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.


Story of next door hyper-local snack at AMU that survived down the century

For those who had been affiliated as a student of Aligarh Muslim University at any stage of their education knows the intricate role of this hyper-local snack in their daily life. From the dining halls to the road side dhabas, it has been served either with butter or more commonly with omelette. For the foodies, who relished the gustatory memories of this snack, their affiliation has been expressed by this verse:
Jo Reh Ke Aligarh Mein Matri Ka Talabgaar Na Hua,
Wo Kisi Bhi Soorat Mein Jannat Ka Haqdar Na Hua

There are legends and folklores about this distant cousin of pancakes and all of them as interesting as the snack itself. Hardly anyone remembers correctly about the inventor of Matri but the oldest known craftsman attribute this discovery to Latif Khan of Aligarh. Khan was born to a pashtun family of Gorakhpur in United Provinces in undivided India during the decade of 1890. According to his grandson, Mohammed Shaffu (aged 65), who also happens to be his student, it was an ancestral business and Khan had inherited it from his forefathers. Khan’s another grandson Abdul Tauheed (aged 42) reveals that Latif Khan learnt the craft of Matri making from his father. Khan’s father was an employee of British Army and worked as a baker in the cantonment of Gorakhpur, where he used to bake breads and other things for the military. British Indian Army had recruited him as a chef due to his popularity in his own profession, since entire country had come under direct control of Britishers following the mutiny of 1857. Young Latif kept acquiring the finesse in the art of baking and upon his marriage, he migrated to Aligarh in search of better life. His descendants tell that, since Latif had his extended family in Aligarh, he felt that he would have no difficulty establishing himself in a new place. And to no surprise of his, he started the first bakery that produced the classic Matri in the afterglow of Delhi Durbar of 1911. Latif Khan took Rehmat Baig as his student of the craftsmanship of which he had become a maestro. Baig’s son Rahat became an entrepreneur and carried forward the precision of Latif, so did his own family. Bharat Bakery and Khurram Papey situated in Russel Gunj are the ambassadors of Latif’s legacy. Both stored are owned by Baig family as they enjoy the privilege of being associated with the baking maestro.

A portrait of Matri with omelette Pic source: Author

The city side of Aligarh is dotted with several bakeries but there’s something about Latif Khan’s midas touch. People who are acquainted with the legacy of Latif Khan do know where to get their Matri from. Sarai Hakim was the neighborhood where first of the earthen ovens were installed by the Baigs and that area continues to be the goldmine of bakery goods to the present day. Needless to say that Matri tops all the charts of baked goodness in Aligarh. Legend has it that once some student from a royal family had hunger pangs at midnight during his studentship at Aligarh Muslim University and he was coincidentally short of the usual loaves for sandwiches, consequently he dared his culinary quest ending up making a toast with two Matris that had omelette within. The accidental snack became popular overnight because it was a royal delicacy anyway. Hostellers got fond of it overtime and the Matri madness took everyone by storm. Although Matri Omelette struggles to exist as a snack today but people who value nostalgia and traditional values of residential life of Aligarh Muslim University still hold Matri Omelette close to their hearts.

One among such connoisseurs is HH Ali Khan Mahmudabad, who inspired me to pen this story down for nostalgia. Another one is Shiraz Ahmad, who happens to be an engineer based in Dubai but ventured to save the Matri Omelette for future connoisseurs through a Cafe that he runs in Aligarh since 2018. And a very dear brother of mine,  Sabeeh who revealed unto me his poetic excellence and affinity for this accidental snack.

