ROOTS – Zikir


Towards the late 17th century a fakir named Shah Milan arrived in Assam from Baghdad. Because he was the first to teach and start the practice of AZAN amongst the Muslims of Assam he came to be known as Azan Fakir. He learnt Assamese and composed lyrics in the form of folk songs which were called Jikir. JIKIR in Islam means KIRTAN. He composed a total of 180 Jikir songs which have survived the test of time for centuries and are still immensely popular in Assam. These songs describe the manners, customs and the spiritual knowledge of the Muslim religion.

Besides being folk songs, these songs have also been greatly influenced by Vaishnavite literature. The Jikirs created in the tune of folk songs are sung only in praise of Allah as in the Vaisnavatine Kirtan, which is sung only in praise of Hari (Iswar). Through his Jikirs Azan Fakir tried to propagate that Hindus and Muslims were basically the same and thereby tried to bring them together with love and affection. He was a great social reformer.


The song now on stage is a Jikir Song from Assam.

Mind, body and soul…as in almost all Jikir songs, here also the poet very devotionally glorifies and praises the omnipresent Almighty. God bestows life with joy from within—the self and the soul. He has no form, no color, but He is with you, within you. He is neither joy nor sorrow or joy or despair but is the soulful energy.

And therefore one should not believe in anything as his own and be an ignorant; because the soul is immortal. It only traverses from one self to another from one era to another, and that is going on since the creation life on earth. It is the eternal force!!!!

Zikirs are the religious folk songs of Assam. Zikirs are melodious combination of Sufi and Vaishnavi cultures. They also depict deep folk influences in the music

These religious folk songs are believed to be composed by saint Ajan pir. Some say he belonged to Ajmer and others believe he was from Arab. He composed these poems in the 17th century. During the reign of Ahom king Godaadhor Singh, his official Rupai daa-dhora snatched Ajaan pir's eyes. But later king realized the saint's greatness and established him with land/donations in the xoraaguri saapori , a Place near Dikhowmukh, Sibsagar District of Assam.

This song Mastani Mastani is a Zikir song composed by the Decendent of Saint Ajan Pir, Nozrul Islam.