Your father expects things from you. You are afraid to fail him. Your mother expects other things. You are handicapped not to fail. Your sisters, your brothers! Your friends! Everyone. But all these you can perhaps forgo, but can you forgo Allah? I think the acutest embarrassment is in thinking that you might fail Allah.
It is not fear of hell, it is not fear of Fire that matters. It matters to feel that Allah gave us a challenge in life and we failed him. It would be acute shame to be there somewhere and to be told that you never did what was expected of you. And there is the ultimate matter, failing yourself.
History moves with a momentum all its own. A Turk boy slave bought in Ghazni by Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi grew up with talents surpassing many of the royals of his times. Sultan Masood sent him as a chaperone, with his son Prince Majdud to administer Lahore. In a short period Ayaz had made Lahore a city of Culture. Everything which went in the Muslim world came here. Intellectuals, poets, artists, calligraphers, wood carvers, carpenters, architects, lace makers , in fact Baiqai list 200 types of professionals who came to make Lahore, Lahore.
A lady, we do not know her name, but we are told that she was either a sister or a cousin of Ayaz was invited also to come to Lahore. It was she who gave the ladies touch to the cultural developments here. Sultan Mahmud was very much in love with her but his courtiers had advised him not to marry her. History does not tell us if the marriage took place or not. At that time the environment of Lahore was full of lions. The Lahore Fort of Mahmudabad also had a collection of lions and lion tamers. It is said that this Turk girl used to ride a lion on her way to the court and as she would pass the street, people would cheer her up. It was a Royal custom of the times. People would shout SHER DE BACHI, that is daughter of lion. This phrase is such a stereotype in our culture, that even today, any brave girl is referred as Sher de Bachi.
Today Lahore boasts of all types of women population. From the extreme conservative to the extreme modern, we have all of therm here. Where Saudi Arabia does not allow women to drive cars (very anti-Islamic), we have women of Lahore driving motor cycles, including police women. Not many but they are there. Lahore girls have been not only flying aeroplanes, but also teaching flying to pilot learners. They are in the fore-front of the women revolution of Pakistan. Indeed they are Sher de Bachis in all ways.
COW RIOTS IN LAHORE 1845
BUTCHERING THE BUTCHERS OF LAHORE
Mohalla Kasab Delhi Gate area
The KOOKA sect was formed by one Baluk Ram in the year 1845. A carpenter named Ram singh inherited the position. They were interested in going back to the Pristine qualities of their religion. The Sikhs and the Hindus joined hands in this tirade and in 1845 a number of Butcher shops were raided in Lahore and some Butchers put to death. The aim that there should be no dispLay of beef meat at Butchers shop as it was against their principles. The British were in a quandary as what to do. Full control of Lahore was not in their hands yet. The young puppet Dallip Singh was being groomed for complete take over. The Cow riots as they were called were becoming more and more destructive.
An ultimatum was issued to the KOOKAS to mend their ways and they kept quiet for some time. But it was a mum before a storm. By 1871 the riots had spread to Amritsar, and a group of 12 Kooka assassins butchered again a group of Muslim Butchers. The British were in no mood to accept the challenge to their authority, and the Kookas were ruthlessly pursued and captured by them. Out of perhaps a following of fifty thousand Kookas, 300 kookas weree taken into custody, and quickly executed by the authorities. Everybody believed that it was an excess but that excess unless controlled would have left a scar on the reigning policy of thew British. Anybody disturbing the status quo was a risk to their rule.
The people who think that there is no Two nation theory, should wake up to the fact, that even in Lahore, there were separate Mohallas of the Hindus and the Muslims, and nobody dared to traverse the domain of others. And this division was always there. The theme of the Hindu mohallas was very different from the Muslim ones. The ‘SHARM’ or ‘HAIYA’ we talk of was alien to the Hindus living here, and strangely it is reported by many people of that time, that literally the Hindu girls were naked from the top and wearing flimsy dress from the bottom. It was indeed a threat to the culture of the Muslims. And this invasion of the undressed person is something we see in our media today, and forget that it was always so. Sex was one of the way to reach the Divine reality in that religion. In the Muslim area the approach was totally different. That is why Quaid e Azam gave us the famous saying about the two nation theory, which we will repeat later on of the people.
SULTAN MAHMUD AND AYAZ ABU-NAJM
THE CALUMNY OF IRANIAN SOURCES
Sacred turned profane by propaganda
Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi was a puritan Muslim. He is termed a Hanafi, termed also as a Karramite, and even a Shafite in the school of Islamic thought, but essentially he was a kind of Muslim, whose only reference was the Quran itself. This was resented by many.
