Sunday, June 16, 2024

Honourable Imam Ali-ul-Haq

During summer of 1946, our respectable teacher of fourth class announced that the class will go for site seeing, right after recess. There were about two dozen students of age 10 to 11 years. Disciplines of the school were tight. In an organized row we walked out of the school after recess, accompanied by our teacher. Traffic of the passage and rush of bazar areas did not break our row. Teacher kept explaining to us about everything on way to the spot that he did not disclose in advance.

After about an hour whole of the class was standing before the outer entrance of grave of Imam Ali-ul-Haq. It was about 4 PM by then. Our teacher raised his finger towards top of the outer entrance in response to which eyes of every student got fixed to the super natural stripe of light which was absolutely clear and shinning for every natural eye sight. The light was about 2 to 3 inches wide (in right to left direction) and close to one foot in length from top to bottom. I very perfectly remember that this light stripe was amazingly attractive and did not resemble any other light with regard to its complexion. Our teacher started explaining that representatives British rulers have been making rigorous efforts to find the source of light. They completely failed in that. Later they tried to super impose various chemicals and paints to cover it away, but again failed in these efforts as well. The super natural light super imposed everything that had been applied to cover it. So they failed in discovery of its source, they failed in discovery of the direction from which it had been coming and they failed in covering it with any type of chemical and paint. Visits of the British teams to the shrine must have been a city wide known phenomenon particularly among Muslims. Their efforts had been studied by me in published materials about two decades later.

Absorbed in my studies I did not make any visit for reviewing the super natural stripe of light for about two decades after 1946. I do feel guilty about that. This light, a conspicuous award of extra ordinary honour, must have been visited frequently after the first introduction about it and most probably this very was the notion of my respectable teacher because he could never mean to forget about it after viewing it for the first time with complete available information attached to it. After about two decade’s period, I had been aroused by a deep desire to view it again. It was before noon that day. I managed to stand at the same location to see the light. The structure of the outer entrance to Imam’s grave had under gone construction changes and the stripe of light was not there on top of the new structure of the entrance. Much disturbed I asked guards sitting nearby. They told me that the structure had been rebuilt and to see the particular light I will have to visit the shrine at night. Writer Sayed Javed Ali Shah of Sialkot city, writes in one of his recent articles that many people from far off places visit the shrine at night to see the stripe of light.

Imam (leader) Ali-ul-Haq reached India during year 1336 AD, from Arabia and met the emperor of India Feroz Shah Tughlaq, who gave him the honour of his royal guest. Only purpose of arrival of Imam was preaching about Islamic teachings and way of life.

During this very period something extra ordinary happened inside the state of Sialkot, ruled by Raja Sehl Paul and the state’s name was then Sal Kot. Raja wanted to construct the presently existing Fort of Sialkot. His team employed for constructing the fort suffered from odd construction problems. The northern wall to support the piling material collapsed over and over again and so many repeated efforts failed. Factually the underground soil strata might have been the reason beyond knowledge of that era procedure of establishing the foundations. The work was suspended for indefinite period. Raja had a meeting with a group of his religious leaders. After deep concentration into their knowledge they jointly suggested that the foundation needed a Muslims blood to support the structure. Obviously it simply involved adverse attitudes towards believers of other religions. Religious leaders’ advice, however, had to be abided by. It was not easy to search out a Muslim in a state with 100% Hindu population. Subsequent consultations suggested that a Muslim can only be recognized from his routine of cleaning his teeth and nose as well as washing his hands, face and feet, before offering prayer. The search for a Muslim was started accordingly. A person washing his hands and face in his particular way, for the prayer, was located at the bank of Nala Aek. This gentleman was captured and presented before Raja. During interrogations the gentleman confessed that he was a Muslim and that his name was Murad. Getting acquainted with reason of his arrest, Murad tried to convince Raja that if at all the foundation of the fort could only stand by Muslim’s blood, according to their belief, he could provide it by serving a cut on his finger. He stressed that there was no justification for killing him for that purpose. Raja did not agree to that after which innocent Murad lost his life. He was buried in the foundation of north wall of the fort and the construction work was resumed. This time, of course, the wall did not collapse and construction work continued without problem. It can be very well assessed that suspension of construction work must have gone for weeks together during which period the defective sagging of the soil must have got firmly settled to bear and support the constructed wall. It appears to be having no relation to shedding blood of an innocent citizen to achieve the purpose. Most probably Raja’s religious leaders did not want to prove incompetent in the eye of their master. So they thought that tracing out a Muslim will not be an easy job and in the meantime they will manage some other trick to set aside the odd and irrelevant problem put to them. During the suspension period the constituents of the ground strata got automatically processed over to a firm base for establishing the foundation.

