USP: Sufism: Revisited and Revealed
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.