The King and The Village Girl (Umar – Marui)

May 13, 2012


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Destiny, Patriot and Passion.

The King Umar soomro, who ruled Sindh from year 1355 A.D, was a very handsome, kind hearted and a just king.  During his rule, the people enjoyed full liberty on equality basis and were quite happy in villages, towns and cities. His capital was Umarkot where he lived in a castle. According to the Islamic traditions, the King was very cautious in his behavior. But as a man he was a lover of beauty and grace in women. Once a man named Pohg came to his Darbar(Court) to seek audience with the King. When he was granted audience, he praised the beauty of a village girl Marui in such a way that the King was very much impressed and desired to have this jewel of extra ordinary beauty in his harem. Phog told the King that Marui lived in Malir village and could be seen filling water pitcher with other girls from a well outside the village early morning every day. The King who had a passion for beauty could not wait to see the girl, so incognito; he mounted a fast camel, guided by Phog and reached the well on the outskirts of Malir village. They found the girls filling their water pitchers from the well. Phog pointed out Marui. The girls saw the strangers approaching, thought that they were thirsty and wanted to drink water so they did not panic.  An aura of brilliance surrounded Marui; King Umar Soomro lost his senses stricken by her beauty, he asked her to marry him and she refused, he then grabbed Marui, put her on his camel and brought her to his palace in Umarkot.

Fear gripped Marui to see the palace and the finery of the Maids who attended upon her. A girl accustomed to open blue skies, green pastures and sand dunes, felt herself like a bird in a cage. She kept crying, and will not stop even though, the Maids tried their best to console her. The King sent to her clothes, jewels and delicious dishes but she did not even look at these gifts and kept asking to be sent back to her village, her parents and Maroos(village people, her kith and kin) to whom she belonged. The King was informed of this alarming situation and he came himself and talked to Marui, telling her about the desperate situation she was in and the only solution was that she should consent to marry him and become his queen. In this way, she will not only rule the country but will be able to help her parents and Maroos. Nevertheless, Marui kept crying and repeating that she must be sent back to Malir.  The vehemence of her grief was so intense that the King was alarmed least she may harm herself. The King therefore left her to the Maids and returned to the palace.

Alas! The destiny had played her part for both, the king and the Marui.  Marui’s parents, villagers and the people of the kingdom knew what had happened and nobody could do anything about it.

The king kept coming and sending gifts to Marui but she refused to accept anything and wanted to go back to her Maroos. The king had to attend to the affairs of his kingdom and forgot about Marui.

The readers will be surprised as to why a King had to wait for the consent of Marui to marry him. The answer is that as a Muslim king, he was ‘The defender of the faith’ and the faith only permitted him to marry the girl with her consent. He was powerless to avert the destiny, but he had all the power to control his passion and act according to Islamic law.

Where the king’s character is praise worthy, the patriotism of Marui, a village girl, for her country, her parents and her Maroos and her fiancé is much more praise worthy. She thwarted the King’s offer and kept her honour and that of her Maroos, intact, suffering hardships imposed upon her by the King. At last, when the King after about a year remembered Marui, he visited her. He was shocked to see how weak and emaciated she had become. He was full of regret. Marui asked him to send her body to Malir to be buried there when she dies. This cut King Umar to the core of his heart and he ordered that Marui should be released immediately and sent back to Malir and to her Maroos.

When the King’s men brought her to her parents with King’s Message that she must be treated with due respect as she was untouched by him; and that She was as chaste as when he had taken her away. Her people, even her fiancé had doubts and everybody shunned her company. She could do nothing but to cry her eyes out day and night without any result. To Check up, the King sent his men, to see whether Marui was being treated with due love and honour or not. The King’s men returned with the news that Marui was not been treated with due honour and love. The King became very angry and came to Malir, called for the village elders to decide the matter of Marui’s innocence. The village elder showed their doubts and said that the only way to prove Marui’s innocence was to take the test of fire ordeal. Marui immediately agreed to this test.  Accordingly, a long trench was dug and filled with burning coals. Marui was asked to walk from one end to the other and if no burns appear on her feet, she will be declared innocent. Without hesitating Marui walked on the burning coals from one end to the other. Her feet were examined and burns were found on her feet. It is said that King Umar Soomro also took this test there and then and no burns were found on his feet as well. Thus, both were declared innocent. Great rejoicings took place and preparation set a foot for her marriage to her fiancé Khet Sen.

There is no parallel, to the above historical act of the King Umer Soomro, in the world.

References:

  1. Umar and Marvi (by Mark Naylor, Th. M.) (http://www.nbseminary.com/archives/umar-and-marvi)
  2. State master Encyclopaedia – Umar Marvi (http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Umar-Marvi)
  3. Shah Latif’s Patriotism in Characters of Umar and Marvi (by Khadim Hussain) (http://irfi.org/articles3/articles_4501_4600/shah%20latif%27s%20patriotismhtml.htm)
  4. Shah Jo Risalo- English translation by Elsa Kazi.  (http://www.scribd.com/doc/7535206/Shah-Jo-Risalo-Elsa-Kazi)

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2011 in review

January 6, 2012

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

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A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

THE WARS FOUGHT OVER WOMEN IN THE WORLD.

July 10, 2011

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HELEN OF TROY –  PRINCESS BILQEES BHAGHI SOOMRO.

PRINCESS BILQUEES SOOMRO ALIAS BHAGHI. The one and only woman in the world, for whom a decisive war was waged to defend her honour and that of her Nation and her Country Sindh.

