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Noorjahan-Melody Queen Of Pakistan January 31, 2008

Posted by Farzana Naina in Music.
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نورجہاں عمر کے آخری اوائل میں

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ملکہ ترنم مادام نورجہاں انیس سو انتالیس کی پنجابی فلم ہیر سیال میں

ملکہ ترنم مادام نور جہاں فلم جگنو کا ایک گیت ‘امنگیں دل کی مچلیں’جبکہ
اسی فلم کا دوسرا گیت دلیپ کمار کے ساتھ مقبول ہوا تھا ‘یہاں بدلہ وفا
کا بیوفائی کے سوا کیا ہے

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نورجہاں فلم کوئل میں

نورجہاں فلم انتظار میں

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نورجہاں اپنے شوہر شوکت رضوی کے ہمراہ

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نورجہاں اپنی عمر کی پچاسویں دہائی میں

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نورجہاں اور طفیل نیازی فلمی تقریب میں

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نورجہاں نگار ایوارڈ کی فلمی تقریب میں

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نورجہاں اور پران فلم خاندان میں انیس سو بیالیس

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نورجہاں انیس سو چھپن کی فلم لخت جگر میں

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نورجہاں کی فلم گل بکاؤلی  کا پوسٹر

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نورجہاں کی فلم ہیر سیال کا پوسٹر

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نورجہاں، فلم موسیقار کی فلمی تقریب میں

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نورجہاں کا ایک فلمی سین

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ثریا اور نورجہاں فلم .مرزا

صاحباں. میں انیس سو پینتیس کی تصویر

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نورجہاں کی فلم دوپٹہ کا پوسٹر

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نورجہاں .فلم انمول گھڑی میں ۔ انیس سو انچاس

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ساڑھے دس بجے، مقام کوٹ مراد خان، قصور ۔اکیس ۔سنہ انیس سو چھبیس

فتح بی بی کے ہاں ایک بیٹی جنم لیتی ہے اور اس کا نام دائی عائشہ کی فرمائش پر اللہ وسائی رکھا جاتا ہے۔ عائشہ فتح بی بی کو نومولود بچی کے بھاگوان ہونے کا عندیہ سناتی ہے۔

اللہ وسائی کی پھو پھی الٰہی جان اسے آکر گھٹی میں شہد دیتی ہے۔ الٰہی جان قصور کی چند سریلی خواتین میں سے ایک ہے۔ وہ باہر اپنے بھائی اور اللہ وسائی کے والد مدد علی سے مذاق میں کہتی ہے: ‘بچی کے رونے کا انداز بتا رہا ہے کہ یہ بڑی سریلی ہو گی ، اگلے ہی روز قصور کے سارنگی نواز استاد غلام محمد بچی کو دیکھنے کے لیے آتے ہیں۔ بچی کے سر پر ہاتھ پھیر کر اسے دُعا دیتے ہیں اور کہتے ہیں کہ اگر اللہ نے چاہا تو بچی اپنے ماں باپ کا نام روشن کرے گی، وہ بچی بھاگوان بھی ہوتی ہے اور سریلی بھی۔ اتنی سریلی کہ پورے برِ صغیر میں اس کی کوئی مثال نہیں۔ اس نے نہ صرف اپنے ماں باپ کا نام روشن کیا بلکہ وہ پاکستانی موسیقی کی آن شان اور مان ہے۔ جیسے اس نے گایا اس کی مثال ملنا بہت ہی مشکل ہے۔ ہم اسے ملکہ ترنم نورجہاں کے نام سے جانتے ہیں جو تئیس دسمبر سن دو ہزار کو ہم سے جدا ہو گئیں۔

نورجہاں کو پانچ سال کی عمر میں استاد غلام محمد کے سپرد کر دیا گیا تاکہ وہ موسیقی کی تعلیم حاصل کر سکیں۔ استاد غلام محمد نے جب ‘سا رے گا ما پا دھا نی سا‘ کے الاپ کے ساتھ نورجہاں کو موسیقی کا سبق دینا شروع کیا تو وہ حیران رہ گئے کہ اس بچی کی آواز میں اس قدر لوچ ہے جو اس سے پہلے کسی اور آواز میں نہ سنا گیا تھا۔ دو سال کی ہی سخت محنت اور لگن کے بعد نورجہاں اس قابل ہو گئی کہ اپنی بہن عیدن اور کزن حیدر باندی کے ساتھ قصور کے سٹیج پر مختصر طور پر پرفارمنس دے سکے۔

نورجہاں نے سٹیج پر پرفارم کرنے کے لیے اس وقت کے چند مشہور گانے یاد کر رکھے تھے۔ ان میں لوک گیت ‘لنگھ آ جا پتن چناں دا‘، اختر بائی فیض آبادی کی گائی ہو غزل ‘دیوانہ بنانا ہے تو دیوانہ بنا دے‘، پنجابی نعت ‘میرے مولا مدینے بلا لے مجھے‘ وغیرہ جیسے آئٹم شامل تھے۔ قصور سے نکل کر نورجہاں اپنی بہن عیدن اور استاد غلام محمد کے ساتھ لاہور آ گئیں۔ اُسی دور میں ان کی ملاقات موسیقار جی اے چشتی سے ہو گئی جو ان دنوں گلوکاری کے ساتھ ساتھ شاعری میں بھی طبع آزمائی کرتے تھے۔ انہوں نے ایک نعت ‘ہنستے ہیں ستارے یا شاہِ مدینہ‘ کی دھن بنائی۔ یہ نعت نورجہان نے پہلی بار مہابیر تھیٹر میں پیش کی اور اسے فوری پذیرائی حاصل ہوئی۔ بعد میں نورجہاں نے لاہور کے کئی دیگر سینماؤں میں بھی فلم کے پہلے نصف کے اختتام پر ہونے والے لائیو شو میں پرفارم کیا اور بے پناہ داد وصول کی۔ لاہور میں چند ماہ قیام کے بعد ہی نورجہاں اپنی بہن عیدن، کزن حیدر باندی اورگروپ کے دیگر افراد کے ساتھ فلمی دنیا میں قسمت آزمانے کے لیے کلکتہ چلی گئیں۔ ان دنوں کلکتہ میں مختار بیگم کا شہرہ تھا اور شہر کے مشہور ہال میں ان کا تھیٹر چل رہا تھا۔ نور جہاں کے بھائی محمد شفیع نے مختار بیگم سے رابطہ کیا اور ان سے مدد کی درخواست کی۔ مختار بیگم نے جب نورجہاں کو سنا تو وہ ان کی سریلی آواز اور لے سے بہت متاثر ہوئیں اور وعدہ کیا کہ وہ اپنی کمپنی کے سیٹھ سے قصور سے آئے اس گروپ کی سفارش کریں گی۔ کمپنی میں ملازمت کے بعد اس گروپ کو ‘پنجاب میل‘ کا خطاب دیا گیا اور اللہ وسائی کا فلمی نام ‘بے بی نورجہاں‘ قرار پایا۔ نورجہاں سب سے پہلے پنجابی فلم ‘شیلا عرف پنڈ دی کڑی‘ میں ایک چائلڈ سٹار کے طور پر سامنے آئیں۔ اس فلم میں ان پر ایک گانا ‘لنگھ آجا پتن چناں دا‘ فلم بند کیا گیا۔ یہ پنجابی زبان میں بننے والی پہلی فلم تھی اور لاہور سرکٹ میں انتہائی کامیاب ثابت ہوئی۔ اُسی سال یعنی سن انیس سو پینتیس کو ہی انہیں نے فلم ‘مصر کا ستارہ‘ میں ایک چائلڈ سٹار کے طور پر کاسٹ کیا گیا۔ بعد میں انہوں نے بطور چائلڈ سٹار ‘مسٹر اینڈ مسز ممبئی‘، ‘ناری راج‘، ‘ہیر سیال‘، ‘فخر اسلام‘، ‘مسٹر 420‘، ‘تارن ہار‘، ‘ناممکن‘، ‘امپیریئل میل‘ اور ‘سسی پنوں‘ جیسی فلموں میں کام کیا۔ سن انیس سو اڑتیس میں نورجہاں کلکتہ سے واپس لاہور پہنچ گئیں۔ لاہور واپسی کے فوراً بعد انہیں فلمساز دلسکھ ایم پنچولی کی فلم ‘گُل بکاؤلی‘ میں گانے اور کام کرنے کا موقع مل گیا۔ فلم ‘گُل بکاؤلی‘ کے لیے گائے گئے ان کے گانے ‘شالا جوانیاں مانیں‘ نے پنجاب بھر میں دھوم مچا دی۔ سن انیس سو انتالیس میں ‘گُل بکاؤلی‘ کی نمائش کے ساتھ ہی پنجاب کا بچہ بچہ ان کے نام سے واقف ہو چکا تھا اور ماسٹر غلام حیدر کی موسیقی میں ان کاگایا ہوا گانا ‘شالاجوانیاں مانیں‘ بچے بچے کی زبان پر تھا۔ ‘گُل بکاؤلی‘ کی کامیابی نے نورجہاں کے لیے کامیابیوں کے راستے کھول دیئے اور انہیں فوری طور پر سیٹھ دلسکھ پنچولی کی فلم ‘خزانچی‘ اور ‘یملا جٹ‘ میں کام مل گیا۔ ماسٹر غلام حیدر کی موسیقی اور نورجہاں کی خوبصورت آواز کی بدولت ‘یملا جٹ‘ بھی ایک کامیاب فلم ثابت ہوئی۔ اِسی طرح ان کی اگلی فلم ‘چودھری‘ بھی ہٹ ہوئی۔ نورجہاں کی اِن پہ در پہ کامیابیوں نے پنچولی آرٹ پکچرز کو مالی طور پر مضبوط بنیادوں پر کھڑا ہونے میں بہت مدد دی۔دوسری عالمی جنگ کی وجہ سے ہونے والے مختصر وقفے کے بعد نورجہاں فلمی دنیا میں واپس آئیں تو وہ بے بی نورجہاں نہیں تھیں بلکہ ہدایت کار شوکت حسین رضوی کی فلم ‘خاندان‘ کی ہیروئن تھیں۔ نورجہاں کی اداکاری اور گانوں کی وجہ سے فلم ‘خاندان‘ نے کامیابی کے نئے معیار قائم کئے اور پنجاب کو کلکتہ اور ممبئی کے پہلو بہ پہلو لا کھڑا کیا۔ خاندان کی کامیابی کے ساتھ ہی شوکت حسین رضوی اور نورجہاں کے مابین محبت کے ایک ایسے تعلق کا آغاز ہوا جو نورجہاں کے بھائیوں کی مخالفت اور فریقین میں مقدمہ بازی کے باوجود ان دونوں کی شادی پر منتج ہوا۔ فلم ‘خاندان‘ کی کامیابی کے کچھ عرصہ بعد ہی نورجہاں سن رائز پکچرز کے مالک وی ایم ویاس کی دعوت پر ممبئی چلی گئیں۔ نورجہاں نے سن رائز پکچرز کے ساتھ دو فلموں میں کام کرنے کا معاہدہ ممبئی روانگی سے پہلے لاہور میں ہی کر لیا تھا۔ وی ایم ویاس اپنی دونوں فلموں کی ڈائریکشن کے لیے پہلے ہی شوکت حسین رضوی کو سائن کر چکے تھے۔وی ایم ویاس کے سرمایے کے باوجود سن رائز پکچرز کی دونوں فلمیں ‘دہائی‘ اور ‘نوکر‘ ناکام رہیں۔ نورجہان کے ممبئی میں اپنے قیام کے دوران ‘نادان‘، ‘دوست‘، ‘لال حویلی‘، ‘بڑی ماں‘ جیسی فلموں میں بھی کام کیا لیکن اِن میں سے کوئی بھی معرکۃ الآرا فلم کا مقام حاصل نہ کر سکی۔ممبئی میں نورجہاں کی کامیابیوں کا دور سن انیس سو پینتالس میں فلم ‘گاؤں کی گوری‘ سے شروع ہوتا ہے جس میں ان کی اداکاری کے ساتھ ساتھ گانے بھی سپرہٹ ہوئے۔’ کس طرح بھولے گا دل ان کا خیال آیا ہوا جا نہیں سکتا کبھی شیشے میں بال آیا ہوا‘ اور ‘بیٹھی ہوں تیری یاد کا لے کر کے سہارا آجاؤ کہ چمکے میری قسمت کا ستارہ‘ جیسے گانے ابھی تک موسیقی کے شائقین کو یاد ہیں۔ کچھ یہی حال نورجہاں کی فلم ‘زینت‘ کا رہا جس کی قوالی ‘آہیں نہ بھریں شکوے نہ کئے کچھ بھی نہ زبان سے کام کیا اس پر بھی محبت چھپ نہ سکی جب تیری کسی نے نام لیا‘ ہندوستان کے گلی کوچوں میں زبان زد عام ہوئی۔ فلم ‘زینت‘ کی کامیابی کے بعد ہدایت کار محبوب نے نورجہاں کو اپنی فلم ‘انمول گھڑی‘ میں کاسٹ کیا جو سن انیس سو چھیالیس میں ریلیز ہوئی۔ فلم ‘انمول گھڑی‘ کی کامیابی نے نورجہاں کو شہرت کی ان لازوال بلندیوں پر پہنچا دیا جس کی فلمی دنیا میں ہمیشہ خواہش کی جاتی ہے۔ موسیقار نوشاد کی دھنوں میں نورجہاں کے گائے ہوئے گانے ‘جوان ہے محبت حسیں ہے زمانہ لٹایا ہے دل نے خوشی کا خزانہ‘، ‘میرے بچپن کے ساتھی مجھے بھول نہ جانا/ دیکھو دیکھو ہنسے نہ زمانہ‘ اور سب سے بڑھ کر ‘آواز دے کہاں ہے دنیا میری جواں ہے‘ سننے والوں کے دلوں کو آج بھی اسی طرح گرماتے ہیں جس طرح تقریباً ساٹھ دہائیاں پہلے گرماتے ہیں۔

سن انیس سو چھیالیس میں ہی سید شوکت حسین رضوی اپنے ذاتی ادارے شوکت آرٹ پروڈکشن کے زیر اہتمام فلم ‘جگنو‘ بنانے کا اعلان کیا اور نورجہاں کے مقابل دلیپ کمار کو مرکزی رول میں کاسٹ کیا۔ فیروز نظامی کی موسیقی میں ریکارڈ کیے جانے والے نورجہاں کے گانوں نے فلم کے ریلیز ہونے سے پہلے ہی ہندوستان بھر میں دھوم مچا دی۔ ‘آج کی رات سازِ دل پرسوز نہ چھیڑ‘، ‘تم بھی بھلا دو میں بھی بھلا دوں پیار پرانے گزرے زمانے‘، ‘ہمیں تو شامِ غم میں کاٹنی ہے زندگی اپنی‘ اور محمد رفیع کے ساتھ گایا ہوا نورجہاں کا گانا ‘یہاں بدلہ وفا کا بے وفائی کے سوا کیا ہے/ محبت کر کے دیکھا محبت میں بھی دھوکہ ہے‘ اپنی مثال آپ ہیں۔ نورجہاں اپنے شوہر شوکت حسین رضوی اور بیٹے اکبر حسین رضوی کے ہمراہ قیام پاکستان کے بعد بحری جہاز کے ذریعے کراچی آ گئیں۔ بعد میں وہ لاہور شفٹ ہو گئیں اور دونوں میاں بیوی نے پاکستان نوزائیدہ مملکت میں سٹوڈیو قائم کر کے فلمسازی کی بنیاد رکھنے کا بیڑہ اٹھایا۔ انہیں سن انیس سو انچاس میں لاہور میں شوری سٹوڈیو الاٹ کر دیا گیا جسے انہوں نے اپنی تمام جمع پونچی خرچ کر کے شاہ نور کے نام سے بحال کیا اور اس قابل بنایا کہ ممبئی اور کلکتہ سے پاکستان آنے والے فلمساز اپنی فلموں کا آغاز کر سکیں۔

پاکستان آنے کے بعد اپنی ہدایت میں پنجابی فلم ‘چن وے‘ بنانے کا بھی اعلان کر دیا۔ فلم کے موسیقار کے طور فیروز نظامی کو چنا گیا۔ جب سن انیس سو اکیاون میں فلم ریلیز ہوئی تو نورجہاں کی آواز میں ریکارڈ کیے گئے فلم ‘چن وے‘ کے گانے ‘تیرے مکھڑے دا کالا کالا تِل وے‘، ‘چن دیا ٹوٹیا وے دلاں دیا کھوٹیا‘ اور ‘چنگا بنایا ای سانو کھڈونا آپے بناؤنا تک آپے مٹاؤنا‘ بے حد مقبول ہوئے اور فلم کی کامیابی کی وجہ بنے۔

