Waris Shah

A Brief Biography


Syed Waris Shah (1722-98) was born in Jandiala Sher Khan, District Sheikhupura, Punjab (Pakistan). He was a consummate artiste, deeply learned in Islamic and domestic cultural lore. His verse is a treasure-trove of Punjabi phrases, idioms and sayings. His minute and realistic depiction of each detail of Punjabi life and the political situation in the 1700īs remains unique. Of all his works, his version of the legendary romance of Heer is the most outstanding. Heer Waris Shah (or The Romance of Heer Ranjha, written in 1766) is believed to be based on the true account of two star-crossed lovers, who lived during the 16th century. It is also said that Waris Shah sublimated his own unrequited love for a girl (Bhag Bhari) in writing the romance. The amazing poetic mould that he worked within has not been bettered by any of his successors to date. His other famous books are "Ibrat Nama" and "Ushtar Nama". Waris Shah's mausoleum is today a pilgrimage site, especially for those in love.

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