Waris Shah

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Not to be confused with Waris Ali Shah.
Waris Shah
Native name وارث شاہ
Born 1722 A.D.
Jandiala Sher Khan, Sheikhupura, Punjab
Died 1798 A.D.
Malka Hans, Pakpattan, Punjab
Genre Sufi poetry
Notable works Heer Ranjha-A Classic Book on their love story

Waris Shah (Punjabi: وارث شاہ (shahmukhi), ਵਾਰਿਸ ਸ਼ਾਹ (gurmukhi); 1722–1798) was a Punjabi Sufi poet of Chishti order, renowned for his contribution to Punjabi literature.

He is best known for his seminal poem Heer Ranjha, based on the traditional folk tale of Heer and her lover Ranjha. Heer is considered one of the quintessential works of classical Punjabi literature. The story of Heer was also told by several other writers, including notable versions by Damodar Das, Mukbal, and Ahmed Gujjar, but Waris Shah's version is by far the most popular today and is most widely quoted.[citation needed]

Background[edit]

Waris Shah was born in Jandiala Sher Khan, Punjab, present-day Pakistan into a reputed Sayyid family and was a descendant of Sayyid Muhammad Al-Makki through his son Sayyid Badruddin.[1] His father's name was Gulsher Shah. Waris's parents are said to have died when he was young. Waris acknowledged himself as a disciple of an ustad from Kasur at whose shrine he probably received his education. After completing education Waris moved to Malka Hans, a village twelve kilometres north of Pakpattan. Here he resided in a small room, adjacent to a historic mosque now called Masjid Waris Shah, until his death.

His mausoleum is a place of pilgrimage today, especially for those in love. The mausoleum complex was completed in 1978 and is a mixture of the Lahore School Architecture and Tughlaq Architecture.

Works[edit]

Waris Shah is primarily known as the author of Heer Ranjha whose verse is a treasure-trove of Punjabi phrases, idioms and sayings. His minute and realistic depiction of each detail of Punjabi life and the political situation in the 18th century, remains unique and the entire poem is an album of colourful and enchanting pictures of life in the Punjab, of varied views but always deeply absorbing.[2]

Waris Shah was a consummate artiste, deeply learned in Sufi and domestic cultural lore. It is said[by whom?] that the story of romantic love is a poetic expression of the mystical love of the human soul towards God – the quintessential subject in Sufism and a recurring theme in both Muslim and Hindu mysticism.

Some authors[who?] also suggest that it was Waris Shah's own unrequited love towards a girl named Bhag Bhari that later became the foundation of the poem.

Examples[edit]

Many verses of Waris Shah are widely used in Punjab in a moral context, for instance:[3]

  • Naa adataan jaandiyan ne, Bhavein katiye poriyan poriyan ji (A man never abandons his habits, even if he is hacked to pieces)
  • Waris rann, faqir, talwar, ghora; Chare thok eh kisse de yar nahin (Waris says that woman, mendicant, sword and horse, these the four are never anyone's friends)
  • Waris Shah faqir di aqal kithe; eh pattian ishq padhiyan hun (It is beyond the wisdom of faqeer Waris Shah (to write this verse), (But) these lessons are taught by Love)
  • Eh rooh qalboot da zikr sara nal aqal de mel bulaya ee (This entire reference is about Soul meeting with the Divine, Beloved which has been contrived with great wisdom)

Portrayal in media[edit]

Waris Shah's life has been fictionalised in Punjabi-language films. A 1964 Pakistani film titled Waris Shah featured Inayat Hussain Bhatti in the title role. Another movie on the life of Waris Shah Waris Shah: Ishq Daa Waaris was released in India in 2006 with Gurdas Mann as Waris Shah.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Naqvi, Sayyid Maqsood, ed. (1991). Riaz Al-Ansab. Izhar Sons Printer. p. 684. 
  2. ^ Chopra, R M (1999). Great Sufi Poets of the Punjab. Calcutta: Iran Society. 
  3. ^ From the book Heer Waris Shah (Chatur Singh Jeevan Singh) in Gurmukhi

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Heer Complete Academy of the Punjab in North America website, Retrieved 3 November 2015