In 1005, a band of slaves were brought to the market in Ghazni. There was a sick Turk boy in the lot, and Sultan Mahmud felt great compassion for him. Not only was the boy bought, but sent for care and education under his supervision. The boy Ayaz Abu-Najm was son of Ademaq, and very adept at things. Very soon he acquired great proficiency in everything and became an asset for Sultan Mahmud.
It was after the death of Sultan Mahmud, that his son, Sultan Masud also patronized Ayaz, and recognizing his great skill, sent him as a chaperon (could a characterless person have been chosen for this) to his own son, Prince Majdud to Lahore. The Prince was a young child of eight years,, and it was Ayaz who governed Lahore. Within a short span of time, he made Lahore, Lahore, and to this day his contributions stand up in time. The fact is that many sources count Ayaz as the founder of Lahore itself.
There was a sister of Ayaz Abu-Najm (some historians think she was a cousin), and Sultan Mahmud was in love with her. He consulted his courtiers on the possibility of marrying a slave girl and the courtiers advised against this union. The history of Baihaqi is lost in many volumes, otherwise we would have learnt more about this girl. There is a great possibility that Sultan Mahmud may have married the sister of Ayaz Abu-Najm. This girl used to ride a lion in Lahore and is remembered as SHER DE BACHI to this day. A figurine of hers is in the collection of Chughtai Museum. More about her later.
The Iranians resented the advancement of Islamic values made under Sultan Mahmud. The Caliph of Islam had himself patronized Sultan Mahmud and bestowed many titles on him. The world had rejoiced at his victories. Not being able to speak for 500 or 600 years, the Iranians could restrain themselves no longer, and innovated the calumny of a homosexual relation between Sultan Mahmud and Ayaz Abu-Najm. A more ridiculous thing cannot be imagined by any sane mind. The character of both was without blemish, and this kind of accusation, to be made after five or six centuries is fit for laughter only.
The character of Ayaz Abu-Najm was so much without blemish, that he is loved to this day in Lahore. A mausoleum destroyed by the Sikhs, where only a grave was left, was repaired by some persons on a private scale, and today his ‘barsi’ death anniversary is commemorated by a dedicated group of people. If there had been a blemish in his life, today after a 1000 years, people would not have loved him as much as they do today.
BAHADUR SHAH OF MOCHI GATE
THE FIRST ANTIQUE DEALER OF LAHORE
An amazing man in history
History itself has a short memory. What is known as fact in one age, becomes a mere legend in another. Every day we get things. Only the great events are left to remember. And then those events have interpretations.
My uncle used to talk about Bahadur Shah of Mochi Gate Lahore all the time. He had a shop, and he had a thought. He knew how to collect things and he needed to sell them. My uncle used to tell me that England as well as Europe are full of things supplied by Bahadur Shah. And the record is easy, for his seal ‘Bahadur Shah Mochi Gate’ is on back of many of those things.
There were two ancient astrolabes in our house. And somehow Bahadur Shah got wind of them. He persuaded my grandfather Kareem Baksh Mimar to give both to him. They perhaps lie now in some foreign collection, unknown as to the source of them. As Kareem Baksh belonged to the family of Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori, what to say was the background of both the astrolabes?
We even now have miniatures with the seal of Bahadur Shah on them. A photograph of his exists in international archives. He is worth remembering. He was a man of vision. A 7th century rarest mathematical manuscript of Euclid was with him and lies now in a foreign collection. Another famous manuscript with five Behzad and Behzad School miniatures was with him too. Then the same was bought by Jalal ud din and Elahi Baksh publishers of Kashmeeri Bazaar Lahore. It went places till it is said to have reached the collection of Mian Fayyaz, the famous UBL banker, who became a collector in Lahore. People are remembered by what they did. Dealing in historical artifacts, Bahadur Shah stands forgotten with time. This is homage to the memory of a man long gone from the history of Lahore.
THE ATTACK ON PAKISTANI IDEOLOGY
Yes, love Pakistan or leave Pakistan;
Let us force you to exit Pakistan
The bravado of attack on our Ideology is increasing day by day. The input of dollars has increased too. Journalists are moving into bigger cars, bigger eating sprees on M.M. Alam road, and endless shopping on the Defense Malls. And the thing called the brain receding, with migraines, of late drinking bouts of imported alcohols. Yes, this crowd is shameless and their shamelessness is increasing in direct proportions to their attack on Pakistan.
