Mir Babr 'Ali 'Anis' (1802-1874)

jab qa:t(( kii masaafat-e shab aaftaab ne

his most famous mar;siyah

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C. M. Naim, *"The Art of the Urdu Marsiya"* (1983)

Teaching materials prepared at SOAS during the 1970's:
(preserved by FWP, and presented here through the generous permission of Christopher Shackle):

*A note on transcription*
*The Battle of Karbala*
*Anis and the Marsiya*
*Characters of the Marsiya*

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An outline provided by Naim (pp. 105-106), linked to the SOAS teaching materials:
(with necessary small adjustments in verse numbers):

I. At the first signs of dawn, the Imam awakens his companions; they gather for the morning prayer, each of them a paragon of spiritual virtues-- stanzas 1-10, a maajraa , containing some elements of saraapaa too

II. A description of the morning in the wilderness, nature itself sings praises of the Creator-- stanzas 11-21, a chahrah

III. Ali Akbar, the Imam's eldest son, says the call for the prayers; his aunt, Zainab, who particularly loves him, cries out in anguish and premonition-- stanzas 22-26, maajraa number one continues

== *TEXT* == *GLOSSARY* == *TRANSLATION*, for stanzas 1-26 ==

IV. On the Imam's side there is a congregational prayer, on the enemy's side preparations for battle; as the Imam ends the prayer some arrows fall near him, making him anxious about the children; he goes into the tents to bid farewell to the ladies-- stanzas 27-40, the end of maajraa number one, the beginning of a ru;x.sat

V. Abbas, the Imam's half-brother, stands guard at the door-- stanzas 41-42, a saraapaa of Abbas

VI. The Imam asks Zainab to bring him the relics of his ancestors (the robes of the Prophet, the sword of Ali, etc.) and gets ready-- stanzas 43-53, maajraa number two, containing also a saraapaa of Husain

== *TEXT* == *GLOSSARY* == *TRANSLATION*, for stanzas 27-53 ==

VII. The banner of the Imam is brought forth and the young sons of Zainab beg her to recommend their names to the Imam as standard-bearers; she scolds them-- stanzas 54-68, maajraa number three

VIII. The Imam praises the children of Zainab, then at her recommendation sends for Abbas, to give him the banner-- stanzas 69-74, the end of maajraa number three, the beginning of maajraa number four

== *TEXT* == *GLOSSARY* == *TRANSLATION*, for stanzas 54-74 ==

IX. Abbas takes the banner; Husain's youngest daughter, Sakina, asks Abbas to bring her some water from the river; Husain and Abbas leave the tents-- stanzas 75-88, the end of maajraa number four; a ru;x.sat

X. The martial aspects of the Imam and his companions; they are praised by the Houris-- stanzas 89-96, a saraapaa

== *TEXT* == *GLOSSARY* == *TRANSLATION*, for stanzas 75-96 ==

XI. The Imam's enemies start the battle; his companions go out to fight and are killed one after another; the Imam brings each corpse back to the tents-- stanzas 97-107, maajraa number five

XII. It is mid-afternoon and the Imam is all alone; he goes into the tents to take a final look at his infant son, Ali Asghar; a deliberately shot arrow kills the infant in the Imam's lap; the Imam buries the tiny body-- stanzas 108-111, maajraa number six

XIII. The Imam comes to the battlefield-- stanzas 112-113, an aamad

XIV. A description of the intense heat-- stanzas 114-124, a chahrah

== *TEXT* == *GLOSSARY* == *TRANSLATION*, for stanzas 97-124 ==

XV. After a heated exchange between the Imam and the commander of the enemies, Ibn Sa'd, the battle begins; the Imam fights against the entire army; his sword is praised in detail-- stanzas 125-150, a jang

== *TEXT* == *GLOSSARY* == *TRANSLATION*, for stanzas 125-150 ==

XVI. Unnerved by the ferocity of his attacks and the intensity of the heat, the Imam's enemies seek his refuge; the Imam, as befits him, sheathes his sword-- stanzas 151-160, maajraa number seven

XVII. Ibn Sa'd taunts his soldiers, and two of the most fierce attack the Imam; at a command from Allah, Husain unsheathes his sword again and kills them both-- stanzas 161-173, the end of maajraa number seven, and jang number two

== *TEXT* == *GLOSSARY* == *TRANSLATION*, for stanzas 151-173 ==

XVIII. Another Divine command now tells Husain to cease from battle; the Imam obeys the will of Allah, and is surrounded by the enemy and killed-- stanzas 174-183, a shahaadat

XIX. Husain's mother laments in Paradise; his sister, Zainab, laments on the battlefield; Husain's voice is heard comforting her-- stanzas 187-196, a bain

XX. A concluding stanza of pious sentiments and modest self-praise-- stanza 194, a du((aa

== *TEXT* == *GLOSSARY* == *TRANSLATION*, for stanzas 174-194 ==

== *Variant readings found in different manuscripts* ==



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Vaqar Haider, another marsiyah by Anis, text and translation and recitation of both (2020): *on youtube*

Intizar Husain, "A tribute to Marsiya writers,": *Dawn Magazine, Jan. 21, 2007*

Amy Bard, "Value and Vitality in a Literary Tradition: Female Poets and the Urdu Marsiya": *Annual of Urdu Studies 15 (2000)*

Syed Akbar Hyder, "Recasting Karbala in the Genre of Urdu Marsiya," from Sagar, Spring 1995: *on this site*

Annemarie Schimmel, "Karbala and the Imam Husayn in Persian and Indo-Muslim Literature," from *Al-Serat, vol. 12 (1986)*

Ali Jawad Zaidi, Mir Anis (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1986): *on this site*

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, from The Secret Mirror: Essays on Urdu Poetry (Delhi, 1981): *on this site*

Muhammad Sadiq, from A History of Urdu Literature (Delhi, 1984 [1964]): *on this site*

Ram Babu Saksena, from A History of Urdu Literature (Allahabad, 1927): *on this site*

Muhammad Husain Azad, from aab-e ;hayaat (1880): *DSAL*

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