Roshni Hira Se by Dr. Shams Jilani, Part I-20

This is series of video lectures of author in Urdu on a book written as biographical account of Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

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The Rebel Queen: Begum Hazrat Mahal

Translation series from Heroes of 1857, by Sayyada Anees Fatima, Episode IV (First Ed., 1949)

Designed by Saba Saif

Hazrat Mahal (1820 – 1879)

Oh, passionate heart, if I wish everything could be possible,
I need to walk but a few steps, and there my destination will be!
Behzad Lakhnawi

(Trans. of Couplet in the above picture)

After Wazir Ali Khan, no audacious personality prevailed Awadh’s throne…

It is a strange fact, as much as most of his ancestors, other than “Nawab Saadat Ali Khan”, were carefree, weak and gutless related to state’s political affairs, on the contrary, Royal Ladies of Awadh proved themselves to be much braver, daring and resolute to such an extent that their endeavors surpassed the palaces walls and influenced the matters of State. Two Royal ladies rendered their services to safeguard the symbol of their dominion, which seemed to be getting erased like an erroneous word after the decline of power. One was “Hazrat Aalia aka Malika Kishwar” mother of “Wajid Ali Shah” and the other was “Hazrat Mahal”. One of them struggled to salvage the Kingdom within the confines of the law. And the second one, not only participated in the fiery revolution of 1857 but also fought to save the State of Awadh. Only if “Hazrat Mahal’s” struggle was successful; her name would also be included in the same league as the praiseworthy Warrior Princesses like Razia Sultan and Chand Bibi. It is common practice that the world pays homage and immortalize those who meet success in their mission. The ones who fall victim to the hardships of the path and meet failure in achieving their objectives are never heralded like a hero.     

Portrait of Hazrat Mahal, source: Wiki Images

During the reign of Wajid Ali Shah, with hedonism at its peak, an innocuous young girl named Umrao Jan entered his Harem. Nature has blessed her equally with immense beauty of both countenance and character. Wajid Ali Shah’s insight appraised her to be worthy of a serious title of “Hazrat Mahal’’. Mirza Birjis Qadr was her Son. The British tried hard to hurt the status of Birjis Qadr by spewing negative propaganda but were unsuccessful in their conspiracies. Russel wrote in his memoirs that “We were hesitant in calling him King’s son but those nobles and chieftains of Awadh, who were privy to the background situation didn’t have any qualms about the legitimacy of Birjis Qadr and they had sworn allegiance to him with their lives.”    

Seems like this resolute plan was the chief reason why Hazrat Mahal didn’t accompany the deposed King (Wajid Ali Shah) to Calcutta. Staying back in Lucknow gave her an opportunity to partake in the War of Independence against the East India Company (EIC).

A portrait of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah & his family

1857 War of Independence

A painting from mutiny depicting a scene of battle between East India company soldiers & revolutionaries

On 2nd May the fire of rebellion ignited, particularly in the capital. To support Hazrat Mahal, a united assembly of fighters and scholars were already present in Awadh. First, a Sardar named “Agha Mirza alias Kambalposh” (Blanket wearer) raised Muhammadi Flag with just 200 fighters. But they all were arrested on the orders of the Resident. In a book named “Qaiser ul Tawarikh” it is written that, those people saw that valiant man and instigated him to fight. Kotwal (Precinct In charge) Saadat Ganj got them all arrested. The courtesan compound was turned into gallows where Agha Mirza with his 14 fighters were hanged to death achieving martyrdom. When the British sensed the imminent danger in Lucknow – Awadh, they took some prominent figures in the royal family in their protective custody as a caution so that rebels won’t be able to nominate any one of them as their leader. Among them, there were few members who already had differences within their family. Wazeer Mirza who was a nephew of Mumtaz-ud-Daula also was imprisoned during this time, he was later released and participated in the War of Independence. Other prominent personalities in this list were Mustafa Ali Khan brother of former King Wajid Ali Shah, Prince Rukn-ud-Daula son of Saadat Ali Khan Nawab of Awadh, Nawab Muhammad Humayoun Khan, Mirza Mehmood Shikoh, nephew of Prince Suleman Shikoh of Delhi and Raja Tulsipur. Afterwards the Company (EIC) and its lackeys circulated public notices of amnesty in all the districts of Awadh proclaiming forgiveness to those who had rebelled and committed war crimes. At the same time, they issued a policy to seize weapons from the Royal family and all the subjects. This raised great apprehension and anxiety among the people and specifically among the clergy. The sacrifice of “Kambal posh” and his group didn’t go in vain. The whole of Awadh, just volcanic mountain erupted like a fireball. The masses under the patronage of clerics, despite the lack of resources and empty handedness, fearlessly positioned themselves against the mighty and forceful power of the Company. Emotions of patriotic fervor and unity made them indifferent towards all other self-interests. There was just one objective:
مجاہد کو خدا کی راہ میں قربان ہونا ہے 
[Trans. “A fighter seeks sacrifice In God’s path” …]

Anointment of Birjis Qadr

Depiction of Birjis Qadr with Nawab Wajid Ali Shah in Illustrated London news with caption “The Princes of Oude and suite–from a photograph by Mayall,” from the Illustrated London News, 1857. Source:

The next day all former pensioned officials of past and present appeared at the Court and were reinstated on their positions. A coin was issued with the name of Birjis Qadr with the following couplet embossed,

نصاری پر قہر, خدائ ہو 
جواں سال سُلطان لکھنؤ کا ہوا
Trans. May God’s wrath heap upon the crusaders
As a young spirited became Ruler of Lucknow

On another coin of Birjis Qadr there was a Persian couplet,

سکہ زد برسم و زر چوں مہر بدر
نیرؔ دیں میرزا بر جیس قدر 
Trans. Coin is struck in Gold and Silver like Sun and Moon
For the New Patron Mirza Birjis Qadr

Sharf Uddin and Maharaja Bal Kishan who held the positions of the Prime Minister and Finance Minister in the former government were reinstated. Nawab Mammu Khan was appointed as position of a Vice Ruler and Chief Justice. All royal ladies gathered. They all agreed with Hazrat Mahal’s opinion and endorsed the anointment of Birjis Qadr. Because he was just 10 years of age, Hazrat Mahal took the position of his “Guardian” (Power of Attorney). Some of the other wives of Wajid Ali Shah, who had resentment and jealousy against Hazrat Mahal such as Akhtar Mahal, wrote to the King, ‘’I never conceived Hazrat Mahal to be such a daredevil, how she herself fights the foreigners, along with the ruffians, sitting on an elephant. She has no apprehension nor restraint’’. Unlike Lady Akhtar Mahal, Nawab Fakhar Mahal and Bandi Jan etc., there were few Royal ladies who had sympathies with Hazrat Mahal. Therefore, in an account Rasheeda Begum wrote to Wajid Ali Shah: “After a year of your departure, there were mass riots such was the nature of the calamities which descended upon us, that not even our enemies deserve to be inflicted with such fate. Hazrat Mahal turned the enemy away with display of extreme bravery. She has proved to be such a courageous woman and truly kept the honor of your name. For how brave and valiant he himself must be, whose woman has the capability to fight with equal ferocity as any man.”

Portrait of Birjis Qadr & Wajid Ali Shah, Pic source: Rehan Asad

Battle preparation

A commemorative stamp issued by Indian government c 1984 as an honor to Indian freedom fighter
Retrieved from

Honorable Aaliya (Mother of Wajid Ali Shah) was in London and Wajid Ali Shah was under the custody of the Company in Calcutta. In such turbulent time as the rebellion of 1857, Hazrat Mahal keeping all these facts in the background took the sole burden of this leadership on her shoulders displaying extraordinary valor. Reforms were announced, and the orders were issued addressing all the trusted nobles and landowners that, now this blessed country has been bestowed to us by God. It’s essential to eliminate the foreign infidels. Come together to kill those who remain (Company’s Guards) at the Bailey Guard. Whoever will help in doing this will be given half of the area (of Bailey Guard).  Therefore, in compliance of this order nobles and associates of Awadh State reached Lucknow and immortalized their names by joining the Rebel movement of Hazrat Mahal along with their large battalions.       

Uprising Of 1857, a rare photograph
The Bailey Guard Gate in Lucknow
Watercolour of The Baillie Guard Gate at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh dated circa 1861. Source: British Library
Retrieved from:

Activities of the Traitors:

The conspiracies of the royal courtiers persisted alongside while the military command was sanctioned to Raja Jaylaal Singh, Meer Mehdi Muzzafar Ali and Risaldar (Rassaidar) Qasim Khan instead of the Military Commander Barkaat Ahmad and other fighters. For the sake of national spirit, the fighters tolerated this injustice meted out at such an early stage, but it started to badly affect the military discipline.  Kamand Lal wrote about the besieged of Lucknow Residency in his “Risala e Tareekh e Baghawat e Hind” (Trans: A Magazine of Indian Rebellion History) Edition 1, Magazine 135 (Trans: From chapters 2 till 10)

Mirza Haider, who was an offspring of Bahu Begum, and had some relatives living in Faizabad, used to write a detailed account of the goings-on of everyday and send it to Mr. Gibbons. A land lord, Gauri Shankar who was a trusted aide of Rawal, did not hold back from efficiently dispatching all the speculations in the newspapers. Moreover, regular written accounts were also sent out by many strategically placed under-cover Government officers in various departments. Some of the Awadh’s most influential figures, who aggressively participated in the national movement are listed below: Nawab Ali Khan Raees Mehmudabad, Dargej Singh, Munshi Muhammad Hussain Qidwai, Aulad Hussain Syed Pur, Hashmat Ali Sandela, Mansab Ali Rasulabad and Kallo Khan Nanpara. The scholarly Hazrat Mahal used to organize all the empire’s affairs by the council of Nawab Mammo Khan and Molvi Ahmad Ullah Shah Sahib. She stayed and held her court at a building named “Chulakhi” during the time of rebellion. Such was the success of this movement led by Hazrat Mahal’s prudence, comprehension and integrity, along with Mammo Khan and Maulvi Ahmad Ullah Shah’s advanced strategy, that the predominant feeling of numbness and stagnation in the nation due to the separation from the military life, disappeared at once. The weapons that were rusting away uselessly were polished till they shone and their clamour was heard through the expanse of the sky, reverberating and melting the frigid hearts.

کچھ ہورہےگاعشق و ہوس میں بھی امتیاز
آیا ہے اب مزاج تیرا امتحان پر
There will now be a distinction between love and lust
This is now a test of your temperament

The Battles at “Bailey Guard”,were led by the landholders and their supporters at the front. McLeod Innes wrote, that among the rebels, there was a huge proportion of the landholders and their courtiers, recruited in abundance to fight at the front line and subsequently they suffered the maximum loss of lives during these battles. Sir Hope Grant Wrote, I have seen many fights in Hindustan with numerous personalities upholding the rule of “Do or Die” during a fight, which means they have no option but to win, either they will win or die fighting. But till now no such example has come under my observation, which is as superior as the passion and determination demonstrated by the Landholders of Awadh. The united army of all the Landholders of Awadh congregated under the command of Raja Mehmodabad’s lieutenant Khan Ali Khan. (See the book, “Lucknow Baghawat Key Doran” (Trans: Lucknow, during Rebellion) by McLeod Innes, Published in 1897 in London.)
The brave and passionate Hazrat Mahal, despite observing veil, used to come out riding a horse. She held her ground against the British for almost 10 months. As an expression of the love and reverence for her, the people used to call Birjis Qadr and hug him saying that you are innocent, don’t become indifferent like your father. Beware of the pandemonium, it will end in your ruin. The intense emotions of hatred and contempt were quickly accelerating against the company. Maulvi Zaka Ullah writes, only in 11 days, no one from the British government was left to rule in any district of Awadh, and English jurisdiction started to feel like an illusion. Sir Henry Lawrence wrote in one of his letters he sent to lieutenant Governor. “We have lost governance of all districts; everyday situation is turning worse. All the landowners are taking up arms, and few have taken over the control of villages.” Even the capital was no exception to the condition of the villages and townships, where a small village near the town of Unnao with an area of mere three quarter of a mile was full of people volunteering to fight. All houses in the village had been converted into battlefronts. Mr. L.E Retneress, was among the besieged of Bailey Guard. He presented the initial account of his memory of the Awadh’s rebellion in the following words: “Other than Lucknow we have lost the whole area of Awadh. The adjacent cities in the local suburbs namely, Faizabad, Sultanpur and Daryabad are supporting the rebellion just like Salon. Either they are doing this out of hatred for us or because of the fear of rebels.” Russel further expressed his concerns in his diary with these words, Begum Hazrat Mahal has started a never-ending war with us. Based on all previous grievances against Awadh’s Empire, including the prompt monetary donations which the royal family had been arranging for the British in the past, also, the act of ignoring all the previous contracts during Awadh’s affiliation, has added to her enmity against us.

Map of United Provinces of Oudh & Agra that includes the erstwhile Kingdom of Wajid Ali Shah

The call to Fight

An announcement was made to attack the Bailey Guard the day after tomorrow. Muslims and Hindus made their vows over the Quran and Ganga Jal respectively. They were not to eat, sleep or do any personal chores, until all the besieged are put to the sword and Bailey Guard is to be reduced to the ground. Tomorrow, either the British will survive, or they will.

Hustle Bustle of the War

The first attack on Bailey Guard was made on the 31st of July under the command of Maulvi Ahmad Ullah Sahab. He proclaimed to the whole army, “You are going to fight on Begum’s orders, she will be the one to compensate too”. Begum could not sleep the whole night before the attack. People used to praise her efficiency and goodness of heart, she honored or the soldiers, rewarding them with much more than just encouragement. Once in a Battle of Alam Bagh, Raja Maan Singh, displayed a rare act of commitment, and was bestowed by her with a handkerchief and a double folded shawl. She also graced him with a title of “Farzand e Khaas” (Trans: Special Son) and he was given a Dupatta (Trans: Scarf) from her personal dress. He was promised more money and land after winning. The fight intensified in the month of August. Owing to the addition of an army regiment defeated at Kanpur, who along with their artillery, came to Lucknow under the command of officer Fida Hussain. General Syed Barkaat Ahmad and Captain Suba Singh with their respective regiments, attacked Bailey Guard with tremendous intensity. Despite being hungry and thirsty they invaded the British Garrison, commencing in hand to hand sword fight. One Maulvi Sahab, who advanced with the spear and standard, perished in the Garrison’s trench. Each Garrison witnessed a fight unlike any other.  Maulvi Zaka Ullah writes, Bailey Guard was attacked with such intensity that one of its biggest trenches were destroyed. The rebels advanced with ladders and stuck them to the walls and entered in the periphery of the cannons. Today they came to attack with valour. To make the British soldiers anxious they kept hollering late into the night. General Nickelson writes, “The rebels did not let go of a single opportunity of engaging in any activity useful in intimidating our soldiers“. One day Ali Muhammad Khan raised the standard, tied the Quran just like in the “Battle of Safeen”, and kept on reciting the words of despair. There was an old man of ascetic countenance whom people used call Shah Jee. Such was the state of his passion that he attacked the Bailey Guard unaided and alone, with just the sword in hand, while reciting the following verses,
درمیان ایں واں گردوبے جنگِ عظیم
قومِ عیسیٰ را شکست بے گماں پیدا شود
Trans: Amidst all this, here and there, a great battle will be fought,
It is certain that the wicked will fall

In the end of this installment here is dedication in the honor of Rebel Queen – Hazrat Mahal.

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This is a translation series of Urdu account by Sayyada Anees Fatima titled “Jang-e- Azadi (Awwal)’57 kay Hero” (Trans. Heroes of the First War of Independence). It was first published in 1949 at Aligarh under the aegis of All India Muslim Educational Conference (A movement founded by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan). The author captured the melancholy, conflicts of Indian states with East India company & struggle of 1857 in a vivid story telling style integrated with contextual Persian & Urdu Poetry. The translation & contextualization is done by Sayyad Asad Ali (her grandson) & edited by Saba Saif.

