by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
I agree with the observations and inferences about so called inability of security forces to defeat few thousand Taliban. Indeed, the rulers of Pakistan think that this game lets them secure much-needed “big bugs”. However, the menace of “Taliban” and its threat to sufi Islam in the long run cannot be under-estimated.
Pakistan’s ideological vacuum
by Dr Manzur Ejaz
An independent judiciary seems to be taking root in Pakistan, but it is just one institution of many, and cannot induce societal balance on its own. Furthermore, an isolated institution cannot survive for long unless a more modern and progressive political force takes the reins of the state.
BUNER: Instead of pulling out of Buner as they had announced on Thursday, the Taliban of Swat moved on Friday to consolidate their hold and took control of new areas, including the shrine of Sufi saint Pir Baba. Security forces offered no resistance.
Sow flowers so your surroundings become a garden
Don’t sow thorns; for they will prick your feet
If you shoot arrows at others,
Know that the same arrow will come back to hit you.
Don’t dig a well in another’s path,
In case you come to the well’s edge
You look at everyone with hungry eyes
But you will be first to become mere dirt.
Humans are all one body,
Whoever tortures another, wounds himself.
Sindhis would be glad to send peace delegations everywhere to sing songs of love and unite people of the world
By: Prof. Gul Agha
Sindhis are worried about water, food, environmental protection, wildlife protection, pollution, language erosion, cultural destruction, etc . They wish to .., everyone well (kafir momin jo bhalo). But now they have their own basic survival to worry about.
Last week at the University of Illinois, USA, we had a sufi ttolo of mangarnhaara who sang Shah Latif’s raarno, Hamalu fakiiru kaafii, played chungu, biinuun, Sindhi saraangii. The audience was black, white, Asian; Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, Christian.. Everyone was relaxed and thought peaceful thoughts. This is the positive energy Sindhis can contribute. Sindhis would be glad to send peace delegations with sufi fakirs everywhere to sing songs of love and unite people. That is the best we can do.
What they call “public opinion” is what.. who control Pakistani media think, not what the poor haarii (peasant) in Sindh thinks. The elite minds are agitated by fasaadii jihadi mentality and show a total lack of concern for poverty, contempt for indigenous languages and cultures, and obsession with imperialist colonialist era of caliphs and kings. The less President Zardari pays attention to this, the more he can focus on real problems (not that he has much de facto control or power, otherwise we could say good-bye to the … and are destroying Sindhi language and culture by imposing foreign language .. and alien militant ideology).
October 08, 2010
By Javed Qazi, Karachi
Although it was a bomb explosion by a suicide attacker on Marriot Islamabad, it speaks a lot more than merely be named a terrorist activity. It speaks of the torn society, of intolerance and how the extremists are using it more so that finally create a civil war situation and thus take over the reign of the country. If inflation had created Hiltler. If torn Afghanistan could create Mulla Umar, why not this conflict, within our texture of society, would create any other Ghazi of Red Mosque sort? Yet all these are not sustainable, they exploit and aggravate the conditions that are created by the corrupt illegal and nepotistic regimes, be that civil or the military ones. Where have those 71 billion dollars gone, the great foreign money flown in the last eight years regime of Musharaf, that has no prcedence. He has left a very legacy of great economic crisis behind. (and equally covertly a regime that cattered tot the needs of flourishing to these talibans for whole until recently we were holding it as our asset and factor extend us a strategic depth.) And this government which has hardly, after removing Musharaf has got a power in real sense. And still are kept busy by these terrorists not to get time to address the economic crisis of the country. The government whose writ is now seriously challenged by these terrorists is still to go long way ahead to create its writ.
Let us assume for a while that Talibans have taken over Islamabad! One can easily understand now they will run this country as they ran to Kabul. And finally will the world allow it to rule Islamabad? The answer is flatly no, the world will enter in this country and will take over nuclear assets and so many disasters the country would face the way it is happening in Afghanistan.
Only the sense if it could prevail would help us to save ourselves that to stop the world get against us. Only democracy and plurality could make us stand in the bunch of responsible states of the world. If we fail to let this sense prevail or let these terrorist consume the whole county, it will invite the world to deal us differently. It will turn up it to a no men land.
One may truly have lot of reservations for the US policy for this region, this country and Afghnistan. But we can not equally accept the pattern of religious extremists here in this country the way they want to handle to this conflict.
