Category Archives: Sufi

Kabir in Lahore

A four-day long festival in Lahore celebrating Kabir Das, the revered 15th century poet and mystic who defied the boundaries between Hindu and Muslim, ends on Thursday.

 

The Kabir Festival (Sep 29-Oct 2, 2014) has been organised by the Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences in collaboration with the Kabir Project in India, a unique and acclaimed initiative by documentary filmmaker and musician Shabnam Virmani.

 

The aim is to promote the philosophy of spirituality and harmony through film screenings, live musical evenings, photo and video exhibitions, storytelling, and interactive sessions. The performers include classical and folk singers, scholars, artists, and students of Pakistan and India, who share a passion for the mystical world.

Continue reading

Photo of the Day: American Mystic in Data Darbar

Famous American mystic, Samuel Lewis, seen here with the keepers of the Sufi saint, Data Ganj Baksh’s shrine in Lahore (1962).

American Mystic

Photo and details courtesy Nadeem F Paracha, Dawn

THE MAGIC OF HARIDAS LAHORI!

Malik Omaid

BURIED FOR FORTY DAYS; WONDERFUL PERFORMANCES OF THE INDIAN FAKIRS.

Haridas

Originally published in the London Telegraph, August 22, 1880

We are not told whether the Seven Sleepers who retired to a cave in Ephesus during the reign of the Christian-killing Emperor Decius, and only woke up 155 years afterward, when Theodosins II was on the throne, made any special preparation, but probably they did not. Perhaps it was not necessary. Those were stirring times for members of the new faith, and they had little opportunity to grow obese.

But, as a rule, to fast successfully it is said to be necessary for a man to abstain beforehand, and reduce himself more carefully to the required condition by a long course of preparation. Pre-eminent at this art of suspending animation—for an art it becomes—are the Easterns, and most wonderful stories are told of the natives of India, which, whether they powers are due to narcotics or any other process, seem to open up—if true—a wide field of medical study.

Once of the Indian stories, not easily accessible, but of considerable interest on account of the known veracity of the witnesses, will probably be read with interest at the present time, and is inserted here. The author of it was one Hon. Capt. Osborn, and the notes made of his statement, here subjoined, come from an almost unique copy printed from private circulation. Continue reading

Sikh Yatrees at Wagha Station, Lahore

LAHORE: Over 2,900 Sikh Yatrees from India and thousands of others from all over the world including America, Canada , UK, Europe, and from parts of Sindh have reached Nankana Sahib to participate in the celebrations which will continue till November 11.

Photo by : Daily Express.

 

A Lament For Lahore – May its lights always shine!

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picture by AP – Data Darbar, after the blasts on July 1, 2010 night -Data Darbar
C.M. Naim writing for Outlook:

“Once I, ‘Ali bin ‘Uthman al-Jullabi, found myself in a difficulty. After many devotional exercises undertaken in the hope of clearing it away, I repaired—as I had done with success on a former occasion—to the tomb of Abu Yazid, and stayed beside it for a space of three months, performing every day three ablutions and thirty purifications in the hope that my difficulty might be removed. It was not, however; so I departed and journeyed towards Khurasan. One night I arrived at a village in that country where there was a convent (khānaqāh) inhabited by a number of aspirants to Sufism. I was wearing a dark-blue [robe], such as is prescribed by the Sunna; but I had with me nothing of the Sufi’s regular equipment except a staff and a leathern water-bottle. I appeared very contemptible in the eyes of these Sufis, who did not know me. They regarded only my external habit and said to one another, ‘This fellow is not one of us.’ And so in truth it was: I was not one of them, but I had to pass the night in that place. They lodged me on a roof, while they themselves went up to a roof above mine, and set before me dry bread which had turned green, while I was drawing into my nostrils the savour of the viands with which they regaled themselves. All the time they were addressing derisive remarks to me from the roof. When they finished the food, they began to pelt me with the skins of the melons which they had eaten, by way of showing how pleased they were with themselves and how lightly they thought of me. I said in my heart: ‘O Lord God, were it not that they are wearing the dress of Thy friends, I would not have borne this from them.’ And the more they scoffed at me the more glad became my heart, so that the endurance of this burden was the means of delivering me from that difficulty which I have mentioned; and forthwith I perceived why the Shaykhs have always given fools leave to associate with them and for what reason they submit to their annoyance.” Continue reading

Lahore- video

posted by Raza Rumi

Fawzia Afzal Khan’s video – mysterious, flippant, fun and soulful

Enjoy

A HIGHER LOVE

Posted by Nizam-un-Nisa Ayeda Naqvi on November 12, 2009

Not too far from where I live, in Lahore, Pakistan, is a little shrine. It is not the mausoleum of a famous poet or a Sufi saint, but the resting place of two star-crossed lovers who were denied the sanctity of marriage by their society almost five hundred years ago.

