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Khalifa Yar Muhammad Qureshi who prayed and it started raining

Adeel Alavi
Shikarpur City has been a city of religious figures since its inception. Religious personalities ensured public welfare, regardless of race, language, and faith. Maulana Khalifa Yar Mohammad Qureshi is also considered among Such people. Khalifa Yar Mohammad Qureshi opened his eyes to the intellectual and religious family of Shikarpur city and made the city his hometown until his death.
There are countless religious and intellectual reasons for his popularity, but the reason for this great reputation was a famine and water shortage due to lack of rains for many years in Sindh.
Actually, he led rain prayer(Namāz-e-’estisqā) at Eid Gah Shahi Bagh, (Shikarpur’s historic garden) at the request of locals and it rained for many days. After that, people started considering him a great religious and spiritual personality in the area. Resultantly, the scholars and citizens of the city handed over the responsibilities of Eid Gah Shahi Bagh to him permanently. Khalifa Yar Muhammad’s Family is leading Eid prayers in Shahi Bagh till today.
It is reported that before the “rain” prayers, Khalif had also presented a gift of 1 Lac Durood Sharif to the Prophet Muhammadﷺ at the famous Dargah of Hazrat Alif-Shah Shaheed.
Birth and death: According to Maulvi Asghar Ali (who was under his Guardianship), Khalifa Sahib born in 1220 AH or 1820. (See: Shikarpur’s famous scholars, Maulvi Shoaib Siddiqui’s article, Halal 1990, p. 25). While the date of his death is reported on 29 Zul Qa’da 1361 AH, as of 9 November 1943. It should be kept in mind that according to AD, his age was around 123 years, whereas, in the Hijri calendar, is 125 years.
According to the details written on his shrine, his age is 95 years. Keeping this point in the mind, the birth year can be 1844. While the principles of research suggest that His Grandson’s opinion in this regard is more preferable due to their lifelong and close attachment.
Education and Tarbiya: The most important role in the education and training of Khalifa sahib is that of his Grandfather, Hafiz Maulvi Allah Rakhiyo, who initiated the education series with him in the Mosque located inside of the present Qureshi street. It is important to note here that according to Dr. Anwar Faghar, who is famous for his research on Agar Qadir Dad Khan, the Prime Minister of Khairpur State, the prime minister was one of Khalifullah Allah Rakhiyo’s students, because the educational institution of Khalifa Allah Rakhiyo Qureshi was popularly known at that time. (See; Dr. Anwar Fagar’s article “Aga Qadir Dad Khan”)
His other teachers include Maulvi Mian Abdul Rahim Shikarpuri and Maulvi Hafiz Mohammad Hayat Sahib Shikarpuri. (see; Tahrīk e Āzāzī main Sindh Jy ‘Āliman Jo Hiṣo, Dr. Mazharuddin Soomro, page 437)
He possessed excellent skills in Arabic and Persian languages and in Medicine. He also started a series of teaching and training programs to spread knowledge, and also focused on their behavioral and ethical training. This made him popular in the city. Dr. Anwar Faghar confesses to his popularity as follows: “From the generation of Khalifa Allah Rakhiyo, his grandson Maulana Khalifa Yar Mohammad Qureshi was a famous teacher in the city.” (See; Dr. Anwar Fagar’s article “Aga Qadir Dad Khan”)
Many students learned from him and graduated from his institution. He was very kind and loving towards his students and most two of them were dearer to him: 1) Pir Ghulam Mujadd Sahandi (1900 to 1971) and (2) Maulvi Abdul Fattah Siddiqui. Both were under studentship of Khalifa Sahib at Samandar Khan Masque, where they got early Arabic education of Sarf and Nahw. (See; Encyclopedia Sindhiana, Pir Ghulam Mujaddidi Sarhandi)
Among the above, there were other students who had excelled in religious knowledge, and earned great honor and respect in the Academic field; Maulvi Abdul Hameed Nagori Soomro, Maulvi Mohammed Azim Memon, Maulvi Abdul Haq Memon, Maulvi Ullah Bakhsh Awan (Graduated in Tib and Jahrahat from Delhi), Maulvi Mubarak Shah, Maulvi Abdul Karim Brohi, Mohammed Usman Soomro, Maulvi Mahmood Shah of Drigh , Maulvi Jan Muhammad Mahar, Maulvi Pir Fazal Ahmad Sarhandi and Maulvi Abdul Latif.