They want to deprive the nation of Pakistan from their right of choosing their regimes. Their first and foremost target to destroy is the democracy in this country. Thus the right of the people to choose their destiny on their choice, and thus to the very plurality as conceived by the Great Jinnah.
Pakistan needs a great moral and economic as well as all other support of the world to combat against terrorists and to their ideology. A way of combating against these terrorists is multidimensional, sensitive and subtle. A war which can not be fought the way these terrorists want us to drag in. it has a lot may fronts and dimensions.
It is the defeat of these terrorists they have become well exposed now and the whole nation is getting united rapidly against them and soon they shall be isolated.
These terrorists are against the very idea that was involved in formation of country. Let us work together all to defend to the idea of Jinnah of Pakistan: a country predominantly comprised of Muslims yet shall be secular.
And for that we have values of Sufis and Sadhus to help us. we have Rumi, Kabir, Bhittai, Bullah, Bahu, Fareeda, Bhagat Kanwar, sachal.
Sep 22, 2008
By Declan Walsh
(Women dance outside the ‘golden gate’ at the central Shrine of the Sehwan Sharif festival. Around 1 million people attend the three day event that combines partying and prayer to mark the death of the Sufi mystic Lal Shahbaz Qalander, who died 755 years ago. Photograph Declan Walsh.)
Pakistan’s tourism ministry designated 2007 as “Destination Pakistan”, the year when tourists were urged to discover the country’s sights and delights. Their timing couldn’t have been worse. A military ruler clinging to power, al-Qaida fanatics hiding in the mountains, suicide bombings booming across the cities – in 2007, Pakistan has become a byword for peril and turmoil.
But there is another Pakistan, one the majority of its 165 million people are more familiar with. It is the thrusting software entrepreneurs and brash new television stations. It is the kite flyers and partygoers and the strangers who insist you sit for a cup of tea. And it is Sehwan Sharif.
A sleepy town on the Indus river, Sehwan Sharif is on the heroin smuggling route that runs through Sindh from Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea. In summer it is a sauna – stepping from my air-conditioned car last month, the heat carried a five-knuckle wallop.
I joined about 1 million people who come to Sehwan Sharif for three days every year, to mark the death of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, an ancient Sufi mystic. It is one of south Asia’s greatest parties.
A giant, infectious drumbeat fills the night air. Red-clad women spin like dervishes and old men dance like teenagers. Men kiss the railings of the shrine; some burst into tears. A conga line of worshippers pushes into a glittering shrine at the heart of festival. The soft aroma of hashish and cooked bread wafts through the tiny alleyways; old men with watery eyes suck on clay pipes; barefoot families doze on the rooftops.
A million people – it’s enough to give an embassy security officer a heart attack. Yet I’ve rarely felt so secure. Impromptu singing sessions erupt by the roadside. People offer strangers a bed, a meal, or a drag from their joint. Smiles and handshakes are everywhere. Qalandar, a sort of medieval hippy, would have approved. Wandering through this area almost 800 years ago, he preached tolerance between Hindus and Muslims and peace to all men. Legend had it that he could transform himself into a falcon.
One night I met Muhammad Fiaz, a burly bus driver from Gujrat with glitter on his cheeks. He had taken his annual holiday to come and sit at the feet of a pir, or holy man. He brushed off any talk of politics. “Musharraf and his lot are one thing,” he said. “This is entirely another”.
Thursday October 4, 2007
Courtesy: The Guardian
Source – http://www.guardian.co.uk/pakistan/Story/0,,2183119,00.html
by: Khalid Hashmani
1947, 1972, and 2008 depict that Sindhis are loosing majority in the last 61 years. One cannot but notice that Sindhi presence in the south-western region of Sindh is under tremendous threat and this does not bode well for our culture, language, identity, and homeland.
ALI HAIDAR (A.D. 1690-1785) the Sufi poet, was born at Kazia in the Multan district, in the year A.H. 1101 (A.D. 1690).1 He passed, says the tradition, the greater part of his life in the village of his birth, where he died in A.D.1199 or the year 1785 of the Christian era, at the advanced age of ninety-five years.
