Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi

Shaheed Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi
صبغت الله شاهه راشدي
' پير صبغت الله شاه راشدي '
Born 1910
Khairpur, British Raj
Died 20 March 1943
Central Jail, Hyderabad, Sindh
Organization Hur Movement
Movement Indian Independence movement
Religion Islam

Sibghatullah Shah Rashidi II (Urdu: پير صبغت الله شاه راشدي شهيد; (Sindhi) صبغت الله شاهه راشدي ), Pir Pagaro the sixth, was a spiritual leader of the Hur Movement during Sindh's independence struggle against British colonial rule. Hur (Arabic: حر meaning "free", "not slave") is a Sufi Muslim community in the province of Sindh, Pakistan.

Soreh Badshah (شهيد سورهيه بادشاهه) (the Victorious King) is the title given him by his admirers. He was hanged by British rulers on 20 March 1943 in the Central Jail Hyderabad, Sindh. His burial place remains unknown, despite requests to the British from people in Sindh.

Independence Movement

According to Lutaf Mangrio and Nadeem Wagan, the Hur movement began with Sibghtullah Shah Badshah I [1831-1779]. It reached its peak in the time of Sibghtullah Shah Shaheed Suraih Badshah when the Hurs became aggressive against British rule. Many were imprisoned in the Vasarpur district Ahmed Nangar.

Sibghatullah Shah I provided forces to Syed Ahmed Shaheed to fight the Sikhs. Since that time these people have been called "Hurs" [free people]. The independence struggle was started by Syed Sibghtullah Shah Shaheed Awal in 1246 [Hijri].

Pagaras' and their followers fought against the British for 108 years, from 1843 to 1951.

In 1922, Sibghtullah Shah II [Shah Mardan Shah] became Pir Pagara at age 12. He believed that British officers' behaviour towards Hur Jamat and the Sindhi people was insulting and humiliating. He resented their behaviour and raised his voice against British rule. He organised the struggle against British rulers and encouraged others to do the same. As a result, martial law was imposed to control the Hur movement. Pir Sahib established Gring Bungalow as his general headquarters. He recruited and trained followers to continue an armed struggle. Their slogans were "homeland or death" and "freedom or death".

The "Lahore mail" railway train was derailed by Hurs on 16 May 1942. When Hurs attacked the army and police they raised the slogan of "Bhej Pagaara". In an effort to rush the Hurs, their center Gring Bungalow was bombarded and destroyed on 26 May 1943. Shah Mardan Shah was arrested on 24 October 1941 and imprisoned in Seoni in India.

The Hurs intensified their activities against the colonial government by attacking police stations, government buildings and railway stations as well as telephone and irrigation systems to paralyse society and to pressure the British to release their spiritual leader.

Dargah Sharif and the bungalow in Pir Jo Goth were destroyed in 1943.

In 1942 important leaders in Sindh Prant were arrested. Pir Sahib Pagara was brought from Seoni to Sindh in January 1943 and was detained in the central jail in Hyderabad. The Hurs established the Makhi forest as their base.

The Government then began air bombing Gring Bungalow, Makhi Forest and Dargah Sharif. They arrested thousands of Hur leaders along with their families and kept them in concentration camps until 1952.

Jail employees told the writer Nasir Jamal that they had heard from the ancestors that Soreh Badshah was buried outside of Phasi Ghat (place of execution) in the central jail at Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan. Because they anticipated an extreme reaction by the Hur Mujahid, the British authorities did not disclose the place of burial. They also flattened the surrounding land.

History of the Hur Movement

During British rule (according to Voice of Sureh by Lutaf Mangrio and Nadeem Wagan), Pir Pagaro declared his community "Hur" (free from British slavery). The British tried to crush the uprising and that resulted in an armed resistance by Hurs. Ultimately the British passed the Hurs Act, where the entire Hur community was declared criminals and were ordered to be shot on sight.

The Hurs continued their struggle even after the hanging of Pir Sahib, right up to the time of Pakistan's independence.

Pir Pagaro Syed Sibghatullah Shah II was hanged on 20 March 1943 and the British left the South Asia four years later on 14 August 1947. After the end of British rule, Pir Pagaro's two sons, who were in British custody in England, were released and came back to lead their community. Sindh was a province in the newly independent Pakistan. The sons of Sibghatullah Shah Shaheed, Pir Syed Nasir Shah and Pir Syed Shah Mardan Shah-II were brought to Pakistan in December 1951 after long negotiations. The elder son, Pir Syed Shah Mardan Shah-II became the new Pir Pagara on 22 February 1952.

Preceded by
Pir Syed Shah Mardan Shah I
Pir Pagara
Succeeded by
Syed Shah Mardan Shah-II

See also


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