and Bio-data of Participants
Mujahid Husain Husaini
The term ‘Marsia’ has been derived from the Arabic word “Risaa’ which literally means
Lamentation for a Departed Soul. It is equivalent to the English word “ELEGY”. Although, Marsia is a common word which may be used for mourning the death of any near and dear one, but, specifically speaking, it is not used for the form of poetry mostly associated with the memory of the tragic happening of
Karbala. Karbala is the name of a city in Iraq where Hazrat Imam Husain (A.S.) was martyred along with his seventy one relatives and loyal companions on the 10th of Moharram 61 A.H. The tragedy seems to be more horrible and brutal that Hazrat Husain, his followers and his family members remained hungry and thirsty for three consecutive days and nights. Last, but not the least, these inhuman acts were committed by the so-called Muslims, who respected Hazrat Mohd. (S.A.W.) the real grand father of Hazrat Imam Husain as their Prophet. Yes, they had sold their consciences to Yazid, the killer. Urdu
Marsia has history of its own, expanding over one thousand fourteen hundred years. It is but natural that Marsia– goi or the composition of
Marsia originated in Iraq itself in Arabic. From there, it was carried to Iran, where poets like Mohtashim Kashi and Muqbil wrote very impressive
Marsias in Persian. Of course, when this form of poetry came to India, the Urdu poets embraced it for the sake of literary taste, and also with the idea of a religious act. The Deccani Rulers patronized it a lot. When
Marsia reached the Northern India, Urdu poets like Mir Taqi, Sauda, Anis and Dabir worked hard for its perfection. Till this date, they are treated as the Stalwarts. In our time, we know Josh, Jameel Mazhari, Nasim Amrohvi, Ali Raza, Arzoo Lucknowi and Najm Affendi as the best
marsia – writers.
Besides having a religious background, Urdu Marsia possess many other beauties. It has set the standard of Urdu language – Hyderabad, Lucknow & Delhi were the treasure houses of
Marsias. This form is also known for propagating humanism, nobility, moral courage and higher values of life; it was the
Marsia which brought the awareness of exploitation, dictatorship and misrule. Mahatma Gandhi declared that his theory of non-violence was based on the great tragedy of Karbala only.
Marsia is a heroic poem, a descriptive poem, a dramatic poem and a form of poetry, which is absolutely divine in nature. It truly asked for a detailed study.
SYED MUJAHID HUSAIN HUSAINI Professor and Head, Department of Urdu, M.D.P.G. College, University of Bombay is adisciple of poet Nawab Mirza Jafar Ali Khan ‘Asar’ Lucknovi and Professor; he has published
Just-O-Joo; Arzoo Lucknovi; Dr. Iqbal the Patriot (in Hindi).
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