Mian G Abdul Ghafoor and Gen Zia ul Haq

(Hamza Ali, )

Amer Afzal Bhatti

One dark night, around midnight, the most powerful ‘steel-man’ of Pakistan, along with the first lady, silently walked through streets of Chah Sultan Rawalpindi and knocked at the door of MianAbulGhafoor – then a not very well known spiritualist. The man who opened the door got stunnedto see President ZiaulHaq standing at the door. The guests came in, and stayed there for long.The room Mian G called his hujra was without chairs, so the President and Begum Shafiqa Zia had to sit on the floor. They left at 3am, to visit again. Mian G was invited at Aiwan-e-Sadr but he gracefully declined.

Gen Zia was a man of steel. His colleagues used to call him Pakistan Army’s Gen Rommel. He had won the ‘Desert Fox’ title during the Armored Corps maneuvers in Egypt. He knew how to remain cool in odd circumstances. The ever smiling face was his most lethal weapon – for the friends and foes alike. But that day he seemed a bit disturbed; believably he shared his concerns, and sought spiritual guidance. He offered Mian G to do anything he could, but the spiritualist respectfully said, “Sadr sahib He Who made you President takes care of me too.”

Mian G was a man of integrity and self-respect; he was a true Ashiq-e-Rasool. His credentials were not that of a mystic Sufi; he was a thorough gentleman, a learned individual and practical healer. Hundreds of his fans, including the elite and commoners, visited him every day, especially to participate in his weekly arranged Mehfil-e-Darood.

Very few know who Mian G actually was? President Zia probably knew Risaldar Abdul Ghafoor from his days of WW-II which he fought as a Royal Indian Army soldier in Malaya. Chakwal is known to be the land of valiant warriors and the Chohan Rajput clan he belonged to was considered the best sought after breed of inductees. The strong-built broad-chested Ghafoor’s oath-taking, at the passing-out parade, became a tough issue whichalso echoed in the Royal Palace of Britain. Every time he was asked to say “MalkakaWafadurRahun Ga”, Ghafoor pronounced “Makkah KaWafadarRahun Ga”. As a result, he was to face the Court Martial trial but the wise British officers preferred to hush up the matter for fear of its spread to other Muslim soldiers, mostly from the same gallant Rajput clans of Chakwal. His ‘Makkah Oath’ was silently accepted.

Probably this was the reason that the love for Makkah and Madina was spiritually injected into his veins and soul. His posting was directly ordered by Royal Palace for England and Scotland respectively, where during the Germans’ attack, his passenger ship was drowned but he with his utmost courage rescued most of his colleagues and swam them to the shore, alone. For this act of bravery, he was awarded with two medals of courage. Later he was relieved of his active service. The oath he took ‘of Makkah’ was rightly interpreted into saving the humanity. When RisaldarGhafoor returned to his native village Khokhar Dir, Post Master Noor Ahmed, his father’s friend, took him to his own house which the villagers thronged within minutes. They lifted him up on the shoulders and raised slogans of cheers for him.

This was the time when All India Muslim League had got united under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam. Ghafoor had the honour of meeting Allama Iqbal during his young age, and therefore was very well aware of Iqbal’s message. So as ‘Iqbal’s Shaheen’ he participated in Pakistan Movement. After Pakistan came into being, he got a government job and retired in 1957. His spiritual journey started when he met Haji Hafiz Abdul Karim, who took him toQiblaLasani sahib in Rawalpindi. This gave a spur to his curious love for the Prophet (PBUH); within a short time, Abdul Ghafoor completed all spiritual processes and started benefiting the people from his Astana NooriaHabibia he himself founded at DhokKaku Shah.

Although Mian G died, on November 25, 2008 at the age of 86, yet the mehfil didn’t stop, which still continues as a shining legacy under his son Abid Ali Gohar – a law graduate from the Islamic University, a Grade-19 officer (Director), now retired, from the Higher Education Commission. He has also been associated with the Foundation University as Advisor.Gohar is the true meaning of his name; he is a gem of a person, a persona of love, affection and dedication. His is not just stretching upon the legacy his father had left, but he is furthering it with an added spirit and love for the Prophet of God and Allah Almighty. To Mian G, Gohar’s birth was a direct spiritual prediction from Hazrat Ali; for the visitors his personality amazes them the most. He seems like knowing all. Darood and Zikr Allah are a gift one takes from his astana.

It is very difficult for Gohar sahib to translate him into an accurate prophecy because alone, without a final guidance, it can be misguiding. He firmly believes that the final authority is Quran; he calls the Prophet (PBUH) as“Sarkar-e-Kul Alam” – the leader all universes. As a lawyer, he has learnt to reasonably and arguably through knowledge and spiritual experience, which a common man cannot apparently understand unless he himself goes through the same. He does not believe in spellcasting, only urges recitation of Darood Sharif, which is “the fundamental of our being and panacea of life.” This year’s death anniversary of Mian G Abdul Ghafoor coincides with 12 RabiulAwal, so the Mehfil cum Urs of the great spiritualist is being held on Friday November 23, 2018, near ChandniChowk adjacent to Shahbaz Sharif Park Rawalpindi, which is scheduled to be participated by a large number of people from all over Pakistan. One has witnessed people thronging every Friday from unknown destinations to come and recite Naat-e-Rasool-e-Maqbool and Salam-o-Darood. Astana NooriaHabibia is no doubt a centre of excellence, one in the lifetime should not miss visiting it.


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