Chitral Times

Aug 23, 2019

News Detail

  • Pathak celebration in Garamchashma Chitral- By Abdul Qayyum Baig

    February 3, 2019 at 5:22 pm


    On 2nd February 2019 Pathak was celebrated in GaramChashma. Before going to discuss the Pathak(a festival), it is important to write about the background of Pathak. The reason is now-a-days every one asks why the people of Garamchashma celebrate Pathak. The answer is that, this tradition is related to a famous poet, scholar, philosopher, traveler and writer, Pir Nasir Khusraw. He was born one thousand four years ago in 394 AH/1004 AD in a family of a government official, in the city of Marv District Balkh, the great province of Khurasan.He memorized the holy Quran and became an expert in tradition and interpretation of Holy Quran.. When he was 40 years old, he started questioning such as why the world exists. What could be the cause behind the happiness/sadness of human being? He used to ask the teachers about the existence of different things   but no one could satisfy him. When he was 42, he saw in his dream someone saying to him those who search will find this was the sign indicating the Fatimid imams who were in Cairo Egypt…He became convinced to change his life completely using the guidance which he got through his dream. In his Safarnama (history of travel) he describes his powerful dream that shocked him and led him out of his forty years’ sleep–then he was in an administrative post in The Saljuqs Government– after his dream he resigned from his services and go out his great journey .He leaves home his family and the province of khurasan on 5th March 437AH/1046 AD. His route takes him westward through Northern Iran, across Armenia and Azerbaijan, down through Syria to Jerusalem. He reached Jerusalem on 5th March 1047AD. The distance he travelled 876 parsang, which is approximately 2800 miles or 4500 kilometers. During his journey he went through Herbon and other cities of the region and lastly he reached in Cairo. He spent three of the seven years of his journey in Cairo then it was capital of the Fatimid’s and the heart of Ismaili power and intellectual life. The new dynasty named Fatimid (Fatimiyyun), related to the daughter of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUAH), Fatimatuz Zuhra which was established in 909 in Africa. Eleventh Ismaili Imam al Mahdi  (d 934)AD and the First Fatimid caliph his successor ruled over an important state that soon grew into an empire stretching from North Africa to Egypt Palestine and syria and in Multan. The fatimid period was also the golden age of Ismailis when Ismaili thought and literature as well as daw’a activities attained their summit and the Ismailis made important contribution to Islamic civilization especially after the Fatimid caliphate was transferred to Cario, in 969 AD, due to fatimid conquest of Egypt by Jawhar. In 972 foundation of Al Azhar University in Cairo was very


    Important for the Ismailis. During the period of fourteen Ismaili Imams and fourth Fatimid caliph Imam al Mu’iz (A.s) in 973 Fatimid caliphate and capital transferred from Africa to Egypt Cairo. In Cairo Nasir Khusraw met eight Fatimid caliphs and eighteenth Ismaili Imam al Mustansir Bi’llah (. In Cario he studied Ismaili doctrine law and governance with other leading scholar. When Nasir Khusraw left Cairo he apparently left as the hujjat of Khurasan the head of the ismaili daw’a in his home province.  He continued journey north across Arabia then through Iran, going eastward back home to Balkh on 23 October 1052. As the head of Ismaili missionary activity in Khurasan for the Fatimid dawa, he put his life into danger for success of daw’a. When public pressure againts him escalated even in his hometown of Balkh he realized he had to flee to Yumghan. In 1060  Nasir found refuge further east in a place called yumghan in the court of Ali bin al- Asad intellectual Ismaili prince in the mountainous region of Badakshan. In Badakshan he wrote his Diwaan which consists of more than 15000 lines. He produced a number of prose work, all of them in the Persian language likely Gushayish wa rahayish, Jami al -hikmatayan, shish fasal, Rawshna i-nama, Wajh-i-din and Zad al musafrin. When he came to yumghan due to his tireless effort and struggle the ismali daw’a spread in whole Central Asia. Central Asia included a very broad area, the areas Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Tsun Yang province of china, North West part of Iran (also known as khurasan) Northern Areas of Pakistan and particularly inChitral.

    In Chitral particularly also in Garam chashma many oral traditions are related to Nasir khusraw, one of them is Ziarat Nasir Khusrow.

    It is said that after 1060 Pir Nasir Khusraw himself visited Garam chashma where he stayed for a short time. In his unpublished  Persian book namly Kashful Mahjub  Mirza Ghufran chitrali ( d1926) has writeen “ Wa chun Yumgan ba Lotkoh paiwasta asst lehaza ba Lotkoh amada asst” A-velen shaksh  k in Mazhab ra ba Mulki ma awurda Butt Nasir Khusraw asst( Page14)”. He spent some days in a hut at Gram Chashma Which is now famous with the name of Ziarat of Nasir Khusraw. Ziarat Nasir Khusraw is a very important and central place of Gram chashma Ismailis due to Pir and also due to the first visit of HH prince Shah Karim  Al-Husaini  Aga Khan 49 Imam of Ismailies and Prime minister of Pakistan ZulFiqar Ali Butto on 6th Marach 1976. The second is that a very famous Khalifa Tahmur Shah of Gram Chashma preserved some manuscripts related to and clothes of Pir Nasir Khusraw  in a mountain` cave which I had seen on September 2004 during my oral research about the Pir. The third is Patakh it is also an oral tradition. It is said that after 21 December Pir Nasir Khusraw hid himself (local people called it Chila )  and he spent forty days out of hut. After forty days he again appeared and came to the hut namely Ziarat, therefore, every year, from Mogh to Gobor, people of Gram chashma celebrate the Pathak.

    Pathak is not just a religious event, it  also shows our cultural values, as, before pathak people clean their streets, their homes and the day of Pathak they visit homes of relatives and make typical bread and distribute among the relatives . Through Pathak the local people express their love for their Pir because 958 years ago through the Pir Nasir Khusraw for the first time Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim Tariqah was introduced in GramChashma then spread in the whole Chitral.