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Bahawalpur - Indian Princely State

Last modified: 2011-07-02 by ian macdonald
Keywords: indian princely state | bahawalpur | crescent | star |
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State Flag (1885-1945)

[Bahawalpur] image by Jarig Bakker

Image after Ziggiotto (1998).

See also:

Some facts

from Filcher (1984):

EMIRATE OF BAHAWALPUR
Princely States of Western Punjab, Present-day Pakistan - Sind
17 Gun Salute
Area: 42,564 sq. km
Acceded to Pakistan in 1955, Founded in 1701


Emir's Standard

[Bahawalpur Emir's Standard] image by Jarig Bakker

Image after Ziggiotto (1998).

Flag of the Mir (Emir):
The personal standard of the Emir of Bahawalpur is entirely black with in the center the crescent (points up) and a star (5-pointed), surrounded by Arab invocations, placed:
a) below the two symbols, horizontally: "Sadiq Mohammed Abassi Khan, Farmanraway Mamlikat Khudad Dad Bahawalpur".
b). on both sides (but the extremes don't touch the former ones): that is the "Khalma-i-Shahadad"
c) and on top two small words, one beside the other in a half-circle:
- on the left: "Wa Fatehun Quareeb"
- on the right: "Nusrun Min Allah"
- in the center: 786 (for Bismillah Sharif)
This flag was adopted by the Souvereign in 1935 after his pilgrimage to Mecca; note that Emir Sadiq Mohammed Khan V reigned 1907-1947.

The Emir of Bahawalpur claims descent from the Abbassid Caliphs and he is the Head of the "Deodpatra" brotherhood, a patriarchal confederation, rather than a state. The Abbassids adopted black as their dynastic color, like Caliph Walid, whose army, led by Muhammed bin-Khasim, penetrated in 712 in India.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 28 January 2003

Chrystian noted Arab invocations, placed:
a) below the two symbols, horizontally: "Sadiq Mohammed Abassi Khan, Farmanraway Mamlikat Khudad Dad Bahawalpur".

This is not really Arabic but probably Dari or Urdu. Nevertheless, the words are mostly Arabic derived and mean, I think, more or less (is that hedged enough?) "The Honorable Mohammed Abassi Khan, Ruler (?) of the Kingdom of Khudad and (?) Bahawalpur."

b) on both sides (but the extremes don't touch the former ones): that is the "Khalma-i-Shahadad"

That is, the Shahada, or Muslim creed. The lettering is too small to read, but it doesn't look to me as if what's on the hoist side is just a repetition of the words that begin to the fly side of the central emblem. The beginning of the script does appear to say "Ashhadu an la ilahi illa Allah... (I testify that there is no god but God...), but it looks to me as if something else follows after the ending phrase of the Shahada "Muhammadun rasuli-llah." Hard to say for sure.

c) and on top two small words, one beside the other in a half-circle: - on the left: "Wa Fatehun Quareeb"

"And conquest is at hand."

d) on the right: "Nusrun Min Allah"

"Victory is from God." This reads, of course, from right to left as one phrase: "Victory is from God and conquest is at hand."

e) in the center: 786 (for Bismillah Sharif)

The "Bismillah Sharif" is the invocation "In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful" with which pious Muslims begin all writings and speeches. I don't know why the number 786 would stand for this phrase, however.

Joe McMillan, 28 January 2003

I just happen to have a book on Indian medals (so I'm not setting myself up as an expert translator!) which includes a Bahawalpur medal with a similar inscription - ' ... Sadiq Mohammed Abbasi Khamis. Farman rawai mumlukat khudadad Bahawalpur', and which translates the inscription as 'Sadiq Mohammed Abassi the Fifth, Ruler of the God-Gifted Kingdom of Bahalwalpur.'

As for 786, elsewhere it says, 'The three digit 786 is a chronogram for Bism'illah-e-Rahman-e-Rahim (In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful)' What's a chronogram?

Strangely, 1935, the year this flag was adopted, was the year that Sadiq Muhammad Khan V performed the hajj, but there is no mention of that in his name on the flag.

Incidentally, the Emir's official titles before 1947 were 'His Highness Rukn-ud-Daula, Nasrat-i-Jang, Saif-ud-Daula, Haifiz-ul-Mulk, Mukhlis-ud-Daula, wa Huin-ud-Daula, Nawab [name] Bahadur, Amir of Bahawalpur.'

Source: McClenaghan, Tony, 'Indian princely medals: a record of the orders, decorations and medals of the Indian Princely States' (New Delhi, Lancer, 1996).

Ian Sumner, 29 January 2003


 
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