Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dancing to the tune of the poet of love

By Rana Kashif - Daily Times - Pakistan
Sunday, March 26, 2006

LAHORE: The first day of Saint Mahdu Lal Hussain’s Urs, also called Mela Charaghan, was celebrated by people dancing (dhamal) to drumbeats around lit oil lamps. Around 450,000 people are expected to attend the three-day urs, the last day of which is reserved for women.

The Auqaf Department has organised a Mehfil-e-Sama and meetings to highlight various aspects of the saint’s life. Punjab Religious Affairs Minister Sahibzada Saeedul Hassan Shah inaugurated the urs on Friday, saying he was pleased with the arrangements and the government was providing maximum facilities to devotees. He said Sufis had helped promote Islam in the sub-continent and they were a source of guidance for people. Devotees honour Madhu Lal Hussain by lighting oil lamps at his shrine near Shalimar Gardens in Baghbanpura.

Several devotees could be seen dancing around a fire lit in the courtyard of the Sufi’s shrine on the first day. Some people were also singing the saint’s kafees and trying to get as close to the fire because of their belief that prayers were answered more quickly this way. Roads leading to the saint’s shrine were packed with pilgrims and food stalls.

Madhu Lal Hussain, the poet of love, was born in 1538 and his family lived outside Taxali Gate along River Ravi, which flowed near Lahore Fort at that time but some researchers differ with this view and say that the saint was born in ‘Dhadhi Village’ in Pind Dadan Khan (Jhelum). Kalsrai Rajputs, forefathers of Madhu Lal, embraced Islam in Feroze Shah Tughlaq’s reign. He started his formal education at the age of 10 when he was sent to Hafiz Abu Bakar at a mosque and some people say that Madhu Lal had memorised the Quran by heart.

Madhu Lal’s life changed when Sufi Behlol Daryai visited Lahore and met him while searching for water for ablution. Madhu Lal rushed to River Ravi and fetched water for Behlol Daryai, at which he accepted Madhu Lal as his disciple. It is also said that Madhu Lal was a Malamati, a school of Sufi thought that acts against societies’ ethical standards to make societies hate them in their effort to develop self-control.

He believed in love for humanity and his disciples included a Hindu boy Madhu, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s brother and several princes. The Hindu boy had left his family for the Sufi, who loved him so much that he put the boy’s name before his own. He was the first Punjabi Sufi whose Punjabi poetry contained words from other languages like Pothohari, Hindi, Persian and Arabic, but his poetry is extremely easy to understand. The Sufi also called himself Hussain Julaha, Hussain Namana, Hussain Faqeer and Shah Hussain in his verses. The theme of his poetry is Knowing God by Knowing Ourselves. He wrote almost 163 kafees and according to researchers, Madhu Lal was a true scholar and intellectual. Madhu Lal died in 1599 at the age of 63 and was buried in Shahdara, but his body was exhumed and buried at Baghbanpura where the Hindu boy Madhu is also buried. Madhu Lal’s famous kafees include Rabba Meray Hal Da Mehram Toon, Mein Vi Jhok Ranjhan Di Jana Nal Meray Koi Challay, Mahi Mahi Kookdi and Mandi Han Kay Changi Han Sahab Teri Bandi Han.

1 comment:

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dancing to the tune of the poet of love
By Rana Kashif - Daily Times - Pakistan
Sunday, March 26, 2006

LAHORE: The first day of Saint Mahdu Lal Hussain’s Urs, also called Mela Charaghan, was celebrated by people dancing (dhamal) to drumbeats around lit oil lamps. Around 450,000 people are expected to attend the three-day urs, the last day of which is reserved for women.

The Auqaf Department has organised a Mehfil-e-Sama and meetings to highlight various aspects of the saint’s life. Punjab Religious Affairs Minister Sahibzada Saeedul Hassan Shah inaugurated the urs on Friday, saying he was pleased with the arrangements and the government was providing maximum facilities to devotees. He said Sufis had helped promote Islam in the sub-continent and they were a source of guidance for people. Devotees honour Madhu Lal Hussain by lighting oil lamps at his shrine near Shalimar Gardens in Baghbanpura.

Several devotees could be seen dancing around a fire lit in the courtyard of the Sufi’s shrine on the first day. Some people were also singing the saint’s kafees and trying to get as close to the fire because of their belief that prayers were answered more quickly this way. Roads leading to the saint’s shrine were packed with pilgrims and food stalls.

Madhu Lal Hussain, the poet of love, was born in 1538 and his family lived outside Taxali Gate along River Ravi, which flowed near Lahore Fort at that time but some researchers differ with this view and say that the saint was born in ‘Dhadhi Village’ in Pind Dadan Khan (Jhelum). Kalsrai Rajputs, forefathers of Madhu Lal, embraced Islam in Feroze Shah Tughlaq’s reign. He started his formal education at the age of 10 when he was sent to Hafiz Abu Bakar at a mosque and some people say that Madhu Lal had memorised the Quran by heart.

Madhu Lal’s life changed when Sufi Behlol Daryai visited Lahore and met him while searching for water for ablution. Madhu Lal rushed to River Ravi and fetched water for Behlol Daryai, at which he accepted Madhu Lal as his disciple. It is also said that Madhu Lal was a Malamati, a school of Sufi thought that acts against societies’ ethical standards to make societies hate them in their effort to develop self-control.

He believed in love for humanity and his disciples included a Hindu boy Madhu, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s brother and several princes. The Hindu boy had left his family for the Sufi, who loved him so much that he put the boy’s name before his own. He was the first Punjabi Sufi whose Punjabi poetry contained words from other languages like Pothohari, Hindi, Persian and Arabic, but his poetry is extremely easy to understand. The Sufi also called himself Hussain Julaha, Hussain Namana, Hussain Faqeer and Shah Hussain in his verses. The theme of his poetry is Knowing God by Knowing Ourselves. He wrote almost 163 kafees and according to researchers, Madhu Lal was a true scholar and intellectual. Madhu Lal died in 1599 at the age of 63 and was buried in Shahdara, but his body was exhumed and buried at Baghbanpura where the Hindu boy Madhu is also buried. Madhu Lal’s famous kafees include Rabba Meray Hal Da Mehram Toon, Mein Vi Jhok Ranjhan Di Jana Nal Meray Koi Challay, Mahi Mahi Kookdi and Mandi Han Kay Changi Han Sahab Teri Bandi Han.

1 comment:

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