Waris Shah

Waris Shah (Punjabi: وارث شاہ (shahmukhi), ਵਾਰਿਸ ਸ਼ਾਹ (gurmukhi); 1722–1798) was a Punjabi Sufi poet of the Chishti order, known for his contribution to Punjabi literature.[1]

Waris Shah
Native name
وارث شاہ
Born1722 (1722)[1]
Jandiala Sher Khan, Sheikhupura, Punjab[1]
Died1798 (aged 7576)[1]
Malka Hans, Pakpattan, Punjab[1]
GenreSufi poetry
Notable worksHeer Ranjha- by Waris Shah - A Classic Book on their love story[1]


Waris Shah was born in Jandiala Sher Khan, Punjab, present-day Pakistan into a reputed Sayyid family and was a descendant of Sayyid Muhammad Al-Makki through his son Sayyid Badruddin.[2] His father's name was Gulsher Shah and mother's name was Kamal Banu. Waris's parents are said to have died when he was young. Waris spent years in search of the perfect spiritual guide.[3] Waris Shah acknowledged himself to be a disciple of an ustad from Kasur, namely Hafiz Ghulam Murtaza from whom he received his education. After completing his education, Waris moved to Malka Hans, a village twelve kilometres north of Pakpattan. Here he resided in a small room, adjacent to a historic mosque now called Masjid Waris Shah, until his death.[1] Other poets later added their own verses in Qissa Waris Shah throughout the history. It is estimated that there are 11069 forged [4] verses in the commonly available Qissa Waris Shah. One of the oldest and most accurate copy of Qissa Waris Shah published by Kripa Ram [5] in 1916 is available in the Punjab Public Library in Lahore.


Waris Shah is primarily known as the author of Heer Ranjha.[6]


Many verses of Waris Shah are widely used in Punjab in a moral context, for instance:[7]

  • Naa adataan jaandiyan ne, Bhavein katiye poriyan poriyan ji (A man never abandons his habits, even if he is hacked to pieces)
  • Waris rann, faqir, talwar, ghora; Chare thok eh kisse de yar nahin (Waris says that woman, begger, sword and horse, these four are never anyone's friends)
  • Waris Shah faqir di aqal kithe; eh pattian ishq padhiyan hun (It is beyond the wisdom of faqeer Waris Shah (to write this verse), (But) these lessons are taught by Love)
  • Eh rooh qalboot da zikr sara nal aqal de mel bulaya ee (This entire reference is about Soul meeting with the Divine, Beloved which has been contrived with great wisdom)

Portrayal in media

Waris Shah's life has been fictionalised in Punjabi-language films. A 1964 Pakistani film titled Waris Shah featured Inayat Hussain Bhatti in the title role. Another movie on the life of Waris Shah Waris Shah: Ishq Daa Waaris was released in India in 2006 with Gurdas Mann as Waris Shah.[8]


  1. eBook in Shahmukhi Punjabi language on Academy of the Punjab in North America website Retrieved 29 May 2018
  2. Naqvi, Sayyid Maqsood, ed. (1991). Riaz Al-Ansab. Izhar Sons Printer. p. 684.
  3. Sakhi Sult̤ān Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. Perfect Spiritual Guide (Murshid-e-Kamil Akmal). Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications.
  4. Forgery Forgery in Heer Waris Shah
  5. Where is actual copy of Heer Waris Shah
  6. Chopra, R M (1999). Great Sufi Poets of the Punjab. Calcutta: Iran Society.
  7. From the book Heer Waris Shah (Chatur Singh Jeevan Singh) in Gurmukhi Punjabi language
  8. 2006 film Waris Shah: Ishq Daa Waaris on IMDb website Retrieved 29 May 2018

See also

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