Tuesday, 25 August 2009

"sufism in india"

TITLE: Influence of Sufism on Urdu language and literature.
USP: Sufism: Revisited and Revealed

Concept/ Synopsis:
India is the land of spiritualism. Some of the major religions of the world have been started over here. Sufism has also been present in India since a long time and even today we find a number of Sufi followers here. Even in The fastest growing economy of the world, India, Sufism still has some traces, its historical knowledge may not be enough among the people but its literature still has a soothing effect on the minds of those who appreciate it, so is this called the religion of hearts (Sufism).
India has always been a land of great saints and free thinkers, which has been assimilating in its fold, various cultures and thoughts from time to time. It is the land of ancient wisdom, where Sufism in its true spirit has flourished from time immemorial.
During the medieval period, Urdu literature had come into being in India in an over whelming manner, Amir Khusru (1253-1325) the great and most august Sufi poet and an early architect of India’s composite culture had experimented with poetry in a language that was a mixture of Persian and Hindi. This was the primary origin of Urdu language, especially its intense connection with Islamic courts of kings. Urdu poetry has largely espoused Persian forms and meters, but it has also embraced some of the purely Indian forms, which primarily had formed the basis of medieval Indian poetry.
Urdu did not attain the status of a literary language before the Sufis took it up in Gujarat in the fifteenth century, closely followed by the Dakani’s. Masud Saad Salman's and Khusru's efforts cannot be ignored in this regard.
Urdu's earliest extant literary products are from Gujarat and the Deccan, and are overwhelmingly by the Sufis. Since the Sufis addressed themselves to specific groups of followers and devotees, it was natural for their prose and poetry to be preserved orally or in writing. No Sufi seems to have made Hindi / Hindvi a vehicle for his literary expression in the North before Shaih 'Abd-ul-Quddus Gangohi (1455-1538) and Kabir (d.l518). Neither of these, however, wrote in the main line Khari boli Hindi / Hindvi that we know as Urdu today. More important, neither was in Delhi, which was the command centre of literary culture in the North. The reason for Urdu's late start in literature in the North is, therefore, to be found in the fact that the Sufis didn't adopt this language, and it had to wait for religious/ Sufi impulse to find their expression in it.
Sufism is basically a religion based on the truth of life. It is a mystic tradition that consists of a varied range of ideas and practices that emphasize on the attainment of divine love and compassion of the heart. In the 14th century, a Sufi saint wrote a book known as the "Principles of Sufism" that defines the essence of Sufism as "a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God". Universal Sufism has been defined by great Sufi masters as a way to travel to the presence of the Divine force and fill oneself with inner beauty and compassion.
Sufism generally shows the inner mystical dimension and Sufi Poetry is believed to be the medium to invoke GOD’S mercy: A way to get closer to GOD. Sufi poetry has its own colors and shades. It’s true that human mind has its own limitations and the world beyond, is mystical, not explored yet. The ALMIGHTY above is beyond all doubts and thoughts. Humans have a strong urge to explore the unknown world. The hymn to GOD is actually a Sufi poetry. It has been written in different languages and styles.
Urdu is the most poetic language and Urdu poets have contributed a lot for the acceptance and recognition of Urdu language and literature all around. In the modern times, Urdu poets have not limited themselves to Urdu only, but they are brushing their tools with languages like Hindi, Arabic, and Persian. Urdu poetry has the great treasure of literary legend-Amir Khusru, a classical Sufi poet, still known for his contribution to Urdu literature and music. He is widely recognized for creating Hindustani Khayal. He gave a new face to Qawali when Bhajans were liked the most by people.
Towards the end of Mughal period it became language of ruling class and was spoken by people of all communities and it never was language of Muslims alone as it is projected today. Urdu produced great Hindu poets, storywriters and novelists during freedom struggle as well as in earlier period. Among story writers and novelists in Urdu Premchand is the well-known name. He wrote volumes of short stories and acquired legendry fame through his Urdu fiction.
Urdu language is a great symbol of India’s composite culture. It was borne in bazaar by mixing of different communities like Turks, Hindus, Indian Muslims and others. It was always spoken by people in Bazar and never became court language except towards the end of Mughal period. Urdu is mixture of local Indian dialects like Brijbhasha, Haryanvi, Maithili, Purbi, Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit Hindi etc.
Sufism has been a very potential school of thought which has had a very important role in enrichment of Urdu language and literature in India. Sufi thought in fact received acceptability and popularity among the common people through Urdu language. The contribution of Khusru, Meer, Sauda, Ghalib, Iqbal, and today Gulzar and others in this regard cannot be ignored. It is important to note that the most popular Sufi musical form “Qawali” has taken its shape in Urdu language also. Today one cannot separate Sufi music and Urdu language as both are amalgamated in a manner that both have become interdependent in promoting each other. Even some contemporary music forms have adopted Sufi concept and use Urdu language for putting it forth. Like (Rabbi, Euphoria, Kailash Kher, Junoon etc.).

