hu))aa hai ((aarifaan-e shahr ko ((irfaan bhii au;Ndhaa
kih har darvesh hai maaraa hu))aa ((ishq-e il;aahii kaa

1) to the mystical-knowers of the city, even/also mystical-knowledge has come overturned/confused/distorted
2) for every darvesh is [in a state of having been] slain by passion for/of the Divine



((aarif : 'Knowing, wise, sagacious, ingenious; skilled in divine matters, possessing knowledge of God and of his kingdom and of the way of dealing well with him; pious, devout'. (Platts p.757)


au;Ndhaa : 'With the face down; upset, upside down, overturned, inverted, topsy-turvy, in utter confusion, ruined; adverse (as fortune); crooked, distorted'. (Platts p.108)

S. R. Faruqi:

The sharpness and heat and sarcastic, contemptuous style of the tone are worthy of note. It's surprising that people have described the temperament of someone who composes verses like this as 'humble' and 'broken by grief and sorrow'. Mir's temperament is not so light and one-dimensional that any one single quality could capture it. By 'mystical-knowers of the city' can be meant his own contemporaries, or those worldly faqirs living in the city, who are polluted by the world but nevertheless claim to be 'mystical-knowers of God'.

Between au;Ndhaa and maaraa hu))aa the pleasure is that in reality those people are lying there overturned/confused. But they are claiming to be in a state of 'oblivion in God' and lie there like dead people.

There's also the point that in passion for and mystical-knowledge of the Divine, eternal life is obtained, not death; and these 'mystical-knowers of the city' are so foolish, and their mystical-knowledge is so deficient (or rather, inverted) that they describe themselves as 'slain by passion for the Divine'.



The versatility of au;Ndhaa makes for an enjoyable range of possibilities (see the definition above)-- all of them contemptuous or disdainful, as SRF notes. There's the physical sense of being 'face down', along with its metaphorical equivalent of being 'overthrown'; there's the more generally helpless sense of being 'ruined' or 'in utter confusion'; and finally there's the intellectual sense of having knowledge that is 'crooked' or 'distorted'. By no coincidence, the vision of the mystical-knowers who lie 'slain' can suggest any or all of those possibilities.

By calling these people ((aarifaan and also specifically invoking their ((irfaan , the verse emphasizes the degree of their pretentiousness. And by calling them ((aarifaan-e shahr , the verse also opens the possibility that their belonging to the city may be a major part of their downfall. And by adding that bhii , the verse makes it clear that mystical-knowledge is not the only thing they've gotten wrong or 'distorted'-- either it's one in a series of such things ('also'), or else it's a special, unexpected limit case ('even').

Ultimately, the verse leaves it to us to put together the exact nature of the indictment. SRF suggests either that they claim to have been 'slain', whereas, theologically speaking, they ought to have attained eternal life; or else that their claim to be 'dead' is to be taken as false-- in fact, they have been 'overturned' or 'ruined' in some other way, so that their claim to have been overthrown by 'love of the Divine' is a foolish error or a corrupt alibi.

But there's another compelling possibility as well, for perhaps the group of darveshes in the second line is different and offers a contrast: perhaps the 'mystical-knowers of the city' are in one way or another discredited or ruined-- because the genuine, authentic 'darveshes' are in fact all dead. On this reading it's the wandering darveshes who have got it right, by giving their lives through their passion for the Divine; and it's the settled-down city slickers who lead lives that are 'inverted' or 'corrupted', by comparison. After all, the great emblematic figure of Mansur might be invoked to show what happens when a true darvesh comes to the city.