SHAH QALEEM ULLAH GRANDSON OF USTAD AHMAD MIMAR LAHORIA MANUSCRIPT FROM HIS LIBRARY ENTITLED SHARH QASIDA BURDA
The family of Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori were professional people, with expertise in architecture, calligraphy, mathematics and astronomy. But they were also Islamic loving people and did things related to Islamic civilization. A number of them were writing Qurans, and dealing with iconic Islamic literature. Literature on Qirat is found in their writings. Qasida Burda fascinated them too. But the wonderful thing is that one of them became a famous Sufi himself, and homage paid to him in his grave in Delhi.
A number of religious books written by him survive both in printed form as well as manuscript form. Listing all of them is not required here. But we find an original manuscript of Sharh Qasida Burda, perhaps written by him, perhaps merely copied by him, for he was a calligrapher himself, as well as son of a famous calligrapher Nurullah Ahmad. We are talking here of the Sufi Qaleem ullah, who went on a journey to Holy Kaaba too, and it is well recorded of same.
The manuscript is in original binding and has his seal and notation on it. Enjoy!
MEMORABLE FAREWELL GET TOGETHER AT CHAMBERLAIN ROAD; ON DEPARTURE OF HAFIZ YUSUF FOR HIS WORK IN SAUDI ARABIA.
Two top calligraphers of our times were Hafiz Muhammed Yusuf for Nastaliq writing and Nafees Raqam for Arabic script. A number of calligraphers got together in a press building to say good bye to Hafiz Yusuf on his planned trip to Saudi Arabia, with desire to express his homage to the Prophet of Islam (PBUH). The invitation was extended to me too. In real terms an odd man out, but it was the love of the calligrapher which pulled me and he did write a manuscript for me, which I still have.
There was an accident in Saudi Arabia and the calligrapher really suffered. Without any money or support, he came back, and had lost his calligraphy job at newspaper IMROZE too. B.A. Qureshi Sahib, Chairman Lahore Museum, gave a job to his son in the Lahore Museum as compensation for his great work. A job he still has there, up to the best of my knowledge. I salute not only a great calligrapher but with a non business attitude, he obliged everyone without even taking any renumeration. Allah may bless him in heaven!!
A FUTILE ATTEMPT TO BELITTLE DR ALLAMA IQBAL; FLOCK OF NEGATIVE PEOPLE WASTING THEIR TIME.
A long standing friend revealed his low IQ after a long time. He simply said ‘What was Iqbal?’ in a demeaning way. ‘Certainly not a philosopher, perhaps, yes merely a children poet’. It was a stunning revelation, and he went out blurting his father’s statement, that Iqbal used to write obnoxious verses on his favorite prostitutes of Lahore. Most Mullahs generate an alcoholic impression of Iqbal, and a relative came back from the USA with the knowledge that Iqbal was a murderer too. The Hindu lobby was projecting on their blogs that he was even a murderer of a prostitute of Hira Mandi Lahore. A so called ‘hamdard’ of Iqbal was projecting that when Iqbal said salam to a citizen of Lahore, the man to spite him, uncovered himself by throwing down his dhoti. A famous Pakistani lesbian termed both Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal as homosexuals and then retracted her statement after she lit anxiety in many quarters, and she could not handle the fall out, for in certain quarters abroad, it was a positive thing. Add more and more juicy things. Belittle the message of Dr Allama Iqbal, the founder of the idea of Pakistan. The Iqballian thinking dangerous for the enemies of Pakistan.
The Chughtai Artist house was a meeting place of the best and worst of Pakistan. The writers, the poets, the artists, the bureaucrats, you could see most of the bigger names at home all the time. Hafeez Jullundri would come with his British wife , laughing loud with the artist Chughtai. ‘Abhi to main jawan hoon’, surely. Faiz could emit cigar smoke from his mouth like a chimney gone awry. One could even see Hanif Ramay on his bicycle, coming to get some designs made for his magazine. Qudratullah Shahab spun his magic. Sufi Ghulam Tabbassum much loved. The list is endless and no time to list all of them. Dr Nazeer Ahmad and Dr Muhammed Din Taseer were particularly close. Colonel Majeed Malik could take the nomenclature of being Chughtai’s best friend. Pitras Bokhari also lived nearby, and was a close associate. Of course Agha Babar had his own episodes to trace. Ikram Sahib, federal secretary could talk of the book he wrote on Pakistan and took advantage of Chughtai all the time. Justice S. A Rahman was there too. When the Chief Justice got slapped by the daughter of a famous politician, at a function at Alhamra, it was not an ordinary affair, and S.A Rahman proved that he was a gentle lamb. You name it, we saw them at home. These were the people who promoted URDU as the language of Pakistan, and all of them were fanatics about the modern language of Islam.
A longer time back, after work was done, there was a habit in the house. The three Chughtai brothers, Abdur Rahman, Abdullah and Abdur Raheem would move with Dr M D Taseer and they would all go to the house of Dr Muhammed Iqbal and till late at night, chat their hearts out. The laughter of them would reverberate long distance away. Dr Iqbal would not mutter English, or Urdu, or Persian, but share jokes and pleasures in plain Punjabi. It went on for nearly twenty years. Even at the Round Table Conference in London in 1932, Abdur Rahman Chughtai was there with Dr Iqbal. That is why tears would come to the eyes of Chughtai when he would recount Iqbal. And again and again he could say ‘hazar sal nargis apni bay noori pay roti hai bari mushkal say hota hai chaman may deeda war paida.’
IQBAL WAS NOT A GREEK ARM CHAIR THINKER. He reached the people direct in Badshahi mosque, Sheranawala gate School or Islamia College or elsewhere. He addressed people and people wept at the plight of Muslims all over the world. Iqbal has channeled the NATIONHOOD of people, indeed he had reconstructed Islam as a religion in his sayings to people itself. People wept with him. And the environment of Lahore was anti-Mullah in all way. The Quranic revolution was going on here in the Chinay-wali masjid Lahore. It ended in Lahore hosting Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz, the Adviser on Islamic Affairs to the Quaid-e-Azam himself.
To paint such a philosopher in lower light is the mind of wicked foxes and senile crows all over the world. Dr Iqbal was a man par excellence A true Mard-e-momin. His message was simple Islam had got Persianized with time and the Persian version was in vogue here. Iqbal stressed a back to original Islam position, back to the Arab foundation, back to the Quran itself. The people who had distorted Islam through the centuries fumed at the gall of the man trying to bring in renaissance, to undo centuries of Mullah’s mischievous conceptions.
The hypocrisy of promoting Iqbal in Pakistan is evident too. Lip service alone, not a reconsideration of ijjtehad in Islam. Except for permanent values given by Allah, everything else can be changed by common consent. Democracy very relevant here. Pakistan was the first step in telling the world the beauty of the Islamic system to live peacefully in co-existence with the world, without sacrificing an iota of self respect and equality of the nation as a whole. In the end we have to prevail, if not for ourselves, for our salat to Allah Al-Mighty.