Ghazal 59, Verse 5


chho;Ruu;Ngaa mai;N nah us but-e kaafir kaa puujnaa
chho;Re nah ;xalq go mujhe kaafir kahe ba;Gair

1) I won't leave off the worship of that impious/infidel idol
2) although the people would not leave off without calling me 'infidel'


kaafir : 'Infidel, impious; ungrateful; --one denying God, an infidel, an impious wretch'. (Platts p.801)


puujnaa : 'To honour, respect, venerate, to do homage (to), to reverence; to adore, worship; to idolatrize'. (Platts p.277)


The word chho;Rnaa in both lines is worth noting, for the repetition has increased the beauty of the poetry. This too is a verbal device among the 'word-based [laf:zii] verbal devices' although the experts have not mentioned it. (55)

== Nazm page 55

Bekhud Dihlavi:

The use of chho;Rnaa in both lines with such casualness is the high point of beauty of expression. (102)

Bekhud Mohani:

In this verse Mirza has very beautifully expressed the extent of his love. On the surface, it doesn't even enter one's mind that the point is to express the extent of love. That is, love has now reached the limit of worship. (130)


What a state of affinity there is between 'infidel idol' and 'worship'! Firmness in love, and persistence in the path of passion, is an example for everybody. The meaning is clear, and requires no further commentary. (138)


IDOL: {8,1}
ISLAMIC: {10,2}

This verse is distinguished by a double repetition: forms of chho;Rnaa appear in both lines, and so does kaafir . Obviously, as Josh notes, the affinity among 'infidel', 'idol', and 'worship' (the specifically Hindu-sounding puujnaa ) is a delight. The lover who 'worships an infidel idol' may well be thought to be an 'infidel' himself, since he is showing himself 'ungrateful' (the literal meaning of kaafir ) to God by renouncing the Islamic requirement of reserving worship for God alone.

The appreciation of chho;Rnaa is based on its being used in two somewhat different senses: in the first line, for leaving off or stopping a form of behavior (i.e., worship); and in the second line, as part of an idiomatic expression, '[adverbial perfect participle] ba;Gair nah chho;Rnaa '-- which is comparable to expressions like 'not to be content without doing' something, 'not to rest until one has done' something. I've translated chho;Rnaa as 'leave off' to avoid suggesting the common English sense of 'leave' as 'to depart [from a place]'. On the structure of kahe ba;Gair itself, see {59,1}.

The commentators don't say anything critical about the repetition of kaafir, apparently because they interpret that too as used in two different senses: the beloved is a kaafir in the sense of an 'ungrateful wretch', while the lover is called a kaafir because people think he has renounced Islam. (For a case of repetition that comes in for criticism, see {17,9}.)

In this verse, there's no argument, because all the commentators appreciate the two senses in which chho;Rnaa has been used, so that they all agree on considering such repetition a virtue rather than a defect. Compare the treatment of {17,9}, in which Hasrat's criticism of the repetition of qismat in both lines is countered by C. M. Naim and Naiyar Masud on the same grounds: namely, that qismat has been used in two different senses. This is an example of the difference between reprehensible 'padding' and creative variation on a theme.