Shah Latif and His Message - G. M. Syed
All Rights Reserved to Sain Publishers Sehwan Sharif,, Sindh ©

Chapter 2

Era and Political Environment of Shah Latif

Shah Sahib was born in the beginning of the twelfth century of the Islamic Calendar and at the end of the seventeenth century of Christian calendar. In order to fully comprehend the atmosphere and the conditions prevailing in the country at that time. It is imperative that the reader must get an awareness about the conditions in Sindh and it’s neighboring regions two centuries before this period, so that one may fully the background which influenced Shah Latif’s philosophy of life. It would be my effort to throw some light on the facts mentioned below.
  1. The internal political condition of Sindh.
  2. The political conditions in the countries neighboring Sindh, and their influence on the conditions prevailing in Sindh.
  3. Internal and external political and religious tendencies, and their influence on the life in Sindh.
  4. Shah Latif’s contemporary, and preceding religious teachers, who were a source of inspiration and benefit to Shah Latif.

1. The internal political condition of Sindh:

In the earlier part of the tenth century of hijiri Calendar (15th Century of the Christian Calendar) the people belonging to Samma tribe (the original Sindhi tribe) ruled over Sindh, and one ruler of the time was Jam Nizamuddin alias Jam Nando. He was a man of great learning, piety and maintained justice during his rule. At the time, there had been no influence of any foreign power over Sindh. The construction of the city of Thatta was carried out during his rule, and in a short time the city bore such an attractive look, that great scholars, eminent poets, godly people and people of various skills were voluntarily drawn toward the city and made it their home. In no, time the city of Thatta became a singular center of civilization, culture, learning and art. Besides this city, during ‘Samma’ era, Nasarpur Matyari, Darbela, Bakhar, Rohri, Pat, Baghban, Sehwan and Sann, the other cities of Sindh were flourishing in learning and trade.
After getting its freedom from the central control of with great difficulty, now it was possible for Sindh independently strengthen its position. During. This period ideologically, the religious scholars and mystics were divided into two groups.

The First Group: This group consisted of those people who believed in Sindhi Culture and civilization, political freedom, absolute autonomy and a progressive society. The chief moving force of this group was Makhdoom Bilawal, who was one of the members of the royal family of ‘Samma tribe. His two eminent companions, were Caliph Syed Haider Shah (the grandfather of the author) and Makhdoom Sahar Lanjar, who is buried in Unarpur. These venerable personalities had left a deep influence over the present Dadu, Sehwan, and the settlements of the hilly region of Tehsil Kotri and the settlements on the riverbank. This group enjoyed the patronage of the military commander of Jam Nando and Prim, Minister Dolah Darya Khan (Also known by the name (Mubarak). This group can be considered as Sindhi Nationalists.

The Second Group: This group believed in the predominance of Islam after the elimination of the tendency toward national freedom or political power on the national and ethnic basis. The leader of this group was Qazi Kadin, an eminent scholar of the city of Thatta, who was later appointed as a Qazi (Judge) at Bakhar during the reign of Shah Baig Arghoon. He subscribed ideologically to the Mehdvia sect of Makhdoom Muhammad Miran Junpuri. Makhdoom Junpuri had come to Sindh in 913 hijiri or 910 hijiri before he went to Afghanistan. At this time, a large number of men of social standing, rulers and scholars had come under his influence as a result of his teachings. Shah Baig Arghoon was one of those who paid homage to him. Some of the courtiers of the ruler of Sindh, Jam Nando appear to have sympathy for his movement. It is quite probable that it was due to these ideological differences that hostility and enmity developed between the courtiers of Jam Nando, and one of the groups registered its opposition against the Nationalist policy of Dolah Darya Khan.

The first group (the Sindhi Nationalists) continued to dominate and influence the affairs of the country during the life of Jam Nando. Nevertheless, the situation underwent a complete change immediately after the death of Jam Nando. At that time, a raging conflict for power was going on among Mughal tribes in Afghanistan. Mirza Babar (later Emperor Babar) expelled Shah Baig Arghoon, the son of Amir Zulnor from the rule of Kabul and Kandhar. Consequently, Shah Baig set out in search for a new seat of power.
On the other hand in Sindh Jam Nanda’s weak son Jam Feroze succeeded to the seat of power. But on the one hand Jam Salahuddin, the son of his elder brother asserted his right and claim to the seat of power while on the other hand due to the place intrigues and Jam Feroz’s own political blunders, his government became very weak. There started mutinies in greater parts of Sindh and the local leaders and officers became rebellious. Jam Feroze invited a number of Afghan Sardars and gave them positions as his courtier. When they observed a state of chaos and made administration in the country they dispatched a detailed report to Shah Baig Arghoon, and assured him that if he launched an attack he would find the conditions ripe for this purpose. After Shah Baig had received this information he dispatched his armies under the command of his brothers Mirza Abu Muhammad and Sultan Muhammad to occupy some regions of Sindh. However, through the courage and effort of Dolah Darya Khan the invaders were defeated those two invasions. Both the brothers of Mirza Shah Baig were killed in those two battles. After the defeat of Shah Baig’s armies in Sindh the local leaders and courtiers who were secretly sympathetic toward him felt that as long as Dolah Darya Khan continued to wield influence in the government they would never achieve their aim. With this purpose they, hatched such conspiracies against Jam Feroze and Dolah Darya Khan that they succeeded in sowing seeds of sharp differences between the two. Disappointed and frustrated Darya Khan resigned as a minister and as the commander of the army and chose to live a life of isolation and retirement on his ancestral land at Kahan. As Darya Khan detached himself from the administration the conditions in the government of Sindh further deteriorated. Shah during this time was looking for his opportunity. With great assurance and confidence he launched an attack on Sindh in 923 Hijra and after devastating the entire region up to Sehwan went back to Afghanistan. In the year 926 Hijra, he launched another attack. In this state of isolation and helplessness, Jam Feroze requested Darya Khan to come to his aid. However, at this time even Darya Khan was totally helpless. Inspite of this desperate situation fired with the spirit of keeping Sindh secure from the influence or control of any foreign power, he expressed his willingness to co-operate with Jam Feroze. He assumed the command of Sindhi armies and set out to confront the armies of Shah Baig. Both the armies came in conflict against each other at "Samoi" outside Thatta. It is said to have been a terrible.

Darya Khan engaged in a bloody and courageous conflict, but ultimately he suffered the death of a martyr on the battlefield. Jam Feroze, who never possessed the virtue of courage, took to his heels when he heard about the death of Darya Khan, and found a hiding place at the seat of Pir Pathu. When Shah Baig met no resistance, he marched his forces across Samoi and found no difficulty in occupying Thatta. In this way, the entire Sindh came under the control of Mirza Shah Baig Arghoon. At the recommendation of his Pir Bhai and his supporter Qazi Qazin, Shah Baig spared the lives of large number of people and later appointed Qazi Qazin the Qazi (Judge) at Bakhar.

At this, time followers of the political ideology of Muhammad Miran Junpuri had complete control over Sindh, and the advocates of Sindhi Nationalism had fully been wiped out. Darya Khan had been martyred in the battle of Samoi. Later his two sons had also been killed in the battle fought in the neighborhood of ‘Baghban’. Some of the Mullahs (Priests) of the government pronounced religious dictums against Makhdoom Bilawal, who morally supported Sindhi Nationalist Movement, and he was martyred in the oil press. Consequently, to give protection to his successor Syed Haider Shah Sannai set up a military camp in his village Sann. This protection and the military camp continued, until the time of his death. Syed Haider died, in Sha’ban 4, 937 Hijra.

Since the advocates of Sindhi Nationalism had become very weak, Sindh came under the influence of foreign elements. This process continued at least for seventy years. After this, at the command of Emperor Akbar in the year 1000 Hijra (1591 AD) Nawab Khan Khanan came and conquered Sindh. Since the conquest of Sindh by Nawab Khan Khanan to the middle of the time Shah Jahan, the governors appointed by the Delhi government continued to rule over Sindh. Aurangzeb himself remained the governor of Sindh and Multan from 1641 to 1651 Hijra.

During this period, Mian Adam Shah Kalhora was a pious man and a strong political force. This venerable personage was also adherent of the principles of Miran Muhammad Junpuri. He died in the year 1068 Hijra (1558 A.D). Mian Noor Mohammed Kalhora succeeded to his seat. Although Sindh was under the sway of the Sultans of Delhi, Mian Naseer Mohammed had established a great influence over the greater part of the country, which continued to grow with the passage of time. On this basis, the Court of Delhi honored later Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhoro with the title of Khuda Yar Khan, and later his son Mian Noor Muhammad was honored with this title. Ultimately during the last days of Muhammad Shah, in the year 1135 Hijra (1722 A.D) Mian Noor Muhammad Kalhoro was formally appointed as Nawab of Sindh by the Sultanate of Delhi. After this, Sindh remained the part of the Sultanate only in name. After the death of Mian Noor Mohammed, his successor Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhora put an end even to this nominal relationship with Delhi and secured complete sovereignty of Sindh. The year of his enthronement is 1168 Hijra (1755 AD), and this year is in fact the first year of independence of Sindh in Mughal period.

In the year 1185 Hijra (1772 AD) after the Kalhora dynasty, the Talpur dynasty came to power. Even during the reign of this dynasty, Sindh, largely, remained secure from the interference and control of the foreigners. After the Sindhi Nationalist Movement of Makhdoom Bilawal, seeing the unfavorable political conditions of Sindh, most of the venerable personalities of Sindh chose to lead a life of renunciation of the world, and directed their attention toward moral reformation. Makhdoom Noah, Shah Abdul Karim, Syed Ruknuddin and Sakhi Hashim Shah continued to adhere to this policy. However, a new era had begun from the period of childhood of Shah Latif. Makhdoom Abdul Rahman of Khuhra and Shah Inayat Sufi gallantly kept alive the tradition challenging the forces of falsehood, and found honor in martyrdom.

