By: Kamran Khamiso Khowaja
SUJAWAL: Scores of devotees thronged Jhok Sharif the historical town of district Sujawal to participate in the three-day annual urs of Sufi Shah Inayat Shaheed on Friday. Sufi Shah Inayat is known and revered for his movement against feudalism during the 17th century. The eminent revolutionist raised the slogan “Jeko There So Khahe ” which means the one who tills has the foremost right to have.
The shrine’s custodian Sufi Attaullah Sattari formally inaugurated the three-day urs celebrations by blowing “Sufi Sang” (a wind-blown musical instrument) and laying down a floral wreath on the saint’s grave. The district administration of Sujawal has announced a holiday on Friday to facilitate those who wanted to pay homage to the Sufi saint.
During the 17th century when the rights of poor masses were being suppressed by the influential feudal lords he was among the first to have revolted against feudalism and infused courage and valor among the downtrodden class of the subcontinent through a widespread movement against feudalism.
Soon he gained the support of the subjugated class and his movement started gaining recognition across the region and those whose rights were being suppressed supported him vividly. According to historian Dr. Mohammad Ali Manjhi, Sufi Shah Inayat was probably the first land reformer of the subcontinent who was against the usurpation of the rights as well as the properties of people who were groaning under the curse of slavery.
On the one hand, he was a warrior who taught people to wage the war for their rights but on the other hand, he preached the message of peace and harmony throughout his life. When he started gaining influence across the subcontinent Mughal ruler of 17 century Farrukh Siyyar issued orders to the ruler of northern Sindh Mian Yar Mohammad Kalhoro to arrest Shah Inayat and his followers and produce them before him. Kalhoro along with his forces besieged the settlements where Sufi and his disciples were living and after a months-long siege when Sufi Shah Inayat had formed a strategy to attack the forces of Kalhoro, they managed to persuade him for talks by sending Shredded Khan Talpur the advisor of Mian Yar Mohammad with Holy Quran.
When he was going to hold talks with Kalhoro the forces of Kalhoro arrested him and brought him to Thatta the capital city during Mughal rule at that time and handed him to the Mughal emperor who took no time in executing Shah Inayat. On orders of the Mughal ruler, Sufi Shah Inayat was beheaded. Centuries have passed to his armed struggle against feudalism and his tyranny but his school of thought is followed even today by a large number of people across the subcontinent.