When the British still ruled India there lived, in Delhi, a well-known Hindu poet by the name of Dillu Ram Kausari. Now, this poet, though a Hindu, wrote encomiums and poems [na’at] in praise of the Prophet Muhammad (upon him beblessings and peace.) He became famous for writing such poetry and his poems became well known to such an extent that it scandalised his fellow Hindus who accosted him and said, “Dillu Ram, what is the matter with you? You have disgraced the name of Hindus! You are a Hindu and yet you sing praises of and write poetry praising the Prophet of the Muslims?”
“Do not stop me”, answered Dillu Ram, “for I am forced to write such poetry.”
“Who or what is forcing you?” his fellow Hindus asked.
“I am forced by my love,” he cried. “I have fallen in love with the Prophet!”
“How can you, being a Hindu, fall in love with the Muslims’ Prophet?” they asked, perplexed.
To this Dillu Ram replied, “’Love is not forced it just happens’”.
“How much do you love the Prophet then?” they asked him, still astonished that one of their own could love the Prophet. To this Dillu Ram wept like a lover departed from his beloved and recited a poem of his. He said:
Kuch ‘ishq e Muhammad mein nahin shart e Musulman!
Hai Kausari Hindu bhii talabgaar e Muhammad!
Allah re! kyaa raunaq e bazaar e Muhammad
Ke Ma’bood e Jahan bhi hai kharidaar e Muhammad!
Being a Muslim is not a condition for loving Muhammad!
Kausari, the Hindu, is also a seeker of Muhammad!
By Allah! How delightful is the bazaar of Muhammad
For the Lord of the Worlds is also a buyer of Muhammad!
They left him in disgust. The poetry of Dillu Ram became more widespread and one quatrain, in particular, shocked the entire community in India, both Muslims and Hindus. In this quatrain he imagined himself on the Day of Judgement and wrote these words, which were published (as were many of his other poems in various Urdu monthlies) in a Urdu magazine called “Maulvi” which was printed in Delhi.
This was the controversial quatrain:
Rahmatulilalamin kay Hashar mein maana’ khulay
Khalq saari Shaafa e Roz e Jaza kay saath hai
Laykay Dillu Raam ko jannat mein jab Hazrat gaye
Ma’loom huwa kay Hindu bhi Mahboob e Khuda kay saath hai!
The meaning of “Mercy unto the Worlds” became apparent on Judgement Day:
The whole creation is with the Intercessor of The Day of Acquittal
When the Prophet took Dillu Ram with him into Paradise
It was known that this Hindu too is with the Beloved of God!
This quatrain scandalised both Hindus and Muslims! It annoyed the the Hindus who objected to his continued praise of the Prophet and it scandalised the Muslims who were angered by the sheer audacity of this Hindu to speak like that about the Day of Judgment! How can a Hindu go to heaven? they asked.
Undeterred by this criticism, Dillu Ram continued most of his life to sing the praises of the Prophet although he never became a Muslim and remained a Hindu. It is also said that Dillu Ram, delirious with his love, would sometimes stand in the middle of the bazaar in Delhi, put chains around his neck and feet and shout at the top of his voice to all passers-by, “Muhammad! Muhammad! Muhammad! Yes! Muhammad is the Beloved of God! Muhammad is the first and only Beloved of God! If God loves you, He loves you because of His Beloved!” Some people even stoned him and he would often come home covered in blood but he was totally lost in his love of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him!)
As he got older, his fame as a poet (and infamy) spread and when he became seriously ill it was reported in the various literary magazines throughout India including in “Maulvi”. It was reported in this magazine that when he was on his deathbed, seriously weakened and surrounded by well-wishers, friends, family, and admirers of his poetry including many other poets, he was so weak he couldn’t leave his bed. Strangely, he continued to stare at the door and after a while his face brightened and he got up and stood on his feet and hands-folded, asked all those gathered there to also stand up. Astonished his intimates asked him, “What is the matter?” Weeping Dillu Ram said, “The one whom I have spent my whole life praising has arrived! The blessed Father of Fatima (upon him be peace and blessings!) is here, visiting me! And I have not even accepted his religion! How generous my beloved is!” Weeping, he began to converse with the spirit of the Prophet who said to him, “Dillu Ram! Your time is almost upon you. Azrael is almost here! I do not want anyone who has praised me like you have to go to the hellfire! I wish to take you into Paradise with me!” Weeping Dillu Ram recited the Kalimah (Muslim Credo) and then said to the Prophet, “Master! You have taught me the Kalimah now also give me a Muslim name of your choice! I can feel The Angel of Death is almost upon me!” The Prophet gave him the name Kausar Ali Kausari. After that the fortunate former Hindu poet passed away. Verily we are from God and unto Him is our return!
His name has become famous amongst traditional Sunni Barelvi Muslims of the Subcontinent as a lover of the Prophet who attained a blessing only given to God’s chosen few—the vision of the Beloved whilst in a state of waking!
May God give us all the love of Dillu Ram Kausari! Amen.