Amir Khusrow: Last Night

Amir Khusrow (1253 – 1325 CE) was a poet, musician, courtier and favoured disciple of the Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.  His influence on the culture of the sub-continent was immense, for he invented a number of verse and musical forms that are still current today.  For example, he is considered the father of qawwali music, the singing of devotional poetry that gave great joy to his Sufi master.  When Hazrat Nizamuddin was nearing the end of his life, in spite of his love for Khusrow, he named another mureed as his successor, and said, “I would choose Khusrow, but it is God’s decision.”   And within six months of the passing of the saint, Khusrow also passed away.  

Last Night

I don’t know what place it was
Where I found myself last night;
Everywhere they were dancing,
Love-stricken, where I was last night.

Fairy-faced, cypress-like in form, and rosy cheeked,
Irresistible beauty abounded, in that place,
Where I found myself, last night.

My rivals had her ear
And she was full of grace, and I afraid
To speak, but it was difficult to utter
A word, in the place I was last night.

O Khusrow, God himself held pride of place
And Muhammad was the light of Grace
In the gathering where I was
Last night!

Tr. Manhood Jamal


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