THE UNKNOWN MAZAR OF SUFI MASTER IN LAHORE FORT REVISITED
SOME RAREST PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN AROUND FORTY YEARS BACK
The legend of the mazar in Lahore fort was strong, and my cousin volunteered to research on it. Photographs were taken at that time but misplaced in a diary for perhaps 40 years. Discovered again just yesterday. Important heritage was rebuilt without any archival record, which is a shame. No one cares for heritage. A quick way of earning money that is all. Greed abounds in governmental organizations.
Ali Hujweri is considered part of Lahore. But Ali Hujweri seems to have escaped historical account, for there is little mention of him in history. Prince Dara Shikoh was a big fan of Hazrat Miyan Meer as well as Baba Lall of Benaras. In his book on the life of saints, he mentions the Dargah of Ali Hujweri and places it inside the Lahore Fort itself. He proudly tells us that he had a brand new SARCOPHAGUS made for his grave, which was of pure white marble, or for that matter even black marble.
Chandarban Brahman, the Munshi of Dara Shikoh tells us an additional thing. He says the Dargah as well as Lahore Fort was under the superintendence of the Hindu administrator Ishwar Dass. He further describes the Dargah of Ali Hujweri in a few words and says:
“Even though there are yearly and monthly impromptu performances throughout the city’s precincts, especially at the tombs and shrines of the giants along the path of esoteric Truth, the Thursday gatherings at the blessed tomb of the knower of mystical stages, Pir Ali Hujweri, creates an especially remarkable commotion. Darwishes and other free spirits, literati, poets, and all manners of people gather there to observe the spectacle of Divine Creation.” Rajeev Kirna’s translation.
There is a diva metal stand with the grave, simple and looks very old. There seems to be a big black stone on the grave, does not look like a normal sarcophagus, but could be one. Perhaps writing on it. One does not know anything about it. The green kinari cloth is also old and full of dust. The entrances are sealed even then. Obviously in research, controversy is created with vested interests. We have no part in it. We are just recording documentations. Conclusions are for people not us.
A HARDLY KNOWN CHUGHTAI SHOW AT HOUSE OF BEGUM SHAHNAWAZ,
ARTICLE ON CHUGHTAI ART BY RAZIA SIRAJUDDIN BEFORE EUROPEAN TOUR
The archives of Chughtai Museum are full of wonderful things and we share them whenever we can with people. We share a pamphlet on Chughtai Art presented by Begum Shahnawaz, with an introduction by Razia Sirajuddin. This article is not known and is before the Introduction she wrote for “Chughtai Paintings” in 1938. A brilliant coverage of Chughtai Art, reflecting the fondness of these two stalwarts for the Art of Chughtai. To our knowledge hardly anyone has even seen it. This was the prelude to a sitting at Begum Shahnawaz house in 1946, when the concept of Alhamra Arts Council was given to people of Pakistan by Chughtai artist. It was the idea of Chughtai and the political force of Jahan Ara Shahnawaz, that the first Art Council of Pakistan came into being. Today a moronic bureaucracy has no room to remember the icons of art and culture in Pakistan.
Razia Sirajuddin was an artist, a literary giant, and a personality which shined all the time. She would appear in public in a saree sort of thing, with real flowers strapped on the clothes as well as her head covering. Her eccentric outlook immediately stopped people in
their track. A charismatic personality, she was adept at understanding Chughtai art. Chughtai himself has written an article on her (a rare thing from him). We have written about her on the blog a few times, but this article has not been touched before in any writing. It is a brand new discovery on her analysis. Enjoy!
VARIOUS MUGHAL ANGELS ON THE TILE MOSAICS OF LAHORE FORT
NOT EVEN ONE BABY CHERUB TO DISMAY TO THOSE REINTERPRETING
Some plaster peels off the Lahore Fort ceiling and immediately an anti-mughal aesthetic cherubs are discovered in it. Immediately it is dated to Emperor Jahangeer’s period by those obsessed with maligning the Mughals. Books are written on European influence on the Mughals, and the actual survey of Metcalfe of the history of the Orpheus inlay marble is not even taken into account and dismissed. The prejudice of Hindu scholars was already hurting our integrity, now many western scholars are at it too. Trying to teach is that the Mughals did not have abilities and they had to learn these from runaway criminals from the West. Unfortunately one of them had to be hanged in Lahore on orders of Shah Jahan himself, and Shah Jahan asserts his views on these missionaries, simply in the Journal of Fray Sebastian Manrique in 1641:
“Truly the Franguis would be great people, were it not for three grave faults; in the first place, they are Cafars (people without religion); in the second, they eat pork; and thirdly, they do not wash the parts by which replete nature expels the excess of their material paunches.”
