kab thii yih be-jur))atii shaayaan-e aahuu-e ;haram
;zab;h hotaa te;G se yaa aag me;N hotaa kabaab

1) when was this lack of audacity/courage proper for a deer of Mecca/'the sanctuary'?
2) if only you/he/I had been slaughtered with the sword, or in the fire had become a kabob!



jur))at : 'Boldness, daringness, audacity, temerity, bravery, courage, valour'. (Platts p.379)


shaayaan : 'Proper, fit, suitable; worthy; desirable; agreeable; lawful, legal, allowed, permitted'. (Platts p.720)


aahuu : 'Deer, antelope; defect, vice, fault'. (Platts p.111)


;haram : 'The sacred territory of Mecca; the temple of Mecca, or the court of the temple; a sanctuary'. (Platts p.476)


;zab;h karnaa : 'To slaughter, cut the throat of (an animal intended for food, agreeably to the MoḼammadan law); to sacrifice, to immolate; to slay, kill, execute, put to death'. (Platts p.577)

S. R. Faruqi:

This theme he has composed in the fourth divan like this:


This verse, {1471,6}, is deservedly famous. In it the word ain;Do is the height of eloquence, and it very well conveys the speaker's disdainful and compassionate attitude toward the deer of Mecca. The direct address to the deer of Mecca has created an immediacy in the verse. Al-e Ahmad Surur sees in this verse the achievement of Mir's idea of passion. In his opinion this passion 'causes a man to emerge from the circle of self-interestedness and personal benefit and makes him aware of a single large purpose, quest, or mission-- through the energy of which, energy is created in a purposeless life.'

The part about energy coming into a purposeless life is fine, but in my opinion this verse and others like it don't allude to the awareness of some purpose, quest, or mission; rather, they provide training in sympathy. That is, they encourage the cultivation of the kind of heart in which there would be burning and woundedness; and on that basis, sincerity and serenity. In the present verse, the deer of the sanctuary has been said to be lacking in courage, and this lack of courage has been said to be unworthy of its rank. That is, the rank of a human being is itself defined by his having a sympathetic heart.

In the second line of the present verse are two powerful images: to be slaughtered with the sword, and in the fire to become a kabob. There's more meaningfulness in them than in the second line of {1471,6}; then in {1471,6} there's also a light suspicion of repetition, while in the present verse both images are complete and individuated in their own right. Because of the mention only of 'slaughter by the sword' (that is, not 'by someone's sword'), and the mention only of 'becoming a kabob in the fire' (that is, not 'burning in the fire of someone's love'), the suggestion has also been created that there's no necessity for a human being to be wounded only by passion. Whatever may be the cause of woundedness and affliction, it's a good thing, because it brings about serenity of heart.

In Delhi there was a venerable elder, Sayyid Hasan Rasul-numa, who used to take two thousand rupees and cause people to have an auspicious sight, in dreams, of the Prophet of God. One time his wife said, 'You show this auspicious sight to everyone in the world, please give me the benefit too'. Sayyid Hasan Rasul-numa sought two thousand rupees from her as well. When his wife said, 'How would I have the money?' then he said to her, 'All right, then put on your wedding outfit and adorn yourself elegantly and prepare yourself; I will give you the auspicious sight as well, if you don't have the money then so what?'. That evening when Sayyid Hasan Sahib came home, he saw that his wife had put on her red wedding outfit and had elaborately adorned herself with cosmetics, he laughed aloud and said the jest, bandhii gho;Rii aur laal lagaam . 'A tied-up mare, and red reins!'

Because of this mischief on his part, and her hopeless feeling that now the auspicious sight wouldn't at all be vouchsafed, his wife began to weep uncontrollably. She wept until she fell unconscious. In this state she was vouchsafed the auspicious sight of that Hazrat. When she came to her senses, she laughed and said to her husband, 'There! If you didn't show me, then so what? Huzur himself came into my dream.'

Then Sayyid Hasan Sahib explained the point to her: 'In order to have the sight of the Prophet of God, the condition is a pain-filled heart. If the heart is hard/harsh, then there won't be the sight either. This is why from others I take two thousand rupees, so that having given such a large amount some melting would occur in their hearts, they would experience an affliction. You didn't have the money, so I ridiculed you and laughed you, and made your heart grieved.' (This event is recorded in Shah Waris Hasan's malfuzat, shamaamat ul-((anbar ).

Thus a pain-filled heart, from whatever cause it may occur, is effective. The deer of the sanctuary is not aware of this point; thus he shows a lack of courage. The insha'iyah style of the verse too is fine.

Mirza Rafi Va'iz has composed [in Persian] a theme similar to this in a limited style, but he's composed it very well:

'The heart without passion is far from God's mercy,
The ocean wave flings the corpse onto the shore.'





Apparently deer used to roam freely in the precincts of the Ka'bah, since it was forbidden to kill them there. In this verse, the speaker may be either reproaching the deer directly (using the intimate tuu ), or criticizing the deer to someone else, or reproaching himself personally, addressing himself as a (metaphorical?) deer.

The reproach might be for a lack of 'courage, valor'-- which would suggest that the deer/lover didn't take any chances, stayed in hiding, and avoided all risk of being captured and slaughtered. Or it might be for a lack of 'boldness, daringness, audacity'-- which would suggest that the deer/lover failed to cause itself/himself to be slaughtered and roasted, perhaps because it/he wasn't venturesome or insistent enough to achieve that goal. See the definition above for jur))at , which includes both possibilities.

In either case, to my mind the enjoyableness of the verse flows from the incongruity between the vision of a lover being slaughtered and roasted into a kabob, metaphorically, and that of a deer being slaughtered and roasted into a kabob, quite literally; for after all, in the real world a deer is edible and a lover is not. But of course, in the ghazal world a deer can be (imagined as) a lover, and a lover can be (imagined as) a deer.

In fact, as I think more about this verse, its back-and-forthness about the exhortation to get oneself grilled into a kabob really does strike me as funny. Could Mir have meant it that way? Who can say? Maybe it's another one of those questions of 'tone'; for more on this see {724,2}.