Category Archives: Regular

Regular, uncategorized Posts

AKBAR’S RELIGIOUS EXPERIMENTATIONS

AKBAR’S RELIGIOUS EXPERIMENTATIONS
ABU-FAZL AS CONSPIRATOR

Legacy of religious hate

Young Akbar
Young Akbar

The world is full of various views on Akbar. He is full of praise by all but the wrong reasons. A young Mughal Prince consolidated a vast Empire on foreign soil, no mean achievement for any one at all. But the success of his rule meant the success of another Muslim Empire, and that was detested by all the  rivals. The object was simple, snatch from him his passion for his own way of life.

How did Akbar die? Jahangeer himself tells us of his last moments of his life. Akbar opened his eyes and recited the kalma, and died. Much to the chagrin of all, that was the Death of a steadfast Muslim as all Muslims would love to dIe. Reciting the Kalma is the ultimate vow for Muslims. When he was born a Muslim,  lived as a Muslim, and died as a Muslim, what was all that religious experimentations for? My uncle Abdur Raheem Chughtai and I used to discuss things like that. I just asked what was Akbar trying to achieve with all the loose talk about all religions? My uncle smiled, and said it was merely a clever politician, trying to unite the disparate believes in his domain, by making fools of every one. To every religion and its scholars, he was trying to say, ‘I am ready to opt for your way of life”. And that he never intended. Every religious fanatic at one time or the other, not only thought but proclaimed that Akbar had joined his religion. He fooled the Zoarastrians, the Jains, the Hindus, even the Christians with adopting some of their rituals and on verge of acceptance stepping back from it. All such people confirm this themselves.

And all these religious fanatics were saying wrong things. The Christian missionaries openly wrote:

“our ears hear nothing but that hideous and heinous name of Mahomet (GOD FORBID-our affix)….. In a word, Mahomet is everything here. Antichrist reigns. In honour of this infernal monster (ASTAUR KRILLA-our affix) they bend the knee, prostrate, lift up their hands, give alms, and do all they do.”

Is this talk healthy for co-existence? This is straight talk from the enemies of Islam. How could Akbar or anyone at that time accept this kind of talk? It send ripples of disgust in any Muslim of any time.

There is no doubt of the intellectual prowess of Abu-Fazl. His ancestors came from Yemen, and his father Sheikh Mubarak was a strange person. He could be a Sunni, Mahadavi, Naqashbandi or liberal, depending upon the ruler himself. This kind of hypocrisy was evident in Abu-Fazl too. Working in utter hypocrisy, he was undermining Akbar right from the start. And he never wanted Jahangeer (Prince Saleem) to succeed his father. His job was to drive a wedge between father and son. That is why Prince Saleem had him assassinated for this reason.

The Zikri Mahadavi, a sect which still exists in Pakistan, are actually outside Islam itself with their views, on same lines as the Ahmadiyah movement of the 19th century. It is strange that after every hundred years we come up with so called reformers who take us away from the principles of Islam itself. Our job is merely to analyze. Everybody welcome to their way of life, but no one has right to interfere in ours.

Abu-Fazl Akbari
Abu-Fazl Akbari

The conspiracy of Abu-Fazl in trying to foul the life of Akbar is evident but he has made himself so indispensable,that even Akbar could not see the consequences of his hidden actions. With four wives, many concubines, excessive eating habits (30 lbs everyday), he was having the time of his life and wanted to bring Prince Saleem in chains to the court. Fortunately the Mughal Empire was saved from devastation, and father and son agreed on peace. These conspiracies were ever there and are part of a political setup.

ROUND THE WORLD – CULTURES DIFFER, NEEDS SAME

ROUND THE WORLD
CULTURES DIFFER, NEEDS SAME

Mitigating prejudice of differences

Hawaiian people
Hawaiian people

I used to read the classic ‘Around the world in eighty days’ and every time it would stun our reality, that there is a difference of one day in such a travel. Well that happened to us too. Travelling around the world, we found that in Japan, we spent the same day, TWICE. Yes, we gained one day in our life. We had raced against the Sun itself. Probably 22 cities we touched. Different people, different cultures. Yes, all with same needs.

