Special Reports

15th century Persian marsiya on Karbala, translated into Hindi, Urdu

By Syed Asad Haider Zaidi

Agra (15 February, 2015):  “Dawazdeh Band” was the first Marsiya [elegy] written in recorded history describing the sacrifice of Imam Hussain (A.S.) and his family. This Marsiya was written in the 16th century by the Persian poet Mohtashim Kashani. Since this Marsiya was written in Persian, a need was felt to translate it into Urdu and Hindi so that a wider audience could understand this famous Marsiya. Prof. Syed Azizuddin Hussain Hamdani, Director of Rampur Raza Library and former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Languages, Jamia Millia Islamia, started a project to fulfill this need in the form of a book titled Dawazdeh Band-Mohtashim Kashani. This book was released in a programme at the famous Dargah of Shaheed-e-Salis, Qazi Nurullah Shustari (a 16th century scholar), in the historic city of Agra at the invitation of Maulana Shauzab Jarvali.

Imam Hussain (A.S.), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and his family were killed in the Batlle of Karbala by the forces of Yazeed, the tyrant ruler who ruled the Muslims at the time. Many poets have written Marsiyas which describe the tragic events of that battle. One of the earliest Marsiyas was written by Mohtashim Kashani in the 16th century. Mir Anees and Mirza Dabeer, two famous Marsiya writers from India, had taken the art of Marsiya writing to its pinnacle. However, the Marsiya written by Mohtashim Kashani is still well known throughout the Muslim world. It still is recited in its original form during Muharram at Jalali in Aligarh district.

Unfortunately, people having knowledge of Persian have dwindled in modern India and it was imperative to have this Marisya translated into Urdu and Hindi for the future generations. Prof. Azizuddin has included the Urdu translation done by his grandfather late Hakim Syed Riazuddin Hussain Hamdani in this book. The Hindi translation was done by Prof. Balram Shukla of Sanskrit Department, University of Delhi. Prof. Azizuddin has given a detailed introduction about this Marsiya. Another important aspect of his book is the replication of a historic manuscript present in the Rampur Raza Library of this Marsiya. Maulana Shauzab Jarvali thanked Prof. Azizuddin for his effort. Prof. Azizuddin said that the translation by Dr. Balram Shukla is one of the biggest achievements of the 21st century in literature because his translation of the Persian Marsiya in Hindi is also in poetic form. A student of Jamia Millia Islamia, Zaheer Haider presented his thoughts on the occasion.           

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2015 on page no. 13

We hope you liked this report/article. The Milli Gazette is a free and independent readers-supported media organisation. To support it, please contribute generously. Click here or email us at sales@milligazette.com

blog comments powered by Disqus