The same can be read in Manrique journal of 1641 and is documented evidence. Manrique was not allowed to enter Asif Khan palace without first bathing in warm water and then with change of clothes. If a friar in his own journal documents for us the statement about Shah Jahan, one wonders what others could say about that affairs of things.
Not even once in his journal, Emperor Jahangeer mentions any meeting with Sir Thomas Roe. Either the meeting never took place, or it was not worthy enough to be put in the memoirs of Emperor Jahangeer. Answer that anyone! The friar Edward Terry attached to Sir Thomas Roe mentions strange thing. He says Jahangeer was only interested in paintings which had women in them.
Of course Mughals were aesthetic people. They enjoyed art and architecture. European engravings that came to Hindustan were included in their albums, but not the extent exaggerated by the Western scholars. The introduction of these baby cherubs belong to the period of British rule or fake works being sold to western consumers in Bombay and elsewhere. Even older miniatures were riddled with addition of cherubs. M.A. Rahman Chughtai, artist par excellence, had the ability to look at all this and reveal that in talks and writings. We write about them all the time too. Obviously we need more space to talks about this in detail. Till then read this:
AND WHAT REALLY PAKISTAN ARMY CAN DO TO STOP THIS CHARADE
FROM SPREADING TO AN EMOTIONAL AWAM NOT WILLING TO SEE REASON
We are told again and again it is a hybrid war. That internet has made normal people berserk. You realize this that in a poor society people crossing the road cannot leave the phone out of their ear. This is total brain washing of those who cannot even afford credit. This applies to people on motorcycles and ladies sitting at the back, texting in moving two wheelers. This has been done deliberately. A woman went to an ID card office and when asked for some discernable ailment on her son, and she said it is simple, he has mobile phone in his hand all the time. It has come to all our homes. In evening and morning, you see family members obsessed with tir phones. And what are they learning. Literally or hardly anything. There is a cure for everything. A whole hall of scientists got converted into Islam after one recital. All anti-quranic attitudes. Take everything with a pinch of salt. We tell the truth here, and we are proud of same. That is a Quranic idea, telling the truth.
Read a professional American on the subject. We already know about the Confessions of an economic hit man and we have the book to back it up. And we add to it Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and he says is important for us:
Intellectual Yet Idiot
Intellectual Yet Idiot (IYI) is a term coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his essay by the same name that refers to the semi-intelligent well-pedigreed “who are telling us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for”. They represent a very small minority of people but have an overwhelming impact on the vast majority because they affect government policy. IYI are often policy makers, academics, journalists, and media pundits.
We do not think the Government can do anything. Only the Pak Army is left. Spread everything on the net, make this hybrid war a challenge to the nation. If required BLOCK all destructive scenes. All is fair in love and war. We are in perpectual war. Show no softness for those who want to undo our country. Make our people so strong that a hundred Black Swans will not make a difference. Hold on to the Quran itself. The way out is there.
UNIQUE PRESENTATION CUP MADE IN LAHORE 17TH CENTURY
PRESENTED TO ALI MARDAN KHAN BY EMPEROR SHAH JAHAN
Although the present whereabouts are not known, it was a grand cup with grand engraving and with inscriptions. It coincided with the arrival of Ali Mardan Khan to Lahore and it seems that Shah Jahan presented same to Ali Mardan Khan. Both Shah Jahan (was born in Lahore) and Ali Mardan Khan (his mausoleum was buried here) are linked to Lahore in many ways, including the passion of architecture of both.
No one tries to save our heritage. Few do try but are erased by the malignancy of society in pursuit of material good.
SYED BUTE SHAH THE LAST OF THE ORIGINAL MUTAVALLIS
Some years back we presented a research book on the LEGACY OF NAWAB WAZEER KHAN and it contained original information found nowhere else. As new information came, we presented a small pamphlet highlighting the new information. Yet information keeps pouring in and we wrote it in our blog too. The present of the city of Wazeerabad by Mirza Izzad Baksh (the last male descendant of Nawab Wazeer Khan) to a Hindu friend, instead of his son in law Mirza Chajju Baig. We came across fresh information about the Bageechi of Nawab Wazeer Khan. We heard this first in the account of Nur uddin Chisti as a small garden in which Nawab Wazeer Khan used to sit, but there was more, as it turned in the private graveyard of the Mutavallis. .