Irani people
Irani people

The best society is that which asserts its identity but never imposes itself on any other. Co-existence is the key to things. World peace depends on acceptance of diversity. Diversity is good for the world. Diversity is healthy. But the Imperialistic view is different.

Japanese people
Japanese people

It is all about concentrating everything in your own hands. Politicians were adept at this thing. But the men behind these men are even more ruthless. By bedding with the devil so many times, they have become the reincarnated devil themselves.

Sikh people
Sikh people

An evil has been unleashed on the world. The Haves have no sympathy for the have-nots, and the have-nots obviously lay unconcerned about anything. The harmony of society is gone. In a music tone, you skip a tone, and there is discord.

Thai people
Thai people

In society you have skipped so many bare essentials, that society itself is at stake. People want to rum away now to the Mars and to the Moon. But will they take their same set of usurping ideas there too. An impotent UNO watches as a spectator to all its this silliness, with the bureaucrats happy in their perks only. Disorganized revolutions bring more discord in the world. The Intellectual with all his strengths remain impotent in an environment of sinews of government. Power rules! For how long?

Polish people
Polish people

HUJRA OF MIR MAHDI – OLDEST EXTANT MONUMENT IN LAHORE

HUJRA OF MIR MAHDI
OLDEST EXTANT MONUMENT IN LAHORE

A relic of Syed Mubarak Shah days

Mausoleum of Mumtaz Shikoh son of Dara Shikoh
Mausoleum of Mumtaz Shikoh son of Dara Shikoh

The year is 1421. Historians report that there was not a single person left alive in Lahore. Syed Mubarak Shah had seized control of the reign of power in Delhi. In 1398 Jasrat Ghakkhar had taken control of Lahore, and Sayyid Mubarak Shah himself came from Delhi, and routed him out. There was a need to rebuild the city as it was said that only OWLS inhabited Lahore. A programme of reconstruction was started and buildings came up, and people from all over the region, were invited to inhabit Lahore, and make it a city again.

IDGAH MUBARAK SHAHI
IDGAH MUBARAK SHAHI

The area of Miran de Kohi is a very ancient area of Lahore. It is said that the Saint Hussain Zanjani, preceded Hazrat Ali Hujveri (Data Darbar) here in Lahore. In Mughal times we have the magnificent mausoleum of Sultan Mumtaz Shikoh, son of Prince Dara Shikoh, who was buried in the garden of his mother. Nadira Begum is herself buried in the Mausoleum of Hazrat Mian Meer in Lahore, in a garden, which preceded the Saint himself.
In Mughal times, the area was very old, and occupied by some unknown person, by the name of Mir Mahdi, and it was known as Hujra of Mir Mahdi. Judge Muhammed Latif the historian of Lahore, calls it by this very name in his book. But what is really old in that area?
The IDGAH obviously, which is the oldest extant Muslim monument of Lahore.

Back view of Idgah
Back view of Idgah

We do not know its present condition but in the 1950s it was still there. A masjid to say the IDD prayers. It had all the aesthetics of 15th century, perhaps even earlier. The Kalma was there on it with a roundrel  of calligraphy in stucco. It was worth preserving in all its scale. There were other Idgahs of earlier period. One was in the village Baini Dhilwan near the Indian border, and the other near the Masjid Shaheedganj Lahore. But the officials are in no mood to preserve all this. Not even a NGO does it. All the NGOS can do is to destroy our identity. No relief in site. At least we can document it.

THEFT OF GATES OF SULTAN MAHMUD’S MAUSOLEUM

THEFT OF GATES OF SULTAN MAHMUD’S MAUSOLEUM

Silly aspersions of Hindu story-telling

Gates of Mazar Sultan Mahmud
Gates of Mazar Sultan Mahmud

The myth is evident even today. Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi stole the Golden Gates of Somnath. The accusation gets repeated again and again and has led to so many misunderstandings that it needs to be corrected once or all. Truth must prevail now about these actual Sandalwood Gates of the Mausoleum of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi.

The Mausoleum of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi was built by his son Sultan  Masud Ghaznavi, and in no way relics of a Mandir could have been placed on a sacred monument of the Muslims. Could his son have commit’ed this outrage against Muslim sentiments? Not in a million years.

