Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Arabs Welcoming

The Moghuls have migrated from USA and have gone to the United Arab Emirates.— Abdullah Yahya the executive Producer of One Nine Seven One Media Production Company in Dubai is making the documentaries about the lives of the Moghul emperors of India.— Babur/The First Moghul In India.— My heart like the bud of a red, red rose Lies folds within folds aflame Would a breath of even myriad springs Blow my heart bud to rose Babur— Babur during the time of his youth till his death kept an active journal, including personal memoirs in which he recorded the lives of the people he came in contact with, of his travels, defeats, conquests and impressions about flora and fauna and animals.— He was an avid gardener and built several gardens in Kabul and India.— His book Babur-Nama was written in Turki. In Akbar’s time it was translated into Persian 1589-90 by a court historian by the name of Abdul Rahim.— Later it was translated into English by John Leyden and William Erksine.— Another scholar Annette Beveridge also translated the same book 1842-1929 into English.— Babur’s personal accounts of where he lived and where he visited describe vividly his hometown Ferghana. His descriptions of shrines and palaces in the domain of Andijan, Kandahar and Samarkand bring alive even Ulugh Beg’s famous observatory with its tables of fixed stars—the Hyde’s Syntagma and the Geographical Tables.— Also his account of towns of Syr River and his observations on flowers, rare varieties of trees and vegetation mark him as a scholar in the field of horticulture.— In his memoirs he provides most accurately Islamic conquests into Hindu India.— His youngest daughter Gulbadan Begum was commissioned by Akbar to write the history of his—Akbar’s father Humayun which she wrote in Persian as Humayun-Nama, later translated into English by Annette Beveridge.— Several authors, including S. M. Burke; Abraham Early; Augustus Fredrick, just to name a few, depict Babur as a man of great talents, kind and compassionate, a poet, mystic and The First Great Moghul Emperor of India.— He is buried in Bagh-e-Babur in Kabul. Humayun/The Moghul Exile— O thou that boasteth of a loving heart Greetings to thee if thy heart and tongue accord This will suffice as advice if only you listen to it By sowing thorn, no jasmine can be reaped Humayun— Humayun, much like his father kept a journal during his exile and short reign splintered with tragedies, intrigues and scholarly pursuits.— His journals were amended and rewritten by Gulbadan Begum during the reign of Akbar and later translated into English.— In the tradition of his father, his accounts of travels in Persia, visiting shrines and monuments come alive on the pages of history as vibrant as rich colors on a tapestry.— The modern day ship can be traced back to Humayun’s genius in designing a flotilla of boats—safinas equipped with tiers of bedrooms, dining halls, gardens, bazaars and libraries.— A great lover of literature and astronomy, he also promoted the concept of tolerance by constructing a building by the name of Din-Panah, meaning Asylum of Faith where he held religious discussions amongst scholars of different religions.— Abraham Early and Annette Beveridge portray him as a poet mystic and a great patron of arts and literature.— Later scholars have different conclusions writing about him as an emperor who is weak and vacillating, prone to moods and superstition and the victim of his own whims and caprice.— His tomb in Delhi is considered to be built by Persian architects from Herat, north west of Afghanistan and from Bukhara, present day Uzbekistan.— Akbar/Divine Akbar and Holy India— The sentiments of Frederick Augustus—a German author who wrote about Akbar, and whose book was translated in Year 1883, fit most appropriately in eulogy to emperor Akbar as he quotes, Sulaiman the Great.— Considering all the circumstances of time and place, Akbar had always appeared to me, among sovereigns, what Shakespeare was among poets.— Akbar, being illiterate has no claim in keeping a journal, but his court historians kept impeccable records of his personal life and court proceedings.— Especially, his dearest of friends, viziers and historian by the name of Abul Fazl.— Endowed with wisdom, compassion and love for learning, Akbar stands out as the most brilliant of the Moghul emperors for promoting peace, foreign trade and tolerance.— His experiment with newborn babes in Gang Mahal—Dumb House to prove his point that babies have no proclivity to a particular language silenced his opponents, but incited much controversy.— Much like the Knights of Round Table in King Arthur’s Court, Akbar had his own version of Nav-Rattan—Nine Jewels, comprising of poets, painters, historians, musicians, architects, scholars and theologians.— His historians record that his friends accused him of deviating from the precepts of Islam, for in the company of Hindus he acted as a Hindu and in the company of Christians, as a Christian.— By some scholars, he is also accused of starting a new religion called Din-I-Ilahi, meaning a universal religion, but Akbar himself denies all such charges of accusations.— He was a great patron of arts and sciences, his patronage extending to the Moghul school of painting.— He designed guns, candelabras and worked diligently in his Imperial workshops.