Shrine of Heer Ranjha amidst Facts and Myths

Sand storm of the past passes by the present tense and drags us to the memoirs of Heer Ranjha who got fame because of their love for each other. Voices in the favor and rivals like Kaido heading towards them limping and winking with an evil smile on their faces come up on the screen of imagination. It sounds romantic and love seems to be overwhelming the whole scenario. But the real picture is otherwise. The shrine, where facts and myths dwell in the same den of love and romance and both Heer and Ranjha are buried side by side, unfolds the tale of their divine love as they were religious personalities of their time, not lovers in the worldly terms. Historians can twist and distort anything they want. Who knows what they will write on you and me after two centuries? Certainly, we will be at their mercy!

Shrine of Izzat Bibi titled as Heer was built by Behlol Lodhi, the ruler of the time who was a devotee of Heer. It drives the tale to the other direction. If Heer and Ranjha were in love with each other, why did the ruler got involved into their love?  Definitely there will be many other lovers in his age، why did he build only her tomb? The fact is their love was purely divine. Research by Saen Fazal, Mehmood khatri, Guru Gobind Singh, Nawab Ahmad Khan, and a poet called Maqbal introduce Heer in different languages and present her as a religious personality unlike presented in Punjabi movie. A Literary piece of art by Waris Shah partially portrays the true picture of the both: travel of love from the world to the divine.

Born in 830 AH at the home of Chuchak Sial, Izzat Bibi was titled as Heer (means pious in local language) due to her piety and divine love. Fond of reciting Quran, she learnt Quran by heart at early age and got popularity because of her divine love. According to the local historians, both were religious celebrities having nothing to do with the elements of Puran Bhagat, poisoned sweet, and Ranjha’s job as milkman at Heer’s home for 12 years. as shown in videos by Hindi and Pakistani film makers. Heer died in 876AH while Ranjha died the next year in 877AH. Ranjha was buried beside the grave of Heer according to his will definitely because of Heer’s place in the heavens and skies, not for his worldly love.

Real name of Ranjha was Murad Bakhsh who belonged to Ranjha tribe from Midd Ranjha village. Ranjha was sent to Jhang on the order of Shah Kabeer, his religious mentor. Here his divine love reached its zeniths. Thus the travel from Midd Ranjha to Jhang was a spiritual journey which had be wrapped up into the layers of fantasy by the the film makers and story tellers. Every story told by these Hindi and Pakistani film makers and folk tale tellers ends up with a different end of the life of both. The shrine does not have its roof and the myth about it that rain water does not touch the shrines is not true. Ranjha was not from Takht Hazara according to the local resources. He was on a divine mission but our poets and media made him a representative of worldly love with Heer.

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