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Post by swamidada »

That was a holiday when I with my two other colleagues visited Sir Mazhar. Actually one of my colleague was participating in a debate competition and he wanted some points and material for preparation. Sir Mazhar happily helped him. Still we were there mean while 2 ladies in late 20's came to see Sir Mazhar. The ladies were from Nizari jamait and were employed at Hilton hotel Karachi. They had heard about Sir Mazhar. Sir used to conduct Arabic classes there and he had some students from Nizari attending 13th and 14th grade classes at RC garden. He had delivered couple of waizes there and once lead Eid namaz also. Sir greeted them and asked the reason for visiting. The ladies replied that they want clear answers to some religious questions but they want answers in YES or NO format. Sir Mazhar asked them did you contact some missionary or any research associate at ITREB. They replied yes, but we could not get satisfactory answers. We wanted reply in yes or no but they like delivered a 20 minutes speech with deep philosophy. We can not explain this speech to our non Ismailis friends and workers at work, they constantly keep asking questions about our Tariqa, and they consider us non Muslims.
Sir Mazhar understood their problems because he had been through such atrocities in his school time, college and work place. He knew well hundreds of students and youth were bombarded by such questions.

The first question they asked was, why not our students and community is equipped with understanding of Quran so that we can explain and argue non Ismailis from Quran?
Sir replied there is no restriction in learning Quran in our community. He quoted some Farmans of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah and Shah Karim al Hussaini regarding Quran and told them that he is conducting Quran classes at Garden, Karimabad and few other centers, if they are interested they can join. He explained that we are Ahl e Quran.

Other question they asked was about Fasting in the month of Ramadan. The way they asked the question was, can we fast in Ramadan YES or NO?
Sir realized they were under pressure, he said YES if you are intended to Fast it is fine. They said but some missionaries and other people we talked denied. Sir replied forget about them. There is no harm in Fasting, it is good for physical, moral, and spiritual health. But remember one thing, beside Fasting in Ramadan, our Tariqa ask us to Fast when there is chand raat on Friday which we call BHEEJ, this is important.

Third question they asked was about HAJJ and UMRA. They said non Khoja Ismailis (central Asian Ismailis) perform Hajj and Umra, why are we Khojas not encouraged to perform Hajj? Sir explained to them that Hajj is not compulsory for all Muslims. Only rich persons with able bodies should perform Hajj. If you are intended and interested in Hajj there are no restrictions in our community. Further he explained that in my opinion, instead of spending, say one lac rupees on pilgrim (at that time Hajj or Umra cost about a lac, now a days it cost about 8/9 lac rupees) I shall prefer to educate 2 children so that after graduation they should stand on their feet, earn their livelihood, and become valuable citizens. OR with that kind of money I can help a widow with children, or pay medical bills of surgery for some poor family. This is what I call Hajj e Akbar to help others; any ways there are no restrictions, with your free will you both can perform Hajj.

The fourth question the ladies asked was about Salat and Dua. They asked why not we recite 5 times namaz as other Muslims do. In the time of Prophet Muhammad, Mowla Ali, Imam jafar, and in pro and post Fatimid period Ismailis recited 5 times why not today?
Sir Mazhar replied, namaz is a Persian word which is used in Urdu, Sindhi, Gujrati, and in other languages of subcontinent. The original word used in Quran is Salat. No where in Quran is mentioned 5 times Salat clearly. Neither Quran has explained the tariqa how to perform Salat. In encyclopedia Islam and in other Muslim history books, it is mentioned that Prophet had performed Salat 2 times in the beginning, 3 times, 4 times and 5 times on different occasions. The consensus about 5 times Salat was made later on. For example, in the month of Ramadan after Isha namaz prophet recited individually on his own some times 4 and on other times 8 nafals of Tarawee. By seeing this practice, companions also started. Tarawee is not Fardh, it is nafli ibadat. After prophet death companions continued that practice in the month of Ramadan. In the time of second caliph, he decreed to perform 20 Raka't of Tarawee in collective form after Ishah namaz for UNITY. He ordered during Ramadan whole Quran should be recited completely. Second Caliph also added an extra sentence in Adhan which was not recited at time of Prophet. Same way in my opinion consensus on Salat/namaz may had been adopted in later dates for unity among Muslims. Sir explained even today not only Ismailis but many other sects recite 3 times Salat like, Ahl e Quran sect, many Shia sects, and some sects say adhan 5 times but recite namaz 3 times. We Ismails follow Quran as in Surah Huud ayat 114 it is clearly mentioned to say Salat 3 times. The ladies counter questioned that in BUKHARI (Sunni collection of Hadith, there is mentioned of 5 times Salat). Sir Mazhar had a book of Hadith, he read the said Hadith which ladies quoted, Sir explained there are many flaws in this particular Hadith that initially Allah ordered 50 Salats for Ummah when Prophet went on Mai'raj journey. Each time Prophet was intercepted by Prophet Moses who forced Prophet Muhammad to go back and ask Allah to reduce number of Salat as it will be burden on Ummah. So Prophet requested Allah many times on advise of Moses to reduce number of Salats. The question arose Moses was knowledgeable but Prophet was ignorant, and even Allah knew not about the Ummah which Moses knew!!
Sir Mazhar told ladies for your satisfaction, if you want to recite Salat 5 times it is ok, there are no restrictions and there is no harm. But being an Ismaili and follwor of Imam you should recite 3 times Dua as prescribed by Imam also. So 5 times Salat and 3 times Dua total 8 times will be beneficial for your spiritual health. He asked ladies to provide book of Dua to your non Ismaili friends, or staff members, or who ever criticizes that this is our Salat/namaz, this is our Tariqa, this is our religious philosophy, don't hesitate.
I felt ladies were satisfied when they left.
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Post by swamidada »

Discussion about Salat with Sir Mazhar at Zeal Pak:

At break time mostly foremen of factory gathered at office of supervisor and had tea together and chat. They knew Sir Mazhar belonged to Khoja Ismaili Aga Khani community. They were anxious, curious, and wanted to know about Aga Khan (Hazar Imam) and religious Tariqa of Ismailis. Mostly each day they questioned Sir. Enthusiasm increased when in 1970 Hazar Imam visited Hyderabad during Pak visit. Those foremen were impressed by the speech of Hazar Imam which he delivered at Sind university and shed light on Muslim philosophy and philosophy of Mansoor Hallaj. Sir in nut shell narrated the history of Ismailism and mentioned that our Imam is progeny of Prophet Muhammad. They were surprised because they did not had that kind of information. They bombarded Sir with many questions that you people don't say namaz, fast or go for Hajj, your Imam collects 12.5% of your earnings, you people don't follow Quran and so on. As Sir Mazhar was well versed in Quran and knew Sunnism and Shiaism well, hence he explained well our Tariqa with references to Quran and hadiths, and then he counter questioned them with their weakness in Sunnism.
Sir Mazar explained them that there is disinformation going on about our community since partition that Aga Khanis are not Muslims but are Hindus. They had adopted Muslim names for cover. He explained them that WE ARE AHL E QURAN. We follow Sirate Mustaqeem according to Quran and our Imam explain and guide us to true path. Yes, of course we recite Quran, we fast, our people go for Hajj and Umra. What we pay happily to our Imam is used solely for charity. That money is used for hundreds of schools, health centers, maternity homes, dispensaries and is used for upgrading of living standards. We do fast in the month of Ramadan but according to our Imam's teachings we fast round the year, though we eat and drink but it is a continued practice after Ramadan to abstain from bad deeds and immorality and do charitable work to attain Taqwah. Regarding Salat/Namaz we say Salat 3 times that is our Tariqa, if some one wants to say 5 times in our community, there are no restrictions. One of foreman asked, all Muslims pray 5 times how come you say Salat 3 times. Sir Mazhar challenge them saying we follow Quran. No where in Quran it is mentioned 5 times DIRECTLY with word Salat like,"O ye who believe, offer Salat 5 times a day". In Quran the words for prayer used are Ibadah, Zikr, Salat, Remembrance. It is only one Ayat i.e of Surah Huud/114, where Allah orders to say salat 3 times that is at sun rise, sun set, and after sun set that is Isha'. At this point 2 of foremen sided with Sir Mazhar saying, times have changed, we have to work long hours, 1400 years back there was ample time for Muslims to do Ibadah. They gave example of Zeal Pak that when time of Zuhur or Asr or Maghreb namaz approaches the workers automatically stop work and go for namaz and takes more than an hour, all work is stopped and disturbed. This is a good idea say salat early morning before going on work and in the evening when return from work (mostly workers) can say salat at home or mosque.
After listening arguments of those 2 foremen, Sir told them a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad narrated in Tirmidhi. When a companion of Prophet questioned saying, "Ya Rasulullah, at present we pray a lot, fast, do charitable work, spread teachings of Islam, and Allah promises in Quran that we shall be rewarded accordingly. After many centuries will the Muslims of that time be rewarded as we are promised today". Prophet Muhammad answered,
"Guidance change according to changing times. Many centuries after me the time will be different and difficult, there will be different set of problems. At that time followers of Islam even perform 10% of religious duties which you perform today, still they will be rewarded as you are".
Many foremen were unaware of that hadith, they said to Sir Mazhar, you opened our eyes.
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Post by swamidada »

For Quran class students, Sir Mazhar always arranged Quran paras like para 'Amma, para Alif Laam Meem, para Sayqul and so on. once in a Garden class all of sudden 20 new students added. Sir ran out of paras and said I shall arrange in next class. After class was over a student approached and said to Sir Mazhar that he wants to arrange paras for class. Sir replied let me arrange as I have been doing for long time. That student insisted so Sir allowed him to bring 40 paras of para 'Amma. After 3 weeks that student won Rs 5000 on his prize bond (issued by state bank of Pakistan). The word was out that he had won prize bond.
After 2 months, Sir Mazhar wanted to start para Alif Laam Meem and said to students from next class we shall be reading new para. Again same student who won prize bond approached to Sir Mazhar and requested that he will arrange the paras. About 5/6 weeks later, once again he won other Rs 5000 on his prize bonds (at that time dollar was = Rs 5).
Now there an interesting situation created, many students offered services to arrange paras. It was a kind of craze. Sir explained to those interested students that it was a coincident. Quran has nothing to do with prize bonds. He said, past many years he had been arranging Quran paras at different locations and had prize bonds worth many thousands but never won any thing. Therefore you people should not be superstitious, still if any one want I shall give him/her chance to arrange paras. He further said it is KAAR E SAWAAB, don't think about monetary gains.

