POETRY SESSION IN PRAISE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (PBUH)
to Noor Amrohavi for organizing the 10th Annual Naatia Mushaira. Naat
is songs sung in praise of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and it’s fairly
similar to Christmas Carols for Christians, Hanuman Chalisa for Hindus
or Shabad in praise of Guru Nanak. Its human desire to praise and
appreciate someone they admire and it is in every religious tradition. I
am making references to these traditions solely with the intention of
giving an idea what Naat is all about.
celebration of Prophet’s birthday is not an Islamic religious
tradition, it is very much a big part of Indian and Pakistani culture.
It has reached out to Philippines on the east and Guyana on the west and
now the entire world. They all do sing in Urdu language. There are men
and women (yes!) who specialize in singing Naats and they go around the
world to sing – and it’s mesmerizing!
What was different this
time was the presence of Dr. Satya Pal Anand. A teacher in English, Urdu
and Hindu languages and has remarkable command in Arabic and Farsi. He
shared the origins of Ghazal (poetry format) in pre Islamic Arabia – the
style of poetry that is written with a near perfect balance and sung
with a certain style, eventually it has filtered down to the Ghazal
format in the Subcontinent. I was thrilled to hear him talk about the
Prophet as a Non-Muslim, and I loved that view. It’s devoid of
sentimentalism and the traditional recycled language, and full of new
expressions and new perspectives.
Dr. Anand made my day, when he
talked about Naat in Nazm style – meaning it does not have strictures
of the traditional Naat format (balance, length etc), as I wrote a Naat
in that style. I did not complete it, due to the expectations of
compliance to the format. But glad to hear the master talk about it. It
will now open up the avenues for people of Dallas to express in
prose-poetry format as he called it. It was a good learning experience.
If any of you hear his name, please do attend it, it’s worth your
It was also a joy to me personally, when Dr. Anand said he
has been to every place of worship, and I must proudly say, that I have
been to every religious places of worship including Pagan, Native
Americans, Wicca and other traditions. It’s so beautiful to see the
devotion in each individual towards his or her creator.
proud of Dallas/ Fort Worth; we have some of the nation’s best poets.
It’s a joy to hear them out. Since, I do not have the entire list of
poets; I will just mention a few, hoping to add all the names later.
Syed Yunus Ijaz who was also the master of ceremonies, Tariq Hashmi,
Dr. Qaisar Abbas, Saeed Qureshi, Masood Quazi, Noor Amrohvi, Shah Asar
Alam, Zohra Chisti, Shamsa Qureshi, and a lady from Houston……. The event
was presided by Mr. Khanzada, who headed the Karachi Press Association.
Zahid Khanzada will be sharing this event on Geo TV and many a News
papers; he is a reporter for many news outlets. We will also get to see
some great pictures from Zia Khan who has been taking pictures of
community events in Dallas for the last 20 years.
The other good
part of this event that appealed to me was Mr. Javed Samuell and Irum
Gill who are part sponsors of this event – this is the kind of thing we
need to see, serving and supporting without barriers. My hats off to
Javed and Irum, this is the culture we need to nourish. It increases the
sensitivities of people to be more caring of each other.
to Noor Amrohavi, this was a great program and he has a great team of
volunteers that managed the event well. God willing, we will have
another small event on Friday, February 21, 2014 – Naat to be recited
and sung by men and women. Please look up at www.UrduHindi.net.
don’t forget Saturday, March 29, 2014 – Pluralism Poetry Session in
Urdu and Hindi. If you are interested in literary event, all you have
to do is, submit your email address at the top right box “UPDATES BY
EMAIL” and you’ll get automatic updates.
Please note – I have
avoided using the titles and words like Saheb, Bhai, Bahen etc, as I am
writing this for general public. I am sure I have missed a lot of names
– but that is not my job, as a community Activist and a Pluralist, when
I get a chance, I share things, particularly when I see pluralism and
pluralistic attitudes in place or to encourage it. You are welcome to
write your comments at the bottom of this note to complete what is
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a
writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work
place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers
pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in
Standing up for others
and a book with the same title is coming up. Mike has a strong presence on
national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on
Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to
the Texas Faith Column at Dallas
Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and
several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work
through many links.