laayaa hai miraa shauq mujhe parde se baahar
mai;N varnah vuhii ;xalvatii-e raaz-e nihaa;N huu;N

1) my ardor has brought me outside the veil/curtain
2) otherwise, I am only/emphatically that hermit/intimate of the hidden secret/mystery



;xalvatii : 'A solitaire; a hermit; —one admitted into the private apartments; a confidant, an intimate friend'. (Platts p.493)

S. R. Faruqi:

Mus'hafi has, in the ghazal mentioned previously [in {321,1}], taken up the theme with a new mode. His verse doesn't have the Mir-like revelatory tone, but its interrogative style is fine:

huu;N shaahid-e tanziih ke ru;xsaar kaa pardah
yaa ;xvud hii mashaahad huu;N kih parde me;N chhupaa huu;N

[am I the veil/curtain of the face of the beloved of purity/seclusion?
or am I myself the observed one, that I am hidden in the veil/curtain?]

In Mir's verse, the word vuhii is very powerful and meaningful. Mir has, as usual, adopted the principle of filling very small words with big meanings and possibilities. For extended discussion of the theme of the verse, see ghazal


In the present verse, one meaning of ;xalvatii-e raaz-e nihaa;N is 'one who dwells in the seclusion of the hidden secret/mystery'. Another meaning is 'one who loves the solitude of the secret/mystery'. A third meaning is 'one who knows the secret/mystery'. The word ;xalvatii is not found in most dictionaries. Farid Ahmad Barkati, in his dictionary, has [given it incorrectly]. Among the meanings that Duncan Forbes has given is 'a solitary darvesh', which supports my second meaning.

In any case, ;xalvatii is a unique and supreme word. Apart from Mir and Iqbal, I haven't seen it anywhere. In ;zauq-o-shauq , Iqbal has this verse:

jalvatiyaan-e madrasah kor-nigaah-o-murdah-;zauq
;xalvatiyaan-e mai-kadah kam-:talab-o-tahii-kado

[the displayers of the madrasa-- blind of vision and dead of taste
the solitaries of the wine-house-- little-searching and without dirt/pollution]

Since one order of the Sufis too calls itself ;xalvatii , in the contexts provided by both Mir and Iqbal the word becomes even more meaningful. The founder of the order, Hazrat Umar al-Khalvati (d.1398), was from Iran. It hasn't been proved that he came to Hindustan, but his lineage [silsilah] was not unknown here. In fact they were Suhrawardis.

This verse seems to be very close to


But there's something else as well. We have already seen, in {307,1}, reference to Mas'ud Bak. He says that the spirit is from the creating world, not the created world. (That is, the spirit is in truth one of the attributes of God-- or rather, if we exercise a bit of courage then we can even say that the spirit is uncreated.) Mas'ud Bak says that in fact the spirit, in the mirror of humanity [insaaniyat], is a reflection of divine beauty.

If we look at it in this regard, then the theme of Mir's verse is not only [the hadith qudsi quoted in {307,3}], 'I was a hidden treasure, I wanted to be manifest, thus I created the world'. The theme of this verse is also that mankind is in reality an expression of the divine beauty, as Vali has clearly said in his verse,

;husn thaa pardah-e tajriid me;N sab suu;N aazaad
;xuub hii aa ke khulaa .suurat-e insaan me;N aa

[beauty was, in the veil of solitude, free of everything
it was good that we came and opened it, having come in the aspect of humankind]

[See also {1450,1}.]



SRF mentions the active power of vuhii . As usual, it can be either 'only' ('only that one'), or 'emphatically' ('that very one'). And in this context, it also looks to have the idiomatic sense of 'that same one'.

The word ;xalvatii also belongs to a select, and convenient, group of words that have meanings almost directly contradictory to each other. One meaning is that of a 'solitary' or a 'hermit'; the other meaning is that of 'an intimate, one who is admitted to the private apartments' (see the definition above). And of course, by no coincidence, both meanings work very naturally and enjoyably with the first line. It is left up to us to decide whether the speaker is a (or 'that same'?) 'hermit' who seeks to understand the secret/mystery, or an 'intimate' who knows it well-- and whether his emerging from the 'veil' is just a brief fit of sociability, or the harbinger of some revelation. Compare the ambivalent possibilities of nang , discussed in {1896,9}.