20 Jul


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


25 responses to “IQBAL ON GHALIB

  1. Rafiullah Mian

    July 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    wah, that’s great presentation sir. Iqbal sahib ki is nazm main kuch aor bhi herat angaiz ashar hain. maslan:

    Nutq ko so naaz hain, tere lab e ejaaz par
    Mah-e-herat hay surayya rifat e parwaz par
    Lutf e goyayi main teri hamsari mumkin nahi
    Ho takhayyul ka na jab tak fikr e kaamil hamnasheeN

    Really a great tribute to Ghalib form Iqbal…
    Thanks for sharing with us with your beautiful translations…

    • shakilakhtar

      July 22, 2012 at 2:17 am

      Dear Rafi sahab, today I read the nazm and found that both the shers you wrote are already part of this nazm. I have therefore edited the comment I wrote earlier..But I must commend your wonderful memory that you remembered these shers off head.Bravo.

  2. shakilakhtar

    July 21, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Thank you very much Rafi Ji. And as for the two shers you wrote, they are part of this nazm, sher nos: 7 and 9. Translations and transliterations are essentially for our dear readers who are lovers of Urdu in a very sweet way.I know I am no expert but go ahead still.

  3. Sharmishtha

    July 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    is he mirza ghalib? he was an amazing poet for sure.

    • shakilakhtar

      July 24, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Yes Mirza Asad Ullah Khan Ghalib, of Delhi, was a terrific poet of Urdu and Persian, and Iqbal of Sialkot was the greatest (or one of at least), after Ghalib. Iqbal wrote the poem, “Sare Jahan se achha HindustaN hamara” in 1930;s He died in 1936.

      • Sharmishtha

        July 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm

        sare jahan se achchha is one of my favourite poems.

  4. Hassan

    July 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Meer also said about himself.
    Mut sehal humme jano phirta hai falak burson
    tub khak ke parde se insaan nikalte hain

    • shakilakhtar

      July 26, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Thanx for this sher. I did not remember it before.

  5. Hassan

    July 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Ghalib has greatly praised Meer
    Ghalib apna tu aaqeeda hai bakaol Nasikh
    aap be behra hain jo mutaqadai Meer nhi

    Jauq said
    Na hwa par na hwa Meer ka andaz naseeb
    Zauq yaron ne bahut zor ghazal mai mara

    Har bare shair ne Meer ki ustadi kar barmala iqrar kya hai.

    • shakilakhtar

      July 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

      aap bebahra hai wala she mujhe bhi bahot pasand hai. yahan yeh koi Nasekh sahab the unki baat ko duaam de rahe hainN. Lekin Ghalib phir bhi bahot ziadah mashhoor aur prhe jaane wale shayer haiN.


    July 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    With whatever limited I can understand of Urdu, Ghalib has always appeared to be more within the reach of understanding, possibly because his Ghazals have been adapted more for singing by numerous illustrious singers. So is the case with Meer, somehow a shade less than Ghalib, in so far as I am concerned.

    • shakilakhtar

      July 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Vaishnav Sahib, shukria is mahfil ki shaan barhane ka. Meer is unfortunate or Ghalib is fortunate which is the same thing that Ghalib is more famous and popular. Meer was the first notable shayer and is regarded as the ustad of all the others academically. recently I read another sher of ghalib in which he appears to be praising in his own unique fashion yet another great (Ameer Khusro) see here
      غالب مرے کلام میں کیوں کر مزہ نہ ہو
      پیتا ہوں دھو کے خسرو شیریں سخن کے پاؤں
      (Ghalib mere kalam meiN kyoon kar mazah na ho
      peeta hoon dho ke khsro sheereeN sukhan ke paoN)
      O Ghalib, my poetry proves to be illustrious, and why not, because I wash the feet of the sweet shayer Khusro and drink the water thereof. Something like Newton said,” If I have seen further than others, it is because I sat on the shoulders of Giants”


        July 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm

        First, please do not , at all thank , me, for the visits to your blog, because I do so for my own pleasure.

        Newton’s quote shows that modesty never diminishes the glow of your achievements.Also, whatever you CAN DO is the result of the support of named and named people around, but whatever you CAN NOT DO is solely because of YOU alone.

  7. Asifa Zunaidha

    August 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Very lovely read about Ghalib, Meer and Newton… enlarged my limited knowledge on Urdu poetry…

    • shakilakhtar

      August 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Zunaidah ji, I am glad to know you liked it.Thanks

  8. Ahsan

    December 15, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    A good read but I am not comfortable with the opening of this post where you qouted that “Ghalib who is mostly taken as a humorous poet but there is mostly a thought provoking message in depth of his wonderful poetry”

    Who would have said about Ghalib like this. I mean he is never regarded as a humorous poet. And there is not “mostly” but “always” a thought provoking message independent of the fact that we understand it or not.

    To me such words do not accord to the the honor of this great poet.


    • shakilakhtar

      December 16, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Dear sir Ahsan, I can not agree with you more and I inclued the offending lines thinking of giving credit to the site from where I took the main material for this post and wrote “taken from the internet”. I should have infact given the link it self which is
      Ghalib deserves better understnding ad those ashaars which could be deemed humorous also are deep in thought: like
      dhota huN jab mein peene ko us seem tan ke paaoN
      rakhta hai zid meiN kheeNch ke baahar lagan ke paaoN

  9. mohammed asif ali

    January 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Great Collection Of Urdu And English Shayaris And Quotes. Latest Shayari And Poetry Collection Of Dr. Iqbal Sahab. beautiful quotes by dr. iqbal sahab

    • shakilakhtar

      March 11, 2014 at 8:58 am

      Dear Asif Ali sahab, thank you very much for the link Sir. I visited it today and found very informative and unique.

  10. saleem

    March 11, 2014 at 2:18 am

    ni kar nazr aandaaz kisi ki nishihat aay insaan
    mjlta kya phr yeh jane woh insaan

  11. saleem

    March 11, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Rekhte ke tum hi ustaad nahi hi Galib
    kehte hain aagle zaamane mein koyi Meer bi tha

    • shakilakhtar

      March 11, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Thank you very much, Saleem sahab, for your gracing this humble place.

  12. waseem khan

    April 12, 2014 at 7:40 am

    udnee de in parindoo ko aazaad fizaa mai ghalib

    jo terii apne hoonge wo lout aayengey kise roz..

  13. Irshad ahmad

    July 5, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Mirza asad ullah khan ghalib is a faumous poit in urdu and vest shayer

    • shakilakhtar

      July 6, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Irshad Ahmad sahab, I value your kind and loving thoughts. Thanks for reading .


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