In January 1975 Pakistan lost two artists poles apart in thought and action. M.A. Rahman Chughtai died on 17th January, 1975, and there was a condolence meeting held at YMCA on 18th January, 1975. Amongst others who attended was Professor Shakir Ali, Former Principal of NCA. Strange words uttered from the mouth of Shakir Ali, when he said that if the authorities have done this to Chughtai, I wonder what will they do to artists like me? And there in YMCA he had an heart attack and was rushed to Mayo hospital. There was no chance of his recovery and he succumbed to his attack. By 24th doctors had given up. Reputedly he died on 27th January, 1975.
NCA strangely stepped in. Head of the Department of Fine Arts Zahoor ul Akhlaq organized a condolence seminar in the college auditorium. Retired Chief Justice S.A. Rahman was to preside over the meeting. A few people spoke on the occasion. There were a few faces I could recognize. Tanveer Kroders was there. I think Ghayour Baig was around too. S.A. Rahman Sahib spoke as well as Zahoor ul Akhlaq. Probably Principal Khalid Iqbal too. In any case it was a rare event at NCA honouring M.A. Rahman Chughtai and for some time the usual allergy was removed from the scene.
But the strangest memory is our entering the room of Zahoor ul Akhlaq. Western music was being played and some students were dancing in the room of the Head of the Department. The idiosyncrasies of NCA one really cannot imagine in any one way.
YES CONVERSION MANIACS HOUNDING THE MUGHAL EMPERORS,
RESULT ZERO, ALL OF THEM DIED AS BORN, MUSLIMS TO THE CORE
Emperor Zaheer ud din Babar was not only a staunch Muslim but a warrior to the core of his heart. No one tied to convert him. Emperor Humayoun bound by the help of Shah Tahmasp of Iran for recovering his throne, was showing some softness to Shia Islam but died as he was born, a Muslim to the core of his heart. Emperor Akbar played the most political games of them all, misleading all those who wanted to convert him, and died a Muslim and recited the Kalma before his death. The same attested by his own son, Emperor Jahangeer in his Tuzuk Jahangeeri.
Jahangeer played the most trick with the conversion tactics. To please the Goa people, Jahangeer permitted his nephews, Tahmur, Baisunghar and Hoshang, sons of Sultan Danyal to embrace Christianity, and they became Dom Filipe, Dom Carlos, and Dom Henrique. The Mughal courtier Muqarrab Khan became known as Dom Joao Laurengo de Tavora. Things were artificial. The Portuguese were quickly disillusioned with these imperfect conversions. Once back in his land, Muqarrab Khan reverted to Islam as well as the three nephews of Jahangeer, with little regard to Christianity. There was apostasy as the Portuguese called it and the dream to make the Mughal State a Christian one evapourated in the air.
The myth prevails with emphasis on the number of Christian paintings done under Jahangeer and the funny part is the exaggerated importance of same. Amongst host of fake copies made under the patronage of the British rulers with cherubs everywhere, if the Mughals created say a total of ten thousand paintings, the number of Christian subjects of the paintings would not even be hundred. If anyone claims so, they should easily match their claim with figures, which will prove our assertion of mere hullabaloo on part of bigotry of Western scholars. It proves that the Christian oriented games were merely political tactics on the part of the Mughals. Edward Terry in his journal does not even relate one meeting of the Ambassador Sir Thomas Roe with Emperor Jahangeer, although illusions are made of same. Even the portrait made of Jahangeer is a man with an overload of womanly hair. And Terry rests at peace the aspersion that Jahangeer loved religious pictures. On the contrary he clearly says:
” The East-India company sent other presents for that King, as excellent pictures, which pleased the Mogul very much, especially if there were fair and beautiful women portrayed in them”. The statement that Jahangeer was only interested in pictures of beautiful women throws new insight into this conversion game of the Jesuits. Not at even one place in the Tuzuk, does Jahangeer even mentions Sir Thomas Roe, which belies if ever such a meeting was held, or it was considered literally insignificant on the part of the Emperor. Even Edward Terry complains of lack of response from the emperor to their requests.
Shah Jahan opposed the spread tooth and nail and demolished the church in Lahore as ordained by Akbar. It was the treatment of a burnt Jahan Ara that prompted some trade relief to the foreigners. The Jesuits tall claim that Dara Shikoh had embraced Christiainity turns out to be a total farce as a padree heard the impossible Dara Shikoh crying in the Prison, of having embraced Christianity. Not even with a deranged mind, a man like Dara Shikoh could say that his Prophet PBUH (nous-billa) destroyed him and Jesus saved him. Dara is buried in Humayouns tomb as a Muslim.
And then Aurangzeb showed his muscles to these people and that is why his name drives them literally mad.
In short conversion was tried with each Mughal King but Islam was ingrained in their soul and there was no possibility of anything else. All are buried in Muslim graves. No one became Christian.
In fact this was understood by the conversion fanatics, as written by researcher Jorge Flores:
“However, there was also a gradual disillusionment on the part of the missionaries (culminating in their ultimate return to Goa), which grew from the painful realization that they had been used merely as instruments in the service of the emperor’s politico-religious agenda, and of his intellectual curiosity.”
And those who debunk Akbar as a confused personality, his final moments as recorded by his son Jahangeer, can be stated, directly from the Tuzuk Jahangeeri:
“Forget me not! After expressing himself as above, he directed Sudderjahaun once more to repeat the Kelmah, and he recited the solemn text himself, with a voice loud and distinct. He then desired the Sudder to continue repeating by his pillow the Sourah Neish, and another chapter of the Koran, together with the Adeilah prayer, in order that he might be enabled to render up his soul with as little struggle as possible. Accordingly Sudderjahaun had finished the Sourah Neish, and had the last words of the prayer on his lips, when, with no other symptom than a tear drop in the corner of his eye, my noble father resigned his soul into the hands of the Creator.”
