Waris Shah (1722–1798) was a Punjabi Sufi poet. His seminal work Heer Ranjha, written in 1766, is considered one of the quintessential works of classical Punjabi literature. The story of Heer was also told by several other writers but Waris Shah’s version is by far the most popular today. Waris Shah is also called Shakespeare of the Punjabi language because of his great poetic love story, Heer Ranjha. Some critics say that through this story of romantic love, he tried to portray the love of man for God (the quintessential subject of Sufi literature).
Waris Shah was born in Jandiala Sher Khan, District Sheikhupura. Waris Shah acknowledged himself as a disciple of Pir Makhdum of Kasur. Waris Shah’s parents died when he was young, and he probably received his education at the shrine of his preceptor. After completing his education in Kasur, he moved to Malka Hans, a village twelve kilometers north of Pakpattan. Here he resided in a small room, adjacent to a historic masjid, now called Masjid Waris Shah. His tomb is in Jandiala Sher Khan.
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A Punjabi Couplet on Waris Shah’s Tomb
Tomb of Waris Shah
Opening Lines of ‘Heer’ by Waris Shah. “Awwal hamd Khuda da vird kijiye, Ishq kita so jag da mool, Mian. Pehlay aap hi Rabb nay ishq kita, mashooq he Nabi Rasool, Mian.” (Translation: “First of all let us acknowledge God, who has made love the worth of the world, Sir. It was God Himself that first loved, and the Prophet (Muhammad) is His beloved, Sir. ”
‘Heer” by Waris Shah. Opening lines of agreat poetic love story.
Complete Text of Waris Shah’s Punjabi Masterpiece, ‘Heer Ranjha’. The online text is in both Urdu script and Roman Urdu. Click here to read complete ‘Heer Ranjha’.
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