MANY MUGHAL MINIATURES CARRY NAME OF BEHZAD LAHORI, AS INSCRIPTIONS ON THE ART WORKS THEMSELVES BUT SADLY DISMISSED BY WESTERN SCHOLARS BY COMPARISON WITH USTAD KAMALUDDIN BEHZAD, WHO IS NATURALLY DIFFERENT PAINTER
Western scholarship lost the ability to look like locals and locals lost the ability to look at all. Some common sense about ourselves only we have and the world is forewarned about it. One relates to the artist Behzad. We are so familiar with the great Ustad Kamaluddin Behzad, that if we see the name anywhere else, we think of it as someone trying to forge a work in the name of the great Master. Not always so, indeed. The Iranians boasted of a most famous modern Behzad of their own. We also have a 16th century Behzad Lahori and there are few paintings we can calmly claim to be his own. For instance, the Jain Miniature is not by Ustad Sheikh Basawan but by Behzad Lahori, and many have mistaken this as a wrong attribution. Not so. There are miniatures of European women which are linked to the brush of Behzad Lahori. The Darab-nama in the British Museum is also one of them. We have tried to give you some visuals of same.
Who was Behzad Lahori? This takes us to the Mussavari khana in Lahore Fort and Khawaja Abdul Samad, one of the pioneers of Mughal Art in our region. Abdul Samad brought two young sons with him when he came to Lahore from Kabul. One was Khawajah Shareef and the other was Behzad Mussawar. Khawajah Shareef was a great scholar and poet having the takhallus ‘Farsi’ as his poetic name. Stray manuscripts carry his name. The same goes for Behzad Lahori, who was reared up and lived his life in Lahore, and later died here at a young age. He was first brought to our notice by one of the greatest Persian scholar of Pakistan, Hafiz Mahmud Khan Shairani. Professor Shairani pointed out that this painter was definitely of this region and was the son of Khawajah Abdul Samad.
Professor Shairani who had seen the Darab nama in the British Museum itself, spelled it in clear terms. This was later certified by the famous Western Scholar Dr Laurence Binyon, who said:
“A not very distinguished group in the sixteenth century Indian Darab Namah at the British Museum, London, bears the inscription, that the work of Behzad was corrected by Khawajah Abdul Samad.”
Other paintings of Behzad are found in the Changez nama in the Bankipur library, Patna. So the presence of Ustad Behzad Lahori is felt here and there. The latest inclusion is a miniature with inscriptions on it and the same refers to it as the work of Behzad. Again confusion prevailed in western scholarship and calls this old inscription as a mistake when it is not. It is the work of Behzad Lahori.
The work in our archives of European Musicians have the same line over the mountain in the background as this miniature and we can easily see it to be the work of Behzad Lahori. We have used it for mere review purposes to compare both works and come to proper conclusions. Include this name in references to foundation of Mughal Art. P.S.
A beautiful thesis by artist Ms Razzia Feroze exist on Behzad. A book on him by Dr Abdullah Chaghatai. And a write up by Abdur Rahman Chughtai, too. The Master covered by our people too.
RUTHLESS DISMANTLING OF MUGHAL MONUMENTS THE SERAI OF NAWAB WAZEER KHAN UNDER BRITISH AXE Nothing was safe from them
The British bureaucracy today presents us with a very healthy image of themselves. Like saviours of a vanquished race, they soft peddle us on everything. But most people would hesitate in believing anything about them. However the fact remains that after the pillage of thousands of Islamic monuments by Sikhs, the British were equally responsible for this carnage to our heritage. Who would believe that tenders were issued for the marble of the Taj Mahal itself ? The bulldozers were there in the compound to take it down. When marble of other monuments were sent for sale to Italy, they did not fetch a good price and the prospects of dismantling more, remained in limbo. It was Lord Curzon who came to the rescue of the Monuments of Hindustan and we give him full credit for his contributions.
