Ghazal 25, Verse 4


dil ko ham .sarf-e vafaa samjhe the kyaa ma((luum thaa
ya((nii yih pahle hii na;zr-e imti;haa;N ho jaa))egaa

1) we had considered that the heart would be a used/expended in faithfulness-- little did we know!
2) that is, that only/emphatically at the first, this will become an offering/gift to the test/trial


.sarf : 'Turning; changing, converting; change, conversion; shifting or vicissitude (of fortune); passing, using, employing; use, employment; expending; expenditure'. (Platts p.744)


na;zr : 'A vow; an offering, anything offered or dedicated; a gift or present (from an inferior to a superior); a fee paid to the State or to its representative ton succeeding to an office or to property'. (Platts p.1128)


imti;haa;N : 'Trial, test, proof, experiment; examination; inquiry'. (Platts p.81)


That is, even while he was being tested, it would be finished off; he didn't know this. (26)

== Nazm page 26

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, 'We had thought that we would expend the heart in doing tasks of faithfulness, and for our whole life it would keep us company in faithfulness. We didn't know that it would be offered up to the beloved's very first test.' (52)


We thought that the heart would always keep us company in faithfulness. We didn't know that on the occasion of a test, in one single glance it would be finished off, and we would have to traverse the road of faith without any friend or companion. (88)


TESTING: {4,4}

In Indo-Muslim court protocol, a na;zr is an offering presented to a ruler or superior at the time when you meet him (it's usually a 'him') and pay your respects. It's a way of expressing your submission-- of showing that you appreciate the honor of being presented to him, and that you and your resources are at his service. His proper response is to accept the na;zr , receive you graciously, and eventually present you in return with gifts more valuable than your na;zr , usually including a ;xil((at or robe of honor that includes (symbolically if not actually) garments that he himself has worn.

As usual, the lover approaching the beloved has the worst of all worlds. His na;zr is his own heart, apparently ripped from him unexpectedly, since he had been planning to use it over time in the beloved's service. And the offering is made not even necessarily to the beloved herself, but to (or as part of) an imti;haa;N , an initial test or examination or ordeal designed to establish his acceptability as a lover. No graciousness here, no robe of honor! After suffering through the test, he may be accepted as a lover-- but what will he have left to give? His one greatest offering is already gone forever.

But of course, perhaps this instantaneous giving represents a triumph. Consider {27,6}, in which the lover is unable to refrain from handing over his heart at the beloved's very first flirtatious gesture. Perhaps his lot is really the fortunate state of the instantly-accepted mystical lover: perhaps the lover is like a Moth who doesn't waste time circling, but flies at once straight into the candle-flame.

For after all, what is the tone of this verse? Rueful, amused, regretful, amazed, bewildered? The tone will make all the difference; and as so often, we're left to choose it for ourselves. And of course, we choose it afresh every time we recite the verse.

On samajhnaa as 'to consider', see {90,3}.