— His friend and court historian Abul Fazl wrote about him in glowing terms in a book called Akbar-Nama.— Later historians criticized him for his ambivalence in religion, alliance and expansion.— His Mausoleum is in Sikandra, Agra.— Jahangir/The Moghul Hedonist— To thee I have sent the scent of myself That I may bring thee more quickly to myself Jahangir— Jahangir resumed the Moghul tradition of keeping a journal in his famous memoirs, Tazuk-i-Jahangiri.— In the seventeenth year of his reign he couldn’t make any journal entries due to ill health, but all events were recorded by his court historian Mutamed Khan.— Jahangir’s memoirs were then written out in the narrative of Iqbal-Nama and later translated into English by Alexander Rogers.— Jahangir in the footsteps of his father brought the Moghul art of painting to its zenith since he was passionate about art and architecture.— His interest in studying the lives of the birds and animals led him to maintain a personal aviary and a zoo so that he could keep record of every specimen and conduct experiments.— He recorded precisely the time period and duration of the birth of a baby elephant.— His contribution toward Shalimar gardens in Kashmir made him the architect of great beauty and design.— He is considered a great scholar in his research and experimentation of flora and fauna.— Besides his love for his wife Nur Jahan, his earlier liaison with the courtesan Anarkali has been the subject of many legends and movies in India.— The Anarkali bazaar in Lahore hosts the tomb of Anarkali.— Jahangir’s mausoleum built by Nur Jahan is in the Shahdara locale of Lahore, Pakistan.— Shah Jahan/Glorious Taj and Beloved Immortal— Death itself not deadly be As to soulless life compare Sightless my eyes shudder to see If marble tombs to blind seem fair Shah Jahan— Shah Jahan didn’t indulge much in journal writing.— His court biographer was Muhammad Saleh Kamboh Lahori who wrote Shah Jahan Nama.— Much has been written about Shah Jahan by several authors and about his architectural wonders, including by the foreign travelers Francois Bernier and Jean Baptiste Tavenier.— Shah Jahan excelled in his talents in creating forts, gardens and monuments of nonpareil beauty and durability still visited and admired by tourists in India and Pakistan.— Amongst the most frequented are Red Fort in Delhi, Agra Fort (though he only built a section of it), Jama Masjid, Shalimar Gardens, Lahore Fort, of which he built only a section.— Besides being the architect of Taj Mahal, he designed the famous Peacock Throne.— Some scholars argue that Shah Jahan had designed a model of black marble memorial for him, similar to Taj Mahal, but couldn’t start building it due to the lack of funds.— His remains are interned in the basement of Taj Mahal along with his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.— Aurangzeb/The Moghul Saint of Insanity— Soul of my soul! Now I am going alone. I grieve for your helplessness. But what is the use? Every torment I have inflicted, every sin I have committed, every wrong I have done, I carry the consequence with me. Strange that I came with nothing into this world, and now am going away with this stupendous caravan of sins. Wherever I look I see only God. I have greatly sinned and I know not what torment awaits me? Aurangzeb’s letter to his son Aurangzeb was not diligent in keeping a regular journal, but his court historians did record major events during his long reign of harsh edicts and continual warfare.— Not much is written about Aurangzeb’s life, but volumes upon volumes have been written about his prolonged campaigns against the Sikhs and the Hindus, the demolition of temples and never-ending sprees of warfare.— Stanley Lane-Poole wrote a book 1890-1930 ‘Aurangzib And the Decay of the Mughal Empire.’— Dr. Gemelli Careri’s account throws some light on Aurangzeb’s campaigns since he visited his Deccan camp in 1695.— Elphinstone’s History of India gives accurate account of Deccan campaigns.— Sidelining the policies of his predecessors, Aurangzeb withdrew his patronage from arts and sciences, banned music and devoted much of his time expanding his empire on the foundations of warfare and destructions.— He ordered the demolition of many temples, including the most famous ones, Somnath Temple; Kesava Deo Temple and Kashi Wishvanath Temple.— His anger was also directed toward Christian missionaries as he stopped all aid promised to them earlier by the benevolence of Akbar and Jahangir.— Some historians argue, one of them Ram Puniyani that Aurangzeb was not always anti Hindu.— He kept changing his policies according to the moods of the situation.— He banned the construction of new temples, but permitted the repair and maintenance of existing temples.— He has a claim to few of the monuments built by his orders during his reign, which are now tourist attractions.— One is the tomb of his first wife Dilras Banu Begum called Bibi Ka Maqraba in Aurangabad.— Another one is Badshahi mosque in Lahore.— Pearl mosque in Red Fort, another mosque in Banares and one in Srinagar which is the largest in Kashmir.— Aurangzeb is buried in an open grave in Khudabad in the courtyard of the shrine of the Sufi saint, Shaikh Burhanuddin.— Bahadur Shah Zafar/Poet Emperor of the Last of the Moghuls— Oh, I wished to live and die in Medina’s sacred earth Rangoon becomes my last resort, my hopes are crushed Instead of Zam Zam water I drink my life blood I have a few days to live, come ere my life has fled Bahadur Shah Zafar— The major collapse of the Moghul Empire after the death of Aurangzeb left a gap of almost eleven emperors in succession until the nominal reign of Bahadur Shah Zafar.