A few years ago, Haidar was practical1y unknown to the public as a poet. Wandering faqirs sometimes sang fragments of his mystical verse in the streets, but no attention was paid to it, as people are not accustomed to pay heed to what the faqirs sing or recite. In 1898, Malik Fazal Din of Lahore was so greatly impressed on hearing a poem of ‘Ali Haidar that he decided to oollect all the poetry that ‘Ali Haidar had written and publish it for the benefit of the public. He acted on his decision, and with much labour succeeded in collecting most of the poems from the kavvalis, and also from a descendant of the poet named Hazrat Faqir Ghulam Mira of Kazia who furnished him with a copy of the original manu scri pt3 This collection the Malik named Mukammal Majmu’a Abyat ‘Ali Haidar, and published it soon after it was ready. 4
The descendants of ‘Ali Haidar could not furnish much information on the life and Literary career of the poet. Perhaps they themselves did not know more about their illustrious ancestor.5 In the absence of his life history, we should have turned to his poetry for information, but unfortunately that too has proved of little help. Incidentally ‘Ali Haidar says that he was not a saiyid, which his descendants proclaim him to be, and also gives the name of his pir murshid. Haidar states:
Mim mai kutta ban al rasul najib da pahru ha ghar bar utte
uppar aggo oh andheri mai hondia ais darbar utte
nam tarik da bhi khadim sahiba di pucckar utte
par aihle ulum di izat rakhan vazib hai sansar utte. 6
Mim: I am a dog of the al of the exalted Prophet and keep watch on their house; I pass as a storm 7 over and above this court .8I am a slave even of their name and also of the kindness of these gentleman (i.e. saiyids), but it is right to maintain the honor of the learned in the world.
Had ‘Ali Haidar been a saiyid he would not have called himself a dog of the saiyids door, but would have claimed a place of equal honor. The above, therefore, removes all doubt and establishes the fact that Haidar was an Indian and not one of the foreign saiyids.
From the above quotation we can also conclude that he was troubled by the saiyids for his attentions to the learned. Who could these learned people be except some liberal mystics of whom the saiyids often disapproved? Haidar seems to have been afraid of the saiyids, and that is why he lowered himself before them; but at the same time he maintained in an apologetic manner his own conviction that to respect the learned befitted a man.
Our poet was a confessed Sufi and a faithful follower of Shah Mohiy-ud-din, as:
Qaf kya gam khauf asa nu je shah muhaiuddin asadara ai
Shah abdul qadir jila da je lutf amin asadara ai. 9
Qaf: what sorrow and fear have we,10 if Shah Muhly-ud.dinis ours and if Shah Abdul Qadir of Jilan is guardian of our pleasure?
Ali Haidar kya parvah kise di je Shah Muhaiuddin asadara ai 11
‘Ali Haidar, what do we care for any other if Shah Muhiy-ud-din is ours?
Muhiy-du-din or Abdul Qadir Jilani, who, as we know, was born in Jilan in the year A.H. 471 (A.D. 1078) 12 was famous for his learning. He was the founder of the Qadiri order of Sufi 13 and has always had innumerable followers all over the Panjab.Haidar, as is clear from the above, was a Qidiri, but who his pir was we do not know.
The style of Ali Haidar is very ornamental. No mystic Panjabi poet, with the exception of Bullhe Shah and Hashim, has surpassed Haidar in poetic flow and fecundity of vocabulary. His verse, being ornate, abounds in alankaras, notably in vrityanuprasa,14 as:
Shin sharab de mast raihan, ki main taide matt valare ni,
Surkh sufaid siyah do banalare baj kajjal aive kalare ni. 15
Here shin, sharab, safaid, and ni at the end of each line form a graceful vrityanuprasa.
Haidar has shown his command of samak 16in his Qissa Hir va Rajha.Each short poem is full of foreign phrases and words, but they are so well welded into his poetry that they do not give the reader the impression of being foreign. Here is an example:
Jan baca ke bajho cake, rakhi kyu kar hoi ma
Ya rag masiva al mahbub reha gair na koi ma
Dil vicc akhhe vekkh tamasha hai je utthe dhoi ma
Man ho maqnatis haidar, use di khicc rakhioi ma. 17
In the above poem ya rag masiva al mahbub and man homaqnatis, two Arabic sayings, 18 are put in as if they were in Panjabi.
