Ghazal 51, Verse 3


((alii al-ra;Gm-e dushman shahiid-e vafaa huu;N
mubaarak mubaarak salaamat salaamat

1) in despite of the enemy, I am a martyr to faithfulness
2) congratulations, congratulations [to me]! wellbeing, wellbeing [to me]!


shahiid : 'A witness; one who is slain in the cause of (the Mohammadan) religion (on the field of battle, fighting against unbelievers, &c.); a martyr'. (Platts p.738)


'Congratulations' because the intention is against the enemy, and 'wellbeing [to you]' because he became a martyr to faithfulness, and martyrdom of one's life is a love of the vision [of beauty] [;hubb-e diid]. (47)

== Nazm page 47

Bekhud Dihlavi:

That is, through obtaining martyrdom I have become one who has eternal life. Thus I will remain in a good state. (91)

Bekhud Mohani:

The enemy wanted me to be proved unfaithful. But I gave my life in the path of faithfulness. Thus he himself congratulates himself. (115)



This is one of the ultimate exclamatory, inshaa))iyah verses. The whole second line seems to be a startling, tongue-in-cheek (?) chorus of self-praise by the lover. But of course, how are we to read it in the light of the first line? 'Hah!', the lover says, 'I defied the enemy and martyred myself in the cause of faithfulness! Now isn't that a triumph?!' And in order not to permit his claim to sound hollow, he loudly congratulates himself and proclaims the auspiciousness and soundness of his deed.

Because-- there seems to be no one else to do so. Because in fact no one else is around, and he's ended up alone (in the tomb)? Because his friends all disapprove of his behavior? Because he himself has had to fight down his own doubts and fears-- and retrospective regrets?

Or, worst of all, because the beloved doesn't appreciate his supreme sacrifice? The beloved may even be the 'enemy' who has opposed his dying, and in defiance of whom he's died. There is precedent for calling the beloved an 'enemy' [dushman]; see for example {4,3}.

Or, this being the ghazal world, he might really mean it; he might just be expressing his overflowing joy. But still-- this particular verse feels very much like a case of 'methinks thou dost protest too much'. The second line sounds inwardly desperate, like the sound of someone whistling too loudly in a haunted house.

This is one of the verses in which the 'dead lover speaks'; for others, see {57,1}.

Note for meter fans: Yes, the Arabic phrase as written doesn't scan. For reasons of Arabic grammar, the phrase ((alii ul-ra;Gm , meaning 'in spite of, in despite of,' is pronounced as though it were ((alii'r-ra;Gm , with the ii flexible and shortened. Thus it's actually scanned a-lir-ra;G-me , - = = - , which fits perfectly into the meter.