“Khota Qabr”(The Donkey’s Grave)

Najeem Shah
It is a fact that not all but the majority do not want to die and those who want to die also want to be remembered after death. Blessed are those who are remembered after death for some of their virtues. The donkey is also a strange animal made by nature or think of it as an unfortunate animal. This animal is unlucky because the days of its life never go well. In the past, it was only used for freight, but now its duty has been increased. It is now used for freight as well as other work such as plowing, spinning and plowing. In our society, people compare a hardworking man to a donkey. The donkey is actually a
creature that we call donkey in both love and anger. The four-legged donkey buried in Hazara was really lucky to become so famous that otherwise there are many two-legged donkeys in our society who work day and night but cannot use their abilities properly and always called donkey. If you come to Hazara by road from Punjab or by Karakoram Highway from Gilgit to Punjab, you will pass through a place in the area between Havelian and Haripur which is called “Khota Qabr”, And in fact it is the grave of a donkey. A few years ago, the name of this village was changed to Muslimabad, but the people living in the area still know this place by its old name, Khota Qabr. There are many well-known stories about this donkey, one of which is that in the 19th century, the jihadi forces of Syed Ahmed Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed went to Balakot to wage jihad against the Sikhs and set up tents near Abbottabad. Due to the occupation of the nearby hills by the Sikhs, the Mujahideen began to face difficulties. In this case, they used a donkey, so this donkey would move around in the dark of night carrying the important equipment of the Mujahideen. The virtue of not forgetting the path of the donkey helped the
Mujahideen in this difficult time. One day the secret was revealed to the enemies and they killed the donkey. According to local tradition, the donkey that was recognized as a war hero is buried here in the grave. According to another story, a landowner named Fazal Din lived here on a local hill. The landlord kept a donkey in addition to other livestock, which was very clever. The villagers worked in the landowner fields. Since there was only one water well in the whole area, the women would draw water from there, fill it in leather jugs, put it on a donkey and drive it towards the fields. The donkey easily delivered water to the people working there. The donkey would easily deliver the water to the people
working in the fields, while the farmers working in the fields would load the grain on the donkey and drive it away, then the donkey would deliver the grain to the landlords house. It is said that the donkey became acquainted with the houses and people of the whole village. The women cooked the food at home and loaded it on the donkey and it was easily delivered to the farmers working in the fields. Once it was mentioned that the locals were chopping wood on the hill and the donkey was with them which went a long way while grazing. Meanwhile, the donkey was attacked by a lion, which fell into a ravine
and died. Later, the villagers mourned the donkey for three days and then buried it in the grave. The locals named the place Khota Qabr for its valuable donkey services. When the fame of this donkey reached DH Watson, the Deputy Commissioner of Hazara during the British rule, he also wrote ahistorical comment on it. In his book The Gazetteer of Hazara, published in 1907, he writes that “This is the name given to a small bazaar and tonga stage on the Abbottabad- Hassan Abdal road, 6 miles from the former place. The grave from which it takes its name is on the right bank of the Salhad stream, a little distance to the north of the bridge, in a small cemetery. The story runs that in the days before Sikh
rule the villagers of Dhamtaur began to encroach upon and cultivate the Salhad lands here. It was too far for them to return at midday to their own village for their food, so their woman kind used to load it on a donkey, who, unattended, took his way to where his masters were at work. As he drew near he would bray, and the men would come and eat their dinner, and then, loading the donkey with the empty vessels, would send him back again to Dhamtaur. The victims of the encroachments, who were not strong enough to compel the Dhamtaur men to release their lands by force, took counsel together,
and came to the conclusion that if they killed the donkey their enemies would find it too much trouble  to go home every day for their food, and would give up cultivation the land. So one day they laid in wait for the donkey, and killed him as he came along. Thereupon his masters, grieved at the death of the faithful animal, and not desiring to leave his body a prey to vultures and jackals, gave him an honourable burial, and raised a pile of stones over his grave, that remains until this day.” It is true that no donkey in the world can become a horse by hard work, but no power in the world can stop a donkey from
becoming a good donkey through hard work. The donkey buried in the grave also proved by his actions that he could not become a horse in his life, but even though he was a donkey, he made a name in history. It is true that the elders say that we should do something in life so that when we die, we will light the lamp of our part in this world and then shift to another world. When people benefit from the light of our burning lamp after we die, we will benefit even after death and we will live even after death.
There is also a lesson in this story that whether we work day and night like donkeys or donkeys, we must do something unique in our lives that will make us famous. Look at Mullah Naseer-ud- Din who not only gained fame with his inverted straight moves but also made his donkey famous. Today, every story and joke associated with Mullah Ji remains incomplete until there is a mention of a donkey. Buried in Hazara, this donkey became known as Donkey simply because of its name, otherwise the factis that his mental standard was much higher than that of human beings.

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