DO NOT MAKE A NECKLACE OF THESE PEARLS OF WISDOM, TO PUT ON THE NECK OF A DONKEY: LUTUFULLAH MUHANDIS, WARNING HIS DESCENDANTS ABOUT HIS KHULASATUL HISAB.
Professionals in Indo-Pakistani region needed back up of Mathematics for their work. This was mainly true for architects. The great mathematician Bahauddin Amili In Isfahan wrote a book namely Khulasat ul Hisab and he wrote it in Arabic. Very shortly different versions of same came up but the versions were mainly in Persian. Arabic versions were rarer. One person who wrote both in Arabic as well as Persian, was Lutufullah Ahmad Muhandis. He wrote a popular book on Hisab, mainly Munthakab, at the request of Saiyyad Muhammed Said son of Mir Yahya. But a rarer version in Arabic was written for his children. Only three copies are so far known. One is in the India Office library, Loth 761, and the other is a later copy in Rampur library, mainly Riazi no 45, which has no date on it. No details known. However, one important copy is with us. It seems that both the copies in IOL and with us were written for family members. For in the IOL the notes are by Imamuddin Riazi, son of Lutufullah Muhandis,. The copy with us was written for Nur Muhammed, son of Attaullah Rushdi, brother of Lutufullah Muhandis. For son and nephew. Both carry scholarly notes by both persons.
WARNING BY LUTUFULLAH MUHANDIS At end of the Manuscript there is a small note of warning by Lutufullah for his descendants. Lutufullah says that he has distilled pearls of wisdom in his SHARH, and he would not like his children to make a necklace out of it and put it on the neck of some donkey. Strange assertions by a scholar about his work and warning of things not falling in uncapable hands.
ALL POWERFUL SULTANS OBSESSED WITH SELF ENHANCEMENT OF ISLAM; A SULTANI BOOK OF SULTAN ULUGH BEG TWO WITH INSIGNIA AND SEAL.
In the footsteps of Sultan Ulugh Beg, Ulugh Beg Kabuli two, uncle of Emperor Zaheeruddin Babar, was obsessed with knowledge as well as aesthetics. He too had a number of calligraphers and artists working for him. We show a Sultani book on Islam, which in many chapters, include everything one is likely to know about Islamic practices. It has the insignia of the Sultan along with his personal seal dated 894 A H. That means the date
Sultan Ulugh Beg reigned in Kabul and Ghazni from 1461 AD to 1502 AD. He was the fourth son of Timurid Sultan Abu said Mirza. He was also in love with making of Gardens and his nephew Babar inherited this love from him.
Ulugh Beg died in 1502 and was likely buried in the Abdur Razaq Mausoleum in Ghazni. Though the tomb is named for his son, Abdur Razaq’s short reign of only a year makes it unlikely that he had the opportunity to order its construction. It is instead more probable that the tomb was originally built by Ulugh Beg for his own use, with Abdur Razaq being interred in it later.
History becomes unveiled with legacy left behind the Sultans.
A CHURCH BUILT BY MUSLIMS IN SICILY FOR THEIR CHRISTIAN BRETHREN
Allah’s name in the Arabic script
There are surprising things in the world. And often they go unnoticed. Muslims lived in harmony with other religions as commanded by Allah. The stupid and malignant people who destroy churches anywhere should understand that there was a time when Muslims built churches for their Christian brethren. There are examples in the world but the best example is in Sicily and it is called CAPELLA PALATINA PALERMO. A strange chapter in the history of mankind.
A blog is not a space for a detailed analysis of this church, and it is indeed worthy of seeing by all. There is a classic rare book published on the same with details of drawings and scripts. It even carries the Arabic script at places with names of both ALLAH as well as PROPHET MUHAMMED (PBUH). Historians wonder to this day the background in the making of this church.
There are other amazing features. For those Mullahs who rail against Figurative Painting, the Church is full of sculpture and Iconic Christian imagery, surrounded by Arabic Kufic Script. MUSLIMS HAVE DRAWN JESUS CHRIST, LADY MARY AND ALL THE OTHER SAINTS IN THE CHURCH. If this is not broad mindedness, then what else is? This is tolerance reached to newer and newer levels. And it is to be appreciated by all.
The many Churches in Lahore were obviously designed by English Architects in their requirements, but many were later handed over to contractors like Muhammed Sultan and architects like Raheem Baksh Mimar and Kareem Baksh Mimar, and it is a matter of record too. A number of certificates are there to this effect. For instance Major D. Bennet, Member of the Church building at Meean Meer cantonment writes a certificate dated 20th December, 1856, that:
” Certfied that Emoo (Raheem Baksh), Raj Mistree, was for many years in the employment of the late MAJOR SHARP OF THE ENGINEERS,who I know had the highest opinion of him; he was the person most depended upon while building the splendid Church at Meean Meer, and he had instructed him in a Plan drawing , which he understands well. He deserves every encouragement being a most intelligent and active workman. I attach a note of Mr Sharp written about him.”
