On the occasion of the birthday of one of the twelve Imams (8th) of Shia Muslims Imam Reza (Ali al-Reza), a song O’ Imam-e-Reza produced by Kashmiri artists was released in Iran where it has received a tremendous response on social media platforms.
“The song is an attempt to bridge the gap between Iran and Kashmir which are culturally close to each other,” says Sarbaz Roohilla Rezvi, who is a part of the song.
Rezvi, originally a Kashmiri, is a student of Islamic Philosophy in the city of Qom, Iran. Interested in the art and culture across the globe, Rezvi keeps a watch on developments in cultures and evolution of contemporary artists. Last year, he says, he met Kashmiri artists Ali Saifuddin and photojournalist Syed Shahriyar on Facebook.
“I had it in my mind that Kashmiri artists have tremendous potential. I discussed the idea of this song with them and some of my friends in Iran. It came out beautifully. It received an overwhelming response as it was released on the night of the birthday of Imam Reza. Many social media platforms picked it up,” says Rezvi.
Imam Reza’s holy shrine is located in the city of Mashhad in Iran. “All Muslims following the Shia school of thought specifically in the Eastern countries like Iran, Pakistan and India have a special spiritual connection with him. Today is the birthday anniversary of Imam Reza. Yesterday, the song was released,” Rezvi says.
‘O’ Imam-e-Reza’ has been sung in two languages: Urdu and Persian. Syed Zeeshan Jaipuri has written the Urdu poetry while a prominent Iranian poet Dr Alireza Qazve has contributed in writing the Persian part of it. In both languages, the first part is about paying salutations and tributes to the Imam; the latter part is about the condition of Muslims across the globe. It ends on a hopeful note that things will get better for the Ummah eventually.
Dr Qazve had visited Kashmir to attend a conference on Persian literature. Rezvi, who already knew about him and his work, had approached him with the rest of the team members requesting him to contribute to the song in Persian.
“We shared the sample of the song with him. He loved it and accepted our request. Later, he gave us Persian melody with almost the same content as that in Urdu,” says Rezvi who also is the Production Manager for the song, in Kashmir.
Ali Saifuddin has sung the Urdu part of the song and Rezvi recited the spoken Persian words. The video of the song has been shot in Dargah, Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar by Syed Shahriyar. The team had been coordinating with the Production Manager in Iran, Hossein Komali. The art advisor for the song is Mohammad Jawad Movahed, and Mohsen Aqili has edited the video.
“It is a Kashmiri song as the main artists involved are Kashmiris. It has been shot in Dargah Hazratbal. Just that, some additions were done by artists in Iran. It has some scenes from Iran as well,” says Reza who wants the world to explore the potential of Kashmiri artists, starting from Iran.
“Iranians know Kashmir by name as many Iranian poets like Sherazi and others who have written about and visited Kashmir, have mentioned Kashmir in their poems. We wanted to bridge the gap between Kashmir and Iran. These two were culturally so close to each other. Now they are separated because of political and other reasons,” says Rezvi.
So far, the song has had more than 2,00,000 views in a few hours as it was picked up by the most used social media platform in Iran, Telegram.
“In Iran, messenger Telegram is used much more than Facebook. It was a hit on Telegram on which around 30 million Iranians are active. The other channels sharing it also have millions of subscribers. The state channel of Shiraz, Fars province of Iran, is also going to release it tonight. Some national channels were also willing to publish it,” says Rezvi who believes that “it is just the beginning.”
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