agar ham qi:ta((ah-e shab saa liye chahrah chale aa))e
qiyaamat shor hogaa ;hashr ke din ruu-siyaahii kaa

1) if we would 'come away with a face' like a section of the night
2) there will be a 'Doomsday' commotion, on Judgment Day, of disgrace/'face-blackness'



qi:t((ah : 'A cutting, segment, section, division; a fragment, piece, scrap; a detached portion'. (Platts p.793)


shor : 'Cry, noise, outcry, exclamation, din, clamour, uproar, tumult, disturbance; renown; —adj. Disturbed (in mind), mad (= shoriidah); —salt, brackish ... ; very bitter; —unlucky'. (Platts p.736)


ruu-siyaahii : 'The state of having the face blackened; disgrace, dishonour, infamy; criminal conduct'. (Platts p.602)

S. R. Faruqi:

The wordplay of 'a Doomsday of commotion' with 'on Judgment Day' is very fine. There's also an affinity between 'Doomsday' and 'commotion', because on Doomsday a commotion will be generated, the sound of which will be loud and terrifying. For the blackness of the face the simile of 'a section of the night' is very fine. For a beautiful or radiant face 'fragment of light', 'segment of the moon', and so on are used. But to call a black face a 'section of the night' is a very fresh idea.

The tone of the verse is also fine. There's no kind of repentance or fear of punishment for the blackness of his face; rather, there's a kind of proud satisfaction, a kind of strutting. He also feels confidence that he would 'come away with face' [chahrah li))e chale aa))e , something like 'saving face'].

Finally, the wordplay of 'night' and 'day'; and of shor meaning 'salty' (which is the quality of a darkish complexion) and 'face-blackness', are also worthy of note. It's a fine verse.

Janab Shah Husain Nahri has maintained that the phrase ;hashr ke din ruu-siyaahii can also be an echo of a verse of the Qur'an. In the Surah of Yunus [x:27], God the Most High commands, 'As if onto their faces layers of a dark night have been wrapped' (in the translation of Hazrat Shah Ashraf Ali Sahib Thanvi). My opinion is that in view of Mir's intellectual and religious knowledge, it wouldn't be at all impossible if at the time of composing this line, that verse of the Qur'an had been in his mind.

Mir Soz, giving the theme a romantic coloring, has come up with an enjoyable verse:

hu))ii hai mai-;xorii yih daur me;N saaqii tire raa))ij
bajaa hai ab jo har mullaa ko kahye maulavii jaamii

[wine-drinking has become so customary in this era of yours, Cupbearer,
it's fitting now if we would call every Mulla 'Maulvi Jami']



The first line presents us, as SRF notes, with a 'fresh' and piquant image: the idea of a 'face like a section of the night'. What does this mean? It sounds ominous, but perhaps it endows the speaker with some of the power of a dark night? Is it a good thing to have, or a bad thing? How does one come to acquire it? Under mushairah performance conditions, we're of course left to speculate for as long as is conveniently possible.

Even when we hear the second line, not until the last possible moment do we get the punch-word, ruu-siyaahii . Not only do we know at once that this 'face-blackness' signifies 'disgrace', but we also realize that we must go back and connect it somehow with the 'face like a section of the night' in the first line. But how, exactly?

If we decide that they're basically the same, then the lover's 'disgraced' death (his 'coming away' from the world) will result in a huge tumult and commotion of 'disgracedness' on Judgment Day. But why exactly? Will God avenge the true lover's disgrace upon those who persecuted or scorned him, by disgracing them in their turn? Will the lover's 'disgrace' on earth be treated as still more disgraceful on Judgment Day? Will the lover, questioned by God, defend or explain himself vehemently?

And if we decide that they're contrasted to each other, we're still left with the question of what it means to have a 'face like a section of the night'. Might the lover's face be 'dark' with anger or outrage at some offense? Might he then create a 'commotion' on Judgment Day by vigorously reporting his grievances to the Almighty? As so often, all these questions are left for us to decide for ourselves.

SRF points out that to be shor or 'salty' can form part of the charm of a darkish or tawny complexion; for more on this see {1815,2}.

Note for grammar fans: In the first line, chale aa))e is the perfect, but the 'if' makes clear that it's here being idiomatically used as a subjunctive.

Note for meter fans: In the verse by Mir Soz, the ;xorii is indeed scanned short-long. Mir sometimes does this too. It's a liberty that was seen as permissible in the early days, but not in later generations.