Tag Archives: Iqbal

I wish that more such magicians come and cast their spells on us

Poetry lovers,

A few days back I heard a very interesting story on radio and I thought I will share it with you. The story is about how Sahir Ludhianvi started calling himself Sahir. Sahir Ludhianvi was born as Abdul Hayee. He developed an interest in poetry at a very young age. When he was in his college he decided that he needed a takhallus( nom de plume). He thought of many names but none appealed to him. And then one day when he was reading an Iqbal nazm he found a beautiful couplet which had the word “Sahir”. He loved the couplet so much that he decided that Sahir would be his takhallus.

The poem that Sahir read that day was Iqbal’s “Dagh”. In this poem Iqbal mourns the death of Dagh Dehlvi and says that Delhi and the whole urdu world has lost a great poet. He says that many poets would come after Dagh and they will recite beautiful poetry but none would be able to take urdu poetry to the level that Dagh took. The sher that inspired Abdul Hayee to call himself Sahir was this:

Is chaman mein honge paida bulbul-e-Shiraz bhi
Saikron sahir bhi honge, sahib-e-ejaz bhi

(In this garden many more nightingales of Shiraz would take birth. [By nightingale of Shiraz, Iqbal was probably referring to the Persian poet Hafez who lived in Shiraz.]
Many more magicians of words will come, they would all be masters in the art of creating miracles using words and rhyme.)

The word Sahir mean magician. And just as Iqbal had predicted- many magicians of words did come after Dagh. Sahir was of course one of them.

I searched for this poem and found it on the internet. It is very long. So I am posting only an excerpt for you to read and enjoy:

Chal basa Dagh! Aah! mayyat is ki zaib-e-dosh hai,
aakhri shayar jahan abad ka khamosh hai.

[Dagh is no more. Alas! His corpse adorns our shoulders.
Shahjanabad’s last poet is now silent.]

thi zuban-e-Dagh par jo aarzoo har dil mein hai,
laila-e-maani wahan be-parda, yaan mehmil mein hai.

[The desires that were in Dagh’s words are now in everyone’s hearts
He was able to unveil the laila of words and expressions. We ordinary poets cannot unveil the beauty of words.]

ab saba se kaun poochega sukoot-e-gul ka raaz?
kaun samjhega chaman mein nala-e-bulbul ka raaz?

[Who will now ask the morning breeze the secret of the peace that resides in the rose?
Who will now try to understand the reason behind the cries of the garden nightingale?]

aur dikhlayenge mazmoon ki humein bareekian,
apne fikr-e-nukta-ara ki falak pemaiyan.

[ I know that other poets will come after him. And they will show us finer aspects of poetic literature
They will demonstrate to us how poetry can soar into the sky.]

talkhi-e-dauran ke naqsh khainchkar rulwaienge,
ya takhiyul ki nayi duniya humein dikhlainge.

[ There will come those poets too who will paint pictures of bitterness of time and make us cry
Others will show us new worlds created by their imagination.]

Is chaman mein honge paida bulbul-e-Shiraz bhi
Saikron sahir bhi honge, sahib-e-ejaz bhi

(In this garden many more nightingales of Shiraz would take birth. [By nightingale of Shiraz, Iqbal was probably referring to the Persian poet Hafez who lived in Shiraz.]
Many more magicians of words will come, they would all be masters in the art of creating miracles using words and rhyme.)

likhi jayengi kitab-e-dil ki tafseerian bahut,
hongi ai khawab-e-jawani, teri taaberian bahut!

[ Many commentaries would be written about the book of the heart,
O dream of youth, many poets would try to interpret you and write about you]

Hu-ba-hu khainchega lekin ishq ki tasveer kaun?
uth gaya nawak fugan, marega dil par teer kaun?

[ But who will paint an exact picture of the various aspects of love?
Now that the master archer has gone, who will shoot arrows that pierce the heart?]

ashq ke dane zameen-e-shair mein bota hoon main,
tu bhi ro ai khak-e-Dilli, Dagh ko rota hoon main!

[ Today I sow my tears on this land of poets,
You too should weep O soil of Delhi, for today I weep for Dagh.]


