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Manchaly ka Sauda

Manchaly ka Sauda
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Manchaly ka Sauda is a masterpiece Serial written by Ashfaq Ahmed, which was aired by PTV in the early 1990s. It is a story of a spiritual journey of Irshad, a multi-millionaire divorcee, who looks for the truth about his life and its spiritual essence.

Faheem Ahmad

Manchaly ka Sauda is a masterpiece Serial written by Ashfaq Ahmed, which was aired by PTV in the early 1990s. It is a story of a spiritual journey of Irshad, a multi-millionaire divorcee, who looks for the truth about his life and its spiritual essence. As he embraces the spiritual journey of life, he faces practical obstacles and temptations, pulling him back.

This serial begins with Irshad and his mother discussing Irshad’s marriage so that his weirdness will waive off. This weirdness is due to some strange questions in his mind, but his mother sees this problem due to the single life he is living. Irshad starts meeting some mysterious characters, like a shoemaker, a postmaster and shepherd, to find answers to his questions. Irshad, a liberal but a kind Muslim, also helps Momina, a worker in one of his factories. Her husband has deserted her because she is a ‘Bloody Conservative, Fundamentalist, and Terrorist blah.’

Sufism, which is popularly (and wrongly, unfortunately!) called as Islamic Mysticism, is the metaphysical dimension of Islam. It is usually called in Urdu as ‘Baatin ka Safar’. In this serial, the character Irshad Ahmad, a very happy and jovial person, finds it hard to go with the worldly flow and wants to inquire about the meaning of self and human being. He is fortunate enough that he finds a Master, ‘Murshid’, who is simultaneously working as a shepherd, postmaster, and shoemaker. So he is advised to be on a single-side, like a scientist who makes his laboratory everything to reach on a particular and well-researched result. Irshad leaves his home and everything and shifts to a small house in the countryside.

However, he fails to convince his mother and his best friend, Kabir Khan, about the disillusioned material life and acceptance of divinely guided life.

He went to London to have a medical check-up and to meet his wife and children. There he spends almost a year under the aegis of one convert named Suleiman bin Navfal. After he comes back, he turns out to be a potential influencer and tried to influence the actions and understanding of his colleagues and other mates. However, he fails to convince his mother and his best friend, Kabir Khan, about the disillusioned material life and acceptance of divinely guided life. In no time, Irshad reaches higher levels of Sufism and is passionate about Wisal (Meeting with Allah). In the last episode of this serial Irshad leaves to meet Allah.

One first needs to figure out what he is striving for. The path to one’s inner self is paved with difficulties and confusion. So the Novice (Salik) needs to move above all the criticism and judgments people make about him/her. Then another important thing is to follow the Murshid, which is almost impossible for the people who haven’t connected with divinity. When Rumi took Shams as his master, the first task that Shams gave to Rumi was he sent him to the tavern to fetch some wine. Rumi, who has stood all his life against the taverns and wine, was helpless. And this was his toughest exam. But if Shams was Shams, Rumi too was Rumi. He followed and won the task. This Serial encapsulates how this relationship between murshid and follower works.

With the advent and success of Dirilis Ertugrul, the Turkish web series on Ottoman Empire, young Muslims can be seen talking about Islamic Cinematography. Manchaly ka Sauda is a beautiful serial aired in the 1990s when these kinds of programs were almost non-existent.

The topic of Sufism is tough to understand. Dr Gh. Qadir Lone begins his book on Tassawuf with the sentence that Tassawuf is a situation, that can’t be described. Even the greatest of Sufis stressed on the practicality of Tassawuf. This serial shows the stages that Salik goes through while longing for Wisal. This, most importantly, shows the relation of Sufis with their society.

There are some problems with this serial. Samaa (listening to lyrics, a Sufi doctrine) is a doctrine of Tassawuf, but in this serial music has been shown as the most important factor for putting one in Wajd (Ecstasy).

In the subcontinent, the serial can be declared as the finest example of Islamic Cinematography. With the advent and success of Dirilis Ertugrul, the Turkish web series on Ottoman Empire, young Muslims can be seen talking about Islamic Cinematography. Manchaly ka Sauda is a beautiful serial aired in the 1990s when these kinds of programs were almost non-existent.

This journey may or may not be life-saving, but this will surely be life-enriching. For all people interested in Tassawuf or screen, this is a recommended watch.

The author is a student of Literature in the final year of graduation. He can be mailed at faheemmir617@gmail.com.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not reflect the stand or policy of Oracle Opinion

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