Mazar of Sultan Mahmud
Mazar of Sultan Mahmud

The myth was perpetuated to the extent that the most silly Lord Ellenborough made it his personal ambition to get them back to India around 1845 AD. Some writers have written that the Gates were removed and taken to the British Museum. Others talk it of being placed in the Agra Fort. What was the truth? Captain Van Orlich published a detailed engraving of the same in his ‘Travels to India’, published in 1845. They were then in the Agra Fort. One look at the Gates should have made people hang their Heads in shame. Pure Islamic designs with Arabic Kufic inscriptions on them. Masud Saad Sulaiman the Lahori poet has given the existence of wonderful carpenters and naqashi carvers in Lahore. The illustration is self evident.

Syad Muhammed Latif in his ‘History of the Punjab’ eulogizes Lord Ellenborough for bringing them back after centuries , and places them in British Museum. Dr Nazim corrects the same in his history of Mahmud Ghaznavi by writing:

“the misguided enthusiasm of Lord Ellenborough who believed that the gates were of the temple, which the Sultan was supposed to have carried away.”

The image is rare and here we give it to you. The Gates of Somnath stolen from Mandir of Somnath are Islamic designed Gates with Arabic Kufic inscriptions. The temple of Somnath was a LINGAM carved out of mountain and that is a another story worth telling. What is next about story telling? Truth breaks the shackles of falsehood.

Mazar of Sultan Mahmud 19th century
Mazar of Sultan Mahmud 19th century

REDUCING STRESS OF LIFE – STOP WATCHING MEANINGLESS MEDIA

REDUCING STRESS OF LIFE
STOP WATCHING MEANINGLESS MEDIA

A recipe for sanity

Breaking news red warning

Once upon a time there were rational newspapers run by thinking journalists. The aim was always to better society in all ways. The Pakistani Ideology was behind all these people. Then PTV came to Pakistan, and it too, followed same principles, setting standards, never set before in Pakistan. All good and everything in order. Then General Musharaff thought of bringing in mass media to Pakistan, in the hope that such a progress would be beneficial for the country.

Media hype cartoon
Media hype cartoon

Years later we now fully realize that it was an exercise in uselessness. The Breaking news phenomena has brought our nerves to an end. I can tell you the news for the next few decades of the Pakistani media. Bomb blasts, Strikes, Dharnas, empty promises, inauguration of useless public programmes, raise in prices of petrol, other things, cases against fellow politicians, opening of cases against corruption, quashing of cases against politicians, and what not? Full it up, there would be nothing else. Nothing else would be considered newsworthy. Elections, electoral fraud voting, you name it. There will be nothing new.  Many days will be spent on speculating about the new person coming in various posts and after they have won, many days in talking of the right and wrong of choices.

Truth

What am I losing here? My peace of mind, as a first. My rationality, for a second. And thirdly, all my hopes for the future. My advice. Buy some DVDs of your choice and watch them. Grab some news on Al-Jazeera and Russia Today. And watch if you must, watch PTV world. It is still a blessing. And if you have time, talk to your parents, to your wife or husband, to your children. Share moral and ethical values. Relate stories of the past. Read Aesop Fables again and again. Buy story books from the past. Read some good novels. Start a history course. And if nothing else, take out your board of CARAM or even your sheets of LUDO. Relax. And nothing else, kiss your spouse good night and have plenty of good night sleep. Wake up fresh in the morning?

Erase media hype from your life, once for all!

GOVERNMENTAL FOLLIES – BENAZIR BHUTTOS PLAN TO DEMOLISH LAHORE

GOVERNMENTAL FOLLIES

BENAZIR BHUTTOS PLAN TO DEMOLISH LAHORE

The strangest vision of them all

Mughal bridge Ferozewala
Mughal bridge Ferozewala

It was hard to believe when we read it in the newspaper. The new Government of Benazir Bhutto (years ago) had thought of the most craziest idea possible. The idea to demolish Lahore completely (old city) and to build a new city on it, and to allocate that new city with its many quarters to their so called ‘jialas’. Is this possible for any sensitive person to dream of demolishing the entire history of a city, more than 1000 years old? It looked like a joke but was not. She was pretty serious about it, and perhaps nurtured a deep hidden  hate of the city. Those people were able to do anything and Lahore was lucky to escape the wrath of the PPP, otherwise this damage could have been greater than all the damage inflicted on the city by the combined wrath of the Sikhs and the British.

