kaash us ke ruubaruu nah kare;N mujh ko ;hashr me;N
kitne mire savaal hai;N jin kaa nahii;N javaab

1) if only they would not place me face to face with her/Him, on Doomsday--
2) how many are my questions for which there is no answer!



S. R. Faruqi:

Sardar Ja'fri has well composed a theme similar to this one:

darbadar ;Thokare;N khaate hu))e phirte hai;N savaal
aur mujrim kii :tara;h un se gurezaa;N hai javaab

[from door to door, receiving kicks, wander the questions,
and like a criminal, fleeing from them, is the answer]

In Mir's verse, the excellence in the meaning is that he doesn't wish to render the beloved unable to reply, and then ashamed; thus he prefers to remain deprived even of the sight of her.

Then there's also the point that if a confrontation took place then he would certainly interrogate her, show his wounds, complain; thus it's better that the confrontation itself should not take place.



On Judgment Day the guilty will be confronted and accused by their victims; that could certainly be the setting here, with the speaker wishing to rescue his (human) beloved from humiliation and shame.

But it also seems possible that the us could refer to God. Most people would fear to be interrogated by the Lord, or some suitable angel, on Judgment Day. But the speaker feels that the occasion might well prove embarrassing for God. The speaker might forget himself and discourteously or stubbornly insist on asking the many unanswered (or even unanswerable?) questions that have been building up in his heart and mind.

Compare Ghalib's more direct threat to the Lord, under similar circumstances:


In this case, Mir's verse, so carefully vague, has far more ominous overtones. In fact it feels like another version of the 'inexpressibility trope'-- the speaker knows that he has some astonishing number of questions, but he also knows that they have no (expressible? available? imaginable?) answer(s). This surely sounds like God's doing; the beloved's actions are usually, even in their very fickleness or cruelty, more comprehensible. And of course the speaker would want (chivalrously? courteously? prudently?) to avoid causing humiliation and shame to the Lord.