Dear Brother W,
The first ten days of the month Muharram are a time of mourning the suffering and martyrdom of Hazrat Hussain ibn Ali (R.A.) and many of his family members and followers, at Karbala in present-day Iraq in 61 AH/680 CE. This is a period of grief for all Muslims; whether Shia or Sunni.
Sufis remember the sadness of this tragic event, as is so beautifully and touchingly expressed by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Qawwal’s in the marsiya (elegy) “Salami Karbala Mein Kya Qayamat Ki Ghari Hogi”. But quite often, Sufis also stress and praise the heroic bravery, the courage, the perfect faith, the perfect truthfulness and unyielding steadfastness of Hazrat Hussain (R.A.). Hazrat Hussain’s staunch attitude is an example to be followed.
The marsiya “Salami Karbala Mein Kya Qayamat Ki Ghari Hogi” contains some Persian verses by none other than Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (R.A.). Here’s a non-literal translation of these Persian verses (which nonetheless remains true to their meaning):
A True King is Hussain, a True Emperor is Hussain
Hussain embodies and protects True Religion
He gave his head, but did not place his hand in the hand of Yazid
Hussain truly is the foundation of “la ilaha”
Ustad Badar Miandad Khan Qawwal (1962-2007), who was a distant relative of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahib, sang a qawwali entitled “Dam Dam Hussain, Maula Hussain”. I’m sending you this Punjabi qawwali, which contains a Punjabi translation of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s (R.A.) Persian verses , which I hope will move your heart, even if you have already heard this qawwali before.
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