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Miscellaneous Articles on Ginans
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charlie



Joined: 14 Nov 2019
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
charlie wrote:

So Pir Sadardin just composed one piece of poetry for non Ismaili Muslims! .
He could have composed many, but only one that has been preserved and come down to us because of its value to our tradition as well.

Poetry for non-Murids are not considered Farmans and hence are not treated or preserved like Ginans.


In other words Bhuj Nirijin is not Farman for non murids but it is Farman for murids!
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

charlie wrote:

In other words Bhuj Nirijin is not Farman for non murids but it is Farman for murids!
Farmans are only meant for murids. Non murids are of course welcome to partake in them, however they are not required to obey them.

My assertion is that Buj Niranjan is not a Farman for his murids. Just as the Memoirs is not a Farman.
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charlie



Joined: 14 Nov 2019
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
charlie wrote:

In other words Bhuj Nirijin is not Farman for non murids but it is Farman for murids!
Farmans are only meant for murids. Non murids are of course welcome to partake in them, however they are not required to obey them.

My assertion is that Buj Niranjan is not a Farman for his murids. Just as the Memoirs is not a Farman.


Memoirs is not a book of Ismaili Tenets, but Bhuj Nirinjin was written to explain Ismaili faith.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

charlie wrote:

Memoirs is not a book of Ismaili Tenets, but Bhuj Nirinjin was written to explain Ismaili faith.
Have you read it? There is a chapter in it explaining the concept of Islam:

Religion of My Ancestors
ISLAM
THE RELIGION OF MY ANCESTORS

http://www.ismaili.net/Source/0016b.html
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charlie



Joined: 14 Nov 2019
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
charlie wrote:

Memoirs is not a book of Ismaili Tenets, but Bhuj Nirinjin was written to explain Ismaili faith.
Have you read it? There is a chapter in it explaining the concept of Islam:

Religion of My Ancestors
ISLAM
THE RELIGION OF MY ANCESTORS

http://www.ismaili.net/Source/0016b.html


Yes I did read Memoirs completely some time back. That particular chapter do not mention Ismaili Tenets as mentioned in Preamble by present Imam. It is a kind of birds eye view on Islam and Ismaili history.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

charlie wrote:

Yes I did read Memoirs completely some time back. That particular chapter do not mention Ismaili Tenets as mentioned in Preamble by present Imam. It is a kind of birds eye view on Islam and Ismaili history.
I was comparing the Memoirs to Buj Nirinjan. Both of them are not Farmans for murids in my opinion. Just as the memoirs mentions Islam in general, Buj Niranjan mentions Sufism in general.
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agakhani



Joined: 20 May 2015
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:03 am    Post subject: Buj Niranjan mentions Sufism in general Reply with quote

I read both, the memoire and Buj Niranjan with keen interest.
I agree with KBhaii on Memoire but not with Buj Niranjan, I found lots of things in Buj Noranjan which are related or similar to Ismaili other ginans which are composed in theory of "Zikar: Bandagi
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23136

PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: Buj Niranjan mentions Sufism in general Reply with quote

agakhani wrote:
I read both, the memoire and Buj Niranjan with keen interest.
I agree with KBhaii on Memoire but not with Buj Niranjan, I found lots of things in Buj Noranjan which are related or similar to Ismaili other ginans which are composed in theory of "Zikar: Bandagi
I am not undermining or devaluing the Buj Niranjan. All I am saying is that it is directed to a broader Sufi audience as opposed to being restricted as guidance to Ismailis, just as Memoirs has invaluable information but is directed to general public.
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charlie



Joined: 14 Nov 2019
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
charlie wrote:

Yes I did read Memoirs completely some time back. That particular chapter do not mention Ismaili Tenets as mentioned in Preamble by present Imam. It is a kind of birds eye view on Islam and Ismaili history.
I was comparing the Memoirs to Buj Nirinjan. Both of them are not Farmans for murids in my opinion. Just as the memoirs mentions Islam in general, Buj Niranjan mentions Sufism in general.


Let me ask you a question in this way; Is Bhuj Nirinjin a Ginan? some where you quoted Imam saying 'MY FARMANS, MY GINANS' and you elaborated the Ginans are Farmans. Now in your opinion Bhuj Nirinjin is not a Farman!!
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23136

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

charlie wrote:

Let me ask you a question in this way; Is Bhuj Nirinjin a Ginan? some where you quoted Imam saying 'MY FARMANS, MY GINANS' and you elaborated the Ginans are Farmans. Now in your opinion Bhuj Nirinjin is not a Farman!!
In my opinion Buj Niranjan is not a Farman to the murids based on:

- It mentions that we should submit half of our income to God which is not true for Ismailis. For Ismailis it is 12.5%

- It mentions that we must submit to Mursheed Kameel - a perfect teacher, whereas Ginans are specific that it is the Imam the Gurnar.

