;xauf qiyaamat kaa yihii hai kih miir
ham ko jiyaa baar-e digar chaahiye

1) the fear of Doomsday is only/emphatically this-- that, Mir,
2) for us to live another time, will be required



diigar (of which digar is a contraction): 'Other, another, next, following... ; —over again, again; moreover, besides, further'. (Platts p.558)

S. R. Faruqi:

Mir and Abru have both taken this theme from Malik Qumi. First listen to [the Persian of] Malik Qumi:

'I have fear not of the devastation of Doomsday, but that
I, like a 'dead' candle, would have to live again.'

Malik Qumi's verse is a bit verbose, but both lines are very flowing. And the simile of the 'dead' [=extinguished] candle is very fine, because both the meanings of burning and melting like a candle have come into it. Abru says,

zindagaanii to har :tara;h kaa;Tii
mar ke phir jiivnaa qiyaamat hai

[I spent my life in every way
having died, to live again is a Doomsday]

Abru's first line is not very effective, but his second line-- and especially the word qiyaamat -- is truly as devastating as a 'Doomsday'. This one word has also eclipsed Malik Qumi's 'dead candle' simile-- not to speak of the perfect suitability of the word. In Mir's verse too the suitability of the word too is very fine; or rather, in this regard his verse is better than both Malik Qumi's and Abru's verses.

If we consider the verses with regard to the theme, Malik Qumi has spoken of not fearing the devastation of Doomsday, and Mir has said something even more subtle/enjoyable-- that I do fear Doomsday, but not because it will be the day of reckoning and deeds will be examined; rather, because I will be forced to live again. Malik Qumi's verse speaks of having to live a whole life over again [puurii zindagii ko dobaarah gu;zaarnaa]. In Abru's verse too there's this same meaning, and also the meaning of having to rise up alive again. In Mir's verse too there's the same idea-- that of rising up alive again, and that of living a whole life over again. In Mir's verse, in ham ko jiyaa ... chaahiye the additional beauty is that the meaning of rising up alive again comes first, and the meaning of living one's whole life over again comes afterward. Thus Mir's verse has more 'dramaticness'.

By way of an overview, it can be said that if Abru's first line hadn't been weak, then his verse would have been better than both Malik Qumi's and Mir's. As things stand, Mir's verse is the best of the three, but the honor of primacy in any case goes to Malik Qumi.

Mir composed this theme again in the second divan [{1036,5}]:

jii to jaane kaa hame;N andoh hii hai lek miir
;hashr ko u;Thnaa pa;Regaa phir yih ik ;Gam aur hai

[about the going of life, we feel only/emphatically sorrow, but, Mir
on Doomsday we will be compelled to rise, again, this is one more grief]

Here he has made an addition to the theme-- that there's the grief of dying, and also the grief of rising up to live again; Mir has differentiated his idea from those of Malik Qumi and Shah Abru both. Though indeed, this verse doesn't have the flowingness that the present verse does.

Amir Mina'i has limited the theme, and also lowered the meaning:

mar ke raa;hat to milii par hai yih kha;Tkaa baaqii
aa ke ((iis;aa sar-e baalii;N nah kahe;N qum mujh ko

[after dying rest was found, but this anxiety remains
may Jesus not somehow come to my pillow and say 'Rise'!]

[See also {764,9}.]



What does it mean to live baar-e digar ? Since the speaker expects to be woken up and required to rise from the dead when qiyaamat comes, undoubtedly he will have to 'live again', at least briefly and perhaps somewhat longer, at God's inscrutable pleasure.

SRF argues for the possibility that one would be required to live a whole new life. He derives this idea initially from Malik Qumi's baaz ham chuu sham((a-e kushtah baayad zindagii az sar girift . He is a real Persianist and I am not, so if he says this means 'having to live a whole life over again' [puurii zindagii ko dobaarah gu;zaarnaa], then I take his word for it. However, he also maintains that this same meaning, 'to live a whole life over again', is distinctly present in Mir's present verse and in Abru's verse as well; and here I have doubts.

For the flexibility of digar (see the definition above) means that the idea of living 'another time' would be perfectly well explained by the situation explicitly stipulated in the verse-- namely, that the speaker would be woken and forced to rise, alive again, on the occasion of qiyaamat (which after all comes from a root that means 'to stand'). Such a danger is quite sufficient to explain the speaker's 'fear' of Doomsday, since he dreads the idea of returning to the state of 'life' that has caused him so much pain.

Moreover, by saying yihii the speaker emphasizes that this return to life is his primary or even only reason for fearing Doomsday-- a view that is quite piquant enough in itself (since a proper Muslim would instead fear God's reckoning and wrath) to energize the verse and give it a wryly transgressive punch.

So why should we also attribute to the speaker a second fear, that of 'having to live a whole life over again'? It is not required by anything in the verse, so it should be brought in only contingently, if it is poetically effective. And basically, it is not. If we think of the speaker's living a whole different life, we essentially have the idea of reincarnation, which seems an implausibly Hindu-theological outcome for the speaker to expect from an explicitly Islamic qiyaamat . And if we think of the speaker's having to repeat precisely the life he's already lived (cf. 'Groundhog Day'), the idea becomes even more bizarre; it is remote not only from Islamic theology but from Islamic cultural notions as well. It's certainly not part of the thematic repertoire of the ghazal world.