hai;N musalmaan in buto;N se hame;N
((ishq hai laa alah alaa all;aah

1) we/they are Muslim; for these idols we
2) have passion-- 'there is no god but God!'



kalmah : 'A word, speech, saying, discourse; a vocable, part of speech; the Mohammadan confession of faith (i.e. lā ilāha illaʼl-lāh, &c., 'There is no god but God,' &c.)'. (Platts p.844)

S. R. Faruqi:

In this verse there's abundance of meaning, and wit and boldness, and 'theme-creation'-- everything, all in the same place; and there's also a supreme degree of appropriate use of language. First of all, let's consider the meaning. Thefirst line has the following meanings: (1) 'We are Muslim;; (2) 'These idols are Muslim'; (3) 'Are we Muslim?;; (4) 'Are these idols Muslim?'. With regard to these four readings, there are separate meanings for the whole verse:

(1) We are Muslim. The proof of this is that we feel passion for idols, and the practice of a Muslim is passion. A second proof is that we recite the kalmah [=the profession of faith]. The idols are our beloveds-- they are hardly the Lord! The Lord is after all one, he is God.

(2) We are Muslim, we are a lover of idols. The proof of passion is our reciting of the kalmah . (Among the Sufis and faqirs the kalmah is proverbially imprinted. In different orders, different forms of reciting it have been established. Among some darvesh, it, or ((ishq all;aah , etc. is established as a greeting.)

(3) These idols are Muslim, they are not infidels. We feel passion for them; passion is the practice of Muslims, 'there is no god but God'.

(4) Are we Muslim? (A negative rhetorical question-- that is, we are not Muslim!) Our practice is passion for idols, and by reciting the kalmh a a man attains the rank of a lover. (But since by reciting this kalmah a man brings Islam, the lover = the kalmah -reciter; and the Muslim = the kalmah -reciter. In this way the lover, the Muslim, and the kalmah -reciter are all one and the same. On this reading, the verse's paradoxical quality is worthy of praise.)

(5) Are we Muslim? (A simple question.) We feel a passion for these idols, and we also recite the kalmah -- now you would please decide what we are.

(6) Are these idols Muslim? (A question.) We have no concern with whether these idols are Muslim, or what they are. We feel a passion for them, and we also are Muslims-- 'there is no god but God'.

The explicitness with which the kalmah of divine oneness has been given in this verse is the basis on which a commonplace idea has acquired rarity/uniqueness. To claim to be a lover of idols, and to support that claim with the kalmah , is the very limit of mischievousness and audacity. Utterances based on a religious atmosphere, or on verses of the Qur'an, are common in the Urdu poetry of the eighteenth century. In our time, Iqbal attained a level of mastery in this skill.

But to take expressions based on religion and the Qur'an and the hadith that had entered into everyday language, and to use them on the level of everyday language, was something that ended with Mir and his contemporaries. Perhaps the reason was that those people had more of an inclination toward shaping everyday language into poetry. Look at these rhymes from various verses of Mir's, in different meters. From the first divan [{424.1}]:

ab ;haal apnaa us ke hai dil ;xvaah
kyaa puuchhte ho al-;hamd ul-all;aah

[now her heart seeks to know our situation
what more could be asked-- 'praise be to God!']

From the first divan [{424,3}]:

piir-e mu;Gaa;N se be-i((tiqaadii
isti;Gfar all;aah isti;Gfar all;aah

[from the tavern-owner, a lack of trust/faith?!
'I take refuge in God!', 'I take refuge in God!']

Mir apparently composed this ghazal [{424}] 'on' a ghazal of Mir Soz's, and the truth is that although Mir's opening-verse and in it the use of the al-;hamd are extremely fine, the rhyme of isti;Gfar all;aah and the way that Mir Soz has versified it, and the mastery of usage and grammar in his style, are much better than in Mir's verse {424,3}. Mir Soz:

kuchh kah'h to qaa.sid aataa hai vuh maah
al-;hamd ul-all;aah al-;hamd ul-all;aah

[that moon-faced one having said something, the Messenger comes--
'praise be to God!', 'praise be to God!']

jhuu;Te ke mu;Nh me;N aage kahuu;N kyaa
isti;Gfar all;aah isti;Gfar all;aah

[on the lips of a liar-- beyond that, what can I say?
'I take refuge in God!', 'I take refuge in God!']



I have nothing special to add.