Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Akhund Darweza

 Roshniya had its distractors , chief among them sixteenth and seventeenth century cleric Akhund Darweza.He was born in 1553 near Peshawar and is believed to have died in 1638. He too employed Pashto prose - but to oppose Roshniya and re-label Pir Roshan Pir Tareek, or the 'dark teacher'. By some accounts , Darweza was a propagandist bankrolled by the Mughal court. Darweza wrote Makhzan-al-islam , which is ranked among the pioneering work of Pashto prose dealing with Islamic themes. Makhzan-al-islam, which has remained popular among Pashtun clerics for centuries , is a compilation of various debates and discussions on religion, spirituality, hadith and fiqh.

The movement spawned by Darweza was, like Roshnia, rooted in religious traditions of the time. It stressed the importance of Pir or Murshad (spiritual guide or teacher). Like Pir Roshan's Khair-ul-bayan, Darweza's works helped shape future Islamic philosophies and movements that continue to resonate in contemporary Pashtun society.  For centuries Darweza's followers have adhered to Hanafi Islam. Darweza's followers were staunch supporters of the Mughal court, putting them at odds with Roshniya. Whereas Kahir-ul-bayan emphasis spiritualism and moderation , Makhzan-al-islam preaches strict obeisance to sharia law. Akhund Darweza condemned Pir Roshan as heretic and called for his books to be burned.


1- The Pashtun Question: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghanistan by Abubakar Siddique, page-28

Akhund Darweza remarks,
..."The Afghans had since ancient times never considered it proper to have a king as their pride and arrogance would not let them bow and prostrate before one of their own kith and kin. Further if they agreed to call one a King, they feared that they would thereby reduce themselves to the level of servants. They would rather like all of them to be treated as equals and it was , therefore, that all Afghans were addressed as Maliks." (Akhund Darweza, Tazkiratal Abrar wal Ashrar)