shikvah karuu;N mai;N kab tak us apne mihrbaa;N kaa
al-qi.s.sah raftah raftah dushman hu))aa hai jaa;N kaa

1) {how long / until when} would I complain about that friend/benefactor of mine?
2) in short, gradually she has become an enemy of [my] life



mihrbaan : 'Loving, affectionate, friendly, kind, benevolent, beneficent, favouring, indulgent, gracious, propitious; compassionate, merciful; —s.m. A friend'. (Platts p.1100)


raftah raftah : 'Going on, in the act of going, in process of time; step by step, by degrees, gradually; leisurely, easily'. (Platts p.595)


raftah : Gone, past, departed; deceased, defunct; lost'. (Platts p.595)

S. R. Faruqi:

In this verse al-qi.s.sah hasn't come in with such excellence as it has in


But in the first line he has positioned kab tak very well, because it seemed to be a place for kitnaa . From 'until when' the point emerges that I kept on complaining, and she kept on growing angry. Now she's actually become an enemy of my life, and how long would I go on complaining? There's also the point in it that now I won't live very long to complain, because now she's become an enemy of my life.



Why is a long complaint not expected or needed?

=Because the more the lover complains, the angrier the beloved becomes. (SRF)

=Because she's now so angry that she'll kill him before very long. (SRF)

=Because once he's said that she's become his mortal enemy, he's said it all.

=Because he still considers her his 'friend/benefactor', so his complaints shouldn't be carried to excess.

=Because to die at her hands would be his supreme good fortune, so what is there to complain about?

There's also the enjoyable wordplay of raftah raftah in its special sense ('gradually, by degrees') and raftah in its normal sense ('gone, deceased, dead') (see the definition above)-- especially since the speaker has good cause to believe that he'll soon be dead.