And yet this tomb is treated with the same reverence and etiquette as the shrines of any of the great mystics that dot the landscape here. In fact, if the visitors’ emotions are anything to go by, this shrine seems to have unparalleled power, for on any given day, devotees can be seen sitting in corners of the marble mausoleum, sobbing softly as they contemplate the tragic story of the beautiful Heer and the devastated Ranjha. Continue reading

Sufi ‘Mystic Music’ festival to be held from 30th

LAHORE: Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop on Tuesday announced holding its annual Mystic Music Sufi Festival 2009 from April 30 to May 2.

Talking to reporters, the Peerzada brothers said this was the 6th annual Sufi Festival organised by Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop. The festival brings with it a rich variety of Sufi music from across the country. Performers from all four provinces will take part in the festival and over 300 artists will perform. “Through the Sufi Festival, we look forward to highlighting the cultural and traditional warmth and wisdom of Sufi poetry,” said Faizan Peerzada. “We are hopeful that such festivals will bless all of us with tolerance, wisdom and a light leading to a new direction,” he added. Continue reading

Kafi Shah Hussain

Below are Part I and Part II of recordings of the Kafi of the Sufi poet Shah Hussain sung by the late Ustad Nazir Butt.

Mela Chiraghan begins with traditional fervour

mela-chiraghan

Shah Hussain (1538-1599) was a Punjabi poet and a saint. He was the pioneer of the Kafi form of Punjabi poetry.

By: Rana Latif | Published in The Nation March 29, 2009

LAHORE – Mela Chiraghan, festival of light marking the 421st annual Urs of Hazrat Shah Hussain (RA), a saint with a different trait and a mystic poet of Punjabi with distinction, commonly known as Madhu Lal Hussain who lived in Lahore in 16th century (1538-1599), began with traditional fervour at Shalimar, Saturday evening.
It is perhaps the biggest festival of Punjab after the Urs of Data Ganj Bakhsh (RA) and Baba Farid (RA) of Pakpattan. Mela Chiraghan has many distinctions particularly the singing of ‘kafi’ of Shah Hussain in Punjab, who was perhaps the pioneer of Kafi that carried rich intellectual and spiritual values.
He himself sang his own kafis before the people bringing big applause. His kafis reflect the defiant attitude and independence of thought, away from the contemporary thoughts of religious and social hierarchy. The whirling dervishes on the tunes of drums sing kafis at the Mela. It is a rare event of whirling and dancing on the beats of drum. Its rhythm is a heart catching as Shah Hussain’s Kafis carry rich musical values and element of entertainment, liked by folk of Punjab.

Urs of Mian Mir from 5th

Miniature depicting Hazrat Mian Mir and his disciple, Mullah Shah, in conversation with Prince Dara Shikoh.

Miniature depicting Hazrat Mian Mir and his disciple, Mullah Shah, in conversation with Prince Dara Shikoh.

LAHORE (APP) – The 385th annual urs of Hazrat Mian Mir will begin on March 5 (Thursday). Secretary Auqaf Punjab Khizar Hayat Gondal will inaugurate the two-day urs celebrations by performing traditional chadar laying ceremony on the grave of sufi saint.
Punjab Auqaf Department has granted Rs 200,000 for holding urs celebrations and facilitating the visitors coming from all over the country, a spokesman of Auqaf Department told APP on Sunday.
Ulema and Mashaikh will highlight the teachings of Hazrat Mian Mir during urs days. Mehfil-e-Sama will also be held in which renowned qawwals will present religious poetry on the occasion.

Baba Shah Jamal

Sufi devotees in Lahore
Some believe that Pakistan’s mystic, non-violent Islam can be used as a defence against extremism (Photos: Kamil Dayan Khan)

It’s one o’clock in the morning and the night is pounding with hypnotic rhythms, the air thick with the smoke of incense, laced with dope.