2. Political conditions of the countries around Sindh and their influence on Sindhi Life:

In the beginning of the 10th century of Muslim Calendar or in the 16th century of Christian Calendar Delhi was under the rule of Lodhi dynasty. On account of the weakness of its last king, Ibrahim Lodhi, after consulting Daulat Khan, the ruler of Punjab, some of his courtiers invited Mirza Babar (who was 6th in line of descent of Amir Timur) to launch an attack on Hindustan. Babar led his army into India, and inflicted a crushing defeat on Ibrahim Lodhi, and laid the foundation of Mughal dynasty after conquering Delhi.
Babar died in 1530 AD, and was succeeded by his son Humayun, But he was not successful in running the administration of the country for a long time. In 1540, the Pathan Sardar Sher Shah Soori drove Humayun out of Delhi. After a long period of fifteen years, through the help of the Shah of Iran, Humayun conquered India. He died after he had ruled India just for one more year. It was at the age of fourteen that his son Akbar succeeded to the throne of Delhi in 1558 H.
Through his sagacity and In the light of the views of his ministers, Emperor Akbar concluded that it was impossible to rule the sub-continent as vast as India simply with the force of arms. Therefore, for the survival of his power he shaped a specific policy and program, of which following were the most significant points. It was quite evident that whereas the population of India consisted of 25 to 30 Crore people, population of Muslims was only to 3 Crores and they were at the same time divided into faction due to their animosities and vested interests. Without securing the goodwill and willingness of the non-Muslim subject, It was possible to rule the country for a long time only with force. Therefore, it was the requirement of farsightedness, that for a long and lasting rule, such a policy be formulated that Muslims and Hindus should be able to run the affairs of the government through mutual co-operation.

Through a long experience, Akbar was convinced that the greatest impediment in the achievement of this aim was religious differences and lack of tolerance between the people professing different faiths. This was the reason that he was looking for ways and means for a consensus and harmony of views. All the people of India over some fundamental principles. In this connection he was able to get great help and guidance from, Abul Fazal and Faizi and their father Mullah Mubarak Sindhi who subscribed to the Chishtia school of thought, and being convinced of pantheistic philosophy, were completely above any kind of religious prejudices. He brought together the distinguished religious scholars of main religious beliefs and persuaded all of them to prepare and present a mutually agreed upon faith and belief acceptable to all the people. After a long consideration, in the court of Akbar, the assemblage of Muslim, Christians and Zoroastrian priests, religious scholars, and the advocates of the new idea, after mutual consultation and deliberation, invented a religions based on the common ideas and beliefs, and called it "Deen-e-Illahi", Thereafter started a cautious preaching of this new faith.

All these efforts on the part of Akbar were made with the intention of bringing about a united India. According to this religion, Akbar was to be its spiritual head and effort was made to promulgate this idea among the people. The purpose was to bring about national integration of all the people of India, and it was agreed upon in principle, that without any discrimination of faith or religion every one had to participate in the administration of the country. Consequently, large numbers of Hindus were appointed at high posts as advisers, ministers and governors. A custom was established that Muslims should enter marital relations with Hindus, but at the same time maintaining independence to follow their respective religions, and the affairs of the state be conducted according to Ain-e-Akbari (Akbar’s Law) instead of Islamic Law. In this way liberating the affairs of the Muslims from the influence of Iraq and Bokhara. India was made the center of religious guidance. The necessary result of compliance with the dictates of this faith under the leadership of the King was that special attention was paid to the fundamental principles of Islam and the peripheral problems were ignored. Quite a large number of Muslim religious scholars were living in a state of fear due to this situation. They were afraid that in this way Islam would lose its significance as a "faith of discipline." Moreover that group of scholars which played a special role In the affairs of the government and held respectable positions in the department of justice for a long time, not only during the period of the past Muslim rulers, but also in the period of the Mughal Kings, began to show its displeasure sensing the loss of its power and influence. Similarly the group of Muslim men of significance who were Influential in all the affairs of the state began to feel anxious about seeing the Hindus as their equal, hitherto they had considered as their subjects. Although, fearing the King, they continued to obey this policy, but secretly both these groups began hatching conspiracies as protest against this policy. They launched a propaganda campaign, the main points of which were the following:

Despite the displeasure of both the above mentioned groups, both during Akbar’s and Jehangir’s reign there was a great development of new tendencies, but with the passage of time the efforts of both these groups bore fruit and the royal also divided into two groups.

When the advocates of Islamic Law (Shariat) observed that as a re-suit of the popularity of Pantheistic belief of Chishtia school or thought, on the one hand weakened their political power, and on the other hand the observance of Religious Law and religions customs were losing their hold, and their dream of domination of Islam and of government based on Islamic religious Law appeared to be vanishing, they directed their energies and attention to evolve a suitable philosophy to counter the influence or Pantheism, so they might achieve success in their aims on the basis of their suggestions and policies.

Ultimately during thee last days of Akbar's reign a man of great learning, piety and well versed in the understanding of religious law was born in Delhi. He was Khawja Baaqi BilIah. He had succeeded to the scat of the Naqshbandia school of thought. Making use of his popularity as a pious and holy man, the noblemen and religions scholars of the court of Delhi, gathered round him, and began to meditate die achievement of their aims through him. During these days a young man Khawja Ahmed Farooqi drew special attention of Khawja Baaqi Billah The group mentioned above considered it a golden opportunity for them, and concentrated their attention on this young man. After die passage or a short time this young man achieved fame by die title or Imam Rabbani Mujadad Alif Sani and it was with him that they attached great expectations for the renaissance of Islam. By presenting the philosophy of deism against the pantheistic philosophy lie tried to prevent die Islamic religiosity law from becoming weak or eliminated. Emperor Jehangir entertained suspicions of opposition of his form of government and policy due to tile methods and ideas of Imam Rabbani; therefore he put him in confinement but released him after two years.

Shah Jahan directed his entire attention toward the construction and the beautification of the country, due to which he could not properly sec through die movement of ideological opposition developing internally. As a consequence two opposing tendencies developed between his own sons, and at the same time all the courtiers and noblemen were divided into two groups. Due to the companionship of Hazrat Chishtie, the Sindhi Mian Mir, Sarmad Shaheed and Hindu priests, Prince Dara Shikoh subscribed to the pantheistic philosophy, due to which he was an advocate of perpetuating the political Akbar. On the other hand Aurangzeb was the representative of the religious scholars and political ideas of majority of Muslim noblemen by subscribing to the philosophy of deism. Following are the main points of this political philosophy:

When the Hindu noblemen and officers observed t enthusiasm of Muslim noblemen and religious scholars in movement for domination of Imam, there was a reaction on the part for the restoration of Hindu power and influence. In connection Marhattas and Rajputs gave the evidence of enthusiasm. Shiwaji was a distinguished leader of movement. At last the plans and conspiracies of the Muslim noblemen and religious scholars proved fruitful.

During the year 1076 Hijra (1685 A.D) Shah Jahan fell at this time having arrested his father, Aurangzeb usurped k throne and had Dara Shikoh and his other brothers killed. The popular and well-known pious man Hazrat Sarmad was supporter of Dara Shikoh. This was considered as a great crime on his part and he too was martyred by having him skinned after assuming the title of the king, he restored the Muslims in every department on the basis of the principles of separate Muslim identity. For the renewal of the Islamic religious Law, the religious dictums (Fatawa-i-Alamgiri) were collected. "These religious dictums were issued as is evident from its name. The policy of Islam in an aggressive manner was followed. The Hindus began to be treated as a subjugated people. Every affair state began to be viewed from an "Islamic view point" than "Indian view point."

In his own person Aurangzeb was a learned and pious man, supporters adopted such a policy that the politics of the country was shaped into a religious complexion, and prejudice grow. In reaction to this policy Marhattas raised the d rebellion and Rajputs expressed their displeasure.

3. Internal and external political or Religious tendencies and their Influence on the life of Sindh:

As it has been stated above, at the time of the birth of Shah the early days of 12th century hijiri, Sindh was by three political ideologies. Almost everywhere there were supporters of each of these ideologies. Following were those three political ideologies.
    The separate identity of Sindh as a nation, independence, political power and a progressive ideology.
    The ideology of India as a united nation, political power and a progressive ideology.
    An Ideology of Muslims with a separate identity, an Islamic system of government and a progressive ideology.
1. The Ideology of independence of Sindh and a progressive ideology: The people subscribing to this ideology have always been Sindh almost during every period. It was the consequence of this very spirit, that the ruler of Sindh, Dodo Soomro chose to die with the entire nation fighting against the armies of the Sultan of Delhi, and refused to lay down arms. Due to internal differences he could not withstand the powerful onslaught of the Sultanate of Delhi, but set an enduring precedent of courage and patriotism, that, the tales of the feats of his courage are told and sung, up to this day.

The period of Samma rule in Sindh succeeded that of Soomros during the early days of their rule. Samma rulers remained under the influence of the power of Delhi. But gradually continued to advance toward a state of independence, until the period of Jam Nizamuddin made itself evident as a brilliant period of absolute autonomy and independence. As a consequence during this period due to flourishing of learning, arts and peace Sindhis were infused with a spirit for the development of their own language, social progress and political independence using widespread fame and popularity of Jam Nizamuddin, his minister and military commander, Darya Khan generously supported and patronized the Sindhi Nationalist Movement.
The reputed religious scholar and a pious man like Bilawal and his two celebrated successors Syed Haider and Makhdoom Sahar took keen interest in the progress of this movement. The foundation of this movement was laid on the following points:

  1. He had come to know through his study of the History of Islam and personal experiences that the politics of the rulers of the country moves around only their selfish interests and class interests. The majority of the people had never reaped any benefit from them; as a result the people had always looked at the rulers with disgust. The achievement of lofty aims as the dissemination of Islam and the welfare of humanity through the rule of the rulers is no more than an empty dream. It can only be achieved and accomplished through the self abnegation and rectification of morals by the Sufis (mystics) and the religious scholars. On this basis they considered reasonable to keep politics and religion apart.
  2. For the survival and safety of the language of Sindh, civilization, society and political independence it was considered essential, that without discrimination of faith and religion all the people of Sindh should live and die with absolute unity among themselves. For this purpose he considered it essential to visualize all the people of Sindh as one Sindhi nation.
  3. He was convinced that every political movement, which is launched in the name of religion, especially the Mehdvi Movement of Makhdoom Mian Muhammad Junpuri in his time, which at this time is more or less equivalent to "Pan Islamism," would be extremely harmful to Sindhi interests. Shrewd and powerful Non-Sindhi Muslim Sultans, nations and civilization could take complete control of Sindh with their power in the name of Islam.
2. The Ideology of a India
The Muslim mystics and pious men who come to India were, from the beginning, divided into two ideologies and groups: The first, those who believed that the welfare and progress of humanity was possible only through the Islamic Religious Law, without keeping the state and religion separate from each other, and supported the formation of a theocratic state based on Islamic Law.
The second, those, who seeing the policy of amalgamating religion with politics having failed in the history of Islam, keeping in view the harm this policy had done to the people, supported the idea of keeping religious faith separate from politics. They knew that during the period of pious caliphate itself, acknowledged the best period in the history of Islam, three caliphs had been assassinated due to Internal differences. The tragedy of Karbela was also the consequence of this very policy. The conflict and quarrels between the Ommayeds and Abbasides, mutual bloodshed, and large number of civil wars among the Arabs is a clear and adequate argument about this policy being useless and harmful.

