Ghazal 124, Verse 6


sunte hai;N jo bihisht kii ta((riif sab durust
lekin ;xudaa kare vuh tiraa jalvah-gaah ho

1) {when / in that} we hear praise of Paradise, it's all very well
2) but may the Lord grant that it would be your {glory/appearance}-place!


jalvah : 'Manifestation, publicity, conspicuousness; splendour, lustre, effulgence'. (Platts p.387)


This verse can be appropriate for both divine love [;haqiiqat] and human love [majaaz].

==Urdu text: Yadgar-e Ghalib, p. 154


'It's all very well'-- the meaning is that we don't doubt its excellence, except that if you won't be visible there, then it's nothing at all. (133)

== Nazm page 133

Bekhud Mohani:

Praise of Paradise is all appropriate, but may the Lord grant that you too would be available there! The point is that if you're not there, then Paradise is nothing at all. (252)


JALVAH: {7,4}

In proper mushairah-verse style, the first line is so broad and vague that it remains quite unclear how to interpret it. Even as the second line develops, the full flavor withholds itself till the end, when it comes as a wonderful shock of enjoyment. This verse belongs to the 'snide remarks about Paradise' set; for others, see {35,9}.

Hali maintains that the verse can be made to work whether we assume a Divine or a human beloved. In the former case, the verse would assert that the real delight of Paradise will be not the outer trappings of gardens and sensory pleasures, but the nearness to God himself; if this nearness is not available, then nothing else can possibly make a 'Paradise' worthy of the name. (For an even more radical rejection of the 'external' delights of Paradise, see {118,2}.) But for this reading to work, we have to assume that we're invoking God abstractly ('may the Lord grant') and also addressing God in the second person ('your'). We're thus speaking of/to the same listener as both 'him' and 'you', which is a bit awkward, to say the least. Instead, this verse should be considered one of those that can't really be addressed to a divine beloved; for others, see {20,3}.

For if we assume a human beloved, then we have no such problems. Then the verse tells her that the sight of her will be the only truly heavenly part of 'Paradise'; without the supernatural bliss of seeing her supernatural beauty, there can be no 'Paradise' to speak of-- nor indeed, anything much at all. The word jalvah has a range of meanings that includes everything from mere 'appearance' to 'radiance' or 'glory', so that we can imagine the beloved's appearance in Paradise however we like.