Some of the greatest Mughal monuments in history of Lahore were destroyed in the process. Mention is made of the Sheesh Mahal of Nawab Asif Khan, which was there in Sikh times. Ainah Khanah of Prince Dara Shikoh met the same fate. The City Walls as well as many Gates of Lahore were raised to the ground. Conquering civilizations are ruthless and know no mercy. Such is also the fate of the SERAI OF NAWAB WAZEER KHAN outside Delhi Gate Lahore, which was more commonly known as GOLA SERAI. In historical records mention of the Serai is there. But nobody knew where it was and what it looked liked in all ways! In 1904 a traveler passing through Lahore made some photographs and with that contribution, we have two visual images of the Serai in Lahore.
E.D. Maclagan in one of his writings around 1910, talks of the dismantling of the Gola Serai and adds that there were tile mosaics on it. He says the Gateway to the Serai had Angels on both sides of the Gate. We find similar angels in the Hammam of Nawab Wazeer Khan, as well as the tile Mosaics of the Lahore Fort. Our idea gets complete and further consolidates the fact that most of the tile mosaics of Lahore Fort are the work of the period of Emperor Shah Jahan. Living history is often reduced to references in books, and even those books are lost in time. But that is life. When people give up their freedom, they lose many things. Culture and aesthetics are a small part of it. The fourth generation war has brought Cultural Terrorism too. We write about it all the time.
AN AMAZING DOCUMENT OF MUSLIM CARING OF CHRISTIANS COMMUNITY YES, ACHTINAME SECOND YEAR OF HIJRA BY PROPHET MUHAMMED (PBUH)
Today the relations between Muslims and Christian is a buzz word. Nobody care to look at the back ground of same. In the second year of Hijra, taking into account the possible insecurity of Christians with Islamic advancement, the Prophet (PBUH) engendered a testament which was written by Hazrat Ali, Blessings of Allah be upon him too. It was a literal grant to the Christian community in the area of Mount Sinai, and it ensured a peaceful co existence between the two communities. The Prophet (PBUH) himself put the impressions of his palm on the document. It guaranteed the Monks and the Christian families every kind of freedom to practice their religion as well as sanctity of their place of worship.
The original document existed for many centuries and was with the Turkish Sultans. But copies of same were made over time We here attach a copy made in 1858 but literally it has everything word to word that the original said in the 2nd Hijri. It is an eye opener in today’s world where the magnificent attitude of the Muslims is totally disregarded with time. Even the Bible was translated into Arabic in those times and we will talk more about it later. Till then enjoy the epitome of Muslims Christians relation in a document!
A GREAT HISTORIAN OF EMPEROR SHAH JAHAN; HIS OWN MAUSOLEUM A CHURCH AND SCHOOL.
Muhammed Salih Kambo and his so called brother Inayat-ullah were men of prestige under Emperor Shah Jahan. Both belonged to Lahore and lived in a havelli inside Mochi Darwaza Lahore. The havelli and other residues are gone but the small kashigari mosque built by the brothers is still there and in every day use. But more important is the book Shahjahan- nama left by Muhammed Salih. It is the day to day history of the Emperor and one of the standard texts of Mughal history. The letters of Inayatullah (his INSHA) reveals history too. And then there is the grand story left by them which is a must read in every house from that period. A fairy tale of the times, that is ‘Bahar danish’. The brothers are world famous for their contributions to literature and history.
Inayatullah built this mausoleum for himself, having retired from the world. He died in 1080 AH (1669 AD) and was buried in this mausoleum in Lahore. After the death of Muhammed Salih, he too was buried in the same mausoleum. The two brothers rested in peace. And then the British took over Lahore in 1849, and in the footsteps of the Sikh rulers, ruthlessly tore down Mughal monuments as of being not worthy of their times. In fact William Bentinck had plans to level to the ground all Mughal buildings in Indo-Pakistan, including the Taj Mahal of Agra. But that is a separate story. Many of these worthy monuments were converted into Churches. The design of the Church in Peshawar recently caught under a blast is worthy of note. Not a church at all but a building converted into the purpose. Similarly the Mausoleum of Sahib Jamal Begum, wife of Emperor Jahangeer, more commonly known as the Tomb of Anarkalli was converted into a Church for a long time. Eventually it was given up and converted into a record room.
