Bulleh Shah

Bulleh Shah pic

Bulleh Shah

” Alif -He who meditates on Allah
His face is pale, his eyes bloodshot.
He who suffers pangs of separation,
No longer he longs his life ~ last.
Say -Soulful is my love for you,
Whom shall I go and tell?
In the swelling waters of a river at midnight
A wailing swallow fell. ”

– Bulleh Shah

Bulleh Shah Poems

View: Bulleh Shah Poems

Bulleh Shah  was a Punjabi Sufi poet, believed to have lived from 1680 to 1758. As is a common practice in South Asian poetry, his poems include a signature line which contains his name. Bulleh Shah was settled in Kasur, now in Pakistan. His spiritual master was Shah Inayat Qadiri of Lahore.

The ancestral village of Bulleh Shah was Uch Gilaniyan in Bahawalpur, now a part of Pakistan, though his ancestors had migrated from Bukhara in modern day Uzbekistan. From there his family first shifted to Malakwal (Multan District, Pakistan) and then to Pandoke, which is about 14 miles southeast of Kasur, Pakistan. Bulleh’s real name was Abdullah Shah, but Bulleh was his nickname at home, and that is the name he chose to use as a poet. His family background was religious, his father being a highly religious person. Bulleh wrote primarily in Punjabi, but also in the locally spoken language, Siraiki, which is often considered a dialect of Punjabi. His style of poetry is called Kafi, which was already an established style with Sufis who preceded him. Several of his songs are regarded as an integral part of the traditional repertoire of Qawwali, the musical genre which represents the devotional music of the Sufis. The tomb of Bulleh Shah is in Kasur, and he is held in reverence by all Sufis of India and Pakistan.


The Life and Poetry of Bulleh Shah