اگلے ہی سال نورجہاں کی فلم ‘دوپٹہ‘ نمائش کے لیے پیش کی گئی۔ فلم کے موسیقار فیروز نظامی ہی تھے لیکن ہدایت سبطین فضلی صاحب نے دی تھیں۔ فلم ‘دوپٹہ‘ کے گانے ‘چاندنی راتیں سب جگ سوئے ہم جاگیں‘، ‘میں بن پتنگ اڑ جاؤں‘، ‘بات ہی بات میں جی چاندنی رات میں جی جیا میرا کھو گیا‘ وغیرہ آج تک موسیقی کے شائقین کو اپنے سحر میں لیے ہوئے ہیں۔

نورجہاں کی اگلی کامیاب فلم ‘پاٹے خان‘ تھی جو سن انیس سو پچپن میں ریلیز ہوئی۔ اس فلم کے ساتھ نورجہاں نے پلے بیک سنگر کے طور پر اپنے کیریئر کا بھی آغاز کیا۔ اس سے پہلے وہ صرف اپنی فلموں میں ہی آواز کا جادو جگاتی تھیں۔ اس فلم میں ان کے گائے ہوئے دو گانے مسرت نذیر پر پکچرائز کیے گئے۔ اس فلم میں نورجہاں نے اسلم پرویز کے مقابل مرکزی کردار ادا کیا۔ فلم کی موسیقی اختر حیسن اکھیاں نے ترتیب دی تھی۔ فلم ‘پاٹے خان‘ کا گانا ‘کلی کلی جان دکھ لکھ تے کروڑ وے‘ آج بھی تازہ ہوا کا جھونکا محسوس ہوتا ہے۔

نورجہاں کی فلم ‘انتظار‘ اس وجہ سے نورجہاں کے فنی کیریئر میں اہم مقام رکھتی ہے کیونکہ اس میں انہوں نے خواجہ خورشید انور کے ترتیب دیے ہوئے گانے گائے جو انتہائی مقبول ہوئے۔ ‘چاند ہنسے دنیا بسے روئے میرا پیار/ درد بھرے دل کے میرے ٹوٹ گئے تار‘، ‘جس دن سے پیا دل لے گئے دکھ دے گئے/ اس دن سے گھڑی پل ہائے چین نہیں آئے‘، ‘آ گئے گھر آ گئے بلم پردیسی سجن پردیسی‘، اور ‘جانے والے ٹھہرو ذرا رُک جاؤ‘، ‘چھن چھن ناچوں گی گن گن گاؤں گی‘ کس کس گانے کا ذکر کیا جائے۔ سب ہی پاکستانی فلمی موسیقی کے نگینے ہیں جن کے بغیر اس کا حسن نامکمل رہے گا۔

موسیقی کے لحاظ سے نورجہاں کی اگلی بڑی فلم ‘انارکلی‘ تھی جس میں انہوں نے رشید عطرے کی موسیقی میں چند لازوال گانے گائے۔ ‘صدا ہوں اپنے پیار کی جہاں سے بے نیاز ہوں‘، ‘ہم تیرے گلی میں آ نکلے‘، ‘بانوری چکوری کرے دنیا سے چوری چوری چندا سے پیار‘ آج بھی سننے والوں کے کانوں میں رس گھولتے ہیں۔ بطور اداکارہ نورجہاں کی آخری فلم ‘مرزا غالب‘ تھی جو بہت اچھے میوزک کے باوجود فلاپ ثابت ہوئی۔ فلم ‘مرزا غالب‘ کے ساتھ نورجہاں کے فنی سفر کا وہ دور اختتام کو پہنچا جو سن انیس سو پینتیس میں فلم ‘شیلا عرف پنڈ دی کڑی‘ میں بے بی نورجہاں نے بطور چائلڈ سٹار کلکتہ سے شروع کیا تھا۔سن انیس سو اکسٹھ میں نورجہاں نے اعلان کیا کہ وہ اب صرف بطور پلے بیک سنگر فلمی دنیا میں موجود رہیں گی۔ پہلے سال نورجہاں نے فلم ‘سلمیٰ‘ اور ‘شام ڈھلے‘ کےگانے ریکارڈ کرائے۔ مگر اگلے ہی سال ان کے گانوں سے مزین چار فلمیں ‘چراغ جلتا رہا‘، ‘قیدی‘، ‘موسیقار‘ اور ‘گھونگھٹ‘ زبردست کامیاب ہوئیں۔ سن انیس سو تریسٹھ میں نورجہاں کے گانوں کی وجہ سے فلم ‘دامن‘، ‘شکوہ‘ اور ‘ایک تیرا سہارا‘ بھی بہت پسند کی گئیں۔

پلے بیک میں ان ابتدائی کامیابیوں کے ساتھ ہی نورجہاں فلمسازوں کی ضرورت بلکہ مجبوری کی شکل اختیار کرتی گئیں باوجود اس کے کہ وہ دیگر پلے بیک سنگرز کے مقابلے میں کئی گنا زیادہ معاوضہ لیتی تھیں۔ اس وقت کی ہر ہیروئن کی خواہش ہوتی کہ نورجہاں کے گانے ہی ان پر فلمائے جائیں۔ اس وقت زبیدہ خانم، منورسلطانہ، نسیم بیگم اور کوثر پروین بھی مصروف پلے بیک سنگرز تھیں لیکن ان میں سے کوئی بھی نورجہاں کا مقابلہ نہ کر سکی اور ایک ایک کر کے پس منظر سے غائب ہوتی گئیں۔نورجہاں اگلے پندرہ سال پلے بیک سنگر کی حیثیت سے فلم انڈسٹری پر چھائی رہیں۔ اردو ہو یا پنجابی نورجہاں کی آواز کے بغیر کوئی فلم مکمل نہیں سمجھی جاتی تھی۔ اس دور میں انہوں نے خواجہ خورشید انور، ماسٹر عبداللہ، رشید عطرے، ماسٹر عنایت حسین، حسن لطیف للک، وزیر افضل، طافو، وجاہت عطرے اور دیگر موسیقاروں کی ترتیب دی ہوئی دھنوں میں فلمی گیت گائے۔ اس دور کی بڑی فلموں میں آگ کا دریا، لاکھوں میں ایک، مرزا جٹ، سالگرہ، عندلیب، ہیر رانجھا، امراؤ جان ادا اور ناگ منی خاص اہمیت رکھتی ہیں۔

سن انیس سو پچھہتر کے بعد نورجہاں نے پلے بیک دینے سے متعلق اپنی طرف سے لگائی گئی کئی شرائط بھی ختم کر دیں اور ہیروئن کے ساتھ ساتھ ویمپ اور رقاصہ کے لیے بھی گانے دینے شروع کر دیئے جس سے ان کے امیج کو بہت نقصان پہنچا۔ تاہم انہیں اپنی زندگی کے آخری ایام تک پاکستان کی فلم انڈسٹری کی اہم ترین شخصیت کی حیثیت حاصل رہی۔

ملکہِ ترنم نورجہاں پاکستان کے ان فنکاروں میں ہے جن کے بارے میں ان کی زندگی میں بہت کم لکھا گیا اور اگراس عظیم فنکارہ پر کسی نے قلم اٹھایا بھی تو اس کا موضوع ان کی شخصیت بنی نہ کہ ان کا فن۔
میڈم نورجہاں پر لکھی جانے والے پہلی کتاب ‘نورجہاں سرور جان‘ تھی جس کا موضوع تقسیم سے پہلے ممبئی کی فلم نگری میں ان کے شب و روز تھے۔بعد میں شوکت حسین رضوی کے طویل انٹرویو پر مبنی منیر احمد منیر کی کتاب ‘نورجہاں کی کہانی میری زبانی‘ آئی جس کا بظاہر مقصد نورجہاں پر کیچڑ اچھالنے کے سوا کچھ نہیں تھا۔

اس سے بڑھ کر یہ کہ اگر عام گفتگو میں بھی نورجہاں پر بات کی جاتی ہے تو ان کی فنکارانہ عظمت کو ثابت کرنے کے لیے دلیل آدھی صدی پہلے تقسیم سے قبل بننے والی ان کی فلموں ‘خاندان‘، ‘انمول گھڑی‘، ‘زینت‘ یا ‘جگنو‘ سے لائی جاتی ہے۔ بتانا یہ مقصود ہوتا ہے کہ نورجہاں بڑی فنکارہ اس لیے ہے کہ اس نےہدایت کار محبوب کی فلم ‘انمول گھڑی‘ میں موسیقار نوشاد کی کمپوز کیے ہوئے گیت گائے یا شوکت حسین رضوی کی فلم ‘جگنو‘ میں دلیپ کمار کے مقابل ہیروئن آئیں۔ دوسرے لفظوں میں موسیقار نوشاد یا دلیپ کمار کی مسلمہ عظمت کو دلیل بنا کر نورجہاں کی عظمت کا سکہ بٹھانے کی کوشش کی جاتی ہے۔ اس دور کی بھی بات کرتے ہوئے کوئی ماسٹر غلام حیدر یا فیروز نظامی کا نام نہیں لیتا کیونکہ گھر کی مرغی تو دال برابر ہی ہوتی ہے۔

اور اگر بات تقسیم سے بعد کی بھی ہو تو گفتگو نورجہان کی فلموں ‘دوپٹہ‘، ‘گلنار‘، ‘انتظار‘، ‘انار کلی‘ اور ‘کوئل‘ سے آگے نہیں بڑھتی۔ اس ساری صورتِ حال میں یہ احساس ہونے لگتا ہے کہ نورجہان کی فنکارانہ زندگی تو ساٹھ یا ستر کی دہائی میں اختتام پذیر ہو جاتی ہے باقی جو کچھ ہے وہ تو سب عامیانہ ہے۔
Film: AnarKali
Released on: June 6, 1958
Actors: Noor Jehan (as Anarkali), Sudhir (as Prince Saleem), Ragni (as Dil Aram), Shamim Ara, Zarif, Fazal Haq and Hamalia Wala (as Akbar The Great)
Producer: Mukhtar Ahmad
Director: Anwar Kemal Pasha
Story: Imtiaz Ali Taj
Music: Rasheed Attre, Inayat Hussain
Lyrics: Tanvir Naqvi
Singers: Madam Noorjahan

لیکن بات ایسی نہیں ہے۔ نورجہاں کی فنی شخصیت کوئی ایسی نہیں ہے جس کے ساتھ ایک زبان میں کیے گئے ان کے کام کو بنیاد بنا کر انصاف کیا جا سکے۔ ان کی فنی شخصیت ہمہ جہت خوبیوں سے مالا مال ہے اور اس کی جس پہلو سے بھی جائزہ لیا جائے نورجہاں کی فنکارانہ عظمت اور ان کے ہم عصروں میں ان! کا قد اور بڑھ جاتا ہے۔

نورجہاں کا کمال یہ ہے کہ انہوں نے خود کو پاکستانی فلم انڈسٹری کے بدلتے ہوئے مزاج کے مطابق ڈھالا اور شاید اِسی لیے وہ اپنے آخری ایام تک فلم انڈسری میں آؤٹ ڈیٹڈ یا غیر متعلق نظر نہیں آئیں بلکہ اس کی ہر پہلو سے ایک ضرورت بنی رہیں۔

آپ ذرا نور جہاں کے گائے ہوئے گانوں ان کی اس فہرست پر نظر ڈالیں: وے سونے دیا کنگنا (چن وریام)، وے ایک تیرا پیار (سالا صاحب)، سونے دی تویتڑی (شعلے)، دوروں دوروں اکھیاں مارے منڈا پٹواری دا (دبئی چلو)، مینو رکھ لےکلینڈر نال (اِک پتر دا ویر)، سونے دی نتھلی (مسٹر افلا طون) اور توں جے میرے ہمیشہ کول (شیرخان)۔

نورجہاں کے کچھ چاہنے والوں کو اوپر درج کیے گئے پنجابی گیت عامیانہ لگیں لیکن یہ بھی ایک حقیقت ہے کہ موسیقی کے دیوانوں کی ایک بڑی تعداد نورجہاں کو انہیں گانوں کی وجہ سے چاہتی ہے۔

اب ذرا اس فہرست کو ملاحظہ فرمائیں: حسینی لعل قلندر (آسُو بِلا)، بری بری امام بری (سجن بے پرواہ)، ہو لعل میری پت رکھیو (دلاں دے سودے)، شہباز کرے پرواز (ماں تے ماما)، سہون دے سرکار (خانزادہ)، آئی آں دوارے (دنیا پیار دی) اور رکھ لاج میرے لجپال (تہاڈی عزت دا سوال اے)۔

یہ قلندری دھمالیں بھی پنجاب، سندھ اور صوبہ سرحد میں آبادی کا ایک بڑا طبقہ بڑے ذوق و شوق سے سنتا ہے۔ وہ صرف اسی نورجہاں کو جانتی ہے جو اس دھمالوں کے ذریعے ان تک پہنچتی ہے۔

میڈم نورجہاں کے فن موسیقی کا ایک اور پہلو ان نے گائے ہوئے گیت اور غزلیں ہیں۔ ان میں مرزا غالب کی غزل ‘میں ہوں مشتاقِ جفا مجھ سے جف اور سہی‘ ہو یا داغ دہلوی کی ‘لطف وہ عشق میں پائے ہیں کہ جی جانتا ہے‘ یا پھر احمد راہی کی ‘دل کے افسانے نگاہوں کی زباں تک پہنچے‘نورجہاں نے جس غزل کو بھی چھیڑیا اس کی گائیکی میں اپنا ہی رنگ چھوڑا۔

نورجہاں کو اس بات کی بھی کریڈٹ جاتا ہے کہ انہوں نے پنجاب کے داستانوی لوک ادب میں ایک نئی زندگی دی ہے اور نئی نسل کو اس سرمایے سے روشناس کیا ہے۔

پاکستان میں ہو سکتا ہے بہت سوں نے وارث شاہ کی ‘ہیر‘ یا حافظ برخوردار کی ‘مرزا صاحباں‘ نہ پڑھی ہو لیکن وہ نورجہاں کے گائے ہوئے لازوال گیتوں ‘سنجے دل والے بوہے اجے میں نہیوں ڈھوے‘، ‘سن ونجلی دی مٹھڑی تان وے‘ اور ‘او ونجھلی والڑیا تو تاں موہ لئی آ مٹار‘ کے ذریعے پنجاب کی ثقافتی رنگوں سے ضرور آشنا ہو ئے ہوں گے۔

Islam In China January 29, 2008

Posted by Farzana Naina in Religion.
Tags: ,
4 comments

An Interesting Article: This is one of a series of articles especially commissioned by FSTC to report on some Islamic Monuments and Centres of interest but are not well known to the wide public. This one is reported by FSTC’s special researcher, Mohammed Khamouch.

Qazihan Masjid, Turpan
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Kucha Masjid

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Jame Masjid, Kurle. CHINA

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Jaman Masjid, Hotan. CHINA.

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Beytulla Masjid, Yining

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This Masjid, completed in the 38th reign year of Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong (1773), was China’s first Islamic religious center built with allocations from the imperial court. It is the largest of its kind in the city. With many going there to study the Qur’an since its completion, it is also known as a leading institute of higher Islamic studies. The decaying Masjid was renovated in 1995, when the whole building was rebuilt except the entrance arch. The structure is now located on the corner of South Jiefang St. and Xinhua StQazihan Masjid, Turpan
Although situated in the new quarter of Turpan, Qazihan Masjid was built in 1747.
It underwent a complete renovation of both interior and exterior in 1983

(A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH THE FIRST MOSQUE IN CHINA)

Long before I travelled to Asia, my mind was always fascinated by China and its magical arts. I was unaware of Chinese Muslim communities and their way of life since little, if anything, was ever mentioned about them. I slowly began to learn about the areas of China where these Muslim communities lived, about their history, cultural heritage and early mosques which immensely intrigued me and I could not wait to pay homage to them.

I entered the country from the south through Hong Kong where I visited the Hong Kong Museum which has numerous Arabic coins, Islamic Burial Tablets dating back to the T’ang and Song Dynasties and a magnificent model of The Huaisheng Mosque which I was to visit.

In order to embark on my spiritual journey and pay respect to the oldest mosque in the whole of China I had to obtain another entry visa from the Chinese authorities. This great mosque is dearly precious to every Chinese Muslim. It lies in the city Guangzhou (Canton), located at the north of Zhu Jiang (The Pearl River) which is the capital of Guangdong Province – the largest and most important gateway and foreign trading hub in southern China. From Hong Kong, I was anxious but thrilled to take the 165km journey northwest to Guangzhou to visit the mosque.