= = = = = = = = =============== = ======= = = = = = = = = ==== ===
Urdu hai jiska naam humheen jante hain Dagh,
Hindustan mein dhoom hamari zubaan ki hai!

( That language, Urdu. I am the one who knows what it truly is,
All over Hindustan it is my words and my poetry that is famous.)

= = = = = = = = =============== = ======= = = = = = = = = ==== ===


All that intellect can give you is facts.

Today we have a beautiful Iqbal ghazal. It has been sung beautifully by Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan and Hina Nasrullah:

khirad ke paas khabar ke siwa kuch aaur nahin
tera ilaaj nazar ke siwa kuch aaur nahin

( Wisdom/intellect can give you nothing except news and facts,
Your real solace and cure can only be by looking at her once)

har ik muqam se aagey muqam hai tera
hayat zauq-e-safar ke siwa kuch aaur nahin

( beyond every goal lies your real goal,
what else is life except the pleasure of endless journey )

giraan baha hai to hifz-e-khudi se hai warna
gohar mein aab-e-gohar ke siwa kuch aaur nahin

( A pearl becomes priceless only if it guards its identity,
For there is nothing in the pearl except its inner luster)

ragon mein gardish-e-khoon hai agar to kya hasil?
hayat soz-e-jigar ke siwa kuch aaur nahin

( Blood races in my veins. So what? It imparts no greatness to life
It is only the fire/passion of one’s heart that can give meaning to life)

uroos-e-lala! munasib nahin hai mujh se hijab
ke main naseem-e-sehar ke siwa kuch aaur nahin

(O flower faced beauty, why do you hide your beauty from me,
I am the morning breeze. I will only gently caress your face. )

jise kisaad samjhte hain tajiran-e-farang
woh shay mata-e-hunar ke siwa kuch aaur nahin

( The foreign traders consider these goods useless and cheap,
But these goods are the real works of art and skill that they fail to understand)

bara kareem hai Iqbal be-nawa lekin
atta-e-shola sharar ke siwa kuch aaur nahin

( Iqbal is indeed poor but still gracious and kind,
But what else can fire bestow except glow and sparks)


= ===== ========== ================== ===============
Tere seene mein dam hai, dil nahin hai,
Tera dam garmi-e-mehfil nahin hai.

( In your chest, there is breath but do you have a heart?
Mere breath in the chest cannot become the fire of life)

Guzar ja aqal se aage ke yeh noor,
Chirag-e-raah hai, manzil nahin hai!

( go beyond the path of reason because reason can only be the light
That guides your path, IT CANNOT BE THE GOAL OF LIFE!)
= ===== ========== ================== ===============

Make your own identity powerful and then fate will bow before you

Today we have a poem by Iqbal. One of the most famous shers in urdu “khudi ko kar buland itna…..” is from this poem.

It has been sung by Eijaz Husain Hazarvi:

khird-mandon se kya poochon ke meri ibteda kya hai
ke main is fikr mein rehta hoon, meri inteha kya hai

( Why should I ask the wise people, “where have I come from?”
I am not concerned about that. My concern is only for my goals, my destiny, my end)

khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle
khuda bande se khud pooche, bata teri raza kya hai

( Make your identity so powerful that before assigning your fate,
God should consult you and ask “Tell me your will”!)

maqam-e-guftugu kya hai agar main keemiya gar hoon
yehi soz-e-nafas hai, aur meri keemiya kya hai!

( Why is it so surprising that people consider me an alchemist
I will tell you the secret of my alchemy: the fire of my breath)

nazar ayen mujhe taqdeer ki gehraiyan us mein
na pooch ai hum-nasheen mujh se woh chashm-e-surma sa kya hai

( My fate can be seen in the depths of those eyes,
My friend, I have no words to describe the power of those luminous eyes)

nawa-e-subahgahi nein jigar khoon kar diya mera
khudaya jis khata ki yeh saza hai, woh khata kya hai?

