javaab-e shikvah
stanzas 31 through 36 (*text with stanza numbers*; *serial glossary*)


"Your reality/essence is hidden from the eyes of the communities,
Now/still you are necessary to the assembly of existence.

"Your heat/energy keeps the age alive,
Your caliphate is the star of the destiny of possibility.
  ==The second line is an example of Iqbal's gift for impressively grand but undecipherable imagery.
"Where is there any time for leisure? Work still remains,
The completion of the light of Oneness still remains.
"Like scent, you are imprisoned in the bud-- become agitated,
Become goods on the shoulder of the breeze of the garden.
"If you are of little weight, then from a sand-grain become a desert,
From the melody of a wave, become the tumult of a typhoon.
"With the strength of passion, make every low thing high,
In the world/age, through the name of Muhammad, make a light.
"If this flower would not exist, then the song of the Nightingale too would not exist,
In the garden of the world/age, the smile of the buds too would not exist.
  ==In ghazal tconvention, the Nightingale is in love with the rose. The bud is thought to "smile" when it opens out into a rose.
"If this Cupbearer would not exist, then the wine too would not exist, the wine-cask too would not exist,
The gathering of Oneness in the world too would not exist, you too would not exist.
"The uprightness of the tent of the skies is through this very name [of Muhammad],
The pulse of existence obtains its heat through this very name.
"It is in the desert, in the border of the foothills, in the field/plain,
It is in the ocean, in the embrace of the waves, in the typhoon.
"It is in the cities of Central Asia, in the desert of Marrakesh,
And it is hidden in the faith of Muslims.
"The eye of the communities would see this sight until the eternity after time,
It would see the elevation of the glory of 'and raised high the esteem in which thou art held'.
  ==The Qur'anic quotation is from 94:4.
"The pupil of the eye of the earth-- that is, that black world,
That world that nurtures your martyrs,
"Fostered by the heat of the sun, the crescent-like world,
Which the passionate ones call the Bilali world,
  ==Bilal, an emancipated slave, was one of the Prophet's earliest and most devoted followers.
"Is heat-acquiring through this name [of Muhammad], like quicksilver,
Dives into light, like the pupil of the eye."
  ==Unusually, this whole stanza consists of a single sentence.
"Wisdom is your shield, passion is your sword,
My darvesh! your caliphate is world-gripping.
   ==A darvesh is an ascetic; in Sufi tradition, he is often a spiritual guide.

"For anything 'other than God', your confession of faith is [destructive] fire,
If you are a Muslim, then destiny is your contrivance.
  ==The 'other than God' is a quotation from an Arabic phrase.
==That is, taqdiir is your tadbiir ; you yourself arrange destiny.
"If you show faithfulness toward Muhammad, then we are yours,
What is this world? -- the tablet and pen are yours."
  ==That is, the tablet and pen that record the decrees of destiny; compared to them, the world is a worthless trifle.

*"Shikvah" index page*


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