Source: Shahr ashob, ed. by Na'im Ahmad (Delhi: Maktaba Jami'a, 1968), pp. 98-99. Na'im Ahmad identifies his own text source as a manuscript of 'Kulliyat-e Asif' in the State Central Library, Hyderabad Deccan. Translation by FWP.

MUKHAMMAS [ *the Urdu text* ]

by Asif ud-Daulah, Navab of Avadh (r.1775-97)

These days everybody is complaining about his poverty,
The sun goes around from door to door with a begging bowl.
Beggars lay claims on whoever wears a crown,
In short, everyone is deeply dyed in ostentation.
Shameless ones take on the airs of those with a sense of shame.

The behavior of faqirs has become so corrupted--don't ask.
Their constant lawsuits about silver and houses--don't ask.
Among the people of solitude there's so much social mixing--don't ask.
"Grab a turban and put it on" is all the talk now--don't ask