The mausoleum of Muhammed Salih Kambo was first given to an English gentleman Mr Seymour, and was his residence for many years. Later converted into SAINT ANDREWS CHURCH a long time back, and Rev A R Macduff was in charge of same. It is the anguish of Muhammed Salih that on his grave trampled host of people every day, particularly Sundays, with disregard to the man inside the same. Today it is no longer used as a Church but still then not returned to the Archaeological Department. There was the Principals office in it or perhaps the Administrator. But now it is even worse. The dome has been divided into two storeys by wooden framework into different classes, and host of students tread in it with shoe all the time. No ordinary men deserves this, lest two religious and literary scholars of Lahore, famous in the whole world.
Is it not a shame for us Lahorites, for Pakistan, as well as all the civilized world, that in these modern times, this unnatural happening is still being prolonged into modern times.
I appeal to the His Excellency The Pope in Vatican to look into the matter. The worthy local Bishops of Lahore, very enlightened should study the issue too. Otherwise this does not bode well for interfaith harmony in the world.
We love our Christian brethren as fellow Pakistanis. But this cause is just and needs to be ratified as early as possible. In all good faith!
INAM SHAH THE POSSIBLE FIRST CONVERT OF LAHORE THOMAS VELPY FRENCH DEDICATION TO CHRISTIANITY Most of T.V. French’s students died in his tenure
When Thomas Velpy French arrived at Lahore, there was no one to receive him. He carried his own baggage to an Inn in Lahore. He brought grandiose plans for a Divinity College in Lahore. His other plans was that the locals hated the English language, and one must tell them not to confuse the English language with Christianity. He made the difficult decision to translate the Sacred texts in Urdu and Urdu would be the language of teaching in Lahore. People resented his ideas but he stuck with them to the last. Not only that he even forbade the Western dress for them. He suggested that after conversion, people wearing western dress and speaking in English are immediately isolated from their loved ones, relatives and friends, as well as the society. The idea indeed was good. So good that the American mission took it up too. Reverend Forman got involved in translating biblical texts and it is on record that he made many Urdu translations., In fact a Professor of F.C. College has recently done research on this same subject and offered number of Urdu books on Bible done by Reverend Forman, of course founder of F.C. College Lahore.
The Divinity College started with four students and later on there was an addition of seven of them. But the unfortunate part was that Sickness prevailed and a lot of them died within the short span of T.V. French being Bishop in Lahore. Yes, four of them died very early; one of consumption, one drowned in Jhelum river, another of consumption too, and the other of fever, with which he went into coma. A sad end for the newly converts to happen like this.
Inam Shah, probably of Lahore, became possibly the First Convert in Lahore. Termed and dubbed as a most bigoted Muhammedan (the word bigoted is used by French himself to denote Inam Shah’s family background, for he belonged to a very religious family here), he was ordained by Bishop Milman of Calcutta, and probably sent to Peshawar. Not necessary to know how it happened, but it is said that he was taken back by the biblical words of ‘OUR FATHER’. Inam Shah had rebelled against his own religious father. It impressed him so much that he converted to Christianity. We do not know much more than that.
We do know that T.V. French himself fell sick and went home. He was replaced by Dr W. Hooper, who was a scholar of Sanskirit and interested only in converting Hindus from then on. It seems that there was a superstition evolved in Lahore that converting Muslims led to deaths. This is not our saying. This is a strange confession from the annals of biblical history of Lahore. They were good people, tying o reach out to others to promote their cause. This they never realized that you cannot let a student appear for Matriculation, when he has already taken his PHD on the subject. The evolution of religion in the Judeo-Christian-Muslim traditions had culminated in the last prophet of Allah.
IN MEMORY OF ELZA HUIFFNER, GERMAN NATIONAL; BORN IN BREMEN, COMPANION OF CHUGHTAI ARTIST.
In 1931-32 M.A. Rahman Chughtai decided to visit Europe on an art finding trip. In that visit to various countries, he met Elza Huiffner in the National Gallery London, in discussion of a painting of Rembrandt’s mother. The discussion we have recorded in the book “East met West”. No time here for long discussion.
But it led to deep interaction. And various incidents recorded in our book.
My father had great love and respect for Elza Huiffner, often called by him and others as ELZO BABY. We did a lot of research on her and her sister Hannah. It seems the family ended in USA. We surveyed town after town, newspapers, even graveyards. It started with Mayor of Bremen, where Elza Huiffner was born. We will eventually present this step by step research for researchers. Right now we can say that Ms Elza Huiffner was daughter of an Air Force pilot of World War one, and we have photographs of her with her mother and many more. She was born on 20th May, 1911. About twenty years old when she met Chughtai artist.
