Famine and Dearth

Bahr-e-Zakhkhār, Vol 2

1. Bahr-e-Zakhkhār, Vol 2

1.1.

Mauj: Hāji Mir Sayyid Muḥammad Mubārak Muḥaddis Bilgrami:
The master of truth seekers, Mir Sayyid Tufail Muḥammad Bilgrami said that one day I
received the honour of presenting myself before him [i.e. Muḥaddis Bilgrami]. He stood up
to perform the ablutions and suddenly fell down. He regained consciousness after one
hour. I asked after his condition and after some hesitation he replied, “For three days I
have not had any food at all. And for three days I did not tell this to anyone, and neither
did I borrow.” I wept bitterly and went to my house at once, and prepared the sweet dish
which was his favourite and offered it to him. At first, he expressed much pleasure and
prayed for me. Then he said, “I wish to say something but on the condition that you will
not be ill-disposed.” I said, “Please speak.” He said, “In the parlance of the destitute, this
would be called extravagance in food. Although according to the experts of
jurisprudence, to eat this is permissible and as per the Shari‘ah [religious code of
conduct], after three days [of starvation, to eat from] a dead body is allowed, but in
mendicancy, eating excessive food is not permitted.” On hearing this, I stood up without
saying anything and came out with the food. For some time I stayed outside, then
brought the food back to him and said “When I took away the food, did you expect that I
would bring it back?” He said, “No.” I said, “Now that I have brought the food back
unexpectedly, it is not extravagance.” Hazrat Mir enjoyed this explanation and said,
“What a clever argument you have put forward,” and ate the food.

This text is an English-language translation of the original version:
Original

This is a selection from the original text

Keywords

Sufi, calamity, epidemic, famine, food, hunger, natural dye, oral narrative, patachitra, plague, rain, scroll, starvation

Source text

Title: Bahr-e-Zakhkhār, Vol 2

Author: Wajihuddin Ashraf

Editor(s): Sujit Mondal, Ayesha Mukherjee

Publisher: University of Exeter

Publication date: 2021

Place of publication: Exeter

Digital edition

Original author(s): Wajihuddin Ashraf

Language: English, Persian

Responsibility:

Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Dasgupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Ehteshamuddin

Texts translated by: Ayesha Mukherjee

Texts encoded by: Shrutakirti Dutta

Encoding checking by: Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.

Acknowledgements