Moreover sharp differences had developed among the Muslims about the Islamic concepts. Some of them believed that the primary aim of Islam is that the welfare and progress of humanity was not possible until and unless it is introduced as a law (a system of government) of a Muslim Nation (Millat) with a separate identity, as an organized Deen (religion), in every department and stage of human life. In their view Muslims are a chosen and a superior nation, and Islam is a law for their guidance to establish their power in the world. In the opinion of the second group Islam is the "religion of nature" and is the essence of all the religions of the world, and regardless of race and color, nation and culture, provides the best guidance as a way of life for the entire humanity. There is hardly any scope for narrow-mind-ness and prejudice in Islam. Any effort to confine Islam to a group, region or sect is fundamentally contrary to its spirit. According to everywhere they saw the light of this ‘truth’ (Islam). Therefore dissociating themselves from the practical politics of Pantheistic thought began to raise the voice of "truth".

Khawaja Moinuddin Chishtie was the representative of this group. It was under the influence of this group that later Emperor Akbar in accordance with some fundamental principles tried to give a practical shape to the idea of a united India. The following can be considered the essence of its all the suggestions.

1. To develop mutual tolerance and friendship amongst the people of India professing different religions and subscribing to different sects. Through establishing a relationship of unity amongst them, shaping into one nation would be a source of peace and friendship and the integrity of the country, which is fundamentally in accordance with the basic principles of Islam. In the same manner belief in God, in all the prophets and books revealed, reward and punishment for human action, and belief in the acts of goodness, and establishing political, economic and social justice holds the position of the (basic) pillars of Islam. And nothing whatsoever in them stands in the way of Indian unity.
2. If an attempt is made to maintain Islam as an organized religion, and a separate identity of the Muslims as a nation, then the international and universal appeal and attraction of Islam would gradually be eliminated, and then it would only be confined to a group or a limited circle. The country like India where the non-Muslims are in overwhelming majority, following a negative policy will in itself be a great obstacle in the dissemination of Islamic aims. The best results can only be expected through unity rather than division.
3. Amalgamation of religion with politics will harm the country and the people rather than doing any good to them. On the one hand politics will become an arena for the prejudice, personal conflicts, selfish interests and differences of the priests, while on the other hand instead of promoting love and unity among the people, politics will be used to augment repression and violence, hatred and prejudices among the people. Islam will end up simply becoming the instrument of class interests in the hands of the rulers, as a reaction of which the name of religion w~ be tarnished and will lose its appeal.
4. The main objective of a government is the welfare of the people and not for the benefit of any particular class, group or a nation. Since in India the non-Muslims are in majority, therefore maintaining the affairs of the state under the control and influence of the Muslims, and running the administration of the government in pursuance of their religious policies, and keeping a distinction between the ruler and the ruled, it would not be possible to treat every person in the country with justice. Maintaining an attitude of discrimination in dispensing justice is basically contrary to the fundamental principles of Islam. Keeping this principle in view it was considered imperative to make the participation of the Hindus in the affairs of the state possible through Aeen-i-Akbar (the constitution of Emperor Akbar).
In Sindh, the Governors appointed by the Mughals, their assistants and Sufis (mystics) also supported these views.

3. The concept of a separate Muslim Identity: As I have mentioned above, from the beginning there has been one or the other group believing in this concept in India and Sindh. The establishment of the caliphate, the advent of Mehdis and Majadads, an Islamic form of government, the slogan of a holy war and the "Pan Islamism" of today, all are the links of the same chain.
Just as the concept of a united India, which particularly reached its climax during the reign of Emperor Akbar, in the same way the concept of separate identity of the Muslims reached its highest point during the reign of Aurangzeb. During this time the Mehdvi Movement of Makhdoom Miran Muhammad Junpuri (which appears to have influenced Arghoon and Kalhoras greatly) and the politics of Aurangzeb, greatly influenced politics in Sindh. It would therefore be better to present a short history of Mehdvi Movement. During the period of Shah Baig Arghoon, Qazi Qazin was the premium mobile of this Movement.

A. The Mehdvi Movement: Syed Ahammad Junpuri was the founder of this movement. He was born in 847 Hijra in the city of Junpur, and died on 911 Hijra in the town of Frah in Afghanistan. Syed Sahib had no equal in piety and faith. He fasted for seven years continuously, and always remained busy in offering prayers and worship, and lived a life of a recluse. It is said that it was during the period of meditation that he heard a supernatural voice calling Antt Mehdi you are Mehdi). In the beginning he attached no significance to this voice, but when this voice continued to echo in his ears at different times for many years, he was convinced of its message. Thereafter he began to have himself called Mehdi.
This period of ninth Century Hijra was of widespread chaos and anarchy in India. With quick succession Kings assumed the throne and were dethroned. No such central government was left which could bring about a measure of integration among Muslims and make the Islamic Law practicable. The religious Muslim scholars who stood for truth were gradually becoming extinct, and worldliness and hypocrisy had possessed their hearts. Due to the ignorant religious guides Muslims were increasingly moving on the path of misguidance. Looking at the conditions prevailing in the country, Syed Sahib raised his voice with the purpose of reviving the religious law and to persuade the people to adopt the path of righteous living. The truth and righteousness of his sentiment and the purity of his heart so deeply affected the people, that thousands chose to be his followers in a very short time, and large number of rulers came within the circle of his devotees. Muslims belonging to every class found such attraction in his teachings, that the poor and the affluent, high and low, the prince and the pauper, becoming his followers, were linked together like the beads in the string. Following were the important principles of his movement.
1. Migration: He believed that unless a Muslim, without being independent from the confines of his homeland, forgetting his home and all his attachments and relationship, does not join the group, it is futile to an attach any expectation from him. Therefore in following this path leaving one’s homeland is essential.
2. Abandoning wealth: He believed that the second major impediment in achieving noble alms for man is his love of wealth and property. Therefore, for those who desired to join his group, it was essential that they should Hanover their entire wealth and property for the movement, for the furtherance of which it would be used.
3. Sacrifice of one’s life: In order to join this movement it was also an essential condition, to sever all previous relations, disregarding all the dangers, without fearing for one’s life, one should he prepared to confront the opponents. It was his belief that the power is essential for the establishment of Islamic system, and for this purpose there should be no hesitation in the use of repression, severity and even the sword.
The literal meaning of Mehdi is the ‘guided one’. From this point of view every religious guide can call himself a Mehdi, (and prophesies are well-known about the Mehdi) but in the light of ‘Ahadith’ and tradition this title holds the position of a proper noun and there are some well-known prophesies about the Mehdi. For instance his waging war against the Jews and Christians, bringing about the revival of Islam, to acquire the hidden treasure in the Holy Ka’aba and distributing them etc. This is the reason the Muslims are opposed to the use of this title in an ordinary sense, and attach special expectation with the Mehdi. So when Syed Muhammad Miran Junpuri started calling himself by the title of Mehdi, the Muslims in general and religious scholars in particular opposed him. Afterward his followers, exceeding the limits of moderation, began to compare him with ‘Mehdi Aakhar-uzzaman (the latter day Mehdi). Those who have revived the ‘Mujadad and Mehdi-I-Islam have been considered religious guides. It is usually considered that after every thousand years a ‘Mujadad’ is born when the Muslims for sake religion and many apostasies are born in religion. But a Mehdi has to be born only once to remove more or less the evils of this kind. So far many claimants to the title of Mehdi have been born. As a matter of fact their movements were the links of a chain similar to the movement, which in the modern idiom is known as Pan Islamism, the specific purpose of which has been the establishment of the hegemony (of Muslims) over the world.

B. The politics of Aurangzeb
As I have mentioned above there has been immense influence of the politics of Aurangzeb on Sindh besides the Mehdvi Movement. Therefore, I consider it worthwhile, that in passing I should present those points, which are the foundation of this form of politics.

1. Because with the advent of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) the sequence of the guidance of human race has come to an end, and since Religion having reached a stage of perfection, no other code of ethics can be considered better for human life, therefore the welfare and salvation of humanity is only possible through the code of ethics presented by Islam and this objective can be achieved only when through a caliphate or an Islamic government Muslims are organized for the domination of Islam. Framing of the law (constitution) for the guidance of the Muslims should b~ based on the Holy Qur’an, for the interpretation of which the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet is adequate. In this way it would not be possible to separate politics from religion.
2. Regardless of race, language, color and geographical differences, the Muslims should establish their existence as one nation only on the basis of faith, being distinct from the other nations of the world. It is only in the betterment, organization and progress of this nation (Party, in the modern sense) in which lies the secret of the building and progress of this world. Only that nation can claim the right of leadership of the nations of the world, with which no other nation or party has any right in the sharing of power. Such ideas are very similar to the Fascism of the present time.
3. The universal and the fundamental human principles of Islam can not be fruitful until significance is attached to their essential elements. Just as the law (constitution) of a country can be effective only when the civil and criminal laws and regulations framed under it are practiced, in the same manner the important elements of Deen (Islamic faith), the Islamic religious and criminal laws should be considered absolutely essential. It is only through these laws that the protection of the true faith and the progress of the Muslims is possible.
4. Since the religion of Islam is absolutely perfect, its followers are a nation quite distinct from other nations and have a claim to distinct ideology; therefore they should also have a law quite distinct and different from others. Human wisdom is weak and imperfect. Instead of depending upon it, for the purpose of framing a law (constitution) besides the Divine book, the Holy Qur’an, which is the last word for the guidance of human race, one does not have to look toward any other sources for guidance. For the guidance of an Islamic government adequate material is available from the Holy Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, the traditions ascribed to the pious Caliphs. Therefore the framing of another national constitution is unnecessary. These are briefly the ideas (inherent) in the politics of Aurangzeb for a separate national identity of the Muslims. The murder of a respectable and revered personality Mian Abdul Rehman of Khuhra was the consequence of these very ideas. I believe that the description of political and religious ideas inside Sindh and in its contiguous areas will be considered incomplete, unless I mention two ideas about mysticism, which had a deep influence in the life and politics of Sindh They are the philosophies of pantheism and deism.