A PROVERB SAYING IN CULTURE OF ZAR, ZAN AND ZAMEEN; IT SEEMS PSEUDO INTELLECTUALS ARE FULLY UTILIZING ALL.
It makes me sick and feel like vomiting the tirade against Islam and as well Pakistan. It is to their knowledge for both Mullahs and Secular nobodies, that event of Islamic thinking and the idea of Pakistan, is dangerous for them, and they risk losing the three advantages of Zar, Zan and Zameen. I need not repeat it is common folklore of ours what is happening in this ruthless campaign against the idea of Pakistan.
One day late Stephen Cohen called on me, as one of the hundred Pakistanis, the Bush administration had asked him to call on them and understand their point of view. He was frank with me, I was frank with him. My late father Abdur Rahman Chughtai had spent twenty years of his life with close contact with Dr Allama Iqbal. After Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, this was the second revolution of the region. After his death, a group of scholars were created to carry on the mission. Allama Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz was one of them., but there were many others. As politicians ate our political fiber, in same way bigoted religious and secular nobodies went after the idea. Their rubbish can be easily detected by most. This is not limited to the idea of Pakistan.
Atheists filling their pockets with the three rewards, also rave against the concepts of Islam. Many morons think they know more about Allah, then Allah himself. Many scientific concepts that the Quran revealed centuries ago, are coming true one by one. No possibility that at that time anybody could even conceive them. Unfortunately when they challenge Allah, Allah does something to their faces. You see badkari written on their face . An honest and dishonest scholar can be easily recognized at a glance. Instead of relying on the Quran itself, these people project different books written by different people with no advancement of intellectual prowess. Continuation of falsehood.
Manners and diplomacy asserts good behaviour of all for all, otherwise my sole ambition would be to shove their bullshit where ever we can. If you do not love Pakistan, leave Pakistan. Certainly with a rag in your hands, clean filth of others. But no shine will come from desolated ideas ever.
PRESENT CHANTING OF BULLEH SHAH ENDORSED BY FOREIGN LOBBIES SINISTER DESIGNS TO PUT FOG AROUND REVIVAL OF ISLAM IN ACTUALITY NO OBJECTION TO ANYONE’S FEELINGS BUT DO NOT HURT MINE
This is a land of Babas. Babas dared to say anything, as they were considered above board and censure. Everyone has a right to their belief and I have no objections. Welcome to the world of Babas! But negating basic Islamic tenets is not my idea of our way of life. Though ijjtehad we can do anything collectively except permanent values, but then foreign lobbies pay our locals to endorse things, there must be something wrong somewhere.
Punjab and the whole region is full of Babas. Are the Babas endorsing Islamic way of life? Or the Babas are taking us away from basic Islamic principles. It is up to you to decide. Bu do not look away. Jumping up and down or in a swirl will not bring us closer to Allah. Allah asks us to THINK AND PONDER all the time. Anything which taking us away from thinking and pondering is not my way life. Nor it is the Islamic way of life. People in foreign lands fear the resurgence of Islam and in all ways, Babas are being used maliciously to curb this going back to the pristine values of rising Islamic awareness all over the world. Islam is against terrorism in all ways. But it is also against anything which prevents us from seeking knowledge. Education is to bring us civilization. Rewriting our history and curbing our Ideology is not fun for us. It gives us pain and when you inflict pain, you touch Allah’s Law of Mukufat. Doing wrong will bring wrong results. Love is important and having compassion is a divine thing. But closing our minds is a sin.
P.S. Enjoy a first look at a handwritten autograph of unknown book by Inayat Qadri Lahori, teacher of Bulley Shah, in our archives.
ON RAVI ROAD A CREMATION PLACE IN LAHORE FOR HINDU LADIES WAS MS AMRITA SHER GIL CREMATED HERE? RESEARCH REQUIRED!
