Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Aik Alif - Sain Zahoori & Noori (Coke Studio Version) Season 2 Episode 1

Aik Alif is written by Bulleh Shah in which he asks people to stop studying all that science, education and spiritual knowledge they are studying, because all that is not important when you haven't studied your own self.

Here he has shown the importance of Ik Alif. Alif is the first alphabet of Urdu script. It also means "1" and Bulleh Shah tells that all you need is "Alif" meaning oneness or Unity. We must see each one of us as 1. Everything in this universe is just Alif. This is another self introspecting song after Ali Zafar - Naheen Re Naheen

Parh parh ilm te faazil hoya
[You read to become all knowledgeable]

Te kaday apnay aap nu parhya ee na
[But you never read yourself]

Bhaj bhaj warna ay mandir maseeti
[You run to enter your mosques and temples]

Te kaday mann apnay wich warya ee na
[But you never entered your own heart]

Larna ay roz shaitaan de naal
[Everyday you fight Satan]

Te kadi nafs apnay naal larya ee na
[But you never fight your own Ego]

Bulleh Shah asmaani ud-deya pharonda ay
[Bulleh Shah you try grabbing that which is in the sky]

Te jera ghar betha unoon pharya ee na
[But you never get hold of what sits inside yourself]

Bas kareen o yaar
[Stop it all my friend]

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar
[stop seeking all this knowledge my friend]

Ik Alif teray darkaar
[Only an Alif is what you need]

Bas kareen o yaar
[stop it all my friend]

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar…
[Stop seeking all this knowledge my friend]

Allah Sayyaan Allah Sayyaan
[God is Greatness, God is All]

Nee main jaanaa Jogi de naal
[I shall follow the Jogi {ascetic/Sufi}]

Jo naa jaane, Haqq ki taaqat
[those who deny the strength of Truth]

Rab naa devey us ko Himmat
[God does not give them courage]

Hum Mann ke darya mein doobey
[We have drowned in the river of Self]

Kaisi nayya? Kya manjhdhaar…
[the boat and the flowing waters do not matter]

Bas kareen o yaar
[stop it all my friend]

Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar
[stop seeking all this knowledge my friend]

Allah Sayyaan Allah Sayyaan
[God is Greatness, God is All]

First part is sung by Sain Zahoor a leading Sufi Musician from Pakistan. He has won BBC voice of the year 2006. After his verse comes the melodious Mandolin that Noori plays, which infact takes the song to a new place.

We can see the transition in verses, first Sain Zahoor sings all the contradicting things one does in the life. Like doing everything related to the outside world but not looking inside himself. When the next part comes, it talks about some beautiful lines like "Hum mann ke darya me doobe, Kaisi nayya ? Kya Manjhdhaar.... " All we need is drown inside ourselves in search of our soul. And while we are drowned then what is a Boat and which way the water flows is just out of question.
Similarly the lines Bas kareen o yaar, Ilm-oun bas kareen o yaar are amazingly heart melting. They just mean a lot. Like telling a person who was so proud of his knowledge and everything and you just show him that he is nothing.

From a poem by Bulleh Shah

Parh Parh Kitaaban Ilam Diyan Tu Naam Rakh Liya Qaazi,
Hath Vich Farh Ke Talvaar Tu Naam Rakh Liya Gaazi,
Makkay Madinay Ghoom Aaya Tay Tu Naam Rakh Liya Haaji,
"Bulleh Shah" Haasil Ki Kita, Je Tu Yaar Na Rakhaya RAAZI....

Lyrics are quite easy and you can feel them even when you listen for the first time. And one does feel like pausing his thoughts of materialistic world and try to see what is going on inside him.

I would like to share a story about Bullleh Shah taken from Inspirations and Creative Thoughts

In the life of Bullah Shah, the great saint of Panjab, one reads a most instructive account of his early training when he was sent to school with boys of his own age. The teacher taught him Alif, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. The other boys in his class finished the whole alphabet set while he was mastering the same letter. When weeks had passed, and the teacher saw that the child did not advance any further than the first letter Alif, he thought that he must be deficient and sent him home to his parents, saying, 'Your boy is deficient, I cannot teach him.'

The parents did all in their power for him, placing him under the tuition of various teachers, but he made no progress. They were disappointed, and the boy in the end escaped from home, so that he should no longer be a burden to his own people. He then lived in the forest and saw the manifestation of Alif which has taken form in the forest as the grass, the leaf, the tree, branch, fruit, and flower; and the same Alif was manifested as the mountain and hill, the stones and rocks; and he witnessed the same as a germ, insect, bird and beast, and the same Alif in himself and others. He thought of one, saw one, felt one, realized one, and none else besides.

After mastering this lesson thoroughly he returned to pay his respects to his old teacher who had expelled him from school. The teacher, absorbed in the vision of variety, had long ago forgotten him; but Bullah Shah could not forget his old teacher who had taught him his first and most inspiring lesson which had occupied almost all his life. He bowed most humbly before the teacher and said, 'I have prepared the lesson you so kindly taught me; will you teach me anything more there may be to learn?' The teacher laughed at him and thought to himself, 'After all this time this simpleton has remembered me.' Bullah Shah asked permission to write the lesson, and the teacher replied in jest, 'Write on this wall.' He then made the sign of Alif on the wall, and it divided into two parts. The teacher was astounded at this wonderful miracle and said, 'Thou art my teacher! That which thou hast learnt in the one letter Alif, I have not been able to master with all my learning,' and Bullah Shah sang this song:

Oh! friend now quit thy learning,
One Alif is all thou dost need.
By learning thou hast loaded my mind,
With books thou hast filled up thy room.
But the true knowledge was lost by pursuing the false, So quit now, O friend, the pursuit of thy learning.

Every form seems to be derived from another, all figures being derived from Alif, which is originally derived from a dot and represents zero, nothingness. It is that nothingness which creates the first form Alif. It is natural for everyone when writing to make a dot as soon as the pen touches the paper, and the letters forming the words hide the origin. In like manner the origin of the One Being is hidden in His manifestation. That is why Allah, whose name comes from Alif, is hidden under His own manifestation. The same form of Alif is the figure one in English, and in both aspects this form reveals its meaning. This meaning in its various forms is seen in all aspects of nature. As Omar Khayyam says:

My soul said, 'I desire the mystic knowledge:
Teach me if it be in thy power.'
I said, 'Alif.'

She answered, 'Say no more; If one is at home,
a single letter is enough.'
- Alif, Inayat Khan: The Way of Illumination


  1. Great explaination, Hats off for this writing.....
    thanks ... GOD Bless You .....

  2. Thank you for nice explanation of great song with lot of wisdom

  3. Worth reading. Thank you for putting it so well.