The exponent of this philosophy among the Muslims was Shaikh Mohyuddin Muhammad bin Ali, alias Ibne Arabi. He is also called ‘Sheikh al Akbar." He was born in 560 Hijra (1164 AD) in the city of Morcia in the South of Spain, and he was one of the descendents of Hatam Tal. He received his early education from Shaikh Abu Bakar son of Khazaf in Lisbon, the present capital of Portugal. During these days Sultan Muhammad was the governor of Eastern Spain. After he had completed his early education, Ibne Arabi went to Seoli, and from there he reached Gordova, and there he engaged in exchange of ideas and discussions, during many meetings, with the Qazi (Judge) of that city. From there travelling through Fez, Morocco, Egypt and Baital Maqdas (Jerusalem) he settled down in Damascus, where he died in 638 Hijra (1240 AD), and was buried in Mohyuddin Zaki at Jabal Qaziun.
The foundation of Islamic mysticism which Sheikh lbn al Arabi laid in the seventh century, a large number of its followers, and pious flag bearers of this philosophy, existed in Sindh during the period of Shah Latif. The notables among them were Muhammad Mom Thattvi, a disciple of Shah Waliullah Shah Inayat Sufi of Jhok, Faqir Sahab Dino of Daraza who had maintained association with Shah Latif and Shah Abdul Karim (grandfather of Shah Latif). Shah Latif himself deeply loved Mathnvi of Maulana Rome, which contains the teachings of pantheistic philosophy in different ways. The philosophy of Pantheism can be described in two words "HamaOost (i.e. all (nature) is God), which, in other words means the real foundation of the existent world is "The Absolute Being", and this ‘Absolute Being’ is in fact God, and nothing besides it has any existence in the universe, and the Universe is only a reflection of its existence. Just as the reflection in the mirror or the shadow on the earth has no separate significance, in the same manner virtues have no significance of their own, and have significance only through their dependence on that real existence of which they are only a reflection. It is not our aim, in this book to elucidate the philosophical aspects of this problem, therefore regardless of these ideas; I would like to enlighten the reader as to what had been the influence of this idea and philosophy on the politics of the country. Since according to this philosophy there is only one ‘Absolute Being’, therefore guiding principle of the followers of this philosophy is love and unity, rather than hatred and disunity. This philosophy reveals the secret of a hidden unity behind the apparent differences in the world of diversity.

Upon the differences in religion, truth and falsehood, reward and punishment, profit and loss, and sin and reward for good deeds, this philosophy throws light from such an angle that all these undergo a complete change. The advocates ~ a theocratic government of diehard religious priests (Mullahs) have always viewed this philosophy as a signal of danger and have always opposed it’ There is no doubt that it generates love, unity, magnanimity of heart and progressiveness, but everything which exceeds the limits of moderation, not being used in a rightful manner, can only be harmful rather than being useful. Therefore, this philosophy, used in a wrong manner can give birth to atheism, idol worship and anarchy, which is the consequence of irreligiousness.

When the advocates of religion misuse the name of religion it causes the upsurge of oppression, and many other evils, which in consequence brings about the existence of those who preach the philosophy of ‘Pantheism. In opposition to the misuse of religion in Sindh by Kalhoras, a group came into existence, which openly opposed all religious restrictions and beliefs. Here below are some of the instances of the verses of the poets of this period, which prove this claim.
The pulpits, the mosques and minarets have hidden way the truth. As long as these obstacles stand in its way, the real truth will remain obscure from the eyes of man. Until these impediments are turned into ruins, it would never be possible to recognize the ‘truth’.

First they divide humanity into two groups; they call the one Hindus and the other Muslims. Then they provoke them to prejudice and hatred against each other. These mentally blind people are quite incapable of understanding the darkness in which they live. However they are adamant over calling their philosophy of division and hatred by the name of truth. Who can call them righteous or true?
You offer the people the temptation of Paradise, and frighten them by the name of Hell. You who lay claim to righteousness and truth on the foundation of temptation and fear. You and your teachings, both are false.

As a rejoinder to the philosophy of Pantheism ‘all is God’ (Hama Oost) is the slogan ‘all is from God’ (Hama az Oost). Briefly described, although the foundation of all the existent world is ‘the Absolute Being (God), but after having been created the material world has its own’ separate existence. The Absolute Being (God) is holy and exalted, and He cannot be compared with the world that has various attributes. Matter within its circle of influence is dominant. Not considering here to discuss the philosophical intricacies essential to the, purpose, I would only attempt to throw light on the points, which have influenced politics.

This philosophy has two different aspects. If the one aspect is concerned with the soul, the other is concerned with matter. If there is the existence of truth, falsehood also has an existence. If there is reward for good deeds it necessitates the existence of sin. As a consequence, profit and loss and punishment and reward become necessary elements. Therefore, in order to pull humanity out of sin and misguidance and help them to move on the path of righteousness and truth, it becomes necessary to have a religious law (Shariat) and rules and regulation of a party. Despite the existence of a state of oneness (unity) this philosophy also acknowledges, the reality of the apparent differences in the state of diversity. In their view the concept of the existence of the one who loves and the one who is loved and ‘the helper and the helper both being the same, does not exist. In their view where there is love there also exists sorrow and unhappiness.

There is no doubt that this point of view carries some weight in itself, but if analyzed more closely, it will become apparent, that will tend to lead toward dualism’ rather than oneness (unity).

Because generally man remains a prey to the complexities of his existence, therefore this philosophy can, very likely, adversely influence the national politics, as ‘a consequence of which it had been generating religious hatred, racial and national discrimination, factionalism, rivalries, prejudicial laws, a blind adherence to the religious law (Shariat) and Fascism (dictatorship) in the country. Due to these evils it has always proved harmful to the freedom of thought, democracy and liberalism.

When advantage is taken in the world, of this individual freedom to such an extent, that collective morality appears to reach the verge of collapse and autocracy reaches such a great height, that social laws suffer total disintegration. And when in the name of liberalism, disregarding the welfare of the people, everything is considered legal, then as a reaction to this situation religious extremism appears in the shape of Fascism and in the name of religion and nation, only a few people indulge in strange activities.

During the days of Shah Latif the theocratic government of Kalhoras originated in accordance with this principle. The rulers at this time were extremists and narrow-minded to the extent that they were never prepared to tolerate personal belief or opinion, and the people were executed for having difference of opinion. It had become a tradition to forcibly convert the non-Muslims to Islam. There existed no scope whatsoever for religious freedom and tolerance. Islam, having moved away from its basic principles had become a prey to peripheral matters and sectarianism.

After this brief introduction to the philosophies of Pantheism and of mysticism, I would consider it essential to introduce the four major and famous groups who subscribe to the religious law. These sects are.

Most of the well known religious guides have been associated with these sectarian groups, and there has been a tremendous influence of these people on the politics of Sindh.

1. The Qadria Sect
The founder of this sect was Sheikh Mohyuddin Abu Muhammad Abdul Qadir bin Saleh Musa Jilani. He was born inn 470 Hijra (1077 AD) and died in 861 Hijra (1166 AD) and is buried in his mausoleum in Baghdad. Generally he’s known by the title of Pir Dastagir (the guide, the helper) or Badshah Pir (the king, the guide). He is the author of very well-known books, Ghaneeta-al-Talbeen, Fatuh al Naseeb and Majalis-e-Sateen, which contain a detailed account of the Qadria sect. The great number of religious guides belonging to this sect believed in Pantheism.

They had descended from Hussaini Syeds and were born during the Abbaside Caliphate. Following the tragedy of Karbela, the Ommayed and Abbaside rulers looked at Fatimides with suspicion and disliked and subjected them to oppression, because they always considered them politically dangerous. But Badshah Pir was the first of Syeds, with whom the Abbaside rulers were well pleased. The main cause of this attitude was that he had retired from practical politics, and he had directed his attention toward the moral reformation of the people.

Through self-abnegation he attempted to keep religion and politics separate from each other.
During these days the "rule of the Kalhora family had come to an end in Sindh, but the process of learning and spiritual development was still in progress. Besides the Jilani religious guides and a large number of other religiosity guides belong to this group. The Rashedi family, Shah Abdul Karim of Bullary and through their association Shah Latif belonged to this group. Following were the important principles of this group.

  1. To pledge allegiance to the religious guide for moral reformation by repenting over all evil practices.
  2. To pray for attainment of self abnegation with the object of moral reform.
  3. Organizing the Muslims as a group, social reform and progress, revival of the soul and moral reformation is possible only through services of the religious guides, and not through the coercive measures used by a government. These factors influence politics only when a group of sincere and honest people tries to provide an example of being the best among humanity by disconnecting their relation, with the affairs of the state. The Qadria sect inspires its followers to keep aloof from political conflict by persuading them to worship of God.
2. The Chishtia Sect
Hazrat Khawja Moinuddin Muhammad Hassan Chishti was the founder of this sect, He was horn at Seestan in 537 Hijra (1142 AD). As he grew up he equipped himself with learning in Samarkand. Later arriving in Qasba Haroon, he received spiritual guidance from Hazrat Sheikh Harooni, who paid special attention for his spiritual guidance. In the company of his guide he visited many cities. During his travels he had an opportunity for a series of meetings with Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. The founder of Tariqa-e-Qadria and Sheikh Shahabuddin Suharawerthy of Tariqa-e-Suharaworthia. From there after visiting Khorasan and Delhi, he settled in Ajmer, where he died in 633 Hijra (1236 AD).

