Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Amir Khusro - The Sufi

Amir Khusro was a symbol of Sufi poetry in the Indian Subcontinent. He not only added indigenous flavor to Sufism but also made efforts to uplift it to a measure of love and oneness with the beloved. Khusro is known for his poetic masterpieces and as much for his
musical expertise. Amir Khusro was the son of the then Mughal ruler, Jehangir, who saw him as a threat to his throne and made every possible attempt to eliminate Khusro.
Sensing danger, Khusro fled to Punjab from Agra and was followed by the royal armies through the cities of Sultanpur, Goindwal, Tarntaran and then Lahore. According to historians, Amir Khusro met the Fifth Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji, probably in Tarntaran and was blessed by the Guru.
Later, Khusro and his supporters were captured by the royal armies near the bank of river Chenab, not too far from Lahore. Guru Arjan Dev Ji too, was accused under the charges of aiding and sympathizing with Khusro. Guru Arjan Dev Ji refused to bow before the tyranny of the Mughal ruler and dismissed his supremacy and was later martyred. The Guru was handed over to a Hindu officer named Chandu. The weather was extremely hot, and Guru Arjan Dev Ji was heavily tortured. The first day, he was not given anything to eat or drink and was not allowed to sleep either. The Guru meditated on the name of the God the whole day. The next day, he was kept in a vessel of boiling water and hot sand was poured upon his head. The third day, he was made to sit on a red hot Iron, and was tortured by pouring hot sand on him. By the effect of these tortures, The Guru's body became scarred and extremely weak. When his body became unable to stand further tortures, Guru Arjan Dev Ji was martyred by immersing his body into the waters of river Raavi. Gurudwara Dehra Sahib stands in Lahore to mark his martyrdom. The martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, according to traditional sources, took place on 30 May, 1606.

Following is, ' Zehaal-e-miskeen, one of the most popular pieces of poetry penned by Amir Khusro and its easy English translation,

Zehaal-e-miskeen makun taghaful,
Duraye naina banaye batiyan.
Ke taab-e-hijran nadaram ay jaan,
Na leho kahe lagaye chatiyan.
Shaban-e-hijran daraz chun zulf,
Wa roz-e-waslat cho umer kotah.
Sakhi piya ko jo main na dekhun,
To kaise katun andheri ratiyan.
Ke daad mara gharib Khusro.
Sapet man ke varaye rakhun,
Jo jaye paun piya ke khatiyan.

(Do not overlook my misery,
by blandishing your eyes and weaving tales,
My patience has over-brimmed, O sweetheart!
why do you not take me to your bosom.
Long like curls in the night of separation
short like life on the day of our union.
My dear, how will I pass the dark dungeon night
without your face before.
In honour of the day I meet my beloved
who has lured me so long, O Khusro!
I shall keep my heart suppressed
if ever I get a chance to get to her trick.)

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