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Bloom on the Gallows: Hallāj as Imagery and as Metaphor in South Asian Poetry (Lunch Talk-Hybrid)

CISA Speaker Series

Syed Nomanul Haq, the Institute of Liberal Arts at the University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM (Pacific Time)
10383 Bunche Hall

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Nomanul Haq explores the legacy of Hallāj, particularly in the context of Urdu poetry.

In the year 922, following a decade of inquisitions in a mêlée of political and court intrigues, the Sufi Ibn Mansur al-Hallaj was mercilessly executed before a large crowd in Abbasid Baghdad. His fateful cry “Ana’l-Haq” (I am the truth), the chief crime for which he was ostensibly punished, has echoed until this day in Sufi chambers, generating a massive body of explicative, devotional, romantic, as well as secular resistance poetry and other
literary genres.
The memory of this slain Sufi has slowly spread aflame with beauty all across the literary and mystical horizons of Muslim societies. One sees his shadow hovering over classical Urdu and Persian poetry of South Asia from Amir Khusro until our own times, so enduringly cast over literary imagination that he has been raised from the realm of factual history into that of metaphor and topos.
Nomanul Haq explores this legacy, particularly in the context of Urdu poetry.

Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia, Center for Near Eastern Studies, Program on Central Asia

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