Annual Urs of Great Sufi Lal Shahbaz Qalandar

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s Urs ends amid a call for more research on his life
The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2012.

HYDERABAD: After devotees whirled and prayed for three days at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, his Urs celebrations ended on Wednesday. 
The main events during the three-day Urs comprised Sugharan Ji Katchery (folklore discussion), an international literary conference, concerts, agro-industrial exhibition, malakhro (wrestling) and cattle shows.
Scholars, historians and writers who gathered at the literary conference called for research on the life and intellectual works of Qalandar, whose real name was Syed Usman Marvandi. “There is confusion about the right date of birth, arrival in Sindh and the poetry and prose work contributed by Qalandar,” said Dr Nawaz Ali Shauq.
The event was organised by Sindh culture department at Shahbaz Hall in Sehwan on Tuesday night. Dr Shauq argued that Qalandar was a proponent of the Mansoori thought – a reference to the ninth century mystic Mansoor alHallaj who raised the slogan of Annal Haq (I am the truth). The saint was convicted for heresy by the clergy and sentenced to death.
“His philosophy is about knowing oneself to know the Almighty,” he briefly explained. The scholar also highlighted the lack of knowledge and understanding about the philosophical and literary contributions of Qalandar compared to Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. “For Qalandar we find more devotion than intellectual following.” He ascribed this to a lack of research work.
Shauq also referred to a dearth of research on the heritage, archaeological findings and culture of Sehwan and surrounding areas, advising the culture department to use the occasion of the Urs to promote the town’s history.
Noted Punjabi writer Mudassir Iqbal Butt recalled how Qalandar and his contemporaries spread the message of love and peace to every corner of Sindh and Punjab. Qalandar, Bahauddin Zakarya, Baba Fareed Ganjshakar and Makhdoom Jahanian Surkh Bukhari of Uch Sharif were contemporaries. “They were referred to as chaar yar (four friends) at that time.”
Ali Kumail Qazilbash, a writer from Balochistan, said historians are yet to agree on the most authentic meaning of the word Qalandar which can be specifically applied on the Sufi mystic. According to him, the meanings of the word include powerful, celibate, omniscient, spiritual and pure. Dr Raj Wali Khattak, a writer and poet from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, also noted the confusion on Qalandar’s birthplace. “He is said to have been born in Marvand, a city which exists in Azerbaijan and also in Afghanistan.” However, Khattak was more certain that he was born in Afghanistan as he referred to one of Qalandar’s titles of ‘Shamsuddin’.
Karachi University’s Dr Tanzeem Firdous emphasised the need to translating all of Qalandar’s Persian poetry in local languages. Archaeologist Hakim Ali Shah Bukhari said Sehwan and its adjoining areas have a rich heritage and research in the archaeological remains of Sehwan’s fort will explain many mysteries about the town.

For More Details, see

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar: The Red Sufi of Sehwan -
Brief History of Lal Shabaz Qalandar - Blogpost at Qalandria
Lal Shahbaz Qalandar: A great saint - Noor Mohamed Mathyani
Lal Shahbaz Qalandar - Story of Pakistan

For poetry of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, click here and see:


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