An Obituary: Irrfan Khan

Passing away of an Icon of Indian cinema

gae dinoñ kā surāġh le kar kidhar se aayā kidhar gayā vo
ajiib mānūs ajnabī thā mujhe to hairān kar gayā vo

Verse of Nasir Kazmi, Retrieved from Rekhta,

On Wednesday, the entire cinematic world of Bollywood & millions of the fans shocked & indulged in grief when the news of Irrfan Khan’s sad demise came up. At the age of 53, the Bollywood actor left this world. He was admitted to the intensive care unit of Mumbai’s Kokilaben hospital on 28th April/2020, Tuesday for colon infection. He was valiantly struggling with a neuroendocrine tumor for the last two years. In 2018, when he was diagnosed with cancer, the Irrfan expressed his agony on the lethal disease, ‘I trust, I have surrendered.’ Even battling with the deadly disease, he continued his work with commitment & his movie ‘Angrezi Medium,’ a sequel of previous “Hindi Medium, 2017″ was released on 13 March. His last tweet of 12th April was on the same movie with title ” Inside I am very emotional & outside I am very Happy.”

Unfortunately, the “Angrezi Medium” became last movie of his life. On 25 April, his mother, Sayeeda Begum, left for heavenly abode at the age of ninety-five. No one has predicted that four days later, he would go from this world & met his mother’s fate in the journey to the next world. Soon after his death, the twitter got flooded with hundred of thousands tweets coming from different sections of the society. Film Maker, Anubhav Sinha wrote an emotive obituary in Hindi language.

Abhi to time aya tha mere bhai. Abhi to kitna kaam karta tu jo itihaas me likha jaata. Kya Yaar? Thodi taqat aur lagata bhai. Par lagayi to hogi tune saari. Theek hai, jaa araam kar. Do saal bahut lada tu. Thak bhi gaya hoga. Ek baar baitha chaiyeh tha. Hum saroon ko…
My brother, the time has just came. How many milestones you have to achieve more that will make a landmarks in history. What happened my friend? Just you need to add a little bit more power. But you had put all your energies. I agreed, take a rest now. You fight gallantly for two years. Once we all need to sit together with you.

Irrfan was born as Shahabzade Irfan Khan on 07 January 1967 in a Muslim family of Pathan ancestry in Rajasthan. Both his later father, Sahabzade Yaseen Ali Khan & late mother, Sayeeda Begum hailed from the Tonk, an erstwhile princely estate of Pashtuns founded Nawab Muhammad Amir Khan in the 18th century. An old article of 2012 quoted that during the shoot of Paan Singh Tomar, he expressed his choice to make a movie on his late father. Comparing the role of Paan Singh, the late actor shared, “Paan Singh reminded me of my late father, Sahabzade Yaseen Ali Khan, who was a zamindar by background. He carried the same arrogant valor, fearlessness, & adventure as Paan Singh, as cited by Banglore Mirror“.

Irrfan Khan’s parents:Irrfan Khan was born on 7 January 1966 in Rajistan, in a Muslim Pathan family. Irrfan Khan was…

Gepostet von Choti Si Zindagi am Mittwoch, 29. April 2020
A FB page Choti Si Zindigi run by an actor Fatima Khan
An archival click of Irrfans parents, Sahabzade Yaseen Khan, his mother, late Sayeeda Begum, Irrfan as kid & his siblings, Source: FB page of Choti si Zindigi

Irrfan Khan SiblingsIrrfan Khan has 3 siblings; 2 brothers and a sister. His brother’s names are Imran Khan and Salman…

Gepostet von Choti Si Zindagi am Mittwoch, 29. April 2020
A FB page Choti Si Zindigi run by an actor Fatima Khan

Aseem Chhabra, in his biographical account “Irrfan Khan: The man, the dreamer, & the star,” wrote that during childhood days, the late actor preferred to fly the kites rather than to join adventurous hunting expedition of his father. The father of the late actor used to prompt, “a Brahmin has born in the family of Pathans.”

Cover page of Aseem Chhabra biographical account on Irrfan Khan

He was brought up between Jaipur & Tonk, as his father used to run a tyre business at Jaipur. The second one among the three brothers, he was inclined towards the acting from his formative years of life. He has completed his school from Saint Paul, Jaipur & then studied at Rajasthan College which is affiliated with University of Rajasthan.