( When I hear the morning call for prayer, my heart fills with pain,
God, please tell me the crime for which I atone like this)

gar hota woh majzoob-e-farangi is zamaane mein
to Iqbal us ko samjhata maqam-e-kibriya kya hai

( If the great philosophers of the west were to come back,
Iqbal would guide them as to the real status of greatness of the soul. [ According to some sources , Iqbal is referring to the German philosopher, Nietzsche who came up with the idea of “superman”. Iqbal says that he disagrees with him and he can tell him the real meaning of greatness of the self] )

= = = ===============================================
banaya ishq ne daryaa-e-na- paida-karaan mujh ko
yeh meri khud-nigeh-daari mera sahil na ban jaye

( Love has made me a infinite boundless ocean,
But I worry that my self-control may put a shore around me.
This is a beautiful sher. The poet is saying that love makes you infinite but then you create boundaries for yourself by exercising self-control in love.)

= = = ===============================================

= = = ===============================================

tu nein socha hai kabhi, ai deeda-e-ibrat, ke gul,
ho ke paida khaak se rangeen qaba kyonkar hua?

( Have you even given this a thought, o discerning eye,
that how a flower that grows from dust aquires such bright and beautiful colours? ( nahin socha? To ab socho!)

= = = ===============================================

Just one short life and so much to do, so much to explore

some immortal words by Iqbal ( this is a small excerpt from a much longer poem saqinama)

Fareb-e-nazar hai sukoon-o-sabaat
tarapta hai har zarra-e-kainat

theharta nahin carvan-e-wujood
ke har lehza hai taza shaan-e-wujood

samjhta hai tu raaz hai zindagi
faqat zauq-e-parwaaz hai zindagi

( The stability and peace that you see is just an illusion,
In reality every atom of the universe is pulsating with energy

The caravan of life and identity does not stop even for a moment,
Every moment, life shows its greatness and beauty in new forms

You think that life is a mystery?
No! Life is just one thing: the uncontrollable desire to fly and soar)


== ======== =========== ========
sitaron ke aage jahan aaur bhi hain
abhi ishq ke imtehaan aaur bhi hain

( Beyond the visible stars, there are other worlds too
and similarly there are many more tests of love that
I have to pass)

tu shaheen hai, parwaz hai kaam tera
tere saamnein aasmaan aaur bhi hain

( You are an eagle, destined to fly
there are so many skies that you have to scale)

isi roz-o-shab mein ulajh kar na reh ja
ke tere zamaan-o-makaan aur bhi hain

( don’t get lost in this cycle of morning-evening
there are other times and other places that are also yours)
== ======== =========== ========

housing and related stories

An Iqbal sher:

Gohar ko mushte-khaak mein rehna pasand hai.

Bandish agarche sust hai, muzmoon buland hai!

( The pearl loves to live in a pile of dust,

  I agree that the subject may seem dull, but don’t you think that it would make an excellent story?)


A Ghalib sher:

Ghar mein tha kya ke tera gham use gairat karta?

woh jo rakhte thay hum ik hasrat-e-taameer, so hai!

( There was nothing grand in my house that could be destroyed by the pain of you going away,

   However I always had a desire  to build such a grand house that would be affected by your pain and that desire still remains strong)




== == == == == == ====== ======= ====== ====== =========

isi khauf se nasheman na bana saka main “Anwar”

ke nighaah-e-ahal-e-gulshan kahin phir badal na jaaye

( It is this fear that did not let me make my nest, “Anwar”:

  that the viewpoint of the authorities of the garden towards my nest may change at anytime)

== == == == == == ====== ======= ====== ====== =========


Same problems again? Please…no. But on second thoughts, yes!

Dear poetry lovers,


Today we have a beautiful Iqbal poem.

It has been sung exceptionally well by Sanam Marvi.  I have heard this ghazal over 50 times in the last few days.

This particular rendition by Sanam satisfies the criteria that I have for a beautiful song. The criteria is described  in this sher:               


woh nawaa-e-muzmahil kya, na ho jis mein dil ki dharkan

woh sadaa-e-ahal-e-dil kya jo awaam tak na pahunche


( What is the point of singing a song that does not contain your heartbeat.

