Death Before Dying : The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu
[A5] Paperback - 150 pages, Back in Stock April 2018
Translation by Jamal Elias.
Published by Wileys. Description
The 115 poems introduce readers in English to 'Sultan al-Arifeen' Hadrat Sultan Bahu, May Allah be pleased with him
, (d. 1691), a Sufi mystical poet who continues to be one of the most beloved writers in Punjabi. Sultan Bahu, whose name translates as "With God", remains highly popular in Pakistan and India today -- even illiterate Punjabis can recite his poetry by heart.
Jamal J. Elias's translation of Bahu's famous work, the Abyat
, is the first to appear in English outside South Asia. It offers a rare glimpse into the Sufi mystical tradition and the religious lives of rural Muslims during the period of the Mughal Empire. With its emphasis on unrestricted devotion to God, and its skepticism toward the legalistic, institutionalized elements of organized religion, Bahu's poetry embodies many characteristic elements of the mystical tradition.
Translations of the poems are presented alongside the Punjabi script and offer a masterful exploration of a significant but largely neglected South Asian literary tradition. 'Death Before Dying' also illustrates the great diversity of Islamic cultural voices throughout the world.
"With their earthy charm and engaging simplicity, these Punjabi verses convey the immediacy of the spiritual quest as expressed in the popular idiom and imagery of the country-side. A fine choice for courses in Islamic religious studies & spirituality"--- John Renard, author of Seven Doors to Islam.
- Review quote:
Elias has done a great service to those with an interest in poetry, in
translation, and in the mystical by producing this volume. . . . A
splendid guide to the poetry of Sultan Bahu, and to a Sufi poetry that
continues to electrify."---Parabola.
- Back cover:
heart's desire is unfulfilled and distant. My Lover won't give it
medicine, and it won't mend its ways. Hotter fires burn in love's
battlefield And, Bahu, I'm in awe of those who charge in. With their
earthy charm and engaging simplicity, these Punjabi verses convey the
immediacy of the spiritual quest as expressed in the popular idiom and
imagery of the countryside.
- The great Punjabi Sufi poet Sultan Bahu comes alive for
English readers in this lucid and accessible translation. Transmitted
orally by generations of singers, these powerful verses show how Sufism
has actually been communicated."---Carl W. Ernst, University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill.
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