I sifted through History books and Internet, to see whether any wars were waged over the honour of women throughout the world in East or in West. There I found only one legend of the Helen of Troy.[1] which is a mythological legend involving Greek Gods and Goddesses but it has been discovered by Barry Strauss [2] that such a war took place, which lasted for ten year. Many movies were produced in the Twentieth Century for commercial purposes of this legend.

In the East, I discovered that in the history of the Indo-Pak Sub continent, there was such a war in Sindh in the years, 1298-1300 A.D at a place “ Thar Bhanghar “ near Soomra Capital  “ Muhammed Tur “ between the Armies of Sultan Allauddin of Dehli Sultnate and the Valiant King of Sindh, Asad-al-Millat Dodo Soomro. In this battle, thousands of soldiers were martyred on either side. The superior forces of Sultan Allauddin under the command of General Zaffar Khan won the battle and Sultan Asad-al-Millat Dodo was martyred. (See The Greatest Epic Poetry Part 1 & 2) [3]

The main cause of this war and consequent war was Princess Bilqees Bhaghi, the sister of the Asad-ul-Millat Dodo Soomro the king of Sindh. Princess Bilqees Bhaghi was a very beautiful woman, pious and well versed in tactics of running an empire. The fame of her beauty had not yet spread but somehow it reached the ears of General Zaffar Khan in Thatta. He coveted her as gift for Sultan Allauddin to gain his favours. He sent his spies to the Soomra Capital of Muhammed Tur for information. On return, the spies told him that there was a rift between the two brothers, Dodo and Chanesar, as Dodo had made himself King and Chanesar stood dethroned. General Zaffar Khan found this a great opportunity to get Princess Bilqees Bhaghi and establish Sultan Allauddin’s suzerainty over the Soomra kingdom.

He therefore sent his emissaries to Sultan Chanesar and to Sultan Dodo Soomro. To Sultan Chanesar he assured him that he would reinstate him as the King of Sindh. And to Sultan Dodo he ordered him to come with royal gifts for Sultan Allauddin along with Princess Bhaghi as a bride for the Sultan.

King Dodo Soomro called for the council of ministers, elders and other dignitaries for consultation. They decided that they would not give the Princess Bilqees for Sultan Allauddin as they were Soomras and he was a Turk by caste. Therefore, it was a matter of their honour. If war is imposed on them they will fight and die rather than to give the Princess for Sultan Allauddin. They immediately started preparation for War with General Zaffar Khan.

General Zaffar Khan, on receiving this reply from Sultan Dodo Soomro, became furious and with his huge army marched towards the Soomra Capital City of Muhammad Tur. As already stated above, General Zaffar Khan won the battle and Sultan Dodo Soomro was martyred. In this war General Zaffar Khan lost nearly half of his army. He put Sultan Chanesar under servialliance and proceeded to Muhammed Tur to plunder the royal riches and capture the Princess Bilqees Bhaghi and other ladies of the harems. When he reached the Palace, he was furious to find it empty and the city deserted. He immediately sent his spies in all directions to find out the where abouts of the royal harems of the house of Tur. Soon the spies returned with the news that harems were now under the protection (Saam) of Rajput Chieftain Abro Samo of Kutch. General Zaffar Khan sent an envoy to Abro Samo to surrender the Princess Bilqees Bhagi with her entourage or face the war.

Abro Samo replied that he was a Rajput and the ladies of the house of Tur were under his protection. He will face the war rather than surrender the Saams i.e the Princess and the ladies of her entourage.

On the other hand, when Sultan Chanesar saw that General Zaffar Khan was determined to follow and capture their harems, he managed to shake off the surveillance of General Zaffar Khan, collected his people and attacked the armies of General Zaffar khan. He and his people were great warriors and fought valiantly killing thousands of the enemy soldiers before they all were martyred.

General Zaffar Khan, now with a nominal army, marched to Kucth to defeat Abro Samo and capture the Princess. Here also Rajput Abro Samo proved to be a formidable foe. He and his soldiers fought so bravely that very little of the army of General Zaffar Khan was left, when Abro Samo and his army faced martyrdom.

The Princess Bilqees Bhaghi, for fear of defeat of Abro Samo in the battle, had already left for nearby mountain refuge under guard and when she heard the news of Abro Samo’s martyrdom; she fell to the ground and prayed to Almighty Allah to save their honour. A thunder was heard and mountain splited at many places and the Princess and all the ladies of the harems jumped in and with a thunder, the mountain splits closed on them. At some places, the corners of their scarves were visible. When General Zaffar Khan reached at these places and saw the corners of the scarves jutting out of the mountain crevices, he feil to the ground in grief and repentance. He realized that now there was nothing left so he decided to return to Dehli, through the desert route via Mirpur Mathelo. But he never reached his destination and died of hunger and thirst in the desert.

The difference between the two wars is as under:

Helen was married to Menelaus King of Sparta when Paris abducted her or she managed to be abducted by Paris and went with him to Troy. Therefore, the war was not to save the honour and chastity of Helen but to avenge the honour of her husband and the Spartans who had been wronged and dishonoured. Again, Helen had no scruples in marrying Paris’s brother after the death of Paris in the war. Again, after the death of Paris’s brother she went back to Menelaus her husband in Sparta. A thousand ships and thousands of soldiers died on either side for her, all in vain.

Whereas, Princess Bilquees Bhaghi was unmarried, a beautiful pious girl whose honour and chastity and the honour of the nation was at stake at the hands of the unscrupulous General Zaffar Khan, which had to be defended. In the end, General Zaffar Khan remained empty handed and the people of Sindh destroyed his remaining army marching back to Dehli through the desert of Sindh.