Apart from army and weaponry, a ruler’s real powers are power of the mind and aptitude in foresight. Unfortunately Raja Sehl Paul seriously lacked in both. He could not assess that the religious leaders were simply gaining time to postpone the real solution as raising a structure had nothing to do with blood of human body. Further experienced constructers of adjoining states could be consulted for solution to the problem. This incidence stood to be second in the history of Sialkot that powers of authority were misused without even thinking about the alternates and more precise investigations. A little more than 16 centuries before 1336 AD, Raja Salvaan, also ruler of Sialkot state, punished his own innocent son due to concocted complaint of his young second wife without thorough investigations. Both these instances leave important message for persons of authority as well as for common man in general.

The news of murder of innocent Murad reached his mother named Rasti (Mai Rasti). She was a widow and Murad was her only issue. Deeply shocked of killing of her innocent son, Mai Rasti started traveling to India’s capital Delhi for claiming justice. For a poor old lady with absolutely meagre resources, it was not at all an easy job, but her determination to achieve justice was the only power that kept pushing her over to Delhi. In Darbaar of Emperor Feroz Shah Tughlaq, she presented her case. The emperor took very serious notice of illegal and unjustifiable murder of a citizen in his kingdom.

From this point onwards, there are two versions of recorded and unrecorded history. According to first version, the emperor assigned the job of putting an end to Raja’s rule over the state of Sialkot. The second version explains that when complaint of Murad’s murder was brought to the notice of the emperor, Imam Sahib had already settled in Kangra about 196 Km from Sialkot. For strategic and political reasons, the king told Mai Rasti that he could not interfere in state’s affairs of Raja. Mai Rasti left Darbaar weeping all the time. When she was a bit away from Darbaar site, she heard somebody calling her. She turned towards the voice and faced a respectable man belonging to courtiers of the king. The gentleman advised her that there is a person in Kangra who will help her. He stressed that by any means she should approach him for help. Absolutely tired and desperate Mai Rasti once again accumulated her mental and physical powers to force herself into effort for seeking justice. Overcoming all the hardships she reached Kangra and explained her grievance to Imam Ali-ul-Haq. Very much shocked by the cruelty, Imam Sahib sympathized with the lady and consoled her by assuring that she will get justice.

Mai Rasti was an extra ordinary lady with great human qualities. She was an embodiment of determination and resolution. She knew that her struggle could never bring Murad back but she continued to drive forth for managing punishment to the culprit. One is convinced that in case of failure within bounds of India, she might have tried for help from outside the Indian borders.

In case of any of the true version of history, Imam Sahib has been mentioned to be preparing for attack on Sialkot. He managed a small army of volunteers for the cause of eliminating suppression and started for confronting Raja Sehl Paul. His two brothers, Imam Nasir and Imam Meran were part of the volunteers. Considerable settlements of Arain tribes, the remnants of the army of Muhammad Bin Qasim (refer to book by Chaudary Mukhtar of Sheikupura ‘History of Arains, consisting of 11 hundred pages. For further information about the book, contact Chaudary Muhammad Siddique, retired WAPDA employee, or any of his family members settled in Satellite Town Sheikhupura), around Pasrur and Sialkot, indicate that they volunteered for the battle in great number and later settled in the area permanently. When the army was passing through Jalandar, Imam Nasir died of illness.

First resistance from Raja’s forces came when Imam Sahib’s army reached village Jagatpur near Pasrur, a fierce battle was fought here. Many volunteers of the army martyred in this combat and Imam Meran was also among them. Raja’s army had to retreat. The second and last battle took place around and atop the fort. It continued for days. As a result of strong pressure from Imam Sahib, the defending forces were shattered and Raja himself fled towards Jammu, outside the state of Sialkot. There were considerable casualties from both sides. Even today anybody can see the scattered graves of volunteers on top of the fort. Many graves might have been vanished altogether with the passage of time. It is said that there was a tunnel starting from the fort and ending near borders of Jammu. Raja’s army might have used that tunnel for the escape.

ImamAli-ul-Haq Shrine

ImamAli-ul-Haq Shrine

Imam Sahib settled on top of the mound where his grave presently exists. He started his mission of preaching the teachings of Islam. Rajas’ companions were extremely jealous of Imam. They were waiting for a suitable time to kill him. On the particular day, Imam Sahib was praying and there was no defendant or guard around him. The enemy men stabbed him when his head had been touching the ground in prayer. The attack proved fatal and Imam expired on the spot. Burial was managed exactly at the place of the fatal attack.

Imam Ali-ul-Haq-shrine-2

This is the history of a man who entered India as preacher but an incidence of sheer cruelty of murder of a local citizen forced him to be a warrior for putting an end to the suppressive use of authority that gave every indication of continued injustice against numerous peaceful citizens in future.

Almighty God always blesses for justice based good deeds. He exceptionally blesses for extra ordinary good deeds. Hence the stripe of super natural light stands to be sign of honour for Imam Ali-ul-Haq (Peace be upon him). I am one of those who stand witness to that and I record my witness for generations to come.

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Category: History

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  1. Rehaan says:

    I’m also from Sialkot and have visited Imam Sahib Shrine quite a few times. I have never seen nor heard about the extraordinary stripe of light. Can you confirm its existence now. is it still there?

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