Dr. Masood was appointed as Principal of the college in Mithi in 1974 where he served till 1977.
By Noor Ahmed Janjhi
“Human body is polluted with bondage of space but the soul is away from it. It has only one color” are the words narrated by Prof Dr. Muhammad Masood Ahmed, a scholar par excellence, an educationist and founder Principal of Government SF Degree College, Mithi of Desert District Tharparkar. He was given a file with the assignment to establish the first ever college in Thar, the land of simplicity and resilience. He got the order in October 1974 to go to Mithi and reached there on 1st November 1974. He served here with great enthusiasm and zeal. In those days Mithi was a very remote and far flung area with scanty basic amenities. I read his travelogue in my childhood when it was published in the monthly Zia-e-Haram, Lahore under the caption ‘Hairat Kadah Mithi’ (Wonderful Mithi). He writes, “Mithi is very lovely name”.
Prof Dr. Muhammad Masood Ahmed was born in 1930. His father Shah Muhammad Mazhar was Mufti-e-Azam of India and his grandfather Mufti Muhammad Saeed and great grandfather Muhammad Masood Muhadis Dehlvi were also great scholars. He got his early education from his father and got admission in Madressah Aalia Arabia Majid Fatehpuri Dehli and completed the Persian and Arabic Uloom in five years. After getting education from Oriental College Dehli he got degree of Fazil Urdu from Punjab (East) University and B.A. in 1956. He got admission at Sindh University in 1956 and passed his M A (Urdu) with the distinction and got gold medal. He got bait of Naqshbandi Order from his father Mufti Muhammad Mazhar. He was very keen on research work and did a great deal in this regard.
The serene environment of Mithi provided him opportunity to pursue his research work smoothly. He edited here “Fatawa Masoodi’, wrote a paper ‘Jan-e-Eiman’, wrote research book ‘Tahreek-e-Azadi I Hind Aur Sawad-e-Azam’. He got the permission of bait here from Mufti Mahmood ul Wara and made Mr. Atta Muhammad Dars his first mureed (disciple). In this way the Masoodi Order also got start from Mithi.
His student Ameer Khan Hikmat, Prof of English has given details of the books and papers authored by Dr. Muhammad Masood Ahmed. The details are as follows:
1959 – Research on Syed Ali Ghamgheen of Qadriya Order
1960 – Wrote paper on Hazrat Jamaluddin Hansvi, of Chishtiya Order
1962-63 – A detailed research paper on Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi published in renowned magazine Maarif
1962 – Wrote on the magazine of Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, a mystic of Kibrviya Order
1962 – Wrote a paper on Shah Muhammad Ghous Gawaliari, a mystic of Shitari Order
1964 – He advanced the research work on Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi which was published in 12 volumes in 2005 and three more volumes were published later on.
1970 – Started research work on Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi (27 books and papers)
1970 – Acquired the Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) under the topic of “The translations and exegeses of Quran in Urdu”.
He was appointed as the lecturer at Government Shah Abdul Latif College Mirpurkhas in 1958 and after qualifying the examination of West Pakistan Public Service Commission he was appointed in Quetta. He performed his duties at Tando Muhammad Khan, Khipro, Mithi, Sakrand, Thatto and Sukkur. He was posted as the Additional Secretary Education and again was transferred to Sukkur, from where he retired in 1990.
He has to his credit 150 books and more than 1000 research papers. He remained the patron of many research and educational bodies. He passed away from this world on Monday 28 April 2008 and was buried at the graveyard of Model Colony, Malir Karachi.
All his books and papers provide a good read on mysticism and different orders specially the Naqshbandi Order. Besides it, his writing style is very touchy and full of quotations, references and literary terms. His brief travelogue ‘Hairat Kadah Mithi’ and later on named as ‘Safarnama-e-Mithi’ can be quoted as an example in this regard. It is a very brief booklet consisting of 26 pieces on 38 pages. It is a kaleidoscope of the town of Mithi in seventies. He lived in Mithi from first November 1974 to December 1977. He got very much respect and love here by the local people. He starts his book with great wondering comment as:
الله الله ! يه کون سا مقام هي
After it, he narrates the distance of Mithi from Karachi and the surrounding borders of Mithi. He mentions the name of Mithi as a lovely name with the meaning kiss. Considering the remoteness, he refers the example of imprisonment of Mir Ghullam Ali Talpur during the promulgation of One Unit Parity and remembers that if Ghalib had been there he would have composed great poetry on the area. He has a good sense of humor and expresses it in second piece of the travelogue as:
هان تو جب يهان آيا، کالج کا نام هي نام تها کالج نه تها..اسٽاف نام کي کوئي چيز نه تهي صرف چند ورقي فائيل تهي
He compares the distance between Mithi and Karachi and Karachi and London. He writes that the journey of 250 miles between Karachi and Mithi takes total 16 hours while we reach London from Karachi in 11 hours. He has discussed special khatara trains and chhakra or GMC truck, he had enjoyed during his journey. He depicts the situation at Naukot platform as it had been a battlefield with great noise and rush towards GMC trucks. The GMC had taken three hours between Mithi and Naukot, a distance of 51 km.
He enjoyed the residence at Mithi. It had been a shabby house and its thick walls had absorbed the rainwater in monsoon. He presents it as a great example for absorption and says that if there is absorption then a flood can also be stopped and it is the absorbing capacity of mystic people that diverts the course of disasters and floods.
He has mentioned the population of Mithi as ten thousand, nine thousand Hindus and one thousand Muslims. He appreciates the marriages in Hindu people as the boys and girls come of age, they are married immediately. It stops many social evils. He has presented Diwali in good words and a beautiful atmosphere of Mithi by lighting the lamps. He has discussed the post system and writes that it is the only here that the post office is opened on Sundays too. The water of Mithi, he feels, oily. He has mentioned the forts of Naukot and Mithi. Crafts of Mithi got attention of his pen and he has described it concisely. He has mentioned three mosques of Mithi. He has also liked very much the silent and serene environment of Mithi. His write up gives a concise socio cultural history of the town during 1974.
In the last, I would like to quote his views on nigah (vision). He has writes, “The vision remains limited when it remains with its own body. As it spreads a bit more, it spreads to house and then city, and then country and in this way reaches to world. If it is spread much more, it reaches beyond to the universe and the universe is absorbed into it”.
By and large, Prof Dr. Muhammad Masood planted the seed of knowledge in shape of Government Degree College Mithi with a good intention and it has been a flourishing tree catering to the needs of more than three thousand students every year. Many batches have passed from the college and the students of the college are serving successfully in their fields in Sindh, Pakistan and the world.