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Hazel Kahan recalls the city 40 years after she left with her parents
By Taha Anis
“What do you think about Lahore? Can you believe how much it’s changed?” I was asked over and over again there, as my friends listed the traffic, the crowds, the new subdivisions, the restaurants, the box stores. Yes, of course (I’ve changed too in 40 years), but really their question was rhetorical. They were telling me how their Lahore has changed, how it has been transformed from the green and pleasant place of my youth, a place of order and predictability, still basking in the afterglow of the British Raj, where we worried about contracting dysentery from improperly washed fruit or about being jostled by hideously mutilated beggars in the bazaar. Today, home, sweet home requires high walls and iron gates, reinforced by fierce dogs and quasi-uniformed men. Today, my Lahore and theirs has grown to a city of over 10 million…
— Hazel Kahan in the New York-based weekly The East Hampton Star
A view of Hazel’s childhood house. PHOTO: HAZEL KAHAN
55 Lawrence Road, Lahore. Or as Hazel Kahan called it, home. Perhaps the last living Jewish woman to still associate Pakistan with that most hallowed of words.
And while she may have left it behind for the comfort and solitude provided by the woods of Long Island, New York, Pakistan refuses to leave her.
“When did I leave Pakistan? I left Pakistan many times. I left it every year to go to boarding school, I left when my parents moved in 1971, I left in 2011, I left in 2012 and I left in 2013,” she says. “Every single time, I never knew whether I would ever go back.”
Every single time, she did.
Posted in heritage, History, Lahore, old Lahore, Pakistan
Tagged Jew, Jewish history, Lahore, new york, old Lahore, Pakistan, Religion
By Maaria Waseem
I photographed a house on Temple Road,Lahore with Zoroastrian symbolism which led me to find out why this road was called Temple Road. I thought maybe there was a Zoroastrian temple on this road but to my surprise i found a beautiful Sikh temple of Guru Har Gobind, called “Gurdwara Chatti Badshahi”.
This Gurdwara Comes under the Aukaf Department now and a small family lives here as caretakers. When we enter the Gurdwara on the right side are the living Quarters for the caretaker’s family and on the left side is the prayer hall and in the center is a courtyard.
The building is very simple and is designed in typical British Colonial Period style of Architecture.
Guru Har Gobind (5 July 1595 – 19 March 1644) was the sixth of the Sikh gurus and became Guru on 25 May 1606 following in the footsteps of his father Guru Arjan Dev. He was eleven years old, when he became the Guru, after his father’s execution by the Mughal emperor Jahangir. He is remembered for initiating a military tradition within Sikhism to resist Islamic persecution and protect the freedom of religion. He had the longest tenure as Guru, lasting 37 years, 9 months and 3 days. Continue reading
“The heart is the seat of knowledge and is more venerable than the Kaaba. Men are forever looking at the Kaaba but God looks towards the heart”; said Hazrat Usman Hajveri popularly known as Data Saheb of Lahore.
The shrine of Shaikh Ali Hajweri, Data Ganj Bakhsh, or Data Sahib is a landmark of sorts in the subcontinent. It has been a centre of inspiration since the eleventh century. He was both a scholar and a saint and author of the first treatise on Sufism in Persian language – Kashf al Mahjub (or “Unveiling the Veiled”). Originally from Ghazni, Afghanistan, Data Saheb spent a considerable portion of his life in Lahore. He loved it so much that settled there permanently.
After his reunion with the Creator in 1077 A.D, his shrine has attracted millions of people. It is still the busiest of places even after nearly ten centuries. Even the leader of Chistiya school of Sufism, Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti sought spiritual guidance at his shrine.
Wish I could have been there at the Urs (the death anniversary)-it is quite an event.
Some recent photos of Urs of Data Sahib.
