Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Küçek Mustafà Dede: Shah Ze Karam

Tradition is divided on who composed Shah Ze Karam. Often used as a bandish for Hindustani classical music, some say it was authored by Amir Khusrau. Others place authorship of this persianate rubāʿī to several hundred years after Khusrau, around 1650, by the Mevlevi dervish Küçek Mustafà Dede, d. 1688/9.

Shah Ze Karam Bar Man-E-Darvesh Nigar
Bar Haal-E-Mann-E-Khast-O-Dil Resh Nigar

Har Chand Neeyam Laayaq-E-Bakhshayesh-E-Tu
Bar Mann Manegar Bar Karam-E-Khesh Nigar

Lord! In Thy Grace, Thine humble supplicant, regard
Then my state of weariness, my wounded heart, regard

Howsoever be I unworthy every moment of Thy given laws
Not my trespass, but Thine own gracious benevolence, regard.

Traditionally, there have been five Mevlevi ceremonies amongst the 'whirling' dervishes. The first three, Penchgah, Dugah and Huseyni were composed in antiquity and their authorship is lost to us. The fourth, Bayati, is above. The last, Segah, was composed by Mustafa Itri (d 1711.)

The term rubāʿī (Persian: رباعی‎ rubāʿī, "quatrain") is used to describe a Persian quatrain (a poem of four lines); rubāʿiyāt (رباعیات) stands for a collection of such quatrains. There are a number of possible rhyme-schemes to the rubaiyat form, e.g. AABA, AAAA, though through the translations of Omar Khayyam by Edward Fitzgerald the English-speaking world is most familiar with the AABA rhyme-scheme. Note the rubai above is in the 14:8 beat.

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