Hazrat Ibrahim Alih Salam Ka Misali Kunba

عراق کا قدیم شہر أور جہاں حضرت ابراہیم عالیہسلام کی ولادت ہی

                                               حضرت ابرا ہیم علیہ السلام کا مثا لی کنبہ۔۔۔۔ شمس ؔجیلا نی وینکور

   قا رئین ِ گرا می۔آپ رو ا یتی طو ر پر تو حضرت ابرا ہیم علیہ السلام کا قصہ پڑھتے رہے ہیں مگر میں آج جو رخ آ پ کے سا منے پیش کر نے جا رہا ہو ں وہ ہے ایک مثا لی خا ندا ن یہا ں آپ کو عا ئلی زندگی کا وہ بہترین نمو نہ نظر آئے گا جو کہ نہ صرف تو کل علی اللہ کا مظہر ہے بلکہ فریقین میں ایک عظیم اعتما د کا مظہر بھی۔ اگر ہم ان کی پیروی کریں تو ہما ری زند گی نہ صرف اپنے لیے جنت بن جا ئے گی۔بلکہ اورو ں کے لیے بھی نمو نہ ہو۔آپ سب یہ تو جا نتے  ہی ہیں کہ حضرت ابرا ہیم علیہ السلام کو متعد با ر امتحا نا ت سے گذر نا پڑا، پہلی مرتبہ جب جبکہ انہو ں(ع) نے اپنے آبا واجداد کو جو کہ بت پر ستی میں مبتلا تھے کتنی خو بصو رتی سے سبق دیا وہ قر آن کی زبا ن میں سنئے۔ پہلے ایک ستا رے کو دیکھا اور فر ما یا کہ یہ میرا رب ہے۔لیکن تھو ڑی دیر کے بعد وہ معدو م ہو گیا تو فر ما یا نہیں،نہیں معدو م ہو جا نے والا میرا رب نہیں ہو سکتا اس کے بعد چا ند کو دیکھا اور فر ما یا کہ یہ میرا رب ہے۔مگر چند گھڑیو ں کے بعد وہ بھی غا ئب ہو گیا تو فرما یا یہ بھی میرا رب نہیں ہو سکتا،پھر سورج کو طلو ع ہو تے ہو ئے دیکھا اور فر ما یا یہ میرا رب ہے۔ کیو نکہ یہ سب سے بڑا ہے(اور زیادہ چمکدار بھی) مگر جب وہ بھی غرو ب ہو گیا تو فر ما یا کہ تغیر پذیرکوئی چیز رب نہیں ہو سکتی۔لہذا دعا فرمائی اے میرے رب تو ہی راستہ دکھا۔اور رب حدیث قدسی میں فر ما تا ہے کہ جو میری طرف ایک قدم بڑھتا ہے تو میں اس کی طرف دس قدم بڑھتا ہو ں۔ لہذا رب نے را ستہ دکھا دیا اور انہو ں نے علی الا علان کہنا شرو ع کر دیا کہ تم گمرا ہ ہو، جنہیں خو د اپنے ہا تھ سے گڑ ھتے ہوا ور انہیں  کوخدا بنا کے پو جتے ہو تم سا ا حمق کو ن ہو گا ؟ لہذا  با دشا ہ نے اس جر م میں حکم دیدیا کہ ان کو زندہ آگ میں جلا دیا جا ئے۔ وہ آگ میں ڈا ل دیئے گئے۔ اس مر حلے پر بعض روا یتیں یہ بھی ہیں کہ جبر ئیل علیہ السلام نے  انہں امداد کی پیس کش کی مگر وہا ں توکل کا یہ عا لم تھا فر ما یا نہیں مجھے میرا رب کا فی ہے۔اور رب نے کفا یت فرما ئی کہ فرمایا اے آگ تو ڈھنڈی ہو جا۔ اس نے تعمیل ِ حکم کی اور وہ اللہ کی حمد کرتے ہوئے آگ سے نکل آئے۔ یہ ہے قر آن کی زبا ن میں مسلما ن کی تعریف۔اس لئیے قر آن نے انکی زبا ن سے ان کو پہلا مسلم کہلا یا۔اب آپ پو چھیں گے کہ آگ کا کا م تو جلا نا تھا پھر اس نے جلایا کیو ں نہیں؟تو ایک با ت جا ن لیجئے کہ تما م صفا ت اللہ سبحانہ تعالیٰ کی ہیں جو کہ اس نے با نٹ رکھی ہیں۔جیسے کہ ہمیں خلیفہ بنا یا ہو ا ہے مگر فرق یہ ہے کہ ہمیں نا فر ما نی کی چھو ٹ بھی دی ہو ئی ہے جبکہ اورو ں کو نہیں ہے۔لہذا ہم سب سے زیا دہ نا فر ما نی کرتے ہیں جبکہ اور کر ہی نہیں سکتے۔یہا ں سے وہ سر خرو نکلے، یہ پہلا مر حلہ تھا جو انہیں پیش آیا۔ اور پھر تو مر حلے پر مر حلے پیش آتے رہے اور وہ میدان سر کرتے رہے حتیٰ کہ خو د اللہ سبحانہ تعا لیٰ نے فر ما یا کہ “  ہم نے  انہیں کئی با تو ں میں آز ما یا مگر وہ پو رے اترے   ًاس سے بڑی سند اور کس کی ہوسکتی اورکہا ں  سے لائی جا سکتی ہے۔یہ ہے ایک مو من کی شا ن۔اگر ہم خو د کو دیکھیں تو فورا ً اپنے پیر نظر آجا ئیں گے۔آئیے اب دوسرے امتحا ن کی طرف۔ انکی پہلے سے ایک بیو ی مو جو د ہیں جن کا نا م حضرت سا ئرہ (رض) ہے لیکن وہ اولاد کی نعمت سے محروم ہیں اور خود حضرت ابرا ہیم علیہ اسلام بھی عمر کے اس حصہ میں ہیں جہا ں اولاد پیدا کر نے کی صلا حیت ختم ہو جا تی ہے۔ دوسری بیو ی حضرت حا جرہ (رض) سے ایک بچہ ہے جس سے ان کا نا م چلنے کی واحد امید ہے۔ لیکن حضرت سا ئرہ (رض)  کے لیے دو نو ں ما ں اوربیٹے کا وجو د ناقا بلِ بر داشت ہو جاتاہے اور وہ ان سے جان چھڑا نا چاہتی ہیں حضرت ابراہیم علیہ السلام پریشان ہیں۔ اب آگے اس مسبب الا سبا ب کا اپنا منصو بہ شروع ہو تا ہے۔ وہ دنیا کو ایسی دا ئمی عبا دت گاہ دینا چا ہتا ہے جو ہر قسم کے تغیر سے محفو ظ ہو۔حضرت حا جرہ (رض) اور حضرت اسمٰعیل علیہ اسلام کو ایک وطن بھی عطا کر نا چا ہتا ہے۔ تاکہ وہ خلیل اللہ پر اپنے انعامات کی تکمیل کردے کہ اپنے محبوب صلی اللہ علیہ و آلیہ وسلم کو ان کی نسل میں سے پیدا فر مائے اور پھر ایک عظیم امت کو حکم دے کہ وہ قیامت تک  ان پر اور ان کی اولاد پردور بھیجتے رہیں اور ان کی سنت کو بھی زندہ رکھے۔لہذا حکم ہو تا ہے کہ ما ں اور بیٹے کو وادی ِغیر مزرو عہ میں چھو ڑ آ ؤ۔ وہ تعمیل ِ ارشاد با ری تعا لی ٰ میں بلا چو ں وچرا روانہ ہو جا تے ہیں اور انہیں و ہا ں چھو ڑ کر الٹے پا ؤ ں وا پس مڑ نے لگتے ہیں تو حضرت حا جرہ (رض) پیچھے پیچھے تشریف لا تی ہیں اور پو چھتی ہیں کہ ہمیں آپ یہا ں کیو ں چھو ڑے جا رہے ہیں کیا مجھ سے کو ئی کو تا ہی ہو ئی ہے یا اللہ تعا لیٰ کا حکم ہے۔ وہ خا مو ش رہتے ہیں کہ یہ اللہ وا لو ں کا خا صاہے کہ وہ کبھی اللہ تعا لی کے را ز ظا ہر نہیں کر تے۔ جس طر ح ہم یہ نہیں پسند کرتے کہ ہما را کو ئی دو ست ہمارے راز دنیا بھر میں گا تا پھرے اسی طرح وہ بھی یہ پسند نہیں فر ماتا کہ اس کے راز ظا ہر کیئے جا ئیں،جو کہ اس نے تھو ڑے بہت کسی کو بتا دیے ہیں۔کیو نکہ اس کے راز تو کا ئینا ت کے رازہیں ان کا اظہار دنیا کی تبا ہی کا با عث بھی ہو سکتاہے۔ وہ جواب نہیں دیتے ہیں۔ حتیٰ کے وہ تین دفعہ پو چھتی ہیں اب وہ مجبو ر ہو جا تے ہیں فر ما تے ہیں کہ اللہ کا حکم ہے۔یہ سن کر انہیں اطمینان ہو جاتا ہے کہ اگراللہ کا حکم ہے تو وہ مسبب الا سبا ب ہے۔ اور انہیں یہ بھی ترد دنہیں رہتاکہ میرے پاس کچھ کھا نے کو نہیں، بچے کا ساتھ ہے، پینے کے لیے پا نی بھی نہیں ہے اور نہ سر پر سا یہ نا م کی کو ئی چیز ہے ہم زندہ کیسے رہیں گے؟وہ انکے پا ؤ ں کی بیڑی نہیں بنتی ہیں۔ حا لا نکہ وہ جا نتی ہیں کہ اب ان کے شو ہر کی منزل ان کی سو کن سا ئرہ(رض) ہیں۔ شک جنم لے سکتا تھا وسوسے جنم لے سکتے تھے،مگر وہ ایک جلیل القدر پیغمبر کی بیو ی اور دو ہو نے وا لے جلیل القدر پیغمبرو ں کی ما ں تھیں لہذا اللہ پر پو را بھرو سہ تھا۔ یہ توکل کی انکے مثا ل تھی،اور میا ں بیو ی کے با ہمی اعتما د کا نمو نہ بھی۔خدا پر جو اعتماد کرتا ہے خدا اس کی ہمیشہ کفا لت کرتا ہے۔ یہا ں بھی کی،وہ پا نی کی تلا ش میں دو ڑ رہی تھیں بچہ پیا س سے تڑپ رہا تھا ،جب وہ آخری چکر لگا کر واپس تشریف لا ئیں تو دیکھا کہ بچہ جہا ں ایڑ یا ں رگڑ رہا تھا وہا ں پا نی کا چشمہ جا ری ہو گیاہے۔ پا نی دیکھ کر پرندے آگئے اور پرندو ں کو دیکھ کر قا فلہ آگیا اور اس طرح دنیا کے قدیم شہر  ُام القریٰ   ًکی بنیاد پڑی جو کہ پہلے بکہ کہلا یا اور پھر کثرت ا ستعما ل سے مکہ ہو گیا۔ جس کو قیا مت تک کے لیے عبا دت گا ہ بنناتھا،جس میں کفار کا دا خلہ قیا مت تک کے لیے ممنو ع ہے۔ جس کو ابرا ہہ کے حشر دیکھنے  کے بعد شا ید ہی کو ئی طا لع آزما دو با رہ اسے ڈھا نے کی جرا ء ت کرسکے۔ اب آئیے تیسرے امتحا نکی طرف۔ اس مرتبہ ایک عرصہ کے بعد وہ پھر تشریف لا تے ہیں۔ اور ایک با لکل ہی انہو نی با ت فر ما تے ہیں کہ خدا نے مجھے حکم دیا ہے کہ میں بیٹے کی قر با نی دو ں۔ایسی مثال تاریخ عا لم میں کبھی سنی ہی نہیں گئی کہ اللہ تعا لیٰ نے کسی بندے کی جا نی قر با نی ما نگی ہو وہ تو حیات عطا کر نے والا ہے۔ مگر انہو ں نے اس انہو نی بات پر بھی خدا کے آگے سر جھکا دیا۔ پھر وہ بیٹے سے با ت کرتے ہیں۔ بیٹے کی سعا دتمندی ملا حظہ فر ما ئیے کہ وہ بھی کو ئی سوال نہیں کرتے،فر ما تے ہیں کہ اگر آپ کوحکم ہوا ہے تو آپ کر گزئیے انشا اللہ مجھے صا برین میں پا ئیں گے۔آگے تو آپ سب ہی کو پتہ ہے کہ ما ں بچے کو تیا ر کر دیتی ہیں، بیٹاکہتا ہے با با آپ اپنی آنکھوں پر پٹی با ند ھ لینا تاکہ ذبح کرتے وقت ترس نہ آئے مگراللہ تعا لیٰ کو جا ن نہیں لینا تھی۔صر ف نیت اور خلو ص دیکھنا تھا۔لہذا اس نے  اس قر با نی کو کسی اور کی قر با نی سے بدل دیا۔ یو ں یہ پورے کا پورا کنبہ باپ بیٹے اور بیوی کے با ہمی تعا ون سے اسقدر عظیم ہو گیا کہ اللہ تعا لیٰ نے انکے ہر،ہر فعل کو شعا  ئر ِ حج میں دا خل کر دیا اور میا ں بیوی کے اس اعتماد کی کہا نی کوہمیشہ کے لیے قر آن میں بھی محفو ظ کر دیا۔ جس کی حفا ظت کی ذمہ داری خو د اس نے لے رکھی ہے۔اگر اس میں سے ایک بھی عدم تعاون کرتا تو کیا یہ عظیم کا میا بی ہو سکتی تھی؟ اس میں جو سبق ہے وہ آپ کے لیئے چھو ڑتا ہو ں۔     

سلطنت اسمانی کے دور کی کعبہ اور مسجد حرام کی ایک تاریخی تصویر
١٩ صدی
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Awadh: Tale of Fledgling Nawabs & The Wayward King

Translation series from Heroes of 1857, by Sayyada Anees Fatima, Episode III (First Ed., 1949)

Portrait of Sadat Ali Khan II, Source: Wiki Images

Saadat Ali Khan II (1798-1814)
Owing to unfortunate demise of Wazir Ali Khan, East India Company (EIC) successfully instilled fear in the hearts of his successors. The ill-fated Awadh State’s “Crown of thorns” now passed down to Nawab Saadat Ali Khan. His accession to the throne depended largely on his agreement to arrange for the implementation of two partially fulfilled treaties, which meant total curtailment of political authority of Nawab of Awadh by the East India Company. An agreement was signed between EIC and Saadat Ali Khan according to which half of the country (State of Awadh) was seized by the company. Although later, in the following four years, he constantly resisted its implementation with courage and bravery.

Until one day, the resident Colonel Scott summoned Saadat Ali Khan’s advocate, Molvi Saddan. He took out a double-edged straight sword (Kirch) and placed it in front of him demanding an answer. To which Molvi Sahib replied, “Since this question was already answered in the Battle of Buxar, no one dares ask for an answer the second time.”

Book titled “Qaiser ul Tawarikh’’ page 157 : In 1764 during the Battle of Baksar Shah Alam Shuja-ud-Daula and Mir Qasim were defeated and afterwards Bengal , Bihar and Orissa ‘s seat of power was taken over by Englishmen.

Saadat Ali Khan was blessed with the most unusual mental and emotional qualities, but sadly was never given a chance to demonstrate his extraordinary mental prowess. As opposed to Asaf-ud-Daula’s generosity, he spent wisely and cautiously giving an opportunity to people to mock him as a miser when he initially took control of the State’s finances. C.M. Elliot eulogized about this matter by further adding, “Saadat Ali Khan handled the state’s affairs with extreme diligence. Bulk of his time was spent in cajoling the Resident and whatever time he could spare was utilized to check the ledgers, evaluate non-commissioned officers and the issuance of State protocols.” By exercising an efficient control over the expenditure, he was able to accrue Rs 17 million, intending to recover the lost country of his ancestors from the company (EIC). But sadly, before this objective was achieved, he passed away on 11th July 1814. It was widely rumored, that Saadat Ali Khan was poisoned under a conspiracy by the company (EIC).   

Ghazi-Ud-Din Haider, King of Awadh, receiveing tribute by Robert Home, c 1820
Pic Source: Wiki Images

Ghazi Uddin Haider (1814-1827)
He was anointed to the throne after Saadat Ali Khan in 1814. He had to offer Saadat Ali Khan’s collected money to the company as a payment of the imperial crown along with forced acceptance of the title of “King” for the sole purpose of undermining the authority of Delhi’s emperor.

After Ghazi Uddin Haider’s coronation, the lackeys of company had a windfall of fortune. Saadat Ali Khan’s frugality introduced Ghazi Uddin Haider with the title of the “Generous of the world”. The Company could not complain less, owing to his submissive way of life, their camaraderie continued till the day he passed away in 1827.

Nasir ad-Din Haider Shah
2nd King of Awadh
A portrait by an unknown artist, Source: Wiki Images

Naseer Uddin Haider
Naseer Uddin Haider ascended to the throne after Ghazi Uddin Haider’s passing. He spent the 10 years of his reign following the footsteps of his father. In 1837, he was relieved from the confines of life with integrity under compelling circumstances. It’s a common belief that he too was poisoned. In his tenure, company’s hegemony saturated all aspects of life, so much so that the king (Naseer Uddin) adopted the company of Englishmen along with their lifestyle and attire. An author Shebab Lakhnawi writes, “I once happened to meet the Resident (Rep. of EIC). Despite being a commoner in London, the unlimited authority he had in Awadh at that time, over the King and the 5 million of his subjects, could not even conceived to be replicated by any King in Europe.”

Muhammad Ali Shah
3rd King of Awadh

Muhammad Ali Shah (1837-1842)
An orphan, Naseer Ud Daula who was the third son of Saadat Ali Khan, was anointed successor to the throne by the name of Muhammad Ali Shah. His health was already in decline due to advancing age. In a short span of five years he relinquished the crown. Repeating the past practices, the company again had a new contract with him, according to which all the “military” and “resources” were usurped. Afterwards his eldest son Amjad Ali Shah was appointed King in 1842 who passed away in 1847.

یہ دل ، یہ پاگل دل میرا، کیوں بجھ گیا آورگی 
اس دشت میں اک شہر تھا ، وہ کیا ہوا آورگی
Trans. This heart, this crazy heart of mine,
why being so glum… wanderlust?
In this wilderness, once there was a town
what did happen to it, Oh wanderlust?

