Bulleh Shah

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Syed Abdullah Shah Qadri
"Bulleh Shah"
سید عبداللہ شاہ قادری
BullehShah.jpg
Personal
Born
Syed Abdullah Shah Qadri

c. 1680 CE
Diedc. 1757 CE (aged 77)
Kasur, Bhangi Misl, Sikh Confederacy
(present-day Punjab, Pakistan)
Resting placeKasur, Punjab
ReligionIslam
Parents
  • Shah Muhammad Darwaish (father)
  • Fatima Bibi (mother)
Main interest(s)Tassawuf, ishq, philosophy, poetry, divine love
TariqaQadiri-Shattari
  • Also venerated by many Sikhs
PhilosophySufism
  • Also venerated by many Sikhs

Syed Abdullah Shah Qadri[1] (Punjabi: سید عبداللہ شاہ قادری (Shahmukhi); ਸੱਈਦ ਅਬਦੁੱਲਾਹ ਸ਼ਾਹ ਕ਼ਾਦਰੀ (Gurmukhi); 1680–1757), known popularly as Bulleh Shah (Punjabi: بُلّھے شاہ (Shahmukhi); ਬੁੱਲ੍ਹੇ ਸ਼ਾਹ (Gurmukhi)) and Bulleya, was a Punjabi philosopher and Sufi poet during 17th-century Punjab. His ancestors had migrated from Bukhara (modern-day Uzbekistan) some three hundred years earlier.[2] His first spiritual teacher was Shah Inayat Qadiri, a Sufi murshid of Lahore. He was a mystic poet and is universally regarded as "The Father of Punjabi Enlightenment". He lived and was buried in Kasur.

Biography[edit]

He was born in 1680 in Uch, Multan province, Mughal Empire (present day Punjab, Pakistan).[2] Bulleh Shah was an eminent scholar of Arabic and Persian.[2] After his early education, he went to Lahore where he met Inayat Qadri, and became his disciple.[1]

Bulleh Shah's father, Shah Muhammad Darwaish, was well-versed in Arabic, Persian, and the Quran.[2] Due to uncertain reasons, he had to move to Malakwal, a village of Sahiwal. Later, when Bulleh Shah was six years old, his family moved to Pandoke, which is 50 miles southeast of Kasur. Bulleh Shah was schooled by his father, along with the other children of the village. Most sources confirm that Bulleh Shah had to work as a child and adolescent herder in the village. It is confirmed that he received his higher education in Kasur. Some historians claim that Bulleh Shah received his education at a highly reputed madrassa run by Hafiz Ghulam Murtaza where he taught for some time after his graduation. After his early education, he went to Lahore where he met Inayat Arian, and became his disciple.[1][3]

He died in 1757, at the age of 77 and was buried in Kasur, where he had spent most of his life. A dargah was built over his grave. He was declared non-Muslim by a few literalist "Mullah" of Kasur and they had claimed it was prohibited to offer the funeral prayer of Bulleh Shah due to Kufr fatwa (allegations) put on him by extremists. His funeral prayer was led by Qazi Hafiz Syed Zahid Hamdani, a great religious personality of Kasur.[4]

He was buried in Kasur when he died in 1757.[5] There is a clean and very huge veranda which leads to the Tomb of Baba Bulleh Shah as you enter the shrine. The ceiling of shrine is decorated with the verses of Bulleh Shah in elegant calligraphy.

Poetry[edit]

Bulleh Shah lived after the Punjabi Sufi poet and saint Fariduddin Ganjshakar (1179–1266) and lived in the same period as other Punjabi Sufi poet Sultan Bahu (1629–1691). His lifespan also overlapped with the Punjabi poet Waris Shah (1722–1799), of Heer Ranjha fame and the Sindhi Sufi poet Abdul Wahab (1739–1829), better known by his pen name Sachal Sarmast. Amongst Urdu poets, Bulleh Shah lived 400 miles away from Mir Taqi Mir (1723–1810) of Delhi.[4]

Bulleh Shah practised the Sufi tradition of Punjabi poetry established by poets like Shah Hussain (1538–1599), Sultan Bahu (1629–1691), and Shah Sharaf (1640–1724).[4]

The verse form Bulleh Shah primarily employed is the Kafi, popular in Punjabi and Sindhi poetry.[1]

