WHEN QUEEN ELIZABETH BOUGHT A CHUGHTAI PAINTING!

WHEN QUEEN ELIZABETH
BOUGHT A CHUGHTAI PAINTING!

The Queen and M.A. Rahman Chughtai

Newspaper report
Newspaper report

Queen Elizabeth has a great fondness for collecting art. The Queen’s collection is world famous for both its depth and content. In a visit to Pakistan, the Queen saw some paintings of M.A. Rahman Chughtai at Governor’s House Lahore. She was deeply interested and desired to meet the artist. As the artist was not available (explain later), she got a choice of some paintings, selected one and bought it. The work was entitled SPRING and it was delivered to the British High Commissioner Pakistan. We attach a report of the Civil and Military Gazette Lahore.

Queen's Appreciation
Queen’s Appreciation

Later M.A. Rahman Chughtai not only presented five etchings of his to the Queen, he also sent her a copy of the famous book AMAL-E-CHUGHTAI. The Queen was gracious in acknowledging all this with her thanks. When M.A. Rahman Chughtai died on 17th January, 1975, Queen Elizabeth was one of the many Heads of State who condoled his death with us. Chughtai Museum too presented a painting to her namely THE TUTOR and it was given to the British Ambassador Laurence Pumphrey, and a ROYAL AIR FORCE PLANE took it to the Queen in England.

The Art of M.A. Rahman Chughtai shortened distances between various countries and Pakistan, and brought good will for Pakistan. A tradition present Government know not how to recognize and utilize this good will in favour of a progressive and strong Pakistan.

Queen's Condolence
Queen’s Condolence

A MUSLIM PALACE IN SICILY MADE FOR KING WILLIAM II; POPULARLY KNOWN AS “CUBA” ACTUALLY KUBBEH CASTLE.

A MUSLIM PALACE IN SICILY MADE FOR KING WILLIAM II;
POPULARLY KNOWN AS “CUBA” ACTUALLY KUBBEH CASTLE.

Palermo Sicily the island has a history of 2700 years. From 831 to 1072 it was under Muslim rule, and it can be noted that the effects of Islamic aesthetics lasted centuries even after the end of Muslim rule. It was conquered by the Normans who ruled from 1130 to 1816, but had a treaty with the Arab Muslims not to interfere in their way of life. And nothing happened. However, the Islamic aesthetics swept the Norman Kings too through art, architecture, and even the lingual script. We find residues in the Palermo Quran, the Quranic inscription at the gate of the Cathedral, and host of Islamic related things, like coins, inscriptions, even wardrobe of the Normans. The visual impact of Islam is easy to discern in the area.

Jeremy Johns the great researcher discovered many things. He also uncovered that in the wardrobe of King William II, there are three notes written on the costume itself, testifying the name of the three Arabs who stitched the same. Those were Mukhr Muhammed (or Mahmud), Ali Maliti, and Marzuq, at the guidance of the eunuch Tumas (Gaytus Thomas) of the Royal Diwan. The clothing itself has Islamic perspective.

Many palaces in Palermo have Islamic architecture with Kufi inscriptions, including Cursive writing. Built in 1180 by King William II of Sicily from Arab architects still living in Sicily from older times and well versed in Islamic architecture. Decorated with inscriptions in Kufi script even on the top of the palace. Various other inscriptions inside are preserved too. But the whole complex is in literal ruins and have been used for adverse purposes. Even the mosaic of King William II shows inclinations towards Islamic aesthetics.

Visitors tell us that there are hardly any guides to the complex but it is worth seeing. It also has a background of Mafia of Sicily operating there. Mafia resistant groups are still operating there. But this Mafia was created to erase the close affinity between the Christian Kings and the Muslims living there. The cultural influence was tremendous.

An official note says:

Address: Corso Calatafimi, 100 90129 Palermo

The Cuba was built by William II of Sicily in his great Royal Park, as his personal recreation pavilion, together with an artificial lake: it shows strong Fatimid art influences, as it was designed and decorated by Arab artists. During the rule of Bourbon kings of Naples, it was annexed to a barracks. In the 16th century it was turned into a lepers’ colony.

Some say that the name Cuba derives from its approximately cubical form. Others that the name Cuba comes from the Arabic kubbeh, meaning dome.

Note on the pillar inscription:

Islamic inscription on a column in La Martorana (Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio), Palermo. The inscription (in Kufic, the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts) reads:

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, (“Basmala” – all prayers and chapters in the Quran starts with these words)
God is sufficient for me and He is the best advocate

Thanks to:
Copyright © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro for Mosaic King William II.Copyright Sebastian Fischer – Own work. (2007)

NUR MUHAMMED SON OF ATTAULLAH RUSHDI SON OF AHMAD MIMAR; AS KNOWN AS HAFIZ HAFEEZ: DISCOVERING FRESH EVIDENCE ON FAMILY.

