((ishq un ko hai jo yaar ko apne dam-e raftan
karte nahii;N ;Gairat se ;xudaa ke bhii ;havaale

1) {bravo to them / they have passion}-- who at the moment/breath of death/'departure', their beloved
2) through jealousy/honor, do not confide to the custody/care even of the Lord



((ishq hai : 'An exclamation of praise; excellent! well done! bravo!'. (Platts p.761)


;Gairat : 'Jealousy, source or cause of jealousy; care of what is sacred or inviolable; a nice sense of honour; honour; courage, spirit; modesty, bashfulness, shame; —envy, emulation; disdain, indignation; enmity'. (Platts p.774)

S. R. Faruqi:

Here it's inevitable that Ghalib's verse would come to mind:


Beyond all doubt, because of its 'flowingness' and excellence of word-choice ( qiyaamat , kaafir ), Ghalib's verse has the rank of a beautiful and successful attainment. But Mir's verse too has layer upon layer of meaning. And with regard to the theme, Mir of course receives the credit for primacy, for blazing a trail.

Now let's consider the aspects of meaning:

(1) The phrase ((ishq hai is an idiom, with the meaning of 'praise be' [aafiriin hai]. But in the first line it has been used in such a way that it has this meaning, and also its correct meaning-- that they have passion, or 'if passion exists, then those people have it who... ', and so on.

(2) Phrases like ;xudaa ke ;havaale and fii al-amaan all;aah are said to those going on a journey, and those going on a journey can also say them to those who are being left behind. Thus yaar ko apne dam-e raftan also has two meanings: (1) at the time of their beloved's departure; and (2) at the time of their own departure, to the beloved.

(3) The way in Urdu one meaning of jaanaa is 'to die', similarly in Persian one meaning of raftan is 'to die' ([from the dictionary] mavaarid al-ma.saadar ). Jalal Asir has a [Persian] verse:

'I have no more strength for waiting than this,
Before an answer comes, I will move on [mii ravam].'

It seems that Vali followed Jalal Asir when he said,

aa shitaabii nahii;N to jaataa huu;N
kyaa karuu;N jii udaas hotaa hai

[come quickly; if not, then I go
what can I do-- my inner-self is [habitually] sad]

It's clear that in Mir's verse dam-e raftan also means 'the moment of death'. Ghalib, by clearly saying ham-safar , has renounced the possibility of the lover's death. Even otherwise, in Ghalib's verse the meanings are considerably fewer than in Mir's verse. Both Ghalib's and Mir's verses have trimness of construction and 'flowingness', but the abundance of meaning in Mir's verse has made it four times better.

[See also {1494,2}.]



To say ;xudaa ;haafi:z (or nowadays, all;aah ;haafi:z ), '[May[ the Lord [be your] protector', is to confide those from whom one is parting to the Lord's care. But the crazed lover is too full of ;Gairat to be willing to do this. By invoking ;Gairat rather than simply rashk , the verse opens out a complex set of emotions (see the definition above) that center on a touchy sense of 'honor'-- in Platts' day, 'nice' meant 'delicate, sensitive'-- and that range even as far as 'disdain' and 'enmity'. How can the lover permit his loved one to be sheltered or guarded by anyone else?

The lover's pride and possessiveness are here focused on his chosen beloved, who does not actually belong to him in any legal sense. But this is the same emotion that, when centered on the family, nowadays is pushed to a terrible extremity in 'honor killings'. Of course, in the verse this fierce sense of honor is deserving both of the title of 'passion' and of 'praise', as SRF notes, since it shows the extravagant depths of the lover's commitment, and in that cause no amount of madness on his part is really culpable.

Note for translation fans: Of course in English 'their beloved' needs to be in the second line, for clarity and common sense; but in this case it has to be in the first line, to show the language-learner how the verse is structured. What's a poor fanatically-literal translator to do?