[Wajid Ali Shah state of mind summed by translator with verses of Mohsin Naqvi]

Wajid Ali Shah (1847-1856)
After him Wajid Ali Shah graced the ancestral seat of power on 13th February 1847. Unlike his elders he tried to adopt a liberal way focusing more on state’s reforms, opening new offices and institutionalizing the military. He also started publication of a newspaper by the name of “Aseer” (Prisoner) under the editorship of Munshi Muzaffar Ali, bringing discussions about the matter of the State out in open. The king showed great personal interest in these essays. Every time his Royal procession passed through the city, two riders used to carry a chest along, submitting all the complaints made by the plaintiffs. This practice was named as “Nausherwani” (A sort of process in which the complainant or petitioner’s identity is kept hidden). Wajid Ali Shah arranged to be fully aware of all the State’s affairs and issued a coin in his own name. This coin’s background is still registered among the list of preserved Coins in the Indian museum. He organized battalions of infantry and riders with peculiar Persian names like “Tircha (Slanted)”, “Akhtari (Energetic)”, and “Nadri (Rare)”. He also regulated methodical terms for Persian language. He used to visit the parade ground to inspect the routine of military drills, spear throwing, fencing and gunmanship. Mounted on his horse for straight 3 to 4 hours sometimes, he used to stay despite the harsh sunlight, sometimes distributing prizes to encourage the efforts of the deserving trainees. He also established a progressive department to settle the cases pertaining to loans. But such vision and intelligence started becoming a hurdle in the successful endeavors of the company (EIC), so following this perceptive saying, the resident established the understanding through the Prime Minister Ali Naqi Khan about the inevitability to fix the current situation. This understanding was to be taken as an order, not a petition which could be neglected. It just took a fraction of a moment to overturn the checkerboard.

A painting from the court of Wajid Ali Shah, Pic source: Wikiimages

سر چشمه شاید گرفتن به بیل
چو پر شد نشاید گذشتن به پیل
[Poet: سعدی/Saadi]
[Trans: A stream ‘s breach can be shut by a mere stitch
But when its filled then it cannot be even crossed on an Elephant’s back]

تھا جوش و خروش اتفاقی ساقی
اب زندہ دلی کہاں ہے باقی ساقی
[Trans: The oomph and vigor were accidental my friend
Live heartedness is a bygone my friend]

Manipulating the gift of novelty and foresight bestowed by nature, a new era of pleasure and joy commenced. The passing time further augmented this colorful intoxication and led him to be titled as “The Paramour Darling of the World”. The same Wajid Ali Shah was lost to the song of ecstasy, the magic of the swarming crowd of angelic beauties and the joy of the indulgence. He became oblivious to the world and its matters. 

الفراق اے صبر و تسکین 
الوداع اے عقل و دیں 
[Trans: Farewell ! o endurance and sustenance
Farewell ! o insight and belief]

The world-famous books he wrote can be compared to “A Deep River” without exaggeration, archiving his memoirs of the era of indifference.

  • Huzn-e-Akhtar (Distress of Akhtar)
  • Masaib-e-Ahle-Bait (Calamities of Muhammad’s (PBUH) Kith and Kin)
  • Daftar-e-Paresha’n (Dwelling of the Distraught)    
  • Risala Imaan (Magazine of Faith)
  • Seinkro’n Salam (Hundreds of Salaams “Poetic Salutation as a tribute to the Martyrs of Karbala” Rhymes)
  • Masnavis (Spiritual Couplets)

The King of Awadh had become either the provider of mere confab or investor in the Luxury.

Hanuman Garh’s Event
Hanuman Garh’s event” and the associated martyrdom of Molvi Shah Ghulam Hussain, Molvi Muhammad Saleh and Molvi Ameer Ali Shah is an important event during Wajid Ali Shah’s rule. The parallel progression of destruction and evolution constituted an inevitable law of nature. Syed Ahmed Sahib along with few of his disciples had continued Islamic movement which first raised its head during Ghazi Uddin Haider’s reign and apparently died down after the great sacrifice of the fighters in Balakot. The proverbial sword, which fell after Tipu Sultan, Meer Qasim, Siraj ud Daula, Hafiz Rehmat Khan, Nawab Muzaffar Khan, Ruler of Multan and the Meers of Sindh, was not sheathed, by the scholars and fighters of Islam, despite their powerlessness and destitution, till

یا تن رسد بجاناں یا جاں زتن برآید 
Braving the odds to fulfill goals

After Syed Ahmed Rai Barielly, for almost half a century, his followers kept themselves busy in shielding the masses from the venomous atmosphere created by the Courtiers and keeping their emotions of solidarity alive. In every front where good was confronted with evil, this organization of scholars and fighters came out of their seminaries, bravely upholding the honor of Islam and motherland.
During Wajid Ali Shah’s reign, in the four mosques constructed by Emperor Babur, Aurangzeb and their well-regarded commanders, the Muslims were refrained to perform prayers or delivering Azan (call to prayers) by their country Brethren. And, they did not hold back from demolishing the mosques as soon as they got a chance. This whole event took place on behest of the so-called valorous Company’s encouragement.
As part of retaliation, Shah Molvi Ghulam Hussain and Molvi Muhammad Saleh raised the standard of resistance and achieved martyrdom in Hanuman Garh by hands of some ascetics. But in this silent city known as “Darbar e Shahi”, such was the state of apathy, that not even a single sigh was uttered at the demise of the fallen fighters. The helplessness of the Awadh State and criminal negligence of the affluent added fuel to the fire among masses and clerics. Molvi Ameer Ali went to Ameethi and started a rebellion. Wajid Ali Shah’s court issued religious decree of heresy against Molvi Ameer Ali, under the influence of Prime Minister Ali Naqi Khan. This religious decree was signed by some famous scholars among which Molvi Fazal Haq Khairabadi, Molvi Abdul Razzaq Ferangi-mehli and Molvi Saad ullah Muradabadi were noteworthy. But it’s a nature’s miracle that later, the former of the above mentioned (Molvi Fazal) was immortalized by achieving martyrdom during the banishment at the Andaman Island, fighting in the name of the same cause. Molvi Ameer Ali met the same fate as his predecessor’s movement. He embraced martyrdom reciting the following couplet,

بہ ذکر حق سراپا گوش دارم
سر میداں کفن بردوش دارم
I am all ear for the remembrance of truth
When I am in expeditions, the shroud lies on my shoulders

Decline of the Kingdom
The event of the decline of the Kingdom took place just 3 months after the martyrdom of Molvi Ameer Ali. The following Persian couplet of Shifa’i Isfahani seems to be contextual.
دیدی کہ خون ناحق پروانہ شمع را
چنداں اماں ندار کہ شب را سحر کند 
Have you seen unjust death of moth by candle flame
It didn’t even get respite for a day

In 1856, just 9 years into the rule, General James Outram confiscated the rest of the authority from Wajid Ali Shah and took control of the whole Kingdom of Awadh. He announced a pension of Rs 1.2 million and land within 5 miles radius of Lucknow to be given to Wajid Ali Shah. Helpless Wajid Ali Shah decided to travel to Calcutta to make an appeal at the office of Governor General. But the Company efficiently knitted the same trap which costed him with his dominion at “Matiya Burj”. He was lured by the provision of all the attractions of Lucknow, till he got distracted from the objective and became oblivious to the very reason for which he decided to endure the hardships of exile.

A portrait of Wajid Ali Shah & Birjis Qadr at Manzilat’s restaurant, Pic Source: Rehan Asad

Finally, mother Hazrat Aalia was sent to London to seek refuge in telling the “Saga of Hue & Cry”. In the meantime, with all means of respite at disposal there was no reason keeping them from indulging in a celebration of a wedding arranged under the same circumstances.

Gateway of Imambara at Matiya Burj, Kolkata where resting place of Wajid Ali Shah is located, Pic source: Rehan Asad

Molvi Abdul Haleem Sharrar wrote, “In reality, there was another Lucknow reborn in Calcutta during the King’s (Wajid Ali Shah) stay. Matiya Burj was chosen to manifest its form. In fact Matiya Burj was Lucknow.” Although, it was the same intoxication, the same cupbearer, also the festivity was the same. But the exultation could not replicate the same intensity. With no alternative to the house arrest, detached from the Kingdom’s affairs there was a strange sense of refuge which still could not hold them back from enjoying the perks of monarchy. Titles like Rustam-e-Zaman (Brave of the Times), Sikandar-e-Daur’an (The Contemporary Alexander), Shah-e-Zameen o Zaman (King of Land and times) were the only sources left to pacify the ego and quench the thirst of authority. The Kingdom was gone but the inebriation remained still.

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[In the words of Poet Mohsin Naqvi sung beautifully by Ghulam Ali]

This is a translation series of Urdu account by Sayyada Anees Fatima titled “Jang-e- Azadi (Awwal)’57 kay Hero” (Trans. Heroes of the First War of Independence). It was first published in 1949 at Aligarh under the aegis of All India Muslim Educational Conference (A movement founded by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan). The author captured the melancholy, conflicts of Indian states with East India company & struggle of 1857 in a vivid story telling style integrated with contextual Persian & Urdu Poetry. The translation & contextualization is done by Sayyad Asad Ali (her grandson) & edited by Saba Saif.

Annexation Saga of Awadh

Translation series from Heroes of 1857, by Sayyada Anees Fatima, Episode II (First Ed., 1949)

A painting of Nawab Shuja Ud Daula by Mihir Chand, c 1775 Source: Wiki Images

Historical Background

In the year 1774, Shuja Ud Daula took a sigh of relief after vanquishing the well respected and brave Rohillas while conspiring with East India Company. Reveling in the surety of the safety and stability of the Kingdom of Awadh, he didn’t realize annihilation of Rohillas would lead to ultimate destruction of Awadh itself. The way Rohillas became victims of the diplomacy of Company Bahadur (East India Company or EIC), one day he (Shuja ud-Daula ) will also suffer  the same fate. 

View of Palace of Nawab Shuja Ud Daula at Faizabad, Awadh, 1787 by William Hodges, Source: British Library


After Rohillas the ground was clear as who could have challenged a formidable foe basking in the glory of success. They toyed with the dividends of power corridor, blood stains of Nepalese and treasures of Hindustan assisting Company Bahadur tremendously in taking over the country. After Rohilkhand, it was Punjab and Awadh’s turn. Although Shuja Ud Dula’s successors didn’t fail the Company (EIC) in establishing its might and superiority being their lackeys. So why the so-called kind and generous Company had to resort to the unavoidable annexation of Awadh. The secretary of the then Governor General stated, “Awadh is that critical part of Hindustan Govt machinery which kept us (EIC) safe from many calamities’’.

The moment Shuja-Ud-Daula left for eternal abode, Company Bahadur unilaterally relieved itself from “Cooperation Agreements” and every good trait of Awadh’s autonomous regime turned into an eyesore. The Englishmen were mavericks of politicking and in order to achieve their objectives creaking an excuse was not difficult at all. Before accession of Asaf-ud-Daula to the throne of Awadh following conditions were laid out by EIC.

  1. All past debts will be recovered.
  2. British Army stationed at Awadh will get a raise of Rs.50,000
  3. Raja Cheet Singh’s state of Banaras will come under dominion of British forces instead of Audh. Moreover, EIC will receive Rs 2.2 million from Raja Cheet Singh instead of State Awadh’s regime.

Above demands were accepted, and the moment Asaf-ud-Daula’s reign started, the iron grip of the Company (EIC) tightened further. The era of hardships remained until the last drop of life was sucked out of the carcass of Awadh.  The prerogative of drawing a line or limiting extravagance or fringe benefits of Awadh‘s royalty was with the Company (EIC) from the beginning of Asaf-ud-Daula’s rule. He didn’t have a warrior mindset hence he intentionally kept silent.

As the poet said,

سر تسلیم خم ہے جو مزاج یار میں آۓ
Verse by Nawab Ali Asghar

(Trans. Bowing head in submission; Whatever beloved wishes for)

The main principle of the Company (EIC) was to rule, not govern while they took the reins of State and its politics. Nawab (of Awadh) laid foundations of mirth and merry making. Accretion of his regime and his life was reduced to the organization and management of the events promoting romantic poetry, showing unprecedented interest in architecture and the most zealous devotion in the execution of the religious ceremonies. Taking care of masses was one of their good characteristics, but there is an entirely different set of prerequisites to understand the demands of geo-political situation. Warmongering became a reason to shock the senses out of royalty, so any mention of the war in their presence ended up being considered as bad manners and naivete.

History has witnessed the long tradition of the world, bestowing the crown of respect and reverence to only those who never shied away from riding gallantly through the hardships of war. This peaceful time of leisure and comfort is dominated by the prestigious gatherings of literati. But when the nation’s integrity comes under question, pen is always known to be put aside to take hold of sword and armor. Stories of the brutality and intensity of war displaced academic debates. But here in Awadh it was vice versa.



Asaf-Ud-Daula passed away on 21st Sept 1797. His adopted son Wazir Ali Khan sat on the throne continuing the succession. But in the Company’s opinion he lacked the “Political acumen” to qualify as the next ruler of Awadh. Once a soldier always a soldier.
Citing these verses of Hasrat Azeem Abadi,

ہم پیروی قیس نہ فرہاد کریں گے
ہم طرز جنوں اور ہی ایجاد کریں گے

(Trans. We will not imitate Qais’s nor Farhaad’s way
We will discover our own realm of passion)

This resulted in a serious conflict between the Company and Wazir Khan. Nawab Wazir was unhappy with Tehseen Ali Khan because of a minor personal issue and asked him for an audience at the Court (of Awadh). But instead of his attendance at the court with Wazir Ali Khan, he went straight to the residency with a reference from Khan Allama. Mr. Cherry, who was the resident, was already livid at Nawab Wazir Ali Khan. Using this opportunity, blew this issue out of proportion and wrote to Calcutta at once.

The Governor General, Sir John Shore left with an Army for Lucknow. Nawab Wazir Ali Khan, unaware of the background of this development, went till Chaanda and Partapgarh with his servants and aides to welcome him with a clear heart. Wazir Ali Khan and Sir John Shore had met before, and apparently there was a little to no chance for a development of any unpleasant encounter. And as opposed to what they hoped for, this solitary issue was not giving enough chance to Nawab Wazir, resident and the opposition to elevate them in front of the Governor General.

Wazir Ali Khan, Nawab of Awadh from September 1797-January 1798.

With mutual deliberation they prepared a Royal Decree in which Wazir Ali Khan was denied being the real and lawful son of Asaf-Ud-Daula. Governor General, in a public gathering, with the endorsement from all palaces and Custodian of the City, disanointed Wazir Ali Khan from throne. It didn’t stop here. Wazir Ali Khan was also exiled from the country and put under house arrest at Banaras Durgakund.

اس خانماں خراب نے ڈھونڈا ہے گھر کہاں
Verse by Altaf Hussain Hali

(Trans. What an abode this destitute has been condemned to )   

How a restless nature could have found peace with the loss of honor and being forsaken. The pain of losing the seat of power was unrelenting. But his heart also grieved for the miscarriage of justice despite him being innocent and for the disloyalty of his friends.

اسی کی سی کہنے لگے اہل محشر
کوئ پرسش داد خواہاں نہیں

Verse, Mufti Sadaruddin Azurda

(Trans. He spoke and the crowd echoed
No one is concerned. Neither giving nor seeking)

Attack on Samuel Davis ‘ House (14 January 1799) by supporters of Nawab Wazir Ali Khan, drawing by Samuel Davis, Pic Source: Wiki Images

During the time of   Banaras incarceration, Raja Gossain of Bundelkhand persuaded Wazir Ali Khan to start a rebellion under his patronage and a date was fixed but it was unsuccessful. He was reprimanded for this rebellious act by the Resident and Governor General who decided to transfer him to Calcutta from Banaras to continue his exile in isolation. Wazir Ali Khan was summoned to the residency to be informed about this decision. The Resident Mr. Cherry, along with presenting the verdict used some unpleasant and derogatory words. Unable to contain his anger he waylaid Mr. Cherry with his sword right there and then.

آخر تو کوئ لائیں گی آفت فغاں سے ہم 
حُجت تمام کرتے ہیں آج آسماں سے ہم

(Trans. We will surely bring down a calamity by our protest
This argument is between us and heaven today)
[Poet: Unknown]

The sensational killing of the resident raised hell for next several days. A large contingent of military with canons from Calcutta also reached Awadh. Wazir Ali Khan fought along with his few supporters in couple of skirmishes, before he was forced to retreat and escape. After wandering in wilderness for a long time, he was captured and imprisoned in Calcutta owing to conspiracy hatched by Munshi Baqir and Raja Jaipur. He was kept in an isolated bungalow. Since he was also a poet, he wrote the following verses giving a vivid description of the painful account of his condition during incarceration by the British.   

A sigh of a broken heart which goes like this,

جوں سبزہ رُندے ، رُندتے ہی پاؤں کے تلے ہم 
اس گردش افلاک سے پُھولے نہ پھلے ہم 
ارمان بہت رکھتے تھے ہم دل کے چمن میں
بییٹھے نہ خوشی سے کبھی ساۓ کے تلے ہم 
زندان مُصیبت میں بھلا کس کو بُلائیں
رہتے ہیں وزیری ہی سے دن رات ملے ہم
ہم نہ وہ قلم تھے کسی مالی کے لگاۓ
نرگس کے نہالوں میں تھے آصف کے پلے ہم
Verses by Wazir Ali Khan

(Trans. Like the lush green fields crushed under feet,
We weren’t able to nourish from the revolution of these skies
Ours too was a heart, like a garden full of desires
But we were never able to sit with happiness in the comfort of its shadow
Who will be called in this prison of calamity?
We dwell our nights and days with the same authority
We weren’t the saplings planted by some gardener
We were among the sons of narcissus (Nargis, a flower),  brought up by Asif

He was kept under constant 24/7 surveillance by the double tier watch and ward of EIC.  In 1806, he was released from the incarceration of the Company and later in 1817 a distraught warrior Nawab said adieu to the confines of his life.

