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Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai
--: Biography of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai :--


Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai is known throughout the length and breadth of Sindh, as well as, in places all over the world where Sindhis live. He was not just adored for his poetry alone. People from far and near respected and loved this man as a saint, a sufi and a spiritual guide. Not much is known about the early life of this noble son of Sindh from written records. Most of the information that has come down to us has been collected from oral traditions.

A renowned Sindhi 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 Bhitai, 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.

He was born sometime around 1689 A.D. (1102 A.H.) at a small village called Bhainpur near Khatian. More properly, his birthplace was Hala Haveli (a cluster of houses to the Southeast of Bhainpur, not very far from it), of Taluka Hala in Hyderabad district of Sindh. He died, at the age of sixty three, on 14th Safar 1165 Hijra, that is, 1752 A.D. To commemorate his memory, every year, on 14th Safar of the Hijri Calendar, an Urs - a fete, a fair - is held at Bhitshah, where he lived the last years of his life and where his elaborate and elegant mausoleum stands. 
 The Urs is a grand affair, perhaps, the only fete or fare (mela) in Sindh, where people from almost every village and town of Sindh - rich and poor, young and old, scholars and peasants - make a determined effort to attend. The Urs lasts for three days. Along with other features, like food fairs, open-air markets selling traditional Sindhi ware, and entertaining and competitive sports, a literary gathering is also held where papers concerning the research work done on the life, poetry, and message of Bhitai, are read, by scholars and renowned literary figures. His disciples and ascetics, singers and artists, gather around and sing passages from his Risalo. Scholarly debates and exhibitions of his work and traditional Sindhi artefacts are also organised. 



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