Hundreds of monuments are crumbling down into ruins. Many of them are uncharted by any archaeological department. Old buildings, and gardens, are still there for exploration. Every day some journalist turns up something new. It is reported to be lost again. The administration loves the British period buildings as the legacy of their Masters, not previous, even the present ones. TV channels show privately owned bridges, gardens and what not? No one cares. The education of bureaucracy is suspect, as for the politicians, it is actually not there. Stolen identities, stolen degrees that is all. When something is discovered, everybody tries to hide it, for fear of theft from the persons in power.

Actual location Delhi Gate
Actual location Delhi Gate

A  new scheme was put into place to revive the old Royal entrance into Lahore. But from where? Not one person had the common sense to know that the Delhi Gate made by Muhammed Sultan Contractor is not the actual Delhi Gate at all. It is a newly reconstructed Gate made in the 19th century on a new site. Mughal construction was such that the Gate would face the smaller Chitta Darwaza inside it as well as the Wazeer Khan mosque gate in a  straight line. Dr Abdullah Chaghatai has drawn a  straight line as to where the Gate must have existed in his book on the Wazeer Khan mosque and it needs to be referred, for analysis of the case. But then we are poor at history! Most present day archaeologists are merely clerks with little knowledge or passion for Lahore. The obsession with the Shahi hammam is good but it was in private possession for such a long time and no one really cared for it. Good that it is receiving greater attention now. And with it being discovered more and more riddles. Obviously Kamran Lashari is a man of work and needs to be congratulated for his personal passion in the scheme. More need to be done. But no restoration is better than poorer restoration. The results in the Lahore Fort testifies to this philosophy, that if you cannot do it correctly, leave it as it is. It is better that way.

For whom are you making this Lahore? Certainly not its residents, but for tourists and others who would walk in the lanes and eat the meals on the food streets. This would not make Lahore a living city again. It would make it comparable to Mohenjo Daro, the city of the Dead. Give Lahore back to Lahorites! Let the filthy rich and the corrupt enjoy themselves in posh areas. Give us our city back!

Lahore Panorma Delhi Gate
Lahore Panorma Delhi Gate

ISMAELIS IN PUNJAB – VIOLENT CONFRONTATIONS

ISMAELIS IN PUNJAB
VIOLENT CONFRONTATIONS

Sultan Mahmud and Multan

Title: Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi
Title: Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi

The Ismaelis had come to the region very early in Islamic history. We find relics of Ismaeli civilization in Bhadreswar, the oldest settlement of Muslims in the region. Old Hindu records speak of a stranded Arab ship which came here and resulted in a Muslim settlement. A detailed analysis of the area has been made and pillars speak of a time gone by. The advent of Islam through Sind was brought by Muhammed bin Qasim and he reached Multan itself. But later we find the Arab rule overturned and Ismaelis ruling both Sind and Multan.

Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi had a row with three generations of Ismaeli rulers of Multan. First was Hamid, then Nasr, then Daud bin Nasr there.  Daud bin Nasr, Ruler of Multan, rebelled against the Caliph of Islam and Sultan Mahmud was going there to teach him as lesson. Raja Anangapal of Lahore interceded on behalf of Daud bin Nasr Ruler of Multan and attacked the convoy of Sultan Mahmud. This greatly infuriated the Sultan when he saw the Hindu Raja hand in hand with the Ismaeli ruler. Sultan Mahmud eventually sacked Multan, and Daud bin Nasr  the Ruler of Multan fled for the mountains. Nothing else is known what happened to him. Of course some chronicles records of him being taken prisoner to Ghazni, but it seems that perhaps was not the case. We find Sultan Mahmud heading towards Bhadreswar on his way back from Somnath. The Sultan sacked Bhadreswar too.