The ladies of the area recall the acute burning smell of human flesh in the area. It was a place made in 1901, for the cremation of Hindu ladies of Lahore. Opposite is the European Cemetery of Lahore, made after 1849, and having graves even today dating to 1852. On the other side in Minto Park, was the Towers of Silence of the Parsees in Lahore. The Zoroastrians graveyard. Then it was shifted to Gulberg, Lahore. Once upon a time the river Ravi ran right there and then it became stagnant, and was named as Buddha Darya. In the vicinity many years back a boat was discovered. On this bank was the area (takia) of the Patrangahs the dyers of clothes in Lahore. This was their work place on the banks of river Ravi. Their Mohalla was inside Bhatti Gate, Lahore. Once upon a time Emperor Akbar’s ships traversed the river Ravi. It was intact some years back, although inhabited by immigrants from India. A chabara of red stone in the front. There was an inscription on the main gateway. It specified its history as Radha Kund. The inscription is interesting reading.
It says that this cremation site was erected by Mohan Lal and Lal Chand, sons of late Rai Munshi Gulab Singh, in memory of their beloved mother Shri Mati Radha Devi, in the year 1901. Rai Munshi Gulab Singh was a famous publisher of Lahore, who published many books in different languages. In fact, there is even a medal named after him in the University of the Punjab, given even today. In a city with a recorded history of more than 1000 years, this is plainly a modern era. But can one imagine the thousands of Hindu ladies who were cremated here. For us there is a clear possibility that Amrita Sher Gil was also cremated here. After all this is Ravi road, and these are the banks of old river Ravi, and it was the main cremation place of Hindu ladies of Lahore. In fact, outside the city walls, one still comes across pots, filed with the ashes of the Hindus of Lahore. Amrita died on Saturday, 6th December, 1941, at 1.30 am. That means 12 pm had passed, and the new day had begun.
That very day there was an appointment Amrita had made with M.A. Rahman Chughtai, to see him in his studios. Chughtai Sahib waiting for her to appear, heard the news of her death. His condolences were published many places, basically in short it was:
“I did not believe that she had died. And I still do not believe it. She is living and will ever live.”
M.A. Rahman Chughtai was introduced to Amrita by her father Umrao Singh Sher-Gil. Umrao Singh was a valued and respected friend of the artist. In the meeting Dr Allama Iqbal was also there and he too, was introduced to Amrita. The father, Umrao Singh expressed high hopes for her. The father was a specialist on Omar Khayyam as well as on Sufi poetry and Chughtai had many discussions with him. When Amrita Sher-Gil came to settle in Lahore, and wanted to hold an exhibition here, people co-operated with her. And the show was held after her death. The death was on 6th December, the exhibition was held on 21st December, 1941. A rare exhibition show in Lahore. It is a strange anomaly that her dead body must have passed right in front of the house of the artist. In fact, a journey she could not make while alive, but her dead body traversed the same route. Indeed, a spiritual journey.
REWRITING HISTORY OF LAHORE IN A FULLY ORCHESTRATED WAY’ ERASING PAKISTANI IDEOLOGY, AND ALSO MUSLIM CONTRIBUTIONS.
The first question is simple, “Can it be done?” It is my firmest belief that try can all combined, it cannot be done. But the enemy knows more than anyone else. Hit Culture first, rest will follow. Thousands of books in the region, and thousands of archaeological sites, all under control of those opposing our Ideology. Lahore is ready to be sold to the highest bidder. There is a reason for so many Plazas being built in a bankrupt society, namely the next set of owners. When I look at the so-called experts lecturing us, I actually feel their knowledge and analysis of a baby who does not know how to clean his diapers. The result trying to spread their filth on others.
Many years back there was a news in the paper of a plan to demolish the walled city completely. I was amazed at this news. Can any knowledgeable person even conceive of erasing at least 1000 years of history? Then came the British times effort to talk of meaningless creation of Loh, to the making of the city. To authenticate this baseless statement, a Mandir of Loh was created in the Lahore Fort. Mind you the two sons of Ram had nothing to do with this area, and when dug, around 1923, some jaw fragments and bones were discovered, and those disappeared with the connivance of Hindu Society, namely Sanatan Dharm Yudah Salba.