Although his way of thinking did not have much direct influence on Sindh, but since his teachings had very wide influence in India, indirectly Sindh also benefited from his teachings. The Mughal rulers came especially under the influence of his thought, which consequently influenced their politics.
The special features of Tariqa-e-Chishtia

1. Rectification of morals, internally and externally.
2. To emphasis on fundamental, rather than inessential principles of religion
3. To seek truth at every place
4. To guide the people on the path of righteousness with love and courtesy. The policies of Akbar were based under the influence of the system of this teaching. To a great extent its influence was also visible in Shah Latif.
3. Tariqa-e-Suharwarthia
The founder of this sect was Shaikh Abdul Najib. His name was Abdul Qadir Najib and the title was Ziauddin and Najibuddin. He was a descendent of Siddiqi family and was born in the city of Suharworth in 491 Hijra (1097 AD). He died in the city of Baghdad in 563 Hijra (1168 AD) at the age of seventy-two. He had received inspiration in the companionship of his Uncle Abu Hafiz Wajjiuddin Suharworthy, Imam Ahmed Ghazali, and the brother of Imam Ghazali, Sheikh. Hammad and Sheikh Mohyuddin Abdul Qadir Jilani. He acquired education in Darsgah-e-Nizamia, and later he served as the Head of this academic institution for some time. Among the Caliphs who remained under his tutelage, most of them were religious guides of the various branches of this order. In this way this order spread in many countries. The following are its main branches.
I. Shahabia Suharaworthia. Sheikh Shahabuddin Suharworthy was the founder of this branch; whose eminent caliph was Sheikh Bahauddin Zakria of Multan the eminent revered personality of Sindh, Makhdoom Nooh also appears to belong to this branch. Through Ghous Bahauddin and Makhdoom Nooh this branch had a great influence on Sindh.
2. Kibravia Suharaworthia: Sheikh Najmuddin Kubra was the founder of this branch. The well-known Makhdoom Bilawal and the religious guides of Piran-Luvari belonged to this line.
3. Firdausia Suharawortha: Sheikh Najibuddin Firdausi was the founder of this branch, who is related to Sheikh Najibnuddin through three generations.
4. Maulvi Roomia Suharaworthia: The founder of this branch was Maulana Rome, the author of ‘Mathanavi". Who is related through one generation to Kibrvia and through two generations, to Hazrat Qutbuddin Al-behri, reaching upto Hazrat Abu Najib.
5. Jalalia Bokharia Suharaworthia: This branch derives its name from Makhdoom Jahanian Syed Jalal Bokhari. This line is connected with Abu Najib Suharworthy through Hazrat Ghous Bahaul Haq. There is a large number of followers of this line in Sindh. Some of them are associated with the Shrine at Uch Sharif, and some have their connection with Hazrat Qutubuddin Jahanian Pots of Hyderabad.
6. Safvia Suharaworthia: this line derives its name from Sheikh Safiuddin Ardbeli, who traces its connection with Qutubuddin Al-Behri through Sheikh Abu Najib.
7. Khalvatia Suharaworthia: This branch derives its name from Sheikh Muhammad Khalvati.
8. Shattaria Suharaworthia: This branch of the order derives its name from Hazrat Abdullah Shattar.
9. Ibrahim Soqia Suharaworthia: This branch of the order derives its name from Hazrat Ibrahim Soqi Qutab Misrri.
10. Rasul Shahia Suharaworthia: This branch of the order derives its name from Caliph Syed Rasul Shah of Hazrat Jahanian.
11. Sada Suhagia Suharaworthia: this branch of the order derives its name from Hazrat Shah Musa Sada Suhag Ahmedabadi, who died in 852 Hijra, and through Hazrat Ibrahim the branch of this order traces its link with Shaikh Abu Najib.
The Important Features of the Suharaworthia Order to mention the name of Allah, listening to devotional songs (Qawali), to convene the congregations for devotional music, and to dance in a state of ecstasy. Politically most of the Mashaikh (religious guides) of this order had been on friendly terms with the government of the time. This mystic order had left a deep influence in Sindh.

4. The Naqshbandia Order
The founder of this mystic order was Muhammad bin Muhammad, entitled Khawaja Bahauddin Naqshbandi. He was born in 728 Hijra (1327 AD) in the city of Bokhara, and died in the same city in 791 Hijra (13~8 AD). In India this order achieved the height of its fame through Khawaja Baqi Billah and Imam Ahmed Rabbani Mujadad Alif Sani Sarhandi.
Immediately before the period of Shah Latif this mystic order had wielded a considerable influence in Sindh.
Makhdoom Adam Thatvi, Makhdoom Abul Qasim, Makhdoom Muhammad of Lovari, his caliph Mian Abdul Rahim Grohri, Makhdoom Muhammad Moeen Thattvi, Syed Muhammad Baqa Lakyari (through some other associations) and Hazrat Piran Sarhandi were some eminent religious guides belong to this mystic order.
The Important features of the Naqshbandia Order
1. Observance of the religious Law (Shariat) for self-denial, to mention the name of Allah in privacy and meditation.
2. Making systematic effort to introduce religious laws this order had a deep influence on the Hindu community in Sindh. The politics of Aurangzeb in India and of the theocratic Government of Kalhoras in Sindh came under the influence of the religious ideas of this mystic order. The decrees that Makhdoom Muhammad Hashim Thattvi persuaded the government to issue with the object of putting an end to apostasies and to mould the character of the Muslims in accordance with the religious law (Shariat) was done through this order of mysticism. The contemporary religious guides and predecessors of Shah Latif who were a source of inspiration for him. The religious guides with whom Shah Latif remained associated and his predecessors whose thoughts served as an inspiration for him, have briefly been mentioned above. But since there exists an element of their teachings in the poetry and message of Shah Latif in one way or another, I consider it essential to introduce them to the reader. Some of the notable contemporaries with whom Shah Latif engaged in exchange of views on different occasions are mentioned below.

1.Shah Inayat Sufi
2. Makhdoom Muhammad Moeen Thattvi
3. Makhdoom Muhammad of Khuhra
4. Sahib Dino Faqir of Daraza
5. Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman of Lovari
6. Makhdoom Muhammad Hashim Thattvi
7. Makhdoom Abdul Rahim Grohri
8. Madan Bhagat and a few other Hindu spiritual men.

Apart from these, I would like mention those three religious guides with whom though Shah Latif did not come in contact, because they had been dead long before, but their teachings have considerable influence on the personality of Shah Latif. They were Makhdoom Bilawal, Makhdoom Nooh and Shah Abdul Karim of Bullary.
1. Shah Inayat Sufi: Shah Inayatullah, the successor to Makhdoom Fazalullah had descended from the eminent saint of Sindh, Makhdoom Saddo Langah. lie was settled in Miranpur, which Is situated close, to the town of Jhok of Tehsil Mirpur Bathoro. He was the follower of Makhdoom Abdul Qadir Burhanpuri son of Obaidullah Jilani, who was one of the children of Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, and was a religious guide belonging to the Qadria mystic order.
It was probably at the time of his burgeoning youth that Shah Latif had frequent meetings with Shah Inayat when he heard about the fame of his saintly character. The town of Miranpur was about a distance of one and half miles from Bullary, the burial place of Shah Abdul Karim. Quite often Shah Latif visited the shrine of his grandfather. So quite frequently he had the opportunity to see Shah Inayat Sufi.
As the fame of Shah Sufi began to spread, people from far and wide came to benefit from the piety of this holy man. As a result of his rapidly growing popularity among the people the landlords the priests of mosques and other religious leaders developed jealousy against him. The leading figures of this group, filled with jealousy were the tribal chief, Noor Muhammad Palejo, Maulvi Hamal Klian Jut, and Syed Abdul Wasi, Sajada-Nashin of the Shrine of Shah Abdul Karim of Bullary.

On the other hand such men filled with love as Sahib’ Dino Faqir found spiritual sustenance, through the inspiring personality of Shah Inayat. This fact is absolutely evident through the literary work of Sachal Sarmast, the grandson of Sahib Dino Faqir (Whatever literary work is available to us that he was associated with the school of thought of Sheikh Fariduddin Attar. Many such reference can be found in his work "Dewan~e-Ashkaar.’

The teachings of Shah Inayat Sufi were an open challenge against prejudice and religious fanaticism, because it appears that during these days the ecclesiastical class and religious guides had made a plaything of religion and Sharia for their power and exploitation. This is the reason that the venerable Sufi Sahib had to declare an open rebellion against this hypocrisy and falsehood. It is unfortunate that adequate material about Sufi Sahib has not been available which could help to illuminate various aspects of his life in detail. However whatever material about his life has come to us through Tuhftul Karam and articles written about him by various poets, it has been possible to come to some conclusion in the light of the sources mentioned above, which are recorded below.

Sufi Latif was a poet of great merit, but l have not yet come across much of his poetical work except a few ‘lbbiyat (verses), but the fact cannot he denied that he subscribed to the philosophy of Pantheism. Those who believed in this philosophy were divided into two groups. The one which adhered to the philosophy of Sheikh al Akbar Mohyuddin Ibne Arabi, who was its founder, and this philosophy was made popular in Sindh through the services of Shah Waliullah Dehliv’s followers and through the leading religious guides belonging the Qadria and Saharawarthia school of thought And the other group which was associated with the school of thought of Mansur Bin Hallaj and which became popular in Sindh through the followers of Sheikh Fariduddin Attar and Shams Tabrezi.

Although by no means there appeared any disagreement to the common man between the ideas and philosophy of Ibne Arabi and Mansur Hallaj, but looked at closely the difference becomes quite evident. Mansur maintained that the person and attributes are not two separate things, and that ‘he himself was ‘Truth’ and in no way was he separate from the ‘Truth". Thus he addressed God, ‘There is no difference between you’ and ‘me’, except that you are recognized by the name of ‘God’. The only difference that exists between you and me is, that you’ are eternal, while I am transient.

What makes itself evident from his ideas, is ‘that despites acknowledging the separate character of ‘Personality’ and "attributes’, in certain situations he considers them together, and in accordance with his views ‘attributes" assumed the character of personality.

Ibne Arabi also acknowledges the togetherness of ‘attributes and personality, but that they reach a stage of total amalgamation with each other, or can assume the ‘divine character’, he is not prepared to believe. He looks at the Preexistent and the ‘creation’ from two different points of views. But the difference between these two points of views is perfectly evident to him. In answer to Mansnr’s slogan Annul-Haq he declares ‘Inna Sur-al-Haq, Ma al Haq Anna, meaning, that ‘I am the secret concerning the truth, but I am not the ‘truth’. By the word "secret" he means the revelation’ of the personality, in which Truth always remain hidden. But it is true at the same time that they exist together and it would be useless to say that the one becomes the other.

