Launching Ceremony of the Book: Heart Deeper Than Ocean
MUSLIM Institute organized a launching ceremony of the book “Heart Deeper Than Ocean” (Translation of Sultan Bahoo’s Punjabi Abyat by Dr. Z.A. Awan) on Thursday March 16, 2017 at National Library of Pakistan, Islamabad. Maj. Gen. Shahid Hashmat (R), Former Principal, Centre for International Peace and Stability, National University of Science & Technology chaired the session. Research Associate of MUSLIM Institute Malik Asif Tanveer moderated the proceedings. Foreign delegates, professors and students of universities from different institutions, analysts and media persons, poets and literary persons also participated in the discussion. Honorable speakers of the seminar and their views are as follow:
Mr. Ahmad Al-Qadri
Research Associate, MUSLIM Institute
Hazrat Sultan Bahoo’s Si Harfi (four verse poetry) Punjabi Abyat ends with the word “Hoo”. Researchers have argued different versions regarding this peculiarity. The word “Hoo” helps us in strengthening our relationship with God. It is not merely a “Radif” (repetition of same words in the end of lines in a poem) but also represents a call towards the real destination. “Hoo” invokes us with the spirit of keeping worldly desires at a distance. Sufis’ message of humanity has fallen a prey to dormancy in the wake of developing modern languages. The message of Sufis has rarely been the subject of modern languages. One cannot observe any distinguished work regarding Abyat-e-Bahooo in these languages. In this respect, Dr. Z.A. Awan has rendered a tremendous contribution by translating Abyat in English language. Keeping alive the essence of spiritual message of “Bahoo” is the specialty of this translation. It guides as well as influences the reader to a greater extent.
Professor Ahsan Akbar
Renowned Poet and Scholar
Talking about Hazrat Sultan Bahoo is a source of blessing for us. Such personalities have a tremendous contribution in the transformation of our societies which is the sole reason of their being alive today in the hearts of hundreds and thousands of disciples across the globe. Their work is a constant source of enlightenment for the whole world. Sultan Bahoo is among those Sufi mystics having remarkable literary contribution in prose as well in poetry. Poetry affects an individual in heart touching manner. Emphasis on context rather meaning by Dr. Z. A. Awan deserves tribute.
Mr. Zafar Bakhtavri
Former President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce
It looks that the world has become a global village but one has never experienced such a divided world earlier. Racism, sectarianism, lingual bias and regional divide are the order of the day. Hadrat Sultan Bahoo vehemently denies sectarianism while endorsing that,
Neither am I a Sunni nor a Shia
نہ ??یں ??نی ??ہ ??یں ??یعہ
Today, sectarianism has become rampant in Muslim Ummah. We have to adopt the message of Sufis. We have to prove ourselves a great nation while denouncing disappointment. Sultan Bahoo’s teachings are the most conducive tool against today’s turmoil, which are totally based on inter-faith harmony, love and brotherhood.
Mr. Arshad Mehmood Nashad
Lecturer, Allama Iqbal Open University, Department of Urdu Language
Sultan Bahoo enjoys an eminent position among intellectual Sufi poets of Punjab due to the intellectual depth and perfection of their work. Though Kalam-e-Bahoo is a short script yet its spill-over effect is objective in essence which makes it a very precious collection. Metaphors, references, similes and phrases incorporating Kalam-e-Bahoo are easy to understand for a lay man and play an important role in the smooth dissemination of the actual message. Popular rural cultural references encompassing Kalam-e-Bahoo prudently explain deep thoughts of spiritualism to a layman.
Ms. Ayesha Masood Malik
Poet and Writer
Translation of a spiritual and historic piece of writing enshrined with divine message and objective is not an easy task. Dr. Z.A. Awan has rendered this service very successfully. Message of Sufis is rich of love and brotherhood. Being a poetess, I want to pay tribute to the services of Sultan Bahoo. Especially ‘Radif’ in his Kalam “Hoo” has added manifold to the beauty of this Kalam.
Dr. Qaisara Alvi
Former Director Women Campus, International Islamic University, Islamabad
“Heart Deeper than Ocean” comprises ten chapters. Elucidation of key terms like spiritualism and Sufism is narrated comprehensively. Though such translation is an uphill task yet it is translated so prudently that it is endorsable to logic and spirit in an equal manner. Hazrat Sultan Bahoo was a born saint and his name “Bahoo” mean, the one who lives with God. In his view point, basis of Sufism is “Wahdaniyat” (Oneness) which is completely in accordance with the injunctions of the Holy Quran. The shrine of Hazrat Sultan Bahoo has been a constant source of guidance for seekers of knowledge and eternity for more than 300 years.
