QURAN AND THE SWORD
LIVING SYMBOLISM OF SHARF-UN-NISA
Allah Baqi wa-alkul Fani
Dr Allama Iqbal was observer of many things. Historical figures attracted him. To him came the take of Princess Sharf-un-nisa, the sister of Nawab Khan Bahadur, Viceroy of Lahore. The symbolism of the Princess had a deep effect on our national poet, and he has written an eulogy on her. The symbolism of the Quran and the Sword very much there.
Sharf-un-nisa had built a residential tower for herself for seclusion. She used to mount a removable ladder to the top of the tower and in side alone used to read the Holy Quran for one hour every day. She also had a jewelled sword with her in a box and she used to put both things together there. When she died, according to her will, she was buried in the same tower. And according to her wishes, the Quran and the Sword was placed on her sarcophagus, and the building sealed from all sides. And there they remained till the Sikhs took over Lahore.
The Sikhs were on rampage, greedy for mere bricks and stone, they would not let any treasure be forsaken by them. They broke into the building and stole the precious objects. Somehow the other the tower survived the ages and is today known as SAROO WALA MAQBARA. Heavily encroached upon, the Archaeological department is playing mischief with it. No protection is provided to our legacy and this monument, like many others, is suffering the present wrath of times.
Beauty and Power is the re-occurring message of Dr Allama Iqbal and the monument of Sharf-un-nisa is living testimony of the effects she had on others. Tiles on her monument declare that ALLAH IS ETERNAL, REST IS PERISHABLE. The destruction of the monument is still on to this day. No one has even bothered to research it properly. There may be secrets to it still unexplored by our whiz guys.