allah does not save us again, the museum will be history again. All that we can say is pray for us. Do whatever you can. We are good for our country. We are good for Pakistani art. And all those morons who take money from abroad to cast doubts on Pakistan and its legacies, to present foreign agendas of anarchy. Pakistan forever!
THE MOST AMAZING PHOTOGRAPH IN OUR ARCHIVES OF A RELIGIOUS GROUP – INAUGURAL PRAYERS AT SIRIYAN WALI MASJID LAHORE, LOCAL AND MIANWALI.
The complexity of Lahore is not understood by pseudo historians of Lahore. Everybody wants to jump in this terrain with superlatives, while not having any feelings for the philosophy of the city. Egalitarianism is one thing. A city in which Governor and beggar could be having adjacent houses is another. This capitalistic attitude of separating housing schemes due to materialism is not in inherent to old Lahore. Here we enter Lahore through the Phandaian (utensils) wala bazaar, in Rang Mahal, and some steps away, there are two lanes. The right one goes to Kocha Chabuk Sawaran, and the straight one goes to Siriyan wala bazaar. Nobody really can prove what this bazaar meant in ancient times, but the name is still there, even after ages. For some this small limited lane is a place where lambs used to be slaughtered and the Siri Pavay (heads and ankles) used to be sold here (no butcher shop here ever, and why only lamb heads). Others feel this place relates to the slaughter of people (or army), perhaps even by the Mongols, or even by the Sikhs, mainly the three chieftains of Lahore, who were responsible for the carnage in the city many times. Or perhaps it was a hanging place, where prisoners were beheaded. Even a long-lost cemetery of beheaded army people. All that is possible. In any case, there is not much of interest in this small lane, except that in this lane was the house of Muhammed Chittu Patoli (son of Sheikh Elahi Baksh), a leather merchant and maker of shoes, or more specifically ‘Patolis’, portion of shoes making. This havelli was once the havelli of Meraz Khan. Meraz is an Islamic word, and means ‘Gift of Allah’. It is even possible that this havelli belonged to Ifraz Khan, maker of Chinay wali masjid, and Meraz may be the son of Ifraz Khan. And in this way both havelli and masjid came into possession of Muhammed Chittu. Perhaps bought or inherited by him. A relation can be established. And his phenomenal love for the holy book of Quran, is proven by his sacrifice of expensive property, where even his own children were unhappy with Muhammed Chittu’s decision.
Ghulam Nabi was originally from a small village, namely Chakra, near Mianwali. He was a relatively young man, when he became custodian of the Chinay wali Masjid in Lahore, in Kocha Chabuk Sawaran. His date of birth is given as 1860 AD. He was given charge of this mosque somewhere around an age of 38, or perhaps 40 years. In the hujra of the ancient Aurangzebi mosque of Ifraz Khan, revelations struck him, and his study of the Quran, became intense. He hero worshiped Hazrat Umar, Peace be upon him, and his statement that the “Quran is enough”. To those who believed that Quran was not sufficient, he came up with the idea of Ijtihad, which was a Quranic term itself. For his views, he was kicked out of the Chinay wali masjid. Muhammed Chittu, a keen observer, and contrary to portrayal by some bigoted historians, was educated enough (perhaps highly educated) to understand all this. He offered his own house in Siriyan wala Bazaar to his iconic leader. Ghulam Nabi found fault with his name, and took the name of Abdullah Chakravali. A request was made to the Municipal administrator Mr. Tapp for permission to convert the house into a mosque, and it was accepted that this was a new sect in the Muslim fold, and it was named as Ahl-Quran movement in Lahore. The permission was initially refused but as more people joined the group (from initial 62 to hundreds later on), it is probably that the permission was granted for the same. Otherwise the house was just used as a prayer house. The Waqf-nama of Muhammed Chittu dated 10th March, 1905, clears many things. An invitation was extended by Abdullah Chakravali to his home town in Chakra, and delegations came from there for the inauguration prayers at the Mosque of Siriyan wali Bazaar. And the most amazing thing is that a group photograph was taken with the inauguration of the prayers at the Siriyan wali mosque. And even more amazing that a faded copy was there in the collection of M. A. Rahman Chughtai artist. From 1905 to 2020, a journey of 115 years. Its colour was restored, but full restoration still far away.