- It mentions fasting which none of the Ginans mention.

- It does not mention anything about Imams before Prophet Muhammad.
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 6246

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:

- It mentions fasting which none of the Ginans mention.


Except Man Samjani of Pir Shams but that Granth mentions the ten Spiritual fast, not the material fast.
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swamidada



Joined: 19 Aug 2019
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admin wrote:
kmaherali wrote:

- It mentions fasting which none of the Ginans mention.


Except Man Samjani of Pir Shams but that Granth mentions the ten Spiritual fast, not the material fast.


Can you explain the spiritual fasting?
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swamidada



Joined: 19 Aug 2019
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
charlie wrote:

Let me ask you a question in this way; Is Bhuj Nirinjin a Ginan? some where you quoted Imam saying 'MY FARMANS, MY GINANS' and you elaborated the Ginans are Farmans. Now in your opinion Bhuj Nirinjin is not a Farman!!
In my opinion Buj Niranjan is not a Farman to the murids based on:

- It mentions that we should submit half of our income to God which is not true for Ismailis. For Ismailis it is 12.5%


Let me quote couplets on the above subject translated by you in Ginan section;

mahenat kar kar jo kuchh laave
lok kuttu(m)bsu(n) aadh battaave..................................1
Whatever you earn(after toiling hard), half of it should be spent on your family.
aadh naam allaah khilaave
khaadam(tawbaadam) hoee mukhadumee paave..........................2
And the other half, spend in for Allah and with repentent attitude attain granter of repentance.

Dear sir, there is no mention of Dasond or Sirbandi in these parts.
Pir Saheb has explained in general terms. It is said charity begins at home. The head of family has to spent half or more than half on wife, children, parents brothers and sisters.
In other part Pir is talking about sufi/saint characteristics and tradition. In olden times sufis always find some ABHYAGHAT/GUEST to company them in lunch or dinner. There are many examples available in sufi stories, even Prophet Ibrahim tried to find some traveler or stranger to accompany him in dinner.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23136

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamidada wrote:

Dear sir, there is no mention of Dasond or Sirbandi in these parts.
Pir Saheb has explained in general terms. It is said charity begins at home. The head of family has to spent half or more than half on wife, children, parents brothers and sisters.
In other part Pir is talking about sufi/saint characteristics and tradition. In olden times sufis always find some ABHYAGHAT/GUEST to company them in lunch or dinner. There are many examples available in sufi stories, even Prophet Ibrahim tried to find some traveler or stranger to accompany him in dinner.
The fact that there is no explicit mention of Dasond is another indicator that Buj Niranjan is not a Farman. In such a lengthy Granth, it is very unusual that Dasond is not mentioned at all.

Hence Buj Niranjan is not a Farman. That is the point I am trying to make.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamidada wrote:

Can you explain the spiritual fasting?


The 10 Batini Fasts as per Man Samjamni

314 Man Samjaanni Pir Shams

1 Man Samjaanni ki esi baataa

Such is the description of matters in the Man Samjamni (explanation of the mind)

2 Duniyaa ajaanni na jaanne dhaataa

The world at large does not know about it's essence

3 Das rojaa batuni kahie

We consider ten batini fasts

4 Aval rojaa seer kaa kahie

The first fast is of the head (proper use of the intellect)

5 Dujaa rojaa chasam daari

The second fast is of of the eyes (vision with proper intent)

6 Trijaa rojaa naak no vaari

The third fast is of the nose (smell good things)

7 Chothaa rojaa mukh ku dije

The fourth fast is of the mouth (proper eating)

8 Paanch maa rojaa jabaan kije

The fifth fast is of the tongue (proper speech)

9 Chhatthaa rojaa kaan naa kahie

The sixth fast is of the ears (proper hearing and listening)

10 Saat maa rojaa dil naa kahie

The seventh fast is of the heart (proper feeling)

11 Aatth maa rojaa nafas kaa jaano

The eigth fast is of the nafs ( lawful pleasures)

12 Nomaa rojaa haath pichhaano

The nineth fast is of the hands ( lawful action)

13 Dasmaa rojaa paaun kaa dharie - fast of the feet

The tenth fast is of the feet (lawful movement, no wandering)

14 Seer thi paaun rojaa karie

The fast is considered from head to feet (entire body)

15 Esaa rojaa karo tame jaae

Perform such fasts.

16 Tab jaai moman kilaae

Then you can be considered as a momin.

