kahe hai har ko))ii all;aah meraa
((ajab nisbat hai bande me;N ;xudaa me;N

1) everyone says, {'my God' / 'God is mine'}
2) it's a strange/astonishing relationship, between the servant/slave and the Lord



((ajab : 'Wonderful, marvellous, astonishing, amazing, miraculous, strange, extraordinary, rare; droll'. (Platts p.758)


nisbat : 'Reference, respect, regard (to); attribute; relation, connexion; affinity; analogy; comparison ;—ratio; proportion; —relationship by marriage; matrimonial alliance; betrothal; —a relation, or connexion; —a conundrum'. (Platts p.1137)

S. R. Faruqi:

Mir has composed this theme several times, and in every case an overt or subtle sense of jealousy [rashk]-- why do all the people call God their own? In this quatrain, Mir has expressed his jealousy with entire clarity:

dil ;Gam se hu))aa gudaaz saaraa all;aah
;Gairat ne hame;N ((ishq kii maaraa all;aah
hai nisbat-e ;xaa.s tujh se har ik ke ta))ii;N
kahte hai;N chunaa;Nchih sab hamaaraa all;aah

[the heart has all melted with grief, oh God
the pride/shame of passion has struck us, oh God
everyone has a special relationship with you
thus they all call you 'our God']

This theme is a bit novel and interesting. Because the usual experience is the person who becomes a true believer wants to enable others too to receive the faith. Or rather, from staying in the company of believers he takes on their behavior. But Mir (or the speaker) does not care for anyone other than himself to call God his 'own'.

Themes of this kind refute 'Askari Sahib's view that in Mir there's a rejection of ego and a rejection of self. In the verse below from the second divan, Mir seems to be saying that either there's no Lord at all; or else the people of the world have reached the Lord only through their own efforts; or else that they remember the Lord, but in truth they don't know the Lord at all. The point is that only the speaker knows the Lord [{1026,3}]:

ruu-e su;xan hai kiidhar ahl-e jahaa;N kaa yaa rab
sab muttafiq hai;N us par har ek kaa ;xudaa hai

[in which direction is the speech of the people of the world, oh Lord?
all are agreed upon it: he is the Lord of everyone]

In a verse from the fifth divan, Mir's tone is one of disdain and a slight bitterness, that every single person calls the Lord his 'own' [{1767,11}]:

jo hai so miir us ko meraa ;xudaa kahe hai
kyaa ;xaa.s nisbat us se har fard ko judaa hai

[whatever/whoever exists, Mir, he calls that one 'my Lord'
what a special relationship there is with him, of every individual, separately!]

In the present verse, the new aspect of meaning is that as they go about their daily lives, out of habit, people constantly keep saying mere all;aah and all;aah mere and other such expressions. From this habit of speech Mir creates the aspect that every person considers God to be his own and considers that he has a special claim on God's existence.

In the second line too, a new aspect of meaning has come about: that God is the master, and the human being is his servant. Thus God is not man's, but man is God's. But here between master and servant there's a strange/astonishing relationship. That is, he has said sarcastically, or has said admiringly, or has said jealously, or has said with amazement, that here the relationship between servant and master is of a strange/astonishing kind, such that the servant has called the master his own. He's composed an entirely novel verse.



SRF begins his discussion by confidently ascribing not only to this verse, but to every verse Mir composed on this theme, a mood or tone of jealousy [rashk]. By the end of his discussion, however, he has worked himself around to quite a different point of view: the speaker 'has said sarcastically, or has said admiringly, or has said jealously, or has said with amazement, that here the relationship between servant and master is of a strange/astonishing kind, such that the servant has called the master his own'.

His discussion of this verse thus illustrates one of the chief problem areas I've found in working with his commentary: his claim, in the case of a number of verses, that the verse bears a particular, inherent 'tone' or mood. In the present case, unusually, he himself comes to override his initial assertion about tone; in my view, many other verses are similarly multivalent. For a discussion of this issue, see {724,2}.

In the present verse, it's easy to see why he ultimately came to consider the tone to be multivalent. The word ((ajab itself (see the definition above), with its range of readily hyperbolic meanings, lends itself to exclamation, in a tone either of genuine amazement or of sarcasm. With such divergent possibilities so readily available, what grounds can there be for the claim that the verse has one single baked-in tone of 'jealousy'? It's just as easy to read it as piously admiring the extraordinary way that God connects with each of us-- or rather, the way that we all feel (rightly or wrongly) that we have a special relationship with God.

Even the grounds for the alleged 'jealousy' seem suspect. It's true that using the possessive pronoun may be an assertion of ownership and control ('my notebook', 'my house'), but it also shades through identification ('my mother', 'my family') into some kind of very real submission ('my fate', 'my helplessness'). So for a person to speak of 'my God' has a wide range of possibilities other than a claim of unique power and possession. We all, including Mir, know perfectly well that in practice, when people say 'my God' (usually 'my God!') it's almost never a claim of some special personal access to him.