The soil of Sindh bears religious purity, as it is the place where the flag of Islam was hosted for the first time. Sufi leader Laal Shahbaz Qalandar spread the message of pureness in every knock and corner. With great pomp and show, the Urs of the Sufi leader is celebrated by the devotees for three days. Music, dance, traditional food and culture of Sindh reflect out during the Urs. The present generation seems to be unaware of the beauty of culture this place has and historical tales that are attached with the leadaer Laal Shahbaz.
The shrine of Laal Qalndar which stands tall and can be observed from a far off place was renovated by the great Mughal conqueror Akbar and then by Kalhoras who gifted the soil with Sindhi Kashi tiles and mirror work. The main door of the shrine is Gold plated which was gifted by Shah of Iran for this religious place.
Sehwan attracts thousands of devotees during those three days, songs of Abida Parveen seems to provoke the Sufi soul in devotees and announces the beginning of Urs, and people start to get up on their feet and dance on “dama dam mast qalandar” lyrics. The dhammalan escatic swirl of the head and the body, includes men and women to dance on the beats of naqqara, a big barrel drum, together as if they are celebrating the achievements of Qalandar. The Urs along with its religious colors, has its economic value as well, from the bus conductors to the local shop keepers all seems to profit a lot during the Urs.
Beside the shrine of Qalandar, his two devotees also attract people. Bodla Bahr and Jumman Jate, just as Abdullah Shah Ghazi as it is said saves people of Karachi from floods; Jumman Jute’s grave near water saves the people of Sehwan from flood and any other natural disaster. Beside the shrine of Qalandar is ‘Laal Bagh’ where there is greenery. Qalandar preached Islam near a tree in this Bagh. The tree still stands today, which is 800 years old and is seen as a symbol of religious purity by the devotees. People who came to visit the shrine also visit the bagh and some devotees pass under this tree to get spiritual blessings and their wishes to get fulfilled.
Terrorism seems to lose its feet near this place and never a heart-rending news is heard except the heat that kills a few. Those three days are marked as the cultural identity of Sindh as the true colors of Sindh spring out, Malakhro (wrestling), Sughran Jee Katchery (talks of the folks), musical concert, dhammal and Adabi conference try to reflect the historic culture of Sindh. Yet the present generation is unconscious of the culture Sufism has with it, and they seem to be interested in the western culture.
We live in an age of science, yet the place attracts thousands of people who gather as if a mela is being staged. On the other hand, the youngsters are unconscious of this essence which the Sufism culture embodies and do not feel that pleasure in their veins. For them, Urs of Qalandar is just another public holiday. Our course books need to comprise chapters which talk about the culture of Sehwan and the contribution of Laal Shahbaz Qalandar. Likewise, the historical palace of Mahraja Sehbastan, also known as Chupat Raja, should be given a thought by the Culture Department of Sindh. As it is our heritage.
Neither the power of crowns and Kings, nor the might of armies equals the force of a Qalandar.