ہزار دام سے نکلا ہوں ایک جُنبش میں
جسے غُرور ہو آۓ کرے شکار مجھے 
Verse by Nawab Mustafa Khan Shefta

Trans. I have escaped thousand entrapments in a single move
Come and hunt me down who inhabits arrogance”
Nawab Wazir Ali Khan was laid to rest in Kasi Baghan at Calcutta beside the grave of Tipu Sultan’s son. His tomb remains locked to this day may be because of the following thought:

کہیں سوتے میں نہ کروٹ یہ مُجاہد بدلے
اب بھی اس خوف سے ہیں لرزہ برندام خسود
[Poet: Unknown]

Trans. Lest this warrior changes his position in sleep
Still inflicted to shiver with this fear are his foes

[Translated by Syed Asad Ali and Edited by Saba Saif ]

Heroes of 1857 by Sayyada Anees Fatima

An Introduction

Cover page of Jange Azadi Awwal, 1857 ke Heroes

It has been 25 years since Amma (Anees Fatima my paternal grandmother) passed away in a whisker on 25th Sept 1995 in Karachi bringing end to an eventful life of a migrant from Barielly who was born in 1910. She was anything but a typical housewife, within her laid an ocean of creativity and love for writing and social work. Later in life the increasing responsibilities of a growing household curbed her social work activities. But didn’t stop her from writing, along with performing all her responsibilities with grace as a loyal wife to Chajee (Syed Altaf Ali Barelvi, my grandfather).

The constant mentions of life in Barielly was normal and essential to their daily life routine despite passing of almost more than two & half decades in those days. Barielly jaisa baisan kahein nahi milta (Trans. can’t find the quality of gram flour of Barielly). She even showed kindness and concern to those street vendors who migrated from Aligarh, Barielly and other parts of Rohilkhand, sharing their concern about those family members who stayed behind during migration.

As children, we used to huddle around to listen bedtime stories every night. I still remember shivers running down our spine while she narrated her encounter with “Guldaar” (wild Leopard) in her signature dreary pitched tone to add further spice in here superlative story telling skills when she was just a child gone out to attend the call of nature while living at “Uqab Kotwali” (behind precinct) in Bans Barielly which has lush green surroundings leading to regular intrusion of wildlife around human population.

Another event which became frequent topic of discussion was “Ghadr’’ (Trans. failed rebellion of 1857). Although she was born 53 years after this catastrophic event, she held witness to its intense and negative effects on Barielliites. Many of her forefathers faced the collective punishment as part of retribution from East India Company. It was brutal, unrelenting and wiped out thousands of Muslim households across Barielly.

Old graves at Masjid Naumahla Bareilly where many ancestors of Sayyad Altaf Ali & Sayyad Anees Fatima were resting who lost their lives in 1857. Pic source: Rehan Asad

This particular translation of her historic account, titled “Jang-e- Azadi (Awwal)’57 kay Hero” (Trans. Heroes of First War of Independence) was first published in 1949 at Aligarh under the aegis of All India Muslim Educational Conference (a movement founded by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan). This is my meek effort to highlight how she painstakingly pieced together her thoughts about “Ghadr” while taking care of almost two dozen immediate and extended family members. It was during the trying time of the year 1949, the same year she migrated, leaving her place of birth for Pakistan. The book launch event in Aligarh, honored by the presence of Chief Guest, Begum Rana Liaquat Ali Khan, served as a source of encouragement and appreciation to those Muslim women who worked shoulder to shoulder with men in the formative years of Pakistan. The first of the previous three editions of this book published in 1949 in Aligarh, India. The second one published in 1957 and the third in 1993 in Karachi, Pakistan. The latter two editions were published by “All Pakistan Educational Conference” led by Syed Altaf Ali Barelvi (an offshoot of All India Muslim Educational Conf). In continuation of this introduction, there is an interesting account of the First Edition foreword. It was written by Professor Rasheed Ahmed Siddiqui (Alig) who was one of the most renowned literary figure of Urdu language and also a close friend of Syed Altaf Ali Barelvi (husband of Syeda Anees Fatima).

An evening view of Bareilly Railway station, pic source: Rehan Asad (2019)

FOREWORD OF FIRST EDITION, Written by Respected Prof. Rasheed Ahmed Siddiqui (Alig), Circa: 1949 at Aligarh

A portrait of Prof. Rashid Ahmad Siddiqui (1892-1977)

This following compilation presents you the articles written by beloved sister-like Syeda Anees Fatima. She is married to my dear friend Syed Altaf Ali Barelvi, whom I want to introduce as the most energetic Superintendent of All India Muslim Educational Conference. He is also a Member of Court Aligarh Muslim University and Editor of Weekly publication by the name of “Mussanif”. Rest only God can keep the exact account of his innumerable initiatives and contributions. I have a perfect parable for describing Syed Altaf Ali’s interest in Urdu literature. Suppose he wakes up one morning to find himself transported to a deserted island. His mind will first and foremost ponder over the possibility of the fastest way required to establish an organization on that island for the literary compilation and contribution. I say this with the most careful deliberation because its highly likely for a person like him to quickly move to another project after the completion of first one in the same circumstances. Another friend of ours, “Mufti Intezam ullah Shahabi Akbar Abadi” holds a similar reputation. He is known to be capable of retrieving some sort of literary document even amidst the misfortune of being stranded in a volcano let alone an island. I am very pleased and hopeful for the future of Urdu poetry and literature, now that our women have started prioritizing their contribution in the critical and analytical discourse and practical aspects of life instead of following self-indulgent, superficial and wretched trends. Although it is known to be easier to climb up the ladder of fame and fortune initially for those writers who use their literary prowess to produce sensationalism, substandard poetry and derogatory Story telling. Sooner or later further down in their career, they do realize the improbability of earning respect or acknowledgment with such superficial work. Most of the Urdu poets and writers have started believing their poetry and literature will only be valued with the inclusion of sensationalism and lust. This misconception has yet again taken root, badly effecting the overall quality of our poetry which was previously cured after lot of trials and tribulations by Hali (Altaf Hussain Hali) and Premchand (Munshi Premchand). God knows who initiated this false rumor of the sole purpose of women’s existence reduced to be either seen as crying or dancing. Although there is nothing wrong with it, so to say, but surely the audience deserve some justification behind the inclusion of these acts in every narrative or it should be labeled as a literary dishonesty. As beauty and delicacy is in women’s instinct, so is the need for the effort to enhance and maintain it. But in today’s literary culture, I wonder if they completely understand, the face value of an author is just the work they produce. All poets and writers have a complete agency to write, if the purpose is to present the reality of life. But one should always be evaluating how well they are translating the real meaning of life in their writings. This responsibility should be taken seriously. As it won’t be wise to give a sword to the blind or getting a leper to serve drinks, similarly, to reflect on life in a way which reduces it to mere hate and regret just informs on the personal dissatisfaction and narrow mindedness of the author. It’s the most despicable act of some writers and poets to poison their reader’s mind by using life’s turbulence and negativity building their careers on sensationalism. They certainly do opposite then to provide any source of elimination of the evils in the society. Syeda Anees Fatima deserves  appreciation for choosing that literary path for her career which instills in its readers, the inspiration to do good. Her message is as poetic and deep as a motivational song inspiring us. After reading her essays, especially about historical figures make us realize the presence of such remarkable examples of people among us, who were not discouraged by turmoil and despair. These great acts of sacrifice and bravery serves as a source of enlightenment to our hearts, even in this current turbulent time. Sadly, very few people can consciously recall now those events, which to me it feels like just happened yesterday when we had people among us, who with sincerity and valor gave their lives for the independence of their country when they had no one to look up to. Those “Heroes” were not fabrications of some writer’s imagination but were present among us in flesh and blood. They remain unheralded in the eyes of the world. The account of their contributions celebrates those values which can never be translated in fiction and commands more respect over the fictional stories of mythical idols. They greatly contributed in the respect and integrity of their nation. The writing style of these essays reflect the literary finesse, giving a nice flow to the structure.  Although the narrative is devoid of the superficial pleasantness, but in my opinion that’s not the sole purpose of literature. The function of literature is also to provide and record such material which then adds soul to the creations of other poet and writers. This compilation provides just that. Collectively, reading these essays leave good impression owing to the remarkable and a rare skill exhibited by the author, of how well she has facilitated the comprehension of wide variety of readers, from the scholars to the common people (Rasheed Ahmed Siddiqui – Aligarh 1949).

In the end I would like to thank Respected Dr. Muhammad Rehan Asad , admin. of Tawarikh Khawani whom I have been following for some time on Twitter & learn some precious archives and stories of Indo-Pak history especially Rohilkhand. Despite working in the profession of Industrial Project Development Sector and having no prior writing experience, it was due to his encouragement, unconditional support and guidance, that I felt motivated to initiate this episodic translation of “Heroes of 1857”. We hope that history lovers will relish this series and we request for honest feedback so that improvements can be made as we move forward.

[Translated by Syed Asad Ali and Edited by Saba Saif ]

Ethical Justice as the Expression of Divine Virtue of Ibn-Miskawaih

The supreme end for which we were created and towards which we have led is not the gratification of physical pleasures but the acquisition of knowledge and the practice of justice: these two occupations are our sole deliverance out of the present world into the world wherein is neither death nor pain.

(Abu Bakr al-Razi)

Islam is a monotheistic vision entailing a moral mission. It is a theocentric world-view as well as a theocentric value-system. Of all the beliefs and doctrines, it lays greatest emphasis on commitment to monotheistic creed. The Qur’an asks believers to submit unfailingly to the commandments of Allah. The moral laws enunciated in the Qur’an are life-giving and life-enriching. The ideal of the Qur’an is to develop a healthy social organization appropriating the middle path of rectitude avoiding all forms of extremism. The life of the present world is no doubt significant and purposive but its purposes are directed toward the good of future life, for the real abode of life is in the hereafter. The present life and the future life are to be viewed as a unity for man’s creation here and resurrection later on are events related to an individual soul.

The ideal of unity leads to the conception of unity of the whole of humanity. Mankind was created from a single pair of a male and a female and from a single breath of life. All people are equal members of the human community; the only distinction recognised by the Qur’an is based on the degree of righteousness possessed by the people. In this regard the Qur’an said:
O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he
who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (Al- Qur’an, 49:13).

The Qur’an underlines the unqualified need for social justice. We should adopt justice as a moral ideal. God’s Revelation itself is an embodiment of truth and justice. Furthermore we should love God as the complete embodiment of all moral values. A human being should be kind and loving to his or her parents and to kindred, orphans, neighbours, needy and wayfarers. Believes are asked in the Qur’an to be quick in emulating good works. They are advised to strive together, as in a race, towards all that is good and virtuous.  The Qur’anic revelations and record of the sayings and doings of the Prophet (S) are the basic sources of the Islamic philosophy and ethics. The Qur’an laid down the basic foundation of ethics and Muslim ethical philosophers have developed their ethical thought in the light of basic Qur’anic beliefs and values. However, the emergence of ethics as systematic science took several centuries.

Ibn Miskawaih (932-1030)

Another portrait of Ibn Miskawaih. Retrieved from

Ibn Miskawaih is considered the first Muslim thinker who advanced a systematic treatise on ethics. He was born at Rey (932 AD) now in modern Iran. His complete name was Abū ʿAlī Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn Yaqūb ibn Miskawaih. During early stage of his career, he took education & training at Baghdad. He also served as a secretary to the vizier of the Buyid amir Moez Al Dawla. During his stay at Baghdad, he remained affiliated with the library of Baitul Hikma, the grand learning center of Abbasid empire. He wrote a book called Tahadhib-al-Akhlaq, which is the first treatise of its kind embodying the ethical views and opinions of the Greeks and the ethical principles and criteria of Islam. The eruption of different problems in Muslim society and state and Greek studies influenced the Muslim Mind. The early Muslim philosophers tried to advance reconciliation between Greek philosophy and the Qur’anic beliefs and values. They tried to reconcile revelation with reason, knowledge with faith and religion with philosophy. They tried to demonstrate that reason and revelation do not necessarily oppose each other. The Greek and other indigenous systems of thought profoundly influenced this development. Muslim jurists, theologians and commentators on the Qur’an have tried to understand the moral principles and ethical grounds of the Qur’an by various methods. They wanted to build a thoroughly Islamic ethical system which derives all its basic elements from the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. So it is appropriate to subsume their views under the rubric of “Islamic ethics.” The basic sources of inspiration of Islamic ethics are always the Qur’an and the Sunnah (practices of the Prophet). They are the spring from which the spiritual and ethical teachings of Islam flow (Ansari, 1964, 25). The Qur’anic revelations and record of the sayings and doings of the Prophet (S) are the basic sources of the Islamic philosophy and ethics. The Qur’an laid down the basic foundation of ethics and Muslim ethical philosophers have developed their ethical thought in the light of basic Qur’anic beliefs and values. However, the emergence of ethics as systematic science took several centuries. Ibn Miskawaih is considered the first Muslim thinker who advanced a systematic treatise on ethics.

Ibn- Miskawaih is one of the outstanding figures in the history of  Islamic philosophy and ethics. He is considered the first Muslim thinker who presented a systematic treatise on ethics and wrote Tahadhib-al-Akhlaq, a book that is philosophic and systematic.

An early 20th century cover page of Tahadhib-al-Akhlaq in Arabic published at al-Taraqqi Press Cairo. Retrieved from

It is the first treatise of its kind embodying the ethical views and opinions of the Greek and the ethical system of Islam. Ibn- Miskawaih developed his moral philosophy from his metaphysical conceptions. He viewed God as the ‘First Mover’. The unity, eternity and materiality are His primary attributes. Everything ’emanates’ from Him. There is the order or gradation in the universe as the order of emanation. First emanation from God is “The first intelligence which is same as the active intelligence“. The perfection of mandated being is according to their relation or the source from which they emanate. Thus first intelligence is “eternal, perfect in existence and immutable in state because of its emanation from the first Being. (Sharif, 1963, p.474)

An imaginary sketch of Al Miskawayh retrieved from

However, Miskawaih argued that happiness (Sa ‘ada) is realized by avoiding vice and cultivating virtue. According to him happiness is the supreme goal of mankind and he divided it into two parts worldly and divine. Though divine happiness is higher and more noble, it on the other hand, according to him, builds on worldly happiness, which, among others things consists of health, success, and honour. Miskawaih clearly indicated that the truly happy person is one who combines temporal and spiritual happiness and as a consequence internalizes morality to such an extent that all action is performed for its own sake, but for the sake of the virtue and goodness inherent in the actions itself, and not for any ulterior end. The order goes downwards accordingly. The soul emanates from intelligence. It is a simple and conscious substance. It remains in motion, which is its essence. The motion is circular and necessary for soul, because of its imperfection. It gets perfection when it frees itself from the fetters of matter. Matter is devoid of life, activity and reality. Matter is only the subject upon which soul acts. The entire world is the creation of the soul. Matter is disorder, darkness and evil. It causes disorder, imperfection and defects in soul. It makes its path of activity unclear. The soul has two-fold direction in motion, upwards and downwards. In the upward direction “soul ascends to the intelligence, contemplates the intelligence, imagines perfection and by doing so acquires light and splendour, and it becomes illuminated, thereby achieving its perfection. In its downward direction it “confers light and illumination to matter” and thus goes far from its real direction. (Umaruddin, 2003, p.7).

  1. Ansari, A.H. (1964). The Ethical Philosophy of Miskawaih. Aligarh.
  2. Sharif, M. M. (1963). A History of Muslim Philosophy (vol. 1). Germany: Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden.
  3. Umaruddin, M., (2003), The Ethical Philosophy of Al-Ghazali, Aligarh: Series 9, Faculty of Arts Publication, A.M.U.

A visual gallery of Islamic Headgear across the Globe

A woolen cap from Tajikistan, Pic source: Author

The headgear in Islamic world has evolved through the timeline of history. The Arabic world for the cap is “Taqiyah”. It has been said that the word “Taqiyah” has been derived from Persian word, Taq that means dome. From Central Asian countries to South Asia, one can find a diverse varieties of colorful headgear that became a part of their cultural outfit. In this visual gallery, I am covering only the diverse varieties of caps used across the Islamic world though the turbans (imama) also form the type of headgear. During my travels across these countries, I had purchased varieties of headgear that are the symbolic cultural representation for each region & culture. It was during this holy month of Ramzan when we were praying at homes amid outbreak of pandemic, I started a series of Instagram post on these caps that were part of cultural apparels in each region. This initiative of sharing the headgear aim to celebrate the cultural diversity & keep alive the traditions for the coming generations by documenting it in visual format.

My first post on the cap from Tajikistan

Central Asia

With the rapid urbanization & changing political landscapes, the use of cultural apparels had been now limited to to small proportion of the population. But still one can find the diverse varieties of headgear used in central Asian countries. The Russian word “Tubeteika” is popular for the traditional caps used in Muslim countries of Central Asia. In the decade of 1940s, it was quite popular & worn by almost majority of the population.


A specimen of this is this cap from Tajkistan. It is made of woollen cloth with strips of cotton.


Qaraquli of Uzbakistan, Pic source: Author
Uzbek Duppa/Doppa, also known as Chogosha

In fact the word “Qaraquli” has been derived from the “Qarqul” that is named after a breed of sheep mainly domesticated in Qorakol, a city in Bukhara region of Uzbekistan. This cap has been prepared from the wool of the lambs. Many variants of this cap now existed in different parts of the world. In Uzbekistan, this has been mainly worn by the people from upper strata of the society during winters. However in the general masses, the traditional Uzbek, Duppi is more common form of the head wear. Its a flat cap with square base more common in black color.


A variety of caps were used among Turkmen tribes. One of them used is Tekke cap that came up with vivid colors with embroideries. Both males & females used this ceremonial cap.

Turkmen folk art caps, they are distinct, one for right is for men and one on left for women. Pic source: Author


Traditionally the people of Kyrgyztan used to wear a head cover that known as Calpack, kalpak, or qalpaq. There were different varieties & shapes of the Kalpak. Each color is symbolic of their culture. During the winter season this kalpak is replaced by thick & warm cap enriched with fur that is known as Tebetey. Its mainly used by the tribal leaders.