What is the point of a cry from the heart that does not reach the whole human population)



Here is the Sanam Marvi version:




Mehdi Hassan has also sung this ghazal nicely:



Here is the Iqbal poem:


parishaan hoon ke meri khaak aakhir dil na ban jaye

jo mushkil ab hai ya rab, phir wahi mushkil na ban jaye


( I am worried that my ashes may once again become a heart,

  And then the pain that I suffer now will come back to haunt me)


na kar dein mujh ko majboor-e-nawaa firdaus mein hoorein

mera soz-e-daroon phir garmi-e-mehfil na ban jaye


( The nymphs of paradise may force me to sing again,

  And then the scars of my heart will again warm the hearts of the listeners)


kabhi choori hui manzil bhi yaad aati hai raahi ko

khatak si hai jo seene mein gham-e-manzil na ban jaye


( Sometimes the destination that a traveler leaves behind comes back to his memory,

   The little uneasy feeling in my heart may grow to become a sadness for the lost destination )


banaya  ishq ne daryaa-e-na- paida-karaan mujh ko

yeh meri khud-nigeh-daari mera sahil na ban jaye


( Love has made me an infinite boundless ocean,

  But my self-awareness/self-control may put a shore around me.

This is a beautiful sher. The poet is saying that love makes you infinite but then you create boundaries for yourself by exercising self-control in love.)


kahin is aalam-e-be-rang-o-bu mein bhi talab meri

wahi afsaana-e-dunbala-e-mahmil na ban jaye


( I fear that even in the world beyond, the world that is devoid of sensory experience, my desire may again,

  Create the same long story of unending and hopeless quest )


urooj-e-adam-e-khaaki se anjum sahme jaate hain

ke yeh toota hua tara mah-e-kaamil na ban jaye


( The stars have become fearful of the heights that man has reached,

  They worry that this little piece from a broken star may one day become the full moon)




== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==== == ==

jo yeh daur bewafaa hai, tera gham to mustakil ho.

woh hayaat-e-aashqi kya jo davaam tak na pahunche?


( Your love was temporary.These times are temporary.But I hope that  the pain that you gave me is permanent.

  What is the point of life dedicated to love which does not extend to infinity/eternity)

== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==== == ==




Such Simple Desires

Today we have a very famous ghazal by Iqbal. It has been sung by several singers:

Rahat fateh Ali Khan has sung it in a qawalli form. Very beautifully done. I love it. I hope Rahat does more of this stuff instead of singing film songs. As a huge fan of his uncle( Nusrat) I am looking for stuff like this from him instead of “pappu” filmi stuff.  Here is the qawalli. Do listen to it- amazing stuff:

Sung beautifully( as always) by Malika Pukhraj:

If Malika Pukhraj has sung it, then her daughter( Tahira Sayeed) would also have sung it:


Tere Ishq ke intehaah chaahata hoon,

Meri saadgi dekh, kya chaahata hoon.

( I want the utmost limit/extreme amount of your love

  Such a simple man I am, and such simple are my desires)


Yeh jannat mubarak rahe zahidon ko,

Ke main aapka saamna chaahata hoon.

( Let the preachers of religion achieve Paradise,

  I only want to stand before you and look at you)


Koi dam ka mehmaan hoon ai-ahal-e-mehfil,

Chirag-e-sehar hoon, bujha chaahata hoon

( I am just a guest of a few moments, O people present at the gathering,

  Like the lamp of the morning, I want to extinguish soon)


Sitam ho ke ho vada-e-behijaabi,

Koi baat sabr aazmaan chaahata hoon.

( You may be cruel to me, or you may promise to unveil your face before me,

   Whatever the situation, I want to test the limit of my self-control)


Bhari bazm mein raaz ki baat kehdi,

Bada be-adab hoon, saza chaahata hoon.

( In front of everyone I have said what was supposed to be hidden,

  I agree that I am ill-mannered,  so I want to be punished- by you)



== == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == == ==

Saadgi to hamaari zara dekhiye, aitbaar aapke vaade par kar liya,

Baat to sirf ik raat ki thi magar, intezaar aapka umar bhar kar liya

( Such a simple man I am, I believed in your promises,

  I know that you promised only one night, but I have waited for you for a lifetime)

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