The puppy of an often quoted delusional Prime Minister wishes to see a Christian govern Pakistan. I too wish Vatican to be governed by a Muslim priest one day. But chances of Vatican having a Muslim priest are better than Pakistan having a Christian Prime Minister. Other journalists are reputed to be attacking Quaid e Azam in a new way. Accusing the founder of the country to be changing all the time, a new idea has been floated. Do away with the ideas of the father of the Nation all together and make new ideas based on the instruction of destructive foreign lobbies, Amazing. If this is not unconstitutional, then what else is? Sou-Motto anybody!
Why Pakistan pains people so much? Something in Pakistan is very valuable. Our Nuclear assets! No. Our faith in Allah. Our love for Islam. Our love for the prophet (PBUH). Such people cannot realize the beauty of KHUDI and how much it is attached to our masses. Pakistan Forever!
IS MOVING FROM PAN ISLAMISM
OF DR ALLAMA IQBAL EVEN POSSIBLE?
Wishful thinking of some
The Pakistani sentiments are under-rated by the media. A class representing foreign lobbies is ever at work to sway us away from our love for Islamic values. And a rich and corrupt class would not care less. But it is the people of Pakistan, that sway of millions, who are emotionally attached to Allah and Allah’s command as Quranic Laws. Of course the Mullahs have muddled the values of the masses, but the essence, the perfume of Islam is around us all the time. And no one should forget that. We can all sacrifice everything we have for Allah and that is hundred percent the truth.
Dr Allama Iqbal did not impose his thoughts from above. He was no Greek arm chair thinker. He mixed with the crowds in direct talks in schools and mosques and got feed back of the people. He read the Quran as it was meant to be read without the baggage of a 1000 year of Persianization. He communicated with the people, and knew the pulse of their feelings.
On the other extreme was Faiz Ahmad Faiz. In political poetic revelry (allergic to Pakistan from day one according to his own writings), he could not even write a NATIONAL SONG for Pakistan (a fact noted by many scholars). Lived many years outside Pakistan by choice, and did his best, aligned with the sentiments of Indians across the border. So Iqbal and Faiz were poles apart.
A journalist gives us the following words that we have failed to evolve from Iqbal’s Pan Islamism to Faiz’s nationalism. Probably his desire. The day we do that Pakistan is dead. Yes, dead. One of only two major countries in the world based on Ideology, Pakistan is no ordinary state. Attack on it is natural. It is a threat to the exploitation of humankind by the ruthless neo-cons of the world. Their only desire to extinguish the flame of Islam forever. Try you may, this is an Eternal Flame, nourished by our sweat and blood. Millions lost their lives for Pakistan, millions can lose their life when it comes as a threat to their country. Forget this pseudo meany lot of cannibals, look at the real Pakistan. The Pakistanis who has the resilience to survive the onslaught of the capitalistic mind with faith in the promise of Allah, that he would provide for them. Pakistan Forever!
IS ‘BEYOND QUAID’ POSSIBLE?
NOTHING BEYOND QURAN EXCEPT IJJTEHAD
Permanent and consensual values
When Pakistan was created, the foreign lobbies had to devise strategies. The very first strategy was that since Quaid was such a popular leader and his character above reprove, destroy him by proving him to be not Islamic in character at all, but some sort of believer in secularism. For that various ruses were adopted, and even that figure of Justice Munir turned out to be a mere fraud, as proven by researcher Saleena Karim, as well as others, before her. The best biography on the Quaid’s struggle is of course the book on same by G.A. Pervaiz (Islamic adviser to the Quaid himself) of Lahore.
When the secular ruse was proving to be becoming thinner and thinner, now a new ruse has been devised and farthings pretending to be pounds, are taking on the Quaid himself. Such zeros cannot overturn our hero, but they are under compulsion of their financial backing to say what ever their Masters are saying. The aim to destroy the Ideology of Pakistan. And after that to destroy Pakistan itself.
The sad part is that these rogues of our society have no knowledge of the Quran at all. In fact in urge to imitate their foreign Masters, they are actually atheistic and agnostics most of them. And even if they have some knowledge of the Quran, it is what non believers have already fiddled with in conception. The Quran gives some permanent values and THOSE CANNOT BE CHANGED BY MAN. The Quran also speaks of IJJTEHAD, and that means anything outside the permanent values, Man can aspire to modify or change with consensus of majority,and that is the democratic spirit. These are simple rules and easily understood by all. The confusion is generated by the Seculars and the Mullahs, both two sides of the same coin, and being financed by foreign lobbies.