Re Tunhi – Das rojaa je dhare
Te chhe moman vir re
Man Samjaanni kare
Boleaa Shams Pir re

O you! The one who keeps these 10 fasts is a real momin who demonstrates true understanding of the heart (mind) , says Pir Shams.
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swamidada



Joined: 19 Aug 2019
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is spiritual fasting compulsory for all Ismailis as fasting in the month of Ramadhan mentined in Quran?
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swamidada



Joined: 19 Aug 2019
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
swamidada wrote:

Dear sir, there is no mention of Dasond or Sirbandi in these parts.
Pir Saheb has explained in general terms. It is said charity begins at home. The head of family has to spent half or more than half on wife, children, parents brothers and sisters.
In other part Pir is talking about sufi/saint characteristics and tradition. In olden times sufis always find some ABHYAGHAT/GUEST to company them in lunch or dinner. There are many examples available in sufi stories, even Prophet Ibrahim tried to find some traveler or stranger to accompany him in dinner.
The fact that there is no explicit mention of Dasond is another indicator that Buj Niranjan is not a Farman. In such a lengthy Granth, it is very unusual that Dasond is not mentioned at all.

Hence Buj Niranjan is not a Farman. That is the point I am trying to make.


There are many Ginans in which there is no mention of Dasond, therefore according to you these Ginans are not Farmans.
Question asked was; Do you believe Bhuj Nirinjin as Ginan? Please answer YES or NO.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamidada wrote:

There are many Ginans in which there is no mention of Dasond, therefore according to you these Ginans are not Farmans.
Question asked was; Do you believe Bhuj Nirinjin as Ginan? Please answer YES or NO.
Yes in shorter form of Ginans, not all of them would mention Dasond. However Buj Niranjan is a long Granth having 297 verses. No mention of Dasond in such a long Granth is unusual. In my opinion it is not a Ginan for the reasons I have mentioned earlier.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23136

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamidada wrote:
Is spiritual fasting compulsory for all Ismailis as fasting in the month of Ramadhan mentined in Quran?
Yes Ginans are Farmans unless superseded. This is the meaning of fasting for 365 days as explained by MSMS.
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swamidada



Joined: 19 Aug 2019
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
swamidada wrote:

There are many Ginans in which there is no mention of Dasond, therefore according to you these Ginans are not Farmans.
Question asked was; Do you believe Bhuj Nirinjin as Ginan? Please answer YES or NO.
Yes in shorter form of Ginans, not all of them would mention Dasond. However Buj Niranjan is a long Granth having 297 verses. No mention of Dasond in such a long Granth is unusual. In my opinion it is not a Ginan for the reasons I have mentioned earlier.


There are few Grunths do not mention the word Dasond.
You are skipping the question asked; Do you consider Bhuj Nirijin as a Ginan, Please reply YES or NO.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamidada wrote:

There are few Grunths do not mention the word Dasond.
You are skipping the question asked; Do you consider Bhuj Nirijin as a Ginan, Please reply YES or NO.
Can you provide examples of the Granths that do not mention Dasond? As I have answered before, NO.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 23136

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pirs explain in their Ginans that the ego is the greatest deterrent to the soul’s progress
Posted by Nimira Dewji

From the Sanskrit jnana meaning ‘contemplative knowledge,’ Ginans are a vast corpus of poetic compositions whose authorship was attributed to preachers, Pirs, sent by Imams residing in Iran to the Indian subcontinent around the eleventh century to teach the Ismaili interpretation of Islam to non-Arabic speaking people.

At the time, the field of devotional poetry was flourishing in the subcontinent, with figures such as Narasimha Maeta (15th century), Mirabai (1498-1557), and Narhari (17th century), Kabir (1440-1518), and Guru Nanak (1469-1539). Additionally, a tradition of mystical poetry was developing among the Sufis in the subcontinent. Hence the traditions of the bhaktas, sants, Sufis, and Ismailis of the Indian subcontinent were all interconnected.

The Ginan literature “came to be perceived within the community as a kind of commentary on the Qur’an” (Asani, Ecstasy and Enlightenment p 30). Several Ginans are stories or parables that are meant to be interpreted mystically such as Kesri sinh swarup bhulayo (The Lion Forgot his Lion-form), which describes a lion who has forgotten its true identity on account of its upbringing among a flock of sheep. Listen

Many Ginans are supplications (venti) for spiritual enlightenment and vision (darshan, didar) such as Hun re piasi tere darshan ki (I Thirst for a Vision of You), which draws on the symbol of a fish writhing in agony outside its home in water. Listen

Unch thi ayo (Coming From an Exalted Place) is a lament of the soul’s fate in the material world and a plea for the intercession of Prophet Muhammad. Listen

Several Ginans portray the ego as “the greatest deterrent to the soul’s submitting to the Guidance of God’s appointees and achieving gnosis” (Virani, The Ismailis in the Middle Ages p 173). In his composition Satgur padhariya tame jaagjo, Pir Satgur Nur, the earliest Pir to work in the Indian Subcontinent, remarks: “Awake! For the True Guide has arrived.” In verse 4 of this Ginan, Pir states:

“The Guide says: Slay the self (man ne maaro). I shall hold you close, for indeed, a precious diamond has come into your grasp. Behold it, O chivalrous one, contemplate in these words” (Virani, The Ismailis in the Middle Ages p 173).

