By Our Correspondent

Tribune : August 30, 2017

Sufi saint is known for his Punjab­i langua­ge book Saiful Maluk

Description: PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The 114th annual Urs celebrations of the Sufi saint Mian Muhammad Bakhsh (MMB) will be held at his mausoleum in Khari Sharif area of Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir from August 30.

Hazrat Mian Muhammad Bakhsh (1830-1907) was born in the Chak Thakra village of Mirpur. He wrote around 18 books over the 77 years of his life.

While he was a multilinguist, he preferred to follow the tradition of Sufis of the Indus Valley, writing in the language of masses, Punjabi.

The most famous book written by Bakhsh is “Safrul Ishq” (The Journey of Divine Love), which is commonly known as “Saiful Maluk”.

Saiful Maluk is the name of the main character in the romantic tale of an Egyptian prince and a fairy princess called Badiul Jamal. Sufi poets usually use such characters and allegories to express the relationship between disciple and teacher.

Bakhsh wrote “Saiful Maluk” at the age of 33 (per the Hijri calendar). He completed the book in a year. Most of its sections were written while living at the top of the Panjan Hill, in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, where he used to spend the hot summer months.   The book is composed of 9,249 couplets (18,498 single-line verses).

Professor Saeed Ahmed, who has written extensively about Bakhsh’s works, says it took him six years to get the work ready for a beautiful handwritten form and to go into printing.

The first edition of Saiful Maluk was published by the Mustafai Press located in the Kashmiri Bazar of Lahore in 1869 (1287 Hijri). He passed away shortly after the turn of the century in 1907, just as the Muslim political movement in the subcontinent germinated.