Of course Quaid e Azam did not want Pakistan stuck in some status-quo, but what did he preach? Did he say the dream of Pakistan is stuck somewhere? The Quran does not get stuck at all and recomends change with changing times, by thinking and pondering over matters. But only of certain things, not everything. The dream of Pakistan is that it is the first step towards the reconstruction of religious thought in Islam and the renaissance was to be of consistent nature. And who destroyed this renaissance? Petty people with petty requirements, unlike any democratic spirit, they had no love for the masses of Pakistan. Love Pakistan or leave Pakistan, or we will make you exit Pakistan!
A FORBIDDEN NOVEL IN LAHORE
LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER
Boys are often loud. Shouting more of the time. Speaking in a low voice was for wimps. But when boys whisper it is all about some forbidden thing. And what was more forbidden then talk of sex and sexy things. At that time people read books. People heard about books. We had heard about Guy de Maupassant and felt thrilled when his heroine said that a kiss from a man without moustache was no kiss at all. That is why school boys look at their upcoming facial hair and some were trying to cultivate moustaches of their own.
The talk was in the air. A novel was worth reading. It was the banned novel of D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s lover. Lawrence had broken all codes by ridiculing English aristocracy with the idea of a crippled Lord, and his wife, being seduced by the gardener in their estate. It looked all ridiculous but in all ways forbidden. People often had just heard of the book, hardly anyone had seen it. But one thing was certain. The male and female genitals were referred as John and Lady Jane in it. It was thrilling for the boys as they prided over lusty talk and their own growing man hoods. The hero was one who could say that he had actually read the book. Hardly anyone had even seen it.
A long time later, some people handed over me some books by D.H. Lawrence. To me it meant nothing, but an English writer taking his swap on the aristocracy. And certainly there was a shame in it. It was not lusty, it was actually very embarrassing. But even more embarrassing was a short story of D.H. Lawrence in which he talks of a wounded Jesus Christ, looking at the ribald activity of a farm cock with the hens. It ridiculed the very faith, by talking of the impotence of the revered figure, and the figure’s embarrassment at seeing the potency of the relation between birds. One could just say, how people do it? Well that is what is called the rebel in the writer. Taking on all odds, trying to justify his own rationality by baring hidden truths about others.
There was a shop in the Regal cinema lane, Spaceage, who used to pander to the requirements of the boys from St Anthony High School, nearby. And there was a shop in the Regal Cinema itself, which used to be home of supply of pornography. They were rather illiterate people. They sullied the character of many of the boys. Those are the pains of growing up, and for each generation, the pains are always there.
The funny art is that every generation suffers the same. There was a shop in Kashmeeri Bazaar around 1890s, and it supplied young boys with nudes of that time. Ribald writing was there too. But these post cards of classical nude photos of women made in Paris mostly were a hot item in Lahore. And there used to be actual nude photographs too. The hottest were of Algerian women made by French photographers. And there were colour lithos too. I have seen many of them in international auction houses, selling them at premier prices. But here old men mostly put them on fire, near their dying days. I have myself hear confessions of a few of them.
The craziest idea were even more. The teachers at the Mayo School of Arts also indulged in nude photography for rich clients. The clients used to select their favourite prostitutes from Hira Mandi and got them photographed from Mayo School teachers. But that is another story for another day.
A DEAD ROBIN AND A HUNGRY DOG
RESPONSIBILITY OF POSITION
Self accountability at best
I was always fond of pets. It was a tradition in our house. But when you keep pets, you also have the responsibility to take care of them. I always do. But last night due to cold weather, a surkh (robin) of mine died. I am feeling very embittered. I remember I went on a trip to Karachi as a young child and left my Surkhs with my mother. Some how or the other, they were all left in the Sun and without water, they all died. My family had replaced them by the time I came back. But I could recognize that they were not mine. So I accosted them for the truth. And the truth was bitter. When you take responsibility, the consequences are yours and yours own.
When the Caliph of Islam, Hazrat Umar took responsibility, he could not sleep at night for fear that he would not be able to provide food to his people. He even feared for the HUNGRY DOG in his domain, lest Allah punishes him for shirking his responsibility. Our leaders with their special cooks and menus, are having the fun of their life, eating the best food in the world, the gourmet’s delight all of it. The public of course is really hungry and deprived, and no one really cares for their plight. Political mileage every one wants to take, but shedding tears for the under privileged is not their task at all.
The Quran tells us that Allah’s Law of Retribution is constantly at work. It will catch up with those who are taking the toll out of people. Who are we to disagree? We watch the clock tick. We know it will eventually catch up with the rascals all the time. But we cannot sit and wait. We also got to continue our jehad for humankind.