Jahalat: How Superstition Murdered Shagufta

Posted on December 13, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Society, Women
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Adil Najam

An Islamabad-based reader alerted me to the news about Shagufta’s tragic death at the hands of her father and brothers; but really at the hands of societal ignorance and superstition. This is a story of ‘jahalat’ in its truest, deepest, most shameful, and most repulsive form.

Why was Shugafta axed to death – and later burnt – by her family? (Her father, three brothers, and her younger sister were all differently involved.) because they all believed that she was possessed by demons!

And why would they think so? The story has layer over layer of complications and meaning about what is wrong, not just here but in too many places: supposed ‘spiritual mentors’ (pirs) instigating hatred, regressive beliefs and customs, the pressures of a postponed marriage, possibly incest, and more.

There is so much that is sad here, so much that should be analyzed, so much that needs to be put right. But, for now, let me leave that to you and just reproduce the news item from Dawn (December 10, 2006):

Shagufta, alias Surrayya, the ill-fated girl killed by her father and brothers in a Harappa village on Wednesday was normal. This was learnt during a visit to the village on Saturday.

Surrayya, 22, was axed to death by her father Jamal Arain, brothers Ashraf and Sharif after being instigated by her younger sister Razia in their house at 1-10L village on Wednesday. Jamal, a vendor, has now three sons – Ashraf, Sharif and Aslam – and a daughter, Razia. All family members, including the arrested Jamal and his two sons, seemed to be insane. They repeatedly claimed that Surrayya was possessed by demons that wanted to kill all the family members.

They said Razia had found a ring outside a seminary where she learnt the Quran. They said she took the ring as of gold and placed it on fire to test the metal. They said there was a burst and demons started coming to their house. They said demons possessed Surrayya, who was leading a normal life just a week ago and was considered to be the most responsible member of the family by the villagers.

Jamal told Dawn that the demons inside Surrayya tried to kill him and his family members. He said he had no choice but to kill her. Her brother Sharif claimed that his spiritual mentor Sain Khoi Wala addressed him through Razia and told him that there were demons inside Surrayya and advised him to kill them. “I and other family members helped the father in killing the demons and not Surrayya. We did it to save our family,” he said.

When asked, the villagers said that Jamal and his family members were a little unsocial but they never observed any abnormality in them in the past. They said Surrayya was a sensible girl and she used to do household chores like any other normal girl. They, however, said Jamal and his family members were superstitious to the core and they believed in black magic as well.

A few days ago, they said, they observed some abnormal practices in Jamal’s house. Qari Zahid, who teaches the Quran to Razia, told Dawn that Sharif asked him two days before the murder of Surrayya to recite the Quran in his house along with two dozen people. He said he did so. He said Sharif told him later that his sister Razia informed him that Allah had selected him (Sharif) as (Haji) and now all people should call him as Haji Sharif. Razia had also informed Sharif that Surrayya was possessed by demons, Zahid said.

On Wednesday night, he said Jamal’s neighbours took him to his (Jamal’s) house and he heard noise inside. “We found the door of the house locked from inside. Some people climbed the wall of the house and saw Sharif and Ashraf manhandling their sister.”

“We saved her and called out police. Harrappa police officials snubbed male members and warned them. Locals and policemen left at around 1:30am.” On Thursday morning, Zahid said the locals saw smoke billowing from the house and Jamal sitting outside. They called out police who found the charred body of Surrayya inside the house. Qari Zahid said the conduct of Razia after the incident was strange. He said she was his student and had never acted the way she was behaving.

The reporters also saw her holding bricks into her hands. She reportedly killed two goats with the bricks on Saturday. Jamal’s wife Naseem Akhtar, alias Laddu, said Surrayya’s Nikkah had taken place six months ago. She said the family wanted to hold a joint wedding ceremony of Surrayya and Sharif, who was engaged. His in-laws reportedly broke the engagement. It was learnt that the delay in her marriage upset Surrayya and she burnt her dowry in protest. Her father and brothers got mad at her and cursed her.