According to Khalifa’s family documents, Ali Muhammad Baloch, Shahabuddin, Mohammad Islam Baloch, Salahuddin Siddiqui, Abdul Hadi Siddiqui, Hakim Abdul Rahim Junejo, Abbas Ali s/o Hakim Ghulam Mohammad were also among his students.
As mentioned earlier that Shikarpur City produced such personalities who ensured public welfare regardless of color, race, language and belief. One proof of this is the personality of Khalifa Yar Muhammad. That not only Muslims but Non-Muslims also came to him and benefited from his knowledge of Persian Language and Medicine. In this regard, the name of Dr. Bhajan Lal can be found in the family document of Khalifa Sahib.
His family has been associated with Hazrat Baha-ul-Haq Zakaria Multani Saharwardi (died in 1262) from Juma Faqir (fifth Grandfather of Khalifa Sahib), and to this day. While Khalifa Yar Mohammed’s personal relationship with the Chishti silsila is also reported.
Much of their religious services seem to be based on the message of Islam to non-Muslims. Many families accepted Islam on his hands. Even today, families around the Shahi Bagh are happy to mention that the Khalifa Sahib enlightened their Hearts by Islam. In this regard, they wish that someone from the family of Khalifa Sahib should lead to perform their marriage or funeral rituals.
Political and social services: During his lifetime, Sindh and Hindustan were illegally ruled by the British. Therefore, the study of the life of Khalifa Yar Muhammad Qureshi shows that he was active at all times and remained part of various political, academic and social movements for the betterment Muslims against illicit occupation of British. He also made efforts to overcome personal or religious differences in the area to seek freedom and spread love and peace. He was a member of the Upper Sindh Muslim Conference, Upper Sindh Tabligh Conference, etc., while He and Maulvi Abdul Al-Fattah Siddiqui laid the foundation of Jamiat-e-Tabligh, through which various educational activities and publication were started. The books published by this association; “Sirat e Mustaqeem” by Maulawi Abdul-Karim, is preserved in his family.
Apart from the above associations and movements, He was a prominent figure in the well-known ‘Khilafat Movement’ among Sindhi scholars, the same is mentioned in a book titled “Tahrīk e Āzādī main Sindh Jy ‘Āliman Jo Hiṣo “. He stood with the scholars of the Khilafat Movement. Whenever they British influenced Scholars issued a Sultani Fatwa to strengthen the government on the directions of the British. Then in response to Sultani Fatwa the righteous scholars issued their point of view through the fatwa for the protection of the rights of the locals. In this regard, Khalifa Sahab attested the Khilafat Tahreek’s viewpoint. (See: Tahrīk e Āzādī main Sindh Jy ‘Āliman Jo Hiṣo, Dr. Mazharuddin Soomro, page 437)
Khalifa Yar Mohammad Qureshi died in 1943 and the last resting place is located at Wali Shah Graveyard, Ghari Yasin Mor, Shikarpur’s.
His descendants: Khalifa Yar Mohammad Qureshi had 5 sons and 4 daughters. His sons died in childhood from this mortal world. Due to his love for children, he kept his daughter’s son (Grandson) Maulvi Asghar Ali (1921-2003) under his guardianship and training. Maulvi Asghar Ali retired as an Arabic teacher. After the death of Khalifa Yar Muhammad, Khalifa Ghulam Haider (died 9 December 1963), was the successor of Khalifa Sahib and he used to lead prayers at Eid Gah Shahi Bagh and Abdul Ghafoor Deho Masjid (Road mosque outside Qureshi Street).
After the death of Khalifa Ghulam Haider, Molvi Asghar Ali remined responsible and lead the duties until his death (26 April 2003). However, Hafiz Ali Gohar, brother of Maulvi Asghar Ali, Khalifa Abdul Ali (died: 22 November 2002) and Khalifa Abdul Wali (died: 18 July 2001), also accompanied him in his responsibilities. Currently, Maulana Naeemullah Qureshi who is a descendant of Maulvi Asghar Ali Qureshi is looking after the Masque and Eid Gah Shahi Bagh.

Adeel Alvi

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