Maulana Da’ud and Candayan: Shyam Manohar Pandey

Shyam Manohar Pandey, received his D. Phil, from Allahabad University; Fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies, he taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies London and also at the University of Chicago; joined the Department of Asian Studies, Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples, Italy. Given below is the brief excerpt of his lecture ‘Maulånå Då’ud and Candåyan’ delivered at the IGNCA on the adoption of for stories by sufi poets for their religions propagation.

Maulånå Då’ud, a Sµufi poet of old Avadhi, composed his Candåyan in A.H. 781 (1379 A.D.) during the period of Firoz Shah Tughlug. Maulånå Då’ud’s teacher, Shaikh Zainuddin belonged to the tradition of the Chishti saint Khwajå Nizåmuddin Auliyå (d. 1325 A.D.).

In fact, Shaikh Zainuddin was not only a disciple of Shaikh Nasirudd?n Chirågh – Dehli vi (1356 A.D.) a principal successor of Nizåmuddin Auliyå, but also his elder sister’s son who lived in Ayodhya. Shaikh Zainuddin was an important figure in the khanqah of Chiragh Dehli vi who was a personal attendant of the Shaikh and a care taker of the hospice.

Maulånå då’ud refers to Shaikh Zainuddin with great respect in Candåyan which is the first Sµufi text in Hindi and an allegorical poem describing the love of Loik and Canda. The story of Candayan is based on the oral epic Lorik? or Canain? of which already four volumes have been published.

Shri Pandey with several examples illustrated how the Sufi poet adopted folk epics and transformed them into a symbolic and mystical love, romance. Candayan has influenced not only the Hindu Sufi romances such as Mrigavåti (1503 A.D.) of Kutuban. Padmavat (1504 A.D.) of Malik Muhammad Jåyasi or Madhumålat? (1545 A.D.) of Manjhan etc. but also the Bengali poets such as Alaol or Daulat Qåz? who adopted the story of Lorik and Candå for their compositions. In Dakhini Ghawwasi drew inspiration from Maulånå Då’ud and his work Candåyan. In Persian Hamidi wrote Asmat Nåmµa in the 17th century which is again based on the Lorik Candå tale. Maulånå Då’ud is the first Sufi poet who used a native language to express the Sufi concept of love and his influence reached Bengal and South India where Sµufism flourished.

Hazrat Quddus Gangohi who composed short poems and doha in Hindi by the name of Alakh das during the period of Båbur translated the whole Candåyan into Persian, but unfortunately it was lost. Abdul Qådir Badåyµuni, of Akbar’s period also praised Candåyan for its mystical meanings.

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