Sharif said their (the family’s) spiritual mentor Sain Khoi Wala, who lives in Chichawatni, told them that Surrayya had been unlucky for them and they started hating her for this reason. Meanwhile, Jamal, Sharif and Arshad were sent to the Sahiwal Central Jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

The paintaing at the top of the post is a famous oil canvas by Sadequain.

49 responses to “Jahalat: How Superstition Murdered Shagufta”

  1. AMEL_SONAME says:


    as salamu allaiqum

    ager kohi shaks sifly elim main mobtala ho ya kisi amel ny bataya ho ka us per sifly elim kiya howa hai ya khowab main farishta ya hamzad ny bataya ho ka tum per sifly elim kiya howa hai garaz yeah hai ka kisi per sifly elim kiya howa ho to main is ka quaran pak se toor bata deta ho wo you kareen
    yeah amal sirf muslims ka liya hai non muslim ko is ki ijazat nahi hai wo is ko na kareen

    yeah amal wo kareen jis per khod sifly elim ho choka hai

    sab se pehla 3 dafa darood (kohi sa be jo ata ho) us ka baad surah yaseen ki yeah aiyat verse no 8 to 9
    ?????? ????????? ??? ????????????? ?????????? ??????  ????? ???????????? ????? ???????????? ???
    ???????????  ??? ?????? ??????????? ?????? ?????? ?????????? ??????  ????????????????? ?????? ??? ??????????? ???

    41 dafa yeah aiayat pareen phir akhir main 3 dafa darood pareen jo ata ho us ka baad apna hato per dam kar ka pora baden per phar lay inshallah 11 din main chotkara melay ga is amal se kohi nooksan nahi hai
    yeah amal fajir ki namaz ka baad karna hai daily 11 din tak naga na ho ager naga ho jaha to phir zoher ki namaz ka baad par lena
    is amal se inshallah faida he ho ga

    dua main yaad rakheya ga

    amel soname

  2. Tirimzi says:

    This last comment from a supposed Amel is one of the most stupid and jahil comments I have ever seen anywhere. Do people actually believe this nonsense!!!!!

  3. amel soname says:


