javaab-e shikvah
stanzas 16 through 20
(*text with stanza numbers*; *serial glossary*)


"In the preacher of the community, that ripeness of thought has not remained,
The lightning-naturedness has not remained, the fieriness of speech has not remained.

  ==The Urdu perfect tense here corresponds to the English present perfect, offering one more example of how the seemingly parallel tense structures don't always correspond.
"The custom of prayer has remained; the spirit of Bilal has not remained,
Philosophy has remained, the instruction of al-Ghazali has not remained.

==Bilal was an early and especially faithful believer.
==God apparently endorses the views of the eleventh-century theologian al-Ghazali.

"The mosques lament that the worshipers have not remained,
That is, those possessors of the Hijazi virtues have not remained.
   ==The Hijaz is seen as the heartland of Islam.

"There's a clamor that the Muslims have vanished from the world,
We say, were there ever any Muslims there at all?

"If in manner you are Christian, then in culture, Hindus.
These are the Muslims! --On seeing whom, the Jews would be ashamed!
  ==Perhaps the Jews would be ashamed because in the early days they knew the Prophet himself and his companions, and could see how the community had degenerated?
"Somehow you are Sayyids, you are Mirzas too, you are Afghans too--
You're everything-- tell me, are you Muslims too?
"At the moment of speaking, the sincerity of the Muslim was unflinching,
His justice was powerful, free from the defilement of calculation.
"The tree of the Muslim's nature was moist with modesty,
He was, in courage, a supernatural being.
  ==He was a being who was fauq ul-idraak , "beyond understanding."
"The moisture of the mood of his wine was self-melting/purifying
To be empty of the self was the face/image of his glass.
  ==These Persian lines may be a quotation from some well-known source that the sophisticated reader was expected to recognize.
"Every Muslim was a lancet for the vein of falsehood,
In the mirror of his existence, action was the polish-marks.
  ==Medieval medical practice included the use of a lancet for blood-letting, which was thought to purge the body of excess blood and other humors.
==Metal mirrors had to be scraped with steel wool in order to keep them bright and reflective; fine small lines were thus left on the polished mirror.
"Whatever trust he had, was in the strength of his arm,
You fear death-- he feared the Lord.
"If the father's knowledge wouldn't be in the son's breast,
Then how would the son be worthy of the inheritance of the father!
"Everyone is intoxicated with the wine of the relish of bodily ease,
Are you Muslims? Is this the style of Muslimness?
"There's neither the Haidari austerity/poverty, nor the 'Usmani wealth,
What spiritual relationship do you have with the ancestors?
  =="Haidar" was a title of Hazrat 'Ali ibn Abi Talib. 'Usman had been one of the richest merchants in Mecca; he used his wealth for Islamic causes.
"They were honored in the age, having become Muslims,
And you became vile, having become renouncers of the Qur'an.

*On to stanzas 21-25* -- *"Shikvah" index page*


-- IQBAL index page -- *Platts Dictionary Online* -- FWP's main page --