There are many clues in the photograph. The building in front of which the group is standing, even today somewhat like that after 115 years. Plain wall with doors. There is a dari (carpeting) on the floor, for prayers. The main person Abdullah is sitting in front, and looks around 45 (or plus) years old. Behind him is his cute grandson Ismael, and on the other end is his son Ibraheem. Fancy jackets most of them from Mianwali, but the local people can be recognized as plain and simple and poor. Two old men sitting in front. One is obviously Muhammed Chittu, the other not known, but can be Munshi Umar Din, the designated Mutawalli of the new mosque. A historical epic left as a record. The photographer is not a very professional one, as people have been cut in the process of photography. And due to movement of some people, an old wooden box camera could not catch much in detail. But it has expressions of various people. All serious and anxious faces (no smiles at all), except the relaxed face of Muhammed Chittu himself. We have tried scientific approach to our analysis, but we may be wrong in our attribution. If so, everybody is welcome to correct us. The present generation of Abdullah Chakravali is even allergic to his name and memory. I remember a famous American song, “Ghost riders in the sky”, and know that the ghost of the hero, Abdullah Chakravali will not go sway in wishful thinking. A popular scholar, he risked his already made reputation for his views, which looked outlandish at that moment in life. But only time reveals the truth. A seed is planted, and a full grown fruit tree takes it time. Abdullah Chakravali’s views became the first step in establishing Islam as a Deen, and indeed for later scholars, a challenge to religion itself. May his soul rest in peace! POST SCRIPTPhotograph can be used only with quoting source of Chughtai Museum.
A SOCIAL DILEMMA OF HISTORICAL DISTORTION IN WHICH MASSIVE DECEPTION – SEES MANDIRS IN ICONS OF OTHER CIVILIZATIONS, FOOLHARDINESS NO REASON
I lived in Lahore all my life. We used to see Mandirs all around the city, deserted yes, but never brought down. Even the gold pinnacles were intact in most of them. But most of them were not old at all. Yes nineteenth century, some eighteenth century, not older than that. The reputed mandirs of Icchra were not that old at all, or perhaps remade over time. People stayed away from them. Then the Babari Masjid was brought down by a segment of Hindus, and in reciprocation, we saw massive destruction of many mandirs. But the mandir fixation did not stop. Just check your internet, you-tubes and other internet places, and you will find a bombardment of such silly statements. You will actually see some Hindus calling the Khana Kaaba as a Shiv Mandir and the Haj aswat as a Shiv lingam; others see a Mandir when they see the Taj Mahal. Conspiratorial minds keep on spinning ridiculous tales with proofs which archaeologists could laugh or people libel them out of pocket. And no one checks them. In fact paid writers from all sides support their preposterous innuendoes. Same is with the Loh Mandir in Lahore. Has anyone even tried to look at it, see the bricks, see the design, see the round holes on sides as well as the bottom, see the architecture, even see the size, but the virtue is not seeing anything at all. No mention in any history, no inscriptions, no references. A 20th century fancy creation. Is there any Mandir like that in the history of Hinduism. If so, please share it with me.
