Archive for March, 2016

22nd Jumada ath-Thani Urs Hazrat Abu Baqr Sidiqqi (ra), Medina, 634CE

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Abu Bakr’s grave can be seen through the second hole on the right

Abu Bakr (Abdullah ibn Abi Qahafa) was a senior companion  and the father-in-law of Muhammad (saw). He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad’s death.As Caliph, Abu Bakr succeeded to the political and administrative functions previously exercised by the Prophet, since the religious function and authority of prophethood ended with Muhammad’s death. He was called Al-Siddiq (The Truthful)and was known by that title among later generations of Muslims. Abu Bakr was the Prophet Mohammed’s closest companion and adviser, and first convert to Islam. His prominence in the community was enhanced by Mohammed’s marriage to his daughter A’ishah and also when Abu Bakr was the prophet’s companion on the journey to Medina in 622.

After Mohammed died (632), an assembly of Moslems in Mecca elected Abu Bakr as the first ‘khalifat rasul Allah’ (successor of the Prophet of God), or caliph.

Under him the collection of Mohammed’s revelations was recorded in the Koran. Abu Bakr suppressed tribal uprisings and brought central Arabia under Muslim control.

It is said that Abu Bakr received spiritual teachings from the prophet (saw), many of which have been brought to modern times through the teachings of tasawwuf. His name is in the Silsila of many Sufi Orders.

On 23 August 634, Abu Bakr fell sick and did not recover due to his old age. There are two accounts about the sickness of Abu Bakr. One account states that 8 August 634 was a cold day and when Abu Bakr took a bath, he caught a chill. Another account indicates that, about a year before, along with some other companions, Harith bin Kaladah and Attab bin Usaid, he had eaten some poisoned food which did not affect him for a year.

Abu Bakr developed high fever and was confined to bed. His illness was prolonged and when his condition worsened he felt that his end was near. Realizing his death was near, he sent for Ali and requested him to perform his ghusl since Ali had also done it for the Prophet Muhammad.

Abu Bakr felt that he should nominate his successor so that the issue should not be a cause of dissension among the Muslims after his death, though there was already controversy over Ali not having been appointed.

He appointed Umar as his successor after discussing with some companions. Some of them favored the nomination and others disliked it, due to the tough nature of Umar.

Abu Bakr next asked Aisha as to how many pieces of cloth were used for Muhammad’s shroud. Aisha said that three pieces had been used. Abu Bakr thereupon desired the same number for his own shroud. On Monday 23 August 634 Abu Bakr died. The funeral prayer was led by Umar. He was buried the same night by the side of Muhammad’s grave in Aisha’s house near Al-Masjid al-Nabawi. The Saudi expansion of the masjid has brought Abu Bakr’s gravesite inside that structure.


Mela Chiraghan begins

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

LAHORE – Three-day 428th Urs celebrations of Hazrat Shah Hussain popularly known as Madhu Lal Hussain kicked off yesterday at his shrine in Baghbanpura with traditional fervor and zeal.

The celebrations are also known as Mela Chiraghan, or the festival of lights.

Hazrat Madhu Lal Hussain was a great saint of his time as well as sufi poet who is famous for his ‘Kaafies’.
Punjab Auqaf Department inaugurated the Urs.
As the celebrations started, the devotees from different parts of the country started pouring in to pay homage to the saint.

The roads leading to the shrine had been decorated with posters and banners inscribed with the poetry of the great saint.
Big stalls of food and sweets had also been set up there.
The devotees were seen in long queues; many of them were buying flowers and garlands to put them on his esteemed grave.

Many religious scholars read “kalam” of Hazrat Shah Hussain which attracted many devotees.
Interestingly, many of the faithful were dancing over his Kalam.
Qawali (Traditional sufi music) was being sung at different places.
“Alao” (large fire well) and lit up lamps were the centre of attraction.
Everyone was beaming with smiling face and love for the great saint.

Hazrat Madhu Lal Hussain devoted his whole life for the love with God and humanity.
The main theme of his poetry revolves around love with God and his creature as well as self-identification.
His spiritual affiliation with Hazrat Data Gunj Bakash made him prominent among other saints.
His Urs will conclude by March 29.

On the occasion, high security arrangements have been made.
Traffic of the nearby roads has been diverted to other roads while special parking stands have been set up for the help of the devotees.

Sufi festival starts: A two-day Sufi Festival kicked off yesterday at Lahore Arts Council (Alhamra) featuring panel discussions, thought provoking sessions and Sufi poetry recitation.

Lahore Arts Council (Alhamra) and Atlas East Management arranged the festival jointly at Alhamra.
Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz inaugurated the session.

The panel discussion at Sufi Festival titled Bar-e-Saghir Ke Aman Mein Sufiyan Ka Kirdar with panelists Asghar Nadeem Syed and Dr Sughra Saddaf.
In another conversation tilted Daur-e-Hazir Mein Tasawwuf Ki Ahmiyat (importance of Sufism in contemporary era) with panelists Haseena Moen and Sohaib Ahmed shed light on the Sufi teaching for prevailing of peace in the society.

While scholars and panelists included Moeen Nizami, Iqbal Shahid, Kamran Lashari, Muneeza Hashmi, Mushtaq Sufi were also spoke in various sessions.
Lahore Arts Council executive director Capt (Retd) Atta Muhammad Khan also spoke on various topics relating to Sufism.

An art exhibition has been also exhibited for the people, who visited the Alharma Art Gallery on the commencing day of the festival.
Azad Theatre also presented their play titled shah Hussain (The Weaver) based on the life of Sufi saint Shah Hussain aka Madhu Lal Hussain.
In the end of the, dance performances at the of Nighat Chaudhary, Wahab Shah, music, drama, Qawali and Heer recitation also part of the Sufi festival.
Singers Arif Lohar, Krishan Lal Bheel, Bushra Marvi, Sundas, Asad Kishor and Shahid Lohar enthralled the audiences.

Published in The Nation newspaper on 27-Mar-2016

Source: Mela Chiraghan begins

At World Sufi Forum, Leaders Call For Peace, Condemn Violence

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Four-day World Sufi Forum in Delhi which witnessed gathering of prominent Sufi leaders from across the world made a unanimous call for peace and compassion. At the meet, Sufi leaders from Canada, US, UK, South Africa and Pakistan condemned terrorism and violence.

Source: At World Sufi Forum, Leaders Call For Peace, Condemn Violence