By Sadia Dehlvi
Sep 16, 2011
On the 18th of Shawaal (September 19) falls the 707th Urs, death anniversary of Hazrat Amir Khusrau, one of my favourites in Indian medieval history. Unable to bear the grief following the death of his mentor Hazrat Nizamuddin, Khusrau died exactly six months later, in 1325 AD.
The celebrations at the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah will commence a few days prior to the event, where haunting compositions of Khusrau will be sung in the evenings enthralling devotees as they have done for centuries.
Born in 1253 AD at Patiali, Amir Khusrau’s father died when he was just eight years old.
The child was sent to Delhi, where he lived with Imadul Mulk, his grandfather. While commencing his education, Khusrau received a steady flow of cultural stimulation in the capital city.
Brijbhasha, or Khari Boli, was the dialect spoken during Khusrau’s childhood. He picked up Hindi from the local population, and learnt Persian and Turkish at home. Imadul Mulk died when Khusrau was 20 years old; by this time Khusrau had
become a poet of repute, the beloved disciple of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, to whom the court poets of many Delhi sultans remained devoted for life.
Knowing Hazrat Nizamuddin’s affection for Khusrau, other disciples often sought his intercession on different matters. When the shaykh (spiritual master) was displeased with his senior disciple, Khwaja Burhanuddin Gharib, Khusrau secured his pardon. In the same tradition, devotees visiting Hazrat Nizamuddin first visit Khusrau’s dargah and seek his intercession with the great Sufi master.
Once Jalauddin Khalji sought an interview with Hazrat Nizamuddin but was politely refused, for the Sufi stayed away from emperors and politics. The sultan planned an unannounced surprise visit to the Sufis khanqah. Khusrau learnt of the sultans secret plan and informed his mentor. Hazrat Nizamuddin left for Baba Farid’s dargah at Ajodhan. The sultan took Khusrau to task for divulging royal secrets. Khusrau explained, “In disobeying the sultan I stand in danger of losing my life, but in being untrue to my master, I stood in danger of losing my faith.” Impressed by Khusrau’s devotion, the sultan let the incident pass.
Once when Khusrau had accompanied Hazrat Nizamuddin on a stroll, they saw a group of Brahmins praying. The Sufi master remarked:
Har qaum raast rahay deeney va qibla gaahey
(Every people have their direction of worship)
Amir Khusrau spontaneously completed the verse:
Man qabla raast, ber terfe kajkulahey
(My qibla is the direction of the slanting cap)
(Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya used to wear his cap with a slant)
Har aashiqe yaad agar dar qibla gard butkada
Aashaqaane dost raba kufr imaan kar neest.
(Lovers of the Beloved take us to Kaba and to the temple of idols
Lovers of the Friend are not bothered with infidelity and faith.)
Source: The Asian Age, New Delhi