THE ENIGMA OF MOHALLA CHAHAL BIBIAN LAHORE – SYED AHMAD TOKHTA AND HIS MAZAR IN LAHORE

THE ENIGMA OF MOHALLA CHAHAL BIBIAN LAHORE
SYED AHMAD TOKHTA AND HIS MAZAR IN LAHORE

Misplaced priorities in the historical context

Mazar of Syed Ahmad Tokhta Lahore
Mazar of Syed Ahmad Tokhta Lahore

A lady walked in the museum some years back. Very plain, very simple, wearing a traditional black burqa. Normally one would wonder as to why her need for a museum arose in the first place. And then she started speaking. Fluent English and expression. She had come from Washington DC , where she was a working psychiatrist, for the US government. Her vision grander than anybody else. The interesting part was that she would be normally considered to be from Mochi Darwaza Lahore, and strangely, she was from Mochi Darwaza Lahore. A lady from a prestigious family of Lahore, still in the garb of her old city. A Chahal Bibi of Lahore.

Ghulam Dastageer Nami histo
Ghulam Dastageer Nami histo

The Mimar family of Lahore was very attached to the residents of Mohalla Chahal Bibian. My grandfather Mian Kareem Baksh, and his father Mian Raheem Baksh, and his father Mian Salah frequented the place. The presence of this family itself can be proved from the inscription on the Mausoleum of Pir Nizamuddin Shah in Miani Qabarastan. All names are on it. But I was surprised to discover a manuscript of my ancestor, Mirza Khairullah of the 18th century, in which he says Sheikh Khairullah khadim Bibi Haj Taj. I think it is one of the earliest documents of the Bibian of Lahore.

Grave of Hameeduddin Hakum son of Bibi Haj pak daman
Grave of Hameeduddin Hakum son of Bibi Haj pak daman

Ghulam Dastageer Nami wrote a history of Lahore and named it TARIKH JALEELA. The house belonged to his grandfather, so when he rebuilt the place, he left the old grave intact. It was the grave of Syed Ahmad Tokhta Tirmizi who died in Lahore around 1208 AD or 605 AH (needs to be verified). When they were digging, they came across many bones, and even sign of two domes, which were now on the level of the ground. Under the grave of Syed Tokhta was a basement, where the actual grave was. They sealed the place out of respect. Miracles were associated with the place and we know the imagination of Lahore walas run riot all the time. Ghulam Dastageer dismissed the notion that the place known as Bibi Pak Daman was the mausoleum of a daughter of Hazrat Ali. The ladies were the daughters of Amad Tokhta and died probably in 1241 AD, as said by him. The full story is narrated in his book.

Khairullah khadim Bibi Haj Taj Around 1750 AD
Khairullah khadim Bibi Haj Taj Around 1750 AD

Prince Dara Shikoh in his writings speak of the graveyard of Bibi Haj and Taj. Little is mentioned anywhere else. One interesting fact that is missed is that in one of the histories, it is mentioned that of the many wives of Hazrat Hussain, one belonged to the area of Sindh. Who invented the Mausoleum of Haj and Taj and others, is that of persons fleeing the happenings at Karbala, one really does not know. But research can be done on that too. The earliest mention is probably Chisti, and Chisti has many tall tales to tell in his book. In any case Ghulam Dastageer thinks that the mohalla of Chahal Bibian was also a graveyard in olden times outside the fortified city itself. Grave worship has become our favourite past time, and it seems that the SARKARS are increasing every day in great count.

Inscription Nizamuddin Shah and the Mimars
Inscription Nizamuddin Shah and the Mimars

4 thoughts on “THE ENIGMA OF MOHALLA CHAHAL BIBIAN LAHORE – SYED AHMAD TOKHTA AND HIS MAZAR IN LAHORE”

  1. Nami said the actual name was CHALA BIBIAN and not CHAHAL BIBIAN and corrected same in municipal records. An actual genuine grave of 800 years plus in Lahore survived the times and repaired by Muharram Al Chisti at the start of the century. Hameeduddin Hukum, son of Bibi Hajk was son in law of Sultan Iltutmish and married to his daughter Ayesha.

  2. We were Mujhwar Dara Bibi Pak Daman Progeny of Baba Kahaki and used to live in Bibi Pak Daman Lahore we held all the property from the lane leading to Darbar Bibi Pak Daman Lahore. Our family grave yard is in the lane of Bibi Pak Daman I lived for 49 years of my life.

    In 1967 Auqaf Department took control of Darbar Bibi Pak Daman still the land under the Darbar is in our names. The graves in the Darbar is of Bibi Rukia Bint Hazrat Ali and not daughters of Tokhta. Hazarat Ali Hajveri Data Shabib wrote in his Book mentioned visiting the Graves of Bibi Rukia Bint Hazrat Ali many times.

    1. Auqaf department and administrator Khadar posh did research on the subject and a book was written on same, The actual grave of Bibi Rukia is known to exist somewhere else. I will collect relevant information and write it here. But belief is belief. Believe in whatever you feel. No one has any objections!

  3. This issue was further investigated by an official of the AUQAF Department, which manages all the historical tombs and mosque in the country. During the Ayub years a dispute erupted between the Shiias and the Sunnis. The Shiias claimed that since the tomb belongs to the daughter of Hazrat Ali so this is a Shiia place, whereas the Sunnis claimed that it belonged to the daughters of Tokhta, so it is a Sunni shrine. Masood Khadar Posh, the chairman of the department, to resolve the issue, wrote a letter to the governments of Iraq and Syria asking for details of shrines of Hazrat Ruqqiah and other members of the family. The Syrian government confirmed that the tombs of Hazrat Ali’s and Hazrat Aqeel’s daughters are in Syria, attended by hundreds of thousands of devotees throughout the year. They also sent pictures of the shrine. They clarified that it is not possible for the shrines of these women to be in Lahore therefore. Masood Khadar Posh printed a booklet, which included these letters and pictures, clarifying history. However, devotees to the mazaar, ignoring the research, continue to believe that this tomb belongs to the daughter of Hazrat Ali.

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