The ‘Great Mosque of Guangzhou’ also known as Huaisheng Mosque which means ‘Remember the Sage’ (A Memorial Mosque to the Holy Prophet) and is also popularly called the ‘Guangta Mosque’ which translates as ‘The Beacon Tower Mosque’. Huaisheng Mosque is located on Guantgta Road (Light PagodaRoad) which runs eastwards off Renmin Zhonglu.

Prior to 500 CE and hence before the establishment of Islam, Arab seafarers had established trade relations with the “Middle Kingdom” (China). Arab ships bravely set off from Basra at the tip of the Arabian Gulf and also from the town of Qays (Siraf) in the Persian Gulf. They sailed the Indian Ocean passing Sarandip (Sri Lanka) and navigated their way through the Straits of Malacca which were between the Sumatran and Malaysian peninsulas en route to the South China Sea. They established trading posts on the south eastern coastal ports of Quanzhou and Guangzhou. Some Arabs had already settled in China and probably embraced Islam when the first Muslim deputation arrived, as their families and friends back in Arabia, had already embraced Islam during the Holy Prophet’s revelation (610-32).

Guangzhou is called Khanfu by the Arabs who later set up a Muslim quarter which became a centre of commerce. Guangzhou’s superior geographical position made it play an important role as the oldest trading and international port city in China. Witnessing a series of historical events, China has become a significant place in history and one of the fastest growing regions in the world enjoying unprecedented prosperity.

Whilst an Islamic state was founded by the Holy Prophet Muhammad, China was enduring a period of unification and defence. Early Chinese annals mentioned Muslim Arabs and called their kingdom al-Madinah (of Arabia). Islam in Chinese is called “Yisilan Jiao” (meaning “Pure Religion”). A Chinese official once described Makkah as being the birthplace of Buddha Ma-hia-wu (i.e. Holy Prophet Muhammad). There are several historical versions relating to the advent of Islam in China. Some records claim Muslims first arrived in China in two groups within as many months from al-Habasha Abyssinia (Ethiopia).

Ethiopia was the land where some early Muslims first fled in fear from the persecution of the Quraysh tribe in Makkah. Among that group of refugees were one of Prophet Muhammad’s daughters Ruqayya, her husband Uthman ibn Affan, S’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas and many other prominent Sahabah (Companions) who migrated on the advice of the Holy Prophet. They were successfully granted political asylum by al-Habashi King Atsmaha Negus in the city of Axum (c.615 CE).

However, some Sahabah never returned to Arabia. They may have travelled on in the hope of earning their livelihood elsewhere and may have eventually reached China by land or sea during the Sui Dynasty (581-618 CE). Some records relate that S’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas and three other Sahabah sailed to China in c.616 CE from Abyssinia (Ethiopia) with the backing of the king of Abyssinia. Sa’d then returned to Arabia, bringing a copy of the Holy Qur’an back to Guangzhou some 21 years later, which appropriately coincides with the account of Liu Chih who wrote “The Life of the Prophet” (12 vols).

One of the Sahabahs who lived in China is believed to have died in c.635 CE and was buried in the western urban part of Hami. His tomb is known as “Geys’ Mazars” and is revered by many in the surrounding region.
It is in the north western autonomous province of Xinjiang (Sinkiang) and about 400 miles east of the latter’s capital, Urumqi. Xinjiang is four times the size of Japan, shares its international border with eight different nations and is home to the largest indigenous group of Turkic-speaking Uyghurs. Hence, as well as being the largest Islamised area of China, Xinjiang is also of strategic importance geographically.

The Qur’an states in unequivocal words that Muhammad was sent only as a Mercy from God to all peoples (21:107), and in another verse, “We have not sent thee but as a (Messenger) to all Mankind” (34:28). This universality of Islam facilitated its acceptance by people from all races and nations and is amply demonstrated in China where the indigenous population, of ethnic varieties of Chinese Muslims today is greater than the population of many Arab countries including that of Saudi Arabia.

The history of Huaisheng Mosque represents centuries of Islamic culture dating right back to the mid-seventh century during the T’ang Dynasty (618-907) – “the golden age of Chinese history”. It was in this period, eighteen years after the death of the Holy Prophet, that Islam – the last of the three great monotheistic religions – was first introduced to China by the third Caliph, Uthman Ibn ‘Affan (644-656 CE/23-35 AH).

Uthman was one of the first to embrace Islam and memorize the Holy Qu’ran. He possessed a mild and gentle nature and he married Ruqayyah and following her death, Umm Kulthum (both were daughters of the Holy Prophet). Consequently he was given the epithet of ‘Dhu-n-Nurayn’ (the one with the two lights). Uthman was highly praised for safeguarding the manuscripts of the Qur’an against disputes by ordering its compilation from the memories of the Companions and sending copies to the four corners of the Islamic Empire.

Uthman sent a delegation to China led by Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas (d. 674 CE/55 AH) who was a much loved maternal uncle of the Prophet and one of the most famous Companions who converted to Islam at the age of just seventeen. He was a veteran of all the battles and one of the ten who it is reported that the Holy Prophet said were assured a place in paradise.

In Madina, Sa’d, using his ability in architecture added an Iwan (an arched hall used by a Persian Emperor) as a worship area. He later laid the foundation of what was to be the first Mosque in China where early Islamic architecture forged a relationship with Chinese architecture.

According to the ancient historical records of the T’ang Dynasty, an emissary from the kingdom of al-Madinah led by Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas and his deputation of Sahabah, who sailed on a special envoy to China in c.650 CE, via the Indian Ocean and the China Sea to the famous port of Guangzhou, thence travelled overland to Chang’an (present day Xi’an) via what was later known as the “Silk Route”.

Sa’d and his deputation brought presents and were warmly received at the royal court by the T’ang Emperor Kao-tsung, (r. 650-683) in c.651 CE despite a recent plea of support against the Arabs forwarded to the Emperor in that same year by Shah Peroz (the ruler of Sassanids Persia). The latter wasa son of Yazdegerd who, along with the Byzantines already had based their embassies in China over a decade earlier. Together they were the two great powers of the west. A similar plea made to Emperor Tai Tsung (r.627-649) against the simultaneous spread of Muslim forces was refused.First news of Islam had already reached the T’ang royal court during the reign of Emperor Tai Tsung when he was informed by an embassy of the Sassanian king of Persia, as well as the Byzantiums of the emergence of the Islamic rule. Both sought protection from the might of China. Nevertheless, the second year of Kao-tsung’s reign marks the first official visit by a Muslim ambassador.The emperor, after making enquiries about Islam, gave general approval to the new religion which he considered to be compatible with the teachings of Confucius. But he felt that the five daily canonical prayers and a month of fasting were requirements too severe for his taste and he did not convert. He allowed Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas and his delegation freedom to propagate their faith and expressed his admiration for Islam which consequently gained a firm foothold in the country.Sa’d later settled in Guangzhou and built the Huaisheng Mosque which was an important event in the history of Islam in China. It is reputedly the oldest surviving mosque in the whole of China and is over 1300 years old. It survived through several historical events which inevitably took place outside its door step. This mosque still stands in excellent condition in modern Guangzhou after repairs and restorations.Its contemporary Da Qingzhen Si (Great Mosque) of Chang’an (present day Xi’an) in Shaanxi Province was founded in c.742 CE. It is the largest (12,000 sq metres) and the best early mosque in China and it has been beautifully preserved as it expanded over the centuries. The present layout was constructed by the Ming Dynasty in c.1392 CE, a century before the fall of Granada, under its (ostensible) founder Hajj Zheng He who has a stone tablet at the mosque in commemoration of his generous support, which was provided by the grateful Emperor, A fine model of the Great Mosque with all its surrounding walls and the magnificent, elegant appearance of its pavilions and courtyards can be seen at the Hong Kong Museum placed gracefully besides the model of the Huaisheng Mosque. I was fortunate to visit the real mosque last year during Asr prayer, after which I met the Imam who showed me an old handwritten Qur’an and presented me with a white cap.Walking to the prayer hall is like sleepwalking through an oriental oasis confined in a city forbidden for the impure. A dragon symbol is engraved at the footstep of the entrance opposite the prayer hall demonstrating the meeting between Islam and the Chinese civilisation. All in all it is a dazzling encounter of the architecture of Oriental China with that of the indigenous fashionable taste of Harun ar-Rashid (147-194 AH/764-809 CE) of Baghdad -a newly founded city that was to become the greatest between Constantinople and China, fifty years after the time of Harun.The Sheng-You Si (Mosque of the Holy Friend), also known as the Qingjing Si (Mosque of Purity) and Al-Sahabah Mosque (Mosque of Companions), was built with pure granite in 1009 CE during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Its architectural design and style was modelled on the Great Mosque of Damascus (709-15) in Syria thus making the pair the oldest extant Mosques to survive (in original form) into the twenty-first century.Qingjing Mosque is located at “Madinat al-Zaytun” (Quanzhou) or, in English, “City of Olives” (Olive is a symbol of peace according to Arab/Muslim tradition) in Fujian Province, where there are the Sacred Tombs of two Companions of the Holy Prophet who accompanied Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas’s envoy to China. They are known to the locals by their Chinese names of “Sa-Ke-Zu and Wu-Ku-Su” and Arabs from various countries come to pay homage.Zhen-Jiao Si (Mosque of the True Religion), also known as Feng-Huang Si (the Phoenix Mosque) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, is believed to date back from the Tang Dynasty. It has a multi-storied portal, serving as a minaret and a platform for observing the moon. The Mosque has a long history and it has been rebuilt and renovated on a number of occasions over the centuries. It is much smaller than it used to be, especially with the widening of the road in 1929, and it was partly rebuilt in 1953.The other ancient Mosque is located in the city of Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province, once the busiest city of trade and commerce during the Song Dynasty (960-1280). Xian-He Si (Mosque of Immortal Crane) is the oldest and largest in the city and was built in c.1275CE by Pu-ha-din, a Muslim preacher who was a sixteenth-generatio n descendant of the Prophet Muhammad.

Beytulla Masjid, Yining
This Masjid, completed in the 38th reign year of Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong (1773), was China’s first Islamic religious center built with allocations from the imperial court. It is the largest of its kind in the city. With many going there to study the Qur’an since its completion, it is also known as a leading institute of higher Islamic studies. The decaying Masjid was renovated in 1995, when the whole building was rebuilt except the entrance arch. The structure is now located on the corner of South Jiefang St. and Xinhua St.According to Chinese Muslim historians, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas died in Guangzhou where he is believed to be buried. However Arab scholars differ, stating that Sa’d died and was buried in Medina amongst other Companions. One grave definitely exists, while the other is symbolic, God only knows whether it is in China or Medina. The message of Islam took root peacefully in China. The first envoy reached the southeast via the Zhu Jiang (The Pearl River) and was later followed by contact via an overland route from the northwest. Muslim communities are present over a wide geographical area in China today, including some in the remote places of Tibet, where I once met Tibetan Muslims in the middle of nowhere, while on a trek.Mu’awiyah (d.60 AH/680 CE), the sixth Caliph and founder of the Umayyad Caliphate, was known in China as “Mo-ee” and the Chinese closely observed the progress of the Islamic Empire, noting in the T’ang annals, when Constantinople was unsuccessfully besieged by the Muslim armies, between 674 and 679, and they called the Arabs of that period “White Robed Ta-shih. After the death of Mu’awiyah in 680, his son Yezid (r. 680-3) became the new Caliph. He sent Umar, son of S’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas, who was in command of a large army. A century after the death of the Holy Prophet, the Islamic Empire extended from the Pyrenees to the Himalayas and was eventually sharing borders with China which closely observed the progress of the Islamic world.The Umayyad Dynasty had reached its zenith under the reign of al-Walid I (705-15) when expansion of the Islamic empire to the West and the East had achieved great success. When the first European lands (what is today Spain and Portugal) was conquered in 711 by Tariq Ibn Ziad and his army, Islamic rule was established right up to the Atlantic under the command of Musa Ibn Nusair. An overland expedition under Muhammad Ibn Qasim, a nephew and son-in-law of Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf,the governor of Iraq, was advancing through southern Persia and Baluchistan and reaching the lower Indus Valley.Qutaiba Ibn Muslim was appointed governor of Khurasan by Hajjaj and he launched a series of successful military campaigns, gaining control over Transoxiana in 94-5/712-3 where many Persians and Turkish inhabitants embraced Islam. Kashgar, a frontier town of China, was also raided and Qutaiba swore to take control over China but his demands were deflected by a friendly approach which included a symbolic gift by the provincial governor to release him from his solemn oath.According to the famous historian al-Tabari (225-310 AH/839-923 CE), in 96/714 there was a brief encounter with a “Ta-shih” delegation which brought precious gifts to Emperor Hsuan Tsung . The envoy refused to perform the traditional k’o t’ou (bow) and when asked why by the bemused Emperor, the reply was “in my country we only bow to God” (T’ian shen). The Emperor was angered and wanted to kill the envoy but a possible reminder of Qutaiba (who was besieging Feghana) by one of the ministers must have triggered the Emperor’s mind to recall a Chinese proverb that says: “Exchange of jade and silk is better than of swords in a battlefield”.In the battle of Talas (Central Asia) in 751, under the command of Ziyad Ibn Salih, the Chinese had suffered a decisive defeat by the Arabs who captured some prisoners, two of whom knew the art of papermaking and were later rewarded and released. Parchment or papyrus was generally used by the Arabs until the introduction of paper-making technology in Samarqand. The first paper mill was established in Baghdad thus producing a major breakthrough in education and science which were high priorities.Tu Huan (c.751-762), a Chinese clerical official who accompanied the ill-fated Chinese army in the battle of Talas under the command of Kao Hsien Chee, was held prisoner for a decade and travelled to Samarqand, Tashkent, northern Iran, Iraq and Syria before sailing back to Guangzhou from the Arabian Gulf. He wrote a book entitled “Jing Hsing Chee” (Where I Travelled) and accurately recorded the practice and fundamental belief of Islam, making it one of the earliest works of Islam in China.One year after the death of the Amir al-Mu’minin, Abu-l-Abbas as-Saffah (r. 749-54), known in China as “A-Bo-Lo-Ba”, the foe became a friend of “A-p’uch’a-fo” – the second Abbasid Caliph Abu Jafar al-Mansur (r. 754-75). The Emperor Su T’sung appealed for help in regaining control of his capital Chang’an from the treacherous commander, An Lu-Shan who was a multi linguist Tarter and governor of Pinglu and who had the wildest of ambitions and had rebelled against the Emperor.An opportunity occurred for Islamic influence to penetrate into the heart of China when al-Mansur responded by sending 4,000 warriors who recaptured the city and were well rewarded by the Emperor. Some men never returned to their native lands and were known as “Ta-shihs”. They married with Chinese women, subsequently establishing Muslim communities in Western China, descendants of which are the progenitors of the “Hui” (meaning return) nationality.The illustrious Ming Admiral Muhammad Ma Ho, Zheng He (1371-1433), his immediate lieutenant Ma H’uan (Muhammad Hassan), chronicler Fei Hsin and his Arabic interpreter Hassan, a former Imam (exemplar) of Xi’an, were among these descendents. Zheng He courageously led treasure-ship fleets and expeditions to many countries, establishing good diplomatic, political and social relations between governments.On the seventh expedition (1431-33), under the reign of Emperor Xuan De (1426-1435), Zheng He sailed with over 100 ships and 27,550 men. They visited several countries including Arabia and especially Makkah where he and some of his naval officers paid homage to al-Bayt al-Haram (Holy Ka’bah). Belonging to a very old pious Muslim family, his father and grandfather were both Hajjis who, unlike Zheng, travelled for months on horseback and camel, reaching their destination stops with great difficulty before finally reaching Makkah.Heroically admired by many, he earned the title of San Pao Kung “Our Master of the Three Jewels” from the early Chinese settlers of Southeast Asia, wherein a Mosque named after Zheng He has been erected in Surabaya to mark the many years of trade and (Islamic) religious contact.Arab merchants at this time commissioned mosques, headed by an “ahong” (from the Persian akhun, meaning religious leader) in various parts of China and expressed their commitment to Islam by building symbolic characteristics into their communities, called ‘Fan Fang’ foreign quarters clustered around a mosque. Arabs and Persians, who became permanent residents in the cities previously mentioned, were referred to as ‘Fanke’ which means guests from the outlying regions.They were allowed to marry and they had children who became known as ‘Tusheng Fanke’ (native-born guests). The latter were better known as “Hui Hui” as first noted in the literature of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Representing the second largest of all ethnic minorities living in China today, they trace their descent from the Arabs and Persians, whom undoubtedly gained high command of the Chinese idiom, In China, Muslim places of worship have not incorporated the Arabic name of “Masjid” (Mosque) instead an alternative name such as “Qing Zhen Si” (Temple of Purity and Truth) is used. “Si” (Temple) is used for Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian places of worship. Hence most early Mosque exterior building structures,  architecturally resembled that of a temple.Followers of traditional Islam were known as “Gedimu” (from the Arabic Qadeem which translates as old) and they were exposed to various teachings described as “lao jiao” (old religious teaching) such as Qadiriyyah, a famous order founded by Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (d.56/1166) in Baghdad. A group of which was founded in China by Hilal al-Din, Qin Jingyi (c.1656-1719) . He received his early training from Khoja Abd Alla, a twenty-ninth- generation descendant of the Holy Prophet, who according to Chinese Sufi records arrived in at the port of Guangzhou in c.1674 and preached in many other cities before his eventual death in c.1689 , Hilal al-Din, known among the Hui as “Daozu” (Grand Master Qi is entombed at Linxia which was once an important stop on the silk road between Lanzhou and Yang Guan. Another Gedimu is the Naqshabandiyyah – the conspicuous Sufi order founded by Muhammad Naqshaband of Bukhara (717-791/1317- 1389).
New teachings arrived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to replace the old ones referred to as “xin xin jiao”: The Yihewani (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) Muslim Brotherhood movement was brought by annual pilgrims to Makkah, and the Wahhabis, a dominant sect in Saudi Arabia and Qatar which had established footholds in many countries including Africa, India and China. Devotees of this sect named after its founder Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1115-1201 AH/1703-1787 CE).On 12th February 1949, some six months before the official inauguration of the People’s Republic of China, the luminary Imam Hassan al-Banna (c.1906-1949) was martyred in the heart of Cairo. The eminent founder of al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun (Muslim Brotherhood) , his mission spread globally from the local coffeehouse in Egypt to downtown Muslim quarters of China attracting more urban intellectuals and sustaining a strong hold throughout China today.Such impact is clearly visible in current Chinese Mosque architecture, where traditional “Gedimu” Chinese-style Mosques, which resemble that of Confucian temples, are rejected by the Yihewanis (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) who are of an Arabist nature. They prefer more plain white Arab-style (iconography) mosques instead, with a young Imam for leading the congregational prayers similar to the Imam of a Mosque I have visited in Luoyang who may possibly have graduated from al-Azhar University where some thirty three Hui students enrolled in c.1939.Islamic civilization steadily spread – reaching the heart of every Chinese Muslim, creating a fascinating mosaic of ethnic neighbourhoods within the “Dragon’s Den”. Once on my return trip from the Huang He (Yellow River), also called China’s Sorrow and the World’s Muddiest River, a few miles north of Kaifeng in Henan Province, I spotted an old cottage remotely located with a small white flag flying from a tree branch, inscribed in Arabic with a Qur’anic verse to keep out evil spirits. Immediately it drew my attention as this was similar to what happened in many parts of the Muslim world.Huaisheng Mosque embraces a unique ingenious architectural setting by successfully integrating Islamic architectural renderings with elements of the T’ang architectural style, producing an aura of Islamic-Chinese symmetrical architectural charm, free from ornamentation and idolatry.The mosque gave birth to a new chapter in the field of architecture in one of China’s most illustrious periods of history where efficient administrative system developed, printing appeared for the first time, custom and philosophy became even more sophisticated and creative arts flourished, producing a highly cosmopolitan empire.Huaisheng Mosque was rebuilt in 1350 during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) under the rule of Zhizhen (1341-1368) and again during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) under the rule of Emperor Kangzi. In 1695 the mosque was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt again on the same original site. A century-old photograph of the Mosque which I was fortunate to see displays a semblance of much of what we see today except for the uncultivated gardens which are in dire need of an aspiring gardener, A decade or so after the modernization of Guangzhou city which began in the early 1920’s, where the remainder of the old city wall was demolished, the present prayer hall has undergone a complete reconstruction in 1935 using reinforced concrete. The mosque complex can accommodate one thousand worshipers and occupies an area of 2,966 square meters lying on a north-south axis.The building comprises of a main gate with a green awning facing south which is in accordance with Chinese tradition. As you enter through a narrow courtyard there is another gateway with a red plaque inscribed in four Chinese characters which translates as ‘Religion that holds in great esteem the teachings brought from the Western Region’. There are beautiful green plants on each side of the arched entrance. Another arched gateway with a two storied portal built in the seventeenth century, makes it graceful to pass through. It’s called the Moon Pavilion and leads through to a wonderfully set courtyard taking you to the prayer hall.Entering the courtyard through the arched entrance of the Moon Pavilion, one instantly leaves behind the Chinese world for the Sino-Moorish. You begin to feel the calmness, spatial beauty and quiet atmosphere as if you were going back in time, in contrast to the hustle and bustle of the world one has just left. One begins to feel elevated by the fragrant smell of the flowers in the gardens and intrigued by such illustrious techniques used to venerate this building.Instead of a dome, a gambrel (mansard) roof with upswept eaves and undulating gables is used with a small stupica (small stupa) placed in the middle with a beautiful set of beams, spaciously designed with several columns symmetrically divided with a red bricked arch entrance. Wooden sliding doors with glass patterned shapes characterized and organized into coherent patterns of form by its monumental exterior and Chinese classical colonnades mark the entrance. Several long wooden seats and chairs are situated around the colonnades available for worshipers to sit in between or after prayers.The culmination of this Qing Zhen Si (Temple of Purity and Truth), known to the local Chinese as a Muslim’s place of worship, dominates a historical overview of when the first Arabs embarked on their journey from the sands of Arabia to the silk-door steps of the “Middle Kingdom” (China).

