Kashmir teacher on Death, Urdu and poetry of Ghalib, story of Ishrat Ali.


My name is Ishrat Ali and I belong
to Kashmir At the moment my age
is reflective of a youth; towards the tail end of youth. My primary education was religious. I have attained the teachings of Koran
and learned it by heart. At the moment I am pursuing
my MA in Arabic. I work in a college in Kashmir. As many people know,
Kashmir is a state of India and India is our country and there are many ethnic groups
who populate it. Hindus, Muslims, Christians
and other people. And here in Kashmir the sweet tongue
is the Urdu language. It is a quite sweet language. But today an injustice is being
done to Urdu. It is being excised from general
use in society and linked to just one part of society, which is unfair. It is the language of our country; it
is our official tongue. Together we have to cherish it. We have to study it as its sweetness
is unmatched by any other language. Gave up my life,
it was granted by Him anyway; The truth is
I couldn’t fulfill the right. So it is a poem by Ghalib. He is actually talking about our life, that it’s given to us by God so that’s why we are talking,
we are eating, we are traveling from one place
to another. And when it comes to human death
then we make a noise about it. So Ghalib is pointing to the same
saying that it was His… and then He took it back. The sad thing is the right which
was given to us was never exercised. The moments of life which were
given to us by God, to spend and keep an eye on good deeds so
these become valuable; we didn’t do it. So that’s why Ghalib is saying we didn’t
stake the claim on this right, it was His and then it’s gone. Mysticism has also been his subject.
He has also done poetry on Mysticism. Mysticism means taking away your
attention from all material things to focus on God – to understand that He has sent us into this world;
why were we sent? And then we have to go somewhere
else eventually. So that is why the moments of life which
have been given to us are preparation. When you travel you don’t prepare for the
journey at the arrival of the ride, but way before that. And that’s the eventuality. One day we
also have to climb that ride before Him, so before that we have do some
preparation. That’s why Hucuma said a person can
be called wise if … he prepares for death before dying,
isn’t that right? So, now the talk will be a little longer, but I seem to remember that there was a king by the name of
Haroon Rashid. And in his time, there was a man
named Behlool. People would call him Behlool Majnoon,
the insane. But in reality he wasn’t majnoon instead
he was quite clever and intelligent. It’s natural that even today in this era
one who leans towards God… is called a mad person, isn’t it? So the story goes like this – King Haroon Rashid once gave Bahlool
a stick and said… “This stick, o Behlool–if you find anybody
stupider than yourself, pass it on to him.” Behlool, being Behlool, took the stick. Time went by. Haroon Rashid was taken ill. When he got severely ill, news reached
Behlool that the great king was not well. He went to enquire about his health,
to check his frame of mind. He asked where is our king?
On his sick bed? So he went to ask the king in person:
How are you? How is your frame of mind? The king replied to Behlool, don’t ask
about my frame of mind, don’t ask how I am doing. For now I am facing a long journey
to a faraway place. Behlool in his majnoon style asked–
O great king, where is your journey to? To this the king replied–Well it’s
the journey to the hereafter. I will be leaving this world and going
on the other side of the world, traveling to the hereafter. Then Behlool asked another question–
When is the King’s return? To that king said–you fool!
That’s why you’re called stupid; I say this is the journey to the
hereafter and you ask when I’m returning?! He who goes there does not return. To that Behlool said–O great king,
then please tell me, what sort of preparation have
you done for the that? How much legions have you sent forth?
How many troops? How many commandos? How many lodgings have you set up? Then the king said:
That’s why you’re called stupid. What forces or lodgings would be of
any use for the ride to the hereafter? Then Behlool said, O great king,
I have one of your belongings and I must return it to you. He took out the stick, gave it to the king, and said–You seem more foolish than I. The king replied, Why? You see, our journey in this world
is only for a short span. Months before a journey we start
preparing, legions are sent forth, troops are sent forth, and
other arrangements are made. And you say you are embarking on
a long voyage; there’s no return. And you haven’t done any preparation,
so who can be more stupid than yourself! That’s why it’s been said–a person can be
called wise if he prepares for death before dying. May God make us capable to draw
lessons from this story. These are the lessons to hold onto. What’s the point of just listening to it
like adornment for the ears? The real purpose of this is to bring it
into your heart. May God make us capable to carry
this with us in our life. Thanks.

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