That particular student had good pronunciation of Arabic and learnt Quran rapidly. Sir Mazhar paid special attention to him and taught him janaza namaz, eid namaz, and ziarat. After couple of years that student moved from Garden area to Ever shine colony (Gulshan Iqbal). In ever shine that student started Quran class for colony students and offered his services for eid namaz, janaza namaz and ziarat.
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Post by swamidada »

Holy Dua is foundation of our Tariqa. Sir Mazhar was considered one of the experts on Arabic pronunciation, grammar, and meaning of Dua. In fact he in 1967 translated meaning of Dua, word by word, sentence by sentence, and paragraph by paragraph. Later on his format was adopted by ITREB. He used to say," I shiver, tremble and scared to recite Dua while leading jamait. The reason is, if I shall make mistake whole jamait's burden is on me". He quoted from old Dua, "PIR TOU DUA PADHEY, BANDO TOU VENATI KAREY, SUCHO SHAH TOU QABOOL KAREY". He explained reciting Dua is as PIR is reciting Dua, therefore one should not make any mistake. He said reciting Dua is an act of acute responsibility. He taught Dua to thousands of students at various religious centers at Hyderabad and Karachi. Even in his higher classes he repeated one part a day to correct students if they were making mistakes in Dua. At Hyderabad he was in charge to teach and train students of various ages to prepare them to lead jamait in Dua. He was tough on students and made them to pronounce Arabic correctly. In Karachi he taught Dua in more than 20 centers. He said, don't take Dua for granted, there should be no addition or subtraction of words in Dua. While translating Dua, he detected few grammatical mistakes. He wrote a letter to then President of Ismailia Association pointing out those mistakes, also indicating that at one place we should raise hands while reciting. After discussion at Association, they silently corrected the mistakes in next publication.
When new Dua was introduced in Arabic, many of our jamaiti seniors and some other people were disturbed. They thought reciters were DISRESPECTING names of Imams and not pronouncing as used to be in old Dua. For example they criticized, why we say moulaNAL Hussain, moulaNAL Hadi, moulaNAL Mustansirbillah, in Sindhi language NAL means water tap or faucet (in Urdu nal or nalka), or why are we reciting, YA ALIYU BI LUTFIKA ADRIKNI. Just recite YA ALI instead of YA ALIYU. In the beginning it was hard to explain those seniors, they tried not to understand the Arabic grammar. Some missionaries were lenient and said let us pronounce as used to be in old Dua. Sir Mazhar was against that opinion. He argued if they are allowed, that will keep saying for ever and will not correct themselves. Let us explain them the Arabic grammar so that they can understand we are not disrespecting. Above all Dua is given by Imam of the time and we should recite accordingly. That was the reason he explained and introduced the grammatical notes in his translating of Dua.
After some time, he was summoned by President Ismailia Association on that subject. President Saheb told Sir Mazhar, let us avoid NAL type of words and some other words which are disturbing seniors, and recite Ya Ali instead of Aliyu in second part. Sir argued, Dua is in Arabic and not in Sindhi, Gujrati, or Kachhi. Take a bitter pill for once, send missionaries to explain jamaits that reciters are not disrespecting. If jamaiti members are allowed the pronunciation as they want shall stay for ever. Look at youth they should be taught and trained accordingly, they are the future.
I personally have seen Sir Mazhar's translated Dua booklet in ITREB library Karachi, which he published in 1967.
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Post by swamidada »

Sir Mazhar was an accidental alwaez. In late 60's he was stationed at Hyderabad. In those days there was shortage of waezeen. He was given a chance, as he was a good speaker with religious knowledge and Quranic studies. He was not a trained alwaez. When he resettled in Karachi after quitting job at Hyderabad, was given chance to deliver waezes in Karachi JKs. But irony is, that mostly he was sent to out skirt Jks with little attendance like Kalri, Malir, Metroville Orangi, Korangi, Ranchhore lane, North Karachi. For many years he was not given any chance to deliver waez in main JK's like Garden, Karadar, Karimabad, Platinum, Masala Society, Nizari, Nazimabad and so on. The reason was any missionary, mostly seniors want to deliver waez at large jamaits and hardly went to deliver at small jamaits. Even he delivered waezes with presence of 10/15/20 jamaits because there wasn't large jamaits living in those vicinities. When ever Sir Mazhar went to deliver waezes in some of those JKs, Mukhis and kamadias complaint about the atrocities of non Ismaili neighbors, they taunt, used slurs to ladies and so on. They also demand for senior missionaries to visit them. Sir Mazhar delivered their grievances to higher authorities of ITREB to help them. The most problematic areas were Korangi, Metroville, and Kalri. Later on Korangi JK was shut down. There were only 14/15 families migrated from East Pakistan living there. Few families moved out of that area later on, two families converted to Sunnism, only 2/3 families stayed there because of there businesses. He used to deliver 7 nights waezes in BK satada. As I know he delieverd satada waezes at Masala society, Sultanabad, Malir, Salimaabad, Nazimbabd and Rahimabad.

For few years Sir Mazhar kept delivering waezes in those areas but then he requested Waezeen department to allow him to deliver waez at main JKs. In the beginning department neglected him, giving excuses that jamaits at main JK want senior missionaries. It is demand from Mukhis, that's why we have to send seniors. Once they told him to seek permission from Mukhi of Garden and so on.

In late 1983, there was a get together for missionaries to honor them for their services. Mostly all senior and junior al waezeen were present, Sir was one of them. Still many senior officials of ITREB and staff knew not to which family Sir belonged to. In that event, Sir Mazhar was talking to Varsiani al waeza Khairunissa w/o Aitamadi Mahbub Ali Khoja, who had translated MEMOIRS in Sindhi language which was published by Ismailia Association Pakistan. Mahbub Ali Khoja was a high ranking govt official in planning division of Pakistan. He was educated at Wisconsin University USA. Hazar Imam knew him by his name. I learnt that Varsiani Khairunissa was the first principal of Garden Girls Religious Center.
As Sir was talking to Varsiani maa, two officials came near and asked Varsiani maa, do you know Mazhar? Varsiani maa replied of course, he is like my son, he is nephew of my husband. Now Sir Mazhar was known officially to which family he belonged (though he was hiding)!! After few months later one ITREB official came to know that Sir was involved in business. Now on, Sir Mazhar got some proper respect from ITREB. He got permission to deliver waez at Garden JK. To my knowledge he delivered 3 waezes before his disappearance which were highly appreciated. He delivered waezes on the topics 'Mansoor Hallaj', Ayatul Kursi' and on 'Shaan e Ali' in which he used mostly Farsi poetry of various Persian poets beside subcontinent poets.
I requested Sir to provide me the scripts of those waezes and he graciously provided me the copies.
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Post by swamidada »

Sir Mazhar wanted to deliver a waiz on the topic "Allah, Imam. and Amma". After research he prepared the script but could not deliver the waiz because mean while he was gone. That was a very passionate subject on love of Allah, Imam, and Amma (mother). He used to argue that mother nature works 24x7x365, same way mother works round the week (she is fortunate if had sound sleep all night). Mother is governor of house hold. She wakes up early in the morning. She prepares breakfast, lunch, dinner for husband and kids. Mostly she does cleaning work of house. Take care schooling of kids. Goes to market for grocery and other household needs. If a kid is sick she usually takes the kid to doctor. She takes care of extended family members and seniors. She takes care of kids religious education and lot more, If a child or even a teenager is sick, she stays besides their bed, nursing them, wake up all night, though dad keep sleeping, but she hardly complain and that is all because of MOTHERLY LOVE.
Sir Mazhar respected his parents. He saw his mother mostly time ill, suffering from few ailments. She wanted to move back to Karachi because of favorable weather conditions in Karachi which suited her health issues. She asked Sir to move her back to Karachi. In 1978/79, Sir purchased a flat in Prince Ali Khan colony (Masala Society) for her, and later on his father moved back to Karachi after retirement from govt job. In Hyderabad, his father was active in jamaiti khidmat. He was secretory of Health Board Hyderabad region and then chairman of board for 20 years. He was a local and then regional member of Hyderabad council. He served as Mukhi/Kamdia of few majalis. Even at Karachi, he stayed as secretory of Masala society along with Mukhi Wazir as chairman.
His mother wanted that Sir Mazhar should stay with her in Masala society. He requested that as he stayed busy late in night, therefore can't stay with them. His mother said fine, but you should come at night to have dinner with me, if you not I shall not eat. Then every night in between 10 and 11 pm, he used to come at Masala society to show his face to his mother. After few months later, Sir attended a party thrown by his students, it was late after mid night so he went directly to his apartment and forgot to went to Masala and went to sleep. At around 1.30 am at night, he just woke up all of sudden, jumped out of bed, took his motorcycle and rushed to Masala. He found his mother was standing in balcony for him. He went upstairs and touched mother's feet and said, Amma I am sorry next time it won't happen. His mother replied," If I turn 100 years old and you 70 years, still I shall be waiting for you. This was touching.
That was MOTHERLY LOVE. This was the reason that he prepared a waiz on the subject 'Love of Allah, Imam, and Amma'.
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Post by swamidada »