The conclusion is that the only war fought in the World over a woman was that, which was fought for Princess Bilqees Bhaghi Soomro, in Sindh.

REFERENCES:

  1. Helen. (http://www.maicar.com/GML/Helen.html )
  2. Trojan War Archaeology & History – From Helen of Troy to Homer and Schliemann. (http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/troyilium/Trojan_War_From_Helen_of_Troy_to_Homer_and_Schliemann.htm)
  3. The Salient Features of the rule of Soomra Dynasty in Sindh [By Qamar Din M. Hayat Soomro] in Series under the same title (http://www.salientfeaturesoftheruleofsoomrodynasty.wordpress.com)

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THATTA – THE ONLY SURVIVING LANDMARK OF SOOMRA DYNASTY IN SINDH ON THE WEST SIDE OF RIVER INDUS

November 7, 2010

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The Soomras were the founders of Thatta. They shifted their Capital in between the year 1317-1320 A.D, from “Muhammed Toor”  to Thatta also called Nangar Thatta. [http://panhwar.com/dictionary.htm] The reasons being that the River Indus which was called a, “Poorali Nadi”  which in Sindhi means, “moody river”, changed its course along the city of Arore and started flowing along the city of Rohri, Sukkur, Hyderabad, Thatta and to the Arabian Sea. In this, geological changes that took place between the years 1000-1340 A.D were also involved. The result was that the River and its Tributaries in Thar Desert went dry. The big and small cities settled on the banks of the river and its tributaries were abandoned. People migrated to the west side of the River Indus and settled down on the banks of the river and its tributaries, which then flowed full of water. Their last Capital City of “Tur” (Toor) along the banks of Indus tributary “Gungro” had to be abandoned when Gungro tributary went dry. Soomra Kings found a small settlement along the western side of the River Indus, called Thatta. They shifted their capital to Thatta in the year 1317 A.D. (website – www.Ismaili.net/html). This small town of Thatta must have became a very big city and flourished in every way with Palaces, road, building, offices, bazzars, madarsas and parks. Caravan Sari full of foreign merchants with all sorts of goods must have been available from all over the world. Thatta must have become the abode of great scholars. In the year 1351-52, the people of Samma tribe rebelled against Soomras, and with help of their Rajistani Hindu relative and supporters, attacked the Soomra Capital of Thatta and conquered it.  They relentlessly massacred Soomras and destroyed all the records of Soomra Empire from year 1000 to 1351-52. The Royal families had already left for Umarkot in Thar. The Soomra king also fled to Umerkot after the fall of Thatta . Thus, the Soomra kingdom on the west of Indus River was now the hands of Sammas.  The historians have searched in vain for those historical records and for the works of the great scholars of that time but nothing is found. Surely it cannot be said, that a nation  that ruled Sindh for more than three and half centuries, had not maintained Such records. After the shifting of Capital “Toor” to Thatta, an earth quake on the eastern side of River Indus, destroyed all the towns and cities abandoned by Soomras due to change of course by River Indus, reducing them to mounds which still exist. The Sammas rebuilt Thatta, and made it their Capital and later conquered the whole Sindh. The period of their rule was quite remarkable due to coming of great scholars whose works still exist. It is surprising that they built stone structures over the graves of their king and martyrs in the Necropolis of Makli. However, perhaps, they did not built palaces and other buildings with stones, which would have existed in the city of Thatta up to now for the tourists to see their grandeur. Their rule lasted from 1351-52 A.D to 1521 A.D.  which comes to 170 years only.

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The Soomra Dynasty Is The Longest Ruling Dynasty Of Indo-Pak Sub-Continent

October 3, 2010

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The Soomra Dynasty of Sindh has the distinction of being the longest Ruling Dynasty of Sindh. The pages of the history of Indo-Pak Sub-continent show that the longest period of a Dynasty of Muslim kings that ruled in the Sub-Continent , was Soomra Dynasty of Sindh. Some historians say that the rule of Soomra Dynasty started in 1011 and lasted up to year 1351 A.D. However not all the historians agree to it? The website http://pachome1.pacific.net.sg/~makhdoom/history.html shows that Soomra Dynasty ruled Sindh from year 750 to 1350 A.D and that period comes to 600 years. This also is corroborated by website http://sanj.yolasite.com/history-of-sindh.php that  Soomras ruled Sindh from year 750 to 1350 A.D. and the number of Kings mentioned in website www.jattworld.com is 25 kings including one Queen .

The territorial map of the Islamic Kingdom of Soomra Dynasty is given in the website http://worldhistorymaps.info/images/East-Hem_1000ad.jpg and the year shown is 1000 A.D. From the above information, it is deduced that in the year 750 A.D, the Soomras had realized the decline of Arab power in Sindh, so they started from the eastern borders of Sindh and established their rule in small states. By the year 1000 A.D, except for Capital of Sindh they conquered whole Sindh up to Multan. In the year 1011 A.D, they got full control of Sindh on the death of last Habri ruler, the son of Ali bin Umer, (the fifth Habri king of Sindh) in the capital city of Mansura.

In the year, 1351 A.D. the Sama tribe rebelled against the Soomras and attacked their capital city of Thatta on the western side of the River Indus. Soomras were defeated and they retreated to the eastern side of River Indus to their second capital in the castle of Umerkot in Thar. Thus half of Sindh on the Eastern side of River Indus was ruled by them up to year 1439-40 A.D. vide page 288 of the Chronological Dictionary of Sind by M.H.Panhwar-website (http://panhwar.com/dictionary.htm).