Mr. Tikka Khan
I deeply acknowledge and oblige the service rendered by Z.A. Awan, translator of “Heart deeper than Ocean” under the auspices of Al-Arifeen publications into an international language. There is dire need to introduce teachings of eminent Sufis like Hadrat Sultan Bahoo in our curriculum, particularly in our English medium schools. It will help a great deal in resting our societies at peace. I, vehemently, pay tribute to Sahibzada Sultan Muhammad Ali and Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali for making possible the publishing of this book.
Mr. Ashfaq Gondal
Former Federal Secretary for Information
Dr. Z. A. Awan really deserves credit for translating this spiritual Kalam (poetry) which represents the injunctions of the Holy Quran in letter and spirit. As Sultan Bahoo narrates that,
Do not be afraid of pain if it brings relief “Hoo”
Allah Almighty directs in the Holy Quran that success comes in the wake of hardships. Similarly, Sultan Bahoo teaches us to have faith in God and face hardships bravely. There is dire need to disseminate this universal message among children particularly among those who do not know Urdu or Punjabi. It will definitely lead them towards real prosperity.
Dr. Mujeeb Ahmad
Chairperson Dept. of History, International Islamic University, Islamabad
Sultan Bahoo has written a lot in Persian language but he is known for his Punjabi Abyat. A Sufi attains the love of God through the love of Prophet (PBUH) and the love of his “Murshid” (spiritual mentor). Sultan Bahoo laid great emphasis over attaining the eternal love of God. It is first complete translation of Abyat-e-Bahoo. The book is remarkable in nature and fundamental in essence. I pay tribute to the services of Z.A. Awan which will be remembered by coming generations.
His Excellency Mr. Jao Paulo Sabido Costa
Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan
Poetry is the most appropriate medium for a poet to inculcate his thoughts into a generation. One can find only the message of love and spirituality in the poetry of Hadrat Sultan Bahoo. The auspicious book launching ceremony aims at highlighting the importance of spirituality in an individual’s life. The universality of the Kalam of a Sufi poet speaks clear of the reality as it addresses the whole humanity. Hadrat Sultan Bahoo’s poetry is revolutionary in essence and works as a profounder of love and peace in the world. I extend my sincere gratitude to Dr. Z.A. Awan. His work has provided an opportunity especially to a foreigner like me and now we will be able to benefit ourselves from this universal message.
His Excellency Mr. Piotr A. Opalinski
Ambassador of Poland in Pakistan
Voices of hatred, prejudices, intolerance, racism and extremism sounds roar in today’s international environment. In this respect, Hadrat Sultan Bahoo’s message of love and brotherhood is of pivotal importance. His message stands to be an array of hope and unity in the wake of a world inflicted with turmoil. Being the land of Sufis, I always pledge a great respect for Pakistan. Its spiritual environment grants me inner satisfaction and I feel myself a member of this auspicious community.
Dr. Z.A. Awan
A Renowned Scholar & Translator of Abyat e Bahoo
I visited the shrine of Hadrat Sultan Bahoo in 1962 for the very first time. It was there, I observed great satisfaction and spiritual relief. In the wake of globalization, not only the western world is going through a dramatic change but also the Muslim community across the globe. I have always been concerned about youth that how we could acquaint them with the real message of Sufis. Under the auspices of Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali, I have been able to translate this message in English. Abyat themselves were the only motivational force behind my translation. Each word of Abyat is enshrined with a deep thought, constructive message while propagating the real objective of an individual’s life.