Speaking of the style of Haidar, a living poet 19 in both Urdu and Panjabi once said: ‘His style resembles that of Habib Qaani so far as the arrangement of words and beauty of language is concerned, but for his de scri ptions and expressions he resembles Hafiz.’ 20
Ali Haidar’s style no doubt charms his reader by its grace and beauty. He also excelled in subtle poetic conceit. We give below a specimen in which, desirous of showing the superiority of his own religion over the faith of the Hindus, he very tactfully makes Hir speak for himself.
Alif eh baman 21 bhaire bhatth paye kura rah bataunde ne
So phitte muh ohna kafara da sabh kuro kur kamaudi ne
Cucak de ghar kheria de aih nitt vicare aude ne
Netarsunetarnetar’ sunni de gin gin Gandhi pande ne
Mai gun mare ohna de sir mala turt puande ne
Nal dumbal channi la phuare mapyo calande ne
Kih sharm haya ohna kafara nu jo khair duare mannande ne
Narak dib hah maidi nahi ahi eh apane hatthi laude ne
Akkhi dekh tijjan nahi eh kafar aini haude ne
Je murde nu dukkh sukkh nahi kyu haddia ganga paude ne
Eh janju gal ne janj kheria di mai haidar mul na bhaude ne. 22
Alif: these bad Brahmans are in the oven (i.e. fire) for they tell the false path (i.e. Hinduism), therefore shame on those heathens 23 who all follow the false. Into the house of cucak and the kheras23these wretches (Brahmans) always come. Saying netarsunetarnetar 24and calculating, they tie the knot. 25 When I marred their qualities (i.e. when I refused to obey them by loving Rajha) then they ordered the garland (i.e. of marriage with Saida.) to be put on my head. Putting a cup to the abscess, the parents start the stream 26 (i.e. obeying the orderof the Brahmans parents bleed my heart by giving my me in marriage to Saida). What modesty and shame have these heathens, who in the temple beg for safety ? This is not the fireof my hell (Muhammadan hell), they have lit it themselves. 27 Seeing this (fire) they are not convinced but keep on boasting(i.e. they still praise their religion). If a corpse experiences no pain or pleasure then why do they put the bones into the Ganges? This sacred thread round the neck in like the marriage procession of the kheras; Haidar, I do not like it at all.
Haidar paints well his disgust of the worldly possessions which we have to leave after death. He calls them false and states that the only true possession is God with his prophet and his friends.
Kura ghora kura jora kuru shau asvar
Kure bashe kure shikare kure mir shikar
Kure hathi kure lashkar kure fauj katar
Kure suhe kure salu, kure shone yar
Kure jore kure bere kure har shangar
Kure kotthe kure manmit kur eh sansar
Haidar akkhe sabh kujh kura sacca hikk kartar
Duja nabi Muhammad sacca sacce us de yar 28
False is the horse, false is the costume and false is the king rider; false are the hawks, 29 false the falcon and false is the leader of the hunt; false the elephant., false the battalions and false are the armies with swords; false the red, 30 and false the salus31and false the beautiful friends ; 32 false these uniforms, false the boats and false are the toilets; false the houses, false the pleasures and false is this world. Haidar says all is false, kartar’ 33 alone is true; the second true one is the Prophet Muhammad, and true are his friends.
Hidar’s faith in God is well described in this:
Alif etthe otthe otthe asa as taidi ate asara taidare zor dai Mahi sabh havalre taidare ne asa khauf na khandare cor dai Tui jan saval javab sabho sanu haul na aukhari gor dai Ali haidar nu sikk taidari ai taidai bajh na sayal hor dai.34
Aisf: both here and there you are my hope and your power is my support; all buffaloes35 are in your charge, so I am not afraid of any wretched thief; 36 you know all prayers and
their answers (so) I have no fear of the difficult grave; ‘Ali Haidar feels your want, save you he does not seek another.
It will be interesting to give here one of the few poems in which Haidar reproaches his countrymen, the king and the foreign element, then so prominent at the Imperial Court of Delhi, for having allowed the Persians to come into the country and for submitting to their lust for riches : 36
Be bhi zaihar nahi jo kha maran kujh sharam na hinustania nu
Kya haya ehna rajia nu kujh lajj nahi turania nu
Bhaire bhar bhar devan khajane farsia khurasania nu
Vicc chaunia de vicc pani takk badhoje lahu na vedea pania nu. 37
Be: there is no poison which they (Indians) should eat and (consequently) die, the Indians have no shame; what shame have these kings, what shame have these Turanis? 38 The
wretches fill up and give treasuries to the Persians and the
Khurasanis; 39 in the cantonments they (i.e. the Persian) have reserved water for themselves, the only water we (Indians) see is blood.