All the Mughal Emperors died as hundred percent Muslims. Effort of Western Kings and missionaries totally wasted, and today the modern research scholar continues to resuscitate the vision of a Christian Mughal State. Every one forgets that the Quran itself tells us of our Prophet Isa in a clear cut way and no missionary could add more than the Quran itself. Muslim love for Jesus Christ is supreme itself.
SITUATION OF CHUGHTAI ART IN INDIA AFTER PARTITION IN 1947
AMAZING GUTTERISH ANALYSIS BY A BOMBAY CRITIC: “IT STINKS”
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru knew the value of M.A. Rahman Chughtai. He started a campaign to lure Chughtai to India. The very first step he collected about 15 paintings of M.A. Rahman Chughtai and made a special room namely Chughtai Room in the National Museum of Modern Arts in Jaipur House Delhi. He also persuaded the publisher Dhoomi Mal Dharam Dass to print a volume of Chughtai Art on Hindu themes which was done in 1951. Nehru had already enticed some talents of Pakistan to India, like Baray Ghulam Ali and Amrita Pritam. He went on a quest to promote Chughtai art and continued to present Chughtai originals to foreign Heads of State (including China) assuming Chughtai as an Indian artist. Actually even in 1960 in Lahore in front of Field Marshal Ayub Khan at Governors House Nehru was still trying go persuade Chughtai to leave Pakistan for India. Not realizing the companion of Dr Allama Iqbal would die before doing anything like that.
On the other hand the Indian Press was doing their natural thing. The same magazine offers different opinion in 1946 and then in 1951. The world changed objectivity of review maker. Some pages of the Illustrated weekly of India shows the sinister things. For instance the reviewer writes of him as:
“What limits his style is something which may perhaps be in his power to overcome- the excessive preoccupation with the formal and a sense of mission or message”
The MISSION OR MESSAGE was what made M.A. Rahman Chughtai the father of Art in Pakistan. But the weekly went further. A Bombay critic simply said of Chughtai Art:
It clearly shows the two nation theory in full perspective. The venom of the sinister Hindu would not come to rest and objectivity was alien to their thinking and feeling. The beautiful aura of a Chughtai’s painting had a paradise aroma and for such Hindu writers it stank. There are many things which actually stink and have charm for them. Obviously they can indulge in drinking stink. Need we say more!
PRIDE OF LAHORE, MIAN SALAH MIMAR CHAUGHATA, ARCHITECT AND RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR DIED 11TH MAY 1858
It is 161 years ago that Lahore had already braved the storm one year earlier of the 1857 War of Independence, or the Mutiny as the English called it. It was an environment of exceptionally talented people. Islamic Ideology was the touch stone of the area. Various personalities were brave enough to rebel against royal decrees. In this Mohalla lived the famous Qazi of Akbar’s time, Qazi Saderuddin, who was so popular in Lahore. Akbar could not do him any harm except to expel him from the city. The same area housed Imam Jan Muhammed who flouted the royal orders of Emperor Bahadur Shah and was prepared to die for the cause. Imam Muhammed Siddique of Wazeer Khan Mosque could ridicule Ahmad Shah Abdali who was saying his prayers behind him.
In this city of Lahore, on 11th May, 1858, an iconic architect of Lahore died a natural death. His name was Mian Salah Mimar Chaughata, and it is reputed that he died at the age of around 120 years. A missing link between two trees of family , he was the direct descendant of Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori, the world famous architect of Emperor Shah Jahan. He was also the direct ancestor of M.A. Rahman Chughtai, Mussawar e Mashriq (1897-1975). The ancestral house was in Mohalla Chabuk Sawaran, but this name of Mohalla is derived in the 18th-19th century. The traditional name is Mohalla Qazi Saderuddin, the Qazi who rebelled against Emperor Akbar and was expelled from Lahore. His popularity prevented any harm to come to him. Mian Salah Mimar was also held in esteem because of his knowledge about Islamic life.
It was this very mohalla where other religious workers came to spin their tales. One such person was the Ahmadiyah Prophet, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who preached at the Chinay wali masjid, just near the house of the mimar family. The famous Chisti family, the first historian of Lahore, lived here too. The movement for reliance on Quran started here. The modern scholar G.A Pervez had direct effect on many residents of the area. DNA of ijthehad thrived here all the time.
We pay homage to you and your memory Mian Salah Mimar. We pray for your soul, and seek blessings of Allah!
WILL AND POWER BASIS OF VIGILANCE OF A MUSLIM GENERAL
ALL VALUES STEMMING OUT OF THE IDEOLOGY OF THE QURAN
The immortal art work of a Mard e Momen reveals to us the ever readiness of the Muslim General. The sword is out of the scabbard and points to the defenders being prepared for all outcomes. Where as on the other hand, the mother who has lost her husband to shahadat, points out to her son, the will stemming from Quranic teaching and the sword being used to defend the Ideology of Islam. This image repeats itself in the Art of Chughtai all the time. The message very clear.
One of the rarest image in the Art of Chughtai is the work of a lady carrying the dead body of her warrior husband from the battlefield. I do not think this image of a dead person has ever occurred in Chughtai Art but here it is a real exception. And it is not a sign of death but an idea of defiance against evil designs. The sword of the warrior is broken showing that he fought till the last and embraced martyrdom for the sake of his Ideology of Islam. Such scenes evoke one to shout Allah o Akbar again and again. Enemies beware of the warrior unleased against tyranny.