Mir Anees : The Unbeatable Master of Elegy

wilayattimes (Jammu and Kashmir)

Mir Babar Ali Anees is the pioneer of Urdu Marsiya, he spent his whole life in propagating the message of Karbala and lamented on the sufferings of the Prophet’s household. In his own words he presented his great stature as Marsiya writer and reciter in a very blunt manner and considered it a worthy legacy.

By Syed Saba Mehdi

How do you own the heart of your fellow human being?

This question is one of the most troubled questions and its answer seems difficult to find but it is not as difficult as it apparently looks. Human heart is one of the pious things in the world as it has the ability to ingrain love and affection inside itself. It satisfies our emotional self as it lowers the burden of our life by the expression of love and grief and by involving the sea of emotions whose flow of currents (tears) saves our personality from shedding the leaves of hope. We all are blessed to have a deep ocean inside us which needs the impetus of heart to maintain its pace. Literature is undeniably a true friend of our heart. It provides a hand to our heart so that it can never lose the grip on human values and morals.

Mir Babar Ali Anees is the pioneer of Urdu Marsiya, he spent his whole life in propagating the message of Karbala and lamented on the sufferings of the Prophet’s household. In his own words he presented his great stature as Marsiya writer and reciter in a very blunt manner and considered it a worthy legacy.
عمر گزری ہے اس دشت کی سیاحی میں
پانچوں پشت ہے شبیر ع کی مداحی میں

Karbala, once merely a desert of sufferings but now a center of hope , loyalty and justice. It was the grandson of Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW who changed the destiny of this desert by refusing to be the part of Yazid’s filthy empire. He preferred death over disgraceful life. He fulfilled his promise and saved Islam from the clutches of devil. Mola Hussain kept his promise but now it is the turn of believers and his lovers who had also promised to shed tears on the tragedy of Mola Hussain A.S and his companions. After the tragedy of Karbala a genre of literature restricts itself to lamentation on the tragedy of Karbala. The great elegy writers especially of Arab, Iran and Asia spent their whole life to act as a pillar to keep the promise. The way they opt for keeping the promise is most appropriate and sophisticated.

Mir Anees had mystic relation and magical power by which he had drawn the battlefield on paper , he had an art of blowing life in the words. Whenever a person opens a book of elegies he enters in the world of Mola Hussain where lost everything for the will of God. His elegies open the door to a different world . The atmosphere of elegies is serious as well as serene. Serenity is the outcome of Mola Hussain’s unshakeable faith and seriousness is the result of irreparable loss of Holy Prophet’s SAW household.


● Language
● Complete understanding of human psychology
● Understanding of human relations
● Expression of love for IMAM HUSSAIN A.S
● Depiction of TRUTH as mighty and falsehood as bleak, unpleasant and weak.
● Representation of great historical incidents like the battle of Khyber, battle of Khandaq, Auhad, Tabook and many more.
● These take us to the world of joy called paradise where one can confront fairies and can drink water from the holy well called Houz e Kousar.
● Development of a very intimate nexus with ordinary people of India so that they can feel the pain of the Holy Prophet’s household. The Concept of Sehra, Mehndi and Baraat are very relevant with the Indian society so he used these cultural norms in his elegies.
● The most significant characteristics of his elegies is that it purges one’s soul from filthy thoughts and sows the seeds of hope and faith.

Mastery over language made him a great master of Urdu. Choice of words, knitting of words and formation of the fabric of thoughts is very splendid and praiseworthy. He himself had firm belief in his talent . He wrote :

‌نظم ہے یا در شہوار کی لڑیاں انیس
جوہری بھی اس طرح موتی پرو سکتا نہیں

Complete understanding of human psychology is very mandatory to excel in the field of literature. Though every human being is unique but there is a commonality too in human beings. He depicted that too in his elegies. He wrote:

روئے جو مصیبت میں تو کیا ہوتا ہے اے دل
ہوتا ہے جو قسمت کا لکھا ہوتا ہے اے دل
ہر درد کا الفت میں مزا ہوتا ہے اے دل
صابر سے رضامند خدا ہوتا ہے اے دل

Human beings celebrate many relations on earth and he had a deep knowledge of these relations. In his elegies we can see how he depicted the lovely relations. Almost in all his elegies he wrote about brothers’ relation, sisters’ relation, siblings’ relation, father children’s relation, brother sister relation, aunt nephew relation, friendship and about many more relations.
بھائی کے آگے، بھائی تڑپ کر، جو مرگیا
صدمہ غضب کا سبط نبی ص پر گزر گیا
خنجر الم کا دل سے جگر تک اتر گیا
چلاتے تھے کہ شیر ہمارا کدھر گیا
لیتے تھے بوسے جھک کے تن پاش پاش کے
اٹھ اٹھ کے گرد پھرتے تھے، بھائی کی لاش کے

Love is the ultimate reality of life so shower love on those who are free from the concept of time and space. Anees’ love for IMAM HUSSAIN A.S is indeed immeasurable, whatever he has produced, he produced and created in love. He depicted his state:

آقا انیس ہند میں کب تک پھرے تباہ
گھٹتی ہے عمر بڑھتے جاتے ہے گناہ
ضعف اس برس بہت ہے اجل آ نہ جائے آہ
بلوائیے غلام کو ، اے میرے بادشاہ
قرب مزار شاہ دوعالم نصیب ہو
بس کربلا میں اب کی محرم نصیب ہو

Truth will turn triumphant is the promise of Allah and disgrace is the fate of falsehood. Anees’ represented and reminded this promise throughout the journey of elegies. War of Mola Hussain A S companions was the war of truth , war of Allah. He presented:

چمکی جو تیغ آمد قهر خدا ہوئی
سر پر جو آگئی تو قیامت بپا ہوئی
سینے سے روح جسم سے گردن جدا ہوئی
جون سے ڈبو چکی تو نہ پھر آشنا ہوئی
باڑھ اس غضب کی وار وه اس زور شور کا
دشمن کو اس کا گھاٹ کنارہ تھا گور کا

History is an inseparable part of the present. Bravery was the legacy of Imam Hussain A.S . Depicting the great defensive wars of Islam where endeavours and clarity of vision exalt the Islamic values with fervour.

تشریف احد میں ، یونہی لائے تھے یداللہ
خیبر میں اسی شان سے آئے تھے یداللہ
ہتھیار اسی دھج سے لگائے تھے یداللہ
لاکھوں سے یونہی آنکھ ملائےتھے یداللہ
قبضے میں یونہی ، قبصہ شمشیر دودم تھا
کاندھے پہ اسی طرح محمد ص کا علم تھا

In brief Anees was and will remain iconic figure in the world of Literature and Islam. His powerful words are echoing in my mind that he took the journey of heaven to produce the powerful and pious words

سدا ہے فکر ترقی ان بلند بینوں کو
ہم آسمان سے لائے ہیں ان زمینوں کو