In the composition titled Vaek Moto, Pir Shams “extols the virtues of knowledge, ‘ilm, and urges the faithful to plumb the depths of esoteric wisdom conveyed by the Imams” (IIS)

Ginan Pir Shams India

Vaek Moto by Pir Shams. Source: The Institute of Ismaili studies
Pir Shams states:
“What can the guide do if, despite holding the lamp of gnosis in hand, the intrigues of the capricious self cause the believer to tumble into a dark well?” (Virani, The Ismailis in the Middle Ages p 173).

In verse 7 of the Ginan Sami tamari vaadi maahe, Pir Shams explains

“Only when the obstinate self’s inane excuses are cast off can the guide exercise his transforming effect and the could acquire divine recognition (Virani, The Ismailis in the Middle Ages p 260 n 30).

“This effect is picturesquely compared to that of a fragrant sandalwood tree in a forest filled with margosa trees. Just as the presence of the sandalwood tree makes the surrounding margosas redolent, so does the perfume of the guide’s knowledge transform the disciples” (Satgur bhetea kem janie). However, simple contact with the Guide, the Imam, does not guarantee the transfer of knowledge. Unless the self has first submitted to the Guide, the believer is no better than the bamboo trees that neighbour the sandalwood trees, but are not affected in the least by its scent (Aj te amar avea v.2, Virani, The Ismailis in the Middle Ages p 174).

Sayyid Imamshah states: “Slay the self and make it your prayer rug. Brother, remain steadfast in contemplation” (Pir vina par na pamie, verse 2, Virani, Ismailis in the Middle Ages p 260 n 2icon_cool.gif.



Sources:
Ali S. Asani, Ecstasy and Enlightenment, The Ismaili Devotional Literature of South Asia, I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., London, 2002
Azim Nanji, The Nizari Isma’ili Tradition in the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent, Caravan Books, New York, 1978
Shafique N. Virani, The Ismailis in the Middle Ages, Oxford University Press, 2010
Vaek Moto, The Institute of Ismaili Studies

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swamidada



Joined: 19 Aug 2019
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
swamidada wrote:

There are few Grunths do not mention the word Dasond.
You are skipping the question asked; Do you consider Bhuj Nirijin as a Ginan, Please reply YES or NO.
Can you provide examples of the Granths that do not mention Dasond? As I have answered before, NO.


Sure why not. SI HARFI BY SYED AHMAD SHAH. I assume you will not consider Si Harfi as Ginan because there is no mention of Dasond in it, as you are refuting Bhuj Nirijin as not a Ginan.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamidada wrote:

Sure why not. SI HARFI BY SYED AHMAD SHAH. I assume you will not consider Si Harfi as Ginan because there is no mention of Dasond in it, as you are refuting Bhuj Nirijin as not a Ginan.
Yes I consider Si Harfi just like Buj Niranjan. A fine piece of Sufi work. Not only it does not mention Dasond, it does not mention charity.
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swamidada



Joined: 19 Aug 2019
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
swamidada wrote:

Sure why not. SI HARFI BY SYED AHMAD SHAH. I assume you will not consider Si Harfi as Ginan because there is no mention of Dasond in it, as you are refuting Bhuj Nirijin as not a Ginan.
Yes I consider Si Harfi just like Buj Niranjan. A fine piece of Sufi work. Not only it does not mention Dasond, it does not mention charity.


Let me ask Admin, he is master of Ginans also.

To Admin, please reply honestly.

Kmaherali claims that Bhuj Nirinjin and Si Harfi are not Ginans. What you consider?
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shahna khat aavya: Pir composed a Ginan expressing joy upon receiving message from Imam
Posted by Nimira Dewji

Eji Shahna khat aavya vira jampudip manhe
Kain lavya lavya Chandan vira.

Da’i s were sent to the Indian subcontinent by Imams residing in Persia to teach the Ismaili interpretation of Islam beginning in the late 11th or early 12th century. The da’is, who were known by the Persian term pir, composed ginans to explain the message of Revelation to non-Arabic speaking people. From the Sanskrit jnana meaning ‘contemplative knowledge,’ ginans are a vast corpus of poetic compositions in local languages using indigenous folklore and musical traditions.