It is sad that all Muslim monuments made in good faith are contested by the later generations through conspiracies and legal suits. Materialism wins over good faith. Like our present politicians, there was no business transaction in Lahore, in which Wazeer Khan did not take a share and contemporary historians call him the most corrupt of his period. It seems that his legacy succumbed to the Makufat law itself. The honest people attached to the mosque were in stages kicked out of their domain. We will add to that.
The Mutavallis appointed by Nawab Wazeer Khan, possibly Emperor Shah Jahan himself, also came from Bokhara, as the Imam family of Jamia Masjid Delhi. The list includes:
Syed Ghulam Muhammed Shah;
Syed Hussain Shah;
Syed Mir Muhammed;
Syed Muhammed Yusuf;
Syed Mazhar Shah;
Syed Hussain Ali urf Bhute Shah.
List is given of a number of other descendants of the Mutavallis in the attached document.
The Bageechi was the private grave yard of the Mutavallis and a full description as well as a map is given of the same. Even the Kocha is named after Mutavalli Bute Shah. There are a couple of court cases too, related to construction of a toilet and a drain pipe of waste water. Assistant Commissioners were involved in setting the drain pipe (Mori) corrected in desire. Historical record and truth laid bare. The same was presented to Dr Abdullah Chaghatai and we now present the documents after decades of same. The court case involved with Deputy Commissioner Charles Aitchison is still missing from the record. This is the open kutchery which de-seated the Mutavallis and put Mirza Chajju Baig on the throne of the mosque. The object to take the sanctity of the mosque and the power enjoyed by it over the citizens of Lahore. After decades of dispute President Ayub Khan formally annexed all these portions to the Auqaf department, much to the disarray of the old and the new Mutavallis. More later.
DEATH OF FORMER MAYOR PARIS, PRIME MINISTER AND PRESIDENT OF FRANCE,
JACQUES CHIRAC GENTLEMAN EXTRAORDINARY FRIEND OF CHUGHTAI MUSEUM
A HEART FELT TRIBUTE TO HIM ON HIS DEATH AT THE AGE OF 86 YEARS.
Chughtai Museum was in touch with Jacques Chirac when he was the Mayor of Paris. Later as Prime Minister he became closer to the idea of an art show of M.A. Rahman Chughtai at Musee Guimet. This exhibition was accepted by Jeanine Auboyer, the Director of the museum and an expert on Islamic arts. J. Tolleti CEO of IBM Europe volunteered to finance it. Although both the French Ambassador as well as Pakistani Ambassador in France, Nawab Qazilbasch were involved in the venture. But the Ministry of Culture did not bow an inch, and a golden chance was lost. In words of M. Jacaues Chirac, “M.A. Rahman Chughtai was the greatest artist of Modern Muslim Civilization”.
We present some correspondence as memory of his relation with Chughtai Museum. These are specimens of other correspondence too. He was a fine gentleman, a man of arts and aesthetics. We found him so responsive at all times. Rare breed of people who are no more. We appreciate his love for Chughtai art and we presented him with a number of things. He tried his best to see the Chughtai show happen in Paris. We pray for him. May his soul rest in Peace!
P.S. Originals are presented in French, not the translations in English. French are proud of their language.
There are a number of art works of English artists and etchers of 1930s who were companions of Chughtai Sahib in the class of Sir Frank Short in London, and presented their own works to him. Preserved by us as part of his museum in the future. Obviously further research as well as cataloguing is required for the purpose but we do try our best. These are the artists who saw Chughtai work in London and eulogized his works by offering their own works to him. We pay homage to them in this small way.
Famous artists like Graham Sutherland and Carol Weight were also introduced to M.A. Rahman Chughtai and we have written a lot about them in our book “East met West”. We will add more in the future. Our local morons forget that M.A. Rahman Chughtai made his name in the Arts in Western circles and he had proved his mettle to the best at that time. We will add Roger Fry and Eric Gill to the list too.
