kahaa;N hai;N aadmii ((aalam me;N paidaa
;xudaa))ii .sadqe kii insaan par se

1a) in the world, where are 'men' created/generated?!
2) divinity/nature sacrificed itself for 'humans'



aadmii : 'A descendant of Adam; a human being; man; individual, person; adult; a sensible, or honest man; mankind; people'. (Platts p.33)


;xudaa))ii : 'God. ship, godhead, divinity, providence; almighty power, omnipotence; —creation, nature, the world'. (Platts p.487)


.sadqe karnaa : 'To sacrifice (a thing, or oneself, for, - par , the welfare of another); to devote oneself (for, - par )'. (Platts p.744)


insaan : 'Man, mankind, human being, mortal (= aadmii )'. (Platts p.92)

S. R. Faruqi:

[This ghazal and the previous one are presented as a single ghazal in the manuscripts; for a full discussion, see {501,1}.]

On the subject of humanity's loftiness of rank, we have already seen a number of uncommon verses:






Still, in the present verse there are some points worthy of attention. Because of the insha'iyah structure, there are also some new aspects of meaning in it. The first point is that in this verse the difference between aadmii and insaan has emerged even more conspicuously than in the verses cited above.

In the first line it is said that the world is empty of aadmii . By aadmii is meant that commonplace being who possesses awareness and speech/reasoning, and who because of speech/reasoning and awareness is select among all living things and superior to them. This commonplace, ordinary being is now not created/generated.

In the second line it's been said that if there would be an insaan , then divinity/nature can sacrifice itself for him. For this there are two meanings: (1) An insaan is such a lofty being that the worth of one insaan is greater than that of the whole of divinity/nature. (2) If the rank of insaan would be vouchsafed, then even the rank of 'lordship' can be sacrificed for it-- that is, the rank of insaan is, God protect us, loftier than the rank of the Lord. Iqbal says,

;xudaa))ii ihtimaam-e ;xushk-o-tar hai
;xudaavandaa ;xudaa))ii dard-e sar hai

[lordship is concern for 'dry and wet'
oh Lord, lordship is a headache!]

valekin bandagii isti;Gfarull;aah
yih dard-e sar nahii;N dard-e jigar hai

[but servitude-- I seek refuge in God!
this is not a headache, it's an ache in the liver]

Iqbal escaped by saying 'I seek refuge in God', but Mir's claim for humanity is so lofty that he very clearly says that 'divinity/nature sacrifices itself'. With regard to this reading, the meaning of ;xudaa))ii is 'to be a Lord', and with regard to the first reading it is 'the Lordship of the Lord'-- that is, the physical world and the cosmos.

The probability is that this verse might be in praise of the Prophet [na((tiyah], and only its first meaning would be its true/original meaning-- that the existence of the lord of creation is the fruit of all beings, thus the divinity of the Lord can be sacrificed for it. However, in either case a better ode to the glory of humanity would hardly be possible. Iqbal's verse that has already been cited in {481,2}, again comes to mind:

mataa((-e be-bahaa hai dard-o-soz-e aarzuu-mandii
maqaam-e bandagii de kar nah luu;N shaan-e ;xudaavandii

[it's priceless wealth, the pain and burning of longing
I wouldn't trade the station of servitude for the glory of lordship]

A final question is what is meant here by insaan . It's clear that here at the first and last levels the 'perfect man' [insaan-e kaamil] is meant-- that is, a man who would have made himself indifferent to everything and would be 'immersed in God'. A man whose intention is the intention of God, and whose will is the will of God-- on this question a hadith narrated by Hazrat Abu Harirah is famous.

Hazrat Ashraf Jahangir Simnani, establishing the following [Persian] verses of Auhad ul-Din Kirmani, said that 'After attaining "oblivion in God" existence does not remain, because a thing that is not established through its own nature cannot be construed as an "existence."' Hazrat Ashraf Jahangir Simnani took up these discussions in connection with the 'oneness of being' [va;hdat ul-vujuud], but through them light is also cast on the image of that man who would be 'perfect':

'A thing that is not existent in itself--
It is not wise to load existence onto it.

Existence that would be established through God
Is nothing more [in the individual] than a name.

As long as the hand moves,
That long the shadow moves.

Since the existence of the shadow depends on the hand,
The shadow is in reality nothing but the hand.'

In this way discussions about the 'oneness of being' ultimately converge with discussion about the 'perfect man'. (The discussion of Hazrat Ashraf Jahangir Simnani and of the verses of Shaikh Auhad ul-Din Kirmani has been taken from first part of the book 'Tasavvuf' by Sayyid Vahid Ashraf.)

Even if it would not be assumed that in Mir's present verse insaan refers to insaan-e kaamil (as was mentioned by the Prophet in the hadith narrated by Abu Harirah), there's still no doubt that since in the first line he speaks of an aadmii , Mir meant by insaan a person in whom all the 'humane' qualities would be present in the highest degree.

In this connection, in the first divan itself Mir composed an extraordinarily simple but effective verse. The address to Satan is very meaningful, because through it an interpretation also emerges that whoever would not make a prostration to mankind, is a Satan. It should also be kept in mind that among Sufis, including even the Chishtis too, a 'prostration of respect' before the Pir was permitted. Hazrat Baba Sultan-ji Nizamuddin Auliya used to say 'I ended this custom (the 'prostration of respect'), despite my elders'. Mir's verse [{593,9}]:

phir nah shai:taa;N sujuud-e aadam se
shaayad us parde me;N ;xudaa hove

[don't turn away, Satan, from prostration before Adam
perhaps in that veil/guise, the Lord might be]

Atish has, as usual, taken it from Mir and composed it, but has made the idea light/trifling:

naa-fahmii kii daliil hai yih sijde se ibaa
ibliis ko ;haqiiqat-e aadam ((ayaa;N nah thii

[a proof of non-understanding is this refusal of prostration
to Iblis, the rank/ reality of Adam was not clear]

Atish's verse also doesn't have much 'flowingness'.

[See also {481,6}.]



There are some technical questions about this ghazal in relation to the previous one; for discussion, see {501,1}.

I can't help but see this verse through the prism of the classic


Ghalib places aadmii and insaan in a relationship of marked differentiation: one who is an aadmii may not 'manage to become' an insaan . The clear implication is that being an insaan is a superior rank, one more difficult of attainment.

In Mir's present verse, the differentiation seems to be at most one of degree: 'men' are rare in the world (which suggests that they are desirable and sought-after), while 'humans' are so desirable (and thus perhaps even rarer and more sought-after?) that 'divinity' would sacrifice itself for them. Apparently 'men' are good, and 'humans' are even better.

But it's also possible-- since this is an 'A,B' verse-- that we are to take both lines as referring to 'men/humans', without differentiation; such a conflation would not be surprising (see the definitions above). On this reading the two lines simply reiterate the same idea: 'men/humans' are so rare and hard to find in the world, and so desirable, that 'divinity' would sacrifice itself for them. As SRF shows, Mir has expressed such extravagantly favorable views of humans in other verses as well.

In any case, since we know that numerous ordinary mortals are created/born all over the place in the world, the implication is that the first line too refers-- either as a real question, or as a negative rhetorical question-- not to ordinary men but to some kind of special or superior men. SRF brings in the Sufistic 'perfect man', but the verse itself leaves the possibilities more open. Apparently ordinary mortals are numerous but have no value, while certain rare ones with (unspecified) special qualities are priceless.