To provide a wider outlook of Sufism and its composition with Urdu language, its history, its background in India, Sufi literature and its presence today among the people is important in order to keep this mystical experience alive for ages to come among the people and for those who have no awareness of this mystical form, to keep the treasure of Urdu Sufi literature alive in this supreme fast growing and busy state which has born the highest literary Sufis’ and Saints of the world, and for the people who do not have the sense to feel the mystical saga of the dervish music and dance, to become one with god and to gain peace, some awareness can be brought through the “Sufi Tahreeq Aur Urdu ka Irtiqa” a documentary which will emphasis the nature of Sufism, its role in promotion of Urdu language, the music forms, literature, dances and poetry, which can bring up some sense of tranquility among the common man in today’s busy world to help gain mental and spiritual peace.

sheema farooqi

SUFI POETRY

So long as we do not die to ourselves,and so long as we identify with someone or something,we shall never be free.The spiritual way is not for those wrapped up in exterior life.

~~
Strive to discover the mystery before life is taken from you.If while living you fail to find yourself, to know yourself,how will you be able to understandthe secret of your existence when you die?


~~Intoxicated by the Wine of Love.From each a mystic silence Love demands.What do all seek so earnestly? 'Tis Love.What do they whisper to each other? Love.Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts.In Love no longer 'thou' and 'I' exist,For Self has passed away in the Beloved.Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,And in the temple of mine inmost soul,Behold the Friend; Incomparable Love.He who would know the secret of both worlds,Will find the secret of them both, is Love.
~~
In the dead of night, a Sufi began to weep.He said, "This world is like a closed coffin, in which We are shut and in which, through our ignorance,We spend our lives in folly and desolation.When Death comes to open the lid of the coffin,Each one who has wings will fly off to Eternity,But those without will remain locked in the coffin.So, my friends, before the lid of this coffin is taken off,Do all you can to become a bird of the Way to God;Do all you can to develop your wings and your feathers." Farid ud Din Attar, translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut - 'Perfume of the Desert'

"im a rindh"

…I roam freely as the birds fly....
…My lover is my God
…My religion is love…
…I am but the source of my existence…
…I live beyond the right or wrong…
…I too get zealous as I enthuse…
…I see, I feel, I touch, I kiss …
…I sketch to portray my life…
…With ecstasy and smile on face…
…And silence on my lips…
…I make no plans …
…I am a *rindh
With out sipping a drop of wine…
*DRUNK

Sheema Farooqi

Thursday, 22 January 2009

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TERRORISM - A world phenomenon…

