;xudaa ko kaam to sau;Npe hai;N mai;N ne sab lekin
rahe hai ;xauf mujhe vaa;N kii be-niyaazii kaa

1) I have confided all my tasks/projects to the Lord, but
2) fear remains in me of the independence/detachment 'there'



be-niyaazii : 'Freedom from want, ability to dispense (with), independence'. (Platts p.204)

S. R. Faruqi:

Probably with reference to an Arabic proverb based on the Qur'anic verse 'I confide my tasks to the command, or will, of Allah' [40:4], and taking advantage of God's name/attribute of .samad (meaning be-niyaaz ), he's created a new theme. Fazl ul-Rahman says that the dictionary meaning of .samad is 'hard stone that water cannot penetrate'. It's possible that this meaning might have been in Mir's mind, because the meaning of .samad as an adjective is 'that which would have no need of anything, which in every way would be free from desire'.

But if the dictionary meaning would be intended, then be-niyaaz can mean an existence that would have no inclination toward anyone, no care for anyone. The word 'there' has been used with masterful eloquence [balaa;Gat], since he has not directly called God indifferent, yet he has also expressed his anxiety. In the verse there's an extraordinary kind of qalandar-like mischievousness and sarcasm. Such verses are rare.

If anyone should think that from a poetic point of view, to dress the Lord's independence in this guise is not good, then in reply it can be said that Mir has presented the human beloved too in this same lordly manner. In the fifth divan:


In the present verse the word 'there' is highly idiomatic, and also creates an effect of sarcasm, as though someone would describe the situation of some person or office by saying 'Why even ask how things are there...?' Another point is that despite the fear of indifference, he has confided all his tasks to Allah alone-- that is, he doesn't find anybody else to be even that much deserving of trust. Compare {1554,1}.



This is another case like


in the present verse too, the first reading that occurs to me is very different from SRF's, and I do love mine! (Although in both cases I certainly accept his as well.) In both cases I think my reading makes the verse wittier and more piquant. In this verse what hit me at once was the irresistible, adorable potential of 'there' [vaa;N]. Of course we could read 'there' as applying to God's court, so that the verse becomes something of a study in theology, with overtones of veiled complaint. But how much fun is that, when we could also read it as applying to the human beloved?

For after all, normally 'here' is where the wretched lover is, and 'there' is the inaccessible world of the beloved. This reading generates several delightful possibilities:

='I'm not worried about the Lord, I load burdens onto him quite comfortably; rather, I'm worried about the ominous, detached power 'there', in the hands of 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'' (with overtones of the idea that her name, like Voldemort's, must not be spoken).

='The Lord is kind and generous, and responds to my prayers; how fearfully different things are 'there'!'

='My 'tasks/projects' center on seeking access to the beloved; even though I've enlisted the Lord to help me, I'm still afraid that her independence may be so potent and stubborn that the Lord's help won't suffice.'

='I've confided everything to the Lord because I realize that my death is imminent; but even though I'm through with this mortal world, my concern is not with the official theological Doomsday but with the uninfluenceable, inscrutable power of the beloved.'

Compare Ghalib's take on a similarly ambiguous situation: