Urdu Poetry plays a significant role in the tradition associated with Karbala. Shia Muslims commemorate the Battle of Karbala every year in the Islamic month of Muharram to mark grievance to the death of Imam Hussain a.s and his family. According to the tradition, the mourning begins on the first day of the Islamic calendar and then reaches its peak on the 10th of Muharram known as the day of Ashurah. In these days Shia Muslims chant and weep to mark grievance to the death of Imam Hussain, his family, and his followers by conducting Majlis, public processions, rallies and more.
Urdu Poetry has its prominent role in this procession as the chants and speeches recited during this phase are some of the many forms of it. The rich tradition of Urdu poetry has many different forms which were basically originated from Arabic and Persian languages. Today, it is an important part of Islamic culture and is in great demand all over the world.
Some of the forms of Urdu Poetry that play a major role in the rituals of Muharram describing the events of Karbala and importance of the values of the sacrifices Hussain Ibn Ali made for Islam. The four of which are listed here:
Marsiya or elegy is a form of Urdu Poetry which is usually written in six lined stanzas with the rhyme aaaabb marking tribute to the sacrifice of Imam Hussain and his 72 soldiers. This form of poetry is usually recited in the Muharram in the remembrance of the death of Imam Hasan and Imam Husain and their families. A fully developed marsiya is always an epic.
The famous Marsiya writers who have marked their excellence in this genre are Mir Anis, Mir Nawab Ali Munis, Mustafa Meerza Rasheed, Syed Muhammad Mirza Uns, Syed Sajjad Hussain Shadeed Lucknavi, Allama, Gauher Luckhnavi.
Noha is a genre of Arabic, Persian and Urdu prose describing the martyrdom of the Holy Imams and their families. Indeed Noha is the sub part of Marsia that are usually a form of Urdu poetry expressing the sorrow of Shia Muslims for the deaths of their Imams and their sacrifices for the protection of religion Islam. Noha generally means lamentation of the heart.
The famous Noha reciters and writers till today Mir Anis, Syed Nadeem Raza Sarwar, Mir Hassan Mir, Zeeshan Haider, Irfan Haider and more.
Soaz or soz is an elegiac poem written to commemorate the martyrdom and bravery of Hazrat Imam Hussain a.s and his comrades in the battle of Karbala. This form of poetry was adapted from Lucknow, a city in Northern India which is the center of the Shia Muslim community. Soaz is generally written to commemorate the martyrdom of the Ahl al Bayt, Imam Hussain and the tragedies of the Battle of Karbala. Soaz generally means burning of the heart.
Soaz reached its peak with the excellent writing of Mir Babar Ali Anis.
Salaam is also a sub part of Marsiya which is recited as an act of devotion and religious duty to praise and mourn the martyrs of the battle of Karbala. This usually precedes Marsiya in the religious gatherings of Muharram by Shia Muslims.
Certainly, all these forms of Urdu poetry like Marsiya, Noha, Suez and Salam are written with the subject though recited with a distinct rhyming quatrain, and a couplet on a different rhyme. There is a huge collection of this entire where each has its own beauty and charm. These forms are highly being used all over the world in the month of Muharram by Shia community.
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