Ji, I’m a bhangi! But you’re an Insan, too!
Maulana Sayyid Nurul Hasan Bukhari writes and the scribes these lines(Amin Gilani) also heard it directly from Shah Saheb.
The occasion was a public meeting at Darul Uloom Khayr-ul Madaris, Jalandhar. At lunchtime when everybody sat on the meal-spread, a young sweeper by the name of Prithi was also standing by.
Sayyid Ataullah Shah Bukhari asked him to join at the meal. Humbly, he said, ‘Ji I’m a bhangi, meaning lowliest of the castes in Hindu social order. Shahji said sympathetically, ‘but you’re an Insan, too’ – a human-being, ‘and feel hunger as well, don’t you?’ Saying that, Shahji stood up from his seat, washed young man’s hands and made him sit by his side. Prithi was trembling with fear and shame. It had never occurred to his wildest dreams that he could ever sit beside a Sayyid who would feed him like his own child. The poor sweeper kept repeating ‘Ji, I’m a bhangi’ – ‘Sir, I’m a sweeper’. Not listening to him, Shahji broke the bread, dipped it in gravy and put the morsel in Prithi’s mouth. As the young sweeper felt a bit comfortable, Shahji took a potato from the broth and put that in Prithi’s mouth. After the boy cut part of it by his teeth, Shahji ate the remaining half of the potato. After Prithi drank water, Shahji drank the remaining water from the same bowl. Prithi disappeared soon after taking his meal with Shahji. He was crying. He was no longer a man of this world. Hours later, at the time of Asr prayer, he returned with his young wife who had an infant in her lap. ‘Shahji, for Allah’s sake, make us Musalman’, he urged Maulana Ataullah Shah Bukhari. The couple embraced Islam just because Prithi had tasted human dignity for the first time in his life, and also for the first time in the memory of his caste.
Muhammad Ismail Shuja’abadi
Sayyid Ataullah Shah Bukhari – Sawaneh o Afkar p269
(Sayyid Ataullah Shah Bukhari – Biography and Thoughts)
Idarah Talifat i Khatm i Nubuwwat, Lahore
As reported in the monthly Ar-Rashid, Darul Uloom Deoband Number
English: Mohammad Tariq Ghazi
Ameer-e-Shariat Ataullah Shah Bukhari on Shi’a-Sunni differences