THE VARIOUS THESIS ALTERNATIVES OF TAJ MAHAL – CREATION OF ESTEEMED DR ABDULLAH CHAGHATAI
The famous but rare thesis done in Paris on Taj Mahal. Versions many. Well here they are for the first time at one place:
The thesis on Taj Mahal presented in Paris with his signatures on it. Dated 1937.
The printed thesis on Taj Mahal printed in Brussels in 1938. Very few copies printed and hardly ten brought to Lahore. Some presented here and there. The edition in Brussels lost during the World war. Chughtai Museum has a copy. There is a copy in the National library, Islamabad, formerly in the library of Dr Abdullah Chaghatai himself. Perhaps on or two in India. Rarest of rare books. Hardly quoted anywhere. Written in Urdu and translated into French. The speculation is that his friend Dr Hameedullah did that in Paris. Details not known. He never shared this with others.
The Urdu edition of the Taj Mahal printed in Lahore in 1963. A 1000 copies printed, never printed again. Rarely available but exists here and there.
The English edition planned to be printed. Translated under his guidance with the help of Ahad Chughtai, his architect son. It is very unfortunate that it never got printed and the manuscript lost in issues pertaining his home after his death. It should be printed, even with some lapses pertaining to his character. He wanted to be one to discover Ustad Ahmad Mimar and it was not his luck, that the Diwan of Lutufullah Muhandis reached the writer Mazhmud Bangloree, before he could do so. Something he knew at home, and became second place in his research. His deep resentment against Mahmud Bangaloree rechedc in his tirade against Lutufullah himself.
We will be covering a lot on Dr Abdullah Chaghatai very soon. To reveal the special inside story on him. Well done!
THE MALIGNANT ESTRANGEMENT BETWEEN DARA SHIKOH AND MIAN SAADULLAH – FANTASTIC INFORMATION GIVEN BY FRANCOIS BERNIER AND NICHOLAS MANNUCI.
The Western world as well as the Hindu world are so fond of quoting foreign travelers to the region of Hindustan. They rest not on peace as they go on telling us what these people saw here. But what is not in their interest, they erase from their memories and studies at will. One is the statement made by both Francois Bernier and Nicholas Mannuci, that Dara Shikoh felt threat from the closeness of Emperor Shah Jahan to his Prime Minister Nawab Saadullah Khan, and secretly poisoned the intellectual of Shah Jahani’s age, out of existence.
There is no doubt that the phenomenal rise of Saadullah Khan from an ordinary immigrant to the city of Lahore to the post of Prime Minister of the country, disturbed the existing hierarchy. Dara Shikoh was disturbed most, as he felt that Saadullah favoured Shah Shuja as a worthy inheritor of the kingship. So Dara Shikoh started making complaints to the Emperor about the honesty of the Nawab. After thorough investigation, it was found that it was just a foolish blame, as Saadullah was scrupulously honest in his job. This did not stop Dara Shikoh from further intrigue. He continued to fill his father’s mind with notions against the Prime Minister. This went to the extent that Shah Jahan took Dara Shikoh with him to inquire about the health of the sick Nawab to dispel such an impression. But that was not to go. Shah Jahan understood the foolish gesture of his son Dara Shikoh well. But could do nothing. Both Bernier and Manucci say that the Emperor knew of this poisoning bid of Dara Shikoh on the life of the great man of this region. Arrogance and foolishness swept away by Hindu Pandits carried him to hell himself. His end was exactly according to Allah’s Law of Mukafat. So the two bit scholars who talk of objectivity lose the same even in the short run. No money in telling the truth!