A reference supposed to be by Sujan Rai in 1691 (not proven at all in any way), ascribes Lahore and Kasur to Loh and Kasu, sons of Ram Chandar. Ram Chandar with links to Shri Lanka, has no links to Lahore and Kasur in any way., This is recognized by eminent historians like Ahmad Dani Khan as well as Anjum Rahmani. The names are not LOH and KASU, but LAVA and KUSHA. Where did the legend of same came to the city of Lahore and Kasur. For the first time, it was ascribed to the work KHULASAT AL-TAWARIKH by MUNSHI SUJAN RAY BHANDARI of Patiala. If we study STOREY work on Persian Literature, we find very few copies written in 18th century, and many of them are not complete. The work was written in 1695-96, but no one has researched on same. In the 19th century various translations were made and many manuscripts were found. It would be valid to see the reference of Lava and Kusa starts from where and ends where? Suffice it is a premise not mentioned before in history but later British writers and writers in British period were quick to adopt same. Information is tested not taken point blank without research. If it was said, Sujan Ray has quoted no authority for his statement. It is forgotten that Lava and Kusa fought against their own father Ram Chandar for doubting the purity of their mother. Who knows that? In our view Emperor Jahangeer would have enjoyed the enigma of LOH and would have instructed his architects to make a marvellous memorial to him. In fact the Mughal Minister for Architecture, Ishwar Dass, was in charge of renovation of all the Mughal monuments in Lahore under Shah Jahan, and would have done a wonderful job. But for 3000 years no knowledge or mention of same. But Hinduism speaks of their religion being two million years old and the Story of Ram Chandar perhaps 5000 years old.
In a book written by British writers, illusion is given at the end of 19th century, but the break through is with Judge Muhammed Latif, a British representative by any standards. On page one of his book, he writes:” A mandir, dedicated to Loh, may be still seen in the north western corner of the fort. The descent is by a wooden staircase”. In the same book, we find mention of DEVA DHARMA SABHA, and its headquarters in Lahore, in Anarkali bazaar, which was founded years before. Its motto is given as:”Deva Dharma ki jai- Sakal pap ki chhai; Devattwa ka prachar- Bharat ka Uddhar.”Besides that a 12 point agenda is given, related to promotion of Hinduism. Some years back the place was ransacked in Anarkali, and various artifacts were found there. A person brought a statue of a cow with a Cobra on its head in black stone. It was so fearful chilling that I could not sleep that night. And these are the same people who wrote to the Superintendent of Archaeology, for research in the Mandir of Loh in the Lahore Fort. Communication through letters were going on for a long time. On 11th December, 1923, delegation from both sides visited the site, and started cleaning and digging the hollow in the corner of the Lahore fort. It seems that the whole structure was under debris. On 13th December, 1923, it was cleared and found that in the hollow were discovered bones of a GIANT of a person. The hands were of exceptional size and the teeth were still as sharp as ever. The whole skeleton was not there. Archaeology Superintendent felt that the bones were of Pre Buddhist times. This burial in no way matched with the cremation rites of Buddhism and Sikhism. Sanatan Dharma Sabha proclaimed that the bones were of Loh, son of Ram Chandar. Nobody investigated things properly. Who took the bones, no one knows? Is there a report, no one asks! But there must be mention in the Archaeological report of that year. In our view very near to this place is the Chowk of Nau-guzza, famous to this day. Elders of the area talk of the grave of Nau-guzza being long and obstructing the path, and as such it was shortened to bearable length. Is it possible that some of the bones unearthed were transferred to this location by superstitious people, but that is another story, for another time. And we are investigating properly with documentation.
WHEN ALLAH GAVE US THE CHOICE TO CHOOSE OUR PATH OURSELVES – TO DIFFERENTIATE RIGHT FROM WRONG BASED ON THE QURAN ITSELF: – INTRODUCING FATALISM IN OUR WAY OF LIFE WITH PREDICTIONS GALORE – WORK OF AN ALIEN GROUP OF PEOPLE UNDERMINING QURANIC THOUGHT.
