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Hazrat Khwaja Ghulam Fareed URS celebration beginning .  -  Three-days Ceremonies Of URS Of The Famous Saint And Sufi Poet Of the South Punjab Hazrat Khwaja Ghulam Fareed will be Starting  From 6th February.KFF is The Host Of The Celebration Ceremony.  Diwan-e- Fareed new research, which the Author is Mr. Mujahid Jatoi are celebration ceremony will be held on February 7th in Qaser-e-Fareed. KFF is the  host of the celebration ceremony. The Delegation Of Khwaja Farid College Rahim Yar Khan, Visit The Kot Mithan. A Delegation Of The Professors And Lecturers In The Leadership Of Mr. Chaudhry Mohammad Akram Principal Khwaja Fareed College Rahim Yar Khan Visited The Kot Mithan. After Darbar –e-Fareed Thay Also Visit The Khawaja Fareed Museum And Then They Attended a Ceremony Arranged by KFF, in Qaser-e-Fareed.  

 

“KOT MITHAN” OR “MITHAN KOT”?

 (Research & Written in Urdu by: Prof. Dr. Shakil Pitafi)

(Translated into English by: Prof. Arshad Bukhari)

What is the actual name of this city situated almost 16 km away from Rajanpur in the South: Kot Mithan or Mithan Kot? Finding answer to this question is necessary because today both names for this city have quite a separate meaning and while writing, reading, speaking and understanding, no one feels any difference between the two names. Though both names usually signify only one city, the controversy still sometimes crop up in the discussions amongst various schools of thought as to the actual name of the city. To some the real name of the city is “Mithan Kot”, to others it is “Kot Mithan”. So, the fundamental discussion in regard to the history of Kot Mithan revolves round the actual name of the city.

“Kot” is a Hindi word used in the sense of “fortification” or “boundary wall”. The word “Kot” affixed or suffixed to the name of a town or city vindicates that in the past people used to erect a fort-like boundary wall around the houses in order to protect their lives and property. It was not given the name of a fort; it was rather called “kot”. As the kings used to have the forts erected at various places in view of the war needs, the people also thought it necessary to construct a kot to make their houses secure. The word “kot” afterwards became part of the name of the town or city.

When, in 1713, a person by the name of Mithan laid the foundations for a seminary for Hazrat Khawaja Sharif Mohammad Koreja and built a house near it and also fortified it with a “kot”, this place became famous as “Kot Mithan Khan”. When a stranger inquired about this place, he was told that that “kot” belonged to Mithan Khan. Gradually the people of the surrounding areas as well as nomadic tribes built their houses at that place in order to live there permanently. Soon the place developed into a village which was still called by “Kot Mithan”. For about a hundred and fifty years, this city remained famous as “Kot Mithan.”

In 1849, when the English took control of the Punjab, this territory also came under their occupation. Considering Kot Mithan as “the kot of Mithan”, the English started calling this city “Mithan’s Kot”. In 1853, when this city was granted the status of a Tehsil, its name in the official record was entered by the British as “Mithan Kot” quite in sync with the style of their own language. The words “Tehsil Mithan Kot” were carved on stamps as well as belts prepared for the constables. It shows that with the advent of the English this city was also introduced as “Mithan Kot” along with “Kot Mithan.” In 1862, the old city was inundated and Tehsil headquarters were shifted to Rajanpur. For the rehabilitation of the survivors, the present city was founded. At that time, the city was entered as “Kot Mithan” in Urdu record and as “Mithan Kot” in English record. The proof is that in 1868, the first settlement of lands started by the Mahal Department and when in 1872 the Misl Haqeeqat (=factual file) of the settlement was complied in Urdu language, the name of this city appears as “Kot Mithan.”[1] In the District Gazetteer of D. G. Khan complied in English language in1883-4, however, this city has been entered by the name of “Mithan Kot.”[2] In the afore-mentioned Gazetteer, the name of Kot Sabzal has also been entered as “Sabzal Kot”.[3] All this indicates that using the word “Kot” as a suffix with the name of city was introduced by the English.

 

 

In 1869, the Secretary Punjab issued an order to compile the history of all the districts of the province. Mr. Bruce, the then Assistant Commissioner complied the geographical, economic and cultural history of District Dera Ghazi Khan and it was written in English language. In this research Mr. Bruce wrote the name of this city as “Mithan Kot”.[4] This book was subsequently translated into Urdu by Roy Bahadur Hattoo Ram with the title “Gul Bahar” published in 1872. Hattoo Ram translated “Mithan Kot” into Urdu as “Kot Mithan.”[5] All this indicates that after the occupation of the area by the British, the name of this city appears as “Kot Mithan” in the record compiled in Urdu, whereas the British wrote the name of this city as “Mithan Kot” in the documents compiled in English language.

