In PC, move your pointer near corners to flip.
View in full screen to fully enjoy the experience!
Download the PDF format from below…
Download PDF format here
In PC, move your pointer near corners to flip.
View in full screen to fully enjoy the experience!
Download the PDF format from below…
Download PDF format here
IN SEARCH FOR REFERENCES ABOUT HAMID MIMAR;
AND THE LINK WITH USTAD AHMAD MIMAR LAHORI.
The official histories of Emperor Shah Jahan record the construction of the Red Fort in Shahjahanabad as being done by two architects, namely Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori, and Ustad Hamid Mimar. Whereas a lot is known about Ustad Ahmad, literally only a few references keep the identity of Ustad Hamid alive.
One is a havelli in Delhi, known as Mohalla Hamid khan, having belonged to Ustad Hamid. It is at present known as Krishna galli, as photographed for us by the esteemed Ms Naheed Anwar Malik. Residents there refer to the enquiry of Sulaiman Nadwi, that Hamid was the brother of Ustad Ahmad. A number of jewelers in Lahore and Delhi refer to Hamid as their ancestor and call themselves even in Delhi as Lahore Walas. They have written their own history books on same but carry mostly memories, not documented evidence of their roots. And they even refer to Mansoor Musawwir as their ancestor. Okay indeed.
Then there is an inscription in the tomb of Hoshaing Shah in Mandu. It is fixed on the right jamb of the door and is in white marble. Although eroded with time, it has been recorded by many visitors, including the Archeological Survey of India. But still there and not taken care by the department. The engraving needs to be filled with stone or ink to make it legible. But the name of Lutufullah Ahmad Muhandis is on it, as well as the name of Ustad Hamid Mimar. Fixed in 1659 A D, it is exactly ten years after the death of the other architect.
As said before Hamid Mimar has been called the brother of Ahmad Mimar by an old resident of Mohalla Hamid Mimar, but that too was a vague assertion. We have come about a beautiful manuscript dated around 1106 A H, and it has a seal on it, as well as a beautiful written end like an architectural diagram, telling us that Hamid is the son of Abdul Kareem. Now Abdul Kareem is the famous architect of Emperor Jahangeer, associated with the Emperor on many projects, including his mausoleum in Lahore, the Lahore Fort, the monuments in Mandu, even the Taj Mahal, as well as the Red Fort Delhi. Abdul Kareem has been rewarded by the Emperor many times. His period can be calculated between 570 A. D to 1646 A. D, and that is in fact the period of Ustad Ahmad Mimar too, as the architect died in 1649 A.D. Fellow workers yes, but both from Lahore.
The manuscript owes its authenticity the way the end is handled, less of an end, more of an architectural design in writing. It establishes the writer of the manuscript as an architect itself. It also establishes that Hamid was much younger than Ahmad in all cases and more a partner of Lutufullah Ahmad Muhandis. Writers of the biography of Imam uddin Riazi also state that Lutufullah was also himself involved in the construction of the Red Fort Delhi too. We continue to seek more evidence.
WAS QUAID E AZAM A FILM FAN?
THE LEADER KNEW POTENTIALS OF FILM INDUSTRY
Aspects of nation building
Films are not our line. But we enjoy films all the time. The films made before partition were of a different kind in all ways. Muslims contribution to film making in many ways was spectacular. But the most amazing thing is that the Quaid e Azam had eyes on this subject too. He wished Mussulmans to indulge in productive film making.
The name of the first Pakistani films tell us a lot about the minds of those people. The very first film envisaged in Pakistan was named JEHAD. What lovely inspiration those people had? Poignant settings, truly Pakistani stories. The rubbish and trash of these days was not there.
Foreign lobbies are rescuing our film industry for their own ends. No more views of the kind that were made in the past. Trash of another kind. Hit at the Ideology of Pakistan. Make heros of the zeros of our history.
An English writer was writing a script of a film on M.A. Rahman Chughtai. I do not know what happened to it but they were ready to make it. Again they wanted to give it their own twists and turns and I did not agree to same. A number of documentaries were made in the past. It included ones made by Russian and Japanese teams. Even a number of them made by Pakistani Films and Publication department and shown in cinema houses. Even Burmah Shell made a documentary in the 1960 s. More in the future.
Films can be used for uplift of nations or to degrade them. We know that all the more now.
RARELY KNOWN UNFNISHED ALL STONE MOSQUE OF HINDAL MIRZA;
BELOVED SON OF EMPEROR BABAR; SUPPORTER PRINCE HUMAYOUN.