Shrine of Ibrahimn Bhadreswar  1159
Shrine of Ibrahimn Bhadreswar 1159

A detailed study of Bhadreswar was made by archaeologists and they discovered the tomb of Ibrahim there and he turns out to be related to Daud bin Nasr, ruler of Multan.  The circle had gone full swing. Sultan Mahmud had sacked Sind too and upturned the Ismaelis rule there. It seems that the Jain, Hindu and Muslims (Ismaelis) were all well trenched in Bhadreswar.We quote a scholar of an inscription there:

“The identity of this personage is not known. The only well known figure who might be our Ibrahim is Ibrahim ibn al-Hussain al-Hamidi, who became ‘dai mutlaq’ of the Yemen and its neighbourhood, as well as in India and Sind in the year 536/1141, with his headquarters in Sana. As far as the name Abul Futuh is concerned, we know that at the time of Mahmud’s invasion of Multan in 401/ 1010 the Ismaeli ‘dai’ was Abdul Futuh Dawud ibn Nasr, who was taken prisoner and died in Ghazna.

Mausoleum of Sultan Mahmud
Mausoleum of Sultan Mahmud

“The interesting part is that both Ibrahim and Abdul Futuh are related to the Ismaeli sect as is mentioned in the historical background a mosque was built for the SHIMALI, which is suggested by Buhler to mean the Ismaeli community. The only reference n our inscription which might confirm the Ismaeli connection with the building is the phrase ‘May God bless the Prophet Muhammed and his family’, The word ALIHI reflects the Ismaeli in Bhadreswar.”

All this was before even the term of Assassins was ever related to the Ismaelis. Today the community is a pillar of respect in the world and concerned about spreading art and culture all over the world. Well done indeed!

Perhaps tomb of Dawud ibn Nasr Multani Bhadreswar
Perhaps tomb of Dawud ibn Nasr Multani Bhadreswar

A SULTANATE LAMP OF LAHORE – FILLING GAPS OF RESEARCH

A SULTANATE LAMP OF LAHORE
FILLING GAPS OF RESEARCH

Missed opportunities

Sultanate period lamp Lahore
Sultanate period lamp Lahore

It is a fascinating study to note the changes and development of shapes as a thing moves from one region to another. Obviously there is a harmony in Islamic Art everywhere, but the regional changes are always there. The Taj Mahal is based on prototypes in Herat and Samarkhand but in Agra at the hands of a Lahori architect, it developed a shape all its own. A butterfly defecates the individual flowers of the area. A honey-bee produces honey which is related in taste to that area alone.

Sultanate lamp of Lahore

Why lower placed domes become bulbous domes in another area is worthy of study? Of course the Euclid principles were there and designs based on geometrical equations were natural to those people. Some critics openly state that artists and architects are inspired by the aesthetics of womanhood, and as regional area houses women with larger bosoms, so did the heavy bosom had an effect on the shape of architecture too. A study of the Sultanate lamp of Lahore shows the same bulbous shape which characterizes this area. Although the naqashi on it as well as Fake Kufic script is still there, the over all shape is different to this area. But there is no doubt that it is an Islamic lamp with Islamic aesthetics woven in it.

Islamic lamp
Islamic lamp

 

Cultures do not clash, they actually intermix and form adaptations in the results. The architecture of the Hindu temples started using domes,  arches and gateways and naqashi designs of the Islamic buildings. The Sikh Gurdawaras are all Islamic in nature. Even the Samadh of Ranjit Singh is an Islamic design. The Golden Temple is an Islamic design, and many Muslim Architects are known by name, who worked on it. Even after the demise of the Sikh Maharaja, the people working on it were Muslims. Sikh testimonials record for instance the working of a few Muslim mimars of Amritsar (all real brothers), including Elahi Baksh Mimar.So the new culture is a welcome sign to aesthetics.

BronzeOilLamp147

Dr Tara Chand wrote a thesis on Islamic contribution to Hindu Culture. Nowadays no one dares to even use this nomenclature as their topic.  A study of local culture even today shows the shortcomings of its environments. When a new stimulus is given to jaded ideas and thoughts, a new flower is sprung into existence. Natural Selection of Charles Darwin is replaced by Cultural Selection of modern man. The Buddhists from Central Asia enriched this area. The Mongols did the same. And the Turks brought new life into the region. Whatever the political reasons for debunking this contribution, it has stood the test of time and it cannot be in any way denied by any one. M.A. Rahman Chughtai once said that if a survey is taken of the reason of the abundance of tourists to this region, we find that the Mughal monuments are one of the biggest attraction which make them come here. The Taj Mahal  heads such a list of want to see monuments. So do not in any way undermine the contribution of Islamic Civilization to this region.

