Hani and Shah Mureed

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Every culture, ethnicity, literature and region of this world has a famous folklore about an unfinished love story. Our beautiful Balochistan has a story too. Hani and Shah Mureed, two souls who loved each other but as their story was unfinished as they never got to marry each other. This story has many versions but the most believed one is written in “Balochi-e-Labzank” by Hameed Ullah Baloch.

In 15th century, there was a great emperor called Mir Chakar Khan Rind who ruled Balochistan. He was brave and fought many wars. In his court, he had a Sardar named Mir Shah Mureed. Shah Mureed was the son of Shah Mubarak, the leader of the Kahiri tribe. He was famous for his swordsmanship, horsemanship and archery skills. Chakar and Shah Mureed were good friends and they used to go hunting together. They both were engaged to two beautiful girls of that time. Hani, the daughter of a Rind noble, was one of them and was engaged to Shah Mureed. They deeply loved each other.

Once, on a pleasant spring morning, Chakar took Shah Mureed hunting with him. They spent three days and three nights in a jungle. On the way back home they got thirsty and looked for water desperately. They were in close proximity to a village where their fiancées lived. Visiting one’s fiancée’s house was considered taboo in Balochi culture. So Shah Mureed went to Chakar’s fiancée and vice versa.

There were no men at Hani’s house so she had to give water to Chakar herself. When Chakar saw Hani’s hands, they were so fragile and beautiful that he couldn’t resist the urge to look at her face. He glanced at her face and fell in love with her that very instant. After that moment, he couldn’t stop thinking about her, even though he knew that she was engaged to Shah Mureed. He started to think of plans to get Hani.

In Chakar’s court, every Sardar had a vow which they fulfilled at any cost. Shah Mureed had vowed that he would not send anyone empty handed from his house if he/she asks for something on a Thursday. Thus, he fulfilled everyone’s wishes on this particular day. Knowing this, Chakar sent some saints to Shah Mureed on Thursday for Hani’s proposal. At first, Shah Mureed was pierced with rage and drew his sword on them but then got settled down and unwillingly agreed.

Hani soon got married to Mir Chakar Khan but Shah Mureed couldn’t bear it. So, he decided to meet Hani for one last time who was now living at Chakar’s house as his wife. One night, Shah Mureed sneaked into Chakar’s house and met Hani for the last time. While they were talking to each other, Chakar woke up and started to walk in his lawn. Shah Mureed then quietly sneaked out of his house.

Chakar knew that they both had met each other but he didn’t say anything because it would have disgraced Hani and damaged his own honor. He could punish Shah Mureed himself but didn’t. Instead he told Shah Mureed’s father that his son had done something which was against his honor. Shah Mureed’s father threw his shoe towards Shah Mureed with such force that it hit him on his forehead and made a mark, which remained there for the rest of his life. He picked the shoe form the ground, brought it to his father and said, “You are my father and I can’t say anything to you but if it was someone else’s shoe, I would have cut his throat”. After this, he left Balochistan and lived in Madinah for 30 years as a Sufi poet and devoted his life for Islam.

After 30 years, Shah Mureed came back to where he belonged and went to Chakar’s court. At first, he was unrecognizable as he had long hair and wore ragged clothes. Chakar recognized him by the mark on forehead but gathered all the nobles for an archery contest to confirm. Shah Mureed also participated and showed skills like none other, proving that indeed he was Shah Mureed.

Even after his marriage to Hani, Chakar could never consummate it. Whenever he went near Hani, his whole body would freeze and become paralyzed. He soon realized that she could never be his. So when Shah Mureed returned, Chakar apologized to him and asked him to take Hani back after divorcing her. Shah Mureed refused saying that he now only lived for Allah. After that, he spent couple of days there, met his old friends and then left again to never return. Some people believe that he is still alive because he has drunk Aab-e-Hayath and now he is with Hazrat Khizar. A common belief among the people of Balochistan is that ‘Ta jahan ast, Shah Mureed ast’ meaning that Shah Mureed will exist till the end of this world.

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