We are supposed to be educated people. Not all of us, but at least people who address the public, should be knowledgeable enough to pursue the truth and write the truth. The media, according to Marshal Mcluhan is a message itself, and the message is a big pack of lies. The Prediction mafia sweeps on us, as a Divine revelation, when it is far from the truth. The Quran clearly debunks astrology, and clearly says that knowledge of “Kiyamat” is the privilege of Allah and he has shared this knowledge with no one else. Allah, according to the Quran, has given human beings investigative power through thinking and pondering, but he has not given us ‘Ilm Ghiyab’ at all. The Prediction game prevails in human beings. It started with a civilization which views things in a different way. Nostradamus great hype is reflected in even his prediction of murder of Kennedy. Whether honest or even charlatans stepped into the fragile minds of human beings. Even the Dead Sea Scrolls have something like that. The end is near. Repent. St John the Baptist was roaming everywhere with the same message, ‘End of the World’. The American cowboy world was also bombarded with these people, and the cowboys used to put tar and feathers on them, that is blacken them. Yes, people make capital of this frail world. A civilization revels to make a way of life by choice, as a way of life of decided destiny. Everyone forgets the Quran, for they cannot make capital of a Book of literal truth.
The rage of Predictions centre around Shah Niamatullah Vali of Kirman. He was son of Mir Abdullah, and descendant of Imam Baqir. He was born around 730 A H, and died in 834 A H, at the age of around 104 years. He has written a lot of books and Risalahs on various aspects of spiritualism and religious issues. But what is important is his DIWAN. People have forgotten that there are two important copies in the British Library in London, with numbers as Add 7811, and Add 7091. One is dated 962 A H and the other is 971 A H. There are various items in the manuscripts, and there is one Qasidah, talking about the state of world affairs, and the arrival of Imam Mahdi, to correct all the wrong in the world. NOTHING ELSE.
But there are three Qasidahs added to the Diwan. According to research Qasidah one is the work of another Niamatullah of Delhi. The other two in fact unknown. All three appeared for first time in print around 1850 AD, and continue to appear, here and there, with changes according to the requirement of the writer. We need not go into details here, and anybody interested can read the exceptional research of C.M. Naim of University of Chicago, and is available as a free download on the internet. Various people have commented on these three Qasidahs, two of which make predictions about our region. Writers change the predictions whenever they go on a different track. It is amazing that the history of this region is predicted in detail. All the Mughal Kings are mentioned, the Sikh rule, as well as the British rule. Obviously making predictions about wars are easy to make, particularly when the qasidah writer belongs to the 19th century itself. And they appear changed with each period of calamity facing the Muslims. Full credit goes to C. M. Naim for giving all the details of the publications. And people have commented on this, like:
‘Much of the interpretation relies on saying that ambiguous names referred to certain people and countries, another common prophetic trick. To be fair, his hit rate with names is higher than other predictors, but this can be explained by him predicting the future of Muslims. Muslim culture is insular and has fewer names.’
‘Perhaps his boldest predictions involve India having reduced power on the world stage. This would not start until a century after his time. However, a cursory examination suggests that he did not like India. Predicting the downfall of your enemies is a common prophetic practice. On a long enough timeline, every culture has heights and declines.’
Not everything is clear. The King name is considered Habibullah at times, and at other times King James. Botched up predictions taken as truth. And educated people are confusing the public. The Quran debunks Astrology and the Predictions game of Ilm-ghayab. Are we to believe else-where for our spiritual guidance? Internet is bombarded with illusions, that no one, or hardly anyone dares to seek the truth. Predictions are anti-Islamic, simply satisfaction of our negative impulses. The universe is governed by the Laws of Allah, and obeying the Laws is our salvation. Allah gave us choices. We will make tomorrow according to our choices.
THE BEHEADING OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST (QATIL YAHUNNA) – DRAMA STAGED IN THE GARDEN OF MAH SINGH GUJARANWALA – ASSOCIATION OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI WITH CHRISTIANS
The very first passion of M.A. Rahman Chughtai was in being a writer. His favourite past time was in writing plays, and parallel to being an artist, he wrote things all his life. The creativity of his art was also reflected in his writings. He was fond of saying that even before a painting is made, it comes to him in the form of a story. In a small wood selling shop in Yakki Gate, his creativity started in full swing. One of his earliest inspiration was a biblical tale of the beheading of St John the Baptist. That was the time when he was associated with the Punjab Religious Book Society in Lahore. This drama also published by them in book form and our copy was with Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj, and the relevant copy with Mrs Najmuddin was unfortunately lost. We may find one in some discarded library. We try all the time.