It was his maternal uncle, Dr. Sajid Khan, who inspired him to become an actor. His uncle was an active participant in Jodhpur theatre. His inspirations & connections helped him to enter the theatre at the college days. After completion of his post-graduation, he entered in National School of Drama, New Delhi in 1984. From 1987, he started to play a role in TV serials. Some of the famous among them were Kahkashan, Bharat Ek Khoj, Chanakya, Chandrakanta, Banegi Apni Baat, Srikant. In Kahkashan, he played the role of Makhdoom Mohiuddin, an Urdu poet & Marxist political activist of India. During 1990, he appeared in a critically acclaimed movie, “Ek Doctor Ki Maut.” Mira Nair’s “Salam Bombay” was a debut film for him. 

A portrait of Irrfan Khan from 1986 TV serial, Srikant Source: From twitter share of Indian history pics.

In 2001, he played a role in a historical movie, “The Warrior,” where he played the role of a feudal warrior of Rajasthan. Then came up “Maqbool, 2003“, “Haasil, 2004” & “Rog, 2005“. In 2007, he came up with ‘The Namesake,’ & ‘Life in a metro.’ In the consecutive years, he appeared in international movies such as ‘A Mighty Heart,’ ‘The Darjeeling Limited’, & ‘Slum Dog Millionaire.’ With almost eighty movies in his career, he left imprint in Bollywood, Hollywood, and British films. The ‘Life of Pi (2012)’ and ‘Jurassic World (2015)’ were also some of his most famous western projects. With the entry in the acting career, he dropped his first name ‘Sahabzade‘ & modified ‘Irfan‘ to ‘Irrfan,’ that’s continued with him till the rest of his life. 

Khan is survived by two sons (Babil & Ayan) & wife, Stupa Sikdar, a writer & his NSD fellow, whom he married in 1995. From Haasil (2004) to Hindi Medium (2018), he grabbed almost eight nationally acclaimed film awards that also included Padamshri in arts (2011), the fourth highest civilian award in India.

Irrfan Khan receiving Padamshri with then President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, 2011, source: Wiki Images

Known for his modesty & integrity, he was adored by his millions of the fans. Soon after his demise, a flood of tweets & posts of different social media platforms came up from all walks of life. From Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi & iconic Indian actor Amitabh Bacchan to the ordinary fans, each of them expressed their grief & sorrow.

A tweet of honorable Indian Prime minister expressing his grief
Senior legendary actor Mr. Amitabh Bacchan tweet

An English writer, & film critic of The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw in his article wrote 

Irrfan Khan: a seductive actor capable of exquisite gentleness. 

Peter Bradshaw, headlines for his obituary to the late actor,

The co-actor of his last release Deepak Dobriyal said that he was like an elder brother. The Hindustan time quoted his words regarding Irrfan, “I had learned a lot from his acting. How bravely, he was working as a team, even battling with a deadly disease. “Back in Rajasthan, the siblings of Irrfan were in the state of shock. Just four days before, they lost their mother.

“It appears that while Bhaijaan was unable to make it to the burial of our mother, he has gone up there to meet mother,” said Irrfan’s elder brother Imran Khan. “Woh kehtey theey fikar na karo main aaonga,” Imran said while sobbing.

Brother of Irrfan Khan, Quoted by Times of India,

Devika Bahl titled her obituary with a touching title, Man of few words in Quint. When the world is struggling with lock-down & Covid-19, the man of few words, passed away silently in Mumbai. At 3 pm, his mortal remains were laid to rest in Versova graveyard of Mumbai. In the hearts of the fans, the smiling face of a tall & slimy actor with the hooded eyes will always remain alive. An actor who hails from middle class family & made a place in cinematic world as a sincere, honest & realistic actor. He was also quite vocal on social issues. More than half of his twitter time line was filled with the social issues. Rest in Peace, dear Irrfan Khan.