I’m squeezed into a corner of the upper courtyard at the shrine of Baba Shah Jamal in Lahore, famous for its Thursday night drumming sessions. Continue reading

Lahore’s oldest guide

Raza Rumi

The interior of Data Darbar

The grave of the saint

Outside the shrine,

The shrine at night

Perhaps the greatest of the experiences at Data Darbar is to find oneself connected to a stream of humanity, shoulder to shoulder, with a shared sense of spirituality that cuts across ethnicity, sect, ritual and even religion at times. Despite the mayhem, the serenity of the place is soothing

“To traverse distance is child’s play: henceforth pay visits by means of thought; it is not worth while to visit any person, and there is no virtue in bodily presence”

Last week, accompanying a visitor from the Mecca of Sufis, Delhi, I reconnected with the Data Darbar or the royal pavilion of the great saint of Lahore, Ali bin Usman Al Hajveri. This shrine is the oldest and perhaps the most vibrant cultural marker of the past one millennium in Lahore. The title of Ganj Bakhsh was bestowed by the saint of the saints Khwaja Moin ud din Chishti of Ajmere, whose ascendancy in the Chishtia Sufi order is recognised by all and sundry. Pilgrimage to Ajmere by itself is a matter of spiritual attainment for the majority of Muslims in the subcontinent. It is not difficult to imagine then what the stature of Lahore’s Data Darbar is in this esoteric yet real and lived Islam in South Asia. While Khwaja Moin ud din Chishti honoured the Lahori saint with the title “bestower of treasure,” ordinary folk on Lahore’s streets were more direct by naming the saint as Data, the one who facilitates the fulfilment of aspirations.

Living nearly 11 centuries ago, Syed Ali bin Usman Al Hajveri was not a Lahori but a resident of Lahore’s cultural step-cousin, Ghazni, until he arrived in India and wandered in northern India before settling in Lahore for the last 34 years of his life. This was the time when mystics from Central Asia, in their constant urge to discover new vistas of spiritual exploration, started to travel and settle in different parts of the Indian subcontinent. It remains a mystery as to why Data Ganj Bakhsh would have chosen Lahore as the final stop in his life long journey. Perhaps the secular interpretation could be that Lahore was an inevitable stop over for all the Central Asian and Turkic caravans and armies and provided the right kind of environment for a foreign mystic to amalgamate into. A little before Ganj Bakhsh’s arrival, Lahore had been resurrected from the earlier ravages of time by the Ghaznavid ruler Mahmood and his son Masood.

Lahore’s fame had also spread deep into the rugged, mountainous climes of Central Asia. Its old fortified city, the banks of a gushing river and the motley collection of artisans, masons, artists, poets and musicians were all too well known.

During the 34 years of his Lahore residence, Ali Hajveri became the most revered of dervishes whose inclusive and tolerant mystical path attracted the majority of its non-Muslim population. Let us not forget that the non-Muslim population was also a subject of a pernicious caste hierarchy where access to templar gods and clerical blessings was denied to a good number of the population. This was the beginning of a centuries’ long process of peaceful conversions. Islam’s egalitarianism and its larger message of equality before God was quite a magical idea for many, not to mention that the Sufi path did not require conversion per se. This is why Data Darbar has been a hub of inter-communal quests for spiritual attainment.

Other than that, Ali Hajveri’s important contribution to the corpus of documented mystical thought is the treatise that he authored and left for posterity. Known as Kashf- al- Mahjub, or “Unveiling of the Hidden,” it is a monumental document striking for its communicative tone and systematic way of discussing mysticism.

Through the dynasties that were to follow Mahmood Ghaznavi’s controversial military campaigns, the primacy of Ali Hajveri’s shrine continued. Its centrality to the evolution of Muslim rulers meant that the origins of Islam were paradoxically not rooted in the capture of power. Voluntary conversions at Sufi khanqahs and dergahs were a constant process. The Sultans of Delhi and the Moghuls were all enamoured by the mythical might of the saint, and while the imperial grandeur continued, the ordinary Lahoris had already renamed Lahore as “Data ki Nagri”- Data‘s city. Khawaja Moin ud din Chishti undertook 40 day long meditative exercises at this shrine before he moved to Ajmere to carry on the Sufi mission of spreading love, tolerance and harmony and of re-emphasising the indivisible equality of man. The Moghul prince and heir apparent Dara Shikoh, like his great-grandfather Akbar, was also a true devotee of Data Ganj Bakhsh.

