Haqiqat al-Fuqara: Poetic Biography of “Madho Lal” Hussayn (Persian)

Hussayn’s Poems (Punjabi)
  • Scott Kugle
  • Aditya Behl


Sufi mystic Shah Hussayn was born ca. 1539 into a Muslim weaver family. When he was about ten years old, he was initiated into the Qadiri Sufi lineage by Shaikh Bahlul Darya’i, who lived in Chiniot, a village outside Lahore. He lived as a mendicant student, wandering in the empty lands outside the city walls by day and returning to stay at the shrine of Lahore’s patron saint, Ali Hujwiri, by night. At the age of thirty-six he had a profound spiritual experience while studying the Quran, when his teacher Sa’dullah recited the verse, “the life of the world is nothing but play and pleasurable distraction.”1 Hussayn immediately resolved to throw off all constraints of piety and instead to live like a child at play, abandoning hypocrisy and ambition as well as fear of social disrepute.


City Wall Sparkling Wine Police Chief Religious Scholar Drinking Wine 
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  1. 13.
    Translated by Aditya Behl from Abdul Majid Bhatti, ed. Kafiyan Shah Husain (Lahore: Punjabi Adabi Academy, 1961)Google Scholar
  2. 18.
    Lajwanti Ramakrishna, Punjabi Sufi Poets: AD 1460–1900 (New Delhi: Ashajanak Publications, 1973), 32–46.Google Scholar
  3. A. Rauf Luther, Madho Lal Hussayn: Sufi Poet of the Punjab (Lahore: Shaykh Mubarak Ali, 1982)Google Scholar
  4. Najm Hosain Syed, Recurrent Patterns in Punjabi Poetry (Lahore: Majlis Shah Husain, 1968).Google Scholar
  5. 19.
    Shuja al-Haqq, A Forgotten Vision: A Study of Human Spirituality in the Light of the Islamic Traditions, 2 vols. (New Delhi: Vikas, 1997) 2: 219–34.Google Scholar
  6. S. A. A. Rizvi, History of Sufism in India (Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1978, reprinted 1986) vol. 2: 64–65Google Scholar
  7. 20.
    Yogi Sikand, “Martyr for Gay Love,” Bombay Dost, 4: 4 (1998): 8–9.Google Scholar
  8. 23.
    See Aijaz al-Haqq Qudusi, Tazkirah-i Sufiya-i Punjab (Lahore: Salman Academy, 1962)Google Scholar
  9. 25.
    See Fazl Ahmad Jiyuri, trans., Azkar-i Abrar: Urdu Translation of Gulzar-i Abrar (Lahore: Islamic Book Foundation, 1975), 458.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Kugle
  • Aditya Behl

There are no affiliations available

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