Saturday, June 30, 2012

Shah Latif, 'Azar', and a random email...


A few days back, I had a conversation with someone where he asked the meaning of my name, Azar. Azar, in literal sense, is the name of a color in Persian; crimson/crimson red. But this name is more associated with Hazrat Ibrahim a.s.'s father/uncle who was a idol sculptor and idol worshiper.


وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ لِأَبِيهِ آزَرَ أَتَتَّخِذُ أَصْنَامًا آلِهَةً ۖ إِنِّي أَرَاكَ وَقَوْمَكَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ

And when Ibrahim said to his sire, Azar: Do you take idols for gods? Surely I see you and your people in manifest error.
- Quran, [6:74]
(There is a debate over either Azar was Ibrahim a.s.'s father or not, but that is not what I am going into at the moment, and in fact, neither do I have any research on it.)

Following is an email I just typed to the same person, thought better to blog it as well:


Salam

There was a conversation going around somewhere over the internet about Sindh, its culture and heritage, and the feudal system. This reminded me of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, and trying to find his poetry, not that I am any narcissist, but the first thing I found was something interesting, relevant to the conversation you started on the name, 'Azar':



You maintain the appearance of a Muslim, but as a matter of fact, you are an Azar.

But then, this comes from the Sur he called Sur Asa/Aasa, Melody of Hope. So, yes, there is hope. :)

Worth mentioning that Shah Latif was the direct descendant of Ahlulbayt via Imam Musa Kazim a.s., attaching herewith his genealogy as noted in the book Sufis of Sindh by Motilal Jotwani (http://www.apnaorg.com/books/english/sufis-of-sindh-1/sufis-of-sindh-jotwani.pdf), 



I have been to the tombs of Makli in Sindh, the graveyard, with the graves of these Persian rulers who settled in Sindh when the Hindus were attracted to Islam and married them to spread the religion more. The point is, there is a strange sense of attraction in this culture, they don't feel the same as that of the other or contemporary Sindhi feudal lords, and whenever I still recall that visit to Makli and Bhambore, I get into a strange sort of a feeling, as if the winds are speaking something, as if the winds still have kept intact stories to be unveiled, knowledge/secrets of the unknown. There is a very interesting & famous poem by Shah Latif called Momal Rano, if you get time, read it:

O God, my Lord
Even if you are upset with me, I am still willing to lay down my life for you
My lord, speak to me once again
My lord, forgive your Latif for all his faults and mistakes
Forgive all the mistakes
I will only be at peace when my Lord will reciprocate my love
My lord, forgive all my faults
My lord, stay with me tonight and I’ll make sure that the Beast (camel) you ride is taken care of as well
My lips move all the time remembering you, be it day or night
I sit, gazing into the distance waiting for your return
Waiting till the wee hours of the morning
It is only the song of your remembrance (waee) that I have on my lips, my Lord
O sisters, the Lord will be forgiving and will shower his blessings on Latif

Thanks for reading this random email.

With salaam and du'as.
Zain


Relevant links for reference:
Few verses of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai: http://jamalifouru.com/Shah%20Abdul%20Latif/images/few-verses-shah-abdul-lattiaf-bhittai.php