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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The meaning of the word 'Shah'.

by Mac Haque

"God is the Light" (Quran 24:35; Surat an-Noor)

There is a debate raging about the meaning of the word 'Shah' that is used before the names/titles of many a Baul or Sufi Saints of our times. In reality there is nothing 'mystical or spiritual' about it, but at the same time it is also not a word/title that can be trivialized unless our intentions are to deliberately malign some of humanity's greatest minds, the 'great lamps that lit the light'.

Etymologically 'Gossain, Sain, Sai or Shah' are one and the same. Please note there is nothing sectarian or communal in usage of any of these terms. It means someone who is 'enlightened'. Now what is the 'light' in enlightenment? The pre-Abrahamic era sage Hermes Trismegistus said 

'' A large lamp will continue to light smaller lamps until the very end of time''.

The first principal of creation is light. We enter our mother's womb as light and the soul that keeps us 'burning is a lamp. When we die, the lamp may have switched off but the light remains, for the soul can neither be created nor destroyed and science goes on to reaffirm that soul is energy that can neither be created or only takes a 'different shape/s'. Sufis refer to this as the 'Noor' - with all humanity of believers supposedly blessed with 'Noor e Muhammadi' i.e. the same light that lit the soul of the last Prophet. 

Shah therefore means a 'lamp that has been lit'. A lamp that will continue to impart knowledge to equip mankind so that is not to be overtaken by darkness. The word Shah in our culture is also a repeated reminder that the lamp will always be around in the forefront to ward off our consistent 'darkness', the darkness of our spirit, the filth in our soul that is left to our Gossain, Sain, Sai or Shah's to polish off, keep reawakened, rejuvenated at all given times, till the very end of times. 

Let there be light, let us remove the darkness from within our souls as evil forces so badly wants us to envelop ourselves in. 

In humility and hurt.



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