More than any other poet, it is Waris Shah alone who made Punjabi language enter every heart and hearth of Punjab. Heer is the supreme achievement not only of the poet but also of Punjabi poetry. Waris Shah is a model poet who inspired and guided generations of Punjabi poets belonging to the medieval as well as modern period. He borrowed the story and plot of the legend of Heer- Ranjha and structured it anew and contrary to early happy endings raised it to the level of tragedy of classic dimensions. The beauty of this epic poem is that it has attracted every critic worth the name and has led to a variety of interpretations and critical approaches.
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After completing his education in Kasur district Lahore , he shifted his residence to Malka Hans. Here, he resided in a small room adjacent to a historic mosque that was constructed in The room where the poet lived is still there, though devoid of any furniture or things that could be related to Waris Shah to bring back the memory of the poet.
The only sign showing that Waris Shah had been living here is a crudely written plaque with sketchy details about the poet. Waris Shah was a consummate artiste, deeply learned in Islamic and Indian lore. His verse is a treasure-trove of Punjabi phrases, idioms and sayings. His minute and realistic depiction of each detail of Punjabi life remains unique. Of all his works, his version of the legendary romance of Heer is the most outstanding.
Heer Waris Shah or The Romance of Heer Ranjha is believed to be based on the true account of two star-crossed lovers, who lived during the times of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The classic work of Waris Shah echoes in the countryside as people sing about it with joy. One can find a number of folk vocalists singing Heer Waris Shah in other parts of the subcontinent where Punjabi language is used.
Waris lived through the invasions of Nadir Shah and Ahmed Shah There are references in his Heer about these invasions and the devastation they wrought in Punjab. Warris Shah died in Waris Shah though belonged to Punjab. His poetry was full of the land, the people, the traditions of Punjab and hence he is celebrated both in India and Pakistan and his Heer is sung everywhere where the Punjabi language is spoken.
A Punjabi saga of timeless, tragic love: 250 years of Waris Shah’s Heer
He is best known for his seminal work Heer Ranjha, based on the traditional folk tale of Heer and her lover Ranjha. Heer is considered one of the quintessential works of classical Punjabi literature. Waris Shah acknowledged himself as a disciple of Pir Makhdum of Kasur. 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 mausoleum is a place of pilgrimage today, especially for those in love. 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.
Heer, as you might have guessed, is the protagonist from the legend of Heer-Ranjha, a story we have heard in songs, read in books or seen on the silver screen. Sayyed Waris Shah, as the 18th century Sufi poet was known, composed the most popular rendition of the epic love story of Heer-Ranjha. Not much is known about Waris Shah. The story, however, goes like this and is mostly told by Shah in Heer itself. He was an outsider. So, why did this stranger from Sandal Bar choose to stay in Malka Hans?
Ajj Aakhaan Waris Shah Nu