ab aise hai;N kih .saan((i ke mizaaj uupar baham pahu;Nche
jo ;xaa:tir-;xvaah apne ham hu))e hote to kyaa hote

1) now we are such that to the Creator's temperament, we have become pleasing/desirable
2) if we had become satisfactory to ourselves, then what would we have been?!



.saan((i : 'A maker, manufacturer, an artificer, artisan; the Creator'. (Platts p.742)


mizaaj : 'Nature, temperament, constitution, complexion, habit of body; temper, humour, disposition'. (Platts p.1028)


;xaa:tir-;xvaah : 'Agreeable to wish, satisfactory; —to (one's) satisfaction or pleasure, to the heart's content'. (Platts p.484)

S. R. Faruqi:

The three verses {481,2}, {481,4}, and {481,6} are not a verse-set, but they have an internal 'connection'; thus it will be best to discuss them all three in one place. [For this general discussion, see {481,2}.]

By mizaaj uupar baham pahu;Nchnaa is meant 'to be pleasing to the temperament, to be according to the wish'. The idea that man is pleasing to his Creator (God Most High) has been established by venerable elders: 'Undoubtedly God has made man in his own image' [Genesis 1:26(?)] and in the wise Qur'an [95:4], 'Surely We made man in the best form'.

Now consider the loftiness-- that 'if we had been created according to our own will, then the Lord knows what we would have become'. That is, there's also the possibility that if we had had the freedom to assume any shape/form, then we would have assumed a shape/form even better than our present one, because our present shape/form was not adopted by our own choice. It is a psychological truth that a creature with consciousness seeks out for itself the best it can possibly find (shape/form, clothing, place of residence, food, companions, etc.).

But the question nevertheless remains of whether in, or on, the shape/form that the Creator himself chose, there is any scope for progress. Spinoza said that this world is the best possible one, because the Lord has made it like this. If a world better than this one had been possible, then God Most High would certainly have made it. Or since God Most High is the best creator, the world He created is necessarily the best one. In the Qur'an too it has been said that He is the best creator.

In the light of this discussion this verse of Mir's becomes an example of the highest expression of humanism, because in it mankind's freedom of choice has been judged to be the supreme desideratum. The Lord knows in what world/state Mir would have composed this verse, but here people like Shakespeare and Goethe have their wings clipped. From the first divan:




The final kyaa hote has the usual three possible readings: 'What would we have been?' (a question); 'What we would have been! (a vision of admiration and longing); and 'What we would have been!' (an expression of disdain and rejection). The first two senses work better with SRF's humanistic readings, but the third is piquant in its own way-- it might in fact be that we're much better off having been shaped by God then we would have been if left to our own devices.

How can that second line not remind us of the brilliant and even more complex


in which the same mystical and/or hubristic possibilities are set up, by the same kind of structural devices.

Note for grammar fans: The idiom seems to mean something like 'to arrive atop X's temperament'. We apparently have to read what my friend David Rubin used to call a 'ghostposition' of ke after .sanaa))ii ke mizaaj , so as to get ke uupar , 'above' or 'on top of'.