Imam and Khateeb of Masjid
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
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.
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.
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.
also the leader of the tablighi jamaat activities at
Petaro. Along with Ghazanfar Bhai (303/Latif),
Farooq Taj Bhai (277/Liaquat) and
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.