I was lost in contemplation for a while, visualizing a theme of Arab merchants gathering in this very courtyard, reflecting on their long arduous and hazardous sea adventure. Thinking of such great men, all of whom I wish to pay tribute to, verily transported me back in time, and I was put into a kind of trance as I sat down in the cloistered courtyard.During the reign of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur, Arab traders sailed from the ports of al-Basrah and Siraf, in the months of May and June, enduring between three to six months of travel to the port of Guangzhou trading at different stopovers and keeping alert from pirate attacks and returned during the months of October and November following seasonal winds. Other merchants traversed the rough and hostile terrain from the Central Asian steppe along the Silk Route on camel caravans, facing constant danger as their journey progressed to their trading point.

Jaman Masjid, Hotan. CHINA.

One of the largest Masjid in Hotan, it is situated in the city’s downtown area. The structure was built in the second reign year of Qing Dynasty Emperor Guangxu (1875), and renovated in 1997 with a government allocation.Intellectual curiosity which was embedded in the Islamic doctrine led early prominent Muslim travellers like Ibn Wahhab of al-Basrah to arrive in the port of “Khanfu” (Guangzhou) around c.815 CE, thence to Chang’an (Xi’an) where he attended an audience with the Emperor, wrote a vivid account on the city of Chang’an and the imperial household. Chang’an during the T’ang Dynasty and Baghdad which reached its zenith during the Abbasid Caliphate, were the most powerful and largest cities in the world.Sulaiman al-Tajir (the Merchant), made numerous voyages to India and China from his native town of the port of Siraf where traders arriving from China first offloaded goods before distribution to al-Basrah and Baghdad via transportation vessels. He wrote about his long daring voyages in c.850 CE, describing the piracy and extreme weather en route to the port of “Khanfu” (Guangzhou) where extortionate port duties were charged on goods and finger-prints were used as signatures.The Muslim community of Guangzhou that Sulaiman visited had their own mosques, bazaars and a Qadi (judge), appointed by the emperor who kept order and applied, not Chinese, but Shari’ah law (canonical law of Islam) amongst his co-religionists, and delivered the Friday (Khutbah) sermon to the faithful.Stories of such adventures, which contain popular tales and scientific descriptions noted by early Arab travellers to China are recorded in twelfth-century Arabic manuscript entitled “Akhbar al-Sin” (Reports of China) “wal Hind” (Reports of India) relating stories of two Arab travellers. Tales of such adventurous voyages are compiled in the huge collection known as “One Thousand and One Nights”` of which the legendary “Sindbad the Sailor” and “Prince Alladin” are the most famous tales.The Muslim chronicler Abu Zaid Hassan al-Sirafi reported the massacre of some 120,000 Arabs, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians that took place in Guangzhou and edited the account of Sulaiman al-Tajir in c.851 CE. He was a friend of the famous Abu’l-Hasan al-Mas’udi (d.345/956) who was an outstanding encyclopaedic figure, historian and scientist of Islam as well as a world traveller who sailed through the China Sea and wrote valuable observations about China in his “Meadows of Gold and Mines of Precious Gems”. One of the few depictions of Arab shipping where sail, oars and the rudder were used can be seen in the 13th century manuscript of al-Hariri’s Maqdamat which did not reach the Christian Mediterranean until several centuries later.Within the prosperous maritime network, merchants brought valuable and distinctive commodities such as silk, jade, porcelain, lapis lazuli, spices and fruits which were carried on the backs of camels. Silk was one of many precious goods that were exchanged between East and West due to the prosperous maritime network managed by Arabs who were acting as intermediaries between China, India and the Middle East.Caravans of students, scholars, ambassadors, monks, soldiers, craftsmen and traders journeyed through the arteries of this magnificent international trade route which ran over the roof of the world serving the Eurasian civilizations for eighteen centuries. They would halt at stops on the road and at well-known bazaars where Arab and Persian traders exchanged goods. Traders also gathered contributions to build mosques, many of which are of historical importance and are well preserved to this day. Men of the pen who treaded these foot paths acquired knowledge and spread Islam from the interior of China passing the Great Wall through to Central Asia.The magnificent Niujie Mosque of Khan-Baliq (present day Beijing) is a great example. It was established by an Arabian scholar Nasir al-Din who served as an official in the Liao Dynasty (907-1125). Two Arabs who came to China during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) and served as Imams now rest beside the Mosque where their tomb stones can be seen today. Proof of commitment to this graceful land continues today by the bearers of this religion.Huaisheng Mosque is austere and simple when compared with its younger sister several thousand miles away in al-Andalus (Spain) where ‘La Mezquita’ – The Friday Mosque of Qurtabah (Cordoba). The latter mosque is famously known for its impressive interlocking multi-lobed arches and pink and white stripped arches. Its foundation had been laid down in 785 CE (after its purchase from the Christians) by Abd ar-Rahman I (756-88) who successfully sustained both the Umayyad Dynasty and its intricate arts in the West.The interior designs of the Da Qingzhen Si (Great Mosque) of Xi’an built in 742 CE and the Niujie Mosque built in 996 demonstrate that unique ancient Islamic and Chinese classical architecture were merged to produce a vivid astonishing effect and embellishment. On the other hand the prayer hall of Huaisheng Mosque reflects the preference of simplicity and tranquility. There stands a low Minbar (pulpit) beside the Mihrab (niche facing Makkah) and a naturally shaped banister by the Minbar (pulpit) for the Imam to hold on to.Two pillars decorated with nine bands of triangular Qur’anic inscriptions are located symmetrically supporting the low part of the ceiling which magnificently displays the Qura’nic verse, ” The religion before Allah is Islam (submission to his will)” (Al-Imran 18-19) and is written in an Sino-Arabic style. A few copies of the Qur’an are neatly placed on a table beside the Mihrab on the left-hand side.The Mosque currently boasts over 40 prayer mats inscripted with Arabic and Chinese dating back to the T’ang Dynasty.The ‘Guangta Tower’ is a freestanding minaret, of 36.30 m (119 ft) high. It is a cylindrical, smooth-textured minaret made from grey masonry with a balcony that served as a ritual tower for the Muezzin to call the worshipers to prayer. Another solid cylindrical tower is surmounted above the ringed balcony with a base dome decorated with two tiers of ‘dougong’. There is an elongated pointed tip with a metal rod supporting a crescent moon-shaped design. There are also windows to allow air and light onto the spiral staircase through which the Muezzin can access the balcony.During the T’ang and Song Dynasties, when the bank of the Zhu Jiang (The Pearl River) was close to the minaret, sailors would occasionally climb the minaret to observe the weather conditions prior to sailing. This minaret has served its purpose well and famously became known as the ‘Beacon Tower’ and the city’s principal landmark. A lamp was lit atop the minaret and served as a beacon for navigation that guided boats along the Zhu Jiang River during the night. Its height dominated the city’s skyline before the contruction of high-rise buildings and dwarfed everything allowing for a bird’s eye view of the city. The luminous tower also had a weathervane, placed on its roof indicating the direction of the wind.Its majestic presence played a huge role at the start of the ‘maritime silk road’. Before reaching the mainland on the Silk Road, reaching this port must have been a tremendous achievement for many anxious merchants.Another mosque in Galle, off the southern coast of what Arabs traders called Sarandib, i.e Sri Lanka, is called the Ja’ama Al-Khaira’t or The Galle Lighthouse Mosque. The light tower minaret is free-standing next to a beautiful palm tree and is situated close to the sea front where it is currently geared up to serve incoming navigations. The mosque is like a small fortress-like colonial two-storied building: white washed, symmetrically square domed twin-towered facade, crowned with a shaped-gable in the middle and a crescent-shaped tail placed above.The city of al-Zaytun which was the starting point of the Maritime Silk Route was well noted by Al-Idrissi who was born in Ceuta (492-576 AH/1099-1180 CE). He was a famous Moroccan geographer who, in 1154 CE, wrote in his book al-Kitab ar-Rujari (Book of Roger) a most elaborate description of the world. It formed the basis of European knowledge in the field at the time. He wrote about the commodities carried by Chinese ships such as leather, swords and iron and various textiles including silk which were bound for Aden. He described Hangzhou’s popular glassware and rated Zaytun’s silk as the best.By the Song Dynasty (960-1279) trade was booming and many Arab and Persian merchants flocked to port of Guangzhou where the office of the Director General of Shipping was constantly under Muslim management, due to their law-abidingness and self-disciplined nature. Abu’l-Abbas al-Hijazi, a prosperous twelfth-century merchant who spent many years in China, had seven sons whom he posted in seven different commercial centres from his base in Yemen thus establishing a successful trading network after the loss of all but one of his twelve ships in the Indian Ocean.Domination of trade from the Far East and East Africa into the Red Sea, was in the hand of the Karamis of Aden. They were one of the greatest trading families of all time and were brimming with success from agencies as far as the ports of China and earning the support of the munificent Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi (532589 AH/1138-1193 CE) – a hero, honoured by Muslims and Christians alike, who freed Jerusalem in c.1187 and ended its eighty eight year occupation by the Crusaders, In 1292 the Venetian merchant, Marco Polo (1254-1324) described al-Zaytun and Alexandria of Egypt as one of the two greatest ports in the world. He also found a flourishing Arab merchant community which he associated with the conspicuous Muslim presence in various areas of China. On his way from China in 1288 and 1293, he visited the port of Kayal in India which was full of ships from Arabia and China. He also mentioned seeing a large number of Arabian and Persian horses imported by sea into south India.Hajji Ibn battuta (1304-1369) was a noted explorer and a traveler who was born in Tangiers, Morocco into a family of judges during the Marinid Dynasty (1196-1511). He studied Islamic theology but little did his family know about his long journey at the age of 21 to perform Hajj at Makkah would take one and a half years and from which he would not return to his native town for nearly three decades.He served as a Qadi (judge) for eight years in the Sultanate of India under Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq (1326-51) before he was summoned as head of a mission to China in 1341 as an ambassador to meet the most powerful ruler in the world, the Mongol Emperor of China.The life-threatening adventure began just as he left Delhi where he was taken prisoner and hunted for eight days as a fugitive before ending up at the shores of Calicut with nothing but the clothes he wore and a prayer mat. He was blessed to be alive. He continued his journey to China via the Maldives where he became a chief judge – without the intention of becoming one – and married into the royal family.He then set sail from Sri Lanka when his ship nearly sank in a storm. He was rescued by another ship which was attacked by pirates who stole all his provisions and the precious stones given to him by the King of Ceylon. He again ended up in Calicut with no coverings but for his trousers. He set sail once more, briefly stopping at the Maldives to see his two years old son for the first time, then boarded a Chinese junk to China via Chittagong (the main port of Bangladesh) and the Muslim Kingdom of Samudra (Sumatra, Indonesia) before resuming his role as ambassador when he arrived at the port of al-Zaytun in 1345.

