ham aap hii ko apnaa maq.suud jaante hai;N
apne sivaay kis ko maujuud jaante hai;N

1) we consider only/emphatically ourself to be our goal/intention
2) beyond ourself, whom/what do we consider existent/present?



maq.suud : 'Intended, meant; purposed, designed; proposed; desired, wished, sought; —s.m. Intent, intention, design, purpose, drift, aim, view, desire, object, scope'. (Platts p.1056)


maujuud : 'Found; —brought into existence; existing; extant; —present; standing before; ready, at hand; available'. (Platts p.1087)

S. R. Faruqi:

aap hii = oneself

These verses [{307,1}-{307,5}] are 'continuous' [musalsal], and in their themes a modern 'humanism' [insaaniyat-parastii yaa bashar-dostii] and traditional mysticism have been brought together in such a way that it's difficult to separate them. It wouldn't be wrong to say that these verses are a song of humanity's greatness and its centrality in the arrangement of the universe; and in it humanity is not coerced and oppressed and a petty sand-grain in the breadth of the universe, but rather is its fundamental principle.

In the light of mysticism, in the universe there's a single arrangement, and its nature is teleological. That is, on the one hand there is a prime cause for the existence of the universe (whom we address as the Lord); and on the other hand there is humanity-- or rather, everything in the universe that is present, that recognizes its own existence and is absorbed in the activity of maintaining it. This journey can be successful when humanity would accept the Lord's existence, and would understand its own existence as a ray of His presence, and would be confident that there's no limit to human advancement.

Between the religion of Islam and the philosophy of Islamic mysticism there's only this difference: that in the light of the religion of Islam, humanity has been appointed to the regency of the Lord in the world-- that in the world he should set in motion the divine arrangement in politics, sociology, economics, every department. In the light of the religion of Islam, humanity's circle of activity is the world and its people. But humanity is, in every matter, subject to the Lord. In mysticism, political action has no importance. There, what's important is the changing of people's hearts.

Thus mysticism gives centrality to individual existence and stages/affairs; and religion gives centrality to social existence and stages/affairs. In the light of a belief in humanism, humanity is the bearer of centrality in the sense that whether or not the Lord exists, He does not intervene in human actions and history. The Lord's creation/universe is fundamental, and humanity has been given supervision of it, so that he would subdue it. That is, if humanism would be refined, and the Lord would be declared to be not only the prime cause but rather also the origin and refuge of all existence, then between it and mysticism many things can be seen to be shared.

For the mystical Islamic aspects of the themes that have been expressed in the present verses, look at these verses of Hazrat Shah Miran-ji Khuda-numa:

bandah kahuu;N to shirk kate [= kahte] ;haq kahuu;N to kufr
bolo itaa baraa-e ;xudaa kis va.z((a achhuu;N [= kahuu;N]

[if I would say 'slave' then they say 'polytheism'; if I would say 'God' then 'infidelity'
tell me this much, for the Lord's sake-- in what style should I speak?]

mujh ko ;xudaa-numaa nah kah'h kar sab ki))e hai;N ruu
kyaa mai;N ;xudaa-numaa nah achhuu;N ;xvud-numaa achhuu;N

[not having called myself 'sign of the Lord', they all turned their faces toward me
should I not say 'sign of the Lord', should I say 'sign of the Lord'?]

Thus if the slave would establish his own presence/existence, then he is rejected for 'polytheism', because God has no partner and nothing exists without God. But if the slave would call himself the Lord, then he would be held to be an infidel, because the Lord is pure/free of any limits and the slave is confined within every kind of limits and pollutions. Thus the slave neither is God, nor has any existence in himself; rather, he is a ray of Divine glory-- that is, he represents/shows the Lord. Because if he didn't represent/show the Lord, then he represents/shows himself. And representing/showing oneself is 'polytheism'.

Hazrat Shah Miiran-ji conversed with great caution, but because of ambiguity, in his poetry some parts are such that literally-minded people can object to them. It's possible that Hazrat Miran-ji Sahib's meaning would have been just as much as I've said. But some Sufis have sometimes entered into states in which they've so merged their own selves into the True Self [of God] that the difference between them has become nonexistent.

Thus the [Persian] verse of a Sufi poet who was a contemporary of Firoz Shah Tughluq, Mas'ud Bak (d.1387), has a verse:

'The knower and the known in truth are one,
The one who knows the Lord, is the Lord.'

It's well known that because of these views, Mas'ud Bak was obliged to descend into the valley of death. Hazrat Shaikh 'Abd ul-Haq Muhaddis Dihlavi has not mentioned Mas'ud's martyrdom in a;xbaar ul-a;xyaar , but he has certainly told the story of his being in an overpowered state. He has written that it's said that among the Chishtis no one else has revealed the mystery of Divinity as Mas'ud Bak did, or manifested such a level of absorption and intoxication. Among the passages that Shaikh 'Abd ul-Haq has noted from Mas'ud Bak's book miraat ul-((aarifiin , these words appear:

To the analytical gaze, a reflection is the person himself, because the reflection in its own right has no light. And apart from this external cause, in the reflection is neither movement nor motionlessness. The reflection exists because of the person, to the extent that the reflection's presence is established. In the same way, the original itself is manifested because of the reflection. If the reflection were not the original person himself, then how would claims like sub;haanii (the saying of Hazrat Bayazid) and anaa al-;haq (the saying of Hazrat Mansur) have showed themselves?

