Munaajaat: Ya Aly Khoob mijaalas jeenat karke – O Aly, in the fair assembly gloriously adorned

Munaajaat Gist: By Karim Maherali. Brief note about the raag (tune) by Aly Sunderji.

5700045j.jpgA munaajaat on the one hand, is a recital of a poem (qasida) in praise of the Beloved; and on the other, an intimate conversation between two lovers. This munaajaat is recited on the occasion of Imamat Day marking the coronation of the Divine institution of Imamat. It describes the glorious and heavenly nature of the occasion and the ardent prayer and wish by a murid for the institution’s eternal blessedness and protection. It was composed on the occasion of the coronation of our 48th Imam Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah who was only eight years old at that time. This fact is significant because it underscores an important concept in our tradition regarding the nature of the knowledge of the Imam: It is not acquired through external means (Harvard for example) but rather, it is innate and self-perpetuating as per the verse of the Holy Qur’an (24:35):

Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth; His light is as a niche in which is a lamp, and the lamp is in a glass, the glass is as though it were a glittering star; it is lit from a blessed tree, an Olive neither of east nor of the west, the oil of which would well-nigh give light though no fire touched it,-light upon light;-Allah guides to His light whom He pleases; and Allah strikes out parables for men; and Allah all things doth know.

According to Shia interpretation of the above verse, light refers to the light of Imamat. Indeed, upon ascension to Imamat, Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah made the following Farman (Mumbai, 1-9-1885):

O Jamats, do not consider me small. My grandfather is Amirul Mominin Mowla Murtaza Ali and my grandmother is Jannate Khatun Bibi Fatima. I am the Noor of Ali and Nabi. O Jamats! Rest assured that the Divine Light (Noor) of Ali is in me and is present before you.

Due to the changed circumstances, and to mark the coronation of the 49th Imam, references of the 47th and 48th Imams were changed to 48th and 49th Imams respectively in the munaajaat.


Ya Aly Khoob mijaalas jeenat karke


Without music: Mohammad Khimani With music: Taufiq Karmali


Transliteration & Translation:


Ya Aly Khoob mijaalas jeenat karke 
   Faras bichhaai gaali 
   Aan baithe hay takhat upar 
   Sultan Mahamad Shah Vaali 

      Aaj raaj mubaarak hove 
      Noor ain Alyku(n) raaj mubaarak hove 
      Shah aal-e Nabiku(n) raaj mubaarak hove
      Hove hove aaj raaj mubaarak hove.. ..1

O Aly, in the fair assembly gloriously adorned, with carpets spread upon the floor, Sultan Mahomed Shah has ascended the throne.

Blessed be your rule today! Blessed be your rule, o light of Aly’s eyes! Blessed be your rule, o Lord, descendant of the Prophet! Blessed be your rule today


Ya Aly Didaar leneku(n) aaye Shah teri
   Hindi jamaaet saari
   Shaha bajaakar najaraa(n) deve
   Jaan apniku(n) vaari.. ..Aaj raaj..2

O Aly, to gain vision of you, Lord, your entire Indian community has come. They duly present their offerings, Lord, devoting their lives to you.


Ya Aly Tera nasiba roj-e avvalse
   Deta hay re kamaali
   Shah Aly Shahke mukhme(n)-se nikla
   Sultan Mahamad Shah Vaali.. ..Aaj raaj..3

O Aly, from the First Day your fortune has bestowed greatness upon you. Lord, from the lips of Shah Aly Shah there issued the words: “Sultan Mahomed Shah is the Lord”.


Ya Aly Shaha kahu(n) to tujku(n) bajaave
   Bakht buland peshaani
   Chhoti umarme(n) aale martaba
   Taaluki nishaani.. ..Aaj raaj..4

O Aly, to call you ‘Imam’ is your due, for you bear the signs of noble fortune on your brow. At this young age your rank is lofty, betokening your greatness.. ..4


Ya Aly Takht ne chhatr tujku(n) mubaarak
   Jehara-jike piyaare
   Avval Hasan Shah karñi so teri
   Jannat aap savaare.. ..Aaj raaj..5

O Aly, blessed be your royal throne and umbrella, o beloved descendant of the Lady Zahra. Your power comes from the father of Lord Hasan, enhancing your glory.. ..5


Ya Aly Takht ne chhatr soonke tere
   Falakse barse noora
   Moti tabaaka haathu(n)me(n) lekar
   Shahku(n) vadhaave hoora.. ..Aaj raaj..6

O Aly, at the news of your coronation, light pours down from heaven. With plates of pearls in their hands, the angels shower offerings upon the Lord.. ..6


Ya Aly Mahemaan-khaaneme(n) momanku(n)
   Jab laaye Idd musalle
   Shamsi jo salavaat padkar
   Maarfatki khushiyaali.. ..Aaj raaj..7

O Aly, when the believers in the guest-house celebrate this occasion as at Id, they recite the Shamsi prayer and experience the delights of spiritual enlightenment.. ..7

Comment: The guest-house can mean JamatKhana where the chief guest is the Imam who visits the hearts of his murids and grants spiritual enlightenment. On the other hand it can also mean the residence of those who had come from outside Mumbai for this particular occasion.


Ya Aly Teri mubaarak-baadike khaatar
   Sayyid karte munaajaat
   Shaha Najaf tere pusht panaah
   Tere dushman hove fanaah.. ..Aaj raaj..8

O Aly, to offer you his congratulations, this Sayyid submits his humble prayer: may the Lord of Najaf (Hazarat Aly) be your protector, and may your enemies be destroyed.. ..8

The translation is taken from Zawahir Moir’s Ismaili Hymns.


A Brief Note on the Raag (Tune) Aspect by Aly Sunderji


The term “munaajaat” in this case refers to a folksong, although this has been documented by Mukji Lalji Devraj as written by “A Saiyad”, it is quite likely that this has been written by Sayyid Fateh Alysha. The musical composition of this munaajaat is set on Raag Khamaj, the notes of which are – Aaroh: SGMPDNS Avroh: SnDPMGRS, the traditional samay or time for this raag is the early evening. This munaajaat is often sung on the occasion of Imamat Day, as well as during zaheri didar, it is of utmost importance to remember that this is not a ginan and the poetic content is quite different than that of a ginan. During Mawlana Hazar Imam’s historic Birthday Darbaar in 1964 at Karachi Pakistan, the jamat had recited Allah Ek Khasam Sabooka, followed by this Munaajaat, the munaajat was sung by non-other than Khursheed Nurali. Another worthwhile note to mention is that since this is not a ginanic scripture, the lyrics remain flexible, in contemporary times the name of Shah Karim is added in, as well as the name of the country where it may be recited, for instance “Pakistan” is popularly added in, other contemporary modifications include the name of “Zahra” and “Sajda Bajaakar”.


Ginan Translation Series


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