kahyo qaa.sid jo vuh puuchhe hame;N kyaa karte hai; N
jaan-o-iimaan-o-mu;habbat ko du((aa karte hai;N

1) say, Messenger, when/if she would ask about us, [as to] what we do--
2) to life and faith and love, we offer blessings/prayers



du((aa : 'Prayer, supplication (to God); an invocation of good, a blessing, benediction; wish; congratulation, salutation'. (Platts p.518)


( kii ) du((aa karnaa : 'To pray (for); to wish (for), desire'. (Platts p.518)

S. R. Faruqi:

The present verse is apparently simple, but if we reflect on it, then it seems very frustrating/vexing [.zaa((i))]. The second line is entirely 'informative' [;xabariyah], and its connection is with the first words of the first line, kahyo qaa.sid ; to maintain this kind of grammar and usage is not easy.

Then, in the first line there are three clauses: (1) kahyo qaa.sid (2) jo vuh puuche hame;N (3) kyaa karte hai;N . In this regard, in the second line blessings/prayers are being given to three things, and their connection is with three separate things. The 'life' is that of the beloved; the 'faith' is his own, that is, the lover's; and the 'love' is a universal feeling.

'Love' placed him in bondage to the beloved, therefore he's given it blessings/prayers. The blessings/prayers for the welfare of the beloved's 'life' and the welfare of his own 'faith' are enjoyable, because if the beloved remains, then his faith won't retain its welfare.



In the first line, the lover is providing instructions for the Messenger as to what he should say when/if the beloved asks 'What does he do?' That almost sounds like an occupational inquiry (with us, the answer would be about someone's profession). Here, the answer must describe the lover's habitual, normal, daily activity. (Of course this slightly unusual exchange is shaped by the requirements of the refrain).

No doubt the second line is a bit cryptic, but that's the largest part of its fascination. For in it, the ko (instead of kii ) makes it clear that the lover does not 'pray for' those three things, in the sense of seeking to have them. Rather, he offers to them some kind of blessing/prayer for their welfare. SRF reads these three as specifically differentiated: the beloved's life, the lover's own faith, love in general-- which of course works perfectly well.

But how about other possibilities? How about the lover as madly happy, crazed with mystical joy, invoking blessings on the 'life, faith, love' that make his doomed passion possible?

Above all, to me the second line sounds valedictory, as when someone about to depart (on a long journey, or on the longest journey of death) bestows farewell blessings on everything he's leaving behind: 'life, faith, love'.