Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai

Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (also referred to by the honorifics Lakhino Latif, Latif Ghot, Bhittai, and Bhitt Jo Shah) (1689 – 1752) (Sindhi: شاھ عبدالطيف ڀٽائيِ, Urdu: ,شاہ عبداللطیف بھٹائی) was a Sindhi Sufi scholar, mystic, saint, poet, and musician. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the Sindhi language. His collected poems were assembled in the compilation Shah Jo Risalo, which exists in numerous versions and has been translated to English, Urdu, and other languages. His work frequently has been compared to that of Rūmī: Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University, described Shah Latif as a "direct emanation Rūmī's spirituality in South Asia." He settled in the town of Bhit Shah in Matiari, Pakistan where his shrine is located. The major themes of his poetry include Unity of God, love for Prophet, religious tolerance and humanistic values. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai was born in 1689 in Hala Haveli's village Sui-Qandar located near Hyderabad, Pakistan. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai was son of Syed Habibullah and grandson of Syed Abdul Quddus Shah.

According to most scholars, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai's lineage goes back to the Khwarizim Shahs, others claim he was a descendant of Mohammad and grandson of Mohammad. He however used the term "Shah" as a surname. His ancestors had come from Herat in Afghanistan to Sindh, after it was sacked by Timur and his Mongol forces. Shah Abdul Karim Bulri (1600s), whose mausoleum stands at Bulri, about 40 miles from Hyderabad, a mystic Sufi poet of considerable repute, was his great, great grandfather. His verses in Sindhi are existent and his anniversary is still held at Bulri, in the form of an Urs. His father Syed Habib Shah, lived in Hala Haveli, a small village, at a distance of about forty miles from Matiari and not far from the village of Bhitshah. Later he left this place and moved to Kotri, where Shah Abdul Latif bhittai spent some part of his adolescent life, he is also known to have grown up during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

The early lifeMost of the information that has come down to us has been collected from oral traditions. A renowned Pakistani scholar, educationist, and a foremost writer of plays, dramas and stories, Mirza Kalich Beg has rendered a yeoman service to Sindhi literature by collecting details about the early life of Shah Bhittai, from the dialogues that he has constantly held with some of the old folks, still living at that time, who knew these facts from their fathers and grandfathers for they had seen Shah Latif in person and had even spoken to him. “ "The next day I sat down, and listened to the Story of the 'Vairagis.' Their salmon-coloured clothes were covered with dust. The lonely ones never talk to anyone about their being. They move about unmarked amongst the common folk." .....

...Shah Latif Bhittai ” He was born around 1689 CE (1102 A.H.) to Shah Habib in the village Sui-Qandar a few miles to the east of the present town of Bhit Shah (named after him), on Safar 14, 1102 A.H. i.e. November 18, 1690 CE. He died at Bhit Shah on Safar 14, 1165 A.H., i.e. January 3, 1752 CE. In his memory, every year, on 14th Safar of the Hijri Calendar, an Urs is held at Bhit Shah, where he spent the last years of his life and where his elaborate and elegant mausoleum stands. Latif got his early education in the school (maktab) of Akhund Noor Muhammad in basic Persian (the government language at that time) and Sindhi (local spoken language). He also learned the Qur'an. His correspondence in Persian with contemporary scholar Makhdoom Moinuddin Thattvi, as contained in the Risala-i-Owaisi, bears witness to his scholastic competence. “ "Beloved's separation kills me friends, At His door, many like me, their knees bend. From far and near is heard His beauty's praise, My Beloved's beauty is perfection itself." .....Bhittai [Sur Yaman Kalyan