The Battle Field; complete English translation of Shah Latif’s Sur Kedaro

By: Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti

This piece of work is translation of Sur Kedaro which is one of the 32 chapters of Shah Jo Risalo, the great poetry book of renowned mystic poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai form Sindh Pakistan which narrates the story of battle of Karbala in which Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad was martyred along with his 72 companions and family members by the Army of tyrant ruler Yazid.
Canto 1
The month of Muharram arrives, heart for the princes sinks
God knows better, as he does whatever he likes, thinks
The month of Muharram returns but the Imams did not,
I might meet the lords of Medina, God I pray thee a lot.
The stalwarts left madina and they did not come back
Am in Plight for those went away, dyer, dye clothes in black
Plight of martyrdom was nothing but blessing
Yazid knew not about their eternal love, passion
To sacrifice their lives for their ultimate love
And die for their word their way, their fashion
Plight of martyrdom is nothing but pride pure
Stalwarts to know the Karbala’s tragedy obscure

Canto 2
The Imams leave Madina when the moon sets there
Equipped with swords, lances, axes and eagles along
To the battle field went the sons of Ali where
They will take the field with iron weapons strong
Settled in Karbala, the field of fierce battle
Faced Yazid’s army with great vigour and whim
With stunning strikes and with their teeth rattle
Fierce battle couldn’t make their passion dim
The Prophet’s siblings came to the land of Karbala
Their fine swords downcast the enemies to slaughter
No doubt the unfearing and undaunted in the battle
Were the sons of the Prophet’s beloved daughter
Stalwarts came to the land of Karbala
Brave, worthy of praise , undaunted
Earth jolted, and skies too shivered
With valour they their enemies enchanted
He gets friends slaughtered, beloved ones killed
And puts his closer ones into pain and plight
He does whatever wishes and whatever likes
Of course there lies some secret of deep insight

Canto 3
Is there any, saw gallants fighting in the field with valour great
Blood all around and death, feel the way fair, where life under threat
Gallants shine axes, swords and holding lances erect high
They relax them not, eager for martyrdom, ready to die
Charging and marching and fighting are the gallants’ trends
They keep on assaulting and, too, take care of friends,
The warriors came across with deafening sword strikes
And the stalwarts one after the other came down dead
Bloodshed all around, bloodstained bodies scattered
All around is hue and cry, and the field is all red
Warriors in the war shout and charge
And here cried one there the other breath
Trumpets cry at high on either side
Heroes and horses embraced the death
Heroes and horses shorter lives lead
Either at home or in the battle field
Martyrs’ bodies are brought back
In the battle field is hue and cry
Wives mourn for’em in the shack
With soiled hair on death of ally
Clad in wedding clothes, get ready and come along, groom
And fear not in spears strikes till you earn martyr’s bloom
Say not the husband fled away the field,
Pleased if hear, killed with wounds in his face
But If he bears in the back, I would die
Of unbearable pain, plight and disgrace
With out-thrust neck, proud wive sing aloud
Whose husbands were in the field martyred
“Such brave and undaunted warriors” they say
“With their blood red they their clans honoured”
I’d love If you die fighting and I for you cry
But. dear husband flee not of the field
Life’s nothing but a very short ally
Shame forever which carping taunts yield

Canto 4
Dew fell or the twisters made them reach a weald
There came night over Ali’s children in the battle field
Yazid, put not Ali’s children in the quarrel’s plight
You will never avail whatever will be Hussein’s delight
Cruel Kufains came to the tyrant’s fold
Imam determined not to give up faith
Though under the impure people’s hold
And gladly braced a martyr’s death
Cruel Kufians sent word in the name of Lord
We your slaves, you the master of us all
Must you come once, we for your wait here
Be our saviour and listen to our eager call
Cruel Kofians allow not drink water in Karbala
There the children remember Ali, their father
And look around for Muhammad, the Prophet
Ask for aide from tyrants around that gather
Early in the morning there came a bird
At the Prophet’s shrine cried with painful moan
From the land of Karbala with saddening word
Seen swords striking, aide the children own

Canto 5
Hassan not there to aide Hussein in plight
And he is far, far away from his natal sod
Where Yazid assaults over him day and night
With his well trained, equipped warrior squad
Hassan not there to help the brother in the battle
If were there would have helped and sacrificed
Now, no one else is there to offer some aide,
Who could for Hussein his enemies have sliced
Not all in the battle field remain bold and brave
But only who care not life and for death they crave
He yet loves life if he does take shield
Gallant waits for none but marches ahead
Among all the warriors in the battle field
Stalwart all aloan jumps to fight instead
Make doubt free heart, if want thee victory
Assault and wrestle and take not shield
Strike with spears with cries and shouts
Lumber cut enemies, take the battle field
Hur, the sturdy stout came straight and said,
Am but a slave to your grandfather, the Prophet nice
May I get his blessings as I am here to present
Myself, my soul and body for you sacrifice
Hur, though came from the other side to fight
He was with Hussien from the core of his heart
“My life is for you dear lord” said the true knight
Allah doesn’t burden a soul more than his sort
And I will do whatever I can against the plight”
Then braced martyrdom and well played his part
Wearing combat hamlet, audacious stalwart proud and sure
Stood undaunted though turned red with his blood pure
Beard bloodstained, teeth too, read like pomegranate flowers
Turban in the battle field shone like the full fourteenth moon
His mother to feel proud in the company of Muhammad, the prophet
Praise is for the vigorous gallant , martyred on the tenth’s afternoon
The mother cleansed the Karbala’s dust, and Ali wounds of the martyr
The Lord Almighty pardoned for the gallant’s brave blood’s barter

Canto 6
O warrior lord! throw thee onto the spears till thy last breath
For such an adorable sight for the years waits the death
As the goats cover mount, the vultures on the battle field
The warriors charge and chase and follow and fight
Widows of martyrs to raise the price of blue in numbers
They are to wear the mourning clothes after the plight
Vigorous warriors can’t stop fighting in the field
They battle in the name of Lord and sacrifice
Their lives before Imams, and warmly welcomed
With flowers’ wreathes by virgins in Eden so nice
Heaven is the home to stalwarts where they go
To Eden they move then, and meet the Lord
Bless me with a chance great , O, dear God,
And show me their face with your kind accord
Hassan and Hussien mourned by three clans
Men and brutes and angels in skies
Birds, too, cried, the beloved ones depart
Oh lord, eternal honour for them apprise
Those heartily adore not, Hassan and Hussein
The Creator Lord will never forgive them

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