lu:tf us ke badan kaa kuchh nah puuchho
kyaa jaaniye jaan hai kih tan hai

1) the delicacy/pleasure of her body-- don't ask anything!
2) how would one know-- is it/she a spirit/essence, or is it/she a body?!



lu:tf : 'Delicacy; refinement; elegance, grace, beauty; the beauty or best (of a thing); taste; pleasantness; gratification, pleasure, enjoyment'. (Platts p.957)


jaan : 'The breath of life, vitality; life, spirit, soul, mind; self; animation, vigour, energy, force, stamina; the best part, the essence (of a thing); that which imparts life, or beauty, &c. (to a thing)'. (Platts p.372)

S. R. Faruqi:

The theme of calling the body delicate like the spirit, Mir has taken from Amir Khusrau, and has composed it again and again, in ever-new aspects. In this connection, we have already seen many verses:





Nevertheless I included the present verse in the intikhab, because it's an uncommon example of insha'iyah structure. Then, both its lines are so interlocked, and so equal (an insha'iyah line has been given an insha'iyah response), that the verse has the pleasure of a tour de force. Consider these points:

(1) In the first line he has said, 'oh Mir, how would I express the pleasure of her body?' (In what way, with what words, in what style, etc.) From this the impression arises that although the speaker is acquainted with the beloved's body, he has no words to express the pleasure that he has obtained from the beloved's body.

(2) But when we hear/read the second line, then we learn that perhaps the speaker is not acquainted with that body. As yet he hasn't even been able to decide whether it is a body, or only a spirit. That is, to the beholder the beloved is so delicate that she seems to be delicate and subtle like a pure spirit rather than a body. (For example,


(3) In the second line the insha'iyah style is interrogative, and establishes the question of knowledge. In this way it's also a response to the first line (which has asked how the delicacy/pleasure of her body is to be described). It is apparent that the question in the second line is truly a question, and not a rhetorical question. And its interpretation is, 'I cannot express the delicacy/pleasure of her body'. In the second line, the cause of this inability has been expressed: that the Lord knows whether it is a spirit or a body. In such a situation, how does the question of describing the pleasure/delicacy of her body even arise?

(4) It's possible that in the second line the allusion might be not to the beloved's body, but rather to the beloved herself. Now the meaning becomes that for the person about whom it can't even be decided whether her presence is physical or spiritual-- how could the delicacy/pleasure of her body be expressed?

(5) Now let's look at the pleasure of the addressee. This verse can be addressed to oneself; and it's also possible that the speaker and Mir might be two separate people, and might be each other's confidants.

Mir has twisted and turned this theme a number of times, and has so well made use of all its possibilities that few later people have had the courage to adopt it. Although indeed, Mus'hafi composed an excellent verse, which we have already seen in [a verse cited in] {885,5}.

About this theme my opinion was that it was the invention of Amir Khusrau. But some days ago my gaze fell on this, in Firdausi's 'Shah-namah', in the dastan of Rustam and Suhrab:

'All wisdom was his spirit, and a pure spirit/essence was his body,
As if in his construction there was no dust at all.'

It's true that to bring out a new theme is a very difficult task indeed, and Shaikh Jurjani's words are worth knowing: that meaning (=theme) is everyone's property.

[See also {1040,2}; {1041,1}.]



And of course there's also the elegant sequence of jaaniye jaan .