Sufi Shah Inayat Shaheed, a symbol of struggle

By: Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti

History of mankined in witness that the land of Sindh has always remained peaceful and shared love and brotherhood. People of Sindh have never been opperssors in any way. the message which has gone from Sindh through its poets and writers is also the message of love, humanity and brotherhood. the ever popular prayer of Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittia regarding Sindh along with the prosperity of the whole world is the witness of the mindset of the people of Sindh. Besides it has also been the tradition of Sindhi people that they have never sided the cruel in any of the entire history of mankind.

Shah Inayat shaheed is also one of the very powerful characters of such kind of people who for the truth, honour and support of the unprivileged sacrificed his life and set an example before the world.His name Syed Ïnayatullah Shah but he is popularly known as Sufi Shah Inayat Shaheed. His struggle against the wicked landlord made them enraged who nit a conspiracy against him and succeeded in convincing the ruler of Delhi Farrukhsiyar that he was trying to organize an army and his intentions are to rebel against the government. The then ruler of Sindh Yar Muhammd Kalhoro also sided the landlord. When convinced fully Farrukhsiyar on wrong information ordered the ruler of northern Sindh Mian Yar Muhammad Kalhoro to uproot the Sufi Inayat and his companions. A prolonged siege of Jhok resulted in the offer of negotiations from Kalhora commander and Sufi Inayat accepted the offer to avoid further bloodshed. As he arrived for the negotiations in the enemy camp he was arrested and later executed.

The activities which annoyed the landlords and so-called religious priests were actually humane in their very nature but certainly those who were nurturing on the laboures of others could not tolerate him. The condition of the farmers was very poor and pitiable during those days, whatever they produced the landlord took it as his due share and the farmer-the producer- remained unprivileged hence under debt throughout the year. Shah Inayat Shaeed, seeing this exploitation. raised the slogan “Jo Kherray so Khaey” which means the one who ploughs the land and grows the crop has the foremost right on the yield. His slogan attracted the farmers of the vicinity they began to come in contact with him and circle of his followers began to increase.

When the wicked landlords saw this all they thought that if he got success then they would not be able to get a single grain from their lands as they had never worked and were not able to work. There was only one way of their survival and it was to keep the farmers in dilapidated condition. On the other hand the struggle of Shah Inayat Shaheed was turning into a Social Movement. His message was the message of love, tolerance and equality. Shah Inayat in order to have a permanent meeting place established a Khangah at Miranpur his native village moreover he took a revolutionary pace and whatever land he owned he distributed among the landless farmers. His this noble action which proved him a true person with his philosophy “Jo Kherray so Khaey” made people rush towards him. Countless people came under his spiritual light. Soon the population of Miranpur increased many folds.His influence with the people around him caused jealousy among the landlord and orthodox religious priests who conspired against him by complaining to Azam Khan, governor of Thatta,that shah Inayat was trying to overthrow the government.

The conspiracy of landlords worked a lot. A siege was laid to the town of Jhok for about four months but the follower of Shah Inayat gave stiff resistance. When it seemed impossible to defeat Shah Inayat then an other conspiracy was made and on 1 January 1718 AD when Kalhora chief sent Shahdad Khan Talpur with the Holy Quran to invite Shah Inayat for peace talks. Shah inayat seeing The Holy Quran in the hands of the messanger at once got ready to go for the talks. His followers and friends tried a lot to stop him and requested him that the enemies were wicked and it must have been some conspiracy but he did not listen to them and said that he was to honour the holy Quran. However, when Shah Inayat met the Kalhora Chief, Yar Muhammad Kalhoro, for talks, he was arrested, brought to Thatta and presented to Mughal governor and was executed.