Paulo Coelho the famous author of ,’Alchemist’ has written another interesting one.The title of this one is ‘Aleph’.I started reading it two days ago,this is another one I feel I must finish reading, before I pick up another book. It has everything I like reading i.e travels,religion,interesting people and day to day complexities of life.I read almost half of the book.I am planning to write a review after I finish reading it.
According to Sachal: Thy first duty is to give up faith,unfaith,Islam and all religions.
He was born in Sindh,Pakistan in 1739,his real name was Abdul Wahab,he adopted the name Sachal Sarmast for his poetry
which means truthful mystic.He wrote mystic poetry in Arabic,Sindhi,Seraiki,Punjabi,Urdu,Persian, and Baluchi. Sachal urged people, rather than blindly following tradition,to seek truth directly.And like Ibn Arabi and others ,he taught a vision of unity called Wahdat-al -Wujud.He died on the 14th day of Ramadan in 1829 at the age of 90.
Friend,this is the only way
to learn the secret way:
Ignore the paths of others,
even the saint’s steep trails.
Don’t journey at all.
Rip the veil from your face.
‘Tis not in religion I believe
‘Tis love I live in.
When love comes to you.
Neither did I roll rosary nor did I ponder and pray,
I went to no mosque or temple,nor bow in adoration to any,
Sachal is lucky everyday,love is all around him.
You by yourself,know what is in your form!
Why chant ‘Allah! Allah’? Find Allah within you.
You listen,you see, Allah’s word is witness,
There is no doubt O Sachal! that the Lord is one!
We are,what are we?
We know not ,what we are!
For a moment we are blessed
For a moment we are accursed
Some moment we pray and fast
Some moment we are free spirits
Now we declare,’Only we exist’
Now we declare,’we don’t exist’
For a bit, our heart is calm
In a bit, we weep rivers
Now we say,’We are self-realized’
Now we ask , ‘Who are we?’
‘Sachal’ we are only That eternally
What other contracts can we make here?
I was sitting by the roadside ,
When the path became clear to me;
In the palace the Beloved I saw;
a glimpse the Beauty gave;
Through the window was the vision,
a glimpse the Beauty saw;
Take care of the ignorant;
Our bond was made for a reason.
I truly recognized the Lord,
My companion He sure became;
‘He is the creator of all
and intrinsic to all,
All doubts in this perished;
With happiness shall I carry
Sisters, if your trust I have.
All the journeys,all the manifestations
The Dear one’s own;
Friend Sachal Know this correctly,
Slumber has created illusions.
Sachal regarded love as the path to spirituality:
‘Tis not in religion I believe
‘Tis love I live in.
When love comes to you,
‘Tis not with the infidel
that love resides,
Nor with the faithful.
Translation by Gul Agha and Jethmal Parsram Gulrajani
Posted by Ranu
I have translated Tagore’s poem on mother.I am aiming to translate some more of his poems into English.The following is about the faithful servant.
“My Faithful servant”
His unattractive face and lack of consciousness– makes my wife believe that,
Whatever is lost in the house, she says,Keshto is the thief.
At every step of the way standing or sitting,he hears but pretends not to–
He gets more abuse than his wages, still he doesn’t learn.
I need him so much,I scream , “Keshta”—
However much I hurry,I cannot hear him,I look for him everywhere.
When he is given three things he keeps one,and is unaware where the rest are—-
If he is given one thing he brings three in seconds and doesn’t know where they came from.
He takes a nap in the morning and afternoon—
In the middle of all the noise I call him ” stupid,naughty, idiot”
My anger gets worse when I see him standing by the door laughing;
Even then I find it hard to get rid of him ,he is with me for such a long time.
My spouse with a very angry face tells me,’I cannot bear this any more—
I am leaving all your possessions, you can stay with your Keshta;’
He doesn’t know how to take care of the things, my things have disappeared.
where are they gone—I am continuously spending money to replace them.
When he goes for shopping it is hard to trace him all day;( I think in my mind)
how hard, can it be to get a servant to replace Keshta!
with this thought in my mind I run and hold his hair and bring him—;’
I tell him,You scoundrel you leave today,I am getting rid of you;’
He leaves slowly, I think my responsibility is over; next day I wake up and see
he is standing with the ‘Hukka’ that silly man;
With a quiet face and devoid of sadness, a picture of a Simpleton
I try to let him go but I cannot,what can I do,he is my faithful servant.
That year I made some money from brokerage.
I decided to go to Brindabon for pilgrimage;
My wife wanted to go, I tried to make her understand—
A husbands good deed is considered a wife’s good deed also,otherwise it increases the expenditure.
I kept the expenses low, I collected my things and put them in a bag
My wife got everything ready,she cried and said,
‘in a strange land with Keshta you will suffer a lot.’
