Shah Abdul Latif was a sufi saint and a very famous poet of Sind

Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai (sometimes written Bhittai or Bhittaii) was a devout Muslim Sufi, but his spirituality was broad and welcoming, making room for Muslim and others alike.

He was born into a well-respected family, he turned away from the comforts of life, revealing a natural ascetic tendency. He adopted the saffron-colored robes and simple lifestyle of the wandering Sufis and sanyasins of the region.

In his quest for inner truth, still a young man, Shah Bhitai left his home and began to travel extensively, favoring small villages and the countryside, interacting with the common people. He quickly developed a reputation for holiness and absorption in meditation. At this time disciples began to gather about him.

Shah Bhitai returned to his family home for a while, where he married Bibi Saidha Begum, a young woman who was respected in her own right for her great piety. Sadly, she died at a young age, and Shah Bhitai never remarried. Bhitai and his growing circle eventually moved to a place of retreat, a sand hill ("bhit") next to scenic Kiran Lake.

A fascinating story is told of his poetry. When Shah Bhitai was nearing death, he didn't want his poetry to simply waste away, so he had his writings thrown into the nearby lake. But, at the request of a disciple, Bhitai allowed his poetry to be re-written down by another disciple who had memorized them.Shah Abdul Latif was a sufi saint and a very famous poet of Sind. His poetry is based on different Melodies and Legends of Pakistan . They all teach a lesson of Unity & oneness.

Some translated lines from his Book.

Sohni XXIX

I knew not that the jar was faked
its colours were the same
My heart beyond control, I thrust
myself on jar unbaked;

The thing on which my life I staked
in midstream landed me.
By help of which the longing eyes
did see Beloved’s face;

The jar, how could I sacrifice
as dear as life to me?
My heart exhausted is and weak,
no strength my limbs have now;

"O Sahar, thou dost know all this,
help me, cast thy tow
I am so ignorant, and thou
my love so great thour art.

The jar, the means to reach, did break,
alas, the maiden drowned,
But only then she heard the sound
of Sahar’s voice draw nigh.

The means on which she had relied,
did thrust her in the flood;
And only after she had died
she heard the herdsman’s call.

"The jar is broken! Let it go
obstructive screen it was mere
My real being is singing still
soul-music still is here
And still I seek my Sahar dear,
Though without ‘action` now

My hear, you keep on swimming
the jar let break and go…..
My eyes, I train them every day
more of control to know;

The Herdsmen led me, and did show
to me friend, the ‘straight` path.
Suggest no rafts to those who love
nor ask boat-men around;
Sohni that is for Sahar bound
enquiring doth not need.


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