Ghazal 48, Verse 4

{48,4}

ab jafaa se bhii hai;N ma;hruum ham al-l;aah al-l;aah
is qadar dushman-e arbaab-e vafaa ho jaanaa

1) now we are deprived even/also of oppression-- God, God!
2) to this extent, to become an enemy of the possessors of faithfulness!

Notes:

jafaa : 'Oppression, violence, cruelty, injury, injustice, hardship'. (Platts p.382)

 

qadar : 'Greatness, dignity, honour, rank, power; importance, consequence; worth, merit; estimation, appreciation, account; value, price; --measure; degree; quantity; magnitude; bulk, size; portion, part; --whatever is fixed or ordained of God, divine providence, fate, destiny'. (Platts p.788)

Nazm:

The meaning is apparent, and it's impossible to praise it enough. It's a picture of the beloved's anger, and that anger is of a particular sort. And this theme too is particularly that of the author. (43)

== Nazm page 43

Vajid:

Urdu text: Vajid 1902 {48}

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The pleasure of this verse is enrapturing; it can't be described. He says, there was a time once when we received many kinds of kindnesses and favors. Now a time has come when she doesn't show us even tyranny. Her distaste, anger, and hatred have reached such an extreme that it doesn't even please her to be tyrannical to us. God, God, to become such an enemy of the possessors of faithfulness! (86)

Bekhud Mohani:

Compare {148,2}. (108)

Chishti:

This is among those verses for which to explain the meaning is to murder the attraction, meaningfulness, and effect. (393)

Arshi:

Compare {60,6}. (181)

FWP:

SETS == EXCLAMATION

Bekhud Mohani and Arshi both cite related verses; Bekhud's example, {148,2}, is the more apposite of the two, since it lays the matter out plainly; in it the lover begs, 'Don't break off relations with us-- if nothing else, at least show enmity'. For the beloved to deprive the lover even of 'oppression, violence, cruelty' is harsh treatment indeed.

But of course, in the world of the ghazal there's almost always another layer. Consider for example {91,3}-- tyranny is dear to me, I am dear to the tyrant: she's not unkind, if she's not kind. If tyranny is dear to me, and depriving me of cruelty is the supreme tyranny-- well, doesn't it follow that even in that extreme or limit case the beloved is doing her proper duty as beloved? By treating me with a cruelty beyond all cruelty, isn't she even showing me a perverted kind of favor?

This is where the flexibility of is qadar , 'to this extent', comes into play. 'To this extent' seems on the face of it to imply, 'to such a huge, even total, extent'. But of course it can also refer to a lesser, particular, more literal 'this' extent. The lover can exclaim over her astonishingly new, inventive cruelties without necessarily collapsing under their weight.

The exclamation 'God, God!' of course offers special exclamatory emphasis; but positioned as it is, it also almost suggests that the beloved is being called on as a deity, or that God is the one who is showing such cruelty to the lover. Juxtaposed to that invocation of God, the very appropriate secondary meanings of qadar as 'greatness, dignity' and 'fate, destiny' can hardly help but resonate as well.