Ahmad Hasan Dani Views
In 1973 the legendary scholar of Pakistan Ahmad Hasan Dani delivered a lecture on Al-Beruni” in the city of Kabul. Amazing that Kabul is seen as hosting a Pakistani scholar. But Kabul was a city of intellect and arts for a long time. Not surprising that it happened then. Dani Sahib in his erudite way explains everything. He dismisses the so-called connection of Loh son of Ram with Lahore and we attach the paragraph on same. Worthy of being read. But most interesting he isolates different Lahores and capitals and names. And he says that the city was founded near the river IRAWATI (present Ravi), and that is why it was called IRAWATIAWAR. It was later modified with use as RAVAWAR. He says Panini’s grammar tells us that RA and LA are interchangeable grammarian words, and that is why we have the word LAHAWAR, or presently LAHORE itself. Lahore is simply by tradition CITY ON RAVI.
An uncertain Munshi Sujan Rai
It is very romantic to speak of the twin cities of Lahore and Kasur and link them to perhaps two brothers Loh (actually Lava) and Kasu (actually Kusa), son of the legendary god Ram Chandar of Hindu religion. Certainly, Loh is remembered as the son of Ram Chandar, but little is known of a brother Kasu. This Lahore idea was first floated by a Hindu writer Munshi Sujan Rai perhaps in 1691 AD (the amazing fact is that no old manuscript is known, and when it covers 40 years of Aurangzeb’s reign, all manuscripts have date of death of Aurangzeb too (years later), and the earliest manuscript is dated 1168 AH or 1754 AD and even that has some missing and replaced pages, and even more amazing of the five manuscripts known, not one has his name in it) in Khulasatul Tawareekh, as compared to simple statement of Lahori writer Ahmad Zanjani in Tuhfa Sawaleen in 1043 AD (648 years previous) which ridicules this conjecture. But nowhere was mentioned that his Mandir exist in the Lahore Fort. No mention of same even with Kanhaiya Lal in 1884, and up to the best of my knowledge it was Judge Muhammed Latif in 1892 AD, who narrated the existence of Mandir, and speaks of it being in a deep hollow which is descended by wooden stairs. Or rather ladder if you call it. Not very clear really. Made to mention but no image in his book.
Mian Muhammed Fauq historian
Mian Muhammed Fauq is a well-known historian of our region and has written on Lahore too. Rare to find his books, we come across the in different conditions. But very strangely there is a strange mention in his book on Lahore, related to the Lahore Fort. Let us translate what he has to say in understandable terms:
“Besides the mosques in Lahore Fort, there is a Mandir in the fort, that even today proves the bigheartedness of the Mughals Emperors, This Mandir is in a space with a huge pit in it. It is said that this pit is that of Raja Loh, son of Raja Ram Chandar, who is responsible for making New Lahore. The level is same as the Fort, there is a reason for it that it is very old and Mughals left it intact. In reference to this Mandir, the society Sanatan Dharm Yudah Salba were having letters communication with the Government. So on 11th December, 1923, members of Yud Sahba, and Superintendent of Archaeology went to see the same, and this area was covered with debris, the same area was cleaned from all sides. Cleaning the Mandir or Samadh, and one can see a dilapidated dome (gum band) and under two feet one could see leaves and earth all around. This two feet deep one could see a flower. Its level is same as that of Hazuri Bagh. After cleaning and digging, on 13th December, 1923, there were discovered bones of hands which at present generation comparison, were very large, and the face had very sharp teeth which were also discovered there. After studying them it seems that at that time, humans were much taller and stronger at old days. These bones were taken into possession by Sanatan Dharm as being the bones of Loh, son of Ram Chandar. However, the Department of Archaeology thought that these bones were of pre-Buddhist times of some extra ordinary large person. “
Where did the bones go? Perhaps preserved by the Archaeology department. Perhaps taken by Sanatan Dharm people. No one knows. A look at the newspaper of those times may reveal a lot of things. The Mazar of Nau-guzza has changed over the times too. Only a small portion is left by now. It blocked the road leading to Pani da talab. And there was a trough of water for the horses built by the municipal corporation. We have written a complete book on the Nau-guzzas for the first time ever. The details are fantastic. An iconic image recovered from the depths of Lahore all the time point out the giants, and with a familiar head dress on its head, it surely has Arabic and Egyptian background. Jewish and Islamic history recalled here. Genesis points out the expulsion of giants from the holy land, from where they fled to other areas in the East. But this is a blog only. More research will come eventually!