In the year 1439-40 A.D, Samas attacked Umerkot and the last Soomra King Hameer  Soomro was defeated in the battled and he took refuge in Multan where the Governor received him with full honours.

Therefore, the period of the rule of Soomra Dynasty from year 1011A.D. to year 1439-40,  which comes to 429 years and is the longest period of rule by a dynasty in the Indo Pak Sub-Continent in this world and should be so recorded  in the Dynastic Rule History of the World.

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The Greatest Epic Poetry of Sindh (part-2)

May 8, 2010

DIFFERENT VERSIONS.

Mr. M.H.Panhwar while writing his Chronological Dictionary of Sindh, has referred to the oldest histories of Sindh, written by different Historians. He has done a great service, not only for Sindh but also for universal knowledge, by writing it in English language.

In this article, I have taken up, the Soomro Dynasty only, as a guide, to events that took place within the period of their rule which begins from the year 1011 A.D and ends in 1351-52 A.D . Particularly, I shall deal with the events that took place from year 1296-97 to 1300-1301 A.D, which pertains to the invasion of Sindh, by the armies, of Sultan Allauddin Khilji of the Sultanate of Dehli , led by General Zaffar Khan.  Sultan Kamaluddin Chanesar and Sultan Asad-al-Millat Dodo ruled Sindh at that time (1).

All the research done in this respect is prey to uncertainty as to whether the battles fought were as per the epic poetry composed orally by the then poets or as per the historic background, sifted out from the history of Sultan Allauddin Khilji of Dehli and the Soomra Kings of Sindh. Our great scholar Dr. Nabi Bukhsh Khan Baloch, through the Adabi Board of Sindh at Jamshoro, in his book “Soomran- Jo- Daur”, written in Sindhi Language, printed by the Sindhi Adabi Board in 1980 A.D., has also given different versions of the epic Dodo- Chanesar. These versions are, as per data collected by him, from every nook and corner, from the singers/performers in desert area, fertile lands, the mountains and the coastal areas of Sindh. The court poet Bhago Bhan of soomra kings was the first poet to compose the oral version of the epic poetry, in 1300-01 A.D. after the battles had ended (2).

Now if we closely go through the pages of the Chronological Dictionary of Sindh we find that Mr. M.H.Panhwar has relied upon the old history books available with him. Mostly the book “Daulat-e-Alviya” written by Maulvi Obedullah Shaik Soomro in 1929 A.D. has been quoted, and with doubts (not substantiated) as to its authenticity. However, there are such references from this book on which he has recorded no doubts. On page 276-277 he writes, that “Daulat-e-Alviya” mentions that Chanesar II was dethroned in 1296-97 A.D (here the year mentioned is 1396-97 A.D, which is a printing mistake) and Dodo became the King. The same page shows that by year 1300-01 A.D., Sultan Dodo and Chanesar had both been martyred and Sultan Zaheeruddin Bhongar II became the king of Sindh . Therefore, the historic version of the epic is undisputedly, the only correct version (3).

For Centuries, the oral versions continues being recited, sung and performed, the words and the tale kept changing slightly from mouth to mouth as per the imagination of the poet/performer.

No written epic was ever was discovered. Therefore, in 1955-56 A.D. the Sindh Adabi Board decided to collect the data from all over Sindh and get it printed. This Herculean task was  assigned to Dr.Nabi Bukhsh Khan Baloch, our great scholar, who put his heart and soul in it and finally completed the job and the book was printed in 1976(1st.edition) by Sindhi Adabi Board @ Jamshoro Sindh, under the title “Dodo – Chanesar – 1”.

This book is therefore, based on the latest extensive and exhaustive research and at last, we now have all the versions of this, the Greatest Epic Poetry Dodo-Chanesar, recorded in writing in Sindhi Language.

Since the year 1300-01 A.D, this epic is being recited with music, almost every day in the villages, towns and festivals in rural Sindh by specialist singers in this 21st. Century and this will go on and on till the Sindh and Sindhi people exist.

*************

REFERENCES.

  1. Chronological Dictionary of Sind by M.H.Panhwar(http://panhwar.com/dictionary.html)
  2. Book “Soomran- Io- Daur” by Dr. Nabi Bukhsh Khan Baloch. Printed by Sindhi  Adabi Board @ Jamshoro edition printed in 1980.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sindhi Adabi Board).
  3. The greatest epic poetry of Sindh. (Dodo-Chanesar) (https://thesalientfeaturesoftheruleofsoomradynasty.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/the-greatest-epic-poetry-of-sindh/)
  4. Book “Dodo-Chanesar”(vol: 1&2) by Dr.Nabi Bakhsh Khan Baloch. Printed by Sindhi Adabi Board @ Jamshoro Sindh.

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The Greatest Epic Poetry of Sindh (part-1)

April 25, 2010
Dodo-Chanesar

An epic poetry came to be composed in the reign of Soomra Kings of Sindh in about 1298-1300 A.D. when General Zaffar Khan of the Imperial armies of Sultan Allauddin Khilji of the Sultanate of Dehli, attacked the king Sultan Asad-al-Millat Dodo Soomro of Sindh. In this battle, the valliant King Asad-al-Millat Dodo Soomro was martyred.

Bhago Bhan, (1) the Court poet of the Soomra kings of Sindh, composed this great classic epic poetry orally, in Sindhi language. As per oral poetic traditions, poetry was transmitted to the audience and from performer to performer (singers) by oral means, as argued by Albert Lord and Milman Parry. (2)

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND.

