IQBAL: kabhī ay ḥaqīqat-e muntaz̤ir

Discussion in 'Poetry' started by naqshbandijamaati, May 14, 2007.

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  1. no comments?

  2. This poem is Iqbal's poetry at its zenith: both mature and ecstatic and musical and profound--it is amongst his most well known ghazals. Here is my inadequate translation of a difficult poem:

    kabhī ay ḥaqīqat-e muntaz̤ir naz̤ar ā libās-e majāz meñ
    kih hazāroñ sijde taṛap rahe haiñ mirī jabīn-e niyāz meñ

    Sometime O' long-awaited Reality [Allah] let us see you in a contingent form!
    For thousands of prostrations lay waiting in my humble brow!

    t̤arab-āshnā-e ḳharosh ho tū navā hai maḥram-e gosh ho
    vuh sarod kyā kih chhupā huʾā ho sukūt-e pardah-e sāz meñ

    Be joy that knows also clamour; you are a cry, become intimate with the ear!
    What sarod* is it whose sound remains hidden beneath the silence of the instrument's veil?

    tū bachā bachā ke nah rakh use tirā āʾinah hai vuh āʾinah
    kih shikastah ho to ʿazīz-tar hai nigāh-e āʾinah-sāz meñ

    Do not keep it so safe this mirror of yours-- for yours is such a mirror
    That if it were to break it would be even dearer in the eyes of the mirror-maker!

    dam-e t̤auf kirmak-e shamʿa ne yih kahā kih vuh aṡar-e kuhan
    nah tirī ḥikāyat-e soz meñ nah mirī ḥadīṡ-e gudāz meñ

    During its circumambulation of the flame the moth said this: "That ancient effect
    Is neither in your story of burning, nor in my tale of melting!"

    nah kahīñ jahāñ meñ amāñ milī jo amāñ milī to kahāñ milī
    mire jurm-e ḳhānah-ḳharāb ko tire ʿafv-e bandah-navāz meñ

    I could not find safety anywhere in the world ; but the safety eventually found
    By my
    terrible sins was in the bosom of Thy servant-forgiving Mercy

    nah vuh ʿishq meñ rahīñ garmiyāñ nah vuh ḥusn meñ rahīñ shoḳhiyāñ
    nah vuh ġhaznavī meñ taṛap rahī nah vuh ḳham hai zulf-e ayāz meñ

    Love no longer has the same fervour, nor beauty the same coquetry;
    Ghaznavi*no longer is so eager, nor are Ayaz's* tresses so intoxicating!

    jo maiñ sar basijdah huʾā kabhī to zamīñ se āne lagī ṣadā
    terā dil to hai ṣanam-āshnā tujhe kyā milegā namāz meñ

    When eventually I lay down my head in prostration a voice came from the ground:
    "Your heart is full of idols, what will you gain from ritual prayer?"

    *Notes: A sarod is a stringed musical instrument from India. Ghaznavi is the famous Afghan king, Mahmud of Ghazna, a Naqshbandi, who conquered parts of north India and laid waste the Temple of Somnath; Ayaz was his favourite slaveboy. The two are a famous, archetypal, pair in Urdu and Farsi poetry.

    Last edited: May 11, 2007

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