During this time in the subcontinent, the written literary tradition was flourishing with well-known figures such as Narasimha Maeta (15th century), Mirabai (1498-1557), and Narhari (17th century), Kabir (1440-1518), and Guru Nanak (1469-1539). Composition of devotional and mystical poetry among Muslims, especially the Sufis, was also developing at this time.

Compositions were also influenced by the various communities’ needs to assimilate the practices of the dominant local community in order to avoid persecution. Asani states that “the authors who formulated these literatures indigenized the Islamic tradition to the local Indian cultural environment.” Hence ginans were composed in Sindhi, Gujarati, Kuchhi, Multani, Hindi, and Panjabi. The specific form of Nizari Ismaili interpretation came to be known by the translation of sirat al-mustaqim, rendered as Satpanth (sat panth, or ‘true path’).” Approximately 30 pirs composed 800 ginans over a period of 6 centuries.

The number of verses in ginans varies from 4 to 10 in the shorter ones to over 500 in the longer ones. The themes of ginans are also varied. Some ginans have titles that reflect the main theme or message such as the Bujh Niranjan (Knowledge of the Attributeless Deity), a long mystical poem on the spiritual quest of the soul; Soh Kiriya (One-Hundred Obligatory Acts) provides instruction for proper conduct.

Several ginans are stories or parables that are meant to be interpreted mystically such as Kesri sinh swarup bhulayo (The Lion Forgot his Lion-form), which describes a lion who has forgotten its true identity on account of its upbringing among a flock of sheep.

Many ginans are supplications (venti) for spiritual enlightenment and vision (darshan, didar) such as Hun re piasi tere darshan ki (I Thirst for a Vision of You), which draws on the symbol of a fish writhing in agony outside its home in water.

The ginan Unch thi ayo (Coming From an Exalted Place) is a lament of the soul’s fate in the material world and a plea for the intercession of Prophet Muhammad.

When Pir Imamshah received a letter from Imam of the time Abu Dhar Ali (16th century) residing in Kahak, in Persia, he was overjoyed, composing a ginan to reflect his emotion:
Shah na khat aavya, vira jampudipma – Listen - http://ginans.usask.ca/recitals/508090

1.Eji Shah na khat aayaa viraa jampudip maahe;
kaa(n)y laaviyaa laaviyaa Chandan vir.
The Shah’s writ has arrived in Jambudip;
the brave Chandan has brought it over.

2.Eji Shah na khat vaanchoyaa Pir Indra Imamdin,aaj maare hayade harakh na maany.
The Shah’s write is read by Pir Indra Imamdin,today my heart can barely hold my joy.

3.Eji paankhadiyaa jo hove to Shah ne jai milu,
suh karuh maro pindado na haath.
O brother! If I had wings I would fly to meet my Lord, but what can I do? My body is not in my control

In ancient Indian geography jambu-dvipa stood for the Indian subcontinent; “Sahetar-dvipa (properly sveta-dvipa) was identified with many places, one of them being Persia.”1

The term jambu-dvipa refers to “the land of the jambu tress,” jambu being the name of the species of Jambul (Syzgium cumini of the myrtle family Myrtaceae) or Indian blackberries; dvipa meaning ‘island’ or ‘continent.’ The jambu trees were native to the Indian subcontinent as well as other areas of South Asia and Australia, although subsequently grown in other tropical climates around the world. The trees were considered sacred to Lord Krishna and therefore planted close to Hindu temples.

nimirasblog@gmail.com

Sources:
Azim Nanji, The Nizari Isma’ili Tradition in the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent, Caravan Books, New York, 1978
Ali S. Asani, Ecstasy and Enlightenment, The Ismaili Devotional Literature of South Asia, I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., London, 2002
Shafique N. Virani, The Ismailis in the Middle Ages, Oxford University Press, 2007
Ginans: A Tradition of Religious Poetry, The Institute of Ismaili Studies
Ginan Central, University of Saskatchewan, Translation by M. Kamaluddin

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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pir Shams composed the largest number of the garbi form of ginan
Posted by Nimira Dewji

Ginan bolore nit nure bharea; evo haide tamare harakh na maeji.

Recite continually the Ginans which are filled with light;
boundless will be the joy in your heart. (tr. by Ali Asani). Listen

From the Sanskrit jnana meaning ‘contemplative knowledge,’ ginans are a vast corpus of poetic compositions whose authorship was attributed to preachers, pirs, sent by Imams residing in Iran to the Indian subcontinent around the 11th century to teach the Ismaili interpretation of Islam to non-Arabic speaking people.

At the time, the field of devotional poetry was flourishing in the subcontinent, with figures such as Narasimha Maeta (15th century), Mirabai (1498-1557), and Narhari (17th century), Kabir (1440-1518), and Guru Nanak (1469-1539). Additionally, a tradition of mystical poetry was developing among the Sufis in the subcontinent. Hence the traditions of the bhaktas, sants, Sufis, and Ismailis of the Indian subcontinent were all interconnected.

