Saturday, July 9, 2016

Amjad Sabri: Yehi Mera Zauq-e-Sujood Hai

A few weeks ago, two motorcyclists opened fire on Amjad Sabri's car in Karachi. Sabri was shot twice in the head and once on the ear and died shortly after.  The killing was claimed by a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban who accused Sabri of blasphemy.

Here is a piece of traditional qawwali from Amjad Sabri. The circumspect poster of the video (apparently the music label who produced it) has bleeped some of the problematic lines, wherein Hindu deities and Western philosophy are said to be found within a saint's shrine along with Muhammad or Allah. At one point, a camouflaging grunt of "Allaaaaah" is added to the soundtrack.

Yehi mera zauq-e-sujood hai, yehi mere ishq ka raaz hai
Teri yaad mein mera jhoomna, mera Hajj hai meri Namaaz hai

This is my perception of the essence of prayer: acknowedgement of my love for Thee
My whirling dance ,with Thee in mind, this is my pilgrimage (Hajj) and my prayer (Namaaz.)

Tere dar pe sajda ada kiya, tujhe apna kaaba bana liya
Yeh gunah hai to hua kare, mujhe is gunah pe naaz hai

I lay my prayers at Thine door, I made Thee my most sacred enclosure (Kaaba)
If these be sins, so be it, I cherish such sins of mine.

Yehan pehle raaj hain Aulia, yehan paaon rakha rawaan naheen
Yahan sar ke bal chalo aashiqon, ye dayar ye banda nawaz hai

The First Lord here is the shrine's saint (Aulia), none stepping here are sent back
Prostrate here your heads, O Lovers, this be the realm of Friends of Worship.

Yahan Falsafi bhi hai Ram hai, yeh ajeeb kaisa maqam hai
Jahan khud se jhuk na sake zabeen wahan sajda karna haraam hai

Here be philosophy (natural philosphy, i.e. science), here be Ram (avatar of Vishnu) too, what a strange station this is
Where Beauty (Pride?) cannot bow down before itself, that place is forbidden for prayers.

Mujhe Anwar-ul ka hai aasra, ke wahi to mere rafeeq hain
Main ghareeb hoon to kya hua mera silsila to daraaz hai

I take shelter in the Luminous One (Ali, the first Shia Imam), for he is my ally himself
So what if I am poor, my link to him is still unbroken.

Another rendering of this qalaam, by Shafqat Hussain and Shujaat Hussain qawwals, is here.

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