It was the custom of victorious armies to conslidate their presence, by activation of building activities. Mughals were no exceptions. Wherever they went building activities started in full swing. Very few of buildings of Emperor Babar were built and very few left intact after lapse of many centuries. In our region we have some things qualified as being built by Emperor Babar himself. This is particularly true of the Jamia mosque in Haryana which is visited by people all the time, but even that is not often spotlighted at all. But there is another unfinished mosque in stone built by his son, Hindal Mirza. A favourite son of Emperor Babar and father-in-law of Emperor Akbar. It was built between 1526 to 1530 A D.
Hindal Mirza sided with his brother Prince Humayoun in struggle for supermacy and also fought against Prince Kamran. He died a tragic death and both brothers were very sorry to the loss of his life. The mosque started by him is called Lall masjid, and rremains under lock and key all the time. Unfinished minarets and even domes. It is tragic reminder of a lost Prince of the Mughal Empire. In any case Hindal Mirza thought big and the Jamia Masjid is a silent reminder of his grandeur. The funny part is that he was named Hindal by his father as omen of his conquest of India. Indeed well done!
SHAH QALEEM ULLAH GRANDSON OF USTAD AHMAD MIMAR LAHORIA MANUSCRIPT FROM HIS LIBRARY ENTITLED SHARH QASIDA BURDA
The family of Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori were professional people, with expertise in architecture, calligraphy, mathematics and astronomy. But they were also Islamic loving people and did things related to Islamic civilization. A number of them were writing Qurans, and dealing with iconic Islamic literature. Literature on Qirat is found in their writings. Qasida Burda fascinated them too. But the wonderful thing is that one of them became a famous Sufi himself, and homage paid to him in his grave in Delhi.
A number of religious books written by him survive both in printed form as well as manuscript form. Listing all of them is not required here. But we find an original manuscript of Sharh Qasida Burda, perhaps written by him, perhaps merely copied by him, for he was a calligrapher himself, as well as son of a famous calligrapher Nurullah Ahmad. We are talking here of the Sufi Qaleem ullah, who went on a journey to Holy Kaaba too, and it is well recorded of same.
The manuscript is in original binding and has his seal and notation on it. Enjoy!
MEMORABLE FAREWELL GET TOGETHER AT CHAMBERLAIN ROAD;
ON DEPARTURE OF HAFIZ YUSUF FOR HIS WORK IN SAUDI ARABIA.
Two top calligraphers of our times were Hafiz Muhammed Yusuf for Nastaliq writing and Nafees Raqam for Arabic script. A number of calligraphers got together in a press building to say good bye to Hafiz Yusuf on his planned trip to Saudi Arabia, with desire to express his homage to the Prophet of Islam (PBUH). The invitation was extended to me too. In real terms an odd man out, but it was the love of the calligrapher which pulled me and he did write a manuscript for me, which I still have.
There was an accident in Saudi Arabia and the calligrapher really suffered. Without any money or support, he came back, and had lost his calligraphy job at newspaper IMROZE too. B.A. Qureshi Sahib, Chairman Lahore Museum, gave a job to his son in the Lahore Museum as compensation for his great work. A job he still has there, up to the best of my knowledge. I salute not only a great calligrapher but with a non business attitude, he obliged everyone without even taking any renumeration. Allah may bless him in heaven!!
A FUTILE ATTEMPT TO BELITTLE DR ALLAMA IQBAL;
FLOCK OF NEGATIVE PEOPLE WASTING THEIR TIME.
A long standing friend revealed his low IQ after a long time. He simply said ‘What was Iqbal?’ in a demeaning way. ‘Certainly not a philosopher, perhaps, yes merely a children poet’. It was a stunning revelation, and he went out blurting his father’s statement, that Iqbal used to write obnoxious verses on his favorite prostitutes of Lahore. Most Mullahs generate an alcoholic impression of Iqbal, and a relative came back from the USA with the knowledge that Iqbal was a murderer too. The Hindu lobby was projecting on their blogs that he was even a murderer of a prostitute of Hira Mandi Lahore. A so called ‘hamdard’ of Iqbal was projecting that when Iqbal said salam to a citizen of Lahore, the man to spite him, uncovered himself by throwing down his dhoti. A famous Pakistani lesbian termed both Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal as homosexuals and then retracted her statement after she lit anxiety in many quarters, and she could not handle the fall out, for in certain quarters abroad, it was a positive thing. Add more and more juicy things. Belittle the message of Dr Allama Iqbal, the founder of the idea of Pakistan. The Iqballian thinking dangerous for the enemies of Pakistan.