GOVERNMENT CAN DELIVER NOTHING ——– “LICK MY BOOTS” ONLY

GOVERNMENT CAN DELIVER NOTHING
“LICK MY BOOTS” ONLY

Arrogance in doing nothing

keep-calm-and-lick-my-bootsLick my boots

The romance of Democracy helping people achieve their known potential is gone. Not only ours, but even the best democratic setups have miserably failed to deliver anything to the people. And the officials have no regret. The attitude remains arrogant and relies on LICK MY BOOTS philosophy of disdain of the common man. The hope that a better setup would come remains false as ever. And not only our own dreams which are gone, these people have taken the dreams from our children too. The new slavery of democracy is phenomenal.

Slaves
Slaves

The contributions of an intellectual to a country is different from the contributions of a dullard of society. Egalitarian societies obviously cater to all citizens. But do they? The French aristocracy had no inkling of what was going on in the minds and hearts of the people. Then the bubble burst, and they could take it  longer. The lessons of the French revolution are there in front of us. Marie Antoinette could casually remark that why are the people grumbling about the lack of availability of bread, she had seen plenty of cakes in the bakery herself. That is becoming remote from the people totally.

Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette
French Revolution
French Revolution

Hazrat Umar (blessings of Allah be upon him) could create the perfect society in Arabia. It was this Caliph who uttered the immortal saying that even if a dog went hungry in his kingdom, what face he would show to Almighty Allah? In short he was responsible for the hunger of a dog too.

Hungry dogSo go on making people suffer and ask them to lick your boots. Their boots are going to be in your bottom very soon!

PASSIONS OF A NATION – REFLECTION OF LOVE SONGS

PASSIONS OF A NATION
REFLECTION OF LOVE SONGS

Love durations

Title: Engagement Rings
Title: Engagement Rings (Click to Zoom)

A nation is best understood by its love songs. Romance has been sung from centuries, and the permanence of love held sacred by most societies. Romantic tales of Punjab speak of romantic love between individuals for which one reason or the other, could not normally maintain a relation. The most poignant songs are of course where there is a tragedy of relation. That is why Romeo and Juliet are icons of a tragic love affair. But all that changed with industrialization as a new barbaric age was ushered in again. Gone were the woo songs of the past, and gone was the effort for romantic love. A new horrible term came in vogue and that was a ‘One Night Stand’. It seems that even  has been replaced by the concept of perhaps ‘One Hour stand’, or a quickie in modern times.

Title: Hands of Mahiwal
Title: Hands of Mahiwal (Click to Zoom)

The difference between human beings and beasts is defined by permanence. Beasts mate at fixed given times and have no memories of their beloved ones. Not even the family is remembered after a lapse of time. It is only human beings that are capable of long term relations, and when you cut that short , you are nothing short of a predator in the romantic jungle of sexual relations. Alas and woe to man for belittling the highest passions of life into meaningless relations. A saying goes that the other man’s wife always seems more attractive. You walk in a pub, in any Western city, and you see the conflict of waning youthful appearances, looming large on the psyche of both men and women. Fighting against the rebellion of their own minds and bodies., A hundred percent attractive mate seems nothing the next day after the so called conquest.

Title: Romance of the Punjab (Click to Zoom)
Title: Romance of the Punjab (Click to Zoom)

A wise saying goes in the East that Love ends with marriage in the West, in the East Love starts with marriage. The evapouration of the concept of halal and haram has gone out of society and even the children that were once termed as illegitimate or no longer thought in same terms. A fancy term of One parent child has evolved in the Western world, much to the aghast of all those who hold family sacred in life.  A group of European women ended up in an argument with me. They said we can do with out family, there is no going back to those concepts. And I said what about men? You have left them too. They said we cannot live without love. Men are essential for us.

Like a bolt and nut, men are important to women, and women important to men. But in a relation which in a second does not change. It has the permanence of life behind itself.

Title: Heer Ranjha (Click to Zoom)
Title: Heer Ranjha (Click to Zoom)