Ghazal 108, Verse 12x


shai;x jii ka((be kaa jaanaa ma((luum
aap masjid me;N gadhaa baa;Ndhte hai;N

1) Shaikh-ji, going to the Ka'bah-- well, it's 'known' [to be impossible]!
2) you tie/'bind' a donkey in the mosque


gadhaa : 'An ass, a donkey; (met.) a stupid fellow, blockhead, fool'. (Platts p.899)

Gyan Chand:

Shaikh-ji, your going into the Ka'bah-- well, it's 'known' to us [to be impossible]! This would be just the same kind of thing, as if a donkey would be tethered inside a mosque. He has called the Shaikh a donkey. (270)


ISLAMIC: {10,2}

Raza p. 234. S. R. Faruqi's choices. This verse is from a different, unpublished, ham-:tar;h ghazal from the same year, and is included for comparison. In the unpublished ghazal, this was the fifth verse.

Here's a wickedly, mischievously amusing little sneer at the Shaikh. (For more on this use of ma((luum , see {4,3}.) It's presented as an 'A,B' verse-- how are the two lines to be connected? Here are some of the possible ways:

=Shaikh-ji, you're too stupid to go to the Ka'bah-- you're such an insensitive fool that you actually tether your donkey in the precincts of the mosque itself

=Shaikh-ji, for you to enter the Ka'bah would be about as suitable as a donkey being led into a mosque and tethered there

=Shaikh-ji, when you speak of going to the Ka'bah, when you aspire to something so far beyond you-- it's as if with your words you 'tether a donkey in a mosque'

=Shaikh-ji, you'll never make it as far as the Ka'bah-- on your spiritual journey, the moment you arrived even at the local mosque, you settled in there and made camp!

=Shaikh-ji, you can't see beyond your nose-- far from wanting to go onward even as far as the Ka'bah (much less beyond it as I real seeker would), you limit your sights only to your local mosque (compare {93,3x})

Of course, any way you look at it, it's insulting to the Shaikh. But is the speaker mocking the Shaikh for wanting (most presumptuously!) to go to the Ka'bah, or not wanting (most unworthily!) to go there? As so often, Ghalib has cleverly made it impossible for us to tell.