In any case the drama staged at two places. One was at Malik Theater, Bhatti Gate, Lahore, where it is rumoured to have not been very successful. But it was also staged in the Sheranwala Garden of Mah Singh Mausoleum in Gujranwala. And there it was on for months and appreciated by the Christian community, as well as Muslim friends of the artist. This show led to the formation of BUT-KADA a film production house of M.A. Rahman Chughtai and that is a story we have already told in another blog.
One thing is certain here. The drama book calligraphed by Din Muhammed Katib has a childlike illustration on it related to SILVER KING of Agha Hashar. It has a sign in the corner saying ‘M R’. The illustration is related to a series of dramas published in Lahore around 1908-1915, and this is the SCHOOL period of M.A. Rahman Chughtai. There is every reason to believe that this illustration is also by M.A. Rahman Chughtai as a school child, and that matter is a matter of record too. THE FIRST DUST-COVER ON RECORD OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI. It seems to us to be so. He was doing covers for such small publications at that time. In the end he must have made at least 500 of them.
LUTUFULLAH’S CIRCUMCISION DATE OF SULAIMAN SHIKOH SON OF DARA SHIKOH – CIRCUMCISION AT EIGHTEEN YEARS SPEAK OF AMBIVALENCE TO MUSLIM PRACTICE OF CIRCUMCISION AT AN EARLY DATE UNDER FAMILY DISPLAY OF “JASHAN SUNTAN”
The ritual of male circumcision was considered a festival of great importance in the Muslim tradition. The earlier it was done, the better it was considered. It was becoming a Muslim. There were simple circumcisions and there were concepts of “Wadian Suntan”. In these festivals most of the family used go sit in a circle, and a barber surgeon was called, who would circumcise the child. A tray of sand was put underneath to stop the bleeding. Nothing medical about it. I once witnessed such a festival in a havelli in Mochi Darwaza Lahore, where we the children were allowed to watch from above the designated hall, through the big opening in the roof. The young boy knew nothing and was led astray with a meaningless assertion, “Look at the bird on the roof”. And the surgery done, with application of alum on the cut part of the genitals. Music and dance came in. Later on a huge dinner was on the anvil, and everybody rejoiced with the idea, that the child had become a Muslim with this operation. This takes us to pages of history.
Sulaiman Shikoh was active with his father Dara Shikoh in the fight between the two brothers. He was hiding in Srinagar, but betrayed by the Rajah’s son, he was bought back. Imprisoned at Gwalior fort, he showed great courage, and same was appreciated by Aurangzeb himself. Not much is known as to the happenings, but it seems that he was put to death in the prison itself. With his valour he lasted many months in prison. But ended in the ‘Traitors graveyard’ in Gwalior fort. It is not traceable at present in the list of inscriptions of the graveyard of Gwalior Fort. In appreciation of his courage, Aurangzeb Alamgeer allowed the marriage of his daughter Salima Banu to his own son, Muhammed Akbar. The love of Salima with Akbar is so well known.
Lutufullah Ahmad Muhandis who was very close to Prnce Dara Shikoh attended the circumcision practice of Sulaiman Shikoh. He gives the date of the same as 1064 AH, that is 1653 ZAD. This means the Prince had his circumcision done at 18 years of age for he was born in 1635 AD. This is all a record in the Diwan of Muhandis, which exists both in manuscript form (Chughtai Museum has a number of copies, in original and in copies), and printed copies, and has a number of other dates too. A direct record.
This circumcision practice in Lahore as elsewhere becomes more and more complex. As foreskins were considered signs of manhood, foreskins were collected from the dead bodies of enemies. And not only that, they were also replaced with figurines of same. We find these figurines in Israel, but we find them in Lahore too. The ones in Israel are depicted as uncircumcised, while the ones in Lahore are circumcised in imagery.