— Between Aurangzeb and Bahadur Shah Zafar is stretched the grueling era of three decades and a century of unrest and warfare.— The nominal reign of Bahadur Shah Zafar lasted only twenty-one years while he stayed a virtual prisoner in his own palace in Delhi under the scrutiny of the East India Company. Zafar may be called the Moghul Lear of the east, tragically magnificent.— Paradoxically he rose above the skeletal parts of the glorious Moghuls from the dazzling heaps of riches to the meanest rags of ignominy and abandonment.— When Bahadur Shah Zafar was accused of ‘mutiny’, he exclaimed: How can an emperor mutiny against his own subjects? His poems are still sung by great musicians in India and Pakistan. Bahadur Shah Zafar’s tragic tale from palace to prison, to exile and death in Rangoon heralded the era of British Raj.— These sequels not only depict the rise and fall of the Moghul Empire, but the flourishing of Islamic culture in arts and sciences. Research and literary achievements, and gardens and monuments and mosques and exquisite paintings are a part of the Moghul treasures to be enhanced by sharing globally. The Moghul rule lasted for three hundred and eleven years with eighteen emperors in between Babur and Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Islamic Pillars

Deep condolences to the parents of Kayla Mueller, the recent victim of brutality of extremists. Five pillars of Islam are crumbling into the dust of ignorance.—why?—Because in Islam so many lies have been told by so many, so often, for so long, with such persistence and conviction that they have been passed as truth since centuries.—Even now amidst the hurricanes of hate, bigotry, hypocrisy, violence, extremism, Muslim Imams inside the closed walls of mosques are pounding into the heads of the young Muslims manmade doctrines of enmity, intolerance.—justifying rape, killing, burning, stoning, beheading as sanctioned by the Quran, glossing their distorted version of Islam with interpretations designed for the zealous and the ignorant.—In order to save our children from the hatemongering pincers of jihadists we need to decide which school they go to, what they are learning, who are their teachers, are their peers exposed to some other knowledge which should not be a part of their learning?—Some sort of malefic disease has been penetrating the fabric of Islam since centuries, devouring its purity, slicing it into chunks of harsh sects as dead meat to be exposed to the vultures with insatiable appetite for human suffering.—Prophet’s Islam was one, he lived it by the example of his life, loving, caring, forgiving.—Something went fundamentally wrong in Islam after his death.—Especially now, rape is common, stoning has become a norm, beheading is applauded, molesting of children and training them to be suicide bombers is the duty of every extremist. Sanctioned are massacres, Muslims killing Muslims and non-Muslims, abducting women and selling them into slavery, oppressing women in all facets of life, from work, to education, to dress code, to freedom of expression.—All in stark defiance to the edicts of the Prophet who raised them on the pedestal of reverence, saying heaven lies under the feet of mother, granting them the right to work, to own property, to pursue education, to practice free expression in rapport with the Quranic injunctions where men and women have equal rights.—Major reforms are needed (if pillars of Islam are to stay intact) by Islamic kings, leaders, Prime Ministers to slough off the burden of distortions heaped upon them by authors of zeal who are reluctant to loosen their grip over false interpretations practiced throughout the centuries for power, control, oppression of women.—How many Muslim scholars have voiced their pious disgust against the murder of Kayla Mueller, against the massacre of the school children in Peshawar by Taliban, the abduction of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram sold into slavery, the murder of Paris cartoonists by Al Qaeda, the beheading of journalists by ISIS, the stoning of countless women by fanatics, the flogging of blogger in Saudi Arabia, the burning alive of Jordanian pilot by IS, just to name a few of the recent atrocities amidst too many to digest or recount.—The world stands aghast, not interested in knowing why Muslims fast, pray, go to pilgrimage, which pool their alms-giving corrupts.—The world wants to know why there is so much hate in Islam, cruelty, violence, only the authors of zeal can answer by peeling one layer at a time from the giant onion of lies grand and mountainous.— Hope is on the way with this giant coalition, yet this is half the task, the other precious half lies in the intent and resolve of the Muslim world to sweep clean the debris of lies and distortion.—Prophet Muhammad said: Faith is a restraint against all violence, let no Muslim commit violence.—Islam literally means, peace, not really, does it?—Prove it, Muslims, by following Prophet Muhammad’s injunction, hurt not even the heart of a living being for each heart is a shrine of God—If one corrupts this shrine with malice, hatred, intolerance one defiles the very holiness of this sacred shrine in one’s heart.