dil me;N rah dil me;N kih mi((maar-e qa.zaa se ab tak
aisaa ma:tbuu(( makaa;N ko))i banaayaa nah gayaa

1) remain/live/stay in the heart, in the heart-- for by the architect of fate/destiny, till now
2) no [other] such natural/agreeable/worthy house was (able to be) made



qa.zaa : 'Divine decree, predestination; fate, destiny; fatality; death; decree, mandate, judgment, order, charge, edict; office, or sentence (of a judge)'. (Platts p.792)


ma:tbuu(( : 'Struck, stamped, impressed; coined; printed, published; —formed by nature, having nature's stamp; natural, innate; created with a disposition (to a thing or quality); —agreeable, acceptable, worthy, laudable'. (Platts p.1044)

S. R. Faruqi:

Mir has composed this theme a number of times, but what's in the present verse hasn't been able to come into the others. From the first divan {[379,7}]:

man:zar me;N badan ke bhii yih ik :turfah makaa;N thaa
afsos kih ;Tuk dil me;N hamaare nah rahaa tuu

[even/also in the setting of the body, this was a singular, striking house
alas that you didn't remain for a little while in our heart]

From the second divan [{716,8}]:

us .sa;hn par yih vus((at all;aah re terii .san((at
mi((maar ne qa.zaa ke dil kyaa makaa;N bayaanaa

[in that courtyard, such/'this' expansiveness-- oh God, your artisanship!
the architect of fate/death-- what a house he made of the heart!

In the present verse, these points deserve attention:

1) The repetition of 'in the heart', through which an uncommon force has been created in the verse.

2) The meaning of 'remain/live in the heart' can be that he is inviting the beloved to come and settle in the heart.

3) The heart is not yet ruined, so it's fit for the beloved to live in.

4) qa.zaa is usually taken to refer to death, but here this word is in its original meaning [of 'fate, destiny']. In the idea of 'finishing' [tamaam karnaa] the suggestion of death is also present; that is, everything is destined to die, even a pleasing house like the heart will one day be ruined and 'finished', so live in it right now.

5) The heart is such a beautiful house that even the Lord was unable to built a house better than it. This isn't merely the state of the speaker's heart, but rather this is the rank of all human hearts.

The theme of the heart and the house, Nasikh too has versified well, but in Mir's verse there are a number of levels, and in Nasikh's verse, although it's well-constructed, there's only one:

anjaam ko kuchh socho kyaa qa.sr banaate ho
aabaad karo dil ko ta((miir ise kahte hai;N

[think a bit about the outcome-- why do you make a fort?
inhabit the heart-- this is what they call 'construction'!]

As far as I'm aware, besides Mir only Momin has used the phrase ma:tbuu(( makaa;N , but Momin's theme is on a very low level:

dil se ma:tbuu(( makaa;N me;N har dam
dil phir ab .sabr kaa ghabraataa hai

[in a natural/agreeable/worthy house like the heart, at every moment
the heart now again feels agitated at the thought of patience]



This really IS a striking verse! It doesn't at all seem self-consciously cryptic or mysterious, yet it has rich and complex depths. I'd like to add some additional aspects to those SRF has pointed out.

=It can be in the 'passive of impossibility' (the architect of fate was unable to build a better house), or simply in the ordinary passive (for whatever reason, the architect of fate did not build a better house). For more on this, see {66,1}.

=The verb rahnaa can be used for 'to live (permanently)' ('We live in an old haveli'), or 'to stay (temporarily)' ('We're staying with friends this week'), or for 'to remain (longer)' ('Don't rush off, stay for dinner'). Needless to say, these various possibilities give different flavors to the imperative verb in the first line.

=The command could be addressed to someone who's already living or staying in the heart (urging him/her to remain), or to someone who's considering where to live or stay in the future.

=The command could be given to anybody-- to the beloved (as SRF notes), to the speaker himself, and/or to humans in general. The heart too could be one's own, or someone else's.

=The alternative to 'living/staying in the heart' is left for us to decide. The verse could be laying down an injunction against suicide (you must cherish the life you have in your physical body). Or it could be an injunction against some kind of 'heartlessness'-- cruelty, spiritual apathy, worldliness, shallowness, indifference to the sufferings of others, etc.

=And then, what kind of a 'house' is the heart, anyway? Is it 'natural, created by nature', or is it 'agreeable, acceptable', or is it 'worthy, laudable'? (See the definition above.) Obviously these various possibilities generate rather different arguments for living or staying in the heart. Moreover, grammatically speaking, the heart might not be a house at all, but might be something unique and inimitable, something the 'architect of fate' was unable to replicate when he sought to capture its qualities in the form of a house. It's also possible, depending on the tone in which the verse is read, that the heart might be a really lousy place in which to live, and that the only reason to put up with it is that there's nothing better on the market.

=The little 'as yet' [ab tak] may suggest that the 'architect of fate' has been trying for a long time to build a house equal to the heart, and he continues to try-- but up to the present he hasn't succeeded (the 'passive of impossibility'). Thus his inability may testify to the unique excellence of the heart. Alternatively, perhaps it's the addressee who has been eagerly looking for a better house, and the speaker is telling her not to hold her breath, for in all this time, 'as yet', the architect of fate hasn't provided one (and perhaps never will).

=Moreover, who is this 'architect of fate'? Given the multivalence of the izafat, it could be an architect who is identical to fate, or an architect who has designed or built fate, or an architect who is an agent or instrument of fate. The epithet could of course refer to God, but such an identification remains cleverly (or piously?) situated as only one option among many. If it's taken to refer to God, then it also evokes a hoary theological debate about the nature of divine omnipotence (Could God make a rock so heavy that He couldn't lift it? Could He make a 'house' so peerless that He couldn't replicate it?).

=As SRF notes, the repetition of dil me;N is what makes an impression in the memory. It gives the verse a tone of urgency. The speaker isn't offering a casual real-estate suggestion, he's urgently enjoining the addressee to take heed, and not to make some kind of very bad choice. The focused pithiness is like 'Stay on the ledge-- on the ledge!' (that is, don't jump, or don't make some kind of rash mountaineering move). And since we're all potentially the addressees, it must surely make us feel like freezing in place, right where we are, and taking stock of our surroundings and our choices.