The Chughtai Artist house was a meeting place of the best and worst of Pakistan. The writers, the poets, the artists, the bureaucrats, you could see most of the bigger names at home all the time. Hafeez Jullundri would come with his British wife , laughing loud with the artist Chughtai. ‘Abhi to main jawan hoon’, surely. Faiz could emit cigar smoke from his mouth like a chimney gone awry. One could even see Hanif Ramay on his bicycle, coming to get some designs made for his magazine. Qudratullah Shahab spun his magic. Sufi Ghulam Tabbassum much loved. The list is endless and no time to list all of them. Dr Nazeer Ahmad and Dr Muhammed Din Taseer were particularly close. Colonel Majeed Malik could take the nomenclature of being Chughtai’s best friend. Pitras Bokhari also lived nearby, and was a close associate. Of course Agha Babar had his own episodes to trace. Ikram Sahib, federal secretary could talk of the book he wrote on Pakistan and took advantage of Chughtai all the time. Justice S. A Rahman was there too. When the Chief Justice got slapped by the daughter of a famous politician, at a function at Alhamra, it was not an ordinary affair, and S.A Rahman proved that he was a gentle lamb. You name it, we saw them at home. These were the people who promoted URDU as the language of Pakistan, and all of them were fanatics about the modern language of Islam.
A longer time back, after work was done, there was a habit in the house. The three Chughtai brothers, Abdur Rahman, Abdullah and Abdur Raheem would move with Dr M D Taseer and they would all go to the house of Dr Muhammed Iqbal and till late at night, chat their hearts out. The laughter of them would reverberate long distance away. Dr Iqbal would not mutter English, or Urdu, or Persian, but share jokes and pleasures in plain Punjabi. It went on for nearly twenty years. Even at the Round Table Conference in London in 1932, Abdur Rahman Chughtai was there with Dr Iqbal. That is why tears would come to the eyes of Chughtai when he would recount Iqbal. And again and again he could say ‘hazar sal nargis apni bay noori pay roti hai bari mushkal say hota hai chaman may deeda war paida.’
IQBAL WAS NOT A GREEK ARM CHAIR THINKER. He reached the people direct in Badshahi mosque, Sheranawala gate School or Islamia College or elsewhere. He addressed people and people wept at the plight of Muslims all over the world. Iqbal has channeled the NATIONHOOD of people, indeed he had reconstructed Islam as a religion in his sayings to people itself. People wept with him. And the environment of Lahore was anti-Mullah in all way. The Quranic revolution was going on here in the Chinay-wali masjid Lahore. It ended in Lahore hosting Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz, the Adviser on Islamic Affairs to the Quaid-e-Azam himself.
To paint such a philosopher in lower light is the mind of wicked foxes and senile crows all over the world. Dr Iqbal was a man par excellence A true Mard-e-momin. His message was simple Islam had got Persianized with time and the Persian version was in vogue here. Iqbal stressed a back to original Islam position, back to the Arab foundation, back to the Quran itself. The people who had distorted Islam through the centuries fumed at the gall of the man trying to bring in renaissance, to undo centuries of Mullah’s mischievous conceptions.
The hypocrisy of promoting Iqbal in Pakistan is evident too. Lip service alone, not a reconsideration of ijjtehad in Islam. Except for permanent values given by Allah, everything else can be changed by common consent. Democracy very relevant here. Pakistan was the first step in telling the world the beauty of the Islamic system to live peacefully in co-existence with the world, without sacrificing an iota of self respect and equality of the nation as a whole. In the end we have to prevail, if not for ourselves, for our salat to Allah Al-Mighty.
SAMARENDRA NATH GUPTA AND M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI;
BOTH ENEMIES AND PLACED AT SELECTION COMMITTEE 1934.
The artist M.A. Rahman Chughtai cleared his 8th examination from the Railway School in 1911. In 1915, he was very much in Mayo School of Arts, having obtained a diploma in Photo-lithography, and as there was scarce people in that department, he was also teaching there, as Incharge of same. He was even sent to the office of Archaeological Survey of India for a month or so training in etching. All this is on record.
Somehow or the others some people react to each other in instant likes and dislikes. That was the case with Samarendra Nath Gupta, who came from a totally westernized family, having a leading journalist of that time as his father. The father was supporting the advancement of his son. Chughtai Sahib represented a different culture in total. It was like East meeting West at that time. If you see a group photo of Mayo School of Arts, you find both Chughtai Sahib and Gupta together and even in the photograph hostility can be seen. The illusion that Gupta knew much is separate, Gupta was in no mood to teach these “uncouth” Punjabis anything like Art. Just note the dress of Gupta in a three-piece western suit, and look at the dress of Chughtai in simple clothes, even a shalwar kameez. It is recalled that Abindaranath Tagore insulted Chughtai in Calcutta as a “Kabli-wala”, and having hands like that of an ironsmith. Kabli-wala is related to vendors from Kabul and the important story generated by uncle Rabindaranath Tagore.
