Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (also referred to by the honorifics: Lakhino Latif, Latif Ghot, Bhittai, and Bhitt Jo Shah) (18 November 1689 – 1 January 1752) (Sindhi: شاه عبداللطيف ڀٽائي, Urdu: شاہ عبداللطیف بھٹائی) was a Sindhi Sufi scholar, mystic, saint, and poet, widely considered to be the greatest Muslim poet of the Sindhi language. His collected poems were assembled in the compilation Shah Jo Risalo, which exists in numerous versions and has been translated into English, Urdu, and other languages. His work has been compared frequently to that of the Persian poet Rūmī. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, an emeritus professor of Islamic studiesat George Washington University, described Shah Latif as a “direct emanation of Rūmī’s spirituality in South Asia.” He is also known as the poet of Sindh.
Shah Abdul Latif was born to Shah Habib in the village of Hala Haveli, a few miles to the east of the present town of Bhit Shah(named after him), on November 18, 1690 CE. Latif was raised during the golden age of Sindhi culture. His first teacher was Akhund Noor Muhammad Bhatti although he was largely self-educated. Although he received little formal education, the Risalo provides proof that he was well-versed in Arabic and Persian. The Qur’an, the Hadiths, the Masnawi of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, along with the collection of Shah Karim’s poems, were his constant companions, copious references to which are made in the Shah Jo Risalo.
His correspondence in Persian with contemporary scholar Makhdoom Moinuddin Thattvi, as contained in the Risala-i-Owaisi, bears witness to his scholastic competence:
Beloved’s separation kills me friends,
At His door, many like me, their knees bend.
From far and near is heard His beauty’s praise,
My Beloved’s beauty is perfection itself.— Bhittai [Sur Yaman Kalyan]
In his poems he writes about Sindh and its neighboring regions, he mentions distant cities such as Istanbul and Samarqand as well as Sindhi sailors (Samundi), their navigation techniques, voyages as far as the Malabar coast, Sri Lanka and the island of Java.
Most of the information on the life of Bhittai has been collected from oral traditions. A Pakistani scholar, educationist, and a writer of plays, dramas and stories, Mirza Kalich Beg has collected details about the early life of Shah Bhittai from the dialogues that he has constantly held with some of the old folks, still living at that time, who knew these facts from their fathers and grandfathers for they had seen Shah Latif in person and had even spoken to him.
The next day I sat down, and listened to the
Story of the “Vairagis.”
Their salmon-coloured clothes were covered with dust.
The lonely ones never talk to anyone about their being.
They move about unmarked amongst the common folk.— Shah Latif Bhittai
A 16-foot-high statue of Bhitai was unveiled in front of the Bhit shah rest house on the occasion of his 274th urs. The statue was sculpted by Nadir Ali Jamali, who is associated with the fine arts department of the University of Sindh. It is planned to be permanently put up at the centre of the Karar Lake next to the Bhitai shrine. It took ten months to complete.
The Urs commences every year from 14th Safar (2nd month of Hijra calendar) and lasts for three days. In 2017, the 274th Urs of Shah Abdul Latif began at Bhit Shah, and Mai Dhai, Abida Parveen and many other singers and artists performed. The ceremony’s opening was done by interim Governor Sindh.
Hazrat Sayyed Shaah Abdul Lateef Bhittai rahmatullāhi alaihi :
Bhit Jo Shaah.
Aap ki wilaadat 6 Safar 1102 Hijri (18 November 1689 A.D.) ko Jum’aa ke roz Sui-Qandar, Hala Haveli (Sindh) me hui.
Aap ke waalid Sayyed Shaah Habeeb bin Sayyed Shaah Abdul Quddoos hai.
Aap Husaini saadaat hai.
Aap ke pardaada Sayyed Haidar Ali bin Sayyed Ameer Ali Herati Herat (Afghanistan) se Matiari aaye the. Un ke saahabzaade Sayyed Ameer Ali Ṡaani aur un ka pariwaar ‘Saadaat e Matiari’ kehlaate hain.
Aap ne Akhund Noor Muhammad Bhatti se ta’aleem haasil ki.
Aap ne Qur’an aur Hadees ki ta’aleem haasil ki.
Aap ne Maulana Jalaal-ud-deen Rumi ki Maṡnawi ki ta’aleem haasil ki.