Many people have put his Kafis to music, from humble street-singers to renowned Sufi singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Fareed Ayaz, Pathanay Khan, Abida Parveen, the Waddali Brothers and Sain Zahoor, from the synthesised techno qawwali remixes of UK-based Asian artists to the Pakistani rock band Junoon.[5]

Modern renderings[edit]

Bands and albums[edit]

In the 1990s, Junoon, a rock band from Pakistan, rendered his poems "Bullah Ki Jaana" and "Aleph" ("Ilmon Bas Kareen O Yaar"). In 2004, Indian musician Rabbi Shergill turned the abstruse metaphysical poem "Bullah Ki Jaana" into a rock/fusion song in his debut album Rabbi; the song was a chart-topper in 2005, helping the album to eventually sell over 10,000 copies and became immensely popular in India and Pakistan.[6][7]

The Wadali Bandhu, a Punjabi Sufi group from India, have also released a version of "Bullah Ki Jaana" in their album Aa Mil Yaar... Call of the Beloved. Another version was performed by Lakhwinder Wadali and entitled "Bullah".[citation needed] Dama Dam Mast Qalandar, a qawwali composed in honour of Shahbaz Qalandar, has been one of Bulleh Shah's most popular poems and has been frequently rendered by many Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi singers including Noor Jehan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen, Sabri Brothers, Wadali brothers, Reshman and Runa Laila. Other qawwali songs by Bulleh Shah, include "Sade Vehre Aya Kar" and "Mera Piya Ghar Aaya".[5] In 2008, a version of Bulleh Shah's famous verse, Aao Saiyo Ral Deyo Ni Wadhai, was sung by Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, for his debut solo album, Tabeer. Ali named the song "Bulleh Shah" in honor of the poet.

Also in 2016, a collaboration between two EDM artists (Headhunterz and Skytech) named "Kundalini" used words created by Bulleh Shah, as well as having the words Bulleh Shah in the lyrics.[8] Bulleh Shah's verses have been an inspiration to painters as well, as in the two series of paintings (Jogia Dhoop and Shah Shabad) by an Indian painter Geeta Vadhera inspired by the poetry of Bulleh Shah and other Sufi poets and saints. In 2017, British Pakistani singer Yasir Akhtar used Bulleh Shah's poetry in his song "Araam Naal Kar – Take it Easy".[9][10] In 2019, Sona Mohapatra used a Kalam of Bulleh Shah in her song "R.A.T Mashup".[citation needed]

Films[edit]

The 1973 movie Bobby song by Narendra Chanchal starts with the verse Beshaq mandir masjid todo, Bulleh Shah ye kahta. Some of Bulleh Shah's verses, including "Tere Ishq Nachaya", have been adapted and used in Bollywood film songs including "Chaiyya Chaiyya" and "Thayya Thayya" in the 1998 film Dil Se.., "Tere Ishq Nachaya" in the 2002 film Shaheed-E-Azam and "Ranjha Ranjha" in the 2010 film Raavan.[5] The 2007 Pakistani movie Khuda Kay Liye includes Bulleh Shah's poetry in the song "Bandeya Ho". The 2008 Bollywood film, A Wednesday, included a song titled "Bulle Shah, O Yaar Mere". In 2014, Ali Zafar sung some of his verses as "Chal Buleya" for Bollywood soundtrack album Total Siyapaa, and the song was reprised by Zafar same year in Pakistan Idol.[11] The 2016 Bollywood films "Sultan" and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil feature the song "Bulleya", sung by Papon and Amit Mishra respectively, which is short for Bulleh Shah.[citation needed] Poetry of Bulleh Shah was also used in 2015 film Wedding Pullav composed by Salim–Sulaiman.[5] A song "Hun Kis Theen" based on his poetry was also featured in Punjabi animated film Chaar Sahibzaade: Rise of Banda Singh Bahadur.[12]

Coke Studio (Pakistan)[edit]