An Insane Experiment

Some one informed me of an insane experiment of Sir Mazhar. He was in 8th class at Nawabshah school and tried to look into SUN at mid day to learn about the fire inside. There was a serious impact but he did not gave up. Two three times he tried again and again, the result was his eyes swollen and water start coming out of his eyes. In the class room he was unable to read on black board in front of him. He started loosing eye sight. He was afraid to tell his uncle, his mentor, but he did informed his few class mates about that stupid experiment. After few months he was in 9th grade, there his teacher realized about the eye sight problem. He informed his uncle who was the principal of school. His uncle took him to an eye doctor, who after testing declared his eye sight was -3.25 in both eyes, in other words he was half blind, and had to wore eye glasses. In later years he used to joke 'MUJHEY DIN MEY TAREY NAZAR AAYE' (I saw stars in day light).
From childhood Sir Mazhar was suffering from natural physical problems. He had hearing problem, usually asking to repeat the sentence. His feet were flat not of equal size and had mostly time pain. He had back problem. His two lower discs had very narrow space causing pain. He learnt to manage those physical problems. He had chicken pox at early age and was suffering from eczema. He called himself a HALF MAN. He used to repeat a line of Shah Latif's poetry (He learnt pure Sindhi language during his stay at Nawabshah);

What ever pain you gave me, I collected in my pouch (sack).

But still he worked hard in community, be at Hyderabad or Karachi in his age group.
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Post by swamidada »


During Silver jubilee celebrations, Sir Mazhar was given chance to recite Quran in presence of Hazar Imam. The venue was Aga Khan gymkhana ground opposite to Prince Ali Khan Colony (Masala Society). Sir Mazhar was seated on stage, when a lady volunteer approached to Sir and conveyed a message from Mukhi Saheb Garden area not to give any letter of any papers to Hazar Imam. Sir Mazhar said to volunteer," I have no papers neither I intend to". After 10 minutes a gent volunteer came and conveyed the same message. Sir again assured him 'I don't carry any papers'. Then after some 20 minutes two ITREB officials approached and warned Sir, "don't dare to give any letter to Hazar Imam". Sir Mazhar was surprised and upset. What is going on? He never thought of giving any letter, papers, or any report to Hazar Imam, why are these people freaking? Actually what happened that some one in ITREB head office spread rumor that Sir Mazhar had a plan to give some reports to Hazar Imam. Finally Mukhi Saheb Garden personally approached to Sir Mazhar and said, "Son, do not give any letter or reports to Hazar Imam, even do not try to talk to Imam. Just recite Quran and leave the spot at once".
What a pity, on the happiest occasion in his life was threatened for a baseless rumor.
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Post by swamidada »

On Silver Jubilee occasion Sir Mazhar was given chance to recite Quran in presence of Hazar Imam. He wanted some photographs of that occasion for remembrance. He contacted the Audio Visual department at ITREB. He was told that they needed permission from Secretary Ismailia Federal council for Pakistan. Next day after dismissing class at Garden RC he went to see Secretary Saheb Alijah Anwer Raamal, whose office was at annexed building next to Garden JK, recently purchased by state dept. Anwer Raamal knew Sir Mazhar well from childhood. In fact Sir's parents and Anwer's parents were neighbors at Hussain Manzil Kharadar Karachi. They both met after some 21/22 years. Sir requested for Quran recitation photos. Alijah Anwer at once telephoned audio video dept to arrange few photos for Sir Mazhar. Next day evening before class started, he stopped at the dept and asked for photos. The in charge of dept replied arrogantly, come after one week, at present we are very busy. Sir Mazhar didn't said anything and left silently. After one week when he approached dept and asked for photos, the in charge of the dept got mad and angerly said, "don't you see we are busy. we have to copy photos from movie", at Silver Jubilee didar cameras were not allowed, only 2/3 movie makers were allowed by council. Sir replied to in charge, are you in bad mood? why are you getting upset. Just let me know when shall I pick photos. The in charge again replied in bad mood, fine, fine come after one week. After one week when Sir contacted in charge in audio video office, he refused Sir, saying your portion of video is dim and we are unable to make prints. At that time Sir saw more than 100 photos lying on table, of Mukhis, Kamdias of Garden East and West jamaits and other leaders with Hazar Imam. Sir told in charge if movie was dim as you claimed then how come you printed these photos from same movie at same venue. The in charge got mad and said, do what ever you like, we are not going to give you photos. THOUGH Sir was a cool person but because of his attitude he also lost his mind. Sir lashed at him, saying what you think you are? Don't under estimate me. Look at your attitude. You are a volunteer so am I. Person like you just make noise within 4 walls of institution's office. Out side you are a dhabba (empty box). I know how brave you are. At that point couple of other volunteers present in the room cool down Sir and took him out side.
Late in the evening Nizar Shahabuddin (brother of Karim Shahabuddin, the famous movie musician of Pakistan) came to Sir Mazhar's apartment and said sorry to Sir. He was the secretary of audio/video dept. He said I learnt about the behavior of that in charge, in fact he is a bad mouth. He is a technician and flying high. We will discipline him. He asked Sir Mazhar to provide him a VHS cassette and he will print the portion of his Talawat e Quran in presence of Hazar Imam. He asked Sir to give him 2/3 weeks to accomplish the task. After 3 weeks Nizar Shahabuddin came to Sir's apartment again and personally provided him the cassette. Actually Nizar knew Sir because of his daughter. She was student of Sir in 12th class.
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Post by swamidada »

In 1966 Sir Mazhar delivered a waiz on importance of WHITE DRESS. He requested jamait to wear white dress while attending JK at Dua and majalis. He argued we should attend JK in dignified manner. He quoted few Farmans of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah that 'jamaits shouild attend JK in simple and neat dresses'. He particularly asked ladies that they should come to JK in simple manner. He said non Ismailis are criticizing when they see ladies in provoking dresses with heavy make up. He said, he had heard out siders saying 'Is it JK or some sort of club?'.
On that particular waiz jamait was split in opinion. 50% appreciated waiz and said for serenity of JK we should adopt white dress, but rest mostly women went against the idea of white dresses.
Later after two weeks, President Regional council summoned Sir Mazhar for discussion, as Sir was personally approaching jamiti members to adopt white dress; and in fact more than 40% did adopted white dresses at chief JK on Prince Ali Khan road, and he himself started wearing white dress while attending JK. President Saheb asked Sir, Is there any such Farman by Hazar Imam to wear white dress while attending JK? He asked Sir, what you have to say about winter season, when jamait has to use sweaters and warm clothes, those can't be all white, and you can't force jamait to wear this or that. What is your problem if women wear some colorful dresses, it is their choice. You can't impose any restrictions on them.
After patiently listening speech of President Saheb for 15 minutes, Sir asked, can I say something;
Sir Mazhar said to president Saheb, What I am doing is for the dignity and serenity of JK and jamiat. Do you know, what passers by give absurd remarks and non Ismailis are saying about our women when they see them in provoking dresses? Many times fight broke out in between our youth and those non Ismailis on bad remarks. Do you want any bloodshed? With white dress there should be serene environment in JK. There should be proper attention on Dua Ginan instead of colorful dresses, and above all it will be sign of unity. If ladies are interested in such kind of dresses they can wear at parties, ceremonies, or outings, or shopping but in JK they should adopt white dresses. By adopting white dresses a clear message will go out that we attend JK for prayers and not for some absurd activities. Regarding winter time, it stays in Hyderabad for 2 months, jamait can use warm clothing on white dresses be it sweaters or coats, or shawls. President Saheb rejected Sir's arguments, saying you can't force.

After one month Sir Mazhar was given a waiz duty at Aminabad colony (Momina colony). He delivered the same waiz on adopting white dresses in JK. In Momina jamait the reaction was positive. Jamiat appreciated the waiz. A volunteer approached to Sir asking him that Mukhi Saheb want to see him. After JK was over. Mukhi Saheb Alijah Sadruddin Momin gave blessings to Sir and said I am impressed by your waiz and shall request my jamait to adopt white dresses while attending JK in few week's time. On decree of Mukhi Sadruddin Momin jamait completely complied and adopted white dresses in JK. That was a pleasant change.

AND THEN, after one year in 1967 Momina jamait of Aminabad, Hyderabad got a special Farman from Hazar Imam appreciating discipline and white dresses of jamait giving them SPECIAL BLESSINGS. The Farman was read in all JK's of Pakistan.
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Post by swamidada »

My opinion about white dresses in JK.

