The Seven Queens of Sindh

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Seven Queens is a name given to the seven female poetic characters that appears in the poetry of great Sindhi Sufi Poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai for the expression of his mystical ideas and experiences. These characters are given the status of royalty in his poetic compendium Shah Jo Risalo.[clarification needed] These Seven Queens, or heroines, are celebrated throughout Sindh for their positive qualities: Honesty, Integrity, Piety and Loyalty. They were also valued for their bravery and their willingness to risk their lives in the name of love. The Seven Queens mentioned in Shah Jo Risalo are: Marui, Momal, Sassi, Noori, Sohni, Lilan, and Sorath. In his poetry Shah has alluded in elaborate way to these characters of Sindhi folktales and used them as metaphors for high spiritual life.

These tragic romantic tales are Momal Rano, Umar Marvi, Sohni Mahiwal, Lilan Chanesar, Noori Jam Tamachi, Sassi Punhun and Sorath Rai Diyach or Seven Queens (Sindhi: ست مورميون ) of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.[1][2][3] Heer Ranjha and Mirza Sahiba, including Sohni Mahiwal and Sassi Punnun are the four other tales from Punjab, narrated in Punjabi by various other Sufi poets like Waris Shah. Sassi Punnun and Sohni Mahiwal are culturally included in both Punjabi and Sindhi traditions. These nine tragic romances from South Asia (all from nowadays Pakistan)have become part of the cultural identity of Pakistan and West Punjab.[4]

According to the writer Bina Shah, the significance of the Seven Queens can be understood in this way: "Perhaps what Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai saw in his tales of these women was an idealized view of womanhood, but the truth remains that the Seven Queens inspired women all over Sindh to have the courage to choose love and freedom over tyranny and oppression"{.[5] The lines from the Risalo describing their trials are sung at Sufi shrines all over Sindh, and everyday by Shah Ja Faqir at the shrine of Shah Abdul Latif at Bhit Shah.

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