Posted in heritage, History, Lahore, shrines
Tagged Ali Hijveri, Data Ganj Bakhsh, Data sahib, faith, Lahore, Religion, Sufi, sufi shrines, Sufism
Bibliography: The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam By Dr. Muhammad Iqbal
Works of Allama Iqbal
(A) Works in Prose
Bedil in the Light of Bergson, ed. and annotated by Dr. Tehsin Firaqi, Lahore, 1988.The Development of Metaphysics in Persia (a contribution to the history of Muslim philosophy), London, 1908. Reprinted Lahore, 1954, 1959, 1964. Continue reading
The city of Lahore in Pakistan is known for its rich culture, Forts & Grand Mosques, its food and music are world famous, Also famous are the sufi saints who hailed from this city or came here to live and were burried here, among the more famous shrines of Lahore are Data Darbar the Shrine of Hazrat Ali Hajweri Syed Abul Hassan Bin Usman Bin Ali Al-Hajweri the famous Sufi saint of Persian origion, The shrine of Gamey Shah, The tomb of Baba Shah Jamal and Bibi Pak Daman.
Although I’m not very religious I decided to go visit Bibi Pak Daman as the legend behind this particular shrine was quite interesting. Bibi Pak Daman is famous for being the shrine of 6 Ladies from the household of the Prophet Mohammed, Including Ruqayah binte Ali the daughter of Hazrat Ali the forth caliph of Islam the othe five graves are said to be those of hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel’s sisters and daughters. Legend has it that these ladies were traveling alone after the events at karbala and when the reached Lahore the ruler at that time tried to arrest them because the were gaining a following and not wanting that, Bibi Pak Daman prayed to God and asked him to open the earth and take them in, when the soldiers came to arrest them the earth split into two and they went in only a little of the Dupatta (scarf) of Bibi Ruqayah remained and when the lead soldier tried to get hold of that it too slid into the soil, Thus the name Bibi Pak Daman meaning even the scarf of the lady was pure and thus could not be touched.
The Mazar is the end to a busy and colorfull street full of shops selling religious literature, multimedia and prayer beads among other things
Posted in History, Lahore, Religion, shrines, Sufi
Tagged Bibi Pak Daman, culture, History, Pakistan, Religion, Saint, shrines, sufis
Conservation and religion
By Ahmad Rafay Alam
Just a few months ago, in the shadow of the archaeology department’s devolution to the provincial government, a minaret in the Lahore Fort collapsed, revealing to all just how effective official conservation measures are. A decade ago, citizens of Lahore stood flabbergasted as construction workers felled hundred-year-old trees to bring the shoulder of the G T Road within inches of the entrance of Shalimar Gardens. In the intervening years, the only notable bit of urban conservation was the restoration of the Tolington Market, where, as an illustration of the quality of restoration work, only a few weeks ago, anxious NCA students exhibiting their thesis feared exposure and dripping rain would ruin their work. The PHA’s “new” billboard policy – ostensibly for the beauty of the city – can only find 12 sites of historical importance worth protecting from the ugliness of its advertising hoardings. This in a historically and culturally rich city over a millennium old.
It isn’t just Mughal Lahore that needs to be, and isn’t, properly conserved. Colonial Lahore is also fast fading from view. Behind the mosque next to Fortress Stadium in the Cantonment lies a memorial in honour of the commissioned and non-commissioned officers of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment who lost their lives in Lahore just before World War I. The monument is now surrounded by dust and is passed by an un-metalled road. The 19th century buildings that once lined the nearby road, all splendid examples of the architecture of the period, have been brought down to make way for a “General’s Colony” housing scheme. Only one barracks remains, dating back to 1864. The Civil and Military Gazette, where a galaxy of writers and intellectuals interned after Partition, and where Rudyard Kipling – one of Lahore’s two Nobel laureates – cut his teeth, was razed to the ground in the 1960s and turned into a shopping mall, Panorama Centre – Lahore’s first, incidentally. Continue reading
Posted in Conservation, History, Religion
Tagged Ahmad Rafay Alam, Conservation, Lahore Fort, Lhaore, Pakistan, Religion, Shalimar Gardens, Tolington Market, urban planning