Shah Inayat Sufi belonged to Mansur’s school of thought. Despite being pious, God-fearing, devoted and abstentious in his life, he gave expression to such ideas in such an unrestricted manner, which was construed as open rebellion against the conception of religion held by the priest class, the Mullah’s and Maulvis.
Every Sufi holding extremist views is by nature an anarchist. He does not desire to remain a slave to the conventional and traditional laws of society. He believes that the laws are framed for his comfort and convenience. He believed himself above all the restrictions of religion, government and society. In accordance with his philosophy of Pantheism, he believes that the difference of good and evil, sinned reward and profit and loss lose their significance to a great extent. The concept of punishment and reward lose their significance. He usually finds himself lost in a state of ecstasy. He severs his relationship with the world of men and does not hold himself responsible for submitting himself for compliance of the laws of others. Despite the fact the Sufis are harmless lead a life of a recluse, but the priests (Maulvis), religious scholars, the rulers and the professional religious guides stand in fear of this teaching in every period of history. If we carefully analyze the life and teachings of Shah Inayat Sufi, it appears, that he wanted to bring about such a revolution which should ultimately radiate all the accepted ideas, rules and laws. It was therefore quite natural for the tribal chiefs, the priests, religious guides and the rulers to fear him. All these, in collusion with one another, after provoking Nawab Azam Khan appointed by the King at Delhi, against Sufi Sahib secured the orders of his death from Farrukh Ser. The details of this Incident has not come to our knowledge, but in the light of our study of the life of Sufi Sahib, following are the reasons which provoked opposition against him.

These ideas and beliefs, which Sufi Sahib preached, had stirred up a storm against him. At the command of the King in Delhi, with the help of the Mughal Governor, Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhora surrounded Sufi Sahib with an army. Sufi Sahib and his devotees continued to fight against this army for six months. After he had suffered defeat at the hands of Sufi Sahib, Mian you Muhammad resorted to a stratagem. With the help of Mir Shahdad Khan Talpur he started negotiations with Sufi Sahib with the purpose of reconciliation, and through the promises made an oath he persuaded Sufi Sahib to come to the court of the Mughal Governor of Thatta. In the Court he was engaged in a discussion with the priests (Maulvis) of the Court, who were made to issue a religious dictum against him, and he was put to death in 130 Hijra. There appears to be a deep influence of the teachings of Shah Inayat Sufi on Shah Latif. He says:
 A Sufi, being un-religious, is very difficult to understand, because he is engaged in an internal conflict, unknown to anyone. Paradoxically, the enemy of a Sufi is in fact his friend.
At another lace addressing the opponent of such venerable persons he says:
All are ecstatically engaged in the praise of the Worshipped One in His presence. How many you are capable of putting to death?

Shah Latif was twenty eight years old when Sufi Sahib was artyred. It is said that lie was so deeply moved by this tragic incident, that he wrote eight verses (lbbiyat) of his "Sur Ramkali" in elegiac form.

"One cannot hear the voice of the seekness of truth from their abode. Where have they gone Their empty sepulchres are eating my heart out. Oh! those who revived the hearts have departed to eternity’

Makhdoom Allama Muhammad Moeen Thattvi
Muhammad Moeen son of Muhammad Amin belonged to the ‘Dal’ tribe and the family of the scholars of the past. His father married the daughter of the celebrated poet Mir Fazil Khan. She gave birth to Muhammad Moeen at the end of the eleventh century. He received his early education in the schools of Thatta, but later he left for Delhi where he received further education under the tutelage of Shah Abdur Rahim and his eminent son Shah Waliullah Dehlvi. When he returned to Sindh he achieved renown as an eminent scholar of Hadith and one who firmly followed his own belief. He was a Sufi (a mystic) a scholar of Hadith, a philosopher, a poet and an excellent man of learning. In the mystical order he subscribed to the views of Mohyuddin Ibne Arabi. At various places in his writings he has mentioned Ibne Arabi’s name as a reference. In holding certain views Makhdoom Allama Moeen supported the Shia sect, and was a follower of Sheikh Abul Qasim Naqshbandi (who, through Makhdoom was associated with the system of Imam Rabbani) in mysticism. The famous scholar of (Sharia) Islamic Religious law, Makhdoom Muhammad Hashim Thatvi was a disciple of Allama Moeen, but in their views were opposed to each other.

Despite being a scholar of Hadith and a Naqshbandi, Allama Moeen used to participate in gatherings of devotional songs and ecstasy. He was a poet of very high merit and used the pseudonyms of ‘Tasleem’ in Persian and ‘Bairagi’ in Hindi. He was a prolific writers. During the declining years of his life he lived like a recluse. During these days he passed his time mostly in either participating in the gatherings of devotional song or in meditation, and be died even while participating in one such gathering. Shah Latif was also present at this moment. Shah Latif used to have frequent meetings with him. The evidence of Pantheistic thought in the poetry of Shah Latif in its philosophical aspect and impression is the result of his association with Allama Moeen. Today the educated Sindh is have developed a fairly good knowledge about the mysticism, politics and economics of Shah Waliullah Dehlvi through the writings of Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi. But these teachings had reached the Sindhis long before through Makhdoom Moeen.

Marvi’s spirit of patriotism and her deep love for her fellow country men, (in which can be detected the idea of Akbar’s politics) in the poetry of Shah Latif is to some extent, the result of the teachings of Shah Waliullah through Makhdoom Moeen. Makhdoom Sahib died in the year 1160 A.D. His mausoleum stands at the foot of the burial place of his religious guide. Makhdoom Abul Qasim Naqshbandi.

3. Makhdoom Muhammadi of Kkuhra
This venerable personality was the son of Makhdoom Abdur Rahman and was descendent of’ the Abbasi family. During the caliphate of Motasim Billah his grandfather, Muhammad Ibrahim bin Ishaq migrated to Sindh from Arabia before 248 Hijra. Here on the top of an elevated ground in the North of Hyderabad city (which in those days was known by the name of Niskot) he settled down in a nearby village Klorr. Since he had adopted the office of a preacher and adviser to the people, he came to be known as the religious guide of Klorr. The word Kalhora is the changed form of this Klorr. The Kalhoras of Sindh are the descendents of this revered personality. He was martyred at the hands of thieves. Later his descendent spread out In different parts of Sindh, and one of them Makhdoom Abdul Khaliq settled down in a nearby town Khuhra around 1050 Hijra. One of his children Makhdoom Abdur Rahman was a very charismatic and God loving reversed person. As a result of a rapidly growing circle of his followers he provoked a deep envy in the heart of Mian Noor Muhammad Kalhora, the ruler of Sindh, and under a pretext he sent an army and had him and two hundred and eighty of his followers killed in a mosque. This tragic incident took place 1145 Hijra. At that time Makhdoom Muhammadi was very young. But after a short time, he began to fill up the vacuum left by his father’s separation from him. The face of his knowledge and learning spread far and wide. It so happened that during his journey. Shah Latif stopped outside Khuhra at the well of Mian Sachedina, and when Makhdoom Muhammadi came to know about it, he took Shah Latif at his residence, and offered him his hospitality for a week. Makhdoom Muhammadi was a follower of Syed Musa Shah of Ghotki, and belonged to the Qadria school of thought. He adhered strictly to the Islamic religious law and died in 1171 Hijra.

4 Makhdoom Muhammad Hashim Thattvi
Makhdoom Muhammad Hashim was the son of Mian Abdul Latif and born at Mirpur Bathoro in 1104 Hijra. After he had received his early education in his town, he received further education from Mian Muhammad Saeed. First he migrated to the village Bahrampur from Mirpur Bathoro, but later leaving this village be settled down in Thatta. After having gone through various stages of his education he earned renown as a great man of learning, a pious man and a strict follower of (Sharia) the Islamic Religious Law. His writings number around one hundred and fifty.

During those days the religious scholars of Sindh were divided into two group. The one which did not follow any school of thought in mysticism because, they had acquired a deep knowledge of philosophy and Hadith (the traditions related to the life of the Holy Prophet), however they were influenced by mysticism. The other group having acquired a deep theological knowledge came to be known as great adherents of one or the other school of thought in mysticism, and as pious and well versed in Sharia (Islamic Religious Law). Allama Muhammad Moeen held the most eminent place in the former group, and Makhdoom Muhammad Hashim assumed the leadership of the latter.

Makhdoom Muhammad Hashim was the flag-bearer of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and adherent to fasting and prayers. With great enthusiasm he started a movement in Sindh against apostasies (Aeena-e-Jahan Nama) every thing which had been adopted contrary to the traditional injunctions according to the Hanfia theology of the believers in Sunnah This movement could not be successful without the help and sympathy of the Kalhora rulers and the eminent and influential nobles. Consequently he began to develop contacts with them. There was no fear of this movement causing any harm to the personal and class interests of the rulers and the nobles. They extended their full cooperation and whole hearted encouragement to Makhdoom Sahib, which helped to enhance Makhdoom Sahib’s influence and popularity at a tremendous pace. He attached great significance to the peripheral aspects of Islam rather than its fundamental aims and principles, and it was with this aim in view that he named his movement ‘Tehrik~i-Tajdeedi-Shariat (The movement for the Renewal of Sharia). Besides enjoying his position as man of great influence with the government, he was highly recognized religious scholar and a revered personality of great piety. As a result he left a deep impression on the people and the (Mullah) priests. Utilizing his fame and awe among the people he made a large number of religious scholars and great Sufis the target of his criticism and admonition in the name of Shariah. So much so his own teacher Allama Muhammad Moeen, Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman of Lovari and even Shah Abdul Latif were not spared in criticism against them. In the terminology of today his political philosophy can be dubbed as conservative and reactionary. His thoughts and ideas are made clearly evident, through the command, which the ruler 9f the time, Mian Ghulam Shah Kalhora issued at his suggestion. Following is the command, which was issued.

Let all the functionaries of the government knew that they should make an effort to implement the decisions of Makhdoom Muhammad Hashim related to the Shariah. Preventing the people from practicing such apostasies as mourning and taking out the Coffin (Taboot). Imposing a ban on the use and sale of narcotic. restriction should be imposed on betting, gambling, prostitution and eunuchs. Women should be prevented from visiting shrines and gardens. Let not people be allowed to weep and mourn over the death of a dear one, People should not be allowed to make pictures of animals The Hindus should not be allowed to grow pigtail., wear (a loose loin cloth) and sit in their shops with their knees uncovered. Restrictions should, be imposed upon the Muslims from keeping a fist sized beard, and growing, a moustache. The Hindus should not be allowed to play such musical instruments as Sarod, Shahnai, drum and Naond during Holi celebrations or their prayer meetings. They should be prevented from worshiping rivers and idols. The functionaries of the government should compel the people for compliance of these commands and they should openly apply these measures with absolute use of force, and an exemplary punishment should be given to those guilty of infraction of these commands, so that no one among the subjects dare to violate them. Moreover the people should be advised to offer prayer, fast and participate in other prayers. No one should be allowed to deviate from compliance of these commands.

Issued on Sha'ban 2, 1072 Hijra.
In the affairs of Sharia, Makhdoom Sahib laid emphasis to such an extent even on minor aspects that for the purpose of ablution and bathing he specified the exact quantity of water in accordance with the Shariah, and had the utensils and cups made for the specific quantity of water. They were called Hashmi Koozas.