The decline of the Moghul Empire did not impact the energy of the shrine. In fact, the formidable Punjabi leader, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, like his predecessors, invested in the upkeep and expansion of the shrine complex. The rulers dare not afford the wrath or displeasure of the saint, such has been the power of imagination. Therefore, it is but logical that Mian Shahbaz Sharif, during his first tenure as the chief minister of Punjab, initiated the mega project of Data Darbar‘s physical renewal, expansion and “beautification” in the late nineties. Continue reading

Mian Mir Saheb of Lahore

Hazrat Mian Mir is Lahore’s iconic figure.

Mian Mir, a leading saint of Lahore, was revered by the kings, queens, warriors and common people alike. His shrine is in the area named after him and is a peaceful place.

Excerpts from a story from here and more can be read here:

“Hazrat Mian Mir – whose real name was Mir Muhammad – was a sufi of the Qadri order. Born in Sehwan (Sind) in 1550 AD, he received his early education from local teachers. He was 25 years old when he came to Lahore in 1575.

… After completing his education Mir went to Sirhind. He then came back and lived in Mohalla Khafipura – now called Anarkali Bazaar. Emperors – Jahangir, (Noor Jehan) and Shah Jehan – used to regularly visit him. Prince Dara Shikhoh was also his devotee.

Mian Mir had a special taste for qawali. He abhorred the ‘ceremonial’ dress. He led a simple life. He is equally popular among Muslims and non-Muslims. He died in 1635 AD and was buried near the grave of his friend Mian Natha. The Mian Mir locality was earlier called Darapur or Hashmipur. His shrine was partly built by Dara Shikoh.”

International Mystical Music in Lahore

Artists from Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and Egypt performed on the final night of International Mystical Music Sufi Festival at Peeru’s Café on Sunday. The performances were not scheduled but were still conducted. The Dalahoo Sufi Ensemble, the Iranian group, stole the show with Jalaluddin Rumi’s poetry. It was the second from last group to perform at the event. Continue reading

Sufi music festival to hit the city on 25th

From the Daily Times

LAHORE: The 5th International Mystic Music Sufi Festival (IMMSF) will be held in the city from April 25 to 27.

Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop (RPTW) in collaboration with Telenor Pakistan launched the annual music festival at Peeru’s Café.

This time, the event is being taken to small cities. The festival began on April 21 at the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Islamabad, and would move on to Multan on April 24. From April 25 to 27, the performances will be presented in Lahore. The festival will conclude on April 30 at the Beach View Garden, Karachi. Continue reading

Lahore – A visit to Bibi Pak Daman

Guest post by Destitute Rebel
The city of Lahore in Pakistan is known for its rich culture, Forts & Grand Mosques, its food and music are world famous, Also famous are the sufi saints who hailed from this city or came here to live and were burried here, among the more famous shrines of Lahore are Data Darbar the Shrine of Hazrat Ali Hajweri Syed Abul Hassan Bin Usman Bin Ali Al-Hajweri the famous Sufi saint of Persian origion, The shrine of Gamey Shah, The tomb of Baba Shah Jamal and Bibi Pak Daman.Although I’m not very religious I decided to go visit Bibi Pak Daman as the legend behind this particular shrine was quite interesting. Bibi Pak Daman is famous for being the shrine of 6 Ladies from the household of the Prophet Mohammed, Including Ruqayah binte Ali the daughter of Hazrat Ali the forth caliph of Islam the othe five graves are said to be those of hazrat Muslim bin Aqeel’s sisters and daughters. Legend has it that these ladies were traveling alone after the events at karbala and when the reached Lahore the ruler at that time tried to arrest them because the were gaining a following and not wanting that, Bibi Pak Daman prayed to God and asked him to open the earth and take them in, when the soldiers came to arrest them the earth split into two and they went in only a little of the Dupatta (scarf) of Bibi Ruqayah remained and when the lead soldier tried to get hold of that it too slid into the soil, Thus the name Bibi Pak Daman meaning even the scarf of the lady was pure and thus could not be touched.

