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Political Princes: Struggles of Rahul Gandhi and Bilawal Bhutto

Rahul Rahul Gandhi is the heir-apparent to the oldest political party of India and the face of a dynasty that ruled the country for over 40 years. (Photo: Reuters)

Two days ago, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, scion of the legendary Bhuttos, celebrated his […]

September 23rd, 2015|governance, Pakistan, Politics, Published in the Quint, SouthAsia|0 Comments

Shah Hussain, Madhu Lal and the festival of lights

Lahore is celebrating Mela Chiraghan – the death anniversary of the elusive saint Shah Hussain who is also known as Madhu Lal Shah for his life long association with a Hindu disciple called Madhu Lal. Each year in spring the festival of lights is attended by thousands of people.

Lighting of lamps is a metaphor for killing the inner darkness that we live with. By invoking spiritual light through love and self-knowledge, we can overcome ourselves and attain the mystical state of union with the beloved.

Madhu Lal’s syncretic shrine represents the long-gone era of spirituality rising above religious identities and rituals. Here is a kaafi poem with translation on this blog. A few lines :

They alone know what is love and longing,
Who have it in their lives.
Like digging a well in dry land,
With no cart to carry away the sand. […]

March 29th, 2009|Arts & Culture, Lahore, Sufi poetry, Sufism|5 Comments

Imam Hussain: The Beloved of the Beloved

by Syed Salman Chishty

Shah Ast Hussain

Among the Belivers are Men ,who delivered their promise to Allah

(Ayah 23/ Surah Al-Ahzab)

On the 10th of Muharram, 61 after Hijrah (680 AD) Hz.Imam Hussain was martyred by the army of Yazid. This tragedy shook the Muslim world and continues to be remembered by those who love the Prophet (saw) and his family. The death of Hz.Imam Hussain , his struggle for truth, justice and the greatness of Islam is still remembered and commemorated today. […]

January 23rd, 2008|Guest Writer, History, Islam, Religion|8 Comments

The Battle of Karbala (Mir Anis)

Mir Anis is a classical master of Urdu poetry whose elegies on the struggles between Imam Hussain, prophet’s grandson and the usurper, callous monarch Yazid are immortal. Today is the 10th of Muharram signifying the epic Karbala battle and the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. The mourning for Hussain and his family is not complete without a reference to Anis and his peer Dabeer. Luckily I found a Marthiyaa of Anis, that has been translated into English David Matthews, published by Rupa Co. […]

Shah Ast Hussain

Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz’s immortal verses on the status of Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS)
Shah ast Hussain, Badshah ast Hussain
Deen ast Hussain, Deen Panah ast Hussain
Sardad na dad dast, dar dast-e-yazeed,
Haqaa key binaey La ila ast HussainAnd a rough translation –

Ruler is Hussain, Emperor is Hussain,
Faith is Hussain , guardian of faith is Hussain .
Offered his head and not the hand to Yazid.
Indeed, Hussain is the foundation of La-ilah […]

January 17th, 2008|Islam|37 Comments

Shah Ast Hussain

10th Moharram is a day of mourning for all Muslims. The tragic incident at Kerbala where the righteous Hussain refused to submit to the autocracy of Yazid is an event laden with deep symbolism. Hazrat Imam Husain and his faithful companions preferred to die on the banks of river Euphrates and upheld the struggle of […]

January 30th, 2007|Islam, Islamophobia, Politics, Religion, Sufi poetry|13 Comments