With reference to above post, I personally appreciate the stand Sir Mazhar took about wearing white dresses in Jk many many years ago. I have seen the same problem in Karachi, Mumbai, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, LA, London and other places where Khoja Ismailis are settled. I do not want to give any un appropriate specific examples. Why not our top leadership take any action? I understand in western countries it is hard to implement any decree on dresses. But if all ITREB chairpersons and other community leaders take firm stand and explain jamaits it is possible. Our jamaits are highly educated and can understand the issue. Hope leadership will consider about white dresses in JKs for serenity, dignity, unity and respect.
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Post by Admin »

There was a tea party with Begum Salimah in USA in 1986 and all the Women were in white dress. After that they were all supposed to go to Didar. Begum Salimah said why are you all in white dress, put colourful dress, your Imam wants to see you happy and in colourful dresses!

But I can confirm that in our Jamatkhanas, whenever there is a death, the ladies come to the funeral ceremony in white. Also in some of the higher Mijlases, they come dressed in white.

What non Ismailis and others say about our ladies dress is irrelevant as far as in the ladies mind they are in proper attire, others should mind their own business. If their mind is dirty, it is their problem, it should not become our problem.

I would be surprised to see any farman where Imam says ladies have to put white dresses.
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Post by swamidada »

I do not want to indulge in discussion on 'dress code' in this thread. If you want we can argue in the 'customs and traditions thread'. Just to clarify, my question is;
" Why in 1967 Hazar Imam sent special Taliqa to Momina jamait of Aminabad in Hyderabad, that jamait continued to wear white in JK, and that Taliqa was read in all Pakistan jamaits?

You wrote:
But I can confirm that in our Jamat khanas, whenever there is a death, the ladies come to the funeral ceremony in white. Also in some of the higher Mijlases, they come dressed in white.

You already confirmed that when there is death ladies come to funeral in white dresses and also in higher majalis , they come in white dresses!!!
Last edited by swamidada on Sun Jul 11, 2021 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Admin »

If there is such Farman, post it here meanwhile we will just consider there is no such farman.
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Post by swamidada »

At present I do not have that particular Taliqa with me sent to Aminabad jamait in 1967. In late 90's some one provided me copy of that Taliqa in Karachi. I have asked a colleague of mine in Karachi to find it or check with ITREB office and send me. As soon I get it shall post it for followers of this blog.

I wander you published 'Kalam e Imam e Zaman' and missed that particular Taliqa of 1967!!
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Post by swamidada »

He called her DIDI means elder sister. She was principal of La Bella Religious Center Garden West. She sent a message to Sir Mazhar requesting to conduct Arabic for senior classes. Sir went to La Bella RC and talked to her about timings. Sir said that he can come after conducting class at Garden RC and it can be little bit late. Didi said fine I shall stay here to hold students. Sir started Arabic classes at La Bella and Didi stayed there till class was over. Sir saw her in wheel chair all times and asked her the reason. She just said, I have some back problem that's why. She did not tell the truth and Sir did not bothered her. Sir realized she looked worried, not talking much nor laughing and her health deteriorating day by day. As Sir was a funny man he tried to tell her jokes to make her laugh and talk. Sir always waited till her family car came to pick her. Didi belonged to famous FINIS family, at that time her house was opposite to ITREB head office in Garden East (now there stands a costlier apartment building). Didi treated Sir Mazhar as her younger brother and after class is over she asked and discussed religious matters with him. After 6/7 months the sad news came. DIDI passed away. Actually she was suffering from CANCER and not back pain, and doctors had giving her 6 months to survive. She never told this to Sir Mazhar. He was shocked and said I lost my sister. Till end of her life she served La Bella center.

After Didi's death the FINIS family floated a trophy in her name through ITREB. It was decided that there should be a teachers competition on Karachi level to award trophy to the teacher who comes first. KRED department of ITREB chalked the program, confirmed the books and format for competitors.

Sir Mazhar decided to take part in competition. He had some other thoughts. He wanted to won the trophy and hand over it to La Bella Center in Didi's name as a tribute to her. He worked hard to memorize books prescribed by KRED. There were 3 stages to reach final. Sir reached the final stage. The format of finale was one wrong answer knocked out (it was changed). A week before the competition the format was changed and he with some other competitors were not informed. In finale he was asked the number of part of a Ginan. He gave the wrong answer, instead of 5th he replied 6th and was knocked out. Actually the numbering and dates were induced later on, though in the beginning Sir asked the members of committee to clearify confusion about format, and they said to him these are not covered that's why he did not paid much attention to numbers. He was sad and said the committee members did not give timely information about changes otherwise he should have won the trophy. MAN PROPOSES AND GOD DISPOSES!!
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Post by swamidada »

It was compulsory for almost all students to register in any game of their choice like cricket, hockey, foot ball, soft ball, gymnastic, even music, type writing, band or scouting in the evening from 5pm till sunset, facilitated by school run by his Uncle at Nawabshah. Sir Mazhar selected cricket. After playing cricket, he usually visited his other uncle's store in down town. It was one of the largest store in Nawabshah. On his way going to store, he passed a grocery store where he saw a BLIND boy 8/9 years old (son of the owner of store) was tutored by a molvi saheb help memorizing Quran to that blind boy. One evening passing near that store he saw molvi saheb lashing the boy with a whip and boy was crying. He at once stopped and asked molvi, why are you beating him, don't you see he is a blind child? Molvi angerly replied, it is none of your business and tried to hit Sir with whip in his hand. Sir again said, shame on you. You are beating the poor blind boy unable to memorize an ayat and took off otherwise he should have been beaten by molvi.
After narrating the above story in class at Garden center, he said," I was inspired by that blind boy of memorizing whole Quran, and started myself memorizing Quran". When Sir was in 11th grade at college in Nawabshah he came to know that the blind boy had memorized the Quran. The boy was tested and puzzled by a panel of molvis who declared that he was perfect in memorizing and reciting Quran. He regretted, that he was unable to memorize whole Quran though he tried hard but was not successful due to his studies, job, and other activities, though he memorized a large portion of Quran. He said early age is a perfect age to memorize Quran or Ginans, or poetry because in that age period brain is fresh. He said Abu Ali Sina, Nasir Khusraw, Qadi Noaman, Al Kirmani, Al Shirazi, Hasan Sabbah, Pir Shams, Pir Sadardin, Pir Hasan Kabiruddin, Syed Imam Shah, and other Ismaili Sadaat were Haafiz e Quran, Qari, who had memorized Quran, Why not we Khoja Ismailis? He said ITREB should take initiative and encourage youth, should have competitions of Quran like Ginan competitions. Need inspiration, encouragement, help, arrangement, promotion from ITREB. He said, when ITREB hired a Qari for missionaries, staff, teachers under training to teach Quran, that was Qari Shakir Qasmi who was also Hafiz e Quran!!

In my opinion it was Sir Mazhar who on his own started Quran classes in various centers and made compulsory for his students from class 11th to 14th to learn Quran, though at few centers his Quran classes were banned, class rooms were with drawn and committee members were non cooperative. But he kept trying and trying.

In his last years in Karachi when ITREB officials came to know who he was, and belong to which family, and about his academic credentials he got some respect from officials otherwise he was neglected. At that time academic department of ITREB asked Sir Mazhar to chalk out a program how to teach Quran in religious centers from class first to tenth. He prepared a plan and gave that draft to me for typing. He suggested that from first class on ward, starting with para e 'Amma and complete the whole Quran reading till 10th grade. He suggested 15 minutes Quran reading in all RC classes. Regarding manpower he offered his services to train teachers. Sorry to write it did not materialized. His draft file never moved from academic table to board members of ITREB. He used to say, why ITREB is scared to introduce Quran in jamait! He got the answer from some one in ITREB, telling him," that will open the Pandora's Box".
Sir said, during his first visit to Pakistan Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah made a Farman at Ismailia Association Karachi that he wanted 50 missionaries or other jamaiti members to learn Arabic and that they should be fluent in Arabic. In excitement 50 persons registered for that program. After a month or so 49 disappeared and only one left and that was late Aitamadi Master Hashim Moledina.
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Post by swamidada »

His name was Zar Khan. He was Pathan. He was a British soldier, had participated in second world war. He was injured in war and lost sight in one eye. He was working under Sir Mazhar at Zeal pak Cement Factory. Sir has given him duty of printing cement bags on machine. Zar Khan was working night shifts. When Sir was doing night shifts also, he usually stayed some times with Zar Khan to help him and to have information about war. During conversation Sir came to know Zar Khan was fluent in provincial languages of Pakistan, though he was Pathan speaking Pushtun, but he was fluent in Punjabi, Sindhi, Urdu, Baluchi, and English. This quality of Zar Khan inspired Sir Mazhar and he started learning Punjabi, and Pukhtun at Zeal Pak, as majority of workers were from Punjab and Khaibar Pakhtun Khwa, and in coming years beside Urdu, and English, he was able to speak Sindhi, Punjabi, Pukhtun, Baluchi ( as he knew Persian), Gujrati, and Kachhi. He used to joke, I am jack of all but master of none ( I myself was inspired by Sir Mazhar and started learning languages).
Sir Mazhar had a good habit (I must say), quite few times in class I heard him saying to students," When I am teaching, I am learning from you, your ideas, your thinking, your information, and any extra language you know, consider me your friend".