I said ,’Oh God Nibaron will go with us.’
We reached Burdwan by train, after getting off,
a very calm Krishnakanto brought my Hukka,where is Keshta?
Such audacity of his ,how much can I tolerate daily?
No matter how much I blame him I find him happy, my faithful servant.
I got off at Sridham; and found on the south,left,back and front all
the ruffians,within seconds caught my throat. They wanted to go with me,
Six or seven of us joined together like very good friends we
stayed in a home; It felt that with hope and comfort our days will be spent happily,then came the disease small pox,
where is Brojobala,Bonomala, Bonomali ,Hori I asked?
They all left when they heard small pox. I am dying of this disease.
I am alone in a room, the small pox has covered all of my body.
I call every day in my pathetic voice, Keshto come closer to me,
After all these days in a strange land,I am going to die.’
I look at his face my heart is filled with love,he is such a close friend—
Everyday he stood by me,my faithful servant Keshto,
He gave me water,asked me how I was,he put my hand on his forehead,
He stood quietly,without any sleep or food.
He told me repeatedly,master,do not worry,listen—
you will go back home,you will be able to see my,’Ma Mistress again.’
After I got better,he caught fever;
He took my terrible disease on his body.
He was unconscious for two days,his digestive system failed—
All the times I wanted to get rid of him,he wouldn’t go; and when I realized I wanted him to stay,he was gone.
I completed pilgrimage and came home after several days.
Today I no longer have my faithful servant —my loyal friend Keshta.
The architecture of Indonesia reflects the diversity of cultural,historical and geographic influences that has shaped Indonesia as a whole.Invaders,colonizers,missionaries and traders brought cultural changes that had profound effect on building styles and techniques.Traditionally the most significant influence is Indian.However Chinese,Arab—and since the 18th and 19th centuries —European influence have played significant roles in shaping Indonesian architecture
Istiqlal Mosque or Masjid is in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is the largest Mosque in Southeast Asia in terms of capacity to accommodate people and building structure. This national Mosque of Indonesia was built to commemorate Indonesian independence ,as nations gratitude for God’s blessings.The name Istiqlal is an Arabic word for independence. After the independence of Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1949, the idea became popular to build a Mosque for a country with the largest Muslim population in the world.
There are seven gates to enter the mosque,each named after Al-Asmaul-Husna the names of God in Islam. The number 7 represents 7 Heavens in Islamic Cosmology. The ablution fountains are located on the ground floor.The main prayer hall and the main courtyard are on the elevated first floor. The main rectangular prayer hall is covered by 45 metre diameter central spherical dome. The number “45” symbolizes the year of proclamation of independence 1945.the main dome is adorned with stainless steel ornamental pinnacle that took form of a crescent and star,the symbol of Islam. The smaller secondary dome is also adorned with stainless steel pinnacle with Arabic calligraphy Allah.
The dome is supported by twelve round columns and the prayer hall is surrounded by rectangular piers carrying four levels of balcony. Twelve columns represent the birthday of Prophet Muhammad on twelfth Rabi-al- Awwal. The main building of Istiqlal consists of five floors,’5′ represents the Five Pillars of Islam .It also represents Pancasila ,the five principles of Philosophical foundation of the Indonesian nationhood.
On the main wall on qibla there is a mihrab and minbar in the center. On the main wall there is also a large metal work of Arabic calligraphy of Surah Taha 14th verse in the center.
Alphie,Susan and Gepetto and I,Ranu are on our way to Sialkot. We are interested because this is where,Allama Mohammad Iqbal was born.Iqbal was a famous poet,philosopher and thinker. We have done some research about the city.
Five thousand years ago,it was ruled by a dynasty of a founder of Sialkot. His name was Raja Sul. The city was the easternmost outpost of Alexander’s empire.From 160-135 B.C Sialkot was the capital of the Indo-Greek empire. In the Scythian era the story is about Raja Salivahan. He belonged to the Sia Caste,a jut clan.Thus the people named it Sialkot.
Next came the Mughal era.Shahabuddin Ghori conquered Sialkot and it came under the Mughal rule.
After the Mughals,it came under Pastuns families from Kandahar and Kabul.Next the Sikhs gained control and ruled for forty years. The British were the last rulers,before it became an independent city of Pakistan.
The city is about 125 km North-West of Lahore.It is only a few kilometres from Indian controlled Jammu.
Sialkot district has sub-tropical climate.It is cold in the winter and hot and humid during summer. The land is fertile. The average rainfall is 1000 mm.The highest rainfall is from July to September.
It is the birth place of Allama Mohammad Iqbal the poet, philosopher and thinker.The house where he and his family lived,is now a museum.It is open to visitors.There is also a tomb of Imam Sahib. He was a Sufi.He is a famous saint of Sialkot.