In the year 1296-97, Sultan Allauddin Khilji of the Sultanate of Dehli, commissioned his General Zaffar Khan to crush the rebellion in Sindh. General Zaffar khan came to Sindh with a huge Imperial army and crushed the rebellion in Bakhar and Sehwan. (3)

In Sehwan, he came to know that there was a rift between the Soomra brothers, Dodo and Chanesar , that Chanesar was dethroned and Dodo had become the king of Sindh.  General Zaffar Khan was an unscrupulous man and saw an opportunity to plunder and destroy the Soomra kingdom. He sent out his men to go to Soomra Capital Muhammad Tur (Toor) and assure Chanesar of his support in getting back the throne from Dodo. King kamaluddin Chanesar Soomro, though a great warrior, was simple and a gullible man. He threatened Dodo that he will go for help to king Allauddin’s armies to get the throne back from him.  Accordingly, he came to Zaffar khan in Sehwan and was welcomed and promised full help.

General Zaffar khan then sent his emissaries to King Asad-al-Millat Dodo to send tributes of royal gifts and Princess Baghi as bride for Sultan Allauddin, else he will wage a war against him and will take everything by force. (4)

King Dodo called for his Council Ministers and all Sardars (lords) for consultation. It was decided unanimously that no Soomro Princess should go to Sultan Allauddin who was a Turk by caste. They started to prepare for war against the Sultan’s hordes.

Consequently, Zaffar Khan, with Chanesar by his side, marched towards the Soomra Capital of Tur. Both the armies arrived at a place ‘ Thaar Banghar ‘ at a good distance from the Capital city of Tur. A decisive battle was fought in which thousands of Zaffar Khan’s soldiers  were killed  and on the other side the Valliant King Asad-al-Millat Dodo was martyred along with Prince Muhammed and Nangar sons of Chanesar, with their armies. (5)

General Zaffar Khan then proceeded to the capital Muhammad Tur to plunder, kill and to capture the royal Soomro ladies with Princess Baghi. Chanesar was displeased and admonished Zaffar Khan not proceed to the royal harems as they now belonged to him, as with the martyrdom of Dodo, he was the king of Sindh. Zaffar khan put him under surveillance and proceeded to the Palace. He found the Palace deserted and was enraged. In frustration, he ordered to sack the City.  He sent out his spies to find out as to where the harems had gone. In a few days, his spies came, they told him that they taken refuge in Kutch under the protection Chieftain Abro Samo.

Zaffar Khan sent his envoy to Abro Samo to surrender the “Saams” (Royal Soomra ladies of the House of Tur) else he will destroy him. Abro Samo was a great warrior and was sure of the help of neighbouring Chiefs, so he replied to Zaffar Khan that he would rather die in battle than surrender the “Saams” to him. Zaffar khan therefore ordered his remaining armies to prepare for war with Abro Samo. (6)

When chanesar found that Zaffar khan was to chase the royal harems to Kutch, he managed to confront Zaffar khan with his companions and they killed hundreds of soldiers of his army but ultimately they were martyred.

Here it will be appropriate to say that the armies of Zaffar khan had dwindled as thousands of his soldiers had lost their lives in the battles of Bakhar, Sehwan and Soomras also had killed thousands of his soldiers. Even so, he prepared for war with Abro Samo and proceeded to Kutch. Here also, a great battle was fought and Abro Samo, his son Mamut and his armies were martyred.

The “Saams” had already left for nearby mountain refuge where finding no other go, they prayed to God Almighty to save their honour. Suddenly with great thunder, tremors took place and the mountains were split at many places and the ladies jumped into these chasms and with a second thunder the chasms closed upon them. Some corners of their scarves were left out. When Zaffar Khan saw all this, he was awed and disappointed. (7)

Now with very little army, he decided to return to Mirpur Mathelo and to Dehli through the desert route.

These battles had resulted in public uprising and the patriotic people of Sindh of every caste armed themselves with whatever arms they had at hand and followed Zaffar Khan and his men, awakening the villagers on either side of this route to fight(8). Gradually food and water became scarce and his soldiers kept dying of hunger and thirst. The people massacred many soldiers  by gorilla war tactics. The result was a miserable defeat and Zaffar Khan suffered an ignominious death in the desert of Sindh.

REFERENCES.

  1. Book “Soomran-jo-Daur” written by  Dr. Nabi Bux khan Baloch Printed by Sindhi Adabi board @ Jamshoro in 1980. ( http://en.wikepedia.org/wiki/Sindhi_Adabi_Board).
  2. Epic Poetry (http://wapedia.mobi/en/Epic_poetry).
  3. Chronological Dictionary of Sind-by M.H. Panhwar (http://panhwar.com/dictionary.html).
  4. History of Sindh by Mohan Gehani (http://www.sindhology.org/images/books_sindhology/History%20of%20Sindh%20Page%2021%20to%20160-Mohan%20Gehani.pdf)
  5. Book “Soomran-jo-Daur” written by  Dr. Nabi Bux khan Baloch Printed by Sindhi Adabi board @ Jamshoro in 1980. ( http://en.wikepedia.org/wiki/Sindhi_Adabi_Board).
  6. Joohlay Lal – (http://www.freesindh.org/sindhstory/%22Jhoolay_Lal%22.html).
  7. Book “Soomran-jo-Daur” written by  Dr. Nabi Bux khan Baloch Printed by Sindhi Adabi board @ Jamshoro in 1980. ( http://en.wikepedia.org/wiki/Sindhi_Adabi_Board).
  8. Joohlay Lal – (http://www.freesindh.org/sindhstory/%22Jhoolay_Lal%22.html).