A GERMAN ARTIST LADY AT THE GERMAN PAVILION IN PARIS IN 1937
FEW DAYS WITH ART GROUP IN BERLIN LED BY MANUELLA HARTUNG
Berlin is far away from the sea, but the Germans made up this loss by making artificial beaches in the city. Perhaps the oldest one is the Strandbad-Wannsee beach in Berlin made in 1907. Some are very near the Berlin wall itself. We find a photograph of a German lady in one such beach, possibly this very one. The number of pebbles declare the beach to be artificial and man made for particular requirements. The lady on the beach is unknown but could very well be Ms Manuela C Didier Hartung, companion of M.A. Rahman Chughtai in Berlin on 27th June, 1937.
We know that Hartung is an important German name. We find the well known Fritz Hartung, the historian in that time period. Also we know of the famous artist Hans Hartung also in Berlin at that time. Manuela could be related to any of them or even more. But we hear of so many artists in Berlin at that period. Two sons of Paul Gaugain, Emil and Jean Gaugain were in the city as well as a Jewish artist who was scribbling political messages on panes of show cases during the night. One thing Chughtai does tells us is that a group of German artists, poets and intellectuals had assembled in Berlin to welcome him and some of them wrote poems on him (probably lost). June was also an important month for William Lyon Mackenzie, Prime Minster of Canada was also visiting at Adlon Hotel. The famous American journalist Ms Ruth Hamilton was also there with her own questions. Berlin was center of attraction for many. The passport of Chughtai tells us that he entered Germany on 24th June, 1937, a police report on 25th June, and it ends with 3rd July, 1937, when he exits Germany. The dates may be deceptive but the same are documented in the passport.
We know of number of Germans befriending M.A. Rahman Chughtai. Foremost Elza Huiffner, Hannah Huiffner, Agnes Werner, but we have no first hand account of Manuela, for reasons unknown. The autobiography of Chughtai is full of many details, and there could be a reason for same. The name may be sensitive in nature to those times as Chughtai was a British subject. And by this time he was titled too with the title of Khan Bahadur. So there may be political reasons for same. Our job is to record history and we do it well.
With due thanks to Elizbeth Chughtai for this valuable translation:
An Rahman Chughtai
You son of Lahore
Tanned in saturated colour
With the far eastern sun –
With the beam of the sun
Warming me – to meet me
In the cold occident.
What separates both of us…?
Nothing!! With the same thinking
You are feeling…
Like I do.., the bosom of nature—
And its wonders.
We feel the same… both of us…!
And when you leave,
Many thousand miles—
Till eternity will stay with me
The beauty of your soul…!
Dedication to R. Ch. Lahore – India
– In sincere friendship –
Manuela C. Didier Hartung
Berlin N.4, 27. Juni 1937
N 4 is the Post Office address in Berlin and that Post Office is still there, and it started in those times.
SELF INDICTMENT HAS BECOME A HABIT OF CERTAIN KIND OF PAKISTANIS
DEMONIZING OURSELVES NEEDLESSLY AS PART OF MASSIVE PROPAGANDA
Follow the trail of many out spoken people in Pakistan, and it makes you wonder as to the reasons of indicting the nation on every issue. Well one may ask simple question: Which nation is perfect at the moment? There are slavish followers of demoralizing foreign lobbies. Has India progressed in any way with passing decades? Is the present people in power there have any minute sense of idealism. Western lobbies are going up the ladder or following barren to the ground. Zionist lobbies are talking of the return of epitome evil and erasing at least three fourth population of the world, to indulge in sin and riot. Do we not believe that the Judeo-Christian-Muslim moral values are essentially the same, and we can co-exist in peace? War mongering everywhere, when Islam even in its definition talks of PEACE. Know thyself is a Socratic ideal and surely we too believe in it. But what can habitual alcoholics tell us! Nothing. Disparaging all our efforts and not talking about the massive campaigns in last 72 years to undo us. And the strength of our national resolve, that those who predicted our down fall within months and years, see us getting stronger and stronger every year. If we were not strong, we would have been obliterated long ago. Our strength comes from Divine. It cannot be undone by mischievous elements.
Media can only brainwash a segment of our society. The main population is under attack from Mullah indoctrination. The Secular from fairy tales of Sin cities. The Quranic revolution stands to be retarded, for as long as the people hold on to the Quran, no one can undo them in any way. So next time someone questions our morality and sense of right and wrong and intellectualism, ask the person his or her ideal nation. It is not even there in the books. Idealism is a pursuit and in Allah’s path, we find it, sooner or later. And it is the promise of Allah to all of us, that every action will be rewarded or punished accordingly. We pursue Idealism here, we pursue Idealism in the next dimension.