The martyrdom of Imam Hussain in the battlefield of Karbala is commemorated in various ways around the world. One of the traditions that developed in the subcontinent was Soz, Salam, Marsiya and Noha in urdu as part of the Majlis. Each of these have different moods and content. The Salam is paying respect to the various Heros and the soz is a short tragic poem themed around the events of Karbala. The marsiya is a longer recitation telling a story from Karbala and Noha is recited at the end of the majlis along with matam. Each of these deserves blog posts of their own and today I’m going to talk about a few of my favourite ways to say Salam to Imam Hussain.
Shah Sawar e Karbala Ke ShahSaware Ko Salam
I was reading this beautiful Salam to Imam Hussain and all the heroes associated with the tragic story of Karbala, even before I understood the meanings of the words. I was probably 5 and my sister 8 when we would cover our heads with small black dupattas and climb on the wooden takht at the very start of the majlis at our house. The words of the salam were written on a maths notebook with square boxes which we would place on the round goan takiya in the middle of the takht facing the audience. My dadi and nani would look on with pride and keep telling everyone for the 100th time that we are their granddaughters. I did not understand the agony and pain of the words till I grew older.
I also discovered this version recited beautifully by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan:
Shah Ast Hussain
My Nani always starts her Soz Khawani with these beautiful verses which remain my favourite.
Yo Salam Kar Lo HussaiN Ko
My sister recently shared this picture on Instagram as she prepped for the majlis at her house in Manila. This is a beautiful Salam to Imam Hussain and also one I recited regularly with my nani.
Salam e Akhir
Listening to Nasir Jahan’s Salam e Akhir after the Majlis-e-Sham e Ghareeban on PTV was an annual tradition at our house. We would always listen to the majlis sitting on the ground and with lights dimmed. The women would cry openly and the men would wipe tears silently from their eyes. As a child my heart ached for Imam Hussain and his family. It’s the same love which makes tears fall effortlessly from my eyes whenever I hear this Salam even today. May this love flourish and grow in our next generations too and make us better humans.
Which ones are your favourite Salams in honour of Hazrat Imam Hussain?
Do read these other posts also related to Muharram and Karbala