From all such actions it is quite easy to come to the conclusion, what was the result of his Movement, which had been launched in the name of the Shariah. By restricting Islam and Islamic Shariah they were confined to the observance of a few rituals. Restrictions were imposed on the followers of other religions on freely leading their lives in accordance with their beliefs and it became a regular practice to interfere in the ordinary affairs of peoples private lives, so much so that every Muslim and Non-Muslim was compelled to adopt his attitude in his manners, dress and personal behavior in accordance with the rules and regulations framed by Makhdoom Sahib. Thus under the guise of social and moral reformation Makhdoom Sahib set out on the path of willful satisfaction of his desires. Whatever the Mullahs supporting Makhdoom Sahib may say but there is no denying the fact that with the purpose of eradicating such beliefs and ideas which had placed constraint on the conception of Islam held by the liberal and extremist Sufis (mystics) and which had set aside its benefits for the class of society in power. As a result of his policies, they raised the banner of rebellion against him. Although initially they failed to achieve any success in the face of repressive measures adopted by the Kalhora rulers, rather they had to under go untold trials and tribulation, but eventually they succeeded in totally rooting out religious prejudice and narrow-mindedness in Sindh.

Shah Latif met Makhdoom Muhammad Hashim two or three times but being quite different from each they could not establish deep mutual relations. Most of the well known Sufis were disgusted with the monopoly of Makhdoom in the religion affairs Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman of Lovari was one of them and it appears that even Shah Latif expressed his feelings.

In the affairs of Sharia, Makhdoom Sahib laid emphasis to such an extent even on minor aspects that for the purpose of ablution and bathing he specified the exact quantity of water in accordance with the Shariah, and had the utensils and cups made for the specific quantity of water. They were called Hashmi Koozas.
From all such actions it is quite easy to come to the conclusion, what was the result of his Movement, which had been launched in the name of the Shariah. By restricting Islam and Islamic Shariah they were confined to the observance of a few rituals. Restrictions were imposed on the followers of other religions on freely leading their lives in accordance with their beliefs and it became a regular practice to interfere in the ordinary affairs of peoples private lives, so much so that every Muslim and Non-Muslim was compelled to adopt his attitude in his manners, dress and personal behavior in accordance with the rules and regulations framed by Makhdoom Sahib. Thus under the guise of social and moral reformation Makhdoom Sahib set out on the path of willful satisfaction of his desires. Whatever the Mullahs supporting Makhdoom Sahib may say but there is no denying the fact that with the purpose of eradicating such beliefs and ideas which had placed constraint on the conception of Islam held by the liberal and extremist Sufis (mystics) and which had set aside its benefits for the class of society in power. As a result of his policies, they raised the banner of rebellion against him. Although initially they failed to achieve any success in the face of repressive measures adopted by the Kalhora rulers, rather they had to under go untold trials and tribulation, but eventually they succeeded in totally rooting out religious prejudice and narrow-mindedness in Sindh.

Shah Latif met Makhdoom Muhammad Hashim two or three times but being quite different from each they could not establish deep mutual relations. Most of the well known Sufis were disgusted with the monopoly of Makhdoom in the religious affairs. Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman of Lovari was one of them and it appears that even Shah Latif expressed his feelings in a spontaneous manner when he observed that a religion like Islam which is liberal and in accordance with nature is coming under restraints and limitations.

The Mullah committed suicide when he recognized the truth about Allah. Mullah’s mother is deeply anxious, feeling that she is filled with poison. Makhdoom Sahib died at the age of seventy in 1174 Hijra. His shrine is situated on the mouth of Maldi.

5. Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman of Lovari

Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman was the son of Sheikh Haji Latif. He was born on Ramazan 22, 1125 Hijra (1713 A.D). His ancestors migrated and settled in Sindh during the Abbaside period. After a fairly long period they left Sindh and settled in Kachh. From there on the insistence of his followers one of his ancestors Sheikh Abdul Latif Kalan returned to Sindh around 1504 AD. His grandfather Sheikh Muhammad bin Malik had pledged allegiance to the religious guide Sheikh Muhammad Yamani of Suharwarthia school of mysticism. On the contrary Sheikh Abdul Latif, the father of Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman had got the permission from Sheikh Faizullah, the son of Makhdoom Adam of Thatta to subscribe to the Naqshbandia school of mysticism. Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman himself had gained from the Naqshbandia school of mysticism through Khawaja Muhammad alias Abul Masakeen bin Muhammad Ashraf bin Sheikh Adam. He acquired the knowledge of various branches of learning in the Arabic language from the school of Makhdoom Sadiq Naqshbandi, who was one of the followers of Shah Latif.

Makhdoom Muhammad, Zaman achieved great renown in mysticism, as a consequence people in large numbers from far and wide came to find spiritual sustenance from him. There have been large number of his caliphs, of whom Makhdoom Abdur Rahim Grohri has been known to have enjoyed great fame.

Although Makhdoom Sahib was known for observance of the Shariah (Muslim Religious law) he always remained a victim of intense antagonism of Makhdoom Hashim, because he was never prejudiced in his dealings. As a consequence of which he was constrained to leave Thatta and settle down in Lovari. He also used to write lbbiyat (verses) in Sindhi, which make it evident that despite being a Naqshbandi, he was influenced by Pantheistic philosophy. Of course he eschewed hearing music or attending the gatherings of devotional songs. When Shah Latif heard about the fame of his spiritualism, he reached Lovari to meet him, after going through the adversities of a long journey. The biographers of Khawaja Muhammad Zaman have mentioned the conversation, which took place between the two at this time, at length. According what they have reported Shah Latif was so deeply influenced by the company of Makhdoom Sahib, that when mention of Makhdoom Sahib was made in his gatherings, following is the couplet he recited spontaneously.

Oh Mother I have seen one who has been in the presence of Allah. My tongue fails to mention his virtues.
Makhdoom Sahib died in Ziqaad 3, 1188 Hijra (1774 AD) His mausoleum Is in Lovari.

6. Sahib Dino Faqir of Daraz
Sahib Dino Faqir of Daraz was a member of the Farooqi family. It is said that his ancestors came to Sindh with Muhammad bin Qasim. His earliest known ancestor was Sheikh Shahabuddin, who died on Muharam 9, 95 Hijra in Sehwan. The famous village Noorjan near Khuda’abad was founded by Makhdoom Nuruddin from one of the generations after him, who died on Ramadhan 22, 224 Hijra in Sehwan.

In 668 Hijra his children became the devotees of Makhdoom Jammar; Makhdoom Abu Saeed, member of the family settled in Daraza near Ranipur during this period. The real name of Mian Sahib Dino was Muhammad Hafiz, and his pseudonym was Sahib Dino, but later he came to be known by this very name. He died in 1101 Hijra. He became the follower of Obaidullah Jilani who was a descendent of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani. Shah Obaidullah had two sons, Shah Kalimullah and Shah Abdul Malik. The same Shah Abdul Malik was the religious guide of Shah Inayat Sufi, later he went to Barhanpur and settled down there.

It is said that in the beginning Sahib Dino Faqir had renounced the world and had started living the life of a recluse in a cave. During a journey Shah Latif had the occasion to pass that way, and finding about him be met him. After a long discussion he persuaded him to give up the life of a recluse, after which he began to meet people. He has produced abundant poetical work in Sindhi. He was a sort of a mystic who practiced liberal views. He was sick of the narrow-mindedness and religious fanaticism of the Mullahs (priests) of his time, and openly and boldly wrote Ibiyat (verses) in their condemnation.

There is hardly any doubt that I am a Sufi (non-aligned) but I am totally lost in my thoughts about eternity.
The real conception of the liberal religious thought and attitude can be seen in the poetry of Faqir Sahib’s grandson Sachal Sarmast. It is a well known incident when Shah Latif came to Daraza, seeing Sachal he immediately predicted, that ‘the ideas we have preached through own mysticism will openly be revealed to the world through his poetry.’ At that time Sachal was merely five years old. The purpose of Shah Sahib referring to Sachal’s potential talent to make mysticism the subject of his poetry was that the secrets of Pantheistic philosophy that the Sufis (the mystics) express in that mystical language of suggestion and metaphors, will be revealed through Sachal Sarmast to the world in a liberal and open manner. it is easy to understand through his poetry that the influence of the teaching of Mansur had reached him through Sheikh Fariduddin Attar and Shams Tabrezi.

Here are a few examples of the lbbiyat (verses) of Sachal Sarmast, which give an understanding of his attitude toward life.

My soul gets nourishment from the fresh breeze coming from Shams Tabrezi
It was not Attar but only a manifestation of God and the real truth is that it is only God.

The religions of the mystics (Sufis) is love. The malice and fickleness of the Mullahs (the priests) never touch them. they can see the reflection of Allah in every object and everywhere. They consider themselves free from the conventional restrictions of religions
As Sachal Sarmast says in the following verse:

What a wonderful justice love has done: it has liberated us from religious restrictions: Now there is neither Islam nor false-hood; farewell to both.

The mystics (Sufis) look at sin and righteousness merely as the two aspects of the same thing.

What is sin, what is the reward for righteousness. If you look closely these are only the mysteries of love.

He was so disgusted with the narrow-mindedness of the rulers and the Mullahs (priests) that he was constrained to declare openly in the following words.

Oh people, the element of love is in the ascendant, and this calls for the admonition and the punishment of the Mullahs (the priests)
Oh Judge, do you wish to involve us in problems. Don’t you comprehend that your law has no significance in love. You can only wish to frighten us about the temptation of paradise and the fear of hell. We are the ones of whom greed and fear stand in awe.

Sahib Dino Faqir died in 1192 Hijra (1778 AD) His mausoleum stands in Daraza.

