Ghazal 91, Verse 1


ham par jafaa se tark-e vafaa kaa gumaa;N nahii;N
ik chhe;R hai vagarnah muraad imti;haa;N nahii;N

1) we are not under suspicion of renunciation of faith because of oppression
2) it is a single/particular/unique/excellent tease-- otherwise, the intention/meaning {is not / would not have been} a test


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


gumaan : 'Doubt, distrust, suspicion; surmise, conjecture; (in comp.) thinking; suspecting... ; —opinion, fancy, notion, supposition, imagination; —presumption; probability; —conceit, pride, haughtiness'. (Platts p.914)


chhe;R : 'Touching up, stirring up, making active; action, activity, stir; incitement, stimulus, fillip; —dalliance, flirtation, amorous intercourse or skirmishing; jest, fun'. (Platts p.468)


muraad : 'What is willed, or wished, or intended, or meant; will, wish, desire, inclination; intention, design, end, scope, object, purport, tenor, drift, tendency'. (Platts p.1019)


That is, she doesn't have the suspicion about us, that because of oppression we would renounce faithfulness. (89)

== Nazm page 89

Bekhud Dihlavi:

He says, she does not suspect us of renouncing faithfulness out of fear of oppression. In her oppression there's only the intention of teasing us. She doesn't intend a test of faithfulness. (141)

Bekhud Mohani:

The lover says in answer to somebody, or to his own heart at the beloved's tyranny, that the beloved has confidence in our faith, and would absolutely never have such a thought as that because of her tyranny we would renounce being a lover. When she shows tyranny toward us, then it's not her intention to test us, but rather it's the coquetry of a beloved. (184)


TESTING: {4,4}

How exactly are we to read the first line? Depending on how we assign the 'midpoint' phrase jafaa se , there are two distinct possibilities. If it modifies tark , then the result is that the beloved does not suspect that because of her oppression the lover would renounce his faithfulness-- that is, 'we are not under suspicion of renunciation-of-faith-because-of-oppression'. And if it modifies gumaa;N , then the lover is under suspicion of renunciation of faith, but the suspicion isn't because of the beloved's oppression or cruelty-- that is, 'not because of oppression (but rather for some other reason) are we under suspicion of renunciation-of-faith'. By no coincidence, both these readings work perfectly with the second line.

For in the second line, what exactly is the ik chhe;R , the 'single'-- or particular, or unique, or excellent-- 'tease' to which the speaker refers? The first line offers two possibilities: it could be the beloved's jafaa , her 'oppression, cruelty'; or her gumaa;N , her 'suspicion, distrust'. If it's her jafaa , then she oppresses the lover as a mere jest or sport, not for any good reason at all. If it's her gumaa;N , then she coquettishly pretends to suspect him of 'renunciation of faith', not because she really does, but just as a form of cruelly flirtatious pleasantry.

The very fact that there are two such possibilities so ready to hand, shows that the lover is in fact in pretty dire straits. And his insistence that she doesn't mean to test him sounds like whistling in the dark. He is desperately eager to prove to some listener-- and to himself-- that she does trust him, does value him, and doesn't need to test him further, since his fidelity is already so well established. But the more he gropes for reassurance, the less reassured he sounds.

This verse evokes {43,2}, which also hinges on the question of a test. In that verse, the lover is in an even worse position: he has to rationalize the beloved's choosing to become intoxicated in the gathering hosted by one of her other lovers. He decides that it's merely a test-- of herself, or of him. He doesn't persuade us, of course, and probably doesn't even persuade himself.