Monthly Archives: July 2012



For a complete and scintillating discussion in superb Urdu, listen to this video:

 Mirza Asad Ullah Khan Ghalib is one of the greatest names in Urdu poetry. Dr. Iqbal paid this tribute to Mirza Ghalib who is mostly taken as a humorous poet but there is mostly a thought provoking message in depth of his wonderful poetry. (taken from the internet)

The greatness of an artist only increases when he freely and magnanimously acknowledges the work of another great. This tradition can be seen even in case of Ghalib himself: He on one hand is aware of his own unique position in the realm of ghazals, he also pays genuine tribute to his predecessor Meer. I have not yet read Meer widely enough to know if he has praised other poets, but cannot but notice his boastfulness which all agree only he rightly has the stature to say.

Meer says about himself: Sare aalam pe main hooN chhaya hua

Mustanad hai mera farmaya hua

[I (i.e. my work) engulfs the whole world. Whatever I have decreed is authentic.]

Those unfamiliar with the subtleties of Urdu talk will miss the point here. “Farmana”(which I translated as ‘decreed’ for lack of better word) is exclusively used for the second person and one can never be audacious enough to use it in first person. But for Meer every one agrees that he could, and also he knew he could and therefore did.

Ghalib too writes about his greatness himself but a little more modestly:

Hain aur bhi duniye meiN sukhanwar bahot ache

Kahte haiN ke Ghalib ka hai andaaz e bayaN aur

[there are many people who are very good at writing poems, but it is  generally acknowledged that Ghalib commands a unique style of delivery]

Ghalib while acknowledging the greatness of Meer also in the same breath asserts that he too is a master.

Rekhte ke tumhi ustad nahin ho Ghalib

Kahte hain agle zamane mein koi Meer bhi tha

(You are not the only Ustad (master) of saying the ghazals, O Ghalib, People say that there was another in the past called Meer.)

There is probably no shayer who has not praised Ghalib in one way or other. One example is that of Jagan Nath Azad (see my post “JAGAN NATH AZAD KI NAZM, GHALIB PAR” in the category ‘Ghalib ki shan meiN)

Here I take pleasure in presenting praise of Ghalib by another poet, one of the greatest after Ghalib, Allama  Iqbal

(Bang-e-Dra-004) Mirza Ghalib

Mirza Ghalib
Fikar-e- Insan Per Teri Hasti Se Ye Roshan Huwa
Hai Per-e-Muragh-e-Takhayul Ki Rasayi Ta Kuja
Through you the secret was revealed to the human intellect
That innumerable enigmas are solved by human intellect
Tha Sarapa Rooh Tu, Bazm-e- Sukhan Pekar Tera
Zaib-E-Mehfil Bhi Raha, Mehfil Se Pinhan Bhi Raha
You were the complete soul, literary assembly was your body
You adorned as well as remained veiled from the assembly
Deed Teri Aankh Ko Uss Husn Ki Manzoor Hai
Ban Ke Souz e-Zindagi Her Shay Mein Jo Mastoor Hai

Your eye is longing to witness that veiled Beauty
Which is veiled in everything as the pathos of life

Mehfil-e-Hasti Teri Barbat Se Hai Sarmayadar
Jis Tarah Naddi Ke Naghmon Se Sakoot-E-Kohsar
The assemblage of existence is rich with your harp
As mountain’s silence by the brook’s melodious harp
Tere Ferdous-e-Takhayul Se Hai Qudrat Ki Bahar
Teri Kisht-e-Fikar Se Ugte Hain Aalam Sabza War
The garden of your imagination bestows glory on the universe
From the field of your thought worlds grow like meadows
Zindagi Muzmer Hai Teri Shaukhi-e-Tehreer Mein
Tab-E-Goyai Se Junbish Hai Lab-e-Tasveer Mein
Life is concealed in the humour of your verse
Picture’s lips move with your command of language
Nutaq Ko So Naz Hain Tere Lab-e-Ejaz Per
Mehv-e-Hairat Hai Surayya Rifat-e- Parwaz Per
Speech is very proud of the elegance of your miraculous lips
Thurayyah is astonished at your style’s elegance
Shahid-e-Mazmoon Tassaduq Hai Tere Andaz Per
Khandazan Hai Guncha-e-Dilli Gul-e-Shiraz Per
Beloved of literature itself loves your style
Delhi’s bud is mocking at the rose of Shiraz
 Aah! Tu Ujhari Huwi Dilli Mein Aaramida Hai
Gulshan-e-Weimar* Mein Tera Humnawa Khawabida Hai
* Weimar : Germani Ka Mashoor Shayar Goethe Iss Jagha Madfoon Hai

Ah! You are resting in the midst of Delhi’s ruins
Your counterpart is resting in the Weimar’s garden

 Lutaf-e-Goyai Mein Teri Humsari Mumkin Nahin
Ho Takhayyul Ka Na Jab Tak Fikar-e-Kamil Hum Nasheen

Matching you in literary elegance is not possible
Till maturity of thought and imagination are combined

 Haye! Ab Kya Ho Gyi Hindustan Ki Ser Zameen
Ah! Ae Nazara Aamoz-e-Nigah-e-Nukta Been

Ah! What has befallen the land of India!
Ah! The inspirer of the super‐critical eye!