Another proof to substantiate this claim is “Twareekh-e-Dera Ghazi Khan” compiled by Lala Hakam Chand in 1883. Though the book is now rarely available, its two volumes are still present in the library of the Punjab University. In this book Lala Hakam Chand has entered the name of this city as both “Kot Mithan” as well as “Mithan Kot”. He, however, took care of one thing: he preferred “Mithan Kot” when he wrote the name in English and “Kot Mithan” when writing it in Urdu.[6] All this brings out the fact the word “Mithan Kot” was used for this city after the occupation of the Punjab and this area by the British. If we suppose for a moment that the actual name of this city was “Mithan Kot”, there still remains the question as to who introduced the name “Kot Mithan” for this city. It has nevertheless been proved that it was only the British who called this city “Mithan Kot” instead of “Kot Mithan.”

Towards the last decade of the 19th century, both the names had come to be used for this city. However, in English it was written as “Mithan Kot” and in Urdu or Saraiki it was written and spoken as “Kot Mithan.” But this dualism of name could not last long and since the very beginning of the 20th century both the names started to be used in Urdu. The proof is that Mirza Ahmad Akhtar who was the grandson of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zaffar was a favourite devotee of Hazrat Khawaja Ghulam Farid (R.A.) He wrote a book with the name of “Manaqibi-e-Faridi” in which he used both the names for this city.[7] Similarly, while translating the English book of Mr. Bruce into Urdu, Hattoo Ram had preferred the name of “Kot Mithan” to “Mithan Kot”.  However, when he wrote another book “Tareekh-e-Baluchistan” in 1907, he felt no hesitation in writing the name of this city in Urdu as “Mithan Kot.”[8] It shows that since the start of the 20th up till now both the names have been in use without any discrimination.

When Mithan Khan founded the “Kot” and also built a seminary there for Khawaja Sharif Mohammad, he deemed it necessary to append the word “Sharif” with the name of this city as a sign of his deep devotion to his spiritual guide. This devotion apart, we find no proof for this in the history. However, Maulana Ghulam Jahanian has emphasized upon suffixing the word “Sharif” to “Kot Mithan”. With regard to the name of this city, he writes: “The full name of this city is ‘Kot Mithan Sharif’ because it is attributed to the spiritual guide Hazrat Makhdoom Mohammad Sharif and the landlord Mithan Khan.”[9]

So, the word “Sharif” has been added with “Kot Mithan” simply as a sing of deep devotion and which came to fore only during some decade of the 20th century. However, the research carried out by Maulana Ghulam Jahanian has further clarified that the actual name of this city is Kot Mithan and not Mithan Kot.

In none of his literary composition did Khawaja Ghulam Farid (R.A.) mention this city as Mithan Kot. In his Saraiki Deewan (=collected odes) he has mentioned this city at two places and has just called it “Kot” meaning thereby this city. In other words, by just uttering the word “Kot” has been taken to mean Kot Mithan. Look at the following verses:

(Translation):

“The divine beauty, the worldly light             He plays the game of coquetry

Comprehending the inherent dangers           He came to the city of Kot.”[10]

And similarly at another place he writes:

(Translation):

“What if I am deprived of his sight/ I shall remain sincere in love

I’ll rather die in the city of Kot / Just for the sake of him”[11]

The pre going discussion makes it crystal clear that from 1713 to 1849 this city was only Kot Mithan. From 1850 to roundabout 1900, the name of the city was written as “Mithan Kot” in English and as “Kot Mithan” in Urdu.  Since then this city is written and spoken as both “Mithan Kot” and “Kot Mithan” whether in Urdu or English. There no longer remains any difference between the two names when used by the people now.

We had better promote at least on a conscious level the actual name of this city i.e. Kot Mithan. But the fact that the city is popular at present by both of its names is, I think, a matter of its individual speciality.

[1]: “Misl Haqeeqat” (Mahal Department) 1872 (p.59)

[2]: “District Gazetteer Dera Ghazi Khan, 1883-4 (p.190)

[3]: Ibid (p.146)

[4]: “Bruce Notes District Dera Ghazi Khan” (p.123)

[5]: “Gul Bahar” by Roy Bahadur Hattoo Ram (p.116)

[6]: “Twareekh-e-Dera Ghazi Khan” by Hakam Chand, Indus Publications, Karachi (p.38 & 396)

[7]: “Manaqib-e-Faridi” by Mirza Ahmad Akhtar (p.49)

[8]: “Tareekh-e-Baluchistan” by Roy Hattoo Ram, Lahore, 1907. (p.259)

[9]: “Haft Aqtab” by Maulana Ghulam Jahanian, Dera Ghazi Khan (p.70)

[10]: “Deewan-e-Farid”: Edited by Qais Faridi (p.42)

[11]: Ibid: (p.196)