Kyrgyz Hat, pic source: author


Cap in the shape of a Yurt, of nomadic people of Qazaqistan, who keeps moving with their livestock and build a Yurt wherever they stay. Pic Source: Author

Turkish, Middle Eastern & North African

A diverse varieties of the caps were evolved in middle eastern culture during the days of Ottoman rule. However here we are going to present few of them that became symbolic or affiliated with certain regions & cultures. One such long traditional hat is known as sikke or  kyula. Originally it was evolved among the dervishes who were followers of Mevlana Rum. This high hat was made up of camel wool. Also known as Rumi cap.

Rumi Cap, Pic source: Author
Cap of Qaraqounlu, made up black sheep tribe of West Iran,South Turkey and North Syria, with two flaps. Helps in the protection from extreme cold temperature during winters. Pic Source: Author
Evil’ eradicating cap.The blue eye is supposed to remove ‘Nazar’. Very popular charm of Turkey. Pic Source: Author


Modified Fez of Al-Maghreb is characterized by shorter height of 3.5 inch and without characteristic tail, usually worn by Arabs of Morocco. Historically Fez was the part of Byzantine culture that was later promoted by Ottomans. By the time of 19th & 20th century it became a part of oriental identity. The name of this cap is derived from the Moroccan city where the dye to color this cap was produced. During early 20th century in Morocco, it became the symbol of nationalism & resistance against the French occupation.

Modified Fez of Morocco, Pic Source: Author
Jamae-al-Fana is the central piazza of Marrakesh, full of shows and eateries at night. This cap is of a juggler of Jame, they whorl their head for the tail to go round. Pic Source: Author

Omani caps is a round shape head piece that has been intricate with the culture of Omani people. Well designed with diverse floral patterns, they were known as Omani Kuma in Arabic. Sewn in two layers, the hand made piece are more expensive than machine sew caps. They are also worn under their traditional turbans (mussar).

Three inch tall Omani-style semi-rigid kufi hat with unique intricate embroidery design. Omani caps of various designs and patterns, usually light and bright, made of cotton. Also used in peripheral states of Arabian peninsula. Pic Source: Author
Taqiyah Arab skull cap of knitted cotton thread. On top should be worn Keffiya, the head cover and Aeqal, that was once made up of the the round cord of goat hair during traditional days. Pic Source: Author
I bought this beautiful cap from a Bazar inside Damascus gate, Bait-Ul-Muqaddas, by a Palestinian vendor. Pic Source: Author

South Asian 

With the arrivals of Turks, Mughals, Afghans & Middle Eastern soldiers, adventurers & rulers, they brought with them culture & cuisine. With the time, it has been modified & blended with the regional cultures across the subcontinent. In South Asia, a diverse varieties of headgear can be found & it has been used by non-Muslims also during in their cultural settings.

This is Chogosha cap that still popular among Uzbek culture as Duppa. This four corner cap is from Farghana, the country of Zahir-Uddin Babar. Turks carried it with them, when they came to Hindustan. My grandfathers and great- grand fathers where using it until beginning of twentieth century.
This is another traditional cap somewhat similar with Turkish & Central Asian caps. The poet Ghalib used to wore this style of cap.
کلاہِ غالب: پوچھتے ہیں وہ کہ غالب کون ہے کوئی بتلاؤ کہ ہم بتلائیں کیا
This Turkish hat at one point of time became popular among students & elites of South Asian Muslims. During the first world war & khilafat movement, it was used all across Muslim world & afterward it was banished by Mustafa Kamal Pasha as a symbol of Khilafat. It gain popularity in India also during those days. Pic Source: Author
Dopalli Topi: During Mughal decline a price migrated to Lucknow wearing a double layer Mamal
( Muslin) cap which got popular in Awadh, but they made it better by chikenkari (white thread decoration). Chiken work was a trend started by Noorjahan Begum Queen of Jahangir the fourth great Mughal. Pic Source: Author

This sub-type of the cap seems to be evolved at historic Aligarh Muslim University. It is indeed not only education that Aligarh University provided but also gave this trend of Sherwani and topi of same color and same material. This style has been used in formal settings in many parts of South Asian cities.

Aligrah cut cap. Pic Source: Author
This cap became synonymous with the name of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Qaraquli, which Muslim press labelled as Jinnah Cap. Ideally it should be black, but now mass produced, neither they are of lamb skin nor necessarily of black color.
Kashghar Caps: one on the right is a Chogosha plain, made of hard felt, usually worn at occiput,there are printed ones as well. One on the left is a cotton everyday use for Salat. These are the variants of central Asian caps & also used in Indian sub-continent. Pic source: Author
Liaqat,the first P.M. of Pakistan has many failures in his political life like ignoring Soviet invitation,initiating quota system with loss of merit, but personally established his own trend including this Qaraquli based cap which is roundish with a blunt pointed end in the front. Pic Source: Author
Pakol Cap of Northern areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Made of rough wool, originated as a bag with the edge rolled over. Used by Chitral Scouts and famous Mujahid Ahmad Shah Masud of Afghanistan. Pic Source: Author
Afghan Winter cap, made of pure lamb skin, even the dome with the button is reverse lamb skin. Really warm and most suitable for cold areas. Made in Pakistan. Pic source: Author
Rampur was inhabited by Pathans & established as a small princely state by Nawab Faizullah Khan after the fall of Afghans Rohillas with Awadh & East India company in 1774. It was also on the right side of English. Prosperity brought expensive tastes like velvet, of which the cap is made. A symbol of power and wealth has distinctive soft feel. Source: Author
This white cool cap of ‘Khaddar’ is the transformation from Rampuri cap. Hakim Ajmal khan who use wear Rampuri cap thought of having a Rampuri in ‘Khaddar’ as it will appeal to Gandhiji and congress workers. It became popular as Gandhi cap ( reference: Zillur- Rahman; Hakim Ajmal Khan, p 112), Pic Source: Author
‘Malang Topi’ can be seen at every shrine of Sufi Dargah all over subcontinent of Pakistan and India. You will find malanga, mujavirs (custodians) who thrives on the popularity and earnings of that respectful authority. Topi is tailored by joining various pieces of cotton, well proportioned. Pic Source: Author
Himachal Cap: Himachal Pardesh is a North Indian state created in recent past. This flat felt cap with front colourful band is its characteristic. It is also worn by women folk. It has been politicised, BJP uses crimson band and Congress uses green. Pic Source: Author

South East Asian

Songkok of Indonesia: A cap found in various colours and decorations, some with a band of decoration only. Also worn in other parts of Southeast Asia. It is made of felt. A national struggle cap worn by Sukarno.
Malaysian Kopiah: The traditional headgear of Malaysia is usually black, but this black and white is an attractive design. Made of wash and wear material. Usually worn with colourful sarong.

I am ending this headgear write up with the link of last Instagram post on the cap that was a series done during the days of lock down due to Covid pandemic. The idea was gave an acquaintance to the coming generations about the cultural diversity that stood across the world in form of apparels, cuisine & languages.

Naqshbandiah aur Ahrar: Tareekh ki Roshni me

نقشبندیہ اور احرار: تاریخ کی روشنی میں

بر صغیر پاک و ہند میں اسلام  کی تبلیغ میں مسلمان بادشاہوں نے کوئی متحرک کردار ادا نہیں کیا، لیکن  ان کی فتح ہند کی وجہ سے  ہند کا راستہ ضرور کھل گیا۔ وسط ایشیا اور مغربی ایشیا سے آنے والے مہاجروں میں صوفیوں کی ایک بڑی تعداد بھی شامل تھی، جنہوں نے اسلام پھیلانے میں اہم کردار ادا کیا۔پاک و ہند کے صوفی سلسلوں میں کثیر تعداد چشتیہ کی ہے، اُس کے بعد نقشبندی، قادری اور دوسرے کم معروف سلسلے آتے ہیں۔ نقشبندی سلسلہ یہاں وسط ایشیا سے پہنچا۔ پہلے مغل حکمراں ظہیر الدین بابر کی فتح ہندوستان نے اس میں بڑا کردار  ادا کیا۔ اِس فتح کے بعد وہ پیر فقیر جن پر وسط ایشیا کی زمین تنگ ہو گئی تھی یا وہ حضرات جو مغل بادشاہوں سے رشتے قائم رکھنا چاہتے تھے عرصہ دراز تک ہندوستان آتے جاتے رہے، کچھ ان میں سے ہندوستان میں ہی بس گئے۔

حضرت خواجہ یوسف ہمدانی کا مزار مروی ، ترکمانستان

نقشبندی سلسلہ پندھرویں صدی عیسوی سے مشہور ہے۔ اِس سے پہلے یہ سلسلہ طریقہ خواجگان کہلاتا تھا۔ داراشکوہ نے سفینتہ الاولیا میں اس کو سلسلہ خواجگان ہی لکھاہے(۱)۔ طریقہ خواجگان کی ابتدا ۱۱۴۰؍۵۳۵ھ میں شیخ یوسف ہمدانی سے ہوئی تھی۔ تبدیلی نام کی وجہ وسط ایشیا کے اِس سلسلے کے ایک بڑے صوفی خواجہ بہا الدین نقشبندی کے نام کی وجہ سے ہے۔ یہ خواجہ بخارا میں مدفون ہیں۔ آپ کا زمانہ ۱۳۸۸؍۷۹۱ھ ہے۔ اِسی سلسلے کے ایک اور بزرگ خواجہ عبد الحق غجدوانی نے طریقہ خواجگان (۲)کے آٹھ اصول بتا ئے ہیں(۱) ہوش در دم(۲) نظر بر قدم(۳)سفر در وطن (۴) خلوت در انجمن (۵) یاد کرد (۶) باز گشت (۷) نگاہ داشت (۸) یاد داشت۔ اِس کے بعد بھی کچھ اصول اپنائے گئے۔ نقشبندیوں میں  ایک بڑا اصول خلوت در انجمن ہے، جس سے مراد ہے کہ زندگی عوام میں مل جل کر بسر کرنی چاہیے، لیکن خدا سے لو لگائے رکھنا کہ یہ محسوس ہو کہ آس پاس کوئی نہیں۔ خواجہ بہا الدین کہا کرتے تھے کہ میرا طریقہ ‘ انسانوں کی صحبت  ہے’(۳)۔ اس طریقے پر عمل کرنے  والے صوفی نہ صرف انسانوں سے بلکہ بادشاہوں سے بھی تعلقاقت قائم رکھ کر عام انسانوں کی بھلائی کے کام کروانے کی کوشش کرتے  رہے ہیں۔

مقبرہ حضرت بہاؤالدین بخارا

نقشبندیوں میں شرعیت کی سخت پابندی ہے(۴)۔ شرعیت کے زیر اثر کسی سے نذر و نیاز قبول نہیں کرتے، اپنی آمدنی کے لیے کوئی نہ کوئی پیشہ ضرور اپناتے ہیں۔ خواجہ بہا الدین کے ہاں زردوزی، گل کاری کا کام تھا،یعٰنی مشجر و چکن وغیرہ تیار ہوتے تھے، اسی کام کی وجہ سے وہ نقشبند کہلائے(۵)۔ خواجہ اپنے مریدوں کو بھی کوئی پیشہ اپنانے پر زور دیتے تھے۔ انہوں نے اپنے ایک مرید کو رقم دے کر کہا تھا ‘زمین پر جا کر محنت کرو’ ان کے دوسرے مرید بھی کسان اورقصائی کا کام کرتے تھے۔ اسی سلسلے کے ایک صوفی سید امیر کلال مٹی کے برتن بنا یا کرتے تھے۔ اُن کی اولاد تجارت کرتی تھی، دوسرے بیٹے نمک کی تجارت کیا کرتے تھے۔چوتھے بیٹے خربوزوں کی خرید و فروخت کیا کرتے تھے۔ سید امیر کلال  علم حاصل کرنے پر بھی زور دیتے تھے۔ اُن کی نظر میں ایک علم ‘خرید و فروخت’ بھی ہے، یعٰنی بزنس اڈمنسٹریشن۔ اُن کا کہنا تھا کہ  یہ کسب  حلال کے لیے ضروری ہے۔ لقمۂ حلال ہونا  اُن کی انتہائی ضرور ت تھا (۶)۔ خواجہ عبید اللہ احرار کی آخیر وقت میں بڑی کھیتی باڑی  اور تجارت تھی۔

نقشبندی اصولی طور پر کوئی ایک لباس نہیں پہنتے، کبھی نمائشی طرز نہیں اپناتے(۷) غلام اور لونڈیاں یا نوکر نہیں رکھتے، موسیقی سے سخت پرہیز کرتے ہیں۔ یہ عوام میں جہاں رہتے ہیں اُن کی طرز پر مل جُل کر رہتے ہیں۔ نقشبندی سلسلہ وسط ایشیا، افغا نستان، پاک و ہند اور مغربی ایشیا جیسے ترکی اور ایران میں کافی مقبول رہا ہے (۸)۔ ایران میں صفوی حکومت کی سختی کی وجہ سے اِس کا اثر کم ہوگیا ہے۔

خواجہ عبید اللہ احرار

نقشبندی سلسلے کے یہ بزرگ تاشقند کے قریب ایک گاؤں باغستان میں ۱۴۴۰؍۸۰۶ھ میں پیدا ہو ئے۔ انہوں نے اس صوفی سلسلے اور اپنے اثر و رسوخ کی وجہ سے گہرے اثرات چھوڑے ہیں۔ اُن کا نام عبید اللہ اور اُن کا لقب ناصر الدین احرار ہے۔ ان کی ابتدائی زندگی بہت عسرت میں گزری۔ جب آپ کی عمر ۲۲ سال کی ہو ئی تو آپ کے ماموں (یا خالو) (۹) آپ کو سمرقند تعلیم کے لیے لے کر گئے، لیکن ظاہری تعلیم کی طرف توجہ نہ تھی۔ باطنی علوم و صوفیوں کی صحبت کی طرف جھکاؤ تھا۔ خواجہ سمرقند میں دو سال گزارنے کے بعد ہرات گئے اور وہاں پانچ سال رہے اور اس دوران صوفیوں کی صحبت قائم کی۔ ہرات سے واپسی پر   خواجہ یعقوب چرخی سے ہلاغتو میں بیعت کی اور نقشبندی طریقے میں معرفت حاصل کی۔ انتیس سال کی عمر میں تاشقند واپسی ہو ئی۔ تاشقند میں رہتے ہو ئے آپ کے تعلقات سلطان ابو سعید مرزا جو ظہیر الدین بابر کے دادا تھے، سے ہو ئی۔ سلطان پر ان کا گہرا اثر تھا۔ سلطان ہر کام اُن سے پوچھ کر کرتا تھا(۱۰)۔ ابو سعید کی خواہش پر ہی آپ نے تاشقند کو خیر آباد کہا اور سمر قند میں رہائش اختیار کی۔ خواجہ کے کہنے پر ہی ابو سعید نے غیر اسلامی ٹیکس جو تمغہ کہلاتا تھا، معاف کردیا۔ خواجہ احرار کا کہنا تھا کہ  یہ ہماری ذمہ داری ہے کہ مسلمانوں کو ظلم و زیادتی سے بچائیں اور یہ سلطانوں اور بادشاہوں سے تعلقات قائم کرکے ہی ہو سکتا ہے۔ یونس خاں ظہیر الدین بابر کے نانا اور مغلوں کے سردار تھے۔ انہوں نے بہتر سال کی عمر پائی۔ آخر عمر میں انہوں نے فواہش سے توبہ کرلی تھی اور خواجہ کے معتقد ہو گئے تھے۔ خواجہ نے ان سےملاقات کرنے پر ان کو تعلیم یافتہ اور مہذب پایا۔ اس ملاقات کے بعد خواجہ نے اطراف کے حکمرانوں کے پاس خطوط روانہ کیے کہ یونس خاں کی مغل رعایا مسلمان ہیں اور ان کو غلام نہ بنایا جائے۔ اس سے پہلے ترکوں میں یہ عام رواج تھا کہ مغلوں کو ایمان سے بے بہرہ سمجھ کر عام طور پر غلام بنا لیا جاتا تھا(۱۱)۔

