Final Project – Silent Wedding

Bhatii text, to the tune of “Silent Night”:

Beloved, send for this beggar,

your little country girl

For God’s sake, O Mustafa,

my hero, give me courage!

…Beloved! Put out the fire

of biraha (viraha) with your own hands. (qtd in Asani, 213)

 

Original Silent Night text:

Silent Night, Holy Night,

Shepherds quake at the sight,

Round yon virgin, Mother and Child,

Holy infant, so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace!

Sleep in heavenly peace.

 

In response to the article “The Bridegroom Prophet in Medeival Sindhi Poetry,” by Ali Asani, I sang a verse by Abd ur-Ra’uf Bhatti, a Sindhi poet, to the tune of “Silent Night.”  The verse, as described in the article, involves the notion of a female soul that is waiting for her bridge-groom, the Prophet Muhammad, who will wed the woman-soul and thus bring her to God.  As explained in the article, Bhatti, a Sindhi poet, uses many themes and motifs from Sinhi culture to express his poetry, such as the concept of the viraha, which stands for a longing in separation.  In this case, the woman-soul has a longing for God and thus for the Prophet to connect her with Him; without the wedding to do this, she is merely one half of a whole, but when united with God, her soul can be full and at peace.  I chose to sing this verse to the tune of “Silent Night” for a few reasons: First, in Christianity, “Silent Night” describes the birth and coming of Jesus, and thus the coming of God down to Earth for the salvation of mankind.  This strikes me as a very similar notion to the woman-soul being connected with God, for in both cases the soul is not yet whole, but once the connection to God is made – either through a wedding with the bride-groom Prophet, or through the coming of Christ to atone for humanity’s sins and thus allow human souls into heaven – the soul is finally saved and whole. Furthermore, I find it very interesting to mash these two ideas together, as the relationship of Jesus to Christianity as compared to Muhammad with Islam fascinates me. “Silent Night” perfectly encapsulates the general relationship of Father and child between God and the soul, while the story of the bridegroom is another type of love, closer to romantic love between the soul and the Prophet.  Nevertheless, just as Persian and Sindhi cultures could come together to create the story of the bride-groom, so too can a Muslim and Christian story come together to express the same idea of being connected to God to complete one’s soul.

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