View this post on Instagram

The void gets wider. The sign of a good society is where talent is respected – Irfan khan. Indeed he was the talent embodied and symbolizes the rare excellence left in Bollywood. For me, the early demise of the finest actor of our times is a real tragedy because of the very fact that all his performances were the real legacy of the through proper Indian cinema if not ostentatious Bollywood, where the mediocre performances had to be backed up by hyper marketing strategies. I vividly remember Maqbool of Vishal Bhardwaj Maqbool the movie which was based on Macbeth where Jaipur born actor carved his niche among Legendary actors like Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri ,Naseerudddin Sha. The champion actor single-handedly baring few carrying the legacy of Indian cinema which the people like Guru Dutt, Mehmood, Pran, Satyajit Roy had strives for. He was the testimony and hope that India cinema is still the definition that showcasing the performance is the real showmanship, not the performer. .Watching him was entertaining discussing his performances were learnings . Every dialogue he delivered, every expression he exhibited was methodical and every performance of him was enigmatic. But the hospital scene of Madari stands out for me and can give run for its money to Mashaal scene of tragedy king Dilip Saab ae Bhai gaddi roko or the death scene of Amitabh Bachchan in Dewar. Irfan you went too early ab kiski performance ko discuss kernegey tiger shroff ko to bilkul nahi . Today in the early hours of the ominous morning the acting institute had been shut down. Bollywood is about actors or stars. Irfan khan was the star actor

A post shared by Naved Ahmad (@tonaved) on

The void gets wider, an Instagram post by Naved.


Khanqah established by Hazrat Fariduddin Tavile Buksh, Chandpura, Bihar Shareef. The present construction dated back to 1859 when it was restored. Pic source: Author

A short biographical account of lesser known 14th C Chishti Sufi from Bihar

Eighty kilometers south-west of Patna is small village Chanpura that’s a part of Bihar Sharif, Nalanda District. It has a shrine of a medieval Sufi saint of Chishti order who is widely popular as Tavile Buksh. The medieval Sufis traveled all across the Islamic world, usually on the instructions of their spiritual masters. In the same manner, the family roots of Tavile Buksh Chishti was connected with distant lands of the Islamic world & directly connected with the famous 13th-century saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya. The write up will explore the lesser-known family connections of the forgotten Sufi. When Hazrat Sayyad Ahmad Bukhari Badayuni & Hazrat Jamaluddin Badayuni (the father & elder brother of Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya) passed away, he came to Delhi with his mother, sister & nephew whose name was Ibrahim Chishti. 

The grandfather of Hazrat Nizamuddin came to Badaun from the central Asian city, Bukhara. During those days, Bukhara, the seat of Central Asian cities, was pillaged by the Mongols. Many scholars & nobles migrated from the city & find solace in India. From ancestral lineage, they were the direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), whose ancestry goes to Imam Musa Kazim. 

Mosque & shrine complex of Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya father & grandfather at Badaun. The present monument was build in mid-18th century by Rohilla ruler, Hafiz Rahmat Khan. Pic source: Tawarikh Khwani

From the age of four, the orphan nephew was raised by Hazrat Nizamuddin. Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya didn’t marry and said that “Ibrahim descendants are my descendants“. For spreading of the spiritual path and Islam, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya instructed his nephew to Bengal with one of his earliest disciples, “Hazrat Akhi Siraj” famously known as Aine Hind (Mirror of India).  In 1329 CE, four years after the death of Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya, Hazrat Akhi Siraj took Hazrat Ibrahim Chishti to Bengal. 

Hazrat Ibrahim Chishti got married to the sister in law of one of the most celebrated renowned Sufi of Bengal and disciple of Hazrat Akhi Siraj “Hazrat Ala ul Haq Pandwi.” His father in law was also the master of the famous Sufi of Kichhaochha, Uttar Pradesh “Hazrat Makhdoom Ashraf Jahangir Simnani.” Hazrat Makhdoom Fariduddin Tavile Bukhsh Chishti was the son of Hazrat Ibrahim Chishti & he got married to the daughter of Hazrat Ala ul Haq Pandawi. He became a disciple of his brother in law “Hazrat Noor Qutb E Alam Pandawi“, who was the son of Hazrat Ala ul Haq Pandawi. On the orders of his master “Hazrat Noor Qutb E Alam Pandawi,” he migrated to Nalanda, Bihar, for spreading the spiritual path and Sufi teachings.