خواجہ احرار كے مزار کا احاتا سمر قند

ظہیر الدین بابر کے والد سلطان عمر شیخ مرزا بھی خواجہ احرار کی بہت عزت کیا کرتے تھے اور اُن کو ملاقاتوں کے لیے بلاتے تھے۔ سلطان احمد مرزا بابر کے بڑے چچا خواجہ احرار کی بہت تعظیم کرتے تھے اور ادب کے ساتھ اُن کی محفل میں بیٹھا کرتے تھے، حتیٰ کہ پہلو بھی نہیں بدلتے تھے۔ ایک دفعہ مجلس میں سلطان احمد مرزا نے پہلو بدلہ تو خواجہ کو تعجب ہوا، خواجہ کے لوگوں نے اُس جگہ کو دیکھا تو وہاں ایک ہڈی پڑی ہو ئی تھی (۱۲)۔ ظہیر الدین بابر کی پیدائش کے جشن میں بھی خواجہ احرار تشریف لائے تھے۔ بچے کا نام ظہیر الدین بھی     خواجہ ہی نے رکھا تھا۔
بابر آٹھ سال کا تھا جب خواجہ کا انتقال ہوا(۱۴۹۱؍۸۹۶ھ)۔ بابر نے ہمیشہ اُن کی قدر و منزلت      کی۔ برے حالات کے زمانے میں جب بابرسمر قند فتح کرنے کا سوچ رہا تھا ، اُس وقت خواجہ  اُس کے خواب میں آئے اور یہ بشارت دی کہ شیخ مصلحت نے  تمہیں سمر قند دیا۔ شیخ مصلحت خجند کے معروف ولی ہیں۔ خواجہ کے شاگرد اور مرید مولانا قاضی کو بابر نے اپنا نائب بناکر اندجان میں چھوڑا تھا جب وہ خود سمرقند پر حملہ کرنے جا رہاتھا۔ ظہیر الدین بابر نے اپنی بیماری سے صحت یاب ہو نے کے لیے خواجہ احرار کا رسالہ والدیہ فارسی نثر سے ترکی نظم میں ترجمہ کیا، اس میں یہ خواہش شامل تھی کہ جس طرح قصیدہ بردہ کا مصنف قصیدہ لکھنے کی برکت سے فالج سے صحت یاب ہو گیا تھا اسی طرح مجھے بھی تندرستی نصیب ہو۔ خواجہ احرار کے ایک پوتے خواجہ عبد الحق ہندوستان آئے، بابر  بہار کوفتح کرنے کے بعد واپس آگرہ پہنچا تو دوسرے ہی دن اُن کی خدمت میں حاضر ہوا۔ خواجہ کلاں، ایک دوسرے پو تے کو بابر نے ۱۵۲۸؍۲۹؍ ۹۳۵ھ میں وقائع بابر کا ایک قلمی نسخہ آگرہ سے سمرقند بھیجاتھا۔ ایک اور پوتے خواجہ محمد امین بابر کے ساتھ اُس کے معرکوں میں شریک رہے تھے۔ بابر نے اُن کا ذکر ۹۱۰؍۹۱۳؍۹۲۵ھ کے حالات میں کیا ہے۔ 

سمر قند فتح کرنے کا سوچ رہا تھا ، اُس وقت خواجہ  اُس کے خواب میں آئے اور یہ بشارت دی کہ شیخ مصلحت نے  تمہیں سمر قند دیا۔ شیخ مصلحت خجند کے معروف ولی ہیں۔ خواجہ کے شاگرد اور مرید مولانا قاضی کو بابر نے اپنا نائب بناکر اندجان میں چھوڑا تھا جب وہ خود سمرقند پر حملہ کرنے جا رہاتھا۔ ظہیر الدین بابر نے اپنی بیماری سے صحت یاب ہو نے کے لیے خواجہ احرار کا رسالہ والدیہ فارسی نثر سے ترکی نظم میں ترجمہ کیا، اس میں یہ خواہش شامل تھی کہ جس طرح قصیدہ بردہ کا مصنف قصیدہ لکھنے کی برکت سے فالج سے صحت یاب ہو گیا تھا اسی طرح مجھے بھی تندرستی نصیب ہو۔ خواجہ احرار کے ایک پوتے خواجہ عبد الحق ہندوستان آئے، بابر  بہار کوفتح کرنے کے بعد واپس آگرہ پہنچا تو دوسرے ہی دن اُن کی خدمت میں حاضر ہوا۔ خواجہ کلاں، ایک دوسرے پو تے کو بابر نے ۱۵۲۸؍۲۹؍ ۹۳۵ھ میں وقائع بابر کا ایک قلمی نسخہ آگرہ سے سمرقند بھیجاتھا۔ ایک اور پوتے خواجہ محمد امین بابر کے ساتھ اُس کے معرکوں میں شریک رہے تھے۔ بابر نے اُن کا ذکر ۹۱۰؍۹۱۳؍۹۲۵ھ کے حالات میں کیا ہے۔
خواجہ احرار نے ادنیٰ پیمانے پر کھیتی باڑی شروع کی، جو بڑھتے بڑھتے کافی پھیل گئی۔
 اُس کے ساتھ تجارت بھی جاری رہی، جس میں بھی ترقی ہو ئی۔

اس کو عوام کے فائدے میں جاری کرنے کے لیے آپ نے وقف قائم کیے۔ ان اوقاف میں سے انتہائی قلیل رقم اپنے خرچ کے لیے نکال کر باقی آمدنی شریعت کے اصولوں کے تحت عوام کی فلاح و بہبود پر خرچ کر دیتے تھے۔

خوجہ نے نقشبندی طریقےکو پھیلانے میں بھی اہم کردار ادا کیا۔ خواجہ کا تعلق خراساں میں مولانا جامی، علی شیر نوائی اور سلطان حسین مرزا سے تھا۔ ان حضرات سے  مسلسل رابطہ بہ ذریعہ مرید، مسافران اور طالب علموں کے سفر کی وجہ سے رہا۔ اس کے علاوہ ان کے خلیفہ عبداللہ الہیٰ اناطولیہ سے تھے، انہوں نے ترکی میں نقشبندی طریقے کو پھیلانے میں اہم کردار ادا کیا۔ سلطان محمددوم سلطان ترکی کا خواجہ سے غائبانہ تعارف تھا۔ اس نے ایک مصور بھیج کر خواجہ کی تصویر بھی بنوائی تھی۔ اس کے علاوہ خواجہ کے ایک مرید شیخ علی کردی قزوین میں جا کر بس گئے تھے۔ مولانا اتراری حجاز گئے، اور سراج الدین عبد الوہاب نے اسی سلسلے میں تبریز کا سفر کیا(۱۳)۔

خواجہ احرار کا سیاسی کردار

مرزا ابو القاسم بابر جو حکمراں ہرات تھا ،نے ۱۵۵۴ء؁ میں سمرقند کو اپنے زیر نگیں لانے کے لیے حملہ کیا۔ سمرقند پر اُس وقت سلطان ابو سعید کی حکومت تھی۔ مرزا ابو القاسم بابر ڈیڑھ لاکھ فوج کے ساتھ چڑھ آیا، ابو سعید عجیب شش و پنج میں تھا کہ اتنی فوج کا کس طرح مقابلہ کرے۔ اس نے خواجہ احرار سے مشورہ کیا، خواجہ نے اس کی ہمت بڑھا ئی اور مشورہ دیا کہ محصور ہو کر مقابلہ کرو، ان شاء اللہ دشمن کو منہ کی کھانی پڑے گی۔ ابو القاسم بابر نے چالیس روز تک محاصرہ جاری رکھا۔ دونوں طرف کے لوگ مارے گئے اور گرفتار ہو ئے لیکن فیصلہ نہ ہو سکا،م آخر خواجہ کی معرفت معاہدہ ہوا، جس کے تحت سمرقند سلطان ابو سعید کے زیر اثر اور ہرات ابو القاسم کی زیر نگرانی ہی رہا (۱۴)۔

حضرت خواجہ احرار کی ایک پرانی تصویر

مرزا محمد جوکی نے شاہ رخیہ میں ۱۴۶۲؍۸۶۷ھ میں بغاوت کردی، ابو سعید نے شاہ رخیہ کا محاصرہ کرلیا، محاصرہ ایک سال تک جاری رہا، شاہ رخیہ کے عوام تنگ  آگئے، کھانے پینے کو کچھ نہ رہا، یہ مشکلات دیکھ کر  مرزا محمد جوکی نے اپنا ایلچی خواجہ کے پاس بھیجا اور صلح کی درخواست کی۔ خواجہ نے عوام کی تکلیف کا احساس کرتے ہو ئے سلطان ابو سعید سے صلح کی درخواست کی جو ابو سعید نے منظور کرلی اور عوام کو فاقہ کشی سے نجات ملی(۱۵)۔

یونس خاں، بابر کے نانا کو بابر کے والد نے مرغلان کا علاقہ ان کی مدد کے بعد تحفتاً دیاتھا، لیکن بابر کے چچا سلطان احمد مرزا اُس پر اپنا حق سمجھتے تھے، اس لیے یونس خاں اور سلطان احمد میں جنگ کی نوبت پہنچی، خواجہ نے ان دو نوکے درمیاں ۱۴۸۰ء؍۸۹۰ھ میں صلح کروائی(۱۶)۔

بابر کے والد اور چچاؤں کے درمیاں ۱۴۸۵ء؍۸۹۰ھ میں جنگ کے لیے فوجیں آمنے سامنے آگئیں، ایک طرف سلطان احمد مرزا اور دوسری طرف سلطان محمود مرزا اور عمر شیخ مرزا۔ سلطان احمد مرزا خواجہ کو اپنے ساتھ لے کر میدان جنگ کی طرف روانہ ہو ئے،میدان جنگ پہنچنے سے پہلے خواجہ نے سلطان احمد سے اجازت لی، ان کو چھوڑ کر اپنا خیمہ دونوں فوجوں کے درمیان گاڑ دیا۔ تینوں بھائیوں کو اپنے خیمے میں قا لین پر بٹھایا اور نصیحتیں کیں۔ عوام کا خون کرنے سے منع کیا۔ تینوں نے ان کی نصیحتوں کو قبول کیا اور جنگ و جدل سے باز رہے، نہ جانے کتنی جانیں ان کے اس صلح صفائی کے اقدام سے ضائع ہونے سے بچ گئیں(۱۷)۔

سلطان احمد مرزا نے ۱۴۸۷ء؍۸۹۲ھ میں بابر کے ماموں سلطان محمود خاں پر حملہ کردیا، یہ جنگ ‘چر کی لڑائی’ کے نام سے مشہور ہوئی، کہ یہ دریائے چَر کے قریب ہو ئی تھی۔ خواجہ احرارت نے سلطان احمد مرزا کو اس پر جانے سے منع کیا تھا، لیکن احمد مرزا نے اس مشورے کو نہ مانا اور شکست کھائی۔ شکست کے بعد خواجہ سے صلح کی درخواست کی، جو خواجہ نے قبول کی اور دونوں کے درمیاں صلح کروائی(۱۸)۔

خواجہ احرار کے خطوط

خواجہ احرار کو خط لکنے کا شوق تھا۔ یہ اُن کے مقاصد حاصل کرنے کا ایک عمدہ ذریعہ تھا۔ اُس وقت کے حکمرانوں اور اُن کے درباریوں تک رسائی کے لیے خواجہ اور ان کے ساتھیوں نے جو خطوط سمرقند سے ہرات روانہ کیے وہ ایک مجموعہ مراسلات میں اورئینٹل انسٹی ٹیوٹ تاشقند میں محفوظ ہیں۔ یہ شاید میر علی شیر نوائی نے ایک جگہ محفوظ کر لیے تھے۔ اب یہ خطوط انگریزی ترجمے کے ساتھ شائع ہو گئے ہیں(۱۹)۔ زیادہ تر خطوط سلطان حسین مرزا والیِ ہرات اور اُن کے درباری حکام سے متعلق ہیں۔ اندازہ ہے کہ دوسرے والیان ریاست جن سے خواجہ کے تعلقات تھے جیسے سلطان ابو سعید، سلطان احمد مرزا، محمود مرزا، عمر شیخ مرزا اور یو نس خاں کو بھی لکھے گئے ہونگے، لیکن وہ محفوظ نہ رہ سکے۔ یہ خطوط کل ۲۵۷ ہیں، زیادہ تر رقعات کی شکل میں مختصر ہیں۔ خط شکستہ میں لکھے گئے ہیں اور اُن کو پڑھنا دشوار ہے ، لیکن  یہ خطوط ایک تاریخی ورثہ ہیں۔ اُس وقت کے حالات، بادشاہوں کے احکامات، عوام کی تکالیف اور سلطانوں کے آپس کے تعلقات اور جھگڑوں پر روشنی ڈالتے ہیں۔ خواجہ کی مصالحتی کو ششوں پر بھی روشنی پڑتی ہے۔ ایک رقعہ میں سلطان حسین مرزا کو لکھتے ہیں‘ آپ  سے درخواست ہے کہ آپ کی کوششیں اقربا میں امن اور دوستی قائم کرنے کی طرف ہو نی چاہیں، ولایتوں کاچھوٹا یا بڑا ہو نے کی طرف خیال نہ کریں، مسلمانوں کے افکار اور مسلمانوں کی بہتری اصل مقصد ہونا چاہیے’(۲۰)۔

خواجہ کے کئی خطوط میں اس بات پر زور ہے کہ شرعیت اپنائی جائے۔ سنت و الجماعت کے اصولوں کی پابندی کی جائے، ‘جماعت بیگان اور غیروں’ کے اطوار سے پرہیز کیا جائے۔ پندھرویں صدی کے آواخر میں دو طا قتیں مسلمانوں کو بہ بہرہ کرنے پر تلی ہو ئی تھیں، ایک طرف ایران میں صفوی عروج اور دوسری طرف باقیات تورہ چنگیزی، اندازہ ہے کہ خواجہ نے اِن ہی کو بیگانگان اور غیر  یا کفار شرقیہ سے تعبیر کیا ہے۔

ان خطوط میں اکثر ظلم سے نجات، نا انصافیوں سے تلافی، نوکریوں کے لیے سفارش، مسافروں کی امداد، بیماریوں سے  علاج میں مدد، تجارت اور غیر شرعی ٹیکسوں سے چھوٹ سے متعلق درخواستیں ہیں۔

خواجہ کا مزار سمرقند کے جنوبی علاقے میں عثمان یو سو پو روڈ پر واقع ہے۔ مزار ایک چبوترے پر ہے۔ اوپر کوئی سایہ سوائے درختوں کے نہیں ہے، مزار کے ایک طرف مختلف اوقات میں تعمیر کی ہو ئی تین مساجد ہیں۔ بیچ میں ایک ہشت پہلو حوض ہے اور سامنے نادر دیوان بیگی مدرسہ ہے۔ جس میں آج کل کسی تعلیم کا انتظام نہیں۔ مجھے تین مختلف اوقات میں حاضری اور فاتحہ کا موقعہ ملا، میں نے جگہ کو پرسکون پایا، کسی قسم کا ہنگامہ، مجاوروں کی پریشانی یا چادروں کی ریل پیل نہ پا  ئی۔   ہند و پاکستان میں  جو خرافات مزاروں پر دیکھنے میں آتی ہیں نقشبندی  طریقہ کے خواجہ احرار،سمر قند میں، بہا الدین نقشبند بخارا میں اور خواجہ یوسف ہمدانی مرو میں  ، ان تینوں کے مزارات میں دیکھنے میں  نہیں آتیں۔


 دارا شکوہ، سفینتہ الاو لیا، نفیس اکیڈمی، کراچی، ۱۹۷۵،ص ۱۵۷۔ 
 ہنری بیورج، جنرل اوف رائل ایشیاٹک سوسائٹی، ۱۹۱۶، ص ۵۹۔۷۵۔
 ریاض الاسلام،  صوفی ازم اِن ساؤتھ ایشیا، اوکسفورڈ، کراچی، ۲۰۰۲، ص ۱۲۴
 کرسچین ٹرول، مسلم شرائنز ان انڈیا، اوکسفورڈ، دہلی، ۱۹۸۹، ص ۲۱۷۔
 سید احمد دہلوی، فرہنگ آصفیہ۔ مرکزی اردو بورڈ، لاہور، ۱۹۷۷،ص ۵۸۵۔
 ایضاً  ماخذ۳، ص ۱۹۱۔
 ادریس شاہ، دی وے اوف صوفی، پینگوئن، لندن، ۱۹۶۸،ص۱۵۵۔
جون براؤن، دی درویشِیز، ان ڈی گو بکس، دہلی، ۲۰۰۳، ص۱۳۹۔
 عارف نوشاہی، خواجہ احرار، پورب اکادمی، اسلام آباد، ۲۰۱۰، ص۸۵۔
 یونس جعفری،حسن بیگ، وقائع بابر، شہر بانو پبلشرز، کریکاڈی، ۲۰۰۷، ص ۳۵۳۔
  مرزا حیدر دوغلت، تاریخ رشیدی (ترجمہ تھیکسٹن)، ہارورڈ، ۱۹۹۶،ص۹۲۔
 ایضاً ماخذ۱۰، ص ۳۵۳۔
 جو این گراس، عاصم ارون بائیو، خواجہ احرار کے خطوط، برل، لائیڈن،۲۰۰۲،ص۲۱۔
 خواند امیر، حبیب السیر، (ترجمہ تھیکسٹن)، ہارورڈ، ۱۹۹۴،ص۳۷۹۔
 ایضاً ماخذ ۱۴، ص ۳۹۶۔
 ایضاً ماخذ۱۱، ص۵۲۔
  ایضاً ماخذ ۱۴، ص ۴۱۰۔
 ایضاً ماخذ۱۱، ص۶۳۔
 ایضاًماخذ ۱۳، ص ۲۳۔
 ایضاً ماخذ۱۳، ص ۱۵۵

Hazrat Ali Karram-Allah-u Wajhahu ki Zindagi aur Shahadat

حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ کی زندگی اور شہادت

حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ كے مزار اقدس کی مسجد کی قدیم تصویر 1932 -ویکیپیڈیا

