Journal of the Punjab University Historical Society, Vol 35, No 01 (2022)

Font Size:  Small  Medium  Large

A Journey Within: The Sufi Transformation in Mumtaz Mufti’s Writings

Shamila Aroge, Tanvir Anjum


Widespread dissemination of sufi teachings through fiction literature has gained considerable currency in recent decades. In South Asia, this literary trend also broadened the spectrum of Urdu fiction and influenced conventional literature. In this regard, Mumtaz Mufti (b. 1905-d. 1995) was a renowned Pakistani writer who has tremendous contribution to Urdu writings. He enjoys a writing career that has spanned over fifty-five years. Critics label him as a non-conformist writer having liberal views but overlooked different phases of Mufti’s life, reflecting the shift from liberalism to Sufism. The publication of his collection of short stories titled Roghani Putlay in 1984 inaugurated a distinct literary phase in his life, inspired by psychological motifs and linked to the author’s interest in Sufism. His inclination for Sufism remained evident in his works till the publication of his last collection of short stories titled Kahi na jaey, which appeared in 1992. During the last eighteen years of his literary career, one may discern sufi themes in nearly fourteen short-stories, whereas many others discuss it partly. By examining Mufti’s works, it becomes evident that his stories are structured on a series of ongoing developing personal understanding of Sufism. Proficient use of sufi themes in his works shows that he was well-conversant with them. The present study aims at acknowledging the latent sufi thoughts and motifs in his works. The descriptive and analytical methodology adopted in the study entails tracing the evolution and development of his inclination towards Sufism, and the subsequent reflection of sufi thoughts in his life and writings. The article covers Mufti’s biographical sketch, phase-wise influences, and his authorship with a particular focus on identifying sufi themes such as separation (firaq) and diversity (kathrat), the Truth of Truths (Haqiqat al-Haqa’iq), concept of Divine feminine (Jagat Maa), ontological levels of existence (maratib al-wujud), self-purification and selftransformation (tazkiyah al-nafs), the reality of attraction (haqiqat al-jadhbah), self-annihilation or self-effacement (Fana), the deception of ego (makr-i-nafsi) and the concept of ecstasy (wajd) in his writings. The study argues that the life of Mumtaz Mufti reflects a clear shift from liberalism to Sufism which is evident in his works

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.