About the Book
Gulzar-e-Ibraheem of Maulvi Hasan belongs to the genre known in Persian literary tradition as Masnavi, almost certainly inspired by Rumi. Masnavis are romantic stories composed in rhyming couplets of exquisite elegance. They are open tributes to God espousing devotion as the highest human virtue. They are also allegories that can be read straight as a mundane love story with the usual ingredients of twists and turns and suspense and even magic, or as an exposition of Sufi spirituality and its philosophy of love for God. Masnavis resorted to the subterfuge of a passionate love story only to allure the readers who might miss an otherwise unappealing message. Whether to reveal the real meaning or not is the author’s choice. By the time the readers finish the story, they would already have swallowed the unsavory pill. The author of Gulzar-e-Ibraheem also follows the same route. And, towards the end of the narration he reveals the real message, saying aptly:
What you see as afsana is only the goblet!
The meaning, the intoxicating wine, is inside it!
Why get carried away by the look of the goblet?
Taste the wine inside by ever slowly sipping it!
About the Author:
Zarina Khan, the translator of Gulzar-e-Ibraheem, was a History teacher who retired as Principal of a First Grade College (Abbas Khan College for Women, Bangalore) in 2006. Her mother tongue is Urdu. More than fifty of her articles in Urdu and a few in English were published in various newspapers and contemporary publications. She has back-translated some Books of the New Testament from Urdu into English for the World Bible Translation Society based in Jerusalem. She has also translated two books from English into Urdu, My Story by Prof. B. Sheik Ali, and Calicut: The City of Truth by Prof. M.G.S. Narayanan, with their permission. Both books are waiting to be published.