Some one informed me, there were few strange things happened at Zeal Pak.
One of his plant supervisor (his last name was Tirmizi, was himself Syed) started writing Sir's name in attendance register as Syed Mazhar Ali. Sir requested him 'I am not a Syed', but he insisted no, when I see you it is my inner feeling you must be Syed because of your attitude to workers and others, your moral high ground, and helping workers. Till Sir worked under him he kept writing and calling him Syed.

There was a Pathan worker working under him. He asked Sir to marry his daughter. Sir was surprised and perplexed. He insisted, that Sir should see his daughter once, she is pretty, saying 5 times salat, knows Quran well, she is religious. Sir humbly explained him that at present he has no intention to marry, still I am studying and not earning much. I pray that your daughter should have a good husband. Not only this but one other foreman (from Punjab) also offered his sister for marrying with Sir Mazhar.

During 5 years of his service at Zeal Pak, he had 3 times attack of JAUNDICE disease (Yellow skin caused by the buildup of bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice may occur if the liver can't efficiently process red blood cells as they break down. Symptoms include yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). Third attack of jaundice on Sir was serious and he started bleeding in stool. Doctors advised his parents to withdraw him from working in cement factory that is dangerous for his life, later on Sir resigned from job.
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Post by swamidada »

In Karachi he was known as Sir Mazhar but in Hyderabad and interior Sind he was known as Saien Mazhar (saien means master, teacher, respected, great person), and some people called him Mulla Mazhar also (I don't know why). There were two other famous senior RC teachers at Hyderabad center. Both had 50 years of service at religious center. One was Alijah Saien Amir Ali Juma and other Alijiani Apa Jena. Both were excellent teachers, well versed in Ismaili Tariqa as well as had deep knowledge of Ginans. And there was a third senior teacher named Saien Mahmud had 40 years of service and was assistant principal. Saien Amir Ali was principal of boys section and Apa Jena was principal of girls section. Those both teachers maintained discipline in RC. Apa Jena asked girl students to come in proper dress in JK and in RC and kept eye on them. Saien Amir Ali was also strict on boys who were rowdy and undisciplined. In fact he punished them for disobeying. So did Sir Mazhar also in beginning. He slapped and punished students who were making noise in class, fighting, using profany, were undisciplined. After couple of years he realized and stopped punishing such students. He changed the approach. He talked to parents of such students and with their help counseled the students. The results was positive. Before moving to Karachi, he particularly said sorry to students whom he punished. He said it was my mistake to punish you people, it was not my right (I think it was his positive side and good habit). In return many students said, Sir you don't have to sorry it was our fault and friendship with bad boys, in fact we realized it was your punishment which put us on right track.
2/3 years back during my visit to Hyderabad, I was told about other famous personalities who had 50/60 years of service/khidmat to jamaits and Imam of the time. Apart from Saien AmirAli and Apa Jena, there was Waras Mukhi Ghullam Hussain. He was missionary of great fame. He used to waiz for 2/3 hours. He knew many languages. He authored 3 books and many articles. He learnt a lot from Aitamadi Mukhi Hashim Lalwani. He was a great scholar, well versed in Persian, Arabic, Gujrati, Urdu, Sindhi. He authored many books. The famous was 'Huqq Moujud', in which he discussed Shiaism, Sufism, and Ismailism. The book was in Sindhi and Sir Mazhar wanted to translate it in Urdu for the benefit of Karachi and Sind jamits. He was ready to pay for printing and distribute it freely, but Ismailia Association did not permitted. Aitamadi Mukhi Hashim Lalwani had friendship with great scholar and novelist Mirza Qaleech Baig. He is called Shakespeare of Sind and had penned 300 novels. On request of Aitamadi Hashim he wrote a history of Ismailism named 'TUHAFA E ISMAILIA', it is an obsolete book. I saw its copy at Hyderabad library. I don't know weather ITREB library Karachi has copy or not. Then there was H.M Khoja. Principal of famous Nawabshah school. Who had thousands of students prepartition and after. Hazar Imam knew him by his name, who served jamits on many levels. There was Waras Essa, Waras Jafar Ali of Peshawar, Waras Sadruddin of Tando Muhammad Khan, Waras Murad Ali Valliani. There were many others, like literary persons Noor Ali Valliani and his brother Gulzar Valliani. Many more I can't remember their names who had long services to Imam and Jamait.
When Sir Mumtaz Tajuddin published 101 Ismaili Heroes, he did not included famous Sindhi scholars, professors, Alwaizeen, and khidmatgars of Hyderabad and interior Sind. There was resentment in Sindhi Murids of Imam, why were they neglected!!
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Post by swamidada »

For his 13th and 14th classes combined, Sir Mazhar arranged some outside (non Ismaili) scholars to impart lectures on historical and religious knowledge, sufism, and Islamic jurisprudence on week ends. He invited couple of university professors, an Advocate, a scholar who used to deliver lectures at theosophical society Karachi, and few Ismail scholars. Students liked and appreciated that approach. Lecturers were so nice, they voluntarily came without any remuneration and were cooperative, they were all master in their fields. For few months it went alright but then Sir got a message from ITREB officials to stop inviting outside lecturers on pretext that they can misguide students.
Sir Mazhar argued with those officials that lecturers are reputable persons and they are not invited to discuss Ismaili Tariqa. Let the students get better and variety of knowledge. Officials refused and said If you want some special lectures for students we shall provide our research scholars or missionaries. Sir was disappointed and had to discontinue outside lecturers.

Sir Mazhar was against the secrecy in our religious affairs, or not to disclose our Tariqa to non Ismailis. He was of opinion that we should explain our Tariqa to non Ismailis so that they should stop calling us Hindus and Kafirs.

If any article against Ismailis published in any newspaper or magazine he mostly defended Ismailism by writing counter articles or letters to editor. He was of opinion that there should be a special cell created by ITREB with scholars and missionaries who should counter negative propaganda and write articles in news paper and magazines to soften image of Ismailism. He said when Imam is spending huge sums of money to operate and cover other expenditures of ITREB, why not ITREB allot some money for Ismaili propaganda. Sorry to write mostly our leadership is like NISHISTAND, GUFTAND, KHORDAND WA BERKHASTAND.
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Post by swamidada »

Sir Mazhar told us that Ismaili Tariqa is very simple and easy but some of our senior missionaries and so called scholars have complicated our Tariqa with different theories, stories, and doctrines. He explained our Tariqa is mentioned in Dua. Pay attention to Surah Nissa' Ayat 59 in Dua, i.e. obey Allah, obey Rasul and obey Ulil Amr, Imam of the time. He explained Imam is the INTERCESSOR, WASILA, LINK to approach Allah and be Fana in Him. I remember he quoted a Farman of Shah Karim," Through Noor of ALI, through Noor of IMAMAT you will close to He Who is above all else". He insisted to learn meaning of Dua as Imam has insisted on many occasions. He repeatedly kept asking meaning of Dua sentences and paragraphs in higher classes 11th to 14th. Many students questioned him to clearify some paragraphs and Ayats in Dua, like Surah Maa'ida 67, or Surah Anfaal Ayat 27, or the students asked him about the word BI HUQQI in Dua and what that meant. Sir explained BI HUQQI IS AN IMPORTANT WORD USED IN DUA BY IMAM. BI HUQQI is used 5 times in Dua and repeatedly 3 times in part 6 of Dua. He explained BI HUQQI means 'in the name of', on behalf, and in Urdu means wasila, tufail, sadqey mein. He said pay attention to the following paragraphs in the 6th part of Dua.

Allahuma bi haqqi Muhammadinil Mustafa wa Aliyinil Murtadha----(means in the name of or on behalf of Muhammad Mustafa and Ali Murtadha----------) or
Allahuma bi haqqi Mowlana Ali, Mowlanal Hussain,--------------( which means Ya Allah in the name of or on behalf of Mowla Ali , Mowla Hussain ), or
last paragraph, Wa bi haqqi Mowlana wa Imaminal hadhiril moujud Shah Karim-------------( in the name of or on behalf of our present Imam shah Karim -----)
Hence in our Du'a we pray to Allah to forgive our sins and have mercy on us in the name of Ahlebait, our Holy Imams and in the name of our present Imam Shah Karim Al Hussaini.
Sir explained there are scores of topics in Dua to understand. Dua is a complete philosophy need to be explored diligently.
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Post by swamidada »

More information about Sir Mazhar:

