What Muslim poets and writers say about Hindu god Krishna

A look at the how Lord Krishna is eulogised in Urdu literature

By Cutacut Editorial Team

KARACHI: The Hindu community living in Pakistan celebrated Lord Krishna’s birthday with religious fervor as temples built across Pakistan were decorated with lights and special musical performances were also held in several parts of the country on Sunday.

Not many might be aware that before Partition, Muslims would join Hindus in celebrating the birth anniversary of Krishna, considered to be the lord of beauty and romance. According to Firstpost, Krishna still holds reverence as he is still written about for his divine beauty.

In Hinduism, it is believed that Krishna was born some 5,000 years ago and is the eighth incarnation of Vishnu. The earliest mention of Krishna can be found in the epic of Mahabharata, according to the Indian Express.

Here, we look out at what Muslim scholars, poets and literary figures have written about Krishna throughout the years.

Insha Allah Khan Insha, an acclaimed Urdu poet, wrote about Krishna:

Saanvle tan pe ghazab dhaj hai basanti shaal kii
Jii mai hai kah baithiye ab Jai Kanahayya laal kii

(The yellow shawl looks majestic on a sultry body … At this moment, my heart wants to shout ‘victory to Kanhayya’)

Coming from a Muslim poet, it speaks volumes of how respecting Krishna was a norm in the Subcontinent. Here, Insha speaks about seeing a woman who has him so mesmerised that he wants to shout “victory to Lord Krishna” out aloud.

Famous poet Hafeez Jalandhari also wrote a very long poem about Krishna. Jalandhari was an important leader of the All India Muslim League and the independence movement. He is also the author of Pakistan’s national anthem and was well-versed in Islamic theology since he had memorised the Holy Quran. And, he eulogised Krishna.

After introducing Krishna in the poem, Hafeez goes on to say:


Jamuna ka kinara
Sunsaan hai sara
Tufaan hai khamosh
Maujon mai nahi josh
Lau tujh se lagi hai
Hasrat hi yahi hai
Ai hind ke raja
Ek baar phir aa ja
Dukh dard mita ja


(Border of Yamuna is entirely desolated. Storm is silent; waves have no passion. Expectation is from you, desire is only this much, O King of India, once again come back, annihilate pain and suffering)

Here, Hafeez refers to Krishna as the King of Hindustan and urges him to come back again as a saviour to relieve people from their pain and misery.

Khuwaja Hasan Nizami, another big figure in Urdu literature, wrote a book titled Krishn Jeewan (earlier it was Krishn Beeti). The book explores Krishna and his life. Nizami begins the book by saying that everyone tells stories but he would like to narrate a story of the lord who gave people the knowledge of telling stories, according to The Wire.

This is how Krishna’s birthday is described by him:

“So the time has arrived. Arrow of light has penetrated through the chest of dark nights. Night of the arriving springs is embracing the long black nights of Mathura. God has sent black clouds with thunders. Lightening is leading the path of rains to announce the arrival.”

“Today is the arrival of that commander in chief, army general and military leader of India, whose armies used to roam around victorious. Who is the foremost leader and general of the Indian subcontinent. Today those eyes are going to open themselves which will look after the earth and the sky. He comforts Indians in private as well as in public, in happiness as well as in sorrows, during the life as well as in death. Krishna is the leader of the adults and a beloved of the children.”



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