A Rendezvous With Agha Sarosh

By Asma Abbas

  Agha Sarosh is a well know Shair of Ahlebait in the poetic world. Those mohibs of Ahlebait who are even remotely connected to mehfils, know him well. Agha Sahab was invited to Dubai by Ehsan Sahab for Eid-e-Ghadeer. In a rendezvous with Agha Sahab, he told us about himself, his family, his life as a poet and a few highlights of his life.

Takth bolenge na dinaro dirham   Bolenge

Roze mehshar to faqzth dida-e-Mam Bolenge

       "My name is Agha Mohammad Ali. My father died around 25 years ago and my mother also passed away last year. I was a favorite of my parents as I was born three years after their marriage. My grandmother’s sister ‘Emami Begum’ brought me up and was responsible for my education. My love for the Arabic language is also due to her influence.    

Before I was born she had a dream that two beautiful hands with rings of Aqeeq and Feroza on the right hand, were handing down a baby to my grandmother and asked her to name the child Mohammad Agha. I was born 2-3 days later.

 My house had always been full of various books of different subjects. Since childhood I have been exposed to different languages. My grandfather did my Bismillah when I was four. I learned how to recite the Quran with my Grandfather. I was also interested personally in this language so by the time I actually started writing shair, my foundation was formed. I was deciding on a name for my takhallus, when I remembered the incident before my birth. It felt like a voice of the unknown that I write poetry in the love of Aqhle Bait. Hence I thought of the word ‘Sarosh’. Sarosh means ‘Awaaz-e-Ghayebi’. Angel Gibriel is also known as Sarosh.

Ayi darbaar me hakim ke ye Hyder ki Sada

Aaj Zainab teri awaaz me ham bolenge 

         Due to various personal reasons I could not complete my education. My father got me married early and then I had household responsibilities. I have seen numerous ups and downs in my life. I have gone through great hardships and struggles. But, I have always felt and no doubt received help from our present Imam.(A.F.) It is not appropriate to relate all of them. Hardships come and then they pass away as well. 

   I never ask for money in return for my shairi. According to the Poet Dabeer…

             “Misre ke iwaz aapse tooba nahin leta
             Lo Jannat-e- aala bhi adna nahin leta
              Ab poochiye kya leta hai aur kya nahin leta
              Mein naam zubaan se kisi sheh ka nahin leta
              Juz madhe Raza kuch mujhe manzoor nahin hai
             Khaadim tera maddaa hai mazdoor nahin hai.”

Main hoon dare Abbas hai aur meri jabeen hai

Sab kehne ki baate hai falak hai na zameen hai

Once when I had gone to London from Hyderabad in a hurry. It was not a planned trip and I had not made arrangements during my absence back home. I was in a desperate need of Rs.14, 000. I was very worried about what would happen at home. And in this desperation a few days passed. I had not told a soul about my problem. While in London, a Mawlana (who asked me never to reveal his name) told me to come and collect some money from him. He told me that someone wanted to give me money. He did not tell me who it was but he said, “You are in need of money and there is someone who wants to help you.” He asked me to come after Maghrib prayers and collect the money. When I went to him he handed me exactly Rs14, 000!! I asked him how he knew but he did not tell me. I am sure that this person could have been none other than our Holy Imam (A.S.).

There have been various incidents in my life where I have received much more than what I recited. During the time when Saqlain Hyder Sahab was alive I have traveled far and wide with him. He used to take me along with him and we used to roam every nook and corner as Husasaini faqeer. I have traveled extensively, throughout U.P, to all small villages. While we roamed, there were a few places where we did not get a penny in a row, and then at the fifth place we used to get so much that it always covered up for the loss. It is definite that we never asked for anything on our own. I have always received much more than I was entitled to. People are surprised at how I run my house! Mashallah all my four children are well-educated graduates, one of my sons is doing engineering, and my elder daughter works at high tech city in Hyderabad. And one daughter is happily married in Chicago .They are all doing well by the grace of God.

          An interesting incident occurred while I was in Lucknow at Shia College. I was reciting the following verse..

             “Dua-e-malak hai dar-e-Fatima par
            Salaamat rahein Rotiyan dene wale..”

Zakhmee hai magar Karbobala kitni haseen hai

Jannat kahin duniya main agar hai to yahin hai 

The organizers of the function were so moved by the verse that they requested me to keep reading the same verse over and over again, and while I was reciting they started bringing rotis and distributed them to the entire mehfil. As you can imagine it was a very unique scene. I was repeating the verse, the audience (which were in thousands) was going wild and the organizers were distributing rotis. It is something that one does not forget easily. It is an unusual experience to be a shair of Ahle bait. I recite at mushairas as well, but this is something else. Moreover I am proud to be a shair of the Ahle-bait only.

          When I say a verse I try to look at it from all angles, especially from the eyes of our enemies. But, I am a mortal after all and am capable of making mistakes. I try my best to rectify my verses as far as possible. People do object to some verses. Once I had written the following verse …..
             “Aye Jibraiel aayei hain baali pe Bu-Turaab  
             jaa jald jaa ke arash se kursi utha ke laa”

Kyon madhate Abbas main luknat hai zabaan ko

Dekho kahin mehfil main Sakina to nahi hai

The gentleman said, what is this chair you are talking about, a chair in heaven makes no sense. I said that it is something I thought of, regarding ‘arsh’ and ‘kursi’ and said it. Later I found out that there is a hadith by our sixth Imam, that when the Imam comes to a momin during his last minutes a chair of light comes from the heavens on which he sits. This proves that our Maasoomeen(as) help those who write out of the love of Ahle-bait.

          I also write nohas for various groups, but I am in no hurry to publish any books. I am still in the beginning stages of my career and it will take another two years to do so."

Chali jab faqre Maryam matlaye noore Sahar ho kar

Badi diware Kaaba isteqbal dar ho kar 

          We are very thankful to Agha Sarosh for giving us his valuable time and we pray that Allah grants him much more fame and talent that he already has. May Allah give him the very best in both the worlds. Aameen.