Aap Arabi aur Faarsi ke maahir the.
Aap Kitaabat (calligraphy) ke maahir the.
Aap Qur’an majeed ki kai naql bhi tayyaar ki thi.
21 saal ki umr me Aap ne logo ko ta’aleem e deen dena shuru kiya.
Aap apne waalidain ke saath Kotri me rehte the.
Kuchh arse baad Aap ne Karar jhil ke qareeb Bhit me qayaam karne ka iraada kiya. Aap ne apne shaagirdo ke saath mahenat karke waha se ret ko door kiya aur apne liye zameen ke andar ek karma banaaya aur baahar apne waalidain ke liye ek karma aur dusre do kamre banaaye. Aap ke shaagird bhi aap ke saath wahi rehne aa gaye.
1154 Hijri (1742 A.D.) me Aap ke waalid ka inteqaal hua. Is ke baad aap ne apne pariwaar ko bhi Kotri se Bhit Shah bula liya.
3 saal tak aap Hyderabad, Sindh, Lasbela (Balochistan), Multan, Hinglaj, Nani (Himalaya), Sappar Sakhi, Lakhpat, Junagadh, Jesalmer, Bhuj jaise ilaako ka safar karte rahe.
Aap ne Makhdoom Muhammad Zamaan Luwari, Shaah Inaayat Sufi, Sayyed Shaah Inayatullāh Rizwi, Makhdoom Muhammad Moeen Thattwi, Makhdoom Muhammad Haashim Thattwi, Sayyed Shahmeer Shaah, Makhdoom Sabir Vulhari, Makhdoom Deen Muhammad Sehwani, Makhdoom Abdul Raheem Grohri, Sayyed Muhammad Baqa Lakyari, Faqeer Saahib Dino Faarooqi jaise ulama aur asfiya se faiz haasil kiya.
Aap ne puri zindagi saadgi ke saath guzaari.
Aap bahot narm dil aur sakhi the.
Aap farmaate hain ke ‘Soofi wo hi hai jo pehle khud ke baatin ko paak saaf kar le, us ke baad hi us ko us ke mehboob kja deedaar ho sakta hai.’
Aap ki likhi hui kitaab ‘Shaah Jo Risaalo’ (Sindhi) mash’hoor hai.
Is kitaab ki nazamo me aap ne Sindh aur us ke aas-paas ke ilaaqe ki aur Istanbul aur Samarqand, aur Samundis (Sindhi jahaaz-raano) ke Malabar, Sri Lanka aur Java ki samundari safar ka zikr kiya hai.
1125 Hijri (1713 A.D.) me aap ka nikaah Bibi Saeeda Begum binte Mirza Mughal Beg se hua.
Aap ki koi aulaad nahi hai.
Aap ke khalifa Hazrat Sayyed Jamaal rahmatullāhi alaihi hain.
Aakhri 8 saal aap ne Bhit Shah me guzaare.
Aakhri 21 din aap ne zameen ke andar ek kamre me guzaare. Aap roza rakhte aur bahot kam khaana khaate aur pura din ibaadat me guzaarte.
Is ke baad aap ne baahar aakar ghusl kiya aur ek safed chaadar apne badan par odh li. Aur mehfil e sama munaaqid ki. 3 din tak aap mehfil e sama me haazir rahe aur aakhri din mehfil e sama me aalam e wajd me aa gaye aur usi me aap ka inteqaal hua.
Aap ka wisaal 14 Safar 1165 Hijri (1 January 1752 A.D.) ko Shanichar ke roz hua.
Aap ka mazaar Bhit Shah, Sindh (Pakistan) me hai.
ALLĀH ta’ala us ke Habeeb sallallāhu alaihi wa sallam ke sadqe me
Aur Hazrat Sayyed Shaah Abdul Lateef Bhittai rahmatullāhi alaihi aur tamaam Auliya Allāh aur Ahle bait ke waseele se
Sab ko mukammal ishq e Rasool ata farmae aur Sab ke Eimaan ki hifaazat farmae aur Sab ko nek amal karne ki taufiq ata farmae.
Aur Sab ko dunya wa aakhirat me kaamyaabi ata farmae aur Sab ki nek jaa’iz muraado ko puri farmae.