The assimilation of the tradition of the Ismaili da’is in composing ginans “can be traced to a fundamental impulse within the community wherever it has manifested itself geographically and historically. The Ismailis, in their attempt to understand the central aspect of their faith – the concept of Imam – have called on the available tools of various philosophical and religious systems, making them highly adaptable to different political and cultural environments” (Asani, Ecstasy and Enlightenment p 7).

The compositions of ginans “pre-suppose individuals aware of the existence of and acquainted with an already well-developed set of Ismaili beliefs and furthermore, possessing a degree of intellectual and spiritual sensitivity necessary to blend these beliefs with those current in the Indo-Muslim society of the time” (Nanji, The Nizari Ismaili Tradition p 134). Other communities, such as the Sufis, fostered interpretations of Islamic concepts that could relate to the indigenous religious and cultural contexts resulting in the development of parallel literary traditions” (Asani, Ecstasy and Enlightenment p 8-9). In addition, the Ismaili community disguised their identity under the mantle of Sufism and other traditions in order to escape persecution.

The specific form of Nizari Ismaili interpretation in the Indian subcontinent came to be known by the translation of sirat al-mustaqim, rendered as Satpanth (sat panth, or ‘true path’). “The Satpanth tradition employed terms and ideas from a variety of Indic religious and philosophical terms such as Bhakti, Sant, Sufi, Vaishnavite and yogic traditions to articulate its core concepts” (Asani, A Modern History of the Ismailis p 96).

Through the poetic medium of ginans, Pirs provided guidance on a variety of doctrinal, ethical, and mystical themes for the community while also serving to explain the inner (batin) meaning of the Qur’an to the external (zahir) aspects.

Pirs

Pir Satgur Nur (d.1094) was the earliest pir sent to the subcontinent. He was followed by Pir Shams al-Din, who was active in the mid-14th century, mainly in Uchchh and Multan in the province of Sind. Pir Shams is also featured prominently in a number of Sufi traditions.

Pir Sadr al-Din, who worked during the time of Imam Islam Shah (r. 1369/70 to 1425/26), is considered the founder of the Nizari Ismaili Khoja community. He is credited with authoring the largest number of ginans.

Language of ginans

Literature in the local languages were instrumental in explaining Islamic concepts and the Ismaili interpretation in a manner that would be accessible to the local culture environment of predominantly Hindu audiences. Hence ginans were composed in Sindhi, Gujarati, Kuchhi, Multani, Hindi, and Panjabi. The specific form of Nizari Ismaili interpretation came to be known by the translation of sirat al-mustaqim, rendered as Satpanth (sat panth, or ‘true path.’)

The ginan literature “came to be perceived within the community as a kind of commentary on the Qur’an. This was the clarification given by Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III…”In the ginans which Pir Sadardin has composed for you, he has explained the gist of the Qur’an in the language of Hindustan” (Asani, Ecstasy and Enlightenment p 30).

Music

The ginans were a counterpart to the traditions of the geet, bhajan, and kirtan among the many traditions prevalent in the subcontinent. Like most Indian devotional poetry, ginans are meant to be sung. Music, therefore, is a vital characteristic of ginans to invoke specific emotional states such as on special occasions, morning prayers, evening prayers, ghatpat ceremony, or at funerals. Nanji notes that “in a few instances, the ragas [melodies] according to which the ginans are to be sung are indicated in the manuscripts” (The Nizari Isma’ili Tradition p 1icon_cool.gif. The ragas were likely derived from the prevalent ones in the area of the da’wa operation.

Ginans are meant to be sung from memory and heart rather than from a script in order to eliminate the intermediary (the book) between worshipper and God. Although initially an oral tradition, ginans were recorded in Khojki, a special script adopted almost exclusively by the Ismaili community of the Indian subcontinent primarily to record the community’s religious literature.

Garbis

The rasa form of music was prevalent in Gujarat during the twelfth century, when Pirs began their work in the region. “The word rasa actually came to be applied to a form of composition recited to a raga. The rasa was mainly a medium used for religious instruction and for expression of religious feeling…. One particular form, very popular in Gujarati folk life is the garbi – a folk dance with the word applied to the singing party itself. The individuals move around in a circle and sing to the accompaniment of a rhythmical clap of hands and feet. The dancers in motion as well as the songs composed for the occasion are known as garbis” (Nanji, The Nizari Isma’ili Tradition p 20). Pir Shams composed 28 garbis, the largest number of this form of ginans.