ANTI AESTHETIC PRIESTS DESTROYING OUR CULTURE ONE BY ONE – SAD END OF AN ICONIC MOSQUE OF LAHORE, MASJID IFRAZ KHAN
Kocha Chabuk Sawaran is our traditional mohalla in Lahore city. Documents in our possession prove that if nothing else, we were in our traditional house, at least from 1759 to 1938, if not more. Our stay in city as citizens of Lahore is something in excess of 450 years. We have documents to prove our point. This mosque was wall to wall with the famous Havelli Mian Khan, that is Havelli of Lutufullah Khan (often confused with Hafeezullah Khan) son of Saadullah Khan. But the many inscriptions on the mosque, point to the fact that IFRAZ KHAN was perhaps not in any way attached to the court, but was a private person of Lahore. Perhaps an architect himself, who made this mosque as a gift to Lahore. It is also possible that the mosque was made by the third son of Saadullah Khan, that is Inayatullah Khan, who had various titles in his life time. Possibly the title of Ifraz Khan not recorded in the official Maaseray Alamgeeri, although some other titles are recorded. We are checking them out. The mosque started in 1079 AH, got near completion in 1080 AH and was finally completed in 1082 AH. All three dates are confirmed by inscriptions on the mosque, destroyed by moronic priests. Look at our preserved record. Vow to our official hierarchy, who did nothing to stop the destruction of a mosque which was in aesthetic league with the Wazeer Khan mosque itself. In fact it had some points, which no other mosque has, and that is its plan of construction. Superior to all that was done before this construction. Laws are made and not implemented. Beautiful mosques even today are being destroyed to be replaced by monstrocities of concrete and steel. Allah saves us from uneducated morons of the world!
HISTORY OF LAHORE IS TALES OF WAR AND PEACE – AMAZING ATISH-HUKAS (GRENADES) OF LAHORE
History has left us remnants of various times in Lahore. There are clear cut things and there are matters of speculation. We find objects related to war all the time. Broken swords, bows and arrows, personal armour, daggers, huge axes and fancy war things. The most unrecognized things are the concept of Atish hukas, or the grenades of Lahore. These are not just limited to Lahore, but we find such remnants in Rawalpindi and Peshawar areas. Not that these are also found in Afghanistan, which shows the origin of these Atish hukas. Probably Ghazni and Ghor are responsible for them. Their use obvious in battle.
Top on the walls of the fort to discourage warriors trying to breach the fort. Outside warriors trying to breach the fort gates. Or even horse riders discouraging advancing troops. Symbols of it being dangerous there too, like an elliptical figure. All that is possible. It is basically a very thick-walled pottery piece, with scales on it so that it does not slip from the hands. A cotton wick dripped in oil is put in it and then it is filled with gun powder or even some flammable liquid. The wick is lighted manually and within a given discourse of time, the thing thrown at the enemy for results. At times it fires, at times it does not, and perhaps at times explode at the wrong time, injuring those not meant to be hurt. The usual material is black clay, so hardened by some process to be like iron in strength. But the amazing part is still there.
]Atish hukas for common soldiers, and beautiful Atish hukas for those in power, like the Generals or the Kings themselves. We have a sample of one of these, shaped like a fish. It is a work of pure art. Various armies used these in ancient times, but none as pretty as the Sultani Atish huka of Lahore. Well done Lahore in aesthetics!
THE ROYAL CHAMAR SWEEPERS OF SHAHJAHANABAD RED FORT – REAL OWNERS OF PROPERTIES INTERMINGLING WITH MUGHALS – A SMALL STEP TOWARDS RACIAL INTEGRATION IN THE REGION.
We normally talk of people with nobility background, and rarely see the big picture through the eyes of ordinary people. A stack of documents related to Shahjahanabad and dated variously, with an average of 1824, 1827, 1841, 1846, 1853, 1854, 1859, 1861, 1868, 1869, 1877, 1888, and 1898. The property ownership is basically with Mirza Awaiz Baig, Risaldar in Mughal regiment. Various people styled as Chamars and Changars are not only his tenants, but also owners of portions of the havellis mentioned in same. Documents exist under the seal of Mufti Kamal ud din of Shahjahanabad. The regiment is attached to some French army people. It may interest people to know that there was even a Chamar regiment made by the British in India.