    as salamu allaiqum
    tamam dosto ko main apko kalay jado ki pachan batata ho
    yeah alamat hai kalay elim ki
    1) ager kisi ny khowab main pakhana deakha ho ya pishab deakha ho ya apna app ko ghosal khana main deakha hoo ya pakhana us ka jisam main laga dekha garaz yeah ka najis ko deakha ho khowab main.
    2)sir main darad rehna
    3)pora jisam main darad rehna .
    4) sex ki khowahish barna yani sex ki talab main zayatee hona .
    5) kamar aur ghordo main darad rehna .
    6) galeez galeez paad ana .
    7) jisam main agg mehsos hona.
    8) pora jisam garam rehna aur nak aur mu se garam hawa nikal .
    9) ankhe jalna aur lal rehna.
    10)pishab aur pkhana bar bar ana .
    11) dil tazz tazz darak na .
    12 ) sans mushkel se ana aur sena main darad rehna .
    13) chir chira ho jana .
    14) face jo hai kala ho jana jitna saket jado ho ga otna he face kala ho ga .
    15) pet main darad rehna aur dast jesa pkhana karna yani bad hazme walay .
    16) face per danay nikal na.
    17) face behanak ho jana .
    18) dil main ghabrate hona .
    19 ) bay sakone mehsos karna
    20 ) sab kuch hona ka ba wajood na kush hona .
    21) pet ka khaya piya gayab ho jana yani jo khaya tha wo ada ya 1 ganta main gayab phir bhook lagna lag jatee hai yani khana bar bar khana .
    22) namaz se door aur allah se nafrate karna aur bora bala kehna dil main yeah was wasa hota hai
    23) galah kharab rehna aur voice quality be
    24) khowab main darna aur ajeeb ajeeb dorona khowab deakna kabe makre kabe sanap kabe chopkali aur lal bake .
    25) dil main ajeeb se khof hona aur dar be.
    26) jisam main soheya chub na.
    27 meda main dard rehna aur matli ki shekayat rehan .
    28) kahely aur dehla ho jana yani nikama ho jana aur khoob sona dair dair tak .
    29) demage ka theek kam nahi karna kisi cheez ka jaga per rakha kar bhool jana aur phir baad main doond ta rehna yadasht ka kamzoor ho jana pasa ka lan dan main pasa zada de dena
    30) apna app se nafrate karna .
    31) ankho ka samna blue ya ping colour daba nazar ana ya phir lines nazar ana ajeeb see
    32) belawaja ki zada thakan hona
    33) quran perna se ya suna se jisam main darad ya takleef hona
    34) sena main jalan or tazabiyat hona
    35 bar bar ahtalam hona mard ko
    36 jisam ki ragee kich na jisam ka parakhna
    37 hath payer sun ho jana
    38 sir main dana nikal na
    her jado ki takleefat ki pachan alag hotee
    hai jasa jado kiya hota hai us ki wase he pachan hotee hai laken yeah alamat be hotee hai jo mana uper likhi hai .abb yeah jadogar ka uper hai ka wo banda ko kaun se takeef dena chata hai for example wo kisi larki ki izat kharab karna chata hai aur us ka ma baap ka mu kala karna chata hai taka wo masharay main zalil ho .to wo you kareen ga ka us larke ki sex power bara de ga yani hawas bara dega aur demage per control kareen ga apna jado se. sex ka was wasa dala ga phir dil ko sex ki taraf oksahe ga .jisam ko garam karde ga taka hot rahe larke .us ka baad demage ki sochna ki salaheyatee band karde ga yani demage per bandish karee ga .us ka baad namaz aur quaran se door karee ga q k namaz aur quaran se jado kaat jata hai
    yeah hota hai sex ka jado yeah hasad main kiya jata hai ya kisi ko be randi banana ka liya kiya jata hai is jado main larki ka demage kam nahi karta us ka zahan main bus 1 he baat atee rehtee hai ka bus sex karna hai us ka demage main marad ki sex ki cheeze nazar atee hai aur us ko belkul samjh nahi ata yeah ho kya raha hai us ka under ki hawas bar choki hotee hai chaha wo kuch be karlay laken khatam nahi hotee us ka dil be us ko oksa raha hota hai akhir kar wo kisi na kisi se sex karlatee hai kio ka us per yeah tamam kam jado se kiya hota hai
    bht sare log yeah kehta hai ka jado quaran pak se nahi kaat ta aur un ka yeah man na hai ka loha ko loha he kaat ta hai laken yeah galat hai ager kisi per se jado nahi kaat raha to us ki kuch waja hotee hai yeah zaroore nahi ka app jado sirf 4 qul se kaat rahe hai. jesa doctor her bemare ka liya alag medicine deta hai wo her bemare ka liya sirf panadol he use nahi karta .ishe tarah jado ki condition pehala maloom karni partee hai phir us ka baad is ko souratee se kaatna parta hai her sourate ka alag fawahid hai yeah zaroore nahi ka 4 qul he tamam kisam ka jado ko katay ga
    dua main mujha yaad rakheya ga
    khuda hafiz
    amel soname

  4. shahid khan says:

    yeah msg speacially tahir aur tamam musalmano ka liya
    muslims main bht sare muslims ahsa hai jo kufar kartay hai kufar wo is tarah kartay hai ka wo kehta hai ka jado wegara nahi hota incheezo ka kohi wajood nahi hota Allah pak quaran pak ki surah falak main farmata hai aiyat no 4 main ?????? ????? ?????????????? ??? ????????? ???  (4) ??? ????? ??? ????? ????? ???? ?????????? (???  ????????) ?? ?? ??? panah mage gahe hai is surah main Allah tala se jadogaro ki jo kohi be jado ko nahi mana ga wo allah tala ki si aiyat ko jhoot lahe ga aur yeah kufar mazeed jaga aur farmaya hai Allah na quaran pak main surah taha aiyat no 65 to 69 is main be jado ka zikar hai .surah younus aiyat no 80 to 82 is main be jado ka zikar hai .surah alaraf
    aiyat no 117to125 is main be jado ka zikar hai

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