The Torah speaks of the continued policy of cutting the foreskins of dead enemies and keeping it as a relic, along with necessitated figurines of same. In relation to the biblical story of David and Goliath, as elucidated by the Quran too, in terms of Hazrat Daud and strong man Jaloot. In fact, Kind David is reputed to have presented 200 foreskins to Herod for the hand of his daughter as told to us by bible:
“David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.”
“The Old Testament is awfully big on foreskins (e.g. Genesis 34 and 1 Samuel 18:27). In particular, the Israelites are fond of collecting the foreskins of their enemies, usually after they have been slain, but occasionally beforehand.”
But making figurines of the genitals is a brand new concept, discovered in Israel as well as in Lahore. And the foreskins collected as relics. A related practice is the keeping of the ‘Chand’, after the birth of a child. That is portion of the child’s first hair which were cut, and the umbilical cord with it. History has strange turns and twists in it.
FROM USTAD AHMAD MIMAR TO MIAN KAREEM BAKSH MIMAR – MOVEMENT FROM EMPEROR SHAH JAHAN TO MAI HIRAN LAHORI
In 1632 a most ambitious project of a mausoleum was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan and the project was given to his Chief Architect Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori. The project was created with no financial considerations in mind. After 1900, there was a Mashki in Lahore, living in the vicinity of Gumti Bazaar. By Mashki we means a water carrier, and water was as scarcity in this city all the time. These water carriers were in great demand. The most famous Mashki of Lahore was Gulu Mashki, attached to the wife of Maharajah Ranjit Singh. But an even more famous Mashki was Saqa, who saved the life of Emperor Humayoun, and was made Emperor of Hindustan for a day, at his own request. But let us get back to our Lahori Mashki. Toiling with water mashks all his life, the fellow died a natural death. This man had a very loving wife, who wanted his name to be remembered forever. There was a saving of Rs 500 in their house. Probably the house itself got converted. And as permission was required to construct a mosque, Mr Tapp, the Municipal administrator gave same willingly to her. Now was required a person who could execute the project in Rs 500. The lady sent for not only an able but reputedly a very honest man, Mian Kareem Baksh Mimar. This fellow promised to have the mosque made from start to finish within the 500 rupees. That included the design on paper, the passing from the municipality, bricks and mortar and everything. Start of the project started with the sacrifice of a lamb in the foundations of the mosque, which was the usual practice at that time.
Initially the mosque was hidden from sight, but I got interested in its story and we went to see it in 1977. At that time constructions in front of it had fallen and it was clearly visible in the chowk of Rang Mahal, Lahore. Well no barriers could hold my enthusiasm for a mosque built by my own grandfather. And I climbed and scaled every portion of it. Majeed Bhatti, the photographer was with me and he photographed many of these episodes of mine. I evoked a great passion in me. For emperors building things was one thing, for a poor woman another thing all to gather. Her love and her soul were in the mosque and so was the work of my grandfather. Such stories have to be told. Emperors get their stories written all the time. No one to write the story of compassion of poor people. I write it down with dignity and respect. But it is to be noted that the mosque has individuality, and architectural balance, which was the hall mark of Islamic architecture. Today all these aesthetics are gone with the new wave of totally illiterate Maulvis capturing the mosques. If given free reign, they would destroy all our traditional mosques and replace them with horrendous structures of concrete and steel. The grace of Allah saved the Badshahi mosque from such a venture, when the Nawab Begum of Bhopal took control over its reconstruction. Allah bless the souls of the various Begums of Bhopal doing good for people.