My first journey to China took the form of a boat ferry from Inch’on, South Korea to north China’s largest port city of Tianjin, nicknamed “Shanghai of the North”, where a well-known and sizeable Hui village of Tianmu lies situated on the northern city’s suburbs. It took over thirty horrific hours and nervous worries of what will happen once I finally reach China.Ibn Battuta, on the other hand, considered China to be the safest and most regulated of all countries in the world for a traveller and declared that of all people the Chinese were the most skilful in the arts and possessed greatest mastery of them, hence his journey to reach China.He described al-Zaytun as housing one of the largest ports in the world with about a hundred junks that could not be counted for multitude. Every city had a separate Muslim quarter where merchants and their families lived in an honoured and respected manner with their own mosques, hospitals and bazaars. The Qadi “Fanzhang” (judge) of the Muslims, the Sheikh al-Islam and the leader of the merchants all came to meet Ibn Battuta with flags, drums, trumpets and musicians.He was invited and entertained by some immensely wealthy Muslim merchants including the family of Uthman Ibn Affan of Egypt. He was well received in every city as guest of honour on his way to Beijing only to be disappointed to find the Emperor absent from the capital. He returned back to al-Zaytun before sailing back to his native land in Sha’ban 750 (13th November 1349).On the morning of Monday 24th June 1996, I arrived at Guangta Road from Shamian Dao (sand surface island) to pay homage to the Huaisheng Mosque for the first time. Entering the Mosque felt like going back in time. It was before Az-zuhr prayer and the prayer hall was totally empty. I begun by performing two Raka’at in respect of the House of God and read a few Suras of the Holy Qur’an, before exploring the mosque. After which I began to contemplate and marvel at the wonders of this precious place, this ‘House of God’.I thought about all the Muslim envoys that had come to China, resided here and who prayed in this very prayer hall. They were Muslim merchants who traded here but never returned to their home land. Ibn Battuta (1304-1369) journeyed to this far away land and is believed to have prayed in this very Mosque. He has inspired me to tread onto this soil some 600 years later.”Allahu Akbar – Allahu Akbar (God is great)”, the adhan (call to prayer) was chanted by the Muezzin summoning the faithful to prayer. I felt elation at hearing the adhan, voiced in Arabic and blended with Chinese flavour hence making it even more pleasant to hear. My first congregation prayer with my Chinese Muslim brothers at Huaisheng Mosque was led by Hajji Muhammad Rashid Yang Tang (Imam and vice president of the Mosque).Chinese Muslims, like those I have met in Central Asia and the Indian sub-continent, all wear white caps especially before Salah (prayer).This is due to the adherence to the “Hanafi school of thought”, which has the largest following amongst the Muslim community. It was founded by Abu Hanifa (81-150 AH /700-767 CE), a great Persian jurist of Kufah where he taught religious science and traded in Chinese silk, a popular commodity which made its first appearance in Europe due to the Arabs who spun the wheel of silk-weaving, interlacing Sicily and Spain with their knowledge of silk manufacture and production of textiles.Abu Yusuf, a follower of the late Abu Hanifa, became a supreme Qadi (judge) under the brilliant and luxurious reign of the fifth Abbasid Caliph Harun ar-Rashid (147-194 AH/764-809 CE), better known in China at the time as A-lun. Abbasids emissaries known as the “Black Robed Ta-shih”, also known in Byzantium, exchanged precious gifts on several visits with the Chinese Emperors thus improving and forging better future relations.Chinese Muslims established good communication links within the Muslim Ummah (community) and updates of all current issues including that of Muslim Ulama (scholars) of jurisprudence were recognised.Ibn Taymiyah (661-728 AH /1263-1328 CE), a well known jurist, was born one year before the Mongols made Beijing their capital in 1264 after China had been conquered by Kublai Khan who established the Yuan Dynasty (“first”) following the footsteps of Genghis Khan. Ibn Taymiyah was admired for his intellectual and physical prowess which he used to confront the Mongol chief Il-Khan Ghazan. He later engaged in jihad against the Mongols, winning a glorious victory for the Syrian-Egyptian army.While the eminent globetrotter Ibn Battuta was leading a peripatetic existence in Damascus, he attended a Friday Jum’ah prayer conducted by Ibn Taymiyah whom he describes, as “a man of great ability and wide learning”. His fame and influence extended beyond the boundaries of Egypt and Syria and even into China where funeral prayers in absentia were performed after he died by Chinese Muslims.Hand written Qur’ans remain in existence in China today, preciously handed over from one generation to the next, the oldest of which dates back to the eighth century and was brought by the first Arabs. The famous calligrapher Ibn al-Bawwab (d-1022 or 1032), inventor of the muhaqqaq style, himself skilfully handwrote 64 copies of the Qur’an, one of which was written in Rihani script and kept at Lalei Mosque in Istanbul.The earliest translation of the Holy Qur’an in Chinese dates back to the eighteenth century. However one of the first known translations was made in parts before the twentieth century by Sheikh Liu Che. The second is by Sheikh Ma Fu Chu who translated twenty Juz before he passed away, five of which were published after c.1927 by the Muslim Cultural Association in Shanghai. The complete Chinese translation of the Qur’an was composed from a Japanese translation based on that of Rodwell in c.1927 by Mr.Lee Tiek Tsing who embraced Islam after completing his translation.The most popular Chinese (translation) version of the holy Qur’an was made by the famous Sheikh Ilyas Wang Ching Ch’a in c.1928 with the assistance of the following Arabic scholars: Sheikh A. Rahim Ma Sun Ting, Muhammad Ma Shang Ting, Amir Mi Huang Chang, Ali Chao Chen Wu, Abu Bakr Yang Hsi Ju, Ibrahim Chen Ch’eng Kia and Yusuf Ying Po Ching. They received generous financial support from many including Muhammad Chao Wen Fu. In China today, the Holy Qur’an can be found in as many as eight different translations in the Chinese language as well as in Uygur and other Turkic languages.After the prayer, I was introduced to the Imam Haji Rashid who, once he found out I was from Morocco, began to tell me about Ibn Battuta and his travels to southern China. Haji Rashid also introduced me to Mr Hassan who was the director of the mosque; both offered assistance when I needed it. I wanted to visit the Muslim Burial place where Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas (RA) was entombed. Idris, an employee of the mosque, called a taxi and we went to the cemetery which is located on Guihua Ridge near the orchard garden. We went in to the cemetery’s courtyard and passed by the religious services hall.The cemetery is surrounded by walls and has a courtyard with a square pond in the middle surrounded by various green plants and some flowers against a backdrop of a bright red pavilion with two locked doors symmetrically placed and a gate in the middle leading to the cemetery. The pavilion opens onto a straight path in the middle of the burial ground surrounded by a 3 ft high wall on each side. Cylindrical stone graves with Chinese and Arabic scriptures can be seen from either side as you walk along the path to the grave of Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas (RA). The graves are neatly aligned facing ‘Qibla’ in Makkah.

Jame Masjid, Kurle. CHINA.
Jame Masjid was erected in 1961 on Southern Tuanjie St., Kurle.It is the largest in the city, and the most influential one in the prefectureUnlike a century ago, the mausoleum stood noticeably on its own like a miniature fort. As an architectural structure and the first of its kind ever to be erected in a distant land such as China, its roots stemmed from Arabia, bringing wisdom and prosperity to a nation as great as China. The mausoleum of Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas, which lies at the very end of the cemetery, is built like an ancient temple with a beamed roof and a thick wall circling the grave with a plaque inscribed in Arabic that “Roud’at Abi Waqqas” which means ‘Grave of Abi Waqqas’. Idris and I took off our shoes and went in to pay our respect to this great Companion who, by the will of God, helped spark a new life in the hearts of many Muslims in this great country. It was a moment of great reflection.Since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, both Huaisheng Mosque and The Ancient Tomb at the Muslim Cemetery have been listed as historical cultural relics and are now under state protection. This is a historic testimonial of the friendship between the Chinese and Arabs.Having paid homage to The Huaisheng Mosque and the Muslim Cemetery, it was now time to return. I made my journey back to Hong Kong via Macau to visit another Mosque at Ramal Mouros Road and the Macau Museum. I arrived in Hong Kong on Thursday 27th June 1996, to prepare myself before my flight to Bangkok. I attended Isha prayer at the Kowloon Mosque and Islamic Centre which reminded me very much of the London Islamic Cultural Centre as it is a place where you can meet Muslims from all over the world.I found the museum to be amazingly interesting with its exterior designed like a ship, housing an astonishing display of artifacts, models of boats and maritime activity which centered on the China Sea. There are four individual theoretical themes which the museum is divided into, one of which stunned me as I confronted a particular map on display by the famous Moroccan geographer of the entire Middle Ages, “al-Idrisi”. It made me feel proud and homesick. There are various models of Chinese traditional vessels including a few models of Arab boats that once plied the oceans sailing towards the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River).

Zheng He (1371-1433), China’s most celebrated navigator who constructed massive ships and led Chinese armadas in his magnificent voyages, visited more than thirty countries during his seven maritime expeditions. A special feature at the museum was of his adventures, marking him as a royal “Hero” in the history of navigation. He ventured the oceans on board a giant flagship which dwarfed Christopher Columbus’s ship and he discovered America 70 years earlier. This was almost a century before Vasco da Gama, while searching for a sea route to India in 1498, was fortunate to find the most illustrious Arab navigator Ahmed Ibn Majid, who famously compiled an invaluable seamen guide, “The Advantages of Knowing the Sciences of the Sea”.Master Ahmed travelled to the land of the “Tiger and Elephant” on several occasions. With half a century experience of navigation under his belt and in possession of maritime instruments and maps never before seen by Europeans, he easily guided the Portuguese flagship from Malindi, below the Horn of East Africa, thence to the shores of South Indian (Malabar) coast.Completing a full knot, from where my journey first began, I boarded a jetfoil from Macau, en route to what used to be the old “Maritime Silk Route”. When Arab merchants sailed pass what is now Hong Kong, it must have been just a rock passed unnoticed, barely signalling a stop for the merchants while navigating through to the mouth of Zhu Jiang (Pearl River). Today it is anomalous with high rise office buildings and luxurious hotels greeting one another by ferry arrivals or below sea level via a fast train.While speeding back to Hong Kong on a jetfoil, we passed by a Chinese junk sailing back to Hong Kong harbour. I had long hoped to see such a thrilling moment -a Chinese junk in action, just like the model display I had just seen at the museum boasting its versatility and superior advanced (unchanged) design to any other ship of its time.I was staying opposite the Mosque at the Chunking Mansions. A popular place which accommodates all the foreign residents from places such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Africa and the Middle East who all live together in one big building which consist of shops,restaurants and guest houses snugly placed under one giant silk umbrella just as we once were in al-Zaytun.This created a modern centralized “vessel”, i.e. “Chunking Mansions”, docked at the Golden Mile (Nathan Road) where many modern Muslim merchants of many nationalities purchase all their required goods such as jade, ivory and electrical gadgets before setting off and travelling faster than our predecessors through the means of air travel to trade in different cities of the world.Immediately after Isha prayer ended, four very old frail gentlemen from Bangladesh stood up and one of them had a message. The men asked if some of us would like to sit for a few minutes to discuss their planned mission. Most of us agreed and sat in four separate circles where the talk began. I was immensely impressed with the gentlemen’s courage and firmness and unflinching honesty. Their mission was to travel to Guangzhou at the crack of dawn after Fajr prayer to visit The Huaisheng Mosque for the Friday Jummah prayer where a planned lecture to Muslims of Guangzhou was to be given.Soon after, I left the mosque and met two Algerian merchants dressed in loose white clothing who were on a business trip to China. They reminded me of the old Arab merchants setting sail for China once more. The merchants from Algeria together with the four gentlemen from Bangladesh on their mission to The Huaisheng Mosque make time seem like it has stood still. Kucha Masjid, Kucha. CHINA.The second largest Masjid in Xinjiang, the Kucha Mosque is located on the east side of Kucha County. Kucha Masjid, Kucha. The second largest Masjid in Xinjiang, the Kucha Masjid is located on the east side of Kucha County.

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Einstein-Rare pictures January 20, 2008

Posted by Farzana Naina in Random.
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Rich Pakistani’s List of 2008 January 19, 2008

Posted by Farzana Naina in Pakistan.
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Short-listing Pakistan’s most influential business magnates or Groups has never been an easy task because there are the people who have been very powerful in nearly every regime that has held this country’s reins since the last 60 years and then we have had those seasonal
species that maneuvered their voice to be heard better than most within the power corridors, but later vanished into the oblivion for one reason or the other. This is  the selction of  those tycoons who have made their presence felt for a better part of country’s history, have
earned consistently, have been setting up units at regular intervals or have been legends in stocks, currency or real estate business.

The list excludes many names that have previously qualified and all of Pakistan’s most prominent feudal land lords who would definitely make it to the top 10, expect the few land owners which have declared their assets and work force and registered with the CBR Islamabad. In order to promote the new and “unknown” Pakistani magnates we have excluded
in previous entities.

Unfortunately, this extensive research does not currently include the names of a few stars that shone brightly amidst the galaxy of the influential creed of yesteryear like C.M.Latif of BECO- the Steel Man of Pakistan- who did make a lot of name once, but then got gifted with contentment somehow, although the late business wizard got very badly hit by Bhutto’s nationalization of 1970 which had inflicted an astounding thud to everybody in business then. Had it not been the case, many of our tycoons may well have managed to gain the kind of status greeting the likes of Birlas and Tatas in India today, if not the one saluting Bill Gates or Warren Buffet. Among these gifted individuals, you will find politicians-turned-businessmen, businessmen-turned-politicians or even the businessmen-cum-politicians. With malice towards none and with no intention to decorate somebody, We thus takes the pride of announcing these names, hope that this document will go a long way in serving as the most authentic endeavour of its kind for a very long time to come. It has been prepared very carefully in consultation with leading real estate barons, stock moguls, business leaders of virtue and senior bureaucrats at the Central Board of Revenue.

1 – Mian Muhammad Mansha Yaha

Ranking: 1 Worth: £1.25b ($2.5billion)Industry: Businessman Mansha has around 40 companies on board. Mansha, who owns the Muslim Commercial Bank is also setting up a $ 17m paper mill. He is one of the richest Pakistanis around. Nishat Group was country’s 15th richest family in 1970, 6th in 1990 and Number 1 in 1997. Mansha is on the
board of nearly 50 companies. He is deemed to have made investments in many bourses, currency and metal exchanges both within and outside Pakistan. He could have bought the United Bank too, but then who doesn’t have adversaries. Nishat Group comprises of textiles, cement, leasing, insurance and management companies. If Mansha was bitten by
Bhutto’s nationalization stint of 1970, his friends think he was compensated by Nawaz Sharif’s denationalization programme to a very good effect. There is no stopping Mansha and he is still on the move. Nishat group assets are $4.4Billion. He is sometimes even regarded as the richest Pakistani around by his friends claiming he does not “show it off”.

2 – Asif Ali Zardari UAE/Pakistan

Ranking: 2 Worth: £900m ($1.8billion) Industry: Politics
Asif Zardari dubbed “Mr 10%” an unknown happy-go-lucky son of a small-time businessman who struck gold by marrying one of the worlds most glamorous women Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benzair Bhutto. Taking advantage of his wife’s authority he is known to have taken
kickbacks from many deals inside and outside of Pakistan. The most famous was a $4 billion deal to buy 32 Mirage jets from the French company Dassault. Documents, which include letters from Dassault executives, indicate an agreement was reached to pay a 5%
“remuneration” – about $200m – to Marleton Business, a BVI company controlled by Zardari. Besides these many more kickback deals were taken with companies such as ARY Gold, Société Général de Surveillance (SGS), Cotecna, and ZPC Ursus, a Polish tractor company.
Zardari assets holding amount into hundreds of millions of dollars easily, Having 8 prime properties in the UK, of which once is the famous Rockwood Estate 365 acres in Surrey, worth £4.35m has now been sold and money sent back to the Govt. of Pakistan. Also 14
multi-million dollar mansions in the USA, including owning Holiday Inn
hotel Houston, Texas Owned by “Mr 10%” and Iqbal Memon and Sadar-ud-Din Hashwani.
They (Zardari and B.Bhutto) also have huge business ventures in the Middle East running into hundreds of millions if not billion mark. Mr Zardari also has huge stakes in sugar mills all over Pakistan,which include: Sakrand Sugar Mills, Nawabshah, Ansari Sugar Mills, Hyderabad, Mirza Sugar Mills, Badin, Pangrio Sugar Mills, Thatta and Bachani Sugar Mills, Sanghar.

3 – Sir Anwar Pervaiz UK

Ranking: 3 Worth: £750m ($1.5billion) Industry: Businessman Chairman of Bestway Group. The Bestway Group started in 1976 with its first Bestway cash and carry warehouse opened in London. Today the have in total around 50 Cash and Carry’s. Including their recent
takeover of rival group Batleys for around £100m. Bestway Group ventured into Pakistan’s huge the cement business in 1995 and set up cement manufacturing plant in Pakistan at a cost of $120 million. Taking Advantage of Pakistan growing economy they also acquired a
25.5% stake in United Bank Limited in 2002. Today, the Bestway Group has interests in cash & carry wholesale, property investments, retail outlets, milling of rice, lentils and pulses, cement production and more recently into banking. The group’s total sales amounted to in excess of £ 2 billion. The group provides direct employment to thousands in the UK and Pakistan. The have many interests in Pakistan too. Sir Anwar Pervaiz and his his partners sheer hard work has bought them to outstanding international levels, which definitely makes him an ideal role model for many young Pakistanis today. He still on the move!