NUR MUHAMMED SON OF ATTAULLAH RUSHDI SON OF AHMAD MIMAR;
AS KNOWN AS HAFIZ HAFEEZ: DISCOVERING FRESH EVIDENCE ON FAMILY.

On 26th May, 1702 (1113 AH) Princess Zebunnisa daughter of Aurangzeb Alamgeer died in Delhi. The father openly wept at the news and issued order to three courtiers to build a mausoleum for her. The three were Sayyid Amjad Khan, Sheikh Attaullah and Hafiz Hafeez (Nur Muhammed). So, say the otherwise official “Maaseray Alamgeeri”, chronicles of the Emperor, although no one has paid attention to these names.

Attaullah Rushdi son of Ustad Ahmad Mimar had done many works for the Emperor and his name appear in many state records (Hyderabad Deccan has published them), as well as inscription on the mausoleum of Empress Rabia Durrani, wife of Aurangzeb Alamgeer. The supposition was that he was not alive by this date. But an inscription on a manuscript tells his age in 1102 AH as 99 years, and fit for the earth of the grave. This means that as a very old man he was still alive in 1113 AH. But he was accompanied by his talented son Hafiz Hafeez, also known as Nur Muhammed Mimar. Like other family members, he was an accomplished calligrapher (a Quran is there from his hand in our archives), as well as a mathematician of high order. To be given charge to build the mausoleum of the daughter of the Emperor was no small order. Lutufullah Muhandis had built the Bagh as well as the Mausoleum of Roshan Ara Begum sister of the Emperor (as testified by the Diwan of Kherullah Muhandis).

The miracle is that records are there all the time. It is the search which is required to unearth new materials.

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.

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.

​Continued

ALL POWERFUL SULTANS OBSESSED WITH SELF ENHANCEMENT OF ISLAM; A SULTANI BOOK OF SULTAN ULUGH BEG TWO WITH INSIGNIA AND SEAL.

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

A CHURCH BUILT  BY MUSLIMS IN SICILY
FOR THEIR CHRISTIAN BRETHREN

Allah’s name in the Arabic script

Muslim Church Capella Palatina Palermo Sicily
Muslim Church Capella Palatina Palermo Sicily

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.

Muslim Church
Muslim 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.

PLUS

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?

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:

RogersonBarnaby (2003). The Prophet Muhammad: A Biography. Paulist Press. p. 190. ISBN 9781587680298. 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!

TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD ARE IN CONSTANT FIGHT WITH EACH OTHER; BUT CAN FIFTH GENERATION BRAINWASHING ERASE LOVE OF PAKISTAN.

TRUTH AND FALSEHOOD ARE IN CONSTANT FIGHT WITH EACH OTHER;
BUT CAN FIFTH GENERATION BRAINWASHING ERASE LOVE OF PAKISTAN.

The concept of Pakistan struck at the heart of the many people of this region. An idea which is incorporated in the Quran itself as a Muslim Nation, was revitalized by intellectuals of this area. Obviously, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan started the parade, and Dr Allama Iqbal gave it intellectual insight. Dr Iqbal convinced Muhammed Ali Jinnah to take the reign and start the Pakistani campaign. Our beloved friends in Bengal, loved the idea and Nawab of Dacca Salim ullah pioneered the Muslim League. Everything went well, but the active resistance by Hindu and Sikh lobbies, led to the carnage in 1947. Millions of lives were sacrificed and the fertilizer of Pakistan was human sacrifice itself for a cause. Everybody understood the urge for a Muslim nation as first step towards a Muslim renaissance from the laws of Allah towards the statement of Rabi ul Alameen. A code of life for all humanity.

The animosity had already started even before partition. Master Tara Singh declared on the footsteps of the Punjab Assembly Lahore, with a sword in his hands.

Kat ke deynge apni jaan, magar nahi deynge Pakistan.” We are prepared to give our lives, but not Pakistan. Legend has it that seventy-five years ago almost to the day Master Tara Singh, in hand, thundered these words from the footsteps of the Punjab Legislative Assembly in Lahore.
Master Tara Singh who promised Nirvana to the Sikhs, now they face annihilation under the hands of an extremist Hindu nation. Now the realization is the dream of Khalistan. Certainly, the Muslims were not the enemies of the Sikh nation.

The Mullahs of Hindustan declared the concept of Pakistan allergic to them, and after partition, migrated to the new country to try to undo it, again at the behest of personal financial gains. Declared Pakistan nothing short of being Kufr. Low IQ priests who lacked the study of the Quran itself.

