Friday, October 15, 2010

Shewan Sharif ….Is city is known for its patron saint Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (RA).

Who was Pir Lal Shahbaaz Qalander?
Pir (Saint) Lal Shahbaaz Qalandar was born as Syed Muhammad Usman in 1177 Marwand, Iran. His Father Syed Ibrahim Kabiruudin was a dervish and his mother had a royal lineage. From a very young age boy Usman showed a deep religious inclination. He became a Hafiz (One who has memorized The Holy Koran) by age of seven. He got himself initiated into Qalandria sect of Sufism. ‘Qalandar’ are Sufi who live in indigence and are peripatetic. As a Qalandar he roamed throughout Middle East and came to Sindh.

He befriends three other Sufi saints and henceforth the quartet is known as ‘Chaar Yaar’ (four friends). They became the pioneers of 13th century Sufi association. The other three friends were Baba Farid Shakar Ganj of Pakpattan [1174-1266] (popularly known as Baba Farid); Jalaluddin Bukhari of Uch- Bahawalpur [1196-1294] and Bahauddin Zakaria of Multan [1170-1267].
He reached Sehwan the settle of learning and customs in Sindh. Sehwan is one of the oldest cities in Sindh. During the reign of Guptas, Sehwan was the capital of a Buddhist ruler who was brother of Chandragupta II (also Known as Vikrmaditya), the third of the Gupta dynasty in the 4th century AD.
As per the legends, the fakirs in Sehwan sent him a bowl of milk filled to the brim indicating that there was no room for anything more. But surprisingly, he returned the bowl with a beautiful flower buoyant on the top. This legend spread far and wide by the time of his death in 1274, after living a good span for 97 years. In Sehwan he lived at the outskirt of city inside a tree trunk for 6 years. He spread his teachings and preached religious tolerance between Hindus and Muslims.
What is the meaning of world Lal?
He was called ‘Lal’ (red) because of his red attire, ‘Shahbaaz’ due to his gracious and divine spirit that soared like a falcon higher and higher in the limitless heavens. Also it is said that he saved his friend Farid Shakar Ganj from the gallows by becoming a falcon. ‘Qalandar’ since he belongs to Qalandria order of Sufism and was saintly, exalted and intoxicated with love for eternal being of God.
The Hindus regarded him as the incarnation of Bhartihari, the saintly brother of King Vikramaditya (Whether this Vikrmaditya was same as Chandragupta II, I am not clear), who is believed to have worshipped Shiva at the venue where Lal Shahbaz's shrine is to be found with.

The town of Sehwan is 300 Kilometres’ about five hours drive from Karachi on Indus Highway, which forks right of Super Highway just before Hyderabad at Jamshoro past University of Sindh. The city is known for its patron saint Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (RA) who lived here in 13th century AD. Now, his Mazar (tomb) stands there. It is beautiful and amazing, but it is new. Government of Pakistan pulled down the primeval tomb to build this new one. The main reason was space. The old tomb arrangement was too small for such a giant crowd.

It is possible that the name Sehwan originates from "Siwistan" or "Seevistan", the empire of Raja Dahir which even extended to Punjab under the name "Shivi". It was momentous enough during the 8th century to be conquered by Muhammad bin Qasim in 711 CE, and two centuries later by Mahmud of Ghazni. An abortive attempt was made by the Mughal sovereign Humayun to take into custody it on his way to Umarkot but it finally fell to his son Akbar.

There is a temple nearby which belonged to a Hindu Raja and was naked recently. It provides a good outlook of the town from the top. Therefore, the places where Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (RA) stayed, prayed, performed miracles are all preserved to this day. Don't think that government of Pakistan has done whatever thing for them. It is the love of all people who cherish the recollections of great saint that endures and that has led to all this preservations.
Ashura 9 and 10 Moharram 1st Month of Islamic calendar (it varies according to moon sightings in Pakistan). The shia community mourn in the memory of the family of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH. The devotes torture their bodies to get a feel of the vast pain the family of the holy prophet had due to the cruelty of the Yazid (A Muslim wanting to be the Muslim political leader then).The major festival however is rather colourful and devoid of blood splitting. It is the Urs Sharif of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (RA), and like Moharram, the dates vary due to moon. Check out with PTDC information center when you are in Pakistan. And they will guide you.

Battle of Shewan:
The Battle of Shewan was a military appointment between Coalition forces and Taliban insurgents that took place on August 8, 2008, near the village of Shewan in Farah Province, Afghanistan
On the 8th of August 2008, two squads of U.S. Marines from Golf Company, 2d platoon, 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, one 81 mm mortar side, an unidentified element from 1st scouting Battalion, three squads of Afghan National Police led by Police Sergeant Major Hadji-Kadadoud, one U.S. Army PMT Advisor Sergeant First Class, and a DynCorp advisor, were ambushed by approximately 200-250 Taliban guerrilla fighters armed with small arms, rocket-propelled grenades(RPG), and 81 mm mortars. After fifteen hours of combat the Marines prevailed, driving the Taliban into the mountains.
O laal meri, pat rakhio bala jhoole laalan, Sindri da Sehvan da, sakhi Shabaaz kalandar, Dama dam mast kalandar, Ali dam dam de andar
(O red Robed,Jhulelal,The sire of Sehwan in Sindh,My friend Shahbaaz Qalandar,You are in my every breath,And every breath is as strong as Ali,Please have your benign protection on me.)
Chaar charaag tere baran hamesha, Panjwa mein baaran aayi bala jhoole laalan
Sindri da Sehvan da, sakhi Shabaaz Qalandar, Dama dam mast Qalandar, Ali dam dam de andar

(O sire of Sehwan in Sindh,Jhulelal,My friend Shahbaaz Qalandar,Your shrine is always lighted with four lamps, And here I come to light a fifth lampYou are in my every breath,And every breath is as strong as Ali,)
Sehwan sharif dian unchiya galiyan heth waghey daryao bala jhulelanSindri da sehvan da sakhi Shabaaz Qalandar, Dama dam mast QalandarAli dam dam de andar
(O sire of Sehwan in Sindh,Jhulelal,friend Shahbaaz QalandarYour abode Shewan sharif has lofty roads,And river flows beneath itYou are in my every breath,And every breath is as strong as Ali)

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