Devotional Poetry of the Soomra Period “Ginan”
The word “GINAN” originally is derived from the word “GIYAN” of the Sanskrit language which means knowledge and wisdom. It is a kind of mystic poetry which since 11th century to 18th century had been composed in various local languages e.g. Sindhi, Punjabi, Seraiki, Hindi etc by the Ismaili Pirs. Pir Dastgir Noor, who came to India under the orders of 18th Ismaili Imam: Mustansar Billah (1035-94) for preaching the Ismaili way of religion. He did preach in Sindh, Gujrat, Katihawar, Punjab and Siraiki Belt. The poetry he composed came to know as “GINAN SHARIF”. According to Dr. Ghulam Ali Allana: ‘Ginan is a kind of poetry, which was used by the Ismaili pirs as source of preaching and teaching the Islamic canons to their new Muslim disciples’. GINAN has got religious significance and is still prevailing in the Agha khan society of the sub continent, where it is being recited in the “Jamait Kahnas” on the daily basis.