The mosque, the Mandir and the Gurdawara built at Aitchison College was also designed by a Chughtai family member, who was a Drawing Master at Aitchison College itself. Mian Kareem Baksh Mimar was also involved in its embellishment at that time. He was an expert in Chuna Kari of the type that is on Asif Khan’s mausoleum. The modern times have brought decay to the broadmindedness of the Muslims.
COVENANTS OF PROPHET MUHAMMED (PBUH) BEING AGREEMENTS,AUTHORIZED WITH THE PEACEFUL CHRISTIAN WORLD IN HIS LIFE TIME.
A researcher John Andrew Morrow traced many agreements made by the Prophet of Islam with the Christian world, and obtained copies of the covenants, translated them and published them in book form. As obviously copyright must be reserved to most of these documents, and we are not using them. But a part of the translation can be referred as a source of information, that is:
“All pious believers shall deem it their bounden duty to defend believers, and to aid them wheresoever they may be, whether far or near, and throughout Christendom shall protect the places where they conduct worship, and those where their monks and priests’ dwell.” So, when the Prophet of Islam had the Quranic view to other faiths, it is so much possible that Muslims even built Churches for their Christian brethren as proven by the Capella in Palatina, Sicily. A phenomenal broad mindedness in life.
THE FIRST MUSEUM OF ISLAM FORMED BY THE PROPHET (PBUH) AND CALIPHS, OF ALL THE PLACES IN THE KHANA KAABA ITSELF, NOW WHO CAN BEAT THAT?
In 608 (or 605) AD, the Khana Kaaba was burnt to the ground by a fire. As the place was a religious center for travelers from everywhere, it had to be rebuilt by the Qurashs as soon as possible. The task was given to Baqum from Ethiopa, and the wood used was from a sunken Byzantine ship. A lot of details are surprisingly known. Not only was it rebuilt, but fresh statues of worship were made for it. In the 360 statues, there was a statue of Hubal, a moon-god of the Mecca people. There was a crescent on the statue itself. To satisfy the Christian travelers, there was also a painting of Bibi Mariam (Mary) in it. All these were made between 608 AD and 629 AD.
In 629 AD, Prophet Muhammed (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his followers conquered Mecca, and probably one of his foremost actions was to remove all the worshiped statues from the Holy Kaaba, and it is reputed that there were 360 of them. But a very interesting development took place. There was a painting of Bibi Mariam (Mary) and a fresco of Hazrat Ibraheem (Abraham), which he liked and ordered that they were not to be removed. Later the Prophet (PBUH) learnt that there were Divination arrows placed before the fresco of Hazrat Ibraheem and so that was erased too, for Islam forbade that kind of action. This is confirmed by writings of Ibn Ishaq and al-Azraqi, A modern reference affirms this:
Rogerson, Barnaby (2003). The Prophet Muhammad: A Biography. Paulist Press. p. 190. ISBN9781587680298. Muhammad raised his hand to protect an icon of the Virgin and Child and a painting of Abraham, but otherwise his companions cleared the interior of its clutter of votive treasures, cult implements, statuettes and hanging charms.
One may look at this with different eyes, but in our view, as well as that of Islamic scholars like Oleg Grabbar, this was the first step towards the first museum of Islam. Various lists of the artifacts in Khana Kaaba have survived, which lists the number of items preserved in the Khana Kaaba. It is a long list, but all confirm, that various cultural artifacts from places conquered by Islamic forces, were brought here for the people to see, the culture of far off lands. These lists are narrated in manuscripts over times. Interestingly the list even contains artifacts from Afghanistan at that time. And the people were encouraged to come and view the artifacts on a regular basis. Amazing! When this need was felt by the Prophet (PBUH) and the Caliphs and their followers, when did this urge stop?
We here at Chughtai Museum are proud of this foremost tradition of Islam and keeping the fervour alive, by the heart beats of these new times. M.A. Rahman Chughtai understood this. Spreading peace with the international language of the Arts. We need to reach out to people, to convince them splitting into groups and section can only remind us of the Aesops fable, of the dying man, who gave one stick each to his sons. Break the stick, said he. And they broke it easily. But once all the sticks were tied, no one could break the bundle. Planet Earth unite for a better tomorrow and live your own way of life in peace!