Shah Jo Risalo (Poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai): A NonPolitical Source for Reconstructing the History of Sindh


Sindh, a province of Pakistan is as rich as its culture, its tradions, its language, its moral values, its social diversity and its civilizaon. The region of Sindh is known as the land of Sufi saints and sages who fostered the message of love, amity and brotherhood in Asia and beyond. Shah Abdul Laf Bhitai (1689- 1752 CE) is a celebrated Sufi poet, philosopher and social reformist, who addressed every aspect of the human life in his poetry. The work contains great lessons for every segment of society. Bhitai’s poetry addresses the people belonging to various walks of life, the marginalized segments of society, poor folks, and menial workers such as po0er, iron-smith, washerman, fisherman, Shepherd, and cloth-maker. During the eighteenth century, when this poetry was compiled, the social condions of Sindh were very crical. Different civil wars had been broken out due to weakening central authority of the Mughals, and struggle between pe0y landlords to gain power. Consequently, the common people of Sindh became vicm of this enre deplorable situaon. Bhitai lived among the common people, and since he had a sensive soul, he felt the miseries and sufferings of the people. This poetry, which possesses unbounded charm and grace of the vernacular Sindhi language, reveals social status and cultural condion of the common people. Poec expressions are also used to depict contemporary religious and socio-cultural life. Its mysc aspect expresses devoonal ideas of the Sufi saints. This paper is an a0empt to analyse Bhitai’s poetry as an alternave source for revealing the sociocultural aspect of the history of Sindh during the 18th century.

Dr. Humera Naz