Shrine of Hazrat Fariduddin Tavile Buksh, Chandpura, Bihar Shareef. Pic source: Author

Hazrat Makhdoom Fariduddin Tavile Buksh Chishti was the first Sufi of Chishti Nizami order who settled in Bihar, at a place known as Chandpura in the town of Bihar Sharif and built his Khanqah during the rule of Sultan Bahlol Lodi (1451-89AD). He left this world for the heavenly abode in the year 1491AD (897Hijri). After his death, the processions of his dargah and teachings continued by his son Hazrat Moinuddin Sani Chishti and after him by his grandson Hazrat Naseeruddin Sani Chishti and had continued by every next generation. His descendants are now all over Bihar, including the Khanqah of Belchi, Patna, and Maner, etc. and Ijaza of his silsila (order) is present in all the existing khanqahs of Bihar. An interesting fact about his family is that every person was the disciple of his father.

Shrine of Hazrat Fariduddin Tavile Buksh, Chandpura, Bihar Shareef. Pic source: Author

His holy shrine is located in Chandpura, Bihar Sharif. Opposite to his shrine was his Khanqah that restored in 1859AD, where his Urs (Death Anniversary) is celebrated on the 6th Jamaadil Akhir of the Islamic calendar every year. The dargah premises consist of the graves of all his descendants who became well-known Sufis of Bihar till 1978AD. Some of them are Hazrat Moinuddin Sani Chishti, Hazrat Naseeruddin Sani Chishti, Hazrat Sultan Sani Chishti, Hazrat Syed Shah Muzaffar Chishti, Hazrat Syed Shah Amjad Hussain Chishti, Hazrat Syed Shah Waziruddin and Hazrat Syed Shah Sultanuddin Muhammad and many more.

Interesting facts:-
Hazrat Makhdoom Fariduddin Tavile Bukhsh Chishti was the first mutawalli (Custodian) who (started) the urs of the master of the famous Sufi of India, Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti (Gareeb Nawaz), & Hazrat Khwaja Usman Harooni Chishti at Belchi, a place almost twelve away from Chandpura. Hazrat Makhdoom Fariduddin Tavile Bukhsh Chishti received an order from his father in law “Hazrat Ala ul Haq Pandawi” to sew clothes of travelers underneath a tree, that was outskirts of Pandua, Bengal. One day some travellers on horses were passing from there. Hazrat Makhdoom Fariduddin Tavile Bukhsh Chishti asked “where these horses are going”. The travellers replied, “Do your own work, whether these horses live or die, that’s not a matter of yours“. The saint replied “true, whether these horses live or die, not a matter of mine”. As he said this, after few minutes the horses died. Then the travellers got to know that the person was the son in law of the renowned Sufi “Hazrat Ala ul Haq Pandawi“. The travellers went to him and told the entire story. Hazrat Ala ul Haq Pandawi called Hazrat Makhdoom Fariduddin Tavile Bukhsh Chishti and said “controlling the anger at the age of youth is manliness“. Thus Hazrat Makhdoom Fariduddin Tavile Bukhsh Chishti reversed his sentence and said “whether these horses die or live, not a matter of mine”. Soon after this the horses came alive. After this incident Hazrat Makhdoom Fariduddin was titled and known as “Tavile Bukhsh

Family Lineage:-
Hazrat Ali Bukhari Badayuni (Grandfather of Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya)
Hazrat Ahmad Bukhari Badayuni (Father of Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya)
Hazrat Jamaluddin Badayuni (Brother of Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya)
Hazrat Ibrahim Chishti
Hazrat Makhdoom Fariduddin Tavile Bukhsh Chishti
Hazrat Moinuddin Sani Chishti
Hazrat Naseeruddin Sani Chishti

