SEARCH OF SOURCES OF MUHAMMED YUSUF MIMAR;
TRACED AS FATHER OF USTAD AHMAD MIMAR LAHORI.
For reasons unknown secrecy surrounded the ancestry of Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori. Perhaps there were reasons to keep his name off the grid. The family was well known through architectural achievements and scholarly studies, but the ancestry was not mentioned in texts. And at times falsehood was generated by religiously bigoted historians. One such historian was author of “Munaqib ul Mahjabeen” namely Haji Najmuddin who treated it as Sheikh Ahmad son of Sheikh Hamid Siddique descendants of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique citizen of Khajband. This was stated in 1289 A.H, and differed with all documented historical accounts. No proof was given for same except heresy accounts of followers. Obviously, no one was there to say different, although Dr Abdullah Chaghatai sent his protests over that statement. And Ustad Hamid Mimar is treated in history as a brother, cousin, or even perhaps a son in law. One source affirms him as the son of Ustad Abdul Kareem Jahangeeri. Certainly, he was much younger to Ustad Ahmad Mimar as the Ustad died in 1059 A.H, but Ustad Hamid was alive even after 1070 A.H.
Turkish historians like Jalal Asad in “Turkish Sanati, 1928” have talked of two architects who came with Emperor Zaheeruddin Babar to Hindustan, namely Ustad Issa Mimar and Ustad Yusuf Mimar. It is up to us to search for these two in historical contexts. In Haryana scholars’ study two inscriptions found in Pirzada Masjid, naming Sheikh Yusuf as the builder of the mosque, built in times of Baber himself. Literally in ruins, it shows the advent of the double dome in the region. And in 962 A.H, we find the ruins of Shahpur Fort still there made for Ibrahim Adil Shahi.
The search for references is still there. At a few places, early reference is that of Ustad Ahmad being son of Burkurdar. At some places the name of son is not given. In a Quran found in Bombay, the esteemed Dr Nazir Ahmad of Aligarh found reference to Lutufullah mentioning Burkurdar as his grandfather. The name is not there in final, but as a footnote at two places. Not seen the original, so cannot decide the matter. But the most damning document comes from Berlin State Library where Lutufullah in his translation of Tazkara Aulia names his ancestors in clear terms. That is Lutufullah son of Ahmad, son of Yusuf, son of Hussain, son of Abdul Lateef in 1099 A.H.
More than forty years of research and there is more. Till next time!