March 21, 1979--copy of Shemseddin Ahmed to Fatima Roberts


Beloved of Allah,

My Dear Fatima Roberts

Salam un Alaikum

I was happy indeed to receive your letter of 26thFebruary on 4.3.1979. Instead of replying forthwith, I decided to wait pending arrival of our honoured guests. They reached Lahoreon 11thand we had a short meeting at Co-opera. I have grown old and my best help, I.A. Khan, is employed at Karachi. I had kept him in touch with developments and now informed him of their presence. He took the first flight and arrived in the evening and we all met again at Hotel Orient.

According to agreed programme, we had a gathering at Co-opera next morning 13thand later at the house of Hajj Sarfraz. Their evening was made memorable with the presentation of Zikr for long hours in soothing tones with light music. Sheikh Vasheest surpassed himself supported by all of them in nice symphony.

Next morning another friend Absuar Siddiqui arranged for two wagons and we reached Dar-ul-Ehsan before mid-day prayers, visiting Iqbal’s tomb, Badshahi Masjid & Maqbara Jahangir etc on our way. Baba Sahib [Sufi Barkat Ali, Murshid’s murshid] was beside himself at sight of the visitors & broke all rules of conduct for ladies at his place.

They were allowed to pray inside the mosque & other holy spots. He allowed himself to be photographed with ladies in the group. Presentation of Zikr here again was the most successful item and it took all the gathering with surprise and enthusiasm.

Journey was long and tiring so the calm and quiet atmosphere of Bagh-i-Jinnah was most welcome for the next day. Here we joined mid-day and afternoon prayers at Dar-us-Salaam, were addressed by Moulvi Farooq,Professor of Diniyat at D.S. College and by Doctor Amanullah, Chairman of Islamiat at Punjab University, Dr.Taufiq, an eminent surgeon & others.

And so on the last day Friday 16thwe joineded Halqai-Zikr at Haji Sarfraz. Here again performance by the group surpassed other items and I do maintain that you have beaten us at our own game of Sufi prayers with song and music. They have left; it is almost a week, and yet I feel drunken and lost. My body is here, but heart and soul have flown. Every one of them was superb and I know not whether to imagine of the rest of you on similar lines or to pay compliments to those who selected them for this trip. Murshida is a queen at heart & Vasheest truly a Shaikh, Saadi reminds of his namesake and every one of them is a jewel to be proud of.

I have taken overlong in detail but I am so full of it. Now turning to your letter, I am struck by the love and devotion to your husband whom I envy and to your Murshid who has grown much dearer to me since I learnt of the kidney trouble and the brave face they put on it. I know my letter will reach them all through your kind offices and also that they shall feel relieved with your replying to me and that this will be fully to my satisfaction.

Thanking you with all my heart, but no, truly it is with you all.



P.S. Ye, I have been honoured with the insignia of SIRS. I can feel the touch of Murshida’s fingers, as she placed it with her own hands at the right spot.