Shams Multan pirs

Pir Shams’s mausoleum complex in Multan, which includes a number of Sufi shrines. Source: The Ismailis: An Illustrated History
List of Garbis composed by Pir Shams

Sources:
Ali S. Asani, Ecstasy and Enlightenment, I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, 2002
Ali S. Asani “From Satpanth to Ismaili Muslim: The Articulation of Ismaili Khoja Identity in South Asia,” A Modern History of the Ismailis, Ed. Farhad Daftary, I.B.Tauris, London, 2011
Ali Asani, Development of Ginans, Video (21 minutes)
Azim Nanji, The Nizari Isma’ili Tradition in the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent, Caravan Books, New York, 1978
Shafiqu N. Virani, “Symphony of Gnosis,” in Reason and Inspiration in Islam Edited by Todd Lawson, I.B. Tauris in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2005
Ginans: A Tradition of Religious Poetry, The Institute of Ismaili Studies

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swamidada



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pirs and syeds wrote Ginans but, Credit of Ragas (composition of sur) goes to who, Pirs, Syeds, or the followers of Pirs in later centuries?
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:20 pm    Post subject: Important Survey in Ginan wil help you. Reply with quote

Ginan Survey 2020

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to complete the Ginan Survey 2020! The survey should only take 10-15 minutes to complete. The data from the survey will be reported in aggregate form ensuring complete privacy and confidentiality of responses from individual participants.

The purpose of this survey is to gather community needs and sentiments around online resources to foster learning and understanding of ginans in today's digital age. Collecting this information will also help us develop digital collections and tools to ensure that the tradition and teachings of ginans remain digitally accessible for years to come.

In order to participate in the survey, you will be asked to provide consent for us to gather this information. Following the consent, you will be presented with the survey questionnaire. Please ensure that you answer all the questions. Once you have completed the survey, click on "Done" to submit your responses.

https://www.surveymonkey.ca/r/ginansurvey2020
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ginan composers were acquainted with an already well-developed set of Ismaili beliefs

Posted by Nimira Dewji

Pirs composed hymns, known as ginans in several languages of the Indian subcontinent to explain Ismail doctrines to non-Arabic speaking peoples of the Indian sub-continent. “Since the Khojas consider the pirs to have been spiritually guided and authorized by the imams in that they p reached, the ginans have acquired a special sanctity” (p 45). Ginans served as “secondary scriptures that mediate between the community of the faithful and the Qur’an.”
(More on Ginans )

Asani states:
“Ismaili conceptions of revelation are distinctive in two ways. According to early Ismaili thought, God’s transcendent Word is revealed by means of divine inspiration, through certain humans, such as prophets. However, this divine inspiration is not in the form of actual words and phrases. Rather, it is in the form of spiritual, luminous knowledge (referred to as the rab al-qudus or ‘Holy Spirit’ in the Qur’an) which prophets then ‘translate’ … into symbolic human language to guide their followers. Thus, the Qur’an represents the Prophet Muhammad’s expression of divinely inspired knowledge into the Arabic language in its most eloquent form.

Another distinctive aspect of Ismaili thought is the belief that the Divine or the Truth (haqiqa) can only be accessed by penetrating the esoteric (batin) dimension concealed by the physical or exoteric (zahir) realm. … In this regard, they perceive their imams to be holders of authoritative knowledge (ilm) of both the exoteric and esoteric truth found in the Qur’an, sharia and legal rulings, [mystical] knowledge, and gnosis (ma’rifa). The imams provide authoritative instruction (ta’lim) and the esoteric interpretation (ta’wil) of divine revelation by decoding the revelatory discourse (tanzil) brought by the prophets. They receive this knowledge through inspiration (ta’yid) from God’s creative Word or Command. In this sense, they are informed by the same transcendent spiritual source of the Qur’an. Their knowledge remains independent of the Qur’anic text insofar as it exists in the form of Arabic words and phrases. Thus, for the Ismailis the imam and the Qur’an are parallel manifestations (mazhar) of this reality. In the Ismaili view, the text of the Qur’an is conjoined to the imam and proper understanding of it is not possible without the instruction of the imam and teachers appointed by him.

Ismaili emphasis on the esoteric, the batin, and the belief that a single existential reality underlies what appears as a plurality on the exoteric or material plane, has meant that Ismaili thinkers have engaged with diverse theological and philosophical systems with remarkable confidence… Ismaili thinkers [were] comfortable in expressing key concepts related to revelation within a wide range of contexts. Thus, for example, in the late tenth and eleventh centuries, some Fatimid thinkers and preachers (da’is) … [explained] Ismaili concepts by creating a philosophical synthesis of Neoplatonic and Gnostic ideas. Others, such as renowned jurist Qadi al-Nu’man (d. 974), adopted a legalistic framework that would resonate with Sunni counterparts. Thinkers like Hamid al-Kirmani (d. after 1021) drew upon Jewish scripture. In the Iranian context, we discern within Ismaili discourses a synthesis of Manichean and Zoroastrian elements [religious traditions of ancient Iran] (p 44).