Spiritual Lineage:-
Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya
Hazrat Akhi Siraj (Aine Hind)
Hazrat Ala ul Haq Pandawi
Hazrat Noor Qutb E Alam Pandawi
Hazrat Makhdoom Fariduddin Tavile Bukhsh Chishti
Hazrat Moinuddin Sani Chishti
Hazrat Naseeruddin Sani Chishti

Urdu Zuban ke Gumgashta Alfaaz-III



  سنسکرت زبان میں تین پائے والی چوکی کو کہتے ہیں جبکہ فارسی زبان میں سہ پائی بھی اسی معنوں میں استعمال ہوتی ہے۔ انگریزوں کے برِ صغیر  پاک و ہند پر اقتدار سے پہلے یہاں کی دفتری زبان فارسی تھی جو کہ نوابوں، مغلیہ سلاطین کی بھی مادری زبان تھی، اسی پس منظر میں یہ گمان ہے کہ تری پادہ اور سہ پائی کے سنگم سے لفظ تری پائی بنا جو بعد میں تپائی رہ گیا۔  انگریزوں نے بھی اس لفظ کو انگریزی میں   کے طور پر استعمال کیا۔ لیکن   اس لفظ کی  میں تبدیلی شاید یہ اشارہ کرتی ہے کہ  تپائی  کو انگریزوں نے چائے رکھنے کے لیے استعمال کیا ہو لیکن یہ گمان  زیادہ  قوی نہیں بلکہ کاتب کے قلم کی  لرزش  ہی اس کا سبب ہے۔ لفظ  تپائی برِ صغیر پاک و ہند سے انگریزی زبان کی زینت بنا کیونکہ لفظ  کا استعمال انگریزی ادب میں پہلی مرتبہ ۱۸۲۸ ء میں مذکور ہواحوالہ آکسفورڈ انگلش ڈکشنری۔ تپائی میز کی اطراف میں رکھی جاتی تھی۔ میز  چونکہ بھاري بھر کم   ہوتی تھی اس لیے وہ کمرے میں ایک ہی جگہ مستقل رکھی جاتی تھی جبکہ تپائی ہلکی اور چھوٹی ہونے کی وجہ سے بہ آسانی ایک جگہ سے دوسری جگہ منتقل کی جا سکتی تھی۔ اسی لیے تپائی کو مہمانوں تک چائے لے جانے کے لیے استعمال کیا جانے لگا۔  اس کے علاوہ تپائی پر کتب، کاپیاں، فائلیں  اور دیگر سامان ِتحرير رکھا جاتا۔

اوائل وقتوں میں تپائی تین ٹانگوں والی ہوا کرتی ہو گی لیکن جب سے ہم نے ہوش سنبھالا، تپائی کی ہمیشہ چار  ہی ٹانگیں دیکھیں۔ اس ترکیب میں اسے چارپائی کہا جانا چاہیے تھا لیکن لفظ چارپائی  دراصل بستر کے لیے مختص تھا جو سونے کے کام آ تا تھا۔ آج کل تپائی کی جگہ سائیڈ ٹیبل کا لفظ استعمال ہوتا ہے۔ اگرچہ سائیڈ ٹیبل ایک بالکل مختلف شے ہے لیکن اس کو تپائی کا متبادل کہا جا سکتا ہے۔

دو کرسیوں کے درمیان تپائی
ہر ایک میز سے آگے نکل گئی کرسی
بدل گئے رفقا جب بدل گئی کرسی
حرام مال سے جائز کمائی بہتر ہے
نئی چیئر سے پرانی تپائی بہتر ہے

حوالہ: نظم ’’ کرسی‘‘ شاعر  خالد عرفان :

نقش محبوب مصور نے سجا رکھا تھا
مجھ سے پوچھو تو تپائی پہ گھڑا رکھا تھا

[ حوالہ: نظم ‘‘ ایبسٹریکٹ آرٹ‘‘ شاعر۔ سید محمد جعفری۔ یو اڑ ایل]


۔ یو آر ایل