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Shah Abdul Latif

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SHAH ABDUL LATIF
A very rare phenomenon pertains to Sindh, not found anywhere else in the world; that is the association of a poet and a saint with its soil, so much so that Sindh seems soulless without the name of an illustrated spiritualized poet of many dimensions, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, was an obtrusive missionary, a thinker, a mystic, a great scholar, a poet and a keen observer. He drew his inspiration from the Quran. There are ample facts, which prove that he had remarkably extensive knowledge of the Sindh language, thus, considered as a greatest Muslim poet of Sindhi language.
Shah Jo Risalo is a poetic compendium of famous Sindhi Sufi poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. His collected poems were assembled, which exists in numerous versions and has been translated to English, Urdu, and other languages. His work has been compared frequently to great Persian poets.
The traditional compilations of Shah Jo Risalo include 30 Surs. These Surs contain Bayts which Shah Latif sang in state of ecstasy. These Bayts in the Surs concerning the life-stories of his heroines. Suhni, Sassui, Lila, Mumal, Marui, Nuri and Sorath. They are concerned with the moments of denouncements in life-stories, which he used as allegories to express his mystical experiences.
Shah Jo Risalo, written in very pure and concise Sindhi verses, is great storehouse not only for Muslims but also for the Hindus. Shah Abdul Latif has hidden his mystical ideas under layers of symbols taken from all spheres of life as well as from the classical Sufi tradition.
Shah Latif's poetry though difficult to be understood in the modern times has the depth of oceans in it. One has to strive a lot to understand the meaning and content in its true perspective. But the message of his poetry broadly speaking is, love, universality of the human race, basic equality of all human beings irrespective of their social status, dignity of labor, simplicity, hospitality and cordiality. His verses preaching love also carry a message and exhortation for struggle against tyranny and injustice.
He breathed his last in 1752. His urs commences every year from 14th Safar. He was buried at the place where his mausoleum now stands. His holy grave still attracts thousands of devotees all the year round. A literary gathering is also held where papers concerning the research work done on the life, poetry, and message is read, by scholars and renowned literary figures. His disciples and ascetics, singers and artists, gather around and sing passages from his Risalo on tambooro. Scholarly debates and exhibitions of his work and traditional Sindhi artifacts are also organized.
The rich legacy of poetry and music left behind by him will ever remain the beacons of light for the generations to come.…...

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