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Soomro Kings Of Sindh And Sufism.

March 7, 2010

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The conception of Sufism took place in the 8th, 9th century A.D., in Muslim mystics of Persia. It was during the reign of Soomra rulers of Sindh of 12th, 13th century A.D, that Sufi mystics came to Sindh from Persia. Soomras by then had got rid of Ismaili Shias and had become Sunny Muslims. Even so, the Magic of Sufism attracted them a lot and it pacified their behavior towards mystic Sufi saints. The Soomra rulers patronized the Sufi movement by giving out lands, Jagirs to Sufis to maintain Khankahs and Dargahs(shrines).[1][2]
Even though the impact of Sufism was gradual, the people of Sindh, Muslims , Hindus and other casts of and religions, found it convenient to adapt it as they found an spiritual solace in its principles.
In Arabic “Suf” means wool. During the 8th century A.D., some Muslims mystics were seen wearing white woolen robe but in the 9th century A.D, this white woolen robe became common among the Muslim mystics, hence they were called Sufis.
Sufism is based on an unconditional love of God. Being open to love, spiritual yearning, delight and ecstasy, it is neither fear nor hope, but love that lifts us to God. [3]
Thus, the Sufis introduced masses to the loving nature of God. For Sufis it is not enough to know or will for God, but it is the final union with the beloved. It is the merging of self into the Divine Being.
The mild natured people of Sindh, readily came under the sway of these principles of Sufism. Then the arrival of the renowned Sufi saint Mohammad Usman Marvandi Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh from Multan in 1273 A.D during the reign of Soomra King Tai bin Dodo (1272-73 to 1295-96), finally made Sindh a stronghold of Sufism.[4].
Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, after his arrival in Sindh, first visited all the cities and people of Sindh and then finally he settled down in the city of Sehwan and from there, he illuminated the soil and souls of Sindhi people with the light of Sufism. As a result of which, Sindh was blessed with such renowned Sufi saints as Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Sachal Sarmast and Chen Rai Sami and many others.[4]
Sindh became the place of peace, tranquility, tolerane and religious security, bringing Hindus and Muslims closer to each other by the doctrines of Sufism.
*****
SOURCES:
1. The History of Philosophy in Islam by Dr. T.J.D.E.BOER. (http://www.amazon.com/History-Philosophy-Islam-T-Boer/dp/076613078
2. First Ismaili Electronic library and database- (http://www.ismaili.net/htm/modules.php-modload&name-)
3. The History of Philosophy in Islam by Dr. T.J.D.E.BOER. (http://www.amazon.com/History-Philosophy-Islam-T-Boer/dp/076613078.)
4. Chronological Dictionary of Sindh by M.H.Panhwar. 1983. (http://panhwar.com/dictionary.html)
5. Sindhi Adabi Board From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sindhi_Adabi_Board)
6. “Salient Features of the Rule of Soomra Dynasty in Sindh”. Research Articles (Queen Zainab Tari/Golden period of Sindhi women/Renaissance etc.) by Research Scholar Qamar Din. M. Hayat Soomro. 2010. (http://salientfeaturesofsoomrodynasty.blogspot.com/)

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The Romantic Age (part 3 of 3)

January 31, 2010

The third and the last famous romance of Moomal and Rano Mendhro took place during the reign of King Hamir Soomro, who ruled over Sindh from 1400-1439/40 A.D.

Princess Moomal and Soomal saw their father Raja Nand’ s intense grief over the loss of their royal treasure and consoled him , “ dear father don’t grieve over the loss as Soomal by her necromantic knowledge has found that our treasures have been  stolen by a magician. We promise you that we shall get our treasure back by enticing the magician.” Raja Nand heaved a deep sigh and sadly said, “Alas! What you two will do to entice the roaming magician, I wonder!” Moomal and Soomal said, “father, allow us freedom to do what we want to do. We have hatched a vertible plan by which we shall collect more treasure than what we have lost.”

Raja Nand of Mirpur Mathelo State, had no other go but to agree to their proposal reluctantly.

Both Princesses prepared for a journey to a place named Ludano, near about Jesalmir where a stream of water named Nai Kak was flowing. Here, with their slender means they built a small palace and named it Kak palace. In front of the palace in a large area, a maze was built and after it, the waters of the stream were diverted to uneven heights, to fall with a great deafening roar, looking very dangerous to cross, for fear of being drowned. Beyond this dangerous stream, in the woods, wild, ferocious animals were installed which let out blood curdling roars and howls, which created fear of being killed.  Inside the palace, in the entrance hall, Princess Soomal placed seven beds out of which six beds were hollow with ditches below, full of sharp irons to kill the person who sits and falls in when the beds collapse.

When all this was completed, a call was sent out far and wide, to all Princes, wealthy men and merchants, to come to Kak palace and try their luck to reach the most beautiful Princess  Moomal and who so ever succeeds, she will marry him.

After this call, many Princes, wealthy men and merchants, came to kak, loaded with gifts and bounties to marry the Princess Moomal . Outside the gate entrance of the wall surrounding the area, a big drum was placed and when a suitor beat the drum, Princess Soomal’s maid Natir appeared at the gate and enquired about his name and the wealth he had brought with him for Princess Moomal. Then she went back and informed the Princesses about it. After the permission granted, Princess Moomal will come to the balcony of the palace to show herself to the suitor.  Natir, then went to the gate, lead the suitor, through the Maze and at some place she cleverly vanished.

