mustaujib-e :zulm-o-sitam-o-jaur-o-jafaa huu;N
har chand kih jaltaa huu;N pah sar-garm-e vafaa huu;N

1) I am a deserver/causer of cruelty and tyranny and oppression and violence
2) although I 'burn'/suffer, still I am zealous/'hot-headed' with/for faithfulness



mustaujib : 'Deserving, meriting, worthy (of); fitting, proper; —s.m. Author, cause; motive'. (Platts p.1033)


mustaujib : 'Who makes or judges to be necessary; meriting, proper, worthy of; an author, cause, motive'. (Steingass p.1234)


jalnaa : 'To burn; to be burnt; to be on fire; to be kindled, be lighted; to be scorched, be singed; to be inflamed, to be consumed; to be touched, moved, or affected (with pity, &c.); to feel pain, sorrow, anguish, &c.; to burn or be consumed with love, or jealousy, or envy, &c.; to take amiss, be offended, be indignant; to get into a passion, be enraged, to rage'. (Platts p.387)

S. R. Faruqi:

The opening-verse is apparently commonplace and simple, but in reality there are a number of aspects in it. The initial meaning is that 'I am enduring cruelty and tyranny, etc., and because of them I am burning (that is, I am in intense trouble and distress), but despite this I am zealous in faithfulness; thus I am equal to cruelty and tyranny'. That is, I am firm in my faithfulness.

A second meaning is that 'although I am in trouble and difficulty, despite this I am zealous for faithfulness; thus I am worthy of cruelty and tyranny'. That is, it's proper that cruelty and tyranny should come upon me. A person who despite intense suffering would not give up faithfulness, he's just the kind who is entitled to cruelty and tyranny. His requital is that plenty of cruelty should be done to him.

In the light of these meanings, the first line's 'cruelty and tyranny and oppression and violence' are not just for expressive power ('more, more, I'm still not satisfied!') and proclamation, but rather become meaningful-- that every kind of harshness upon me is proper and does take place. It should be kept in mind that although :zulm , sitam , jaur , jafaa are considered more or less synonymous, there's a subtle difference among their meanings. For example, for a ruler or a king the word jafaa isn't as suitable as the word :zulm . In some usages, jaur or jafa cannot be used in place of :zulm [and other such cases]. Thus although these words are almost synonymous, their range of meaning is not entirely identical.

An additional aspect is that the true meaning of vafaa is 'to fulfill a vow'. Thus one interpretation is that we had made some vow to the beloved. Now despite every kind of oppression and violence, we are zealous in fulfilling this vow. The wordplay between jaltaa and sar-garm is also fine.

In the view of some people, this ghazal too has in its rhymes the same 'defect' [((aib] that exists in


That is, in the opening-verse he's made a restriction to f , but in the rest of the verses he hasn't maintained this requirement. I can say in reply that whatever the opinion of some people may be, still Mir wouldn't have considered this lack of restriction to be incorrect, or wouldn't have cared about this 'defect'; otherwise, he wouldn't have repeated it. See


[See also {321,1}; {1882,1}.]



The relationship between the lines is left for us to decide, and the decision must center on the excellently multivalent word mustaujib (see the definitions above). Here are some possibilities:

='Because of my gallantry as a lover, I deserve to be rewarded with torments.'
='Because of my stubbornness and persistence, I deserve to be punished with torments.'
='Because of my toughness and endurance, I am a suitable recipient for torments.'
='Because of my unshakable determination, I cause myself to be tormented.'

Then in the second line the subject of the jaltaa huu;N is clear, but the exact nature of jalnaa (see the definition above) is apparently up for grabs: all sorts of 'pain, sorrow, anguish', and even 'rage, indignation', might well result from the comprehensive list of torments in the first line.

However, one particular reading, 'to burn with jealousy/envy', works especially well with the idea of being sar-garm-e vafaa . And it generates a crucial question, based on the ambiguity of the izafat-- who is expected to show the vafaa ? Is the lover zealous 'with' faithfulness, determinedly maintaining his own impeccable credentials? Or is he zealous 'for' it, persistently demanding that the beloved show faithfulness to him? (Or, of course, is it both at once?)

The wordplay generates, in its own right, an effect almost of absurdity: although the speaker 'burns', he is 'hot-headed'-- despite the burning? because of the burning? without regard to the burning? What is the tone here? Is the lover boasting, or lamenting? All these questions are, by no coincidence, left for us to decide.