The northern part of this district is believed to be very fertile.The chief crops grown are:wheat ,barley,rice,millet,corn and sugar cane.
It has flour and cotton mills.It produces surgical instruments,Leather goods,ready made garments,musical instruments and sporting goods. It exports most of its products. We enjoyed our stay in Sialkot .It is different from other cities we visited. Gepetto was interested to see the sport goods.He wanted to take some home.His parents didn’t think it was a good idea. They had collected a lot of souvenirs on their trip.
Our trip to Sialkot was very pleasant.We were able to see a lot. The people were friendly and helpful. Alphie,Susan And Gepetto will take back fond memories of this trip.
Now the moment has come when we all have to bid goodbye to Sialkot and its inhabitants. Thanks for showing your city.
To all our friends and visitors a very fond goodbye. Allah Hafiz and May God bless you all.
Aphie and Susan were interested in Mughal architecture.I knew they have already seen the ones in India.My idea was to take them to Lahore,and decide for themselves if there were any similarities and difference between Lahore and Delhi. I wanted them to visualize what they have seen in Delhi and compare it with Lahore.This might give us a chance to exchange ideas.We can also know our preferences.We know we all think differently,it would help to have a kind of debate on the subject.This way we can awaken the giant lying in all of us. Gepetto however was contented to see,enjoy and also from time to time give his input whenever it was feasible. We were satisfied with his reply.
Lahore is the capital of Punjab.It is the second largest city in Pakistan.It has a rich history going back over a millennium.Lahore was ruled by Shahi kingdoms in the eleventh century,Ghaznavids in the twelfth century,Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century.In the nineteenth and early twentieth century it was the capital of the Punjab region under the British Raj.
Mughal structures such as the Badshahi Mosque,The Lahore Fort, Shalimar Gardens and Mausolea of Jehangir and Nur Jehan are tourist attractions.It is also home to many British Colonial structures built in the Indo-Saracenic style,such as The Lahore High Court,The General Post Office,Lahore Museum,and many older universities including the University of Punjab.The Lahore zoo is,thought to be fourth oldest in the world,has its roots here.
It is known as the cultural heart of Pakistan.It hosts most of the arts,cuisine,festivals,film-making,music,gardening.It is known for its affiliation with poets and artists,It has the largest number of educational institutions in Pakistan and some of the finest gardens on the continent.It is an important religious centre.There are a lot of temples,mosques and shrines like Data Durbar Complex.
A 2010 government estimate puts the population of Lahore to be ten million.It is ranked thirtieth in the most populated urban areas in the world and the eighth largest city within the organization of Islamic co-operation.It has almost doubled area-wise in the last twelve to fourteen years.The Guardian has rated it as the second best tourist destination in Pakistan.In the ancient days it was known as Lavapuri (or city of Lava in Sanskrit.It was founded by Lava or Loh. He was the son of Rama the Hindu deity.Even now ,Lahore fort has a vacant temple dedicated to Lava also pronouncedLoh,Loh-Awar or “The fort Of Loh”).
The twentieth century Egyptian Astronomer and Geographer mentions a city called Labokla .This probably is the ancient city of Lahore.The city of Lahore went through a lot of changes.It was ruled by a lot of different rulers. It is now a Pakistani city. It is also the capital of Punjab.
The climate of Lahore is hot and semi-arid.It has extremely hot summers and dry warm winters.
The Pakistan-Railways has its headquarter in Lahore.The central railway was built during the British Colonial era.It is located in the heart of the city. The government built a new city airport in 2003. It is named Allama Iqbal International Airport .It is named after the great,Poet-Philosopher of Pakistan. It also has a general aviation airport.
Punjabi is the native language of the Province. It has a number of hospitals,the current literary rate is 74%,
It is a beautiful city and has a variety of things to do and see. If possible one must try to visit this great city.
Susan,Alphie,Gepetto and I,Ranu had a great time in Lahore.If you are there,don’t forget to taste aaloo chholey.It is delicious.
We hope you all have enjoyed our presentation.Thank you for visiting. Thank you to all our friends,who take the time to leave their comments,what can I say they are a superb group of people!
Allah Hafiz and God bless you all,all the best till we meet again!
Al-Masjid al- Haram or the Grand Mosque surrounds Islam’s holiest place the Kaaba.It is located in the city of Mecca and is the largest mosque in the world.Muslims turn toward Kaaba while performing any prayer.One of the Five pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage ,at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so including circumambulation of Kaaba.
It was established at the time of Prophet Abraham. the capacity of the mosque is 900,000 and is increased to 4000,000 during Hajj.It has 9 minarets.The height of each is 89 m(292 Feet).
I am hoping to be able to write about the other mosques one at a time.
Allah Hafiz to all of you!