There were large houses in Lahore which were occupied by the Sweepers of Lahore, but basically we hear about them in terms of being tenants to the house owners. Not much ownership here at all. Some of these houses were near the mosque of Mai Moran in Papar Mandi, Lahore. But being financially okay was not in the luck of Lahori sweepers. Then how did the Royal Sweepers of Shahjahanabad made it, where elsewhere it was not possible. The strangest thing was told to me by a resident of Shahjahanabad, who migrated to Karachi, after independence. His name Muhammed Yusuf. A very interesting and informed man, he was a very old man, when we communicated last. Not known if he is alive or not today. He told me that the Mughals in the Red Fort, regularly ate gold, with their meals. This was usually in the form of kushtas, as well as marabas. The marabas were eaten with hammer beaten gold as warqs on the same. This gold warq was used in manuscripts as well as miniatures, but here it was also food for the Mughals. The Sweepers knew this very well, and what they did was to collect the crap of the Mughals, pan it and took the gold out. This was easy as all the crap went through channels to singular places, here it was washed and gold separated from the rest. Even in today’s medicine world gold is recommended for many illness. It was fortunate that the attendants of Maharaja Ranjit Singh saved the Kohinoor from perishing, as Maharaja was advised by some hakeems to crush the Kohinoor (reputed largest diamond in the world) and as a remedy for his illness, for the Maharajah to eat the same. This is hundred percent fact, and not any illusion.
Men do the strangest things possible in times of crisis. Chamars were basically people who worked in the leather industry, and as their work was such, that the profession entailed lots of obnoxious smells. Chamar is from Chamara workers. The name was given to all racial groupings which entailed bad smells in their work, and the shit cleaners smelled the worst. In 5000 years of Indian history, the segment of society ostracized from the rest. Massive conversions took place with the Christian missionaries patronizing them. At the turn of century many such people also embraced Islam under the Imam of Badshahi Mosque Lahore and there are registers of such conversions. We also possess some registers like like that.There was a complete record of various conversions done by the Imam of the Badshahi Mosque Lahore. A regular record was created, in which a form of conversion was given to the converted person, with the record of his old name, as well as the new one. On the back of the duplicate receipt was either the signature of the converted, or the thumb impressions, as well as a certificate of the Imam himself. Of the various record lost, the record for the year 1908 is still preserved with us. A total of 187 conversions at least in that year, with full record of them. We publish an image of one of these conversions. We will do more in future. It is one of the strangest record of all times.
Racial prejudice is all over the world. Islam came with the idea of total egalitarianism. But even the so called greatest democracies of the world have not honoured. The idea that BLACK LIVES MATTER is not enough. All lives matter. It is greed and capitalism which makes for distinction between races. With an economic programme to benefit all, racial prejudices will end too. That is the message of Allah! These are flesh and blood people, deserving love and respect. Let us give it to them.
A REPORT OF FOREIGN PRESS ON M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI – THE LONDON TIMES 1976 WORLD OF ISLAM FESTIVAL ANALYSIS
Real professional art critics write for leading newspapers, compared to Pakistan, where role of art critics is not based on any merit, but just influences of certain people over other. We call it here “Sifarishi tattus”. Here we give references to an article at the World of Islam Festival in London by Dr James Dickie in 1976, a graduate from universities in art criticism and Islamic history, and gave his professional opinion about the Pakistan artist Chughtai. Our pleasure to list him. Although present whereabouts of Dr James Dickie is not known.
Dr James Dickie
“Thethird response was the way of the Pakistan artist Chughtai, who experienced at first hand all the West had to offer and assimilated some of it. Chughtai career is proof of Islam’s continued vitality. In some respects he excels Bihzad, the Rembrandt of Islamic art. Before Chughtai, Islamic painting had never developed beyond the anecdotal and the episodic, whereas by Chughtai’s brush it became interpretative. Until the emergence of Chughtai, painting had occupied the status of a minor art in Islam….but now as an interpretative art it bid fair to challenge the Christian and the Buddhist civilization. “ (The Times, London 1976)
P.S. Dr Yaqub Zaki, also known as James Dickie, was born in Scotland and is a graduate of the Universities of Glasgow, Barcelona, and Granada. He has taught at the Universities of Manchester, Lancaster and Harvard.