In 2009, the season 2 of Coke Studio featured "Aik Alif" performed by Sain Zahoor and Noori. Ali Zafar also used some of Bulleh Shah and Shah Hussain's verses in his "Dastan-e-Ishq".[13] In 2010, the season 3 featured "Na Raindee Hai" and "Makke Gayaan Gal Mukdi Nahi" performed by Arieb Azhar. In 2012, Shah's poetry was featured with Hadiqa Kiani performing "Kamlee".[14] In 2016, Ahmed Jahanzeb and Umair Jaswal performed "Khaki Banda";[15] and Rizwan Butt and Sara Haider performed "Meri Meri",[16] In third episode of season 11 Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad Qawal & Brothers performed a Qawwali based on Kalam by Bulleh Shah.[17] In season 12 Hadiqa Kiani used verses of Bulleh Shah in the song "Daachi Waaleya".[18]

Legacy[edit]

In 2012, the government of Punjab, most populous province of Pakistan, renamed an important road in the provincial capital Lahore to "Bulleh Shah Road".[19] In 2021, the government of Pakistan also approved his name for a road in the country.[20] Pakistan's "largest renewable packaging facility" is also named after him.[21] In 2007, Pakistani senator Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed raised the proposal for establishment of Bulleh Shah University in Kasur.[22][23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d J.R. Puri and T.R. Shangari. "The Life of Bulleh Shah". Academy of the Punjab in North America (APNA) website. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Kumar, Raj (2008). Encyclopaedia of Untouchables, Ancient, Medieval and Modern. Delhi, India: Kalpaz Publications. p. 190. ISBN 978-81-7835-664-8. OCLC 277277425. It is said that from among the ancestors of Bulleh Shah, Sayeed Jalaluddin Bukhari came to Multan from Surakh-Bukhara three hundred years earlier. [...] Bulleh Shah's father, Shah Mohammed Dervish, was well versed in Arabic, Persian and the holy Qura'n. [...] There is a strong historical evidence to show that Bulleh Shah was an eminent scholar of Arabic and Persian.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  3. ^ "Bulleh Shah". Sufi Poetry. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Zia, Sidra (17 June 2019). "My visit to Bulleh Shah's tomb made me feel an otherworldly sense of peace". Dawn. Pakistan. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Bulleh Shah's poetry in present day". Times Of India. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  6. ^ Zeeshan Jawed (4 June 2005). "Soundscape for the soul". The Telegraph (Kolkata newspaper). Calcutta. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  7. ^ Bageshree S. (11 April 2005). "Urban balladeer". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Headhunterz & Skytech – Kundalini (Official Music Video)". 10 May 2016. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2020 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Yasir Akhtar | Araam Naal Kar – Take it Easy ft.Martay M'Kenzy (Official Video)". Yasir Akhtar. 3 February 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 16 February 2017 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "Yasir Akhtar, the singing sensation, is back with 'Aram Nal Kar'". Tanveer Khatana. 11 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017 – via Geo News.
  11. ^ "Lady Dada's Nightmare – I | Instep". The News International. 15 June 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Sikh history hasn't been documented well and some of the versions available are inaccurate | Cities News,The Indian Express". The Indian Express. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Dastaan-e-ishq, Ali Zafar – BTS, Coke Studio Pakistan, Season 2". Rohail Hyatt. 23 June 2009. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ Ata ur Rehman (12 May 2012). "Hadiqa Kiani Kamlee, Coke Studio Season 5 Episode 1". Pakium.com. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Watch Coke Studio 9 Episode 3 promo | the News Teller". Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Watch Coke Studio 9 Episode 6 | the News Teller". Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  17. ^ "Coke Studio releases third episode of Season 11". The Nation. Pakistan. 25 August 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Coke Studio brings love ballads and Sufi poetry from top stars | Pakistani Cinema". Gulf News. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  19. ^ Hasnain, Khalid (31 January 2013). "Roads, intersections' naming: Shahbaz approves CDGL's summary". DAWN.COM. Dawn. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  20. ^ Hasnain, Khalid (16 August 2021). "Lahore streets, intersections to be named after famous personalities". DAWN.COM. Dawn. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  21. ^ "Home". www.bullehshah.com.pk. Bulleh Shah Packaging (Pvt.) Limited. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  22. ^ "Demand for Bulleh Shah university". DAWN.COM. Dawn. 27 August 2007. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  23. ^ Shaikh, Ahsan ul haq (9 January 2022). "UNIVERSITY IN CHUNIAN". DAWN.COM. Dawn. Retrieved 27 July 2022.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Works online[edit]