Here, Mir Dard comes to mind:

sha;x.s-o-((aks ik aa))ine me;N jalvah-farmaa ho ga))e
un ne dekhaa apne tii;N ham us me;N paidaa ho ga))e

[person and reflection manifested themselves in a single mirror
they saw themselves; in that, we were born]

Mir Dard lifted the curtain a bit. Like Shah Miran-ji, Sauda too used great caution, as will be seen below. Mas'ud Bak's utterance abandoned all the limits of caution; and in this regard Mir too is only a bit behind him.

Hazrat Mansur Hallaj's fate is on everyone's lips. Somewhat less famous than that, but more important with regard to meaning, is the affair of Hazrat Bayazid Bistami [baayaziid bis:taamii], for on his tongue too there used often to be the kind of utterances that literal-minded people suspected of constituting infidelity. Maulana-e Rum, in his [Persian] Masnavi (daftar 4), has described one instance in great detail [here shown in prose for simplicity]:

That venerated darvesh Bayazid came before the disciples one day and suddenly said, 'Look, I am the Lord'. That learned venerable elder, in a state of intoxication, very clearly spoke up: 'There is no other object of worship beyond myself; therefore be warned-- worship me!' When that state had passed out of him, then in the morning the disciples said to him, 'You said such and such, and this is not good'. He said, 'Next time I would do such a thing, then at once, without hesitation, stab me to death with a dagger. God the Most High is free of a body, and I am one who has a body. If now I say such a thing (that I am the Lord), then kill me'.

But when again passion overpowered him, then he forgot all those things. Wisdom is only the shadow, and the Divine Truth is the sun. When the Divine Truth (the sun) would be there, then how can wisdom (the shadow) remain? Doesn't the light of God the Most High have the strength to make a human entirely devoid of his own existence? Thus when passion overcame Khvajah Bistami, then

The flood of amazement carried away wisdom, and what the Shaikh said this time was even more severe than before. He said, 'Within my robe there's nothing but the Lord. How long will you go on searching in the earth and the heavens?' Having heard this much, it was as if all the disciples became mad, and began to stab his pure body with daggers.

The difficulty was that whichever disciple had thrust a dagger into the Shaikh's body, the wound appeared on his own body. The one who had made the Khvajah's breast his target-- his own breast was split open. The one who had sought to cut the Shaikh's throat-- his own throat was cut. Only one disciple kept his wits about him-- he made an attack, but a light one; in this way he was indeed wounded, but he escaped with his life. When dawn came, he realized:

If this body of his had been the body of an ordinary man, then like human bodies it would have been obliterated by the dagger.

Maulana-e Rum reflects and comments on it like this:

The one who became self-less (that is, who abandoned his individual existence) became obliterated [fanaa]. And the one who became obliterated, became forever protected (because oblivion and eternity are exactly the same). His outward form became obliterated, and only the presence of the beholder remained. Thus if a person would make an attack, it's as if he would make an attack upon himself alone.

The conclusion of this discussion is that a human, in his limit situation, renounces the impurity of worldly existence and becomes absorbed in eternal existence; that is, to arrive at the state of obliteration is the highest stage of human existence. Having arrived at this stage, a human can, in Mir's language, express the truths of Khvajah Bistami, that 'My goal is nothing else, my search is only so that I would search for myself, because apart from me no one is present. I alone am the goal of creation and I alone am the source of existence.'

Whether we view it as an individual pronouncement, or declare it to be a pronouncement on behalf of the whole world of humanity, this opening-verse of Mir's can be true of both paths, imagination and humanism. The insha'iyah style of the second line has an extraordinary, lordly style.

[The discussion continues in the following verses, and is particularly wrapped up in {307,5}.]

[See also {321,2}; {481,2}; {502,3}; {1076,7}; {1746,8}.]



It's intriguing how clearly these first five verses seem to be a coherent group, readily distinguished from the rest of the verses. SRF calls them 'continuous' [musalsal]. Why aren't they marked as a verse-set? There are in fact many such cases of small groups of verses that seem to be sets, though they aren't officially so labeled. It's hard to think of any reverse cases, where officially labeled 'verse-sets' do not seem really to be so. Thus the labeled verse-sets seem to be a minimal group that could be augmented. Who labels them, the poet himself, or some earlier editor (or even possibly some calligrapher)? Is there any theoretical discussion of their status in the handbooks on poetics? Why is the first verse in such a group marked, but not the last verse? Since verse-sets represents islands of continuity in an otherwise highly disordered sea of verses, it might be worthwhile for somebody to look into them more closely.

SRF effectively makes the case that the language of Divine-human mystical union can sometimes be indistinguishable from that of 'humanism' (he uses the English word itself, as well as glossing it as shown above). I wish we could know whether Mir imagined this sort of exegesis, or whether he thought of himself as simply (or complexly) depicting a limit case of radical Sufism.

Note for grammar fans: I translate jaante hai;N as 'consider' because unlike 'know' in English it doesn't convey rightness of judgment. One can perfectly well jaan'naa something that is incorrect, whereas in English to 'know' something that is incorrect requires a specialized framing (scare quotes or italics or some other particular explanatory context). In this verse it doesn't make much difference, but I want to keep my analytical tools sharpened.