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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Naat Program with Dr. Satya Pal Anand


Thanks 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. Although 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 while.

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.

I am 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.

Raja 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.

Thanks 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.

Please 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 missing.

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.

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