Ghazal 215, Verse 9


kyaa kiyaa ;xi.zr ne sikandar se
ab kise rah-numaa kare ko))ii

1a) what Khizr did to Alexander--
1b) what did Khizr do to Alexander?!

2) now whom would anyone take as a guide?!



'What he did'-- that is, he did nothing at all. Now one ought not to trust anyone. (245)

== Nazm page 245

Bekhud Dihlavi:

In this verse is an allusion to the famous story of Khizr and Alexander. Hazrat Khizr had taken Alexander to the fountain of the Water of Life. Alexander saw that around the fountain many men were lying like slabs of meat, unable to walk or move, rise or sit. He didn't drink the Water of Life. He says, what help did Khizr give Alexander? Despite his guidance, Alexander came back deprived of the Water of Life, and after a very brief period departed from the earth. Now, as if anyone would make anybody a guide! (304)

Bekhud Mohani:

Hazrat Khizr had guided Alexander to the fountain of Darkness [;zulmaat]. But then, through the command of the Lord, he vanished. 'Khizr' is the name of a prophet, who always guides those who have lost their way. Alexander was a king of Greece, and the conqueror of the seven continents....

Mirza had only this to say, that in the world no one is worthy to be entrusted with the lofty service of guiding. He said it-- and said it in such a way that eloquence [balaa;Gat] prostrates itself. (442)



Stories differ about exactly what happened between Khizr and Alexander with regard to the fountain of the Water of Life [aab-e ;hayaat , or aab-e baqaa] (also known as the 'Fountain of Youth'), but everybody agrees that in the end Khizr drank from it (and so will live till Judgment Day), while Alexander didn't drink. Now we're asked to meditate on their relationship, and to draw what seem to be radical conclusions from it. Here are some possibilities:

=Khizr has proved to be an untrustworthy guide, so now whom should anyone get as another guide, to replace him?
=Alexander was betrayed by his guide, so now everybody must be cautioned not to fall into the same trap (of blind trust in a guide) as Alexander.
=Alexander was able to have a guide no less distinguished than Hazrat Khizr himself-- but nowadays, who can trust anybody of lesser rank to be a guide?
=Because Khizr so famously and archetypally betrayed Alexander, now nobody can trust anybody to be a reliable guide.

On the difficulty of finding a trustworthy guide, compare {99,6}.

Note for meter fans: The words kyaa and kiyaa look identical of course. Isn't it pleasant to have the meter at our service? Nothing else can so instantly and reliably serve to tell them apart.