یہ ماہ مبارک جہاں رحمتوں کا مہینہ ہے ، بخششوں کا مہینہ ہے، اسکو ایک فضیلت یہ اور بھی اللہ سبحانہ تعالیٰ نے عطا فر مادی کہ اپنے ایک نیک بندے حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ کو شہادت عطا کر کے اس مہینے کو مزید سرفراز فر مایا مزیداعزازسے مزین فر مایا۔ ہم یہاں ان کی پیدا ئش سے لیکر شہادت تک کاایک مختصر سا واقعا تی خاکہ پیش کر نے کی کوشش کر رہے ہیں جوکہ تاریخ میں چاند اور ستاروں کی طرح جگمگاتے ملیں گے اور ان کا انکار یا تردید کسی بھی صاحبِ ایمان کے لیئے ناممکن ہے ۔گوکہ ہمارے ہاں ایسے لوگوں کی کمی نہیں ہے جو کسی کی ضد میں ،یا بہکائے میں آ کر کسی سے نفرت یا محبت کر نا شروع کر دیتے ہیں ؟ جبکہ آج کی دنیا پروپیگنڈے کی دنیا ہے اور حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ کی کرادار کشی کی تاریخ توصدیوں پر انی ہے جس میں اشرفیوں کو بھی دخل تھا ۔وجہ یہ تھی کہ وہ عظمت کا ایک ایسا مینارتھے جس کی ان کے بعد نقل ممکن نہ تھی ۔اس پر حضور صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم کایہ ارشادِ گرامی سند ہے کہ ” علی “ تمہارا معاملہ بھی عیسیٰ علیہ السلام جیسا ہوگا کہ کچھ تمہیں اتنا بڑھا دیں گے کہ جہنم میں جا ئیں گے ( یہاں لوگ اپنے مطلب کے معنی نکال لیتے ہیں لہذاا میں یہاں پر وضا حت ضروری سمجھتا ہوں کہ اس سے مراد غالبا“ وہ دونو ں فرقے تھاجو کہ حضرت علی کی زندگی میں ہی بن گئے تھے جن سے خود انہوں نےجنگ کی، نہ کہ ان کے ماننے والے) اور کچھ اتنا گرا ئیں گے کہ جہنم اپنا ٹھکانہ بنا ئیں گے “ اللہ تعالیٰ ہم سب کو اس سے بچا ئے کہ یہ بہت بڑی وعید ہے اگر لوگ سمجھیں ؟ پھر ایک شکایت کرنے والے کو حضور (ص) کایہ جوا ب کہ جو “علی” سے محبت رکھتا ہے وہ مجھ سے محبت رکھتا ہے اور جو علی سے بغض رکھتا ہے وہ مجھ سے بغض رکھتا ہے “ اور یہ کہ “ علی تم میں سب سے زیادہ خوف ِ خدا رکھنے والا ہے “ حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ کی خصو صیات یہ تھیں کہ انہوں نے ہمیشہ فقر اور فاقے کی زندگی گزاری وہ اپنے کردار میں امام السالکیں اور امام المتقین تھے ؟ ان کی ولایت کے سلسلہ میں کسی بھی فر قہ کو اختلاف نہیں ہے ۔اور یہ سلسلہ اولیا ئے کرام ان ہی کا عطا کردہ وہ فیض ہے جوآج تک جاری ہے اور انشا اللہ قیامت تک جاری رہے گا ۔اس لیئے کہ وہ اپنے پیچھے اہلِ سنت میں بھی سترہ سلسلے چھوڑ گئے ہیں جو ان کے بعد دنیا میں اسلام پھیلا نے کا با عث ہو ئے ۔ ورنہ باد شاہ تو اسلام کو پہلے ہی ٹھکا نے لگا دیتے ۔ یہ ہی ان کی وہ خوبیاں تھیں جو ہمیشہ ہر جگہ دنیا میں ان کے آڑے آتی رہی ہیں ۔ حضرت علی کی فضیلت میں اتنی احادیث ہیں ان کو بیان کرنے کے لیئے ایک ضخیم کتاب چا ہیئے۔ جبکہ حضرت علی کے بارے میں جو احادیث ملتی ہیں ان میں بعد میں آنے والوں اور بنوانے والوں کی طرح اشرفیوں کو کوئی دخل نہیں ہے ، کیونکہ ان کے پاس اشرفیاں کبھی تھیں ہی نہیں ۔وہ جو کچھ اور جیسے کچھ تاریخ میں موجود ہیں وہ اپنے ذاتی کر دار اور ان قر بانیوں کی بنا پر ہیں جو انہوں نے اور ان کے اہلِ خاندان نے نبی کریم (ص) اور اسلام کی معاونت میں دیں اور اس سلسلہ میں تمام مشکلات بھی جھیلتے رہے ۔ جبکہ شاہوں کے اشرفی والے عمل کی وجہ سے احادیث کی تعداد تو ایک وقت میں بڑھ کر سات لاکھ تک جا پہو نچی ،جو کہ محد ثین کی کوششوں سے اب گھٹ کر سات ہزار کے قریب رہ گئی ہے۔ لیکن ابھی بھی جو احادیث حضرت علی کرم اللہ کے بارے میں احادیث کی مستند کتابوں موجود ہیں وہ بھی اتنی ہیں کہ یہ مختصرصفحات ان سب کو بیان کرنے کے لیئے کافی نہیں ہیں ۔ لہذا میں یہاں صرف ایک اورمستند حدیث پیش کر کے ان کے بارے میں تاریخی فضائل بیان کرناشروع کر تا ہوں جو تاریخ کی کتابوں میں بلا تخصیص موجود ہیں۔یہ حدیث مسند احمد میں ہے اور انہوں نے اس کے حوالے بھی دیئے ہیں ۔اسی کو ابن ِ کثیر نے بھی “البدایہ والنہا یہ “ میں نقل کیا ہے۔ وہ یہ ہے کہ “ کوئی مومن علی سے بغض نہیں رکھ سکتا اور کوئی منا فق علی سے خوش نہیں رہ سکتا “ اس کے بعد اب وہ چند حقائق، جن میں وہ یکتا نظر آتے ہیں؟ سب سے بڑی فضیلت تو انہیں یہ حا صل ہے کہ وہ واحد شخص تھے جو کہ اپنی پیدائش سے لیکر حضور ﷺ کے وصال تک ہمیشہ ان کے ساتھ دکھا ئی دیئے ۔ اس لیئے کہ جب وہ پیدا ہو ئے تو حضور ﷺ ان کے گھر میں قیام پذیر تھے اور حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ کے والد ِ محترم حضرت ابی طالب کے زیر کفالت تھے ۔ پھرجب حضور ﷺ کی شادی حضرت خدیجہ الکبریٰؓ سے ہو گئی تو اس وقت حضور (ص)نے اپنے چچا کا بار ہلکا کر نے کے لیئے جو کہ کثیر العیال تھے حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ کو اپنی کفالت میں لے لیا، اس کی دوسری وجہ یہ بھی ہو سکتی ہے۔ کہ وہ اس تعلیم کی عملی تفسیر پیش کر نے کے لیئے بیچین ہوں کہ “ احسان کا بدلہ احسان ہے “ گوکہ ابھی یہ آیت نازل نہیں ہو ئی تھی ۔مگر اس ہستی کے لیئے جو کہ مجسم قر آن تھی یہ قر آن کی عملی تفسیر پیش کر نے اور امت کو سبق دینے کا بہترین مو قع تھا۔ کیونکہ آئندہ چل کرانﷺ کا ہر فعل قابل ِ اتباع بننا تھا ؟ ابھی حضرت علی کرم اللہوجہہ کی عمر دس گیارہ ہی برس تھی کہ حضور ﷺکو رسالت عطا ہو ئی ۔ ایک دن حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ نے عجیب بات دیکھی کہ حضرت خدیجہ ؓ اور ان کے عمزادﷺ نماز پڑھ رہے ہیں ، چونکہ یہ طریقہ عبادت نیا تھا اور وہ اس سے مانوس نہ تھے ۔ حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ پو چھتے ہیں یہ آپﷺ کیاکر رہے ہیں ؟ حضورﷺ نے فر مایا کہ ہم اللہ سبحانہ تعالیٰ کی عبادت کر رہے ہیں اور اللہ سبحانہ تعالیٰ نے مجھے اپنا رسول ﷺ مقرر فر مایا ہے ۔ یہ وہ وقت تھا کہ ابھی حضور ﷺ کو تبلیغ کی اجازت نہیں ملی تھی۔ انﷺ پر ایمان لانے والی روئے زمین پر صرف ایک ہی ہستی ان کی زوجہ محترمہ ؓ تھیں جو پہلی وحی سنتے ہی پکار اٹھی تھیں کہ بے شک آپ نبی ﷺ ہیں اور اللہ آپ کو تنہا نہیں چھوڑے گا اس لیئے کہ آپ بھوکوں کو کھانا کھلاتے ہیں مظلوموں کی مدد فر ماتے ہیں ۔ چو نکہ حضور ﷺ اپنے طور پرکچھ نہیں کرتے تھے تا وقتیکہ اللہ تعالیٰ کی طرف سے حکم نہ آجا ئے ۔جس کی خود اللہ سبحا نہ تعالیٰ نے بھی تصدیق فر مائی ہے کہ “یہ نبی اپنی مر ضی سے کچھ نہیں کہتے یہ وہی کچھ کہتے ہیں جو میں حکم دیتا ہوں “ لہذا ابھی نہ حکم ملا تھا نہ تبلیغ شروع ہوئی تھی ، اس لیئے کسی اور کے ایمان لا نے کا سوال ہی پیدا نہیں ہوتا تھا۔ حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ نے عبادت میں شامل ہونا چا ہا ، توحضور ﷺ نے فر مایا کہ اس کے لیئے تم پہلے اپنے والد سے اجازت لے لو، مگر ساتھ میں یہ بھی تاکید فر مادی کے ان سے ابھی ذ کر نہ کر نا کیو نکہ وجہ وہی تھی کہ وہ اس سلسلہ میں حکم خداوندی کے منتظر تھے، مگر حضرت علی کرم الل وجہہ نے ضد کی اور دوسرے روز وہ بھی شاملِ جماعت ہو گئے ۔ پھر وہ وقت آیا کہ وہ آیت نازل ہو ئی کہ “ تم اپنے اہلِ خاندان کو دین کی دعوت دو اور انہیں جہنم سے بچا و “ حضرت علی کرم اللہ کو حضور (ص) نے حکم دیا کہ سب قرابتداروں کو دعوت دو اور کچھ ان کے لیئے کھانے پینے کا بھی بندو بست کرو ۔ حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہ کہیں سے ایک چھو ٹے سے بر تن میں کھانا لے آئے اور اور ایک چھو ٹے سے ہی بر تن میں دودھ بھی، جو ایک آدمی کے لیئے بھی کا فی نہ تھا۔ جبکہ اس موقعہ پر چالیس سے زیادہ خاندان ِ نبوت کے افراد مد عو کیئے گئے تھے اور موجود بھی تھے۔ حضور (ص) نے پہلے کھانا شروع کرایا ، پھر جب سب سیر ہو گئے ، مگر کھانا اور دودھ جوں کا توں رہا تو پھر حضور ﷺ نے وہ مشہور جملے ارشاد فر مائے کہ اگر میںﷺ یہ کہوں کہ کوہ ِ صفا کی دوسرے طر ف غنیم کی فو ج آپہو نچی ہے تو تم لوگ یقین کرو گے ؟ سب نے یک زبان ہوکر کہا کہ بے شک ! اس لیئے کہ آپ صاد ق اور امین ہیں آپﷺ کی زبان سے ہم نے کبھی کو ئی غلط بات نہیں سنی ۔ تب حضور ﷺ ان سے دوبارہ مخاطب ہو ئے اور فرمایا کہ اگر میں یہ کہوں کہ خدا ایک ہے اور میں اس کا رسول ہو ں تو کیا تم مانوگے ؟ اس وقت وہی ایک اکیلابچہ تھا جو اٹھ کرکھڑا ہو تا ہے اور کہتا ہے کہ میں آپﷺ پرایمان لا تا ہوں ، حضور ﷺاسکو بٹھا دیتے ہیں، پھر حضورﷺ پنی بات دہراتے ہیں ۔ پھر بھی خاموشی رہتی ہے وہی بچہ دوبارہ کھڑا ہو تا ہے ، حضور ﷺ پھر بیٹھنے کا حکم دیتے ہیں ۔ اور تیسری مر تبہ اپنی بات دہراتے ہیں پھر بھی خاموشی ہی رہتی ہے تو پھر وہی بچہ کھڑا ہو تا ہے۔ تو حضورﷺ فر ماتے ہیں کہ علی تم آج کے بعد میرے وزیر ہو ؟ اب لوگوں کی خاموشی ٹو ٹتی ہے اور الٹا سیدھا بکنے لگتے ہیں کہ محمد ﷺ تم تو بہت بڑے جادو گر ہو ،کیا تمﷺ نے ہمیں یہ جا دو دکھانے کے لیئے بلایا تھا؟ پھر ابو لہب ، حضرت ابو طالب سے مخاطب ہوتا ہے اور کہتا ہے کہ پہلے تو تمہارے بھتیجے نے ہم پر بر تری کا دعویٰ کیا تھا اور اب تمہا رے بیٹے کی بھی ہمیں تابعداری کر نا پڑے گی ؟ اور یہ کہہ کر بکتاجھکتا ہواچلا جاتا ہے اور اپنے ساتھ ، بقیہ اہل ِخاندان کو بھی لےجاتا ہے۔ اس لیئے کہیں کوئی ایمان نہ لے آئے۔ کیونکہ وہ دل میں اسے دین کی حقانیت سے واقف تھا، اس کے بعد حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ گھر ہو یا سفر ہر مو قعہ پر ساتھ نظر آتے ہیں حتیٰ کہ ایک دن حضور ﷺفر ماتے ہیں کہ علی میری چادر اوڑھ کر میرے بستر پر لیٹ جا ؤ کیونکہ میںﷺ ہجرت کر رہا ہوں اور باہر کفار گھر کاگھراؤ کر چکے ہیں اور وہ میرے قتل کے درپہ ہیں۔ تم کل ان کی امانتیں واپس کر کے میرے پاس آجانا، وہ تمہارا انشا اللہ کچھ نہیں بگاڑسکیں گے ۔ حضرت علی جو “سمعنا اور اطعنا “ کی چونکہ عملی تمثیل تھے ،وہ اس کے بعد کوئی سوال ہی نہیں کرتے ہیں اور چپ چاپ حضور ﷺ کے بستر ِمبارک پر محو استرا حت ہو جاتے ہیں ۔ بعد میں وہ اکثر فر ما یا کرتے تھے کہ “ مجھے اس دن سے زیادہ بہتر نیند پھر کبھی نہیں آئی “ مدینہ منورہ پہنچ کر بھی وہ ہر مر حلے پر ، ہر سرد اور خشک میں حضور ﷺ کے ساتھ نظرآتے ہیں ۔ ایک دن حضورﷺ مہاجر اور انصار میں بھائی چارہ کراتے ہیں اور حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ کا ہاتھ تھام کر فر ماتے ہیں یہ میرا بھا ئی ہے۔ اسکے بعد انہیں شرفِ دامادی عطاہو تا ہے وہ انکی ﷺچہیتی صاحبزادی حضرت فا طمہ الزہراءسلام اللہ علیہا کے شوہر بنتے ہیں ۔ تمام غزوات میں حصہ لیتے ہیں ۔ کافروں کے مشہور سورما عبد ود کو غزوہ خند ق میں قتل کر تے ہیں جو کہ ایک ہزار سواروں کے برابر مانا جاتا تھا ۔ پھر اس درِخیبر کو اوکھاڑ پھینکنے والا واقعہ رونما ہو تا ہے ۔ جبکہ اس پر پہلے کئی حملے ناکام ہوچکے تھے۔ اور یہودیوں کے خیال میں وہ قلعہ نا قابل تسخیر تھا۔ اس صورتِ حال میں حضور (ص)یہ مزدہ سناتے ہیں کہ کل میں پرچم اس کو دونگا جس کو اللہ اور رسول ﷺ سب سے زیادہ چاہتے ہیں ؟ لوگ رات بھر منتظر رہتے ہیں کہ دیکھئے وہ کون خوش نصیب ہے جس کو کل یہ اعزاز حاصل ہو تا ہے ؟صبح کوعلی کرم اللہ وجہہ کو طلب فر ماکر پرچم دربارِ رسالت سے انکوعطا فر مایا جاتا ہے ، جبکہ وہ آشوب ِ چشم میں مبتلا ہیں ، حضور ﷺ اپنے لعاب دہن سے مسیحائی فرماتے ہیں اور حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ اس دروازے کو تنہا اوکھاڑ پھنکتے ہیں جو مختلف روایات کے مطابق دس سے لیکر چالیس مجاہدین سے بھی بعد میں نہیں اٹھ سکا اور قلعہ فتح کر کے کا میاب اور کامراں واپس تشریف لاتے ہیں ۔ اور ہاں وہ واقعہ بھی جبکہ نجران کے عیسا ئیوں کا وفد آتا ہے اور ان سے آیت ِ مبا ہلہ کے نزول کے بعد حضور ﷺ سے یہ معاملہ طے پا تا ہے کہ وہ بھی کل اپنے بیٹی بیٹوں کو لے کر آئیں اور میںﷺ بھی کل اپنے بیٹی بیٹوں کو لیکر آتا ہوں؟ دوسرے دن جو اصحاب حجرے سے بر آمد ہوتے ہیں، ان میں آگے آگے حضور ﷺ تھے ، ان کے پیچھے حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ اور حضرت فا طمہ الزہرہ سلام اللہ علیہا اور حسن اور حسین رضوان اللہ تعالیٰ علیھم اجمعین تھے۔ اس کے بعد اب تاریخ میں یہ اندراج بھی ملا حظہ فر ما لیں جو کہ ہر طرح سے مستند ہے کہ جب سورہ توبہ کی وہ آیات جن میں کفار پر حج کرنے اور حدود ِ حرم میں رہائش اور داخلہ پر پابندی لگا ئی گئی ، توحضور ﷺ نے حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ کو اس کا اعلان کر نے کے لیئے روانہ کیا جبکہ امیر حج کے طور پر وہ پہلے ہی حضرت ابو بکر ؓ کو روانہ فر ما چکے تھے۔صحابہ کرام ؓ نے مشورہ دیا کہ انہیں کسی قاصد کے ذریعہ مطلع فر مادیں ، وہ وہاں اعلان کر دیں گے ۔ مگر حضور ﷺ نے فر مایاکہ اس کام کے لیئے اہل ِ بیت میں سے ہی کوئی ہونابہتر ہے ۔ پھر وہ واقعہ جبکہ حضور ﷺ پہلی مرتبہ انکو اپنے پیچھے مدینہ میں اہل ِ بیت کی نگہداشت کے لیئے چھوڑ گئے، مگر ان کی حمیت نے گوارا نہیں کیا کہ حضور ﷺ کو تنہا خطرے کے وقت چھوڑ دیں جب کہ منافق سب بغلیں بجا رہے تھے کہ یہ یا تو شہید ہو جا ئیں گے یا رومن فو جیں گر فتار کر لیں گی ۔ بلکہ رئیس المنا فقین عبد اللہ بن ابی سلول کی تاج پوشی کی تیاری بھی شروع ہوچکی تھی ۔ ابھی حضورﷺ چند منزل ہی تشریف لے گئے تھے کہ حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ پہونچ گئے۔ پوچھا کیسے آئے ؟انہوں نے حقیقتِ حال عرض کی فرمایا واپس جا ؤ! کیا تم نہیں چاہتے کہ مجھ میں اور تم میں وہی نسبت ہو جو حضرت مو سیٰ ؑ اور ہارون ؑ میں تھی۔ بظاہر اس ارشادِ رسالت ﷺ میں کوئی ایسی بات نہ تھی مگر اس کے جو مضمرات تھے وہ بابِ علم نے سمجھ لیئے کہ ان کو حضور ﷺ نے کونسا کام سونپا ہے اور انہیں اس سے عہدہ برآ ہو نا ہے ۔ وہ تھا دین کی اقامت اورحفاظت ۔ جس کو انہوں نے حضور ﷺ کے بعد اپنی ذمہ داری سمجھا اور بخوبی نبھا یا ۔ حتیٰ کہ جب کوئی خلافت لینے کو تیار نہیں تھا تو وہ بار بھی انہوں نے لوگوں کے مجبور کر نے پر اٹھایا۔ جب کے اس سے پہلے وہ ہمیشہ گریزاں رہے۔ کیونکہ یہ وہ مرحلہ تھا کہ پرانے صحابہ کرام ؓ یا تو اللہ کو پیارے ہو چکے تھے یا بوڑھے ہو کر اپنا اثر کھوچکے تھے۔ اور نومسلموں کو دورِ اولیٰ جیسی تربیت نہ ملنے کی وجہ سے وہ دولت کی کثرت کی بنا پر عجمی رنگ میں رنگ چکے تھے اور اخلاقی پستی کا شکار بھی ،ایسے میں انہوں نے اسوہ رسول ﷺکو دوبارہ زندہ کر نا چا ہا تاکہ اسلام کی نشاةِ ثانیہ ہو سکے جس پر وہ زندگی بھر عامل رہے۔ لیکن اب وقت بدل چکا تھا لہذالوگوں نے انہیں چین نہیں لینے دیا انہوں نے مردانہ وار حالات کا مقابلہ کیا۔ مگر وہ اپنوں اور غیروں کی ریشہ دوانیوں سے بہت ہی دلبرداشتہ ہوگئے اور انہیں کثرت سے حضور ﷺ کا وہ ارشادِ گرامی یاد آنے لگا۔ جس میں انہیں ، ان کی شہادت کی خبر یہ فرماکر دی گئی تھی “ تمہیں اس امت کاایک بدترین اور مردود شخص شہید کرے گا اور تمہارے سر کے خون سے تمہاری داڑھی تر ہو گی “ وہ بار بار فرماتے کہ وہ بد بخت ابھی تک پیدا کیوں نہیں ہو ا تاکہ میں اپنے رفیق ِاعلیٰ سے جا ملوں ۔ وہ شخص پیدا تو ہوچکا تھا مگر ابھی وقت نہیں آیا تھا۔ وہ وقت بھی انیس یا سترہ رمضان کو بہ اختلاف مورخین آگیا اور ایک ابن ِ ملجم نامی مردود نے اپنے چند دوسرے خارجیوں کے ساتھ ملکر حضرت علی کرم اللہ وجہہ کے قتل کی سازش کی جس میں ایک قطامہ نام کی عورت بھی شامل تھی ۔