Major General (Retd.) Shahid Ahmad Hashmat
Former Principal, Centre for International Peace and Stability, National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad
Translation of this universal Kalam is really a matter of honour and a source of blessing for a writer. There is no denying the fact that Kalam-e-Bahoo is universal in essence which is now understandable to the readers of English language. Therefore, not only we but also our coming generations will be accredited to Dr. Z.A. Awan for this translation. Message of Sufis is based upon love, brotherhood and spiritual satisfaction of an individual. Sufis have been rendering every possible effort in making people acquaint with divine message in an easily understandable manner. Vote of Thanks
Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali
Chairman, MUSLIM Institute
Message of Sufis of the sub-continent descended to us through various means. Firstly, the credit goes to those mothers who have been disseminating this Kalam to their children from one generation to another in the shape of a cultural song called “Lori” in the sub-continent. Secondly, those farmers who used to say this Kalam in order to show their love with God and with Islam after getting tired from work in their fields. Thirdly, credit goes to those “Qawals” (singers) who denoted their lives while promoting this “Kalam” through their “Qawalis”. As far as perfection and far-sightedness is concerned, Kalam written by Sufis of the sub-continent is not less than that of Sunai, Jami, Hafiz and Sa’di in both logic and spirit but, still lacking attention for consistent research. It is a matter of great pleasure that we have initiated research in this respect. I am indebted to all respected guests for sparing time and making successful this auspicious event.
(Report of ceremony held at Lahore)
MUSLIM Institute with collaboration of Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust organized a launching ceremony of the book “Heart Deeper Than Ocean” (Translation of Sultan Bahoo’s Punjabi poetry by Dr. Z.A. Awan) on Thursday March 24, 2017 at Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust Lahore. Research Associate of MUSLIM Institute Malik Asif Tanveer moderated the proceedings. Professors and students of universities, researchers from different institutions, analysts and media persons, poets and literary persons also participated in the discussion. Honourable speakers of the seminar and their views are as follow:
Prof. Dr. Khawar Saeed Bhutta
Dept. of Punjabi, University of the Punjab
Prof. Dr. Khawar Saeed Bhutta, presented the paper on the book and mentioned that Dr. Z. A. Awan translated 204 Punjabi Abyat into English. To translate Kalam-e-Bahoo in letter and spirit is impossible or at least near to impossible. A beautiful verbal setting of different Punjabi phrases into English prose by Dr. Awan shows his strong contextual affiliation with Abyat-e-Bahoo. His understanding regarding spiritual references in Abyat is purely in accordance with its background from the Holy Quran and Hadith. While translating, he was very clear about the cosmetic presentation of Sufism in the west and the misinterpretation of Islamic Sufism for political purposes. Moreover, the preface included in this translation is an important addition in Sufi literature. This translation and preface will help a great deal to people of different regions in understanding of Abyat-e-Bahoo with letter and spirit.
Mr. Tariq Ismail Sagar
Writer and Journalist
Publication of translation of Punjabi Abyat by Al-Arifeen Publications with an easy explanation of mystical terms has made it very simple to understand for people living in the west. To come up with such translation is not possible without spiritual affiliation of the translator. Introduction of neglected areas of Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo’s thought and imagination is the peculiarity of Al-Arifeen Publications. The translator of previously published books, late Sa’id Ameer Khan Niazi was not a scholar of Persian; it was only the far-sightedness of Sultan-ul-Faqr, Sultan Muhammad Asghar Ali that he chose him and directed on this path so that Sa’id Ameer Khan Niazi accomplished the work which really deserves appreciation. It is only through the teachings of these Sufis from whom we can acquire true knowledge and far-sightedness. The descendants of Sultan-ul-Faqr, Sultan Muhammad Ali along with their disciples are determined to spread the message and teachings of Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo in a modern way and in my opinion it is great ray of Hope.
Ms. Bushra Rehman
Renowned Poet and Writer
Sufis like Bahoo (R.A) are such towering personalities who attain the true love of God and acquainted people with “Hoo”, which is the highest level of love with Almighty Allah. Sufis are regarded the mentors of the Muslims of the sub-continent as they worked for the inner purification of these people. There is no denying the fact that an enlightened heart can guarantee an enlightened human being. In this respect, one came to know how to live an objective life. We are accredited to these Sufis whose teachings are available today and being translated for the betterment of humanity. Abyat-e-Bahoo are beautifully translated by Dr. Z. A. Awan and I further endorse the publication of such books. We should introduce this real, actual cultural heritage in our curriculum. Our schools and colleges should devise such platforms where students have the opportunity of embracing themselves with our actual heritage. Sufis themselves are exponent of true love and their teaching are also of true love.