The Mazar is the end to a busy and colorfull street full of shops selling religious literature, multimedia and prayer beads among other things

More news on Mela Chiraghan

Daily Times reporting: Three-day annual Urs celebrations of one of the greatest Punjabi Sufi poets and dancing fakir of Lahore Hazrat Shah Hussain began at his shrine in Baghbanpura near the Shalimar Gardens on Saturday.

The celebrations are popularly known as Mela Chiraghan or the Festival of Lights.

Saturday was a local holiday. Thousands of devotees from the nook and corner of the country and abroad thronged the shrine of Shah Hussain on the first day of the celebrations.

The illustrious son of Lahore, Shah Hussain, was born in 1538 to a convert weavers’ family. He is known for his love for a Brahmin boy, Madho or Madho Lal, and they are often referred to as a single person with a composite name of Madho Lal Hussain. Madho’s grave lies next to the Shah Hussain’s in the shrine. Shah Hussain is the pioneer of Kafi form of Punjabi poetry.

During the three-day Urs celebrations, the whole of Baghbanpura and localities close to it buzz with different colourful activities and an atmosphere of ecstacy and joy prevails. Dhammal to beats of Dhol becomes a common sight. Devotees light candles for fulfillment of their prayers and wishes. They also distribute charity food and set up milk and sharbat sabeel. They also lay floral wreaths and chaddar at the graves of Shah Hussain and Madho Lal Hussain.

Women also perform dhammal as a ritual. One of the three-days is made exclusive for women who come in large numbers to the shrine.

A large number of foreigners also visit the shrine. Folk singers hailing from different parts of the country spend days and nights at the shrine and sing Kafis of Shah Hussain. In one of his Kafis Shah Hussain he says “I dance because the doubt has vanished; I’m full of faults and without any quality.”

Prominent among those who visited the shrine on Saturday included US Consulate Principal Officer Bryan D Hunt who visited the shrine to pay homage to Shah Hussain and laid floral wreath and chaddar at his grave. On the occasion, he said that the saints and sufis always taught and promoted peace, love,religious tolerance and brotherhood in the world. He said that teachings of Hazrat Madhu Lah should be promoted and practiced to bring peace and tolerance to society. Punjab Auqaf Secretary Raees Abbas Zaidi and Religious Affair Director-General Dr Tahir Raza formally inaugurated the three-day Urs by laying floral wreaths at the graves od Shah Hussian and Madho Lal Hussain shrine. The Aauqaf Deparment also organised a Mehfil-e-Samma and musical gatherings.

Mela Chiraghan starts today

From the NEWS

MELA Chiraghan (the festival of lamps) will start Saturday (today) at the shrine of Hazrat Shah Hussain (RA), adjacent to the Shalamar Bagh.

It is one of grand events in the provincial capital and hundreds of thousands of devotees from all over the country take part in the festivity. Traditionally, devotees light Chiraghs (lamps) at the shrine.

Shah Hussain, commonly known as the poet of love, was born in 1538 AD. He was a radical thinker and his poetry and writing spellbind the audience at the shrine illuminated by thousands of lamps and candles.

“Mai ne Main Kinon Aakhan,” “Mahi Mahi Kookdi”, “Rabba Meray Hal Da Mehram Toon”, “Mandi Han Kay Changi Han Sahab Teri Bandi Han” and “Mein Vi Jhok Ranjhan Di Jana Nal Meray Koi Challay” are among some of his famous kafees.

He was the first Punjabi Sufi poet whose writings were a mixture of five languages i.e. Punjabi, Pothohari, Hindi, Persian and Arabic. His kafees are so simple that one understands his message without any difficulty. “Knowing God by knowing ourselves” is the main theme of his poetry. His work is romantic and has all symbols of rich romantic traditions.

Dr Mohan Singh Diwana collected 163 of his kafees and according to his findings, Shah Hussain was a true scholar and intellectual. Some researchers wrote that Guru Nanak was the first poet who wrote kafees in Punjabi language but, the kafees of Shah Hussain, Bullhey Shah, Sachal Sarmast, Khawaja Ghulam Farid and Pir Qutab Ali Shah are gems of Punjabi literature. The present marble-domed memorial of the Sufi, situated at Baghbanpura, near the Shalamar Gardens, does not appear to be old. It is said that after his death in 1599 AD, Shah Hussain was buried at Shahdara, situated on the western bank of the Ravi. But a few years later, the tomb was swept away by a flood. Then, it was shifted to the present site.