ابن ِ ملجم نے اپنی زہریلی تلوار سے اس وقت ان پرحملہ کیا جب وہ فجر کی نماز کے لیئے باہر تشریف لائے ۔ اس مردود نے ان کے سرمیں ضربِ کاری لگا ئی ۔ حضرت علی کرم اللہ نے پنی جگہ جعدہ بن ہبیرہ بن ابی وہب کو نماز فجر کی امامت کے لیئے کھڑا کیا اور پھر مسجد کے فر ش پر دراز ہو گئے ۔ حضور ﷺ کے ارشاد کے مطابق ان کی ریش ِمبارک خون سے تر ہوچکی تھی لہذا انہوں نے جان لیا کہ ان کا آخری وقت آپہو نچا ہے۔ کاتب کو طلب کیا اور ایک بے مثال وصیت تحریر فر ما ئی جو کہ امت کے لیئے قیامت تک مشعل راہ رہے گی اور پھر اس عظیم مجاہد نے جس کی زندگی میدان جنگ میں گزری اپنی جا ن اکیس رمضان المبارک کو اللہ سبحانہ تعالیٰ کے سپرد کر دی اور اپنے رفیق اعلیٰ سے جاملا۔ اناللہ وانا الیہ راجعون 

Bareilly in 1st war of Independence: 1857 Accounts

ایسی بستی سے تو ویرانہ بنایا ہوتا
(بہادرشاه ظفر)

Tenth May, 1857 marked the commencement of rebellion from Meerut. By 11th May, the rebel forces from Meerut reached Delhi. Mutiny as documented in the accounts of British colonialists and First War of Independence by South Asians against the mighty East India Company which by then had tightened grip on undivided India. The center of this rebellion was North India & Barielly played a key role in this struggle as a headquarter of Ruhilkhand region. 

My Parental family belonged to Bareilly & Aligarh. Post-Partition, they migrated to Karachi in 1950. Owing to the unique state of affairs in Karachi, the “Present’’ was so overwhelming that while growing up in the perilous 80s, 90s and coming unscathed was itself a feat considering the non-stop violence and mayhem. Hence, I could not get a handle on the trials and tribulations whereby my forefathers sacrificed their lives for freedom from British Raj.

However, lately, I had developed a greater interest in pre-partition history and was looking into family archives in which my grand father Syed Altaf Ali Barelvi (1905-1986), a renowned educationist and torch bearer of All Pakistan Educational Conference (an off-shoot of All India Muslim Educational Conference of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan)  talked about the devastation of  his paternal and maternal family where most of them were killed during the failed War of Independence of 1857 in the city of Bareilly, (Uttar Pradesh) as part of a collective retribution at the hands of the then Punjab regiment supervised by East India Company.

Portrait of late Sayyad Altaf Ali, Pic source: Author

During Syed Altaf Ali’s adolescence around early 1920’s, his maternal grandfather would take him for a walk to the ancestral homes that were ruined during the 1857 War of Independence by the murderous hordes led by Colonialists. His grand father also use to offer fateha (prayers) at the graves of his forefathers and at an old oak tree where they were hanged after summary trials. There is a mosque called ‘Naumahla’ near which a big water well was situated where his grandfather used to say prayers for the dead (Fateha). According to him the women of the family- to escape defilement- tied rocks to their bodies and drowned themselves when British recaptured the town in 1858.

Graves of martyrs at Naumahla Masjid, Bareilly,
Pic source: Tawarikh Khwani
Naumahla mosque was epicenter during the rebellion of 1857.
It was completely demolished & rebuild in early 20th century,
Pic source: Tawarikh Khwani

War of Independence was not just a short-spelled event, its cloud of doom and gloom due to the failure and later communal polarization hovered over the Muslims of undivided India for several decades.  Anis Fatima (1910-1995, wife of Syed Altaf Ali), herself a prolific author wrote on the plight of Muslim families in her short books titled “Tears of 1857’’ and ‘’Heroes of 1857’’ that for decades upon decades Muslim households remained in perpetual mourning. Forsaking social gatherings; lack of education, work and events of rejoicing. What started out as a joint Hindu-Muslim struggle against East India Company led British Colonialism wound down to severe persecution of Muslims across the length and breadth of undivided India.

However, the medieval State of Ruhilkhand that comprised of Bareilly, Pilibhit, Budaun, Moradabad and part of Kumaon hills (Damane-Koh), always remained a hotbed of insurgency dating back to Hafiz Rehmat Khan ( a Barech Pathan by origin and Chieftain of Ruhilas) who embraced martyrdom in 1774 while fighting against East India Company. Syed Altaf Ali himself a Ruhela, wrote a book in 1934 titled “Hayat-e-Hafiz Rehmat Khan“, chronicling biography of Ruhila chieftain, Hafiz Rehmat & his sacrifice against the mighty East India Company. Alas, the character portraying as Bruce the 17th Earl of Scotland famously quipped in the movie “Braveheart’’ that ‘History is written by those who hanged heroes, Hafiz Rehmat’s exploits remained buried under the sands of time.

Hafiz Rahmat Khan tomb,
Pic source, Tawarikh Khwani

Although Bareilly became a dominion of East India Company in 1801, the dwellers of Bareilly were sick and tired of their atrocities. Later on it prompted the legendary rebel General Bakht Khan to lead Ruhilas to the court of  Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar in Delhi, offering his men to restore Mughal Empire by fighting against the East India company, which by then completely surrounded Delhi, the last remaining city under Mughal rule. Rebel forces took over the city and proclaimed Bahadur Shah as the Emperor of the Subcontinent. General Bakht Khan was thus appointed as an unofficial leader in the army and received the honorable title of Sahib-i-Alam due to his superior wisdom and military knowledge. His bravery could not be acknowledged enough when in later months, Delhi was eventually taken over by the British and Bahadur Shah surrendered to William Hodson at Humayun’s tomb on 20th September 1857. Two of his sons & one grandson was shot at one of the gates of Delhi that is still popular as “Khooni Darwaza/The gate of blood“.

A painting depicting the arrest of
last Mughal ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar, by William Hodson, Source: Wiki Commons

At the beginning of rebellion, Bakht Khan was serving company forces at Bareilly. On 31st May, the Indian Sepoy posted at Bareilly revolted against company and Bakht Khan’s was appointed as General of rebels. Under common consensus & unanimous support, Khan Bahadur Khan was appointed as the leader for Ruhilkhand. He was the grandson of Hafiz Rehmat Khan and a retired old subedar of Indian Army. Bakht Khan moved to Delhi where he played a key role in a war against company. Afterwards with fall of Delhi, he joined freedom fighters in Lucknow and Shajahanpur, & then escaped to Nepal where he was believed to be killed by British forces and buried in Swat. Khan Bahadur Khan with his sheer courage held onto entire Ruhilkhand till May, 1858. One of the last places in North India that was regained by British forces almost 10 months after the siege of Delhi. Both Hindus & Muslims, fought shoulder to shoulder together under his leadership. Shoba Ram, was his Diwan (Finance minister) & Niyaz Ali was appointed as his commander. In fact for almost a year, it became independently ruled principality. He led the rebellion bravely but later got caught and executed by the East India Company in 1860.

“Conflict with the Ghazees before Bareilly,
scene from the Indian Mutiny, 06th May 1858.
Engraving from 1858, Engraver Unkown Photo by D Walker”
Source: Getty Images
Grave of Khan Bahadur Khan located in Old District Jail, Bareilly,
Pic source: Kamran Khan
Print of the hanging of two rebels, 1858,
Pic source: Wiki Commons

Darting back to the Post-War of Independence scenario reformer and educationist, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, instead of letting the Muslims fall further into a state of despair, showed them an alternative by focusing on education. The formation of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental Society led to a very slow but gradual awareness among Muslims, which helped in forming the much-needed critical-mass later that came to be known as Muslim League. Despite the grandiosity of Indian National Congress and their general aloofness towards the Muslims, the Muslim League, with the spine provided by the legions of Aligarh and Bareilly, held its own against the might of the then direct British rule. Syed Altaf Ali, my grandfather undertook his higher education from Aligarh Muslim University. The time spends at this center was source of his enlightenment in future as a social reformer and educationist who was firm believer of Sir Syed mission. To this day the Muslims in India continue to pay the price, if one look at the turn of events after imposition of discriminatory Citizens Act in India.

I end this piece with a heart rending poetic-obituary for the martyrs in the failed war of Independence 1857 written by the deposed Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar after fall of Delhi.

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Ghazal of Bahadur Shah Zafar, Yaa Mujhe Afsar-e-Shahana Banaya Hota, Bhupinder



French Toast, Pic source: Author

Aligarh has been a hamlet of cultures all along and the documented history suggests that it was established in 4th century AD by the Dor dynasts. Centuries on, Aligarh still boasts of the charm that never faded through times that were. The city has been home to Sultans of Delhi, Mughal governors, Swedish entrepreneurs, French mercenaries, British residents and Young Turks of Aligarh Muslim University. Aligarians, as they are fondly referred, have to their credit the record of having created one of the largest communities of alumni of any institution ever. It is a well known fact that the dining etiquettes of residential halls of the university have been at par with any of the European universities and residential schools. Boarders were required to dress up smartly while they moved for taking meals; some of these traditions exist to the present day. None of the inmates are expected to enter dining halls in bathroom slippers or dressed shabbily. The Aligarh Muslim University is one of those first institutions in India which even had their own dairy for ensuring the nutrition and nourishment of the students. Besides the traditional dining etiquettes and classic culinary fare, there is another facet of residential life in the campus and that is the culture of cafeteria. The campus has been dotted with several canteens and cafeteria across its length and breadth but there is something special about the Sir Shah Sulaiman Hall Canteen since it has existed. The jewel of their menu is a breakfast dish that predates the place where it is being offered, the ‘French Toast’.

French Toast, Pic source, Author

The French toast is much older than the city of Aligarh and there is absolutely nothing French about it, rather it has been originally a Roman delicacy that existed in late 4th century BC. According to Apicius, the book of ancient recipes, the toast had existed during the reign or Roman Empire. Romans used to soak their breads in milk and often in eggs and then fried them in oils or butter to make breakfast; it was then called Pan Dulcis. During 15th century, in the English court of Henry, the fifth, a version of Pan Dulcis was extremely popular and was the most sought after breakfast rage, it was then called Pain Perdu. It was also referred as the ‘lost bread’ because of recipe requirements, first the bread was soaked or staled in the mixture of milk and eggs and then it was fried in butter. Coincidentally, Pain Perdu is exactly what the French call as French toast today, but they never invented the toast, it was only inherited through English.  The toast was christened as French only in 1724 AD, when an innkeeper from Albany, New York created a dish for himself by simply mixing eggs and milk and pouring that over slices of bread loaves. It was then only the dish was popularized by his name, as he started selling it as breakfast in his inn for the halters. Since Joseph was grammatically inept, he forgot the apostrophe and the dish started its journey to fame with a person’s name that was utterly confused with the name of a country. Needless to add that in French cuisine eggs are mostly mixed with the dough and batter for the breads and bakes while the ‘French Toast’ requires eggs to be added separately to baked breads.

Although, the English had inherited the toast from the Romans but with growing influence of colonialism the toast continued to travel. When French military adventurer Pierre Cuillier-Perron (1753 –1834) arrived in India in the year 1780 as a sailor on a French frigate he found himself deserted on the Malabar coast. He managed to get himself enlisted among the corps of the Rana of Gohad in northwestern Madhya Pradesh. There he worked under a Scotsman named Sansgter, from there he ventured into the second brigade of General Count de Boigne, another military adventurer from the Duchy of Savoy during 1790 and was appointed as a commander for the Maratha army.

A detailed write up on de Boigne & Perron Aligarh Legacy

Following the retirement of General Boigne, Perron won many battles for the Marathas and enjoyed fame no less than Achilles, consequently he was honoured and rewarded for his merits.

Pierre Cuillier-Perron, Wiki Commons

In the year 1802, General Perron made a home for himself in Aligarh as he used to train the Maratha army stationed in the Garrison of Koil, more populary known as the Qila of Aligarh or Aligarh Fort.

A tablet inscribed at the main gateway of Sulaiman Hall that was once Perron home, Pic source: Author

It was in his kitchen that some of the cooks in order to please their master, made the celebrated breakfast fare, the ‘French Toast’. Perron was met with surprise because there was nothing back home in France that was called ‘French Toast’, but he thoroughly relished the offering from his kitchen. The toast then went on an endless journey to fame only to become a favourite breakfast dish in Aligarh. While Mohammedan Anglo Oriental College came into being in 1875, French Toast continued its glorious journey through times, in Aligarh and adjoining areas.

Provost Office of Sir Shah Sulaiman Sulaiman Hall, Pic source: Author
Provost Office of Sir Shah Sulaiman Sulaiman Hall, Pic source: Author

Interestingly the neighborhood Sahab Bagh received its name from the presence of a sahib that Perron was. Years later, the college became Aligarh Muslim University and Perron’s house became the Provost Office of Sir Shah Sulaiman Hall and his servant quarters have served as Hall Canteen since then. Cafeterias, eateries, bakeries and canteens have been serving French Toast as breakfast ever since, so much so that it seems more of an Indian breakfast and almost nobody wonders where did it come from. Perron had left India in 1834, but his home has stayed, the toast has stayed and stayed the patronage of Aligarh’s French Connection, with an apostrophe obviously.

A detailed article on Aligarh-French connection in Live History India.
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