When he completed 4 Masters, his father advised, 'son why don't you try for Ph.D. This is the valuable degree with high status'. His father sent him to see Professor Dr. G. Allana who happened to be his father's friend. Dr. Allana suggested that he should work on Ismaili Literature and Bibliography. Sir Mazhar was aware of Ismail Punawalla who was doing Ph.D on the subject. He requested Allana Saheb that it is not possible because Mr. Punawalla is already working on it. Dr. Allana asked in what subject are you interested? Sir replied on philosophy of Al Hallaj. Dr. Allana sent Sir to see Professor Dr. Qasmi who was authority on philosophy of Hallaj. When Sir Mazhar met him, Qasmi Saheb recognized him because he was one of the 3 team professors who had taken oral interview while Sir was doing Masters in 'Comparative Religions' and secure 2nd position in Sind University. Dr. Qasmi and other professors were impressed by the knowledge of Sir Mazhar. In the the beginning of the interview they already had asked Sir if he is Sunni or Shia and belong to which community. Sir Mazhar replied I belong to Ismaili Khoja Agakhani community. They asked questions about Sunnism, Shiaism, Ismailism and about the community affairs. Even they asked how many RAKA'TS are in Isha' Namaz and asked him to demonstrate 2 Raka'ts of Nafal Namaz. Sir demonstrated perfectly, they were happy and congratulated him. They were surprised that a Shia Ismaili boy demonstrated perfect Sunni (nafal) Namaz.
Dr. Qasmi asked Sir, why are you interested in Al Hallaj? Sir gave reasons and quoted from Hazar Imam's speech regarding philosophy of Al Hallaj at Sind University during his visit to Pakistan in 1970. Dr. Qasmi suggested that Sir should work on the KITABU TAWASEEN written by Hallaj. Sir Mazhar started collecting material on Hallaj but after some time he moved to Karachi and that project was left unfinished.
Mean while in Karachi he finished his 5th Masters and decided to go for Ph.D. He went to Karachi University to discuss his project with Dr. Hashmi dean of History department at that time. As he entered the office of Dr. Hashmi, he saw him angry and using profanity to his peon who accidently drop tea on his table while serving. The peon was of old age shaking and kept saying 'saab m'aaf kardo'(Sir forgive me). The old man was scared to be fired, dismissed from his job. When Dr. Hashmi done with peon he turned to Sir Mazhar and asked in thundering voice 'kiyu(n) aaee ho' (why have you come). Sir told Dr. Hashmi that I want to do Ph.D and have come to discuss the subject with you. Dr. Hashmi roared 'dafa' ho, aaee ho Ph.D karney (get lost, have come for Ph.D). After listening this Sir Mazhar lost his coolness and replied, Sir look at your attitude, you do not deserve to be head of department. You used profanity to this poor man though it was accident and I came to have guidance from you and you are telling me to get lost, better you get lost and stay home if you have no patience. After this Sir gave up to go for Ph.D but continued for Masters.
In other incident at Karachi University, he registered for his 6th masters. He purchased the syllabus from the official book store of university. He selected the subjects, filled the exam form and submitted. After a month he received a letter from University that one of the subject he selected is with drawn therefore he should select other subject in place. Sir Mazhar rushed to University and talked to the Dean Dr. Malik. Dr. Malik said to Sir that you have filled the wrong subject which is no more part of Masters you are doing. Sir showed the syllabus and receipt from book store to Dr. Malik and said," Sir I have purchased this syllabus from book store of university, and the subject is printed there". After looking at the syllabus Dr. Malik said, but this is not the current syllabus you have mistaken. Sir requested, why don't you confirm from book store and asked them why they sold it to me.
Dr. Malik telephoned the manager of book store and inquired about the syllabus. The manager replied that new syllabus is still in printing and we have not received the copies of new syllabus that's why we kept selling old ones. Dr. Malik realizing the situation told Sir Mazhar to come back after 2 days mean while I shall consult with academic and exam departments about the problem. After 2 days, when Sir approached Dr. Malik in his office he said, son I am sorry that was mistake on our side, I apologize for that but we can't arrange just a single paper for you, so please choose some other subject and start working on it. Sir replied, it is only a month left in final exam, how shall I prepare for it beside I have to study other subjects also. On request of Dr. Malik Sir accepted. During discussion and arguments, there came two other professors in the office of Dr. Malik for chat. Amongst them one was Dr. Basharat. When Dr. Basharat saw Sir said, you look familiar to me. Actually Dr. Basharat had delivered few lectures at Ismailia Association Karachi. He talked about Professor Jawad Al Musqati who was a professor at Karachi University in 50's /60'S and wrote new Dua in Arabic on instructions and guidance of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah. Dr. Basharat also mentioned Shaikh Iqbal and Shaikh Deedar Ali both research associates at Association. Shaikh Deedar Ali unfortunately passed away at age of 48. He was soft spoken and very friendly person. Shaikh Iqbal a learned scholar still affiliated with ITREB. Professor Basharat was friend of Dr. Jawad Al Musqati. Both Dr. Malik and Dr. Basharat praised Ismaili community specially Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah for his contribution to Muslim Ummah and Pakistan. They also praised Shah Karim Al Hussaini for his philanthropic work and upliftment of Ismaili community.
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Post by swamidada »

In the above post I have mentioned that Sir Mazhar was asked by Dr. Qasmi to do Ph.D on Kitabu Tawaseen by Al Hallaj.
Here for the benefit of those who are interested I am giving brief account of TAWASEEN.

TAWASEEN” is the plural of “Taseen” which are the first two letters (“Twa” and “Seen”)
The book comprises seven chapters, each is called a “Taseen”.
Below is a summary of the main points:

• The Prophet (pbuh) was a light originating from the Light of God outshining all other luminosities.
• He was close to God and in turn brought people close to Him.
• His name existed before the Pen, he is the Master of all Creation.
• He is the idol-breaker.
• There is no one before “before” and after “after” who is more knowledgeable,
wiser, nobler, kinder, aspired, brighter than him.
• All knowledge is only a drop of his ocean; all wisdom is just a handful from
his stream and all time is a just a passing hour of his chronology.
Taseen of Understanding
• It is not possible to fully appreciate the reality of Reality and God is even
beyond Reality.
• The moth and the candle – the moth finally disappears in the candle. (This
seems to be the first example of the usage of this fable, which later on finds
overwhelming usage in Indo-Persian literature.)
• “I am His, but I am not He.”
• Reference to the Prophet’s (pbuh) Ascension. Only the Prophet (pbuh) saw the knowledge of Reality but he declared that only God can praise himself in a
manner that is worthy of Him.

Taseen of Purity:
• Hallaj mentions 40 stations a person has to pass through in his spiritual
journey in the quest of an appreciation of the knowledge of Reality. The last
station in this trajectory is called the Beginning (bidayah).
• I am the bush through which God spoke to Moses (AS). I am near and dear to God.

Taseen of the Circle:
• The poet uses a diagram to explain the truth, bewilderment and whatever is
• Only the Prophet (pbuh) could truly escape from the forbidden circle and
safeguard from the mean reality of the creation, in relation to the Truth.

Taseen of the Point:
• People have charged Hallaj with heresy, they are unawares of his spiritual
position; they haven’t understood him properly.
• New ‘flyers’ in the air of understanding must cut their wings with the blades
of annihilation, so that they drown into the ocean of understanding.
• The poet saw God with the eye of his heart. He asked God who He was and
He replied that He was the seer himself.
• God is unconnected with the notion of “whereness”.

Taseen of Before Endless Time and Equivocation:
• There are only two missions in the world: one is the mission of Iblis and the
other is that of Muhammad (pbuh). After their fall from heaven, Iblis lost his
glory and power, while Muhammad (pbuh) was restored to his supremacy.
• There was no worshipper or monotheist in Heavens like Iblis. He didn’t
consider Adam or Man worthy of prostration, as God alone commanded the
right to worship. His staunch belief in God’s majesty, pure and exclusive,
stopped him from obeying God’s command to bow before Adam.
• Iblis considered both God and himself to predate the creation of Man, and the progenitor cannot worship the successor.
• Iblis preferred being distanced from God and dethroned from his supreme
spiritual ranks than to worship anyone else than God. For him, desertion from
God meant His companionship, a distance that brings him nearer to
appreciating God’s uniqueness: “there is no one capable of being worshipped
other than God.”
• Dialogue between Moses (AS) and Iblis Iblis met Moses (AS) on Mount Sinai
and what ensued was an interchange of questions and rejoinders. Moses claims that Iblis had sinned by refusing the Command of God. Iblis retorts that it wasn’t a command, rather a test, which he faired well. Moses, on the other hand, as Iblis argues, was unsure and wavering in his faith when he asked for a manifest show of Divine effulgence before his eyes. The levels of trust of Iblis and Moses can now be very easily compared!
• Iblis claims that although he is a wretched, disfigured creature, yet his outward misery does not reflect his inner purity and firm belief in the Unique Unity of God.
• Iblis is still a firm believer in God and worships God as He Is.
• Iblis’s refusal to find partners with god speaks of his pristine love for the
Creator. He prefers burning in hellfire than making equals to Him.
• Azazil is the name of Iblis before his downfall.
• Azazil preached good deeds to the dwellers of Heaven and evil deeds to the
dwellers on earth. He had to teach vice so that virtue could become
• Dialogue between Iblis, Pharaoh and Hallaj Iblis was proud as he couldn’t
find anyone comparable with himself in piety and virtue. Pharaoh didn’t
believe in Moses (AS) and declared himself to be of the highest rank, because
he assumed his people had lost the capacity to distinguish between truth and
falsehood. Hallaj then goes on to claim that he is a sign (tajalli) of God’s
• Iblis, Pharaoh and Halaj ultimately share similar destinies. Iblis was threatened of fire but he didn’t take back his declaration and was subject to humiliation.
Pharaoh continued his denial of Truth and was drowned to death. Hallaj will
also be crucified, but he will not step down from his proclamation.
• Iblis is a martyr who became a means to God’s writ being executed.
• Iblis’s plight is confusing, because despite his unmatched Unitarianism, he fell victim to the evil of conceit: “I am made of fire and Adam is made only of

