Project Reports

Report of launching ceremony of the book "Heart Deeper Than Ocean" 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.

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Honorable speakers of the seminar and their views are as follow:

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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 (Sultan Bahoo’s Punjabi poetry) 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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Mr. Sohail Warriach
Renowned Journalist

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 behaviors may nourish.

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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 Sichago, 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.

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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.

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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.


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