¡¡ ¡¡
 
 SHAH ABDUL LATIF

Islam is the religion of peace. God sent the Prophet as a blessing to mankind. He won people¡¯s hearts by his kind nature and gentle ways. His noble example was followed by many of his followers, in all ages, all over the world. It was through the efforts of these saintly men that Islam spread far and wide. These holy men were, extremely successful in bringing non-Muslims to the fold of Islam.

In every part of our country, there are shrines of such saints. In Lahore, are the shrines of Data Ganj Bukhsh and Mian Mir Sahib. In Pak Pattan lived and died Baba Fareed. In Multan, is the shrine of Ghous Bahaul Haq. In Peshawar, in Quetta, and in countless other towns and cities there are the tombs of these men of God. In Sindh are the tombs of two great saints, Shah Abdul Latif and Qalandar Lal Shahbaz.

The great saint Shah Abdul Latif; who is lovingly called Lal Latif by his devotees, was born in 1102. Hijra in a small village called ¡°Hala Haveli¡±. The good Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb then ruled the country. Shah Abdul Latif¡¯s ancestors migrated to Sindh during the days of Tamerlane. They had come from Hijrat. Sindh was then a centre of Muslims culture and Shah Abdul Latif's ancestors liked it so much that they decided to make it their home. But no one would have remembered their names or learnt about them, if many centuries later, one of their descendants, Sayed Habib Shah, had not been blessed with a son who grew up to be saint Lal Latif.

Shah Latif had a very sensitive mind. His heart was soon filled with the love of God. The beauty of nature aroused his feelings strongly. While he was only a boy, he started composing poetry. He was also keen on acquiring knowledge and he grew up to be a scholar of Arabic and Persian. When he was twenty he married a noble and good lady. He showed great kindness to his wife and lived at home for many years. His heart, however, turned more and more towards religion and devotion, and he felt restless in living a normal domestic life.

When his father died, Shah Latif left his home and went to live on a mound at some distance from his village. A mound of sand is ca1led "Bhit" in Sindhi. Due to the fact that he lived on this mound for the rest of his life, Shah Latif came to be known as "the Saint of Bhit". To this day, he is famous all over the country as Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai or Shah Latif of the Mound.

As days passed, Latif's love of God grew more and more, until he found pleasure only in devotion and spent most of his time in prayer and deep thinking. His spiritual power grew stronger with prayer and devotion, so much so that people began to be attracted towards him. Any one, who came to him was strongly impressed by his gentle ways and his followers increased day by day. Closed to the mound on which Lal Latif came to live is a natural lake. His poetic nature loved the calm atmosphere. He would spend much of his time sitting on the bank of this lake. As he sat there, he prayed to God and sometimes composed verses in His praise.

Shah Latif was not only a saint and a poet, but also a musician. He found great comfort in music. His skill in this art enabled him to make many improvements and changes in the difficult music of his time. As in everything else, he loved simplicity in music and musical instruments. He did not agree with the idea that music should be difficult. So he made it simple. He also invented a simple musical instrument and called it ¡°Tambooro¡±. It was like an instrument used by the Arabs but the number of strings was different. To this day the 'Tambooro' is popular all over Sindh. Old and young play it and sing the songs of Latif to its simple but moving tunes.

Lal Latif Died in 1165 Hijra on the Mound where he had lived and was buried there. A famous king of Sindh. It, Ghulam Shah Kalhoro, was so devoted to him that he built a shrine over his grave. Latif¡¯s devotees collected his poetry and this collection came to be called the Risalo of Shah Abdul Latif. He was a poet of the people, so he wrote poetry in the language of the common man. This collection of his poems is so valued that it has been translated into many languages. One great quality of Latif¡¯s poetry, besides its simplicity, is its moving music. When you listen to it, even if you do not understand a word of it, you will be moved by its melody.

Latif's "urs" is held at his shrine every year on 14th Safar, the second month of the Muslim calendar. Many thousands of people gather, listen to the Saint's songs sung on the ¡°Tambooro¡± and offer their prayers. Many learned men read papers that tell about Latif¡¯s life and his poetry. Recently a library, a rest house and a museum have been built. The shrine itself has been rebuilt and connected with the main road. Its lovely white dome representing the purity and dignity of Latif, can be seen from many kilometres.

Latif's message is the message of love. He believed in the brotherhood and equality of men and in pleasing God by good deeds. This according to him is the goal of life.

¡¡
 
¡¡back to previous page   ¡¡
Home | About Us | Notes | Animation | Career Guidance | Tuition | Wisdom | Contact Us
© All Copyright Reserved to www.mynoteslibrary.com