Foreign countries like USSR and USA both exhibited love and hatred for Pakistan. But both failed us at times of our need. In new world China was our friend from day one and will remain our friend till the day last. Although we are at present neglecting it at behest of others.

So many enemies, both from within and from without. Greed destroyed people who profited from Pakistan. The question now is that where are we heading? Allah does not interfere but the laws of Allah work all the time, even when left alone. Is the fifth-generation war aiming at leaders from everywhere, who had deprived childhoods ready to end Pakistan?

Dear Sir, you do not know the heart of Pakistanis. Those dumb Pakistanis who lick your boots when you come here are not Pakistanis. Go in the street. Go in the cinema houses at present and see people watching the film ‘WAAR’. People rise in their seats to cheer their heroes. People get tears in their eyes with the words of ALLAH O AKBAR. Yes, Dr Allama Iqbal dreamt of Pakistan and Quaid e Azam made Pakistan, but he made it out of these people. Do not short change this Pakistan. This is a nation which hibernates all the time, but when pushed into a corner, has the resilience of a tennis ball. Press it as hard as you can, it gets into shape again. You do not analyze two nations in recent spats, you analyze their entire history. Yes, there is a need for PEACE and peace should be there. Bu never at cost of Self-respect. Castrating us won’t do any good, we can grow our manhood again! There is enough testosterone in us.

In one short term, our country is a nation forever. Do not fall into the foolish idea that you will undermine us with mere gibberish words. Pakistan is here to stay. Pakistan Forever!

CONFUSION PREVAILS ABOUT THE IDENTITY OF LALL KUNWAR; PROSTITUTE WIFE OF ALAMGEER II OR KING JAHANDAR SHAH.

CONFUSION PREVAILS ABOUT THE IDENTITY OF LALL KUNWAR;
PROSTITUTE WIFE OF ALAMGEER II OR KING JAHANDAR SHAH.

A pictorial book published in 1884 in Delhi gives a picture of Lall Kunwar. The identity of same it says Zeenat Mahal wife of Alamgeer II. There is a picture in the Walkers Art Museum in USA too. It has a seal of Mehrunnisa Begum and a modern writing of name as Lall Kunwar Mashooqa Jahandar Shah. That means beloved of the King. Vague entry in all cases. Which is true? One does not know. But we remember that only through documentations that we can arrive at the truth.

There is a mausoleum in a garden of Delhi and it described as Mausoleum of Lall Kunwar. It is called Lal Bangla. Description given by such sources is that of a prostitute of low status, beloved of the Mughal King. Her family is given and her frolic activities with the King. There is even an accusation of she bathing with the King, naked in public. Another claim is she drowning people in river just to have excitement of drowning deaths. But in a country where gossip becomes imagined truth, nothing can be said with any certainty. A lot of history is just made-up stories. Her identity stands disputed from two Delhi sources itself.

It is her luck where Kings and Queens are forgotten with time, a couple of pictures bring back her memory, and an isolated tomb in Delhi, literally forgotten by even those who frequent the parks of the city. Her aspirations were simple. She was no King makers nor involved in any political intrigues. Just fun and the desire to survive. And she survived indeed. The architecture of her tomb is splendid in itself as a small memento of the Mughal period.

THE CLEAREST NAME OF A MIMAR IN MUGHAL ARCHITECTURE; USTAD KHUDA QULI MIMAR OF TOMB OF ATGAH KHAN IN DELHI.

THE CLEAREST NAME OF A MIMAR IN MUGHAL ARCHITECTURE;
USTAD KHUDA QULI MIMAR OF TOMB OF ATGAH KHAN IN DELHI.

Thousands of architectural wonders made by Mughals in our region, and the most wonderful achievement, that these architects came from all around and far off regions. Obviously Central Asian was the dominant area, but others came from other areas. We even have African architects here. But the clearest name of an architect is that of Ustad Khuda Quli, obviously from Bokhara, as the calligrapher of the same monument is Baqi Muhammed Bokhari too. Contrary to other practice, both names are on the front of the monument itself, in beautiful calligraphy.

Atgah Khan was son of the wet nurse of Prince Akbar, and so Shamsuddin Khan Ghaznavi was foster brother of the Prince. Others got jealous of him and he was murdered by Adham Khan. Akbar got so irrirated he abused him many times even in Punjabi by calling him a four-letter word. Then had him thrown from the fort. His legs broke but he survived the first fall. Akbar had him thrown again till his death. Strange that it is on record hat Akbar even knew Punjabi abuses. As a polite gesture we refrain from same.

Atgah Khan remembered, and the ruin being faced by the monument, is saved by the Agha Khan programme, who are now restoring the monument as partnership with Archaeological Survey of India.