Taseen of the Divine Will:
• The volition of God is represented by four characters: His Decree and Choice (masshiya), His Wisdom (hikma), His Power (quwwa) and finally his Eternal Knowledge (‘Ilm). After his knowledge, what exists is He himself.
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Post by swamidada »

Fake Palmist:

Sir Mazhar was not a Palmist but an unwanted event made him a (fake) Palmist. It startred unintentionally when a 12th grade girl student asked Sir to read her lines of palm to predict her future like education, job, marriage, health, wealth and migration to some foreign country. Sir told her I am not a palmist, you have some wrong information. She insisted. After looking at lines of her hand Sir jokingly made some predictions. BAD LUCK FOR SIR that few of his predictions proved to be correct. After few months the girl was engaged to a highly educated boy of a wealthy family working in Europe. Girl told other students that Sir Mazhar is a Palmist. What he predicted about me mostly became correct. Now trouble starts for Sir, mostly boys and girls insisted to read their hands. Sir explained that what I said to her were not serious predictions, I just joked to her. But students said no, you are hiding your talent. When Sir was pressurized he asked students to give prints of both hands on white paper where lines of hand should be visible by pushing hands hard on carbon paper or some other source to make prints visible; and on top of paper write you first name and date of birth only. In few days he received scores of prints. He asked students to have patience it might take few weeks to answer about all prints.
Sir was already busy with his lively hood, his continued education at university, besides daily conducting religious classes and now this headache of palmistry.
After some thought he went to Urdu Bazaar Karachi and purchased couple of books on palmistry. He also sought help from one of his Christian friend. She gave Sir an old book on palmistry published in 19th century. In that book detailed were date wise which were help full, the book belonged to her grand father. She asked Sir to return book in one week. That book helped Sir a lot. He worked on those prints late hours in night. That book was rare and obsolete. Sir tried to find that book and purchased for himself but failed to get any copy of that book in Karachi. In those days copier machines were not introduced in Pakistan otherwise he should had made copies from that book. From that book and his own imagination he completed predictions on all prints.
While distributing those prints he advised students, please do not rely on these predictions. You have to struggle and work hard in your life time. He quoted Farman of Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah," Struggle is meaning of life, defeat and victory are in hands of God".
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Post by swamidada »

This anecdote was narrated by Sir Mazhar to explain love of Imam and mother during a lecture. Once he visited his first cousin in Karachi. She was married and had a baby girl one year old, very beautiful. While talking and discussing, Sir felt cousin was very depressed because of financial and domestic problems the family had. While talking baby started crying she was hungry. Mother in distress got up and slapped the child very hard and moved to kitchen. Baby started crying hard. Sir tried to calm baby but in vain. Sir was so sad and angry that baby was slapped so hard. He took the baby up in hands and looked at the kitchen. He saw that mother was wiping her tears. He approached to his cousin and asked," sister do you need any kind of help". She replied no while wiping her tears with cloth. Baby in hands of Sir spread her arms towards mother still weeping. Mother became restless and quickly took baby from hands of Sir and squeeze baby with her chest and kissing her. Baby still weeping put her arms around neck of mother and rest her head on the shoulder, stopped crying though still tears were rolling down her cheeks. Sir being funny, to diffuse the situation, laughingly said to cousin," sister you should have slapped me instead of this beautiful child, promise I shall not have cried".
Then, Sir compared love of mother with love of Imam, saying Imam is like our mother. Some times he (Imam) becomes sad and angry because murids being disobedient. But he is compassionate and merciful and forgive us for not obeying. When a murid sincerely with pure niyat says, " Ya Ali fazal kar",
his help comes mysteriously. Imam never leave sincere murids in distress and trouble. His blessings and Barakah are always with his spiritual children. As a child feel secure in arms of a mother, same way a momin feel secure with Imam on his/her side.
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Post by swamidada »

When Sir Mazhar has to discuss any religious issue he turned to his aunt Varsiyani al Waiza Khairunissa Aitamadi Mahbub Ali Khoja. Once Sir asked, "Can I help any poor from the Dasond money as charity?" She replied NO, you can not use Dasond money for charity on your own it is the right of Hazar Imam, if you want to help some one, it should be extra money going out of your pocket.

Sir asked her, "Is Imam God?". She answered. First you believe in Hazar Imam, be faithful, obey his Farmans, follow ethical values, sit in bandagi, progress in bandagi, there will be realization, that realization will lift curtain and you will see His Jalal and Jamal but you will not be able to express what you saw in Reality. She recited a couplet in Farsi;


Trans: I don't know what was that (spiritual) stage the night when I reached there
I saw thousands of souls writhing in His presence

Sir asked about philosophy of Dua?
She replied, Hazar Imam has mentioned many times in Farmans to learn meaning of Dua and its philosophy. She was of opinion that Dua explains Ismaili philosophy well. From Al Hamd to Shai-in Qadeer, there are scores of topics and sub topics which no one has fully explained to jamaits. She said Dua explains the Ismaili Tenets.
Note: As I know in late 60s Allama Nasir Hunzai published a book on Philosophy of Dua followed by two other books on Philosophy of Dua written by Faqir Muhammad Hunzai and al Waiz Kamaluddin published by Ismailia Association in 70s. The later both books were plagiarized. 80% stuff was taken from book written by Allama Hunzai. Both writers admitted that.

Varsiyani Maa had a good collection of books. Sir Mazhar was after those valuable books. He tried that Varsiyani Maa should give him some books, but she use to say , no son I can't give you books but if you want to read any I can lend you but you have to return books as soon as possible. In 60s there was a book published named ALY authored by Slater (mostly tabloid stories). It was about Prince Ali Khan. When Sir Mazhar went to purchase that book the stock was sold out. (actually Ismailia Association had purchased all books, there was a reason behind it. I do not want to shed light on it at present). Sir saw that book in collection of Varsiyani Maa, he requested to borrow that book and the permission was granted for 2 weeks to finish it and return. ( I have seen any literary person won't give their collections of book till alive. Books are precious assets.)
Another book which Sir wanted from Varsiyani Maa was 'History of philosophy' by Will Durrant. Mr. Durrant was a famous Historian, he authored 11 volumes named "History of Civilizations" from ancient times to modern era.
The only set of books which Varsiyani Maa gifted to Sir was a 4 volume Arabic grammar books. She knew Sir was interested in Arabic. Actually she purchased those Arabic books in USA where her husband Mahbub Ali Khoja was studying in Wisconsin University. She was learning Arabic there. She was well versed in Arabic.
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Post by swamidada »

During a question/answer session, a student asked the following question.

"Almighty God of Universe is one, He is the owner, creator, sustainer of all kinds of creation. As God is one so religion should be one. We see there are many major religions and each religion claim they are right and others are gone astray. The question is, how these religions and their followers will be judged, what will be the rules of judging religions and their followers, what criteria will be for salvation"?

Sir Mazhar explained:
Ultimate Reality, the Absolute is beyond the reach of mind and language.
In my opinion, he said; mostly religions are contaminated, commercialized, money and power hungry, and thinking they are superior than other religions.
The most privileged creation is of human beings. In the beginning was only one religion, but as human race multiplied so the religions were. Then there pop up issue of superiority. Each religion claimed they are superior than others. Result hate and wars erupted and millions of millions human beings were massacred in the name of religion, and many millions will be in future.
Historically there were pagan religions, followed by Hinduism, they claim their religion is millions of years old. Then came Bhudaism, Jainism, followed by Judaism, Christianity and finally Islam. As time lapse there pop up thousands of branches and sects amongst these major religions creating confusion and complications amongst followers. Many concepts and isms pop up. Religious literature created, thousands of books were written, further deteriorating the understanding of common man.
Though Islam as a major religion introduced at end, but Muslims say, it is the real religion from very beginning and all prophets propagated the same religion ie Islam. Muslim scholars claim, as the previous religions were contaminated that's why Islam came to purify and show the real path to Allah.
After the death of Prophet Muhammad the face of Islam started deteriorating. Fight started who will be the Caliph. This question disintegrated Islam. Out of 4 Caliphs, 3 were assassinated. Since then Muslims started killing each other till today.
Muslims became enemy of each other and this killing is going on. After death of the Prophet Muslims have killed each other in millions. Islam which came to purify previous religions became contaminated itself quickly after death of Prophet Muhammad.
Once Khawaja Hasan Basri was asked (he is counted in companions of Prophet Muhammad), the question was; "Who is Muslim and what is Islam"? Promptly he replied, "Muslim is in tomb and Islam is in Quran". Further he explained that perfect Muslim is in grave that is prophet, and Islam is contaminated after Prophet, Islam mentioned in Quran is neglected and hardly any one is following the teachings of Quran.
In a hadith Prophet Muhammad narrated that after me will pop up 72 (some say 73) main sects of Islam, means Islam will be divided in 72 branches. Afterwards, thousands of denominations of these 72 sects of Islam came into being that made Islam faceless (now Islam is related to terrorism, Killings, suicide bombings, attacks on masjids and imam barghas are rampant).