About 50 years ago, the festival was held on the lawns of the Shalamar Gardens, but the government of Ayub Khan banned it and it was shifted to the shrine of Madhu, a disciple of Lal Hussain. His kafees have been sung by lovers of Sufi poetry for centuries. His poetry will continue to mesmerise the next generations with its message of peace and love.

Drummers perform at the shrine and youths and women dance to a deafening beat. Besides the grave of Shah Hussain under the same dome, there is a grave of Madhu Lal, a son of a Hindu Brahmin, with whom the saint was deeply attached. Therefore, a large number of Hindus also come to attend his Urs.

Devotees, sitting in and around the shrine, attribute a number of karamat (miracles) to Shah Hussain. One may or may not believe them, but none can deny the literary genius of the saint. Even today, his poetry attracts a great audience.

The festival attracts a large number of artistes who sing his kafees and dance to the drums. Locals said the shrine was a focal point for celebrating Basant before partition. Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to celebrate the festival of Basant at the tomb. Once, Maharaja gave robes of honour to all his cabinet members and ordered them to reach the tomb in Basanti dresses. The infantry was ordered to dress in the same colour and stand on both sides of the road from the Fort to the tomb.

One of the attractions of the festival is its bazaar. In the past, it was a major point of buying and selling, but presently it has been reduced to the sale of general goods, toys, edibles, garments and bangles.

“On the first day of the Mela, processions which come to pay homage to the great saint are worth seeing, especially after dusk. One is possessed by the drumbeat and feels like dancing dhamaal with dervishes,” Muhammad Naeem, a resident of Gujranwala, said. He said he come to Lahore to attend the festival every year.

“I came from Nawabshah with my family to participate in the festival,” a half-naked young man, sitting beside a small fire, said. He was wearing chains of big and small stones and putting ash on his body. He said he and his group worshipped fire and they attended the festival every year.

Hundreds of people were sitting in the graveyard around the shrine, while a large number of people were also seen sleeping on the graves. Tents were erected in the open place around the shrine where hundreds of people, mostly youths, were openly smoking Charas and drinking Bhang. Some were filling cigarettes with Charas, some were puffing at them and others were preparing Bhang. The festival will continue till Monday.
 
 
 

SHAH HUSAIN OF LAHORE

In response to a question by Danish Mustafa I am posting this fabulous article by a leading scholar-poet found here.
By: Najm Hosain Syed

From his book: Recurrent Patterns In Punjabi Poetry


In the new Lahore lies buried Shah Husain and with him lies buried the myth of Lal Husain. Still, at least once a year we can hear the defused echoes of the myth. As the lights glimmer on the walls of Shalamar, the unsophisticated rhythms of swinging bodies and exulting voices curiously insist on being associated with Husain. This instance apparently defies explanation. But one is aware that an undertone of mockery pervades the air – released feet mocking the ancient sods of Shalamar and released voices mocking its ancient walls. Husain too, the myth tells us, danced a dance of mockery in the ancient streets of Lahore. Grandson of a convert weaver, he embarrassed every one by aspiring to the privilege of learning what he revered guardians of traditional knowledge claimed to teach.

Then again, fairly late in life, he embarrassed every one by refusing to believe in the knowledge he had received from others, and decided to know for himself. He plucked the forbidden fruit anew.

The myth of Lal Husain has lived a defused, half-conscious life in the annual Fare of Lights. The poetry of shah Husain which was born out of common songs of the people of the Punjab has kept itself alive by becoming a part of those very songs. In recent past, the myth of Madhu Lal Husain and the poetry of Husain have come to be connected. But the time for the myth to become really alive in our community is still to come.

Husain s poetry consists entirely of short poems known as “Kafis.” A typical Husain Kafi contains a refrain and some rhymed lines. The number of rhymed lines is usually from four to ten. Only occasionally a more complete form is adopted. To the eye of a reader, the structure of a “Kafi” appears simple. But the “Kafis” of Husain are not intended for the eye. They are designed as musical compositions to be interpreted by the singing voice. The rhythm in the refrain and in the lines are so balanced and counterpointed as to bring about a varying, evolving musical pattern. Continue reading