The challenge of M.A. Rahman Chughtai to the Bengal School of Art was great, as Chughtai Sahib use to say that Bengal school was like a giant tree, which smouldered all others under its shade. When asked about the similarities of his Chughtai School with Bengal School, Chughtai aptly remarked that the only similarity of both schools is that they use paper and water colour. (And even the paper Whatman used was different, as well as pigment paints of Winsor and Newton). Tagore used rags to wash his works, while Chughtai used fancy Japanese brushes from Kyoto Japan. But the biggest difference was the Ideology of both the artist. A detailed discussion will be found in my book, “The challenge of M.A. Rahman Chughtai to the Bengal School of Art”.
Mian Inayatullah was a friend of Chughtai Sahib and used to borrow works from him to use in his own name for advancement. A look at the initial FAME and later, shows two different signatures. Earlier look with signature of Abdur Rahman Chughtai, later the signature of Inayatullah. Similarly was the case of the painting POISON CUP. Gupta goaded Inayatullah to take a stand against Chughtai, and it finally led to so much bitterness, that the artist finally decided to resign from the Mayo School of Arts. And he did that. The spur was the report of Gupta to Lionel Heath against the integrity of Chughtai sahib. A discussion took place elsewhere.
Now coming back to a selection committee of Arts for selection of paintings for a London Show. Clips from newspaper Civil and Military Gazette are attached. By 1934 Chughtai Sahib was already given a title of Khan Bahadur, after his European tour. And his professionalism could not be denied. On 7th June, 1934, Gupta and Chughtai Sahib sat together to choose artists whose works were to be sent for a London show. Strange bedfellows indeed!
P.S.Ms Kalyani Sen a daughter of Samarendranath Gupta posed many problems for her father, as her reputed affairs with Muslim boys was resented by her father. The grandson of Pitras Bokhari informed me last year that she was well known to Pitras Sahib too. It was an obvious environment for change. All in the past now.
A DESERTED LAHORE GETS RECLUSE FROM SAYYID MUBARIK;DEFEATS JASARATH KHOKHAR AND SETS BASIS FOR NEW CITY,
NAMED AS MUBARIKABAD LAHORE IN 1421; AS REPOPULATED.
Yahya bin Ahmad bin Abdullah Sirhindi writes in “Tarilkh-i-Mubarakshahi”:
“In the month of Muharram, A.H. 825 , (Dec- Jany 1420-1421 A.D.), the shade of the blessed fortune and the shadow of the Imperial umbrella fell upon the deserted city of Lahore, which was bereft of any living soul, save the inauspicious owls which had made it their abode. After a time, the Sultan turned bis attention to the restoration of the city, and under his royal favour building was reconstructed. He stayed there encamped by the side of Ravi for nearly a month, engaged in repairing the fort and the gates. When the repair work was brought to a completion, the fief of Lahore was bestowed upon Malik-ul-Shark Mahmud Hasan, and a contingent of two thousand horses was placed under him. Having made suitable arrangements for the upkeep of the army and the fort. His Majesty returned to Dar-ul- Mulk Delhi.”
Jasarat Khokhar was enraged at the sack of his stronghold at Talwara. He collected a large army and besieged Lahore. However, two attacks on the city proved to be unsuccessful. Once again, he withdrew from the siege and took refuge in the hills surrounding Talwara. Some Muslim nobles attempted to capture him, but the wily Khokhar evaded capture and escaped. Thereafter he proceeded to sack Dipalpur and then moved towards Lahore again. However, the new governor of Lahore. Malik Sikandar Tuhfa put up a fierce resistance, making the Khokhar army to retreat.
Who was Jasarat Khokhar? Some say son of Shaikha Khokhar, others say brother. It is said:”Jasarat Khokhar was born to Khokhar King, Shaikha Khokhar to Khokhar Muslim royal family. In one of his father’s battles, he was captured by Timurid Army and was held prisoner in Samarkand. However, due to his extra ordinary battle skills, he was appointed as a general in the Timurid army. For developing better relations with Timurids, he married a Timurid / Mughal Barlas princess, Sa’adat Sultan Agha who was the daughter of emperor Shah Rukh Mirza and granddaughter of Timur. Later, he left Samarkand and returned to Punjab after Timur’s death.”
These are excerpts from various sources on the making of new Lahore. A deserted city with no one, got a new lease of life and was renamed as Mubarakabad in 1421D. Was it Amir Timur who sacked Lahore before that? Or due to fear people had already left the city. In any case there was no one here. A new Lahore was born in the process. Timur negotiated and left the city alone so it was not him who sacked it. Or perhaps when Sheikhu renegaded, warriors were sent to quell him. Very little history known of that period. Without Ahmad Sirhindi, the author, nothing would be known. Thanks to him in filling the void in our knowldge.
It is 31st December, 1968, and the inauguration of the book AMAL-E-CHUGHTAI is about to take place. Field Marshal Ayub Khan flew specially from Islamabad to inaugurate it at Alhamra Lahore. A valid tribute from the President of Pakistan, as it was his last public appearance. We remember it with great love and honour. Enjoy it too!