Prof. Dr. Saleem Mazhar
Head of Persian Dept., University of the Punjab
Prof. Dr. Saleem Mazhar, in his detailed review of the book said that we live in a world today where a citizen is regarded as a global citizen. Electronic media has squeezed distances and people are in an instant contact with each other across the globe. In such an environment, there was a dire need of introducing Punjabi Abyat-e-Bahoo to these people, particularly to those who cannot understand Punjabi. This auspicious service is rendered by Dr. Z. A. Awan with an extreme devotion under the umbrella of Al-Arifeen Publication which is headed by a most loved and young scholar who is also the descendent of Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo, Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali. I congratulate from the core of my heart to the translator and publisher. The title “Heart Deeper than Ocean” is heart touching and full of curiosity. It also manifests the command of the translator regarding Abyat.
Dr. Maria Isabel Maldonado Garcia
Incharge institute of languages, University of the Punjab
I studied more than hundred Abyat in near past for research purposes, I analysed these poems from a scientific point of view being a linguist. What peculiarity revealed to me about Sultan Bahoo is unity of the poet’s soul with the Creator, the Oneness of Almighty Allah through internal introspection and soul searching. In some cases, exposition of metaphor is astonishing. The importance of the love is followed by the unity and I found this element one hundred times in these hundred poems. In the introduction of this book, Dr. Awan places the importance of the oneness of Allah Almighty through the word “Wahdaniyat” followed by the Ishq (ardent love) of Allah and his Prophet (s.a.w).
Dr. Tahir Raza Bukhari
Director General Auqaf and Religious Affairs, Punjab
Islamic civilization has three basic institutions, mosque, seminaries and shrines. Till the shrines will remain active society will remain enlightened and vibrant. One of the fundamental responsibilities of a shrine was the dissemination of knowledge. Today, Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali is rendering this service very beautifully on behalf of the shrine of Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo. He deserves a true appreciation in this regard. We need to spread Sufi teachings as much as we can. In this respect, leading figures from Sufi shrines can play an effective role in the transformation of our societies. Definitely, Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali is playing a very key role in this perspective.
Mr. Sohail Warriach
I consider it honour to be a part of this ceremony. I have been acquainted with the teachings of Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo since my childhood. There are large numbers of his lovers since ages. One can observe a true manifestation of the teachings of Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo in the character of these lovers. They always look different from the rest of the people in a community. There is only one strong motivation behind their virtuous character which is their love and sound spiritual affiliation with the Sufi saint. In my opinion, when Ajodhan (current district Pakpattan of the Punjab province) was named Pakpattan on arrival of Baba Fareed Ganj Shakar the same day Pakistan came into being. In this region Islam spread through the teachings of Sufis therefore love and tolerance prevailed here. Such teachings are the need of hour so that tolerance and moderate behaviours may nourish.
Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali
Chairman, Muslim institute
Dr. Z. A. Awan’s effort is of great value and respect for all of us. He translated Abyat-e-Bahoo in a beautiful and modern way. Before this, a lot of research has been conducted upon Abyat-e-Bahoo at international level. There are five fundamental sources of classical Punjabi literature and Punjabi Abyat of Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo is one of those five basic sources. Abyat-e-Bahoo is taught as a basic source of Punjabi literature in University of Oxford London, University of Cambridge, University of Chicago, University of California, University of Pennsylvania, Yale University America, Heidelberg University, Germany and anywhere else where Punjabi is taught. The very first translation of Abyat titled ‘Death before Dying’ was published by University of California but those were not complete translation of Abyat but selected ones. This effort of Dr. Z. A Awan will further the research works on Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo like that of Rumi, Hafiz, Sa’di etc.
Dr. Z. A. Awan
A renowned scholar & Translator of Abyat-e-Bahoo
Interpretation of the Holy Quran by Sufi saints is considered as the most authentic one across the globe. Only the Sufi saints have the capability to interpret core beliefs of ‘Wahdaniyat’ ‘Risalat’ and belief on the Day of Judgment. I consider Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo, a saint of highest vision among these Sufi saints. I spent most of my life traveling through America and Europe and I came across many translations and writings on Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo. I was intuited to work for the teachings of Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo and to present Hadhrat Sultan Bahoo as the interpreter of the Holy Quran in front of the western world. Sultan Bahoo’s poetry affects your mind as well as heart. Word ‘Bahoo’ is enormous and infinite in essence.
Mr. Shahid Rasheed
Secretary, Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust Lahore
I am deeply indebted to all the guests on behalf of the Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust. Translation of Abyat-e-Bahoo is indeed a great service rendered by Dr. Z. A. Awan. I congratulate MUSLIM Institute and Al-Arifeen Publication for the publication and launching ceremony of this book.