TURNING POINTS IN ISLAMIC HISTORY SULTAN MUHAMMED AL-FATEH – THE YEAR 2020 HERALDING ANOTHER ICONIC STEP FOR MUSLIM UMMA
The parable is true. Let the hibernating bears sleep, otherwise havoc can be created. The English coined the same as “Let the sleeping dog lie”. Our past heroes have said, “Musulmano ko lalkara no karo, yeh na ho apke tabai na lay ayan”. That is, “Do not provoke the Muslims, they may bring your destruction”. The rallying point is the Quran and the shout which brings Muslims together is the simple words, “Allah o Akbar”. It opens the hearts of the Muslims to unbridled comradeship with Al-Mighty Allah. A state where life and death has no meaning, implementing the Laws of Allah the focal point. If the world is full of Muslim stooges, do not think that even a stooge cannot be awakened. It requires icons, like Hazrat Umar, Salahuddin Ayubi. Tariq bin Zayed, Sultan Muhammed Fateh, Aurangzeb Alamgeer, Tipu Sultan, and Field Marshal Ayub Khan. The present Military leadership is no exception. It has seen pangs of victories of Islam in the past. The end is rise of Islamic civilization in the future. The euphoria has already begun.
The prediction morons are always there to confuse things. Refuse to see things as they are. Just totally fatalistic idiots. When it comes to actual fight, Muslims do not run away. They face the music. The love of Allah and his Prophet (PBUH) inflames them all the more. Do not ignite the button with foolish under estimates of us. We fight to the end, for we believe in the next world. Not born again as lower beings, but as warriors of our faith. Allah has mercy on us!
YOU HAVE HEARD POLITICAL CHANGES ARE PLANNED IN LONDON – DO YOU KNOW CULTURAL CHANGES ARE ALSO LONDON PLANNED! – ART DEVOID OF ISLAM AND PAKISTAN, CONFESSED MR G.M. BUTCHER
The allergy to Islam and Islamic Civilization of the Western world is well understood. But definite interference sometimes forgotten. It took Quaid-e-Azam his life to make Pakistan. And lobbies were ready to undermine the Ideology of the country. Schools and Universities were created before Pakistan to undermine such concepts, but this became more latent after Pakistan came into being. The Ideology of Pakistan was a threat word to outside lobbies.
The famous Keeper at the British Museum, Basil Gray, was our guest here in 1977, and at a period post retirement, in a jovial mood to spill the beans. Of all the lobbies, he talked of British Intelligence. He said he was sent to India in 1946 to disappear the art treasures and he was successful at most places. The only person be could not seduce in his official venture was Chughtai artist, who refused to part with his art treasures. He was amused that Chughtai artist survived the ideological crisis generated by the same sources.
The very first onslaught against our Islamic character was the term of 5000 years of Pakistan civilization. Is that what the Quaid-e-Azam was fighting for? 5000 years. 1400 years of Islam generated phobia in these bigoted scholars who rewrote our history. And that did not end then. A modern lady scholar bemoaned my statement that the National spirit was in the blood of Chughtai Sahib. She said that is what we are trying to remove all the time. By giving scholarship to those who would toe their lines, they generate a new idiom of art in Pakistan. And that is what they did in 1958, by devising a Pakistan Arts Group, which would toe their lines. Read this in the language of the person, who started it all. In their own words:
Five Pakistani artists, at present in London, who have formed the “Pakistan Group”, held their first composite exhibition at the Woodstock Gallery, London (November 10-22). It was formally opened by the British High Commissioner in UK, Mr M. Ikramullah.The following critical appreciation of the work of these painters is from a student of Indo-Pakistani painting at the Oxford University, Mr. G. M. Butcher, who is at present doing a thesis on the same subject. He observed “Although it is reasonable to think of the various idioms of the modern movement in painting as having an international character, it is also the case that artists frequently do come together along national lines for group undertakings. The rather sudden emergence of the Pakistan Group in London is a case in point. And even though individually the five members of the Group might perfectly well fit in elsewhere, many visitors to the present exhibition, will be curious to try to discover whatever it is that gives the Pakistan Group, as a Group, its special identity. “As it happens, these five painters are among the dozen or so in all of Pakistan, who are leading the way in an attempt to make painting an integral reflection of the real life of their country today. They are interested neither to take part in the self-conscious revival of traditional forms, nor to copy, as such, the methods and the problems of European painting, old or new. But, equally, as they are on the edge of the de facto frontiers of their particular cultural situation, there are no rules for them to follow. Each step forward implies a dozen steps wasted. And, as the present exhibition is the first of its kind ever to have been organized in Europe, we may well be witness to some of those wasted steps; but we are also certain to find tendencies towards the future of painting, not only in Pakistan, but throughout the newly emerging countries of Islam from Morocco to Indonesia. “Now it is a curious thing, that when questioned, not one of these five painters seemed conscious of anything particularly reflective in his work of either Islam or of Pakistan. This is partly attributable, of course, to the ‘evolve’ background of these particular artists as individuals. All of them have been exposed to the very Western modes of thought which dominated the schools and universities of British India, and all of them have lived for varying periods in London itself. Nevertheless, to myself as an interested outsider, there seem certain definite characteristics which these painters hold in common, and which are in some way interpretable in terms of the many incursions of Islam into Greater India.
