The ‘Saif-ul-Malook’ (sometimes known as ‘Journey of Love’), is a vast Punjabi epic fantasy composed by Sufi saint Mian Muhammad Bakhsh.

The poem is a form of Sufiana Kalam – Sufi poetry written in Punjabi, the language of everyday people, rather than Persian, the language of scholars – and is thus accessible to everyone. Sufiana Kalam cuts across traditional orthodoxies to talk about the experience of the divine in a personal, immediate way that exalts both God and the self.

Poems rarely exist in isolation, as will be explained by scholar and author Virinder Kalra as he discusses the rich lineage of Sufi saints and shrines of which the poem is born.

Join us for this very special dual event in which you will learn about the context of Saif-ul-Malook’s composition and find out more about the poet himself, before hearing a traditional Punjabi recitation of some of the poem.

About The Author

Virinder Kalra

Professor Virinder S Kalra teaches Sociology at the University of Warwick and is an expert in the fields of South Asian popular culture, specifically in relation to music of Punjab and the Punjabi diaspora. He is the author of several books, most recently, Sacred and Secular Musics: A Postcolonial Approach.


Shams Rehman

Researcher, writer and linguist Shams Rehman is a founding member of ‘Chitka’, bilingual magazine in the Pahari-Pothwari language and author of ‘Azad Kashmir and British Kashmiris’. Shams is a lifelong devotee of Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, after an introduction to his poetry during a childhood in Mirpur, where the saint’s tomb lies.