Maulvi Syed Mubarak Ali Shah

Imam and Khateeb of Masjid

Maulvi Mubarak Ali Shah - 1965

By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui

Maulvi Syed Mubarak Ali Shah was the Imam and Khateeb of the CCP masjid when I arrived at Petaro in 1965.  He joined the college in 1963 and retired in 1992. He also used to teach us Islamiyat during the 1960s.

He was born in 1932 at a village called Kabalgram in Tehsil Martung in Swat, and died at a ripe old age of around 82 on 6 January 2014 at Karachi.

He was married to Bibi Roza in 1965, and they had 9 children, namely (late) Inayatullah Khan (kit no. 8035), Safiya, Khalidullah, Akifa, Atiqa, Hameedullah, (late) Abidullah, Asiya and Ayatullah.

Maulvi sb was a graduate of the famous Madrassah-e-Haqqania at Akora Khattak in NWFP (now KPK), and was awarded a sanad (equivalent to MA Islamiyat) from the Wafaqul Madaris. After graduation, he spent a number of years in NWFP before moving to Petaro in 1963.

After retiring from Petaro in 1992, Maulvi sahib moved to Karachi and led a retired life in Islamia Colony (Qasba Colony) until his death in 2014. He died of old age. His second son is also an imam/teacher, while his third son is a havaldar in Pakistan Army. His eldest son was a corporal technician in Pakistan Air Force, who died of drowning in Swat River near their ancestral village in Swat.

Maulvi Mubarak Ali Shah was Pathan, and lived in the quarters adjacent to the masjid. His family also lived there in that room with him.

Maulvi Sahib was one man who had an important impact on me during my tender years while he was the Imam of our mosque at Petaro. Throughout my four years at Petaro, I was very regular in my prayers at the mosque. Thus, I would meet Maulvi Sahib 5 times a day along with my formal five times meetings with Allah.

He was also the leader of the tablighi jamaat activities at Petaro. Along with Ghazanfar Bhai (303/Latif), Farooq Taj Bhai (277/Liaquat) and Malik Fakhruddin, 518/Latif (my batchmate), I too became closely attached to the tablighi activities. We would have our weekly gasht in the houses followed by an address by Maulvi Sahib after Asr prayers. We also used to have our zikr sessions once a week after isha prayers which had a deep spiritual impact on me.

Maulvi Sahib also used to spend spare time with me to help me read the Qur’an correctly - teaching me qiraat and the art of tajweed. We used to have sessions in the courtyard of the mosque where he would teach me.

Maulvi Sahib was a very simple  and noble person. And sometimes simplicity doesn’t pay in this country. The boys used to love playing pranks on Maulvi Sahib as he was an easy target.

Since Urdu was not his native tongue, he would often make grammatical mistakes. Gender of verbs was his biggest problem. Thus Allah used to “farmati hai” instead of “farmata hai”. He also used to take our Islamiyat classes. The naughty boys would make sure they would distract Maulvi Sahib towards something they would consider funny and thus we passed our time. We never really learnt anything about Islam. One of the ways to keep us jolly was to bring lots of tomatoes to class from the farm. When Maulvi Sahib would turn towards the blackboard, tomatoes would fly on to the ceiling fan and splash freshly made ketchup on the walls or on the shirt of some cadet. That would be the end of the class with Maulvi Sahib in a fit of rage. Such is the fate of our faith and our values.

Maulvi Sahib’s words in his autograph that he wrote for me back in 1969 are golden, where he talks of 1) Faith in Allah (iman), 2) Values and Character (akhlaq), 3) Deeds that are in consonance with Faith (amal), 4) Not to fear worldly difficulties, and 5) Seeking guidance and help from Allah alone. These are indeed the keys to success in this world and the Hereafter.

Whenever I read this passage, it also brings a smile to my face, remembering his mix up of genders in expression, which are also enshrined in this autograph.

Maulvi Mubarak Ali Shah’s own handwriting and signature

iman kay baad sab say behtareen cheez achi akhlaq hay. Sab say achi saathi nek amal hay. Duniya ki ko’ee mushkil say ghabrana nahin chahiye. Har waqt Khudawand ta’ala say madad mangna chahiye. Faqat wassalam

 Signed Syed Mubarak Ali Shah

24th July, 1969

Maulvi Mubarak Ali Shah - 2011

Maulvi Mubarak Ali Shah with his wife and 7 children - 1993

front row: (late) Abidullah, Asiya, Ayatullah

2nd row: Maulvi sb, Khalidullah, Mrs. Maulvi Sb, and (late) Inayatullah

3rd row: Atiqa, Hameedullah