A similar embrace of religious and cultural identity occurred among the Khojas of South Asia. In the ginans, the pirs utilize a variety of frameworks to formulate two core teachings of Sat Panth. First, the role of the imams and pirs as teachers on the path to spiritual enlightenment, the goal of which was to ‘see’ the Divine Light or nur, an idea resonating with the Qur’anic notion of ‘seeing the face of God’ (2:115). To explain enlightenment as an inward journey, ginans were composed in language associated with the Sufi tradition (murshid, dhikr, didar, etc.), as well as vocabulary from other Indic traditions of spirituality. The ginans urge listeners “to seek liberation from the transitory material world through constant contemplation of the Divine Name [e.g. garbi by Pir Shams titled jampjo din ane raat], a blessing bestowed upon those who are on the true path … by the True Guide (Sat Guru) identified ambiguously as the pir or imam.

The second core teaching is related to the relationship between the imam, the manifestation of Divine Light, and his disciples… one of love and devotion. In portraying this relationship, the ginans drew upon the powerful tradition of bhakti or devotion that was prevalent across north India. In particular, they used the symbol of virahini, the woman longing for her beloved, best exemplified by Radha’s longing for Krishna In the ginans, however, the imam becomes the longed for bridegroom” The concept of virahini was a popular motif in the literature of north India. In the ginan Ruhani Visal (‘Spiritual Union’), Pir Hasan Kabir al-Din describes the return of the soul to the Divine Beloved by invoking the symbol of the virahini … (p 53).

To ‘translate’ the notion of the imam in terms that would make sense to audiences from differing contexts, the pirs embraced a variety of traditions resulting in a formulation that was multilayered. Within a Vaishnavite framework, the imam designated as Ali, was presented as naklanki ‘the one without blemish’ (cf, Arabic mutabhar). This term was a Sat Panth re-framing of the name of Kalki, the long-awaited tenth avatar of the Hindu deity Vishnu who would bestow wisdom and salvation upon his devotees by rescuing them from the forces of evil. Within the framework of the sant tradition the imam was represented as the Sat Guru, the true Guide to truth and enlightenment. Within the tradition of the bhakti…, he was the beloved utter devotion from whom would emanate salvation. In a Sufi framework, he was the murshid, the keeper of the mysteries of the batin, whose representatives – the pirs – would guide disciples upon the path. Regardless of the way the imam was represented, the goal was to orient followers to the ultimate spiritual experience – didar – the ‘vision of the divine’ (p 47).

The use of the symbol of light appropriately points to the role that the esoteric wisdom embodied in the ginans can play in bringing about an inner transformation within the reciter. Such notions resonate with the well-known impact of the aesthetics of the recited Qur’an on its listeners as they commune through sacred sound with the Divine. The unparalleled aesthetic quality of the Qur’an came to be seen as a sign of its divine origin. In this regard, the Russian scholar Ivanow has expounded upon the impact of the ‘strange fascination, the majestic pathos and beauty’ of the ginans as they are being recited to the mystical appeal of the Qur’an on Arabic speaking peoples.” ( p 47).

A composition titled Moman Chetamni (‘A Warning for the Believers’) depicts the Qur’an as the source of Sat Panth stating [verse 162]:

Sat Panth began from Ali and the Prophet [Muhammad];
follow it more discreetly. This Sat Panth is according to Athar Veda (the last Veda) and you can find its proof in the Qur’an.
(tr. Ali Asani)

Several ginans elaborate themes from the Qur’an; a renowned example is the ginan Allah ek khasam sabuka, which outlines in verse form the story of Adam’s creation and Azazil’s refusal to obey God’s command to prostrate before Adam.

Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah has clarified the relationship of ginans with the Qur’an:
‘In the ginans which Pir Sadardin has composed for you, he has explained the gist of the Qur’an in the language of Hindustan.’ (Asani, Ecstasy and Enlightenment p 30).

Imam adds:

“If there were amongst you individuals who had read the Qur’an and are well-versed with the ginans, I would be able to point out to you each verse of the ginans from the Qur’an” (p 53).

Excerpts from “Nizari Ismaili Engagements with the Qur’an: the Khojas of South Asia,” by Ali Asani, published in Communities of the Qur’an, Edited by Emran El-Badawi and Paula Sanders, Oneworld Academic, 2019
/nimirasblog.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/ginan-composers-were-acquainted-with-an-already-well-developed-set-of-ismaili-beliefs/
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