duud-e dil-sozaan-e mu;habbat ma;hv jo ho to ((arsh pah ho
ya((nii duur bujhegii jaa kar ((ishq kii aag lagaa))ii hu))ii

1) the smoke of the heart-burning-with-love ones-- if it might/would be absorbed, then that might/would be in the empyrean
2) that is, the fire of passion, having been lit, would be extinguished after having gone far



((arsh : 'A roof; a canopy; the highest (the ninth) sphere, the empyrean (where the throne of God is)'. (Platts p.760)

S. R. Faruqi:

It's a very subtle and 'tumult-arousing' verse. I said 'subtle' because in it are some fine points of theme that don't at once become apparent. The first point is that usually the theme that is versified is of sighs and laments and groans going, or reaching up, to the heavens. This theme is present today as well; thus the opening-verse of a famous prayer [munaajaat] by Zafar Ali Khan is:

aah jaatii hai falak par ra;hm laane ke li))e
baadlo ha;T jaa))o de do raah jaane ke li))e

[the sigh goes up to the heavens, to bring mercy
oh clouds, move aside-- give it a path for going!]

Jagan Nath Azad, directly profiting from the present verse of Mir's, has said,

jo u;Thii thii siinah-e ;xaak se jo cha;Rhii thii ziinah-e ((arsh par
mujhe kyaa ;xabar kih kahaa;N thame vuh navaa abhii to thamii nahii;N

[that which had arisen from the breast of dust, that which had ascended on the stairway of the heavens
how do I know where it would stop, that voice-- as yet, it hasn't stopped]

Not to mention the fact that both of Zafar Ali Khan's lines (and especially the second one) are very limp/flabby, and Azad's first line is devoid of the 'dramaticness' that's in Mir's line, both verses have in their harmony/music neither the majesty nor the imposingness of mood that was necessary for the theme. (In Azad's second line the word cha;Rhii is inappropriate; ga))ii would have been much better.) In Mir's verse there's an extraordinary atmosphere of transport/ecstasy and joy; and the theme is, instead of the customary kind of sighing and lamenting, the smoke of a heart burning in the fire of love.

The second subtle point is that for smoke to be 'absorbed' (= to be erased) in the empyrean is a very suitable image, because smoke rises up and slowly, gradually dissipates high in the atmosphere.

The third subtle point in Mir's verse is in the word ma;hv . For the smoke of those burned by love to become 'absorbed' in the empyrean means that they will become a part of the empyrean. Thus their becoming extinguished (as in the second line) will in fact bestow on them eternal life. And ma;hv ho jaanaa means, in addition to 'to be erased', 'to be lost within something' or 'to be drawn in'. As in Ghalib's


In Persian ma;hv can also mean 'infatuated' and 'seduced/fascinated'. In this respect it's a word of zila with mu;habbat and ((ishq .

Now let's come to the second line. In it duud-e dil-sozaan-e mu;habbat has two meanings: (1) The smoke of a heart burning with love. (And this is also the meaning that comes at once to mind.) (2) The smoke of Love's burning heart. (With regard to this meaning, the heart of Love itself is illumined by the fire of passion. That is, if Love lights fires in the hearts of others, its own heart too is illumined by the burning of passion.)

In duur jaa kar bujhegii is Mir's special understatement-- that the thing with an effect (=smoke) that would go to the empyrean and be extinguished, has itself (that is, the fire) been said to be something that goes far and is extinguished. It's as if in the realm of passion the empyrean is only a remote place, not the limit of perfection/achievement.

An additional point is that when the smoke of those burnt by love will go to the empyrean and be absorbed, then the fire of passion too will be extinguished. Apparently this idea seems not to be connected, for why would the smoke's being absorbed cause the fire to be extinguished? The answer is that the second line is in fact the conclusion drawn from the first line. That is, in the verse there's a logical proof: when the smoke of the fire of passion becomes absorbed within the empyrean, then fire itself, having gone even further (that is, after traversing a longer distance in time or space), will burn out.

It's a fine verse. Having changed the image, Mir has also well said in the fifth divan [{1749,3}]:

;xaak hu))ii thii sar-kashii apnii juu;N kii tuu;N apnii :tabii((at me;N
miir ((ajab kyaa hai us kaa taa garduu;N jo yih gard khi;Nche

[as my pride, within my temperament, unaltered, became dust
Mir, it isn't strange if this dust would be drawn as far as the heavens]



The subjunctive grammar of the first line makes it clear that if the smoke would be absorbed, this might take place in the empyrean-- but perhaps this would not happen, for in the subjunctive the odds are no more than fifty-fifty. Perhaps the smoke would not be absorbed there. Where then would it be absorbed-- if it would ever be absorbed at all?

For we learn in the second line that the fire of passion will be extinguished only after going 'far'-- and in the ghazal world, what constitutes 'far'? For any normal purposes the empyrean would be considered quite sufficiently 'far'-- but who would be so rash as to claim that the ghazal world can be bounded by any normal purposes?