Gaisuay Urdu Abhi Mannat Pazeer-e-Shana Hai
Shama Ye Sodai-e-Dilsozi-e-Perwana Hai
The lock of Urdu’s hair still craves for combing
This candle still craves for moth’s heart‐felt pathos
 Ae Jahan Abad! Ae Gehwara-e-Ilam-o-Hunar
Hain Sarapa Nala-e-Khamosh Tere Baam-o-Der

O Jahanabad! O cradle of learning and art
Your entire super‐structure is a silent lament

Zarre Zarre Mein Tere Khabidah Hein Shamas-o-Qamar
Yun To Poshida Hain Teri Khak Mein Lakhon Gohar
The sun and the moon are asleep in every speck of your dust
Though innumerable other gems are also hidden in your dust
Dafan Tujh Mein Koi Fakhar-e-Rozgar Aesa Bhi Hai?
Tujh Mein Pinhan Koi Moti Aab Dar Aesa Bhi Hai?
Does another world‐famous person like him also lie buried in you?
Does another gem like him also lie concealed in you?

[The above, added on 26 Jan 2014, has been copied from the link Allpoetry and contains the English translations also.

Thus solving my difficulty]

I will not attempt a translation of this marvelous work as it is simply beyond me. The truth is that I cannot claim to understand each and every sher above as they are laced with glorious mixture of terms from Farsi and from high Urdu. I would like to however submit English rendition of the first and the last few shers above: (To the best of my understanding and ability)

1: Fikre insaN par teri hasti se yeh roshan hua

hai pare murghe takhayyul ki rasaayi taa kuja

[The realm of human intellect came to realize, thanks to you (Ghalib) as what great heights can a bird of imagination fly to.]


last few shers:

Aye Jahan aabad, aye gahwaraye ilm o hunar

haiN sarapa nala e khaamosh tere baam o dar

Zarre zarre meiN tere khuabeedah haiN shams o qamar

yooN to posheedah haiN teri khaak meiN lakhoN guhar

Dafn tujh meiN koi fakhr e rozgaar ayesa bhi hai?

Tujh meiN pinhaN koi moti aabdaar aysa bhi hai?

[O Jahan Abaad (meaning Delhi), O you who is the centre of learning and art, your walls and your arches are in mourning silently (the loss of Ghalib)]

[Each and every speck of your soil has in it buried many suns and many moons,

and I admit that there are a host of valuable pearls hidden in you]

[(but tell me) is there any such great versatile artist buried in you (like Ghalib?)

Can you show any such brilliant pearl among those others buried in you?]



Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Ghalib ki Shan meiN



A beautiful ghazal of Qateel Shifaayi.

(Acknowledgment: From Naqoosh, Lahore, August 1969)

The translation in English is given at the end.(I am aware of my limitatiomns. I only try to include translations from Urdu to help some dear readers of my blog who cannot read Urdu but love poetry)


A beautiful ghazal of QATEEL SHIFAYEE

1. Jab bhi chaheN ek nayi soorat bana lete hai log
Ek chere pe kayi chere saja lete heiN log
2. Mil bhi lete haiN gale se apne matlab ke liye
Aa pade mushkil to nazreN bhi chura lete haiN log
3. Khud farebi ki unheN aadat si shayyed pad gayi
Har naye rahzan ko seene se laga lete haiN log
4. Hai baja un ki shikayat lekin is ka kya ilaaj
BijliyaaN khud apne gulshan pe gira lete haiN log
5. Ho khushi bhi un ko haasil, yeh zaroori to nahiN
Gham chhupane ke liye bhi muskura lete haiN log
6. Is qadar nafrat hai un ko tairgi ke naam se
Roz e roshan meiN bhi ab shammeN jala lete haiN log
7. Yeh bhi dekha hai ke jab aa jaye ghairat ka muqaam
Apni sooli apne kaaNdhe par utha lete haiN log
8. Roshni hai un ka eemaN, rok mat un ko QATEEL
Dil jalate haiN yeh apna tera kya lete haiN log

Context: This ghazal mostly deals with the attitudes of general people in the society. It is indeed different from the set practice of most of the shayers that they use the medium of love, beloved, pub, booze, wine cup, etc. Ghalib says in one his famous couplet:

Har chand ho mushahedah e haq ki guftugoo 
Banti nahin hai badah o saghar kahe beghair.

(Even when one tries to discuss the stark realities of life, one cannot but dwell upon mentioning booze and the cup.)


But Qateel above has managed to avoid mention of liquor etc. Now the translatin follows:

1. People in general are good at putting a new mask on their faces at will, They are capable of masquerading several faces on their real ones.
2. When they need us, they can even lock themselves in embrace with me; and once I am in difficulty, they look the other way.
3. There are some who will recklessly deal with any one, be it even a robber, it looks like they have become used to this type of behavior.
4. Many are such that they cry after causing the lightening strike their own garden themselves.
5. Every one that smiles is not necessarily happy. There are some who smile just to hide their sadness.
6. They hate the darkness so much that some light their lamps even in broad day light.
7. I have on occasions witnessed even this. That some people will agree to carry their cross on their own shoulders when their honour is at stake.
8. O QATEEL, do not try to stop those who burn their own hearts, perhaps their very purpose is to have light at any cost, and they are not even bothering you.


Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Urdu Poetry


Mohammad (SAW)

Pictures of Mohammad (SAW) are most definitely banned in Islam. This must be out of utmost respect that is due to the Prophet of Allah (SWT). Never the less, a description of his countenance has survived and is called a ‘HULIA’ literally meaning “How one looked” I recently read a book named “AND MUHAMMAD IS HIS MESSENGER” by Annemarie Schimmel which discusses, among other many things, this holy description. She uses the word ‘hilia’ and I thought it should have been ‘Hulia’, wallah o Alam.



Hulia III

Hulia IV


Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Quraan o Sunnat


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