A QURANIC SCHOLAR OF KOCHA CHABUK SAWARAN – ABDULLAH CHAKRALAVI AND CHUGHTAI BROTHERS
Not much is written about Kocha Chabuk Sawaran, and even more little is known, or even written. But very important people belonged to this area and left their mark on the intellectual history of this region and beyond. This is not the time to list all those people, and we will try to do a list of them eventually. At this moment we will talk about a revolutionary Quranic Scholar of the area, who was Imam of the Chinay wali Masjid for eight years.
The strangest part is that this person migrated to Lahore from the village of Chakrala near Mian walli, and captured the intellectual spirit of Lahore. He was not a very healthy man, and the Chughtai brothers recall, that most of the time, he used to be lying on his charpai in the mosque, teaching students the Quran and its values, and answering their mundane questions all the time. As this mosque was frequented by Mian Kareem Baksh Mimar all the time, he put his sons in the mosque, first, leaving the other centers aside. So both Abdur Rahman Chughtai and Abdullah Chaghatai received their initial Quranic education from this remarkable man. Not many patronized him, but there was a shoe maker, with a factory nearby in the mosque (still there after ages), who found solace in the thinking of this scholar. His name was Muhammed Chittu Patoli and he not only funded the publication of his many books, a journal issued fortnightly, and even offered his own house in Bazaar Sirianwala for the Quranic education. A request was made to convert his house into a mosque but Mr Tapp, the Municipal administrator came on a horse, and there was a vast crowd of other sects who did not want this to happen. Permission for converting the house into a mosque was refused. But this did not stop the tenacity of Abdullah Chakralavi nor his follower Muhammed Chittu, and they continued their mission.
Books published hundred years ago or more, are not considered worthy of publication again. But the subject of Abdullah Chakralavi was “Quran”, so a kind hearted group published, Syed Research Academy has published two of his major books. The research undertaken by Ali Usman Qasimi of LUMS is an issue that his monumental book is out of print and not printed again. So people are catching up with the works of this man and his sincerity cannot be doubted. The issue remains, is the Quran final authority or the Hadees (which are plenty) can overturn the Quran. Even erase its portions as ‘mansooq’. One cannot even imagine this kind of situation but a cabal insists on casting doubts about Quranic decisions as a conspiracy against Islam itself.
All solid scholars recall that on the death of the Prophet (PBUH), Hazrat Umar said, “The Prophet (PBUH) as a man is dead, but he has left us the Quran. For us the Quran is enough.” There can be no second thoughts on the subject after this affirmation. We sent a representative to Chakrala near Mian walli, and we found an empty house there, being swept by a maid servant. She told us the family is in Rawalpindi and one person’s name is ‘Yusuf’. If they come across this, it is requested that they contact us so that we can go further on our research efforts. Till then cheers for the heroic step of this Quranic thinker!P.S.Masjid Mulla Ghous is literally next door to Chinay wali masjid and still stands there. If a photograph of Mulla Ghous is there, photograph of Abdullah Chakralavi must be there somewhere open to our research.