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Islamic Ideology ( 19 Jun 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Sufi love: Ishq-majazi to Ishq-haqiqi

 A Hindustan Times Feature

Mysticism is the pivotal point of Sufi poetry. Like in Vedanta, Sufis believe that God is there in every human being but He is hidden from us by khudi (ego), called aham in Hindu scripture.


Therefore, it is necessary to kill khudi before becoming one with the Supreme. The path chosen by Sufis for this purpose is Ishq-Majazi to Ishq Haqiqi.


In Ishq-majazi lovers have normal earthly feelings of joy, pain, agony and ecstasy. In Ishq-Haqiqi the lover is human and the beloved is God.


But they do not ask for worldly comforts, they do not yearn for heaven nor are they afraid of hell. They seek only the enchanting sight of the Lord (beloved).


This emotion is beautifully expressed by the famous Sufi poetess Rabia-Al-Basri: "If I love thee for fear of hell/Put me in the fires of hell/If I love thee for the sake of heaven/Deprive me of bliss for all time/My love for thee is thine alone/I yearn for thy communion / Withhold not thy everlasting beauty from me." In describing Ishq Majazi Punjabi Sufi poets have used the lovelore of Heer, daughter of the mighty Sayal clan and Ranjha, the scion of Takht Hazara.


In Ishq Haqiqi Heer symbolises man and Ranjha, God. Sultan Bahu says that Ishq Majazi is the flower and Ishq Haqiqi is its fruit.


Bulle Shah thus describes Heer and Ranjha's metaphorical union: "Yesterday I was away from Ranjha / Today I have become one with my Lord / Friends do not call me Heer / Call me Ranjha."Often the Sufis in Wajd (trance), wearing a long skirt and a cylindrical cap as shown in the movie Jodha Akbar danced, saying : "O physician / Come and feel my pulse / I am dying / My Lord has made me dance to exhaustion.


“‘Shah Hussain' even sang: "I am a gopi / a devotee from Vrindavan. The dark complexioned Krishna is my bosom friend.


“At one point he says: "Get up, lazybones /It is the time to singing the praises of Rama.".


Source: Hindustan Times, New Delhi