So, some suitors, were deprived of their wealth, lost in the Maze, some lost courage at the roaring waters of the stream, some caught the fright of the ferocious animals and some who reached the palace and fell into the ditches, were deprived of their wealth by Princess Soomal’s men.  In no time, lots of treasures were accumulated and sent to Raja Nand by his daughters.

One day King Hamir Soomro of Sindh, with his three minsters, Dunver Bhatti, Senhero Dhamachani and Rano Mendho were hunting for deer in the woods, when they saw a hermit approaching them. After exchange of greetings, they enquired from him about his forlorn condition. He told them that he was a very rich man and he had set out to marry the most beautiful Princess Moomal at Kak and when he saw the Princess, he lost his senses and in spite of his best efforts, he could not reach her Palace and marry her. He was deprived of the valuable gifts; he had brought for the Princess, by her men and was thrown out of the Palace walls. His love and passion for the Princess has reduced him to this condition.

The king and his minister were surprised and became curios to see the Princess.  Therefore, they started, on a journey of about two hundred miles from Umerkot to Luhano in Mirpur Mathelo. When they reached Kak, they camped outside the Kak Palace. First of all the King Hamir Soomro beat the drum and met Natir. She was told to announce the King’s arrival to Princess Moomal. She ran back to the Palace and informed the Princesses about the King and his companions. She was directed to welcome them and should see that no harm comes to them and are treated with due honour.

Natir went to the gate, welcomed the King and lead him through the maze and as usual, at some point she vanished. The King roamed about the lanes of the maze many times to find the way to the Palace but every time he ended at the entrance gate.  The King’s ministers, Dunver Bhatti and Senhiro Dhamachani then tried their luck but failed to reach the Palace. When Natir came to lead the last minister Rano Mendhro, she was struck by his handsome appearance and gait. She led him through the maze and tried to escape but Rano grabbed her and led her to the roaring waters. He stopped and being suspicious, he dipped his cane in the water and found it shallow. With Natir he crossed the waters, saw the roaring and howling ferocious animal and found that these were dummies mechanically operated to create fear. He now came to the Palace, entered the hall and found seven beds ready to sit. He thought why the seven beds!  So, he pressed his cane on the first one and it collapsed in the ditch below. And so did the five others. The sixth bed, he found it solid,  he sat on it and ordered Natir to go and bring Princess Moomal.

When Princess Moomal with Princess Soomal and her entourage came, and saw the handsome Rano, she instantly fell in love with him and same thing happened to Rano Mendho.

Rano Mendhro sent a messenger to inform the King and his companions about his success. They were pleased and jealous at the same time an awaited his return. After two three days when he came to them, he was welcomed, but King Hamir requested him that he wanted to meet the Princess Moomal.  Therefore, he was invited to the Palace. When he saw the beauty and grace of Moomal, he became intensely jealous of Mendhro and ordered him to return to Umerkot immediately.

After some time, when Rano Mendhro reurnted to Umekot and met the King , he was arrested and put into the Prison.

Days went by and when Rano did not return to Kak, Moomal became forlorn and lamented for her beloved.  For Princess Soomal, her grief became unbearable, so to console  Moomal, she dressed  herself  with Rano Mendhro’s dress and used sleep with Moomal at night.

Rano Mendhro’s sister,who was one of the queens of King Hamir Soomro, pleaded with the king for her brother and got him released from the Prison, with promise that he will not go to meet the Princess Moomal.  Rano Mendhro had a very fast running she camel, so he lost no time to reach Kak at night to meet his beloved Moomal. He entered the Palace, went into the bedroom, he saw that his beloved Moomal was sleeping with a man. He curbed his anger at Moomal’s fraility, left his cane at the bedside, left the Palace and returned to Umerkot. He was very hurt and heartbroken and decided never to go to Kak again.

When in the morning Moomal and Soomal saw Rano’s cane by the bedside, they knew that Rano had come and saw them sleeping together, thinking that his Moomal was sleeping with a man. Thus, the destiny played its part, to separate the lovers from each other. It was a very tragic misunderstanding that came between the lovers. All the efforts made by Princess Moomal  for Rano’s return to her, failed. Her grief and waiting for Rano was so great that she was emaciated and her beauty waned, but her hope sustained her.  Days after days passed but Rano did not return to her. When she could not bear Rano’s separation, any more, she decided to end her life at the pyre.

On the other hand, Rano could not forget his beloved Moomal and his heart pined for her. When he heard about Moomal’s decision to end her life at the pyre, he relented, mounted his camel, reached Kak Palace and the lovers were united, never, never to separate again.

…………………….

Sources:

  1. Chronological Dictionary of Sindh by M.H.Panhwar. 1983.(http://panhwar.com/dictionary.htm)
  2. Tarekh-e-Registan(Part -1) by Raichand Harijan 2005.
  3. Rambling on.(http://deevan.blogspot.com/search?q=Moomal+Rano)
  4. Tarekh-e-Sindh  by AllamaSyed Sulleman Nadvi. 1947(http://en.wikipedia.org/wki/Syed Sulleman Nadv ).
  5. The Salient Features of the Rule of Soomra Dynasty n Sindh Reasearch Articles by Research Scholar Qamar Din .M. Hayat Soomro (http://salientfeaturesofsoomrodynasty.blogspot.com/).
  6. Shah Jo Risalo/Moomal Rano………Fayaz Burio (http://wwwfayazburiro.com/shah/21.html)

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The Romantic Age (Part 2 of 3)

January 3, 2010

In the year 1355-56 A.D., Umar Soomro-II became the king of Sindh. The capital of his empire was Umarkot in the Thar Desert of Sindh. At that time, it was a prosperous area, rich in agriculture, arts and crafts. It was during this period that the following historical romance took place.