Sheema Farooqi
sfarooqi78@yahoo.co.in

Terrorism all over the world has been a matter of concern for all the world leaders and the common people over the years now, People have been analyzing the root cause of this grave phenomenon that ends in destruction and devastation only. What makes a terrorist and who becomes a terrorist? Has remained a question unanswered for those who have been probing to find logic behind it. Is terrorism religion oriented, politically motivated or economy based? These and many such questions need to be analytically seen and answered in view of the situations and environment they occur. Although the terrorism has existed on this globe for the centuries and the mankind has been facing it devastating and brutal effects since its inception.
Terrorist acts began almost in the 1st century only, when a Jewish religious sect (Zealots) fought against Roman occupation which now is Israel. In the 12th century in Iran, the Assassins, a group of Ismailis (Shia Muslims), conducted terrorist acts against religious and political leaders of Sunni Muslims. Prior to the outbreak of World War I in 1914 the Russian revolutionary movement also possessed a strong terrorist element in its struggle against Russian royalty and aristocracy.
The conflict between Arab nations and Israel after the end of World War II in 1945 produced successive waves of terrorism in the Middle East. In the United States, terrorism had chiefly consisted of attacks by isolated individuals who violently opposed state and corporate powers.
Terrorism spread beyond the Middle East in 1960s, particularly in nations such as West Germany and Italy, where transition from authoritarian rule to democracy after World War II had been rapid and traumatic.
Even today the same exists in almost all the countries in one form or the other. People getting killed, property destroyed and a situation of chaos created every now and then by groups or individuals involved in such activities. But why? What are the reasons that provoke individuals or the groups to perform such actions of inhuman nature? Are these actions revolutionary or mere terrorism. If these actions are supported by a cause then these are perhaps not behaviors of horror.
If yes, then what should be called as terrorism? A reaction to the anarchy, or authoritarian rule or suppression caused by certain organized forces on the innocent people of the concerned territory?
Of course, there are certain factors which make a group of people or an individual revolt against a particular pattern of governance, be it monarchy, be it one nation or community depriving the other by occupying there territory and forcing them to leave their land, be it unwanted interference or indulgence in ones faith or religion he or she believes in. In the present world the terrorism is mostly linked with the Islamic religion which in fact is not the reality. Since most of the Islamic countries are ruled by monarchs or dictators having no public support. They have not been encouraging the participation of common people in the governance process of the state which has resulted in a revolt under the garb of Islamic fundamentalism or so. In most of the Arab countries the people have formed organizations to fight the monarchial setup and establish a real Islamic state with a democratic spirit. They have been engaged in fighting in isolation having no state to support them. They have been rated as terrorist organizations even if they have a cause. Others in the Middle East have been engaged in restoring the statehood for Palestinian people and also they have been termed as terrorist outfits. In Afghanistan there are group who want the NATO forces to leave their country are also counted as terrorists. Labeling such groups or organizations as terrorist organizations sounds unjust. In Srilanka, Sinhalese have been fighting for a separate state and the organization that leads their movement has been listed as one of the terrorist organizations of the world. All these and others have a sufficient justification to attain their objective but --- does it necessarily allow them to take to the arms. No, of course not, arms are the prerogative of the state only, once a civilian takes to the arms he becomes anti national, and the arms he supports becomes a weapon of terror. Therefore, there are other means to achieve an objective, fighting politically can be the best course of action in this regard. World powers need to join hands and look deep into the problems of the gun bearing people and find solutions as per their aspirations so as to make this globe free of terror, threat or suppression and oppression. The concerted effort by all shall bring to an end the phenomenon of terror and help restoration of peaceful coexistence among the nations, communities and even individuals. Setting up democratic system of governance in the countries ruled by monarchs, resolving unsettled issues like Palestine, Kashmir and Srilanka shall undoubtedly help end terrorism from the Asian countries which has spread over to west and America also. Again these reactionary activities of the individual groups need not be taken as assault on another religions which so far has created a wedge among the people of various faiths like Christianity and Jewish. Religion oriented terrorism can be put to an end by addressing their problems and issues existing among various religious based nationalities. Superpower again needs to change its policy of favoritism on the basis of religion and help bring Palestinian and Israelis on the negotiated settlement of their decades old disputes in order to ensure peaceful coexistence between these warring communities. Such measures shall pave a way for terror free future of the world and mankind as well.