Now the question how the followers of these major religions and sects be judged after death? Sir Mazhar elaborated, rules and laws of God are equal for all. Those who disobeyed God will be punished no matter to which religion he/she belong. BUT ill informed and misguided persons can request that they did not had proper knowledge of religion's Tenets, rituals, and other guidance. They followed blindly in good faith. In such case Sir Mazhar gave an example that in college or university exams, the exam papers are set from the course taught. It can not happen that a student taught engineering and question be asked from medicines or biology, or some one has economics as major and he should be asked about geography. same way in my opinion (he said), a Muslim should be asked ethical and religious questions from teachings of Quran, a Christian from teachings of Jesus Christ, a Hindu from Vedas, puranas, and Gita, a Jew from Old Testament and Talmud and so on. But Ismailis who have taken BA'IYAT of Imam have no excuse, because they have living Imam who guides to Sirat e Mustaqeem.
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Post by swamidada »



Lately I found an article on Al Hallaj in his writing. Sir Mazhar was a fan of Hallaj. He was impressed by philosophy of Al Hallaj. Indeed he delivered a waiz on Hallaj's 'ANAL HUQQ' philosophy in BK majlis in Garden JK which was highly appreciated. The papers which I found lately, he wrote, Al-Hallaj is one of the most influential Sufi writers and an important figure in Islamic history.
The situation in which Al-Hallaj taught and wrote was shaped by social, economic, political, and religious stress, which eventually led to his arrest. Sufism was new at the time, and it had provoked extensive opposition from the Muslim orthodoxy. Sufi masters considered his sharing the beauty of mystical experience with the masses undisciplined at best, disobedient at worst. He was an outspoken moral-political reformist. Before long political leaders began making a case against him.

He used to become so enraptured in ecstasy by the presence of the Divine that he was prone to a loss of personal identity, During his arrest he experienced one of these breaks and uttered: "Anal Huqq," or "I am the Truth" (or God). The statement was highly inappropriate in Islam, Those three little words would mark the beginning of the end for Al-Hallaj. Still, his trial was lengthy and marked with uncertainty. Sir Mazhar was of opinion that Hallaj did said 'Anal Huqq' but he NEVER uttered 'Ana Allah'. Generally HUQQ means TRUTH, SATYA;
In Ismaili Tariqa Huqq can be achieved through Wasilah and that Wasilah is Murtaza Ali, as Hazar Imam said, " through Noor of Ali, through Noor of Imamat you will come close to HE, WHO is above all else".

Hallaj spent 11 years in confinement in Baghdad, and was finally brutally tortured and crucified. There were many witnesses that stated that al-Hallaj was strangely serene while being tortured, and sincerely forgave his persecutors. On order of Abbasid caliph Muqtadar Billah Al Hallaj was crucified brutally. When he was taken to gallows some one on way asked Hallaj "ISHQ CHEEST" What is love? He replied;
Meaning: You will see today, will see tomorrow, and will see day after tomorrow.
Today they will kill me, tomorrow will burn my body and day after tomorrow will disperse my ashes.

Before beheaded he said,"Mairaaj e Mardaan Ishq ast", mairaaj of braves is ishq.
After Hallaj’s beheading, his body, which was still seen to writhe, was wrapped in a naphtha-soaked mat and burnt, while the head was sent to Caliph’s palace.

Among other Sufis, Al-Hallaj was an anomaly. Many Sufi masters felt that it was inappropriate to share mysticism with the masses, yet Al-Hallaj openly did so in his writings and through his teachings. This was exacerbated by occasions when he would fall into trances which he attributed to being in the presence of God.

Hallaj was also accused of ḥulul "incarnationism", the basis of which charge seems to be a disputed verse in which the author proclaims mystical union in terms of two spirits in one body. This position was criticized for not affirming union and unity strongly enough; there are two spirits left where as the Sufi fana' texts speak of utter annihilation and annihilation in annihilation (the annihilation of the consciousness of annihilation). Hallaj said;
I am the One whom I love,
and the One whom I love is myself.
We are two souls incarnated in one body;
if you see me, you see Him,
if you see Him, you see us.

Rumi said:
Meaning: NO no that was not Mansoor who said Anal Huqq, but it was He Himself (God) who declared Anal Huq and was hanged.

Famous Sindhi mystical poet Sachal Sarmast said:

Meaning: God gave love in trust to man, and put all lover's secrets in man.

Meaning: When God is present in all, and every where , then where is man? where is universe?

After Al Hallaj it was Sachal Sarmast who declared Anal Huqq openly, he said:


I declare openly Anal Huqq like Mansoor in this world.
I acquired the spiritual kingdom. I am Shah, I am Shah of this (spiritual) Kingdom.

Shabaaz Qalander of Sehwan in Sindh said:

Meaning: I Usmaan Marwandi is friend of Khwaja Mansoor, though I am condemned by public (I don't care) I am moving to gallows dancing.

Shabaaz Qalander also said;


Every one's chief is Murtaza
Pir and Din is Murtaza
Indeed that person is saint
Who recites name of Murtaza Ali
I am Hyderi, I am Qalander, I am Mast ( intoxicated )
I am banda (slave) of Murtaza Ali

Many sufis and western scholars have praised Al Hallaj, like Shaikh Farid al- Din Attaar in Tazkaratul auliyaa, Datta gunj Bukhsh in Kashful Ma'juub, Mowlana Rumi in Mathnavi, Shah Latif in Risalo, Louis Massignon in 'The Passion of Al Hallaj' and so on.

His death is described by Farid al-Din Attar as a heroic act. When his legs were cut off, he smiled and said, "I used to walk the earth with these legs, now there's only one step to heaven, And when his one hand cut off he painted his face with other hand with his own blood, when asked why, he said: "I have lost a lot of blood, and I know my face has turned yellow, I don't
want to look pale-faced (as of fear)...”.

Before put to death Hallaj said;
Now stands no more between Huqq and me
Or reasoned demonstration,
Or proof of revelation,
Now brightly blazing full, Truth's luminetion
Each flickering, lesser light.

About God he said;
“Before” does not outstrip Him,
“after” does not interrupt Him
“of” does not vie with Him for precedence
“from” does not accord with Him
“to” does not join with Him
“in” does not inhabit Him
“when” does not stop Him
“if” does not consult with Him
“over” does not overshadow
Him “under” does not support Him
“opposite” does not face Him
“with” does not press Him
“behind” does not limit Him
“previous” does not display Him
“after” does not cause Him to pass away
“all” does not unite Him
“is” does not bring Him into being
“is not” does not deprive Him from Being.
Concealment does not veil Him
His pre-existence preceded time,
His being preceded non-being,
His eternity preceded limit.
If thou sayest ‘when’,
His existing has outstripped time;
If thou sayest ‘before’, before is after Him;
If thou sayest ‘he’, ‘h’ and ‘e’ are His creation;
If thou sayest ‘how’, His essence is veiled from description;
If thou sayest ‘where’, His being preceded space;
If thou sayest ‘ipseity’ (ma huwa),
His ipseity (huwiwah) is apart from things.
Other than He cannot
be qualified by two (opposite) qualities at
one time; yet With Him they do not create opposition.
He is hidden in His manifestation,
manifest in His concealing.
He is outward and inward,
near and far; and in this respect He is
removed beyond the resemblance of creation.
He acts without contact,
instructs without meeting,
guides without pointing.
Desires do not conflict with Him,
thoughts do not mingle with Him:
His essence is without qualification (takyeef),
His action without effort (takleef).

Hallaj wrote;
I saw my Lord with the eye of the heart
I asked, 'Who are You?'
He replied, 'You'

Ibrahim Al-Fatik wrote;
Hallaj spoke about the Holy Qur'an saying: "In it there are signs of Divine Lordship (rubbubiyya), tidings of the Resurrection, and news about the future until the Eternity of Eternities. Whoever knows the Qur'an, for him it is as though he were in the Resurrection." For he, may Allah be pleased with him, believed that only the Saints are destined to reach the Secret of Lordship (as-sirr ar-rubbubiyya).

He said, "He who looks for Allah by the light of faith is like he who seeks the sun by the light of the stars." At the same time, he acknowledged faith as the foundation for all calling upon Allah, which should be followed by seeking His Face, as he said, "No one can lay claim to Allah in any way except through faith, but in reality there can be no claim to having attained Him." For He, Praised and Exalted is He, has said: "Call upon Allah, or call upon the Merciful, which so ever you call upon, to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names." (17:110)

Mowlana Rumi has said in Mathnavi;

Meaning; Come to blessed valley of Aiman and you will find tree saying indeed I am Allah.

Mahmud Shabistri has given good logic about Anal Huqq, he wrote;

Meaning; If a tree can say Anal Huqq, why a man who is Ashraful Makhluqaat can not utter Anal Huqq.
(In valley of tuwa Moses was looking for burning light for his family as it was a cold night, at some distance he saw s burning tree, but that was strange light coming out of tree. Moses was scared, the voice came from tree 'Moses don't be afraid I am Lord of universe').

Rumi said;
Meaning; When Faroun said Anal Huqq was doomed but when Mansoor said Anal Huqq was elevated (to union with Allah).

Pir Sadruddin in BHUJ NIRINJIN said;


(PART 22 Bhuj Nirinjin)

Hallaj in his poetry said;
Kill me, my faithful friends,
For in my being killed is my life.

Love is that you remain standing
In front of your Beloved
When you are stripped of all your attributes;
Then His attributes become your qualities.

Between me and You, there is only me.
Take away the me, so only You remain.

Hallaj's motto was," MANZIL E MA KIBRIYA AST".

(I have edited some sentences and have added couple of paragraphs).
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