The two men alighted from their camels. Their lower half of the face was covered with their turban end. They approached the girls standing at the water well. The girls seeing them coming, ran towards the village afraid that the strangers might not molest them. However, two girls were brave enough to remain at the well, thinking that maybe the wayfarers wanted a drink of water. When the strangers came close, one of them removed the turban end from his face. The girls observed that he was a handsome man, though clad in ordinary clothes, he had a royal bearing. The other man pointed his finger at girls and said, “Sire, that one is Marui.” The handsome man came close and looked at the girl’s brilliant beauty and exclaimed, “Oh God! You have created an angle on earth!” Suddenly, he asked the girl, “O, beautiful damsel will you marry me?” The girl undauntedly replied, “No, I am already betrothed to my kinsman Khet Sen.”

The stranger, who had succumbed to her beauty, saw the stoic determination behind the girl’s words and lost all propriety, grabbed the girl and mounted her on his camel and rode off into the desert of Thar with his companion. The girl kept yelling for help and with her fists kept beating the rider, but all in vain.

The other girl leaving her water pitcher unfilled from the well ran fast to the village and told the people how the stranger had taken away Marui.

Marui’s father Palini accompanied by Khet Sen, other relatives and some people of the village, followed the footsteps of the camels. They walked through the desert and at last they sighted a Castle and found that the footsteps went in through the Castle gates. They went in and discreetly enquired about the camel riders from the people and were told that the camels had gone in the direction of the gates of the royal palace.

On the way to the palace, they met Phog, a farmer working in the lands of Palini and he said to Palini, “you had refused my offer to marry your daughter Marui, but now she is in the palace of the King Umar Soomro who will now marry her. Go back to your village quietly least harm may come to you from the King’s men.”

Marui’s father and the villagers did not argue with Phog and returned to the village. When all the villagers heard that The King Umar Soomro had taken Marui away, they were very much afraid and many thought it better to leave their village and seek a safer place to live.

So, Pogh had taken his revenge from Palini for refusing his offer to marry Marui to him. It was he who had come to Umerkot and when granted audience with King Umer Soomro, he had described the beauty of Marui so eloquently that the king was surprised, that such a jewel of a girl existed in his domain and that also near his Capital Umerkot. The King was curious to see the girl and warned Phog that if the girl’s beauty failed to impress him, he shall have to face the consequences. So at night they mounted the camels, reached Malir and brought Marui to Umerkot as narrated above.

Marui was given a royal bedchamber and the chambermaids were directed for her comfort in all respects.

Marui was very perturbed and kept wailing, for her parents and her people and for her village Malir. The king came every night with costly dresses rare jewels and implored Marui to accept the gifts and consent to marry him as now this palace was her only home. Marui neither accepted the dresses nor the jewels but remained in her dress with her coarse loee (shawl) covering her head saying, “I will not dishonor this loee as it was given to me by my parents.” She kept telling King Umer Soomro, “O! Umer I belong to my parents, my betrothed Khet Sen and my people and will not disgrace myself by accepting your fineries”.

Time fled and Marui remained adamant in refusing to marry the King. The king became very angry and put her into prison in shackles. Even in Prison Marui pined for Malir and her Maroos and kept praying to God and Umer for her release from Prison and for her return to Malir.

At last, King Umer relented that he had done a great injustice to Marui by holding her against her will. He acted immediately and told Marui that he is sending his messenger to her parents to come and take her home. She was released from prison and brought to the Palace.

Her parents though afraid, came, were met with due honour and Marui was handed over to them. But they were admonished to see that no harm comes to her.

Thus, Marui reached Malir and her Maroos. But her betrothed was suspicious thinking as to how she could be chaste after remaining with the King for nearly a year. Consequently, he, the villagers, and the village girls kept a distance from her. This hurt Mari very much.

When the King heard about it, he came with his guards who surrounded the village and called for the village elders to settle the matter. He told the villagers on oath that Marui was as chaste as she was on the day he had taken her away. But if they still don’t believe him, he will undergo any test to defend his honour. Here Marui came out before the King and told him that it was her honour at stake so she will take the test. All present agreed to this and a ‘fire walk’ was proposed to prove her chastity.

Wood was collected and ignited and the fire roared. When all wood was burned and the burning red-hot coals appeared, Marui was asked to walk over the coals from one end to the other. She prayed to God and quietly walked over the coals from one side to the other. Praise be to God, neither burn marks were found on her feet nor her clothes took fire. Thus, she was absolved. The King Umer Soomro also followed her through the fire to absolve himself and he also remained unscathed.

Great celebration took place after which the King Umar Soomro returned to Umerkot.

Sources:

  1. Chronological Dictionary of Sindh by M.H. Panhwar. 1983. (http://panhwar.com/dictionary.htm)
  2. “Tareekh-e-Sindh (History of Sindh). By Allama Syed Sulleman Nadvi. 1947. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syed_Sulaiman_Nadvi)
  3. “Salient Features of the Rule of Soomra Dynasty in Sindh”. Research Articles (Queen Zainab Tari/Golden period of Sindhi women/Renaissance etc.) by Research Scholar Qamar Din. M. Hayat Soomro. 2009. (http://salientfeaturesofsoomrodynasty.blogspot.com/)
  4. Shah Abdul Latif’s Patriotism in the characters of Umar and Marvi (http://www.bukisa.com/articles/73922_shah-abdul-latifs-patriotism-in-the-characters-of-umar-and-marvi)
  5. Umar and Marvi (http://www.nbseminary.com/archives/umar-and-marvi)

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