It is evident from this and other such poems that to Haidar his country’s distress was unbearable, and he cursedfreely the rulers and those in power.
Haidar alone of the Panjabi Sufi poets played with words. It is on account of this that his thought is weak and often the same idea is differently described. Physical love was his ideal for spiritual love, and he therefore laid great stress on the use of words which naturally imparted a sort of brilliancy to his language. Here is a specimen to illustrate his mastery over words:
Shin shaker ranji yar di mainu talkh kita sabh shir shaker
Ganj shaker di shaker vanda je kare rabb shir shaker
Rajha khir te hir shaker rabb pher kare jhabb shir shaker
Jo labbiai lab lab to hazir piyo payala shir shaker
Haidar gussa pive ta akkhe piau mittha lab shir shaker. 40
Shin:the anger of my friend is bitter to me; it has made our friendship bitter. 41 I will distribute the sugar of Ganj Shakar 42 provided God arranges peace; Rajha is rice and
Hir is sugar. May God soon bring about their union; what we search is present on each lip (i.e. the name of God), drink that cup of friendship; Haidar, if he controls his anger, will
say. Drink friendship with the sweet sugar of lips.
Haidar, we believe, was a very good musician. Each line of his verse is full of rhythm and is so beautifully com- posed that his reader is tempted to sing rather than read or
recite it. One specimen will suffice:
Te tariya lariya taidia ni, mainu lariya kariya mariya ni
Hir jahia sai golia gholia ni, sadake kittia taitho varia ni
Caupar mar taron na pase, pase ditia haddia saria ni
Haidar kaun khalaria taitho, asi jitia bajia haria ni. 43
At the end of each poem of his siharfis, Haidar wrote a sort of rahau to indicate the musical refrain. Here is this chorus:
Anban inbin unbun thi, ikk samajh asadariramaz mia. 44
Haider used Multani, which is a sweet dialect of Panjabi, and became more so when the poet played with it. The few poems which have come down to us from the Hir,’ of Haidar show that he was an Arabic scholar and a com-petent Haafi. Had it been complete it would be a document to prove how the Sufi understood the Qur’an and the hadis.
Their interpretations are different, as Haidar’s Hir differs from those of other Mussulmans. Still what is left of the Hir is very interesting and pleasing. Before we close this account we will let Haidar speak briefly for himself.
khe khalak khuda di ilam parhdi sanu ikka mutalia yard a ai
Jihne khol ke ishk kitab ditthi sige saraf de sabh visar da ai
Jinhe yar de nam da sabak parhya etthe jae na sabar karar da ai
Haidar mulla nu fikar namaz da ai ehna ashka talab didar da ai. 45
khe: the creatures of God study knowledge, but we have onlythe Study of the Beloved; he who has opened and looked in the book of love is ready to spend all; he who has read the lesson of the beloved’s name should not come here, isonly peace and contentment; Haidar, the priest has to think of prayers, but these lovers desire only the manifestation (of the Beloved)
Be, be di teg na dass mulla oh alif sidha kham ghat aya
Oha yar kalokari rat vala hun bhes vata ke vat aya
Sohna mim di cadar paihn ke ji keha julfa de ghungat ghat aya
Ali haidar oha yar paiyara hun ahmad ban ke vat aya. 46
Be: O priest do not show me the curved sword of be47because this is the straight alif 48that has come back bent; the friendOf last night changing his garb has come again; the handsome friend wearing the shawl of mim 49and veiled in his locks has returned; ‘Ali Haidar, that friend beloved now has comeagaias Ahmad 50
Lam lok nasihata de thakke shone yar to mukkh na morsa mai
Tore maure peure kadd choran jani yar piche ghar chorsa mai
mai ta bele vassa hardam mahi vale matti dedea ni khuhe borsa mai
Ali haidar ne akkhia laiya kite kaul nu mui na torsa mai. 51
Lam: the people are tired giving me good counsels, but I will not turn my face from the handsome friend; if mother and father turn me out, for my beloved I will leave the house;
I will ever live in the jangal of my beloved, 52 and will throw into a well those who give me good advice.’ 53 Ali Haider, our eyes have met 54 and I will never break my word.