BHIT SHAH: The Urs celebrations of Sindh’s great Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai started on Tuesday at Bhit Shah in Matiari district of Sindh with enthusiasm and fervour.
The government of Sindh has announced public holiday on the 273rd Urs of Shah Bhitai on November 15 (today).
According to officials adequate arrangements have been made to facilitate the visitors. The district administration has taken strict security measures including deployment of Rangers and police personnel, installation of walk-through gates and closed-circuit cameras to ensure safety of the people attending the Urs ceremonies.
Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai ( 1689 to 1752) was a noted Sufi poet and saint widely considered to be the greatest poet of Sindhi language. His collected poems were assembled in the compilation Shah Jo Risalo, which exists in numerous versions and has been translated into English, Urdu, and several other languages.
Hundreds of thousands of devotees turn up at the shrine during the three-day urs celebrations comprising literary, cultural, spiritual and music activities. Bhit means sand dune in Sindhi, which became his identity in those days, as Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, a great Sufi saint, used to sit there for meditation. That’s how he came to be known as ‘Bhitai’, a man who sits at dune. Bhitshah, a town of Matiari district, is located on the left bank of the River Indus at 30-minute drive from the Hyderabad city. It attracts devotees of Bhitai from across the country and abroad.
Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah will give Latif Awards to intellectuals, authors, poets and artistes over excellence in their relative fields.
Bilawal Bhutto’s message
Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto has said that the message for a global peace, harmony and tolerance by Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai should be disseminated far and wide so that every citizen of the world may grasp the Sufi pearls and humanity lessons of the great saint of Sindh.
In a message on the eve of 273rd Urs of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, the PPP chairman said that teachings of brotherhood and human fraternity in the timeless and spiritual poetry of Bhitai Sarkar would be of immense importance for the global peace. “Every effort should be made to translate Bhittai’s poetry in more regional and international languages to share this literary, philosophical and spiritual treasure trove with the entire world,” he added.
Bilawal paid tributes to Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, and said that he remains the shining landmark in the history of human philosophy, who preserved and adorned the historic and heroic characters of the region into an imperishable and indelible poetry. He said that his party would continue to promote teachings of the Sufis of this land who professed love, peace, brotherhood and harmony among the humanity without any kind of discrimination.
He also urged for more security to the shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and foolproof security to the followers, disciples and pilgrims participating in his Urs at Bhit Shah.