7. Makhdoom Abdur Rahim Grohri
Makhdoom Abdur Rahim Grohri lived in the town of Grohri of Tehsil Khipro in the Tharparkar district. He was a scholar of great eminence. In his earlier days he found himself deeply interested in religious debates and discussions. It was the custom at that time that great scholars used to hold discussions. He possessed an imperious temperament. But at the end through the influence of the companionship of Makhdoom Muhammad Zaman of Lovari, he adopted the path of piety and holiness. He was one of the selected deputies of Makhdoom Sahib and strictly adhered to the Islamic Law. He wrote these verses in pure Sindhi language.
He was instilled with the spirit of the concept of holy war. Once he heard that idol worship was being practiced in a Hindu crematory. Hearing about the miracle. wrought by this Idol, people, after going through the difficulties of long journey, used to come here to pay homage to the idol, and for their wishes to be fulfilled. This Information was enough for Makhdoom Abdur Rahim to launch a holy war against this blasphemy. He came to the conclusion that this crematory should be demolished. Gathering all his followers around him he held a meeting of mutual consultation. During this meeting one of them pointed out that the Hindu priests at the crematory were a fairly strong force, and they, enjoyed the sympathies of the people in the neighborhood. He answered, that he was not worried by any such threat and said "If this crematory is destroyed, the victory will be ours, and we shall still be victorious if we succeed in demolishing that crematory. "This signified that if he lost his life in this expedition he would win the honor, and if he was successful in demolishing that crematory even then he would be elevated to a position of honor. Ultimately he died as a martyr in this expedition. This incident took place in the year 1292 Hijra (1878 A.D.) His Shrine stands in Grohri, on which Mir Ahmed Khan Shahwani had a mausoleum constructed. Makhdoom was a Mangrio by caste, but later his grandchildren came to be known as Syeds. Syed Ahmed Shah, one of their descendant, tas occupies his seat at present.

8. Madan Bhagat and Hindu Religious guides
The native village of Shah Latif was Kotri Mughal. Madan Bhagat also belonged to this village. He was a recognized Sindhi poet, and Shah Latif had good friendly relations with him. It was most probably due to the influence of Madan Bhagat’s companionship that Shah Latif had a learning toward the Hindu religious guides, and itinerant preachers, and he continued to travel in the company of these nomadic people for almost three years. He also spent sometime with them in Hinglaj. It was through this experience that he learned a great deal about their philosophy, ideas and the manner of their life. What were the impressions of Shah Latif about this people, he has fully expressed in the following verse.

They are the travelers on the path of truth. The world regards them men of spiritual light as well as men of this world. But they who have given me light through their temple of love, I cannot live without them.

This was the time when the Mullahs (priests) were completely predominant. Any kind of association with the Hindu religious guides and preachers or adopting their dress meant simply the wrath of the Mullahs, but Shah Latif never cared about what they thought He put on their scarlet dress and adopted their company and friendship. Any element of prejudice had completely evaporated from his heart, and in its place it was permeated with the sentiments of love, tolerance, respect for human dignity and higher values. The collection of his poetical work "Shah Jo Rasalo’, "Sur Khahori" and "Sur Ramkali fully reflect the praise he has accorded to Hindu saints who had renounced the world. Through the evidence of various documents the authorship of "Sur Bairag Hindi is also attributed to Shah Latif, which has revealed that the poetry of Hindu religious guides was also sung in his gatherings, so much so that it being regarded as the writing of Shah Latif was included in his ‘Rasala." Shah Latif’s writing verses about the stories and characters of Hindu period as in the Rai Diach, Momal Rana, Leela Chanesar, Lakho Phulani etc, that gave an adequate proof of his liberalism and his love for Sindh. At one place he praises the Hindu saints in the following verse.

 They were always in a state of travelling. They never settled down at one place. They continued to visit different places and was always moving in the direction of a land of spiritual beautification. They had acquired the knowledge about truth (Allah). Let us go at their door to receive blessings.

Then he says at another place.

These Sufis are not concerned with what they will eat or drink. Eating good food is not one of their desires. Sitting down in a wilderness they Light a fire and lose themselves in meditation, and do not go out for begging even for a few hours. They love poverty; and have affection for those who have love of humanity in their heart.

In short these were the Muslim and Hindu saints, the contemporaries of Shah Latif, with whom he had kept company, and whose thoughts and ideas he had studied deeply. They were men of different characteristics. They were philosopher scholars, Sufis (mystics) liberals untouched by hypocrisy; some were diehard Mullah (priests), theologians, Hindus and Muslims. Shah Latif had opportunity to see and assess the attributes of each of them, and this in consequence went a long way in giving a definite form and shape to his ideas as well as invigorate them.

Besides what he absorbed from his contemporaries, Shah Sahib was also influenced deeply by the three learned men and mystics and their teachings who lived in the period preceding him. I consider it of great significance to make mention of these personages. Following are these notable personalities.

      Makhdoom Bilawal
      Makhdoom Nooh
      Shah Abdul Karim of Bullary
Makhdoom Bilawal belonged to the tribe of Samma, and was a member of the ruling family of Thatta and for this reason he was called "Samma Sardar". It has not been possible to establish his date of birth, but it is generally considered that he must have been born at the end of the middle of Ninth Century of Hijra. He received his early education in Thatta, and acquired further education in Talti under the tutelage of Makhdoom Muhammad Umar. He was married in Talal and then he made Talal his permanent habitation. He was an accomplished scholar of Hadith and interpreter of the Holy Qur’an. As his fame spread far and wide in this capacity, people from distant places came to him to benefit from his learning. He also held a very elevated place as a mystic. From the point of view of the line of the mystics he came from the Kibrvia branch of Saharawarthia school of mysticism, but he was one of the distinguished venerable people of his time, which is evident through the writings of Mian Ghulam Rasul Siddiqui, the grandson of Makhdoom Nooh. Speaking about the life of Makhdoom Nooh, he says, that there were only three venerable people is Sindh at this time, Makhdoom Bilawal, Makhdoom Sha’aba and Makhdoom Nooh.

There followed a line of distinguished Caliphs (deputies) who had taken an oath of allegiance at his hand.

1. Makhdoom Sahar Lanjar (Unarpur)
2. Syed Haider (Sann)
3. Makhdoom Ruknuddin alias ‘Mithu Thathu"
4. Makhdoom Hassan alias Bilawali.
5. Makhdoom Saad alias Saand (Sakrand)
6. Makhdoom Hangoru (Near Moro)
Shah Ruknuddin of Sadaat Matyari received the benefit of learning from Makhdoom Sahar, who was the grandson of Sakhi Hashim who achieved renown as a holy man. Most of the people of Sadaat Matyari are his followers. Sakhi Hashim Shah was a friend of Shah Habib, the father of Shah Latif, and it was at his suggestion that he left Matyari to settle in Bhaipur. Therefore it cannot be denied that indirectly Shah Latif had also benefited from the Bilawali line of mystics. When Shah Baig Arghoon launched a series of attacks on Sindh, Darya Khan, the minister of Jam Nizamuddin, the Samma ruler started the movement of Sindhi Nationalism. Makhdoom Bilawal was the guiding spirit of this movement. Makhdoom Sahib, his companions and Caliphs put up a vigorous opposition against the foreign aggression of Shah Baig Argoon.

In the same manner Makhdoom Sahib also opposed Syed Muhammad Miran Junpuri’s Movement of Pan-Islamism in a most vigorous and organized way. It was due to this reason that Shah Hassan Arghoon the son of Shah Baig Arghoon on the basis of false allegation against him secured a religious dictum from the power-hungry Mullahs (priests) and had Makhdoom Bilawal brutally crushed in the oil press. This tragedy took place in 929 Hijra. His beliefs and ideas have been described in detail earlier in this look.

2. Makhdoom Nooh
His real name was Mian Lutfullah, but in accordance with the will and advice of an accomplished holy man, Nooh Hotazani, his name was changed to Nooh. He was the son of Makhdoom Nematulah and a member of Siddiqui family. He was born in 911 Hijra. Three years, after he was born, the beloved and popular ruler of Sindh Jam Nizamuddin died, and his son Jam Feroz din succeeded his throne. It is well known that Makhdoom Sahib did not desire any spiritual benefit in the traditional manner from any school of mysticism, however from the point of view of his lineage he belonged to the Saharawarthia line, but the source of this spiritual benefit may have been Sheikh Bahauddin Zakria, or he may have got it directly from generation to generation. However this is the description of his beliefs and ideas.

Once Mian Dost Ali, the grandson of Makhdoom Sahib was visiting Multan, where he was the guest in the house of the successor to the seat of Ghous’ Bahauddin, who offered him the turban he was wearing as a gift. The followers of Ghous Bahauddin were offended at this gesture, and they expressed their displeasure before the successor of Ghous Bahauddin. He replied that he had pledged his allegiance to Sheikh Shahabuddin Suharworthy, and he (Mian Dost Ali) was the descendant of Sheikh Abu Najib, who himself was the religious guide and uncle of Sheikh Shahabuddin, therefore it was most befitting for him to show respect to Mian Dost Ali. (Dalil-u-Zakrin). This allusion is the evidence of the fact that Makhdoom Nooh was the descendent of Sheikh Abu Najib, the founder of the Saharawarthia order of mysticism. The teacher of Makhdoom Sahib was Di’ana Arabi, who had quite a large number of caliphs (deputies). The most eminent among them were Syed Abu Bakar Lakyari, Mian Bahauddin Walqposh, Mithu Faqir and Usman. (Dalil-ul-Zaknn) Makhdoom Nooh remained unconcerned with the politics of his time. His entire attention was directed toward to benefiting the people spiritually. He died on Ziqaad 27, 999 Hijra, at the age of eighty seven. At the time of his death he left ten sons behind him. ‘Dohas’, which are recited in his manner in the praise of Allah, are more or less in Multani form.

3. Shah Abdul Karim
He had descended from the family of Sadaat Matyari, and was born in Matyarin in 944 Hijra. His father Syed Lal was known by his alias Syed Lallu, who himself was spiritually a man of renown. Shah Abdul Karim wrote Sindhi lbbiyat (verses) of great merit. Leaving Matyari he settled in Bullary. Frequently he visited Makhdoom Nooh at Hala. He, however, was the follower of Shah Ibrahim Bokhari who belonged to the Qadria school of mysticism. Shah Karim had no equal in the teachings and practice of non-violence, learning and tolerance.. Even today people in Sindh remember numerous tales of his patience, tolerance and faith. Throughout his life he never had the element of pride and arrogance in his character, and he was particularly distinguished by the humility of nature. Abdul Wasey Thattvi has recorded his miracles and mystical thought for posterity in his ‘Biyan-al-Arifeen.’ He left behind him twelve sons and died In 1044 Hijra In Bullary, where he was buried.

The material, which has been presented in these two chapters before the reader, comprehensively reflects the atmosphere, which Shah Latif inherited, and in which the evolution and nourishment of his intellectual and ideological faculties took shape. It is in the light of this political, religious and ideological environment through which the reader will benefit by understanding Shah Latif and his teachings.

Acknowledgment  | Saeen G. M. Syed Home Page | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter | World Sindhi Congress