4 – Nawaz Sharif & Shahbaz Sharif family -Saudi Arabia/Pakistan

Ranking: 4 Worth: £700m ($1.4billion) Industry: Politics/Businessman
Mr Sharif Businessman turned politician the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. He was ousted in a military coup in 1999 and was forced to forfeit $9million dollars and some of his assets including his $5m Mansion is Raiwind near Lahore. Before becoming PM he was a major share holder along with his brother and cousins of Ittefaq Group, having assets well in excess of £50m in the 90’s. However he got richer when he took commissions from foreign companies for construction in Pakistan. He build the first motorway and many new
roads and took heavy kickbacks. He then also stole $100m from the Iqra funds, he started a new scheme “Ghar Apna” in which he again looted around $40m, the “Mulk swaaro” scheme involving public & govt. money collections to help pay pf Pakistan’s debts also was pocketed. Today he lives in exile in Saudi Arabia where it is known he has a new huge business empire in various sectors.

5 – Saddaruddin Hashwani -Pakistan

Ranking: 5 Worth: £550m ($1.1billion) Industry: Businessman
Saddaruddin Hashwani is Chairman Hashoo Group is known for his dominance in Pakistan’s hotel industry, though Hashwanis are have huge strength in real estate business too. Hashwanis are involved in trading of cotton, grain and steel and till the nationalization of
cotton export in 1974, they were widely being dubbed as the Cotton Kings of Pakistan. Today, this group has excelled in export of rice, wheat, cotton and barley. It owns textile units, besides having invested billions in mines, minerals. hotels, insurance, batteries, tobacco, residential properties, construction, engineering and information technology. In 1984, Hashwani defeated the Lakhanis in the bid for Premier Tobacco but was arrested along with his brother Akbar
in 1986 for allegedly evading customs duty on cigarettes. Sadarduddin’s brother Akbar and the children of another late brother Hassan Ali Hashwani together manage around 45 companies. Akbar runs the second Hashwani Group. He is one of the most well-known magnates in Pakistan who is a regular invitee at the Diplomatic Enclave. The list of local and international bigwigs known personally to Hashwani is unending.

6 – Nasir Schon & family -U.A.E/Pakistan

Ranking: 6 (tied at 6) Worth: £500m ($1billion) Industry: Businessman Nasir Schon is a prominent business leader of Pakistan and the CEO of Schon Group. Nasir Schon is the son of Captain Ather Schon Hussain, an ex-pilot of PIA. The Schon family is one of the few striving Muhajir Urdu business families in Pakistan. Starting off in Singapore in 1982, the peek of Schon group was in 1995 when they owned National Fibres,
Schon Bank, Schon Textiles and Pak-China Fertizilers. Famous for the trend-setting roundabout, Schon Circle, Nasir Schon is also known to be one of the first people to have a Rolls-Royce in Pakistan. Directors of Schon group flew to Dubai in 1997 in exile after the
dismissal of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The directors of Schon group were known to have close contacts with the husband of former Prime Minister, Asif Zardari. Many assets of the Schon group were auctioned by the Nawaz Sharif government. Schon Group is the only
group in Pakistan who has paid the government over 3 billion rupees ($65m) in order to return from exile. Living in Dubai gave Nasir Schon an opportunity to start businesses there. Currently working on an $830 million real estate project known as Dubai lagoon, Schon group is also fighting to get back the assets they once lost. Currently, the Schon group operates a pilot training center in Pakistan known as Schon Air.

7 – Abdul Razzaq Yakoub & family-U.A.E

Ranking: 6 (tied at 6) Worth: £500m ($1billion) Industry: Businessman
Mr Yakoub is a prominent Pakistani expatriate businessman based in Dubai. He is the president ARY group ($1.5Billion turnover) and World Memon Organization (WMO). He is one of Pakistan’s biggest media barons controlling around 7 channels. Besides this he has a huge property holdings in Karachi, Islamabad and Dubai amounting to over $200m. He is major in the gold market also having around 20 outlets in Asia. He has also been involved in paying Asif Zardari $5m in 1990’s for allowing him to import/export gold. Which he denies and claim’s is government forgeries.

8 – Rafiq Habib & Rasheed Habib-Pakistan

Ranking: 7 Worth: £450m ($900) Industry: Businessman
Legend has it that the Goddess of Wealth has been in love with the seasoned Habibs more than anybody else in Pakistan. Most pundits believe that Habibs own at least 100 companies throughout the world, but these content mega-tycoons never boast off, something which has
made it uphill for most to predict about their financial standing. This industrial group was founded by Seth Habib Mitha, born in 1878 to Esmail Ali-a factory owner in Bombay. The financial strength of the Habibs can be gauged from the fact that Muhammad Ali Habib gave a
cheque of Rs 80 million to Quaid-e-Azam in 1948 at a time when Pakistan government was penniless owing to delay in transfer of Pakistan’s share of Rs. 750 million by the Reserve Bank of India. They had offices in Europe in 1912. They incorporated the Habib Bank in
1941. They own the Habib Bank A.G Zurich, Bank Al-Habib, Indus Motors assembling Corolla cars and many dozens of units in sectors such as jute, paper sack, minerals, steel, tiles, synthetics sugar, glass, construction, concrete, farm autos, banking, oil, computers, music,
paper, packages, leasing and capital management. Habibs today are headed by Rafiq Habib and Rashid Habib in two distinct groups. What makes them extremely influential players of all times is the fact that for dozens of top businessmen today, Habib were a myth once.

9 – Tariq Saigol & Nasim Saigol -Pakistan

Ranking: 8 Worth: £425m ($850) Industry: Businessman
Hailing from Jhelum. The pioneer of the Saigol dynasty in 1890 was Amin Saigol who established a shoe shop that eventually transformed into Kohinoor Rubber Works. And then times saw them shining literally like the Kohinoor until their progress was halted by Nationalization in which they lost two-thirds of their wealth. Saigols got trifurcated
in 1976 and 15 descendents of Amin Saigols four sons got a share. The name of the Saigols has been used in this part of the world as similes describing quantum of wealth. Yousaf Saigol, along with his brothers Sayeed Saigol, Bashir Saigol and Gul Saigol then nourished an
excellent crop. In 1948, Saigols established the Kohinoor Textile Mills with a cost of Rs 8 million and this group happens to be the first to open an LC with the State Bank of Pakistan. They bought the United Bank in 1959 and then witnessed five of their units getting
nationalized. They lived in Saudi Arabia during the Bhutto regime. Today, cousins Tariq and Nasim are holding the family’s fort together and have risen to unprecedented heights in individual capacities. NAB did haunt Nasim but Tariq spent more time either accepting or refusing prized slots everywhere. Tariq is the one of the finest business brains around.

10 – Dewan Yousaf Farooqui -Pakistan

Ranking: 9 (tied at 9) Worth: £400m ($800) Industry: Businessman
Mr Farooqui. The mentor of this group has been the Sindh Minister for Local Bodies. Industries, Labour, Transport, Mines & Minerals. Dewan Mushtaq Group is one of the Pakistan’s largest industrial conglomerates in sectors like polyester acrylic fiber, manufacturing and automotives. Six of their companies are listed at the Karachi & stock Exchange and one at the Luxembourg bourse. Dewan Farooqui Motors assembles around 10,000 cars annually under technical license agreement with Hyundai and Kia Motors of Korea. The Dewan Salman Fiber is the pride of this empire as it ranks 11th in the world in total
production capacity. The group owns three textile units, a motorcycle manufacturing concern and the largest sugar unit in the country. Dewans also have business interests in India. They possess dozens of millions of shares of Saudi Cement and Pak land Cement. They also have
the franchise licence for BMW in Pakistan and now Rolls Royce showrooms.

11 – Sultan Ali Lakhani & family -Pakistan

Ranking: 9 (tied at 9) Worth: £400m ($800) Industry: Businessman
The Lakhanis are currently having a hard time at the hands of NAB. Sultan Lakhani and his three brothers run this prestigious group and the chain of McDonald’s restaurants in Pakistan. NAB has alleged the Lakhanis of having created phoney companies through worthless
directors and raised massive loans from various banks and financial institutions. Sultan is currently abroad after having served a jail term with younger sibling Amin, though the latter was released much earlier. NAB had reportedly demanded Rs 7 billion from Lakhanis, but
later agreed they pay only Rs 1.5 billion over a 10-year period. Lakhanis, like their arch-rivals Hashwanis, are the most well-known of all Ismaeli tycoons. Their stakes range from media, tobacco, paper, chemicals and surgical equipment to cotton, packaging, insurance,
detergents and other house-hold items, many of which are joint ventures with leading international conglomerates. Though Lakhanis are in turbulent waters currently, the success that greeted them during the last 25 years especially has been tremendous. They have rifts with large business empires despite being known fur their genteel nature.
Whether it is any government in Sindh or at the Federal level, Lakhanis have had trusted friends everywhere, though the present era has proved a painful exception.

12 – Malik Riaz Hussain -Pakistan

Ranking: 9 (tied at 9) Worth: £400m ($800) Industry: Businessman
Malik Riaz Hussain heads the massive project which is currently developing state-of-the-art schemes in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi/Islamabad. Emerging out of the blue, this developer has reportedly developed tremendous connections where it matters in
Pakistan-One of the few reasons why his constructed projects get completed in time without hindrance. Whether he has gifted bungalows free of cost of country’s bigwigs or offered them at highly concessional rates, the reality on the ground is that Malik has managed to mesmerize most through his generous wallet. His land-holdings both within and outside Pakistan amounts to nearly a billion dollar. He is the man behind the Bahria Town. Irrespective of
who is in power; he continues to build house after house-swelling his wealth. He is also the first man to drive a Bentley car on Pakistani soil.

13 – Sheikh Abid Hussain alias Seth Abid -Pakistan

Ranking: 10 Worth: £390m ($780) Industry: Businessman
Sheikh Abid Hussain alias Seth Abid. He is one of the most resourceful developers/builders in the country owning vast stretches of land in major cities. On this land worth many billion of rupees, Seth has constructed residential schemes under the brand name of “Green Fort.”
Seth came into this business after decades of notoriety as being one of the spearheads in cross-border smuggling. While many remember Seth for his allegedly illegal trading stints, a lot of informed circles still say with conviction that he, along with Dr.Qadeer and former
Premier Bhutto, was the brain behind the success of Pakistan’s nuclear programme. About three dozen of Seth’s very close relatives, friends and nephews are members of country’s bourses and for many years now, the Seth Abid group assumes the role of king-makers during the annual polls of these stock exchanges. He is a leading investor in stocks, metals and currency but what gives him immense pleasure is his philanthropic institution Hamza Foundation that he sponsors for the welfare of deaf and dumb children. Pakistan has not had a single ruler, politician, bureaucrat or Army General who doesn’t know the Seth who is more of a myth for most. The Seth, throughout his life, has avoided publicity-a fact known to most journalists.

14 – Mian Mohammed Latif -Pakistan

Ranking:11 Worth: £350m ($700) Industry: Businessman
Chenab Group Mian Muhammad Latif supervises this group along with his brother Mian Ashfaque- a legislator in the National Assembly of Pakistan. Founded in 1975, Chenab Limited set up its first fashion outlet “Chen One.” Chen One has seven outlets throughout Pakistan. After establishing its retail chain stores in various cities of Saudi Arabia, the group is now planning to establish its new retail chains in Bahrain, UA.E, Qatar, Kuwait and Central Asian Republics. While Chenab Group is an eight-time Export Trophy winner, its Chief Mian
Latif has won the ‘Businessman of the Year award on four different occasions from various business bodies. Chenab is principally engaged in manufacture and distribution of clothing, furniture goods, including non-iron suit, quilt cover and curtains etc. Chenab processes 50 million square metres fabric weaving and 75 million square metres fabric dyeing every year and has established a global sales network spanning across five continents. Chenab is licensed to the Swedish Texcote Technology in the manufacturing and sale of textile materials, garments and textile house-hold goods. The group’s textile products have been awarded the Oekotex 100 accreditation.

15 – Haji Abdul Ghafoor & Haji Bashir Ahmed -Pakistan

Ranking: 12 Worth: £330m ($660) Industry: Businessman
Sitara Group Started its activity with textile weaving as early as 1956, under brothers Haji Abdul Ghafoor and Haji Bashir Ahmed. It is now its textile cloth finishing and processing, textile spinning, chlor-alkali sector and in power generation. The units owned by this establishment include Sitara Chemicals, Sitara Chemicals (Textile Division 1) and Sitara Chemicals (Textile Division 11), Sitara Textiles, Sitara Energy and Yasir Spinning. The charities being managed under the aegis of Sitara group are Aziz Fatima Hospital, Ghafoor Bashir Children Hospital and Aziz Fatima Girls School. Sitara’s name with the industrial City of Faisalabad is synonymous. They are the decades-old veterans in business, who have excelled in
leaps and bounds. At their units, the owners of Sitara use technology imported from Japan, UK and Germany and are export leaders in bedding and fabric collection to South America, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. Their textile divisions together operate at strength of 33,984 spindles. The Sitara (group, to a common man, is more famous for its lawn brands like Sitara Sapna and Mughal-e-Azam. The men at helm of affairs in Sitara hardly believe in setting up dozens of units, of which they are otherwise very much capable of.

16 – Sheikhani Family -Pakistan

Ranking: 13 Worth: £300m ($600) Industry: Businessman
They are one of the most reputed land developers in the country. The
Sheikhani, although not a very big industrial establishment by any means, are led by Abu Bakar Sheikhani. The Sheikhanis are famous for their construction and land development-related errands. Abu Bakar is deemed to be one of the largest investors in real estate trade at
Gwadar Port. He has all the right connections that are required to be in such business. Despite being well known to the national political circles, the man in street knew more of him during March/April 1991 when he surfaced as the single largest contributor to then Premier
Nawaz Sharif’s Debt Retirement Fund with a donation of $ 8million. Today, his adversaries dub him a land mafia man, alleging him for selling his Gwadar land at only $ 4000 per acre only to senior Army officials while the same was being sold at $ 2,50,000 per acre to
ordinary investors. But that is the way Sheikhani runs his vast land/construction empire. Accusations don’t disturb Sheikhani, who according to many large developers is a man who has managed to createtremendous impression in land business. The rumours of his landing in
any Pakistani City for land acquisition purposes, helps the price of real estate surge unprecedented overnight.

17 – Razzaq Dawood -Pakistan/UAE

Ranking: 14 (tied at 14) Worth: £250m ($500) Industry: Businessman
Razzaq presently heads one of Pakistan’s biggest construction and
engineering conglomerate know as Dawood group/Descen group. With a
roaster of impressive clients. His group has won many contracts in
Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Iraq and employ’s over 1,000 people directly.
His name was more prominent among the top 22 richest families in 1970
until the Bhutto nationalization which then made him set up abroad, he
returned to Pakistan in the early 90’s and started from scratch and
today makes it in the top easily. The group also has investment of
$300m in Bangladesh in investments in fertiliser, energy and
infrastructure and development sectors

.18 – Byram Dinshawji Avari -Pakistan

Ranking: 14 (tied at 14) Worth: £250m ($500) Industry: Businessman
Byram Dinshawji Avari is a prominent Pakistani Parsi tycoon inKarachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Together with his sons Dinshaw and Xerxes and their direct families, he owns and operates the Avari Group of companies, of which he is the chairman. Hotel management is the Avari Group’s core business. In Pakistan, the group owns and operates Avari Hotels which includes 5-star deluxe hotel in Lahore, the 5-star Avari Towers and the seafront Beach Luxury Hotel in Karachi. The group is also actively pursuing opportunities for owning and/or managing 3 and
4-star properties elsewhere in Pakistan. The Avari Group is the first Pakistani company to have obtained international hotel management contracts: they operate the 200-room 4-star hotel in Dubai in United Arab Emirates and manage the 200-room Ramada Inn in Toronto at Pearson
Airport in Canada.

19 – Rafiq Rangoonwala -Pakistan

Ranking: 15 (tied at 14) Worth: £240m ($480) Industry: Businessman
Mr. Rafiq Rangoonwala, Chief Executive Officer Cupola Group of Companies, was born in Karachi, did BA (Hons.) from University of Karachi, went to United States of America in 1979, and did Executive Development Course from Whittemore School of Business, University of
New Hampshire along with several management courses from U.K, U.S,
Canada, Australia and Singapore. In 1980, he started his career in Fast Food restaurants from KFC in Houston. Since then he has managed several other brands alongside KFC like Pizza Hut, Harry Ramsden’s, TGI Fridays, Pizza Express etc. e joined Artal Restaurants
International as CEO in October 1999 and is currently heading Cupola Group of Companies who has franchise rights in Pakistan for KFC, Indulge, Freshens and Casa. The associate Investment Company of Cupola is AL ABRAJ, with approximately US $400 million under management.

20 – Shimmy Querishi -USA

Ranking: 15 (tied at 15) Worth: £240m ($480) Industry: Businessman
A jet-setting international businessman who fly’s by jet and swings a polo mallet with some of the world’s top players, Qureshi seems a model of successful enterprise. Shimmys business interests are mainly property, which with the boom and his holidings has took his wealth to a new level. Although people may remember him for his stunt in the early 90’s with George Lindemann, the billionaire founder of Cellular One, when Lindemann took him to court claiming he has cheated them in to a deal to buy their home on Hurlingham Drive in Wellington for $3.5 million. A year before the Lindemanns filed their suit, Qureshi
bartered with another wealthy family – the al-Thanis, who rule the Arab country of Qatar – to buy Gulf Union Bank in the Cayman Islands. In May 1997, the al-Thanis agreed to sell Gulf Union to International Business Holdings – a Cayman Islands company owned by Qureshi – for
$4.5 million, according to court records. While Cayman Islands officials were reviewing the deal, Qureshi named an associate, Kazmi, to run Gulf Union and a subsidiary, First Cayman
Bank. Within three months, Kazmi, acting at Qureshi’s direction, had shunted more than $5 million from First Cayman into his own account and into accounts held by Qureshi and the al-Thanis. Shimmy Qureshi also fully manages all the properties in the USA owned by Asif
Zardari.

21 – Faruque Khan -Pakistan

Ranking:15 (tied at 15) Worth: £240m ($480) Industry: Businessman
The late Khan Bahadur Ghulam Faruque Khan (1899-1992) was a politician and industrialist of Pakistan. He belonged to the village Shaidu in Nowshera District, Nowshera is the home of the famous Pashtun Tribe the Khattaks of the NWFP Province in Pakistan. Because of his
contribution to Pakistan’s Industrial development he is sometimes described as “The Goliath who Industrialized Pakistan., today his family own Cherat Cement Company Ltd. Cherat Papersack Ltd. Cherat Electric Ltd. Mirpurkhas Sugar Mills Ltd. Faruque (pvt) Ltd Greaves
Air-Conditioning(pvt) Ltd Greaves Engineering Services(pvt) Ltd Unicol Ltd.- A JV Company Madian Hydro Power Ltd. – A JV Company Zensoft (pvt) Ltd and prime properties around Pakistan
 

22 – Shahid Luqman UK

Ranking: 16 (tied at 16) Worth: £230m ($460) Industry: Businessman
Shahid Luqman, born in Gujrat, is a financier from Manchester and has founded ‘Pearl Holdings’ for the property finance market He is a prominent property developer in the UK and in Pakistan is projects run into multi-million pounds. He also runs a loan facility. Although in
the past it has been noticed of him filling bankruptcy and pocketing huge unpaid loans.

23 – Mukhtar Ahmed -Pakistan

Ranking: 16 (tied at 16) Worth: £230m ($460) Industry: Businessman
Late Haji Sheikh Mohammad Ibrahim, founder of the Ibrahim Group, settled in Faisalabad after partition of India in 1947 and re-established his ancestral business of cloth trading by the name of “Ibrahim Agencies”. What is known in business today as Ibrahim Group with diversified business interests from Spinning to PSF, Financial Institutions to Banking and Energy, started off as a mere cloth trading agency just half a century ago. Recently Mr Ahmed bought a stake in the Allied Bank at $300m.

24 – Aqeel Karim Dhedi -Pakistan

Ranking: 16 (tied at 16) Worth: £230m ($460) Industry: Businessman Starting from interests in real estate and stock-broking in the year 1947, the late Haji Abdul Karim Dhedhi (may he rest in peace) laid the foundation of what today is the AKD group of companies, one of the
largest domestic business enterprises in Pakistan with a combined net worth of over US$ 1 billion, of which Mr Karim share is at $400m. Mr. Aqeel Karim Dhedhi, son of (late) Haji Abdul Karim Dhedhi, is the Chairman of the AKD Group. He has built the AKD Group as a leading and vibrant set of business enterprises operating in key sectors of Pakistan’s economy, ranging from stocks and shares, media, textile, real estate and Oil and Gas exlporation. Yet AKD is still on the move!

25 – Syed Family -Pakistan

Ranking: 17 (tied at 17) Worth: £220m ($440) Industry: Businessman
Listed on all three stock exchanges in Pakistan, Packages Limited has maintained a long-time credit rating of AA. The joint ventures and business alliances with some of the world’s biggest names reflect our forward-looking strategy of continuously improving customer value
through improvements in productivity. The group also acquired a good number of Coca Cola plants in Pakistan. Its famous brands include Nestle Milk Pak, Treet, Mitchells and Tri Pack Films. It has stakes in the textile, dairy, agriculture and rice sectors too. The group’s
contributions towards the cause of an independent Pakistan are unprecedented are the only packaging facility in Pakistan offering a complete range of packaging solutions including offset printed cartons, shipping containers and flexible packaging materials to individuals and businesses world-wide. They employ over 4000 people.

26 – Saif Family -Pakistan

Ranking: 17 (tied at 17) Worth: £220m ($440) Industry: Businessman
Is owned and operated by the sons of famous NWFP lady politician Begum Kalsum Saifullah. Her eldest son Javid Saifullah heads this very powerful business group. Javid obtained his Master degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh, USA in 1973,
followed by diversified experience of over 30 years in textiles, telecommunication, cement and Information Technology. He also remained the Chairman of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) for two years and NWFP for seven years. He has also been the member Task Force IT & Telecommunication Advisory Board, Ministry of Science and Technology, Member of Task Force (Liberalization & Privatization of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited), Ministry of Science & Technology) Javed Saifullah Khan is looking after the group businesses for the past 20 years. Saifullahs are in power always, in one form or the other. Javaid’s brothers Anwar Saifullah Khan (Former Federal Minister), Salim Saifullah Khan (king-maker in NWFP polities) and Osman Saifullah (another APTMA & wizard) have very close family ties with a lot of key politicians in the country, besides being related directly or indirectly through marriages to the families of a few leading and famous Army Generals who ruled Pakistan.

27 – Jehangir Elahi -Pakistan

Ranking: 18 (tied at 18) Worth: £200m ($400) Industry: Businessman
Jehangir Elahi is brother in law of Mian Mohammad Mansha and is ranked among the tycoons in Pakistan. He has launched several projects as joint ventures with Mian Mohammad Mansha, as for example Genertech, one of the earliest private sector power plants conceived in Pakistan. Independently his group has four companies listed on the stock
exchange.

28 – Sherazi Family -Pakistan

Ranking: 18 (tied at 18) Worth: £200m ($400) Industry: Businessman
This group was founded by Yousaf Sherazi, a former Income Tax official and journalist in 1962 with a capital of Rs 03 million only. The first company set by the Atlas Group was Sherazi Investments (Pvt) Limited and since then, there is no looking back. The East Pakistan tragedy,
however, nearly crippled Sherazi but he never lost hope and went out forming numerous joint ventures with leading Japanese concerns like Honda. Atlas-Honda today is a name to reckon with in country’s engineering sector and associated with this just one name are hundreds
of vendors. He holds stakes in insurance, financial services, information technology, leasing, warehouses, office equipment, motor cars and motorcycle-assembling units, besides running a renowned firm that manufactures batteries. Sherazi owns the Atlas Investment Bank
too. The Federal Budget 2004-05 is perhaps the only budget in country’s history that has hit the very influential car manufacturers on the head, otherwise people like Yousaf Sherazi have always managed to dictate terms where it matters. The Atlas Group owns no less than
seven companies quoted on the stock exchanges of Pakistan. The group’s assets are believed to have touched the hundreds of millions dollars mark and so have the sales.

29 – Noon family -Pakistan

Ranking: 19 Worth: £190m ($380m) Industry: Businessman
Noon family comes from Tiwana family from Mitha Tiwana. The Tiwana family lives in an old historical village in Khushab district. The Tiwana caste is a very popular landholding and influential political caste in the Khushab district. The Noon Family own 27 villages in
Bhalwal and Bhera. The fields of these villages are very cultivated and fertile. The Landlord Noon family created many bankers, industrialists, ambassadors and politicians for Pakistan. The Noon family is very popular in the area because of their character , their
attitude,their behaviour with the people and helps the poor and needy people in the area without any prejudice so Noon family is very well-wisher,well-behaved ,sympathetic with the area. On their land they own over 40 factories on total ranging from brick manufacturing
to cotton farms and production. They are a tax paying landlords for this reason they are the only feudal lords including in this edition.

30 – Mian Abdullah -Pakistan

Ranking: 19 Worth: £190m ($380m) Industry: Businessman
One of the largest manufacturers and exporters of textile products in Pakistan, Sapphire technology comes from Europe, Japan and USA. Capitalizing on the region’s principal crop, cotton, we source this locally, and augment our offerings by providing imported fiber from
the world’s best crops. We work with specialized fibers bringing in the newest innovations from major fiber and chemical producers, and our manufacturing from yarn to finished fabric is performed in our facilities in Pakistan. Synergies are formed with offshore garment
manufacturing companies. Our products are marketed to the industry’s biggest names in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America. Over 14,000 employees ,Annual turnover US $ 500 Million Headed by a veteran industrialist Mian Abdullah, this splendid empire
owns 11 yarn spinning plants (producing 60,000 tonnes of yarn annually), 3 woven plants of greige fabric ( producing 50 million metres annually), one yarn dyeing plant (capacity 5 tonnes per day), one knitting unit (10 tonnes per day), one knitted fabric dyeing plant
(10 tonnes per day), one woven fabric dyeing and finishing plant ( 1.2 million metres per month) and three power plants having the capability to produce 40 MW of energy. Sapphire forms synergies with off-shore garments companies. The group markets its products in biggest brand names in Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. Sapphire started
with one spinning mill in 1969 and employs over 10,000 people. Mian Abdullah’s repute can be gauged from the fact during the October 2003 minis at APTMA, more than 1000 textile millers bad tendered their resignations against incumbent Chief Waqar Monnoo to him. Dozens of
leading tycoons had proposed his name to head APTMA in case of an interim setup. Having an influence among textile millers is no easy job but Mian Abdullah stands privileged in this context He is often seen part of the entourages of key business leaders to foreign
countries and provides input to fellow colleagues whenever requested.

31 – Shahzad Family -Pakistan

Ranking: 20 (tied at 20) Worth: £170m ($340m) Industry: Businessman
Shahzad Group is a reputable name which takes pride in being identified as a beacon of business development involved in almost all avenues of Nation building activities i.e. Energy, Communications, Minerals, Construction, Geophysical survey, Security and many other
ventures. Shahzad Group has , by itself, and in some cases in collaboration with foreign and local partners, who are the leading brand names in the world, identified, initiated, supervised and successfully completed major business ventures. Shahzad Group prides itself for its accomplishments during almost three decades of business activity. The Group has actively participated in enhancing Pakistan’s international competitiveness and social development, and for promotion of foreign and domestic investment in business ventures. It takes pride in delivering quality products, solutions and services that obtain a competitive advantage over others. The Group is a wholly owned Pakistani establishment with offices in
Calgary (Canada), Houston (USA), London, Kuwait, Beijing and Singapore, with a strong presence in various other metropolises all over the world. Shahzad International Group of Companies,Oil and Gas,Gold and Minerals Mining,Geological surveys,Defence supplies,Travel and Tour Operators,Flash security services and Trading Worldwide.

32 – Nazir Family -Pakistan

Ranking: 20 (tied at 20) Worth: £170m ($340m) Industry: Businessman One of Faislalabads most prominent families is the Haji Nair family. Owning Masoos textiles, Mahmood Textiles, Asim Textiles and power generation plants. Son of Mr Nazir Shahid Nazir is also a prominent
politician.

33 – Abdul Bhati -UK

Ranking: 21 (tied at 21) Worth: £150m ($300m) Industry: Businessman Bhatti, 71, is a director of London-based wholesaler Bestway, which saw profits up 27% in 2005-06 at £73m on a turnover up 26% at £1.7 billion. Bhatti and his family have a stake worth £140m as well as
other assets.

34 – Adalat Chaudhary -UK

Ranking: 21 (tied at 21) Worth: £150m ($300m) Industry: Businessman Director of the London-based Bestway cash-and-carry business established by Sir Anwar Pervez.

35 – Younis Sheikh -UK

Ranking: 21 (tied at 21) Worth: £150m ($300m) Industry: Businessman Bestway director Sheikh, 70, London cash-and-carry business Bestway continues to thrive.

36 – Chaudrey Zameer -UK

Ranking: 21 (tied at 21) Worth: £150m ($300m) Industry: Businessman Finance director of the London-based Bestway cash-and-carry business started in 1976 by Anwar Pervez . In 2004 Pervez stepped down as managing director, Choudrey took over. In 2005-06 Bestway profits rose 27% at £73m on turnover up 26% at £1.7 billion. Choudrey and his family have a 10.1% stake. They also own 70% of the Buybest supermarket chain in UK

37 – Zafar Iqbal Khwaja -Pakistan

Ranking: 21 (tied at 21) Worth: £150m ($300m) Industry: Businessman Zafar Iqbal Khawaja (born January 3rd, 1952) is a prominent Pakistani businessman who owns a number of companies around the world. He is better known in Pakistan as the “Prince of Sargodha”. Also referred to as the “Shaheen of Sargodha” (The Eagle of Sargodha). Zafar Iqbal Khawaja, is the son of a significant military commando Muhammed Sadiq Khawaja, who worked with Muhammed Ali Jinnah (The Founder of Pakistan) during the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan. Zafar Iqbal Khawaja is most widely known as the Managing Director of a multi-million dollar company called Inter Equipment. It’s Head Quarters are located at the Jebal Ali Free Zone, Dubai which is a recognized commercial capital of the Middle-East. In Mr.Khawaja’s business circle, he is known for his commitment to honest work and his ethical manner of business. Within 15 years, he has developed himself from a fresh college graduate, into a business tycoon. Currently, he is in the process of writing an auto-biography describing his success story. This auto-biography would be a must-read for any business-person pursuing major success.

38 – Shahid Hussain -Pakistan

Ranking: 22 (tied at 22) Worth: £130m ($260m) Industry: Businessman With more than 325 retail outlets and 13 wholesale depots, Service Sales Corporation (Pvt.) Limited is the leading retail and wholesale company in Pakistan with annual sales $300m. The Company has
established some of Pakistan’s leading footwear brands including DON CARLOS, CHEETAH, SKOOZ, TOZ and LIZA and has distribution agreements with CATERPILLAR and NIKE. As part of our growth strategy, we have expanded our businesses to include Service Communications, Shoe Planet (Pvt.) Limited and Soul Collections.

39 – Younis Brothers -Pakistan

Ranking: 22 (tied at 22) Worth: £130m ($260m) Industry: Businessman Yunus Brothers is actively involved in international trading of various products including Cotton & Blended Yarn, Cotton & Blended Fabrics, Garments, Rice, Sugar, Fertilizer, Earth moving equipments, Chemicals, Spare Parts and Automotive Vehicles etc. Yunus Brothers is one of the largest export houses of the Pakistan exporting mainly to the European, US, Far Eastern, Middle Eastern and African markets. Yunus Brother’s annual sales turnover exceeds USD 300/- million with 95% of the sales geared towards the export markets.

40 – Ghani Family -Pakistan

Ranking: 22 (tied at 22) Worth: £130m ($260m) Industry: Businessman Abdul Ghani Dada Bhoy was the founder of Dada Bhoy group, starting in trade and branching off into the construction business. The group has a big share of cement market in Southern Pakistan. Like other Memon groups, Dad Bhoys are closely linked through intermarriages with other leading families like Jaffer and Bawany. Abdul Ghani Dada Bhoy had five sons and two daughters, namely Noor Mohammad Dada Bhoy, Mohammad Farooq Dada Bhoy, Mohammad Hussain Dada Bhoy, Abdullah Hussain Dada Bhoy and Ghulam Mohammad Dada Bhoy. Daughters are Mrs Mehrunisa Jaffer and Mrs Zaibunisa Tanveer .

41 – Saddiq & Sons -Pakistan

Ranking: 22 (tied at 22) Worth: £130m ($260m) Industry: Businessman This group made the bulk of its fortune during the chief ministership and premiership of Nawaz Sharif when the group was sold Pasrur Sugar Mills for a token price of Rs one and its Chairman, Mohammad Saleem was appointed managing director of National Development Leasing Corporation (NDLC) replacing Rafiq Habib. Today the have invested huge amounts in prime properties around Pakistan.

42 – Afzal Kushi -UK

Ranking: 23 (tied at 23) Worth: £120m ($240m) Industry: Businessman Afzal Khushi, 51, managing director of Jacobs & Turner, last year received a CBE for services to business in Scotland. He and his brother, Akmal, 50, have made the £90m Glasgow sportswear firm a global business. They also have £30 other assets.

43 – Ghulam Hassan Khan -Pakistan

Ranking: 23 (tied at 23) Worth: £120m ($240m) Industry: Businessman The SK group of companies shares a set of five core values: integrity, adaptability, excellence, unity and responsibility. These values, which have been part of the SK Group’s beliefs and convictions from its earliest days, continue to guide and drive the business decisions of SK companies. The SK Group and its enterprises have been steadfast and distinctive in their adherence to business ethics and their commitment to corporate social responsibility. This is a legacy that
has earned the SK Group the trust of many thousand of stakeholders The SK Group comprises of six operating companies in following business segments: Information technology, Real estate, Developer and Builders, Media, Welfare, Import and exports and CNG stations. The SK Group was founded by Sardar Gulam Hassan Khan Niazi in the mid 1980’s. Sardar Khan Niazi and those who followed him aligned business opportunities with the objective of nation building. This approach remains enshrined in the SK Group’s ethos to this day. Rose Shopping Mall Companies owned by the family today: Paradise City, SK Trading, DUBAI
Gasco 2000, chain of CNG stations SK Constructions , rose club, SK plazaz, Chuna Pa chain fast food chinese., SKN tust and sk farms.

44 – Kasim Dada -Pakistan

Ranking: 24 Worth: £100m ($200m) Industry: Businessman Kasim hails from a 19th Century Memon business family known to have possessed the vision of international trade when most of their contemporaries were rather naïve on this count. This family had offices in Burma, South Africa and countries of the Far-East long before 1940. Dadas, have held decisive positions at the Karachi Stock Exchange and own shares of various Pakistani and foreign monopolies without creating any hype. Kassim Dada’s family is known to have held major local equity in multinationals like Glaxo SmithKline, Brook Bond and Berger Paints, besides being the sponsoring directors of Messrs Hyderabad Electronics, Automotive Battery Limited and Interfund Bank etc. Kassim Dada is one of the few Pakistani Tycoons who used to fly on private planes from Karachi to hit cement plants in Hyderabad. It was this family which had hired Mahatama Gandhi as a solicitor in 1890 to contest a business case in South Africa. Dada, was once a symbol of wealth. Had his assets not been nationalised by Bhutto he would definitely had the status many richest men in the world enjoy today.
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Tribute to Mrs.Benazir Bhutto January 9, 2008

Posted by Farzana Naina in Pakistan, Politics.
2 comments

TRIBUTE TO BENAZIR BHUTTO
یہ کالم فاطمہ بھٹو نے جنگ میں اپنی پھوپھو بینظیر بھٹو کے لیے لکھا ہے اور میرا خیال ہے بینظیر بھٹو پر لکھے جانے والے کالموں میں ایک بہترین کالم ہے۔

!!!پھوپھی سے میرے تعلقات کی نوعیت کافی پیچیدہ تھی۔ یہ بہرطور ایک حقیقت ہے ایک افسوسناک حقیقت  

یہ بھی ایک بدیہی حقیقت ہے کہ گزشتہ پندرہ برس کے دوران ہم نے دوستوں یا رشتے داروں کی طرح ایک دوسرے سے قطعاً کوئی سلوک نہیں کیا۔ یہ پندرہ برس کا عرصہ ہم نے ایک دوسرے سے الگ تھلگ رہ کر بسر کیا تھا تاہم اس ہفتے میں نے بھی انہیں باندازِ دگر یاد کرنے کی کوشش کی اور خواہش کی ہے۔ میں انہیں ایک مختلف طریقے سے یاد کرنا چاہتی ہوں کیونکہ مجھے ایسا ہی کرنا ہو گا۔ یہ ملک جو میرا وطن ہے اور جس پر میرا ایمان غیر متزلزل ہے میں اس ایمان کو کبھی کھونا نہیں چاہوں گی۔ مجھے یقین نہیں آتا کہ انہیں بغیر کسی سبب اور وجہ کے قتل کیا گیا ہے۔ تشدد اپنی خالص شکل میں کس قدر سفاک اور ناقابل معافی ہوتا ہے۔ میں اب بھی اس صورت حال کو ذہنی طور پر تسلیم کرنے سے قاصر ہوں۔ بہر صورت مجھے اپنی مرحومہ پھوپھی کو الوداع تو کہنا ہی ہو گا۔

 ایک ایسا الوداعیہ جسے اشکوں سے تحریر کیا گیا ہے، جس میں شدید غم و غصہ بھی شامل ہے لیکن جو ایک ایسے مقام سے پیش کیا جا رہا ہے، جو بے حد دور افتادہ ہے اور جسے حافظے اور معذرت خواہی کے جذبے کے ساتھ خلط ملط بھی نہیں کیا جا سکتا۔ ایک ایسی جگہ ہے جہاں کسی اور وقت ہم سب محفوظ تصور کئے جا سکتے تھے۔

جب میں ننھی منی سی بچی تھی تو اپنی پھوپھی کو بڑی بوا ( سندھی زبان میں وڈی بوا ) کہہ کر مخاطب کیا کرتی تھی جو سندھی افراد اپنے والد کی بڑی بہن کو کہتے ہیں۔ جب مجھے یہ خبر ملی کہ میری بڑی بوا کو کچھ ہو گیا ہے تو مجھے بڑا تعجب ہوا کیونکہ یہ ایک ایسا تاثر تھا جو میں نے اس سے پہلے اتنی طویل مدت کے دوران کبھی نہیں سنا تھا چنانچہ ٹیلی ویژن پر جب میں نے یہ خبر سنی تو مجھے ایسا لگا جیسے میں کسی اور کے بارے میں یہ خبر سن رہی ہوں۔ مجھے دفعتاً ایک ایک کر کے سب ہی واقعات یاد آنے لگے۔ ہم دونوں مل جل کر بچوں کی کتابیں پڑھا کرتے تھے۔ ہمیں ایک ہی طرح کی مٹھائیاں بھی پسند تھیں۔ خشک میوہ اور پھل بھی ہمیں ایک جیسے ہی پسند تھے۔ ہم دونوں کے کان میں تکلیف کی نوعیت بھی مشترک تھی جس کے نتیجے میں ہم دونوں کئی برس تک شدید اذیت میں مبتلا رہے۔ بہرطور اس سے قبل میں نے ایسا مضمون نہیں لکھا جسے تحریر کرنا مجھے تقریباً نا ممکن سا لگ رہا ہو۔ اس کے باوجود ہم ایک دوسرے سے کافی مختلف تھیں۔

 لوگ ہمیں ایک دوسرے سے ملانے کی کوشش ضرور کرتے ہیں غالباً وہ جبلی طور پر ایسا کرتے ہیں اور کر سکتے ہیں لیکن میرے لئے یہ بے حد دشوار ہے کہ میں بیک وقت دو ایسے افراد کے بارے میں لکھ سکوں جن میں سے ایک کے لئے مجھے صیغہٴ ماضی اور دوسرے کے لئے صیغہٴ حال استعمال کرنا پڑے۔ بالخصوص اس وقت جب ایک فرد کی شخصیت دوسرے کو حیرت زدہ ہو کر یہ سوچنے پر مجبور کر دے کہ واقعی زمانہٴ حال یا زمانہ ماضی کا کوئی حقیقی وجود ہے بھی یا نہیں ؟؟؟

 مجھے اپنی مرحومہ پھوپھی کی سیاست سے کبھی اتفاق نہیں رہا۔ جی ہاں۔ کبھی نہیں، مجھے ان لوگوں سے بھی قطعاً کوئی اتفاق نہ تھا، جو انہیں ہر وقت گھیرے رہتے تھے۔ ایسے لوگوں کو دیکھ کر مجھے کراہت محسوس ہوتی تھی۔

 واقعات اور حالات کی جو تعبیر اور تفسیر وہ بیان کرتی تھیں اس سے بھی مجھے کوئی اتفاق نہیں رہا۔ تاہم یہ باتیں اور اختلافات ان کی زندگی تک تھے لیکن اب وہ ہمارے درمیان موجود نہیں رہیں۔ موت ہمیں سکون اور اطمینان کے ساتھ سوچنے کا پیغام دیتی ہے۔ یہ ایک ایسا لمحہ ہوتا ہے، جو ہمیں ٹھنڈے دل کے ساتھ چیزوں پر غور کرنے کا موقع دیتا ہے۔ موت ہمیں بتاتی ہے کہ بس !!! بہت ہو چکا۔

ہم آپس میں کافی لڑ بِھڑ چکے اب ہم مزید پاگل پن کا مظاہرہ نہیں کریں گے۔ میں اپنے خاندان کے ساتھ ہونے والے المناک واقعات کا سوگ منا رہی ہوں۔ میرا دل بلاول، بختاور اور آصفہ کے لئے رو رہا ہے۔ میں ان کے رنج و غم میں برابر کی شریک ہوں کیونکہ وہ میرے مرحوم والد کی حقیقی بہن تھیں۔ انہیں بھی میں اپنے والدین جیسا ہی سمجھتی تھی۔ میں ایسے تجربے سے گزر چکی ہوں، جب کوئی سمندر کی لہروں میں گم ہوتا ہوا محسوس کرتا ہے جہاں صرف خوف اور بے بسی ہی اس کے ساتھ ہوتے ہیں مجھے اس جانکاہ صدمے کا بڑا تلخ تجربہ ہو چکا ہے۔

 میں پارٹی کے کارکنوں کے لئے بھی افسردہ ہوں جو اس المناک حادثے میں اپنے پیاروں سے محروم ہو چکے ہیں۔ جب کوئی اس دنیا سے رخصت ہو جاتا ہے تو اس کے عزیز، رشتے دار اور احباب سب ہی مساجد، گرجا گھروں اور مندروں میں جمع ہو کر اس کے لئے دعائے خیر کرتے ہیں اور رنج و امید سے بھرے حمدیہ کلمات ادا کرتے ہیں۔ ابھی تک کوئی ایسی حمد نہیں لکھی گئی جو غم و غصے یا احساس محرومی کو ظاہر کرتی ہو۔ یہ لمحات بھی بالآخر بیت جائیں گے۔ وقت بہت بڑا مرہم ہوتا ہے۔

سوال یہ ہے کہ اب ہمیں کیسی حمد گانا ہو گی؟؟ ایک ایسی حمد جس میں اداسی اور افسردگی کے بعد سورج نمودار ہوتا ہے۔ ہر رات کے بعد صبح ضرور آتی ہے۔ سوال یہ ہے کہ ہم کس چیز کے لئے پُر امید ہو سکتے ہیں؟؟ صبح کو بیدار کرنے کے لئے ہمیں کیا کرنا ہو گا؟

میں اپنے قارئین کے ساتھ ہمیشہ نہایت دیانتدار رہی ہوں۔ میں نے ان سے کبھی اپنے دل کی بات نہیں چھپائی۔ اس کا اظہار میں نے شروع ہی میں ان سے کر دیا تھا۔ میں پوری ایمانداری اور سچائی سے اس بات کا اظہار کرنا چاہتی ہوں کہ میرا نقصان کم نہیں ہوا۔ میں اب تک صدمے کی حالت سے باہر نہیں آ سکی۔ میں صدمے کی حالت میں ہوں کیوں کہ اب تک میں نے اپنے جتنے پیاروں کو مٹی میں دفن ہوتے دیکھا ہے ان سب کی ہلاکت غیر قدرتی طریقوں سے ہوئی تھی۔ ان میں سے کوئی بھی اپنی قدرتی موت نہیں مَرا۔

 میرے چار انتہائی قریبی اور نزدیکی عزیز رشتے دار، جنہیں مٹی کے سپرد کیا گیا ، سب کے سب وحشیانہ اور سفاکانہ قتل کا نشانہ بنے ہیں۔ میں اپنے دادا ذوالفقار علی بھٹو کے قتل کے پانچ برس بعد پیدا ہوئی تھی۔ میں نے اپنے دادا کی شہادت کے بعد پیدا ہونے والے خلاء میں جنم لیا تھا چنانچہ اپنے مرحوم والد میر مرتضیٰ علی بھٹو کے نزدیک میں ان کے لئے نئی زندگی کی نوید تھی۔ میں اپنے مرحوم دادا کی تقاریر سن کر بڑی ہوئی اور ان کے ویڈیو کیسٹ بھی میں نے دیکھے ہیں۔ جب میرے دادا کو شہید کیا گیا تھا تو میرے والد ابھی نوجوان ہی تھے اور یہ صدمہ ان کے آخری سانس تک، ان کے ساتھ ہی رہا تھا۔ وہ اپنے والد کی جدائی کے غم سے کبھی آزاد نہ ہو سکے تھے۔

 جب میرے چچا شاہ نواز بھٹو کا پیرس میں قتل ہوا تو میں فقط تین برس کی تھی۔ مجھے یاد ہے اس موقع پر میری بڑی بوا نے میرے ساتھ بیٹھ کر مجھے کہانیاں سنائی تھیں۔ خاندان کے دیگر افراد اس سانحے کے بارے میں پولیس سے گفت و شنید میں مصروف تھے۔ چودہ برس کی عمر کو پہنچی تو یوں سمجھ لیں میری زندگی کا خاتمہ ہو چکا تھا۔ میں اپنے قلب اور اپنی روح سے محروم ہو چکی تھی۔ میرے پیارے والد میر مرتضیٰ علی بھٹو کو بھی قتل کر دیا گیا تھا۔ اس لمحے کے بعد سے میں صرف اور محض اپنی شخصیت اور وجود کا ایک سایہ بن کر رہ گئی ہوں اور اب جب میری عمر پچیس برس ہے تو میری بڑی بوا کو مجھ سے چھین لیا گیا۔

 بہرحال یہ مضمون میری ذات کے بارے میں نہیں ہے۔ یہ ان لوگوں کی یاد میں لکھا گیا ہے جو مجھ سے بچھڑ چکے ہیں۔ یہ ہمارے آبائی قبرستان گڑھی خدا بخش کے بارے میں ہے جو لمحہ بہ لمحہ قبروں سے بھرتا چلا جا رہا ہے۔ میری دعا ہے کہ کاش یہ آخری میت ہو اور ہمیں آئندہ کسی کو اتنی جلد الوداع نہ کہنا پڑے۔ الوداع بڑی بوا ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ الوداع

Speeches by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Shaheed Murtaza Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto’s speech after assassination attempt
She’s been an iconic figure in Pakistan’s politics for decades and had been carrying on a family legacy that has had lasting an impact on modern day Pakistan.


A New Hope for Pakistan…???

May Allah bless her soul, she was someones wife, an adoring Mum to three teenagers, All sympathies with Bilawal, Bakhrawar and little Asifa, May Allah bless you all.

An E-mail from “Javed Iqbal Kaleem”

Allah does not allow us to spread obscenity among Muslims. We are
representing His Deen, so we should be a role model for fellow Muslims
and humanity at large. I have received few photographs of PPP’s new
Chairman Mr. Bilawal Zardari socializing with
his girl friends, in UK.. I will not forward it to anybody as
requested by the sender.What Bilawal is doing was expected of him. After all his father
was running a disco club when he got the honour of marrying BB. I can
tell you with certainty that the marriage did not suit poor BB. It was
the stupidity of her mother to have married her with a man of doubtful
character, only because he was a shia. If I was her mother, I would
have selected a professor or highly educated person who had no desire
for money and power. He would have served as party’s ideologue and and
stayed away from public view.A cousin of mine has returned from Hajj. Some Sindhi brothers who
were close to PPP leadership told him that the Royal couple was not
having good relations and their marriage was about to break. Zardari
is reported to have slapped BB in presence of party workers. This was
the reason BB did not nominate Asif for any party position. The Will
appears to be fake. We must not forget that people guarding BB were
jail mates of Asif Zardari;lawbreakers and corrupt to the core; they
conveniently slipped away when actual time of saving came, making it
possible for the killers to shot her point blank!Rumor is that it was Zardari who called different Jail
Superintendents to release the convicted prisoners from various jails
of Sind. The arson, loot and plunder of innocent citizens was made
possible by this mindless act. Those jail superintendents have now
been suspended and will be taken to task.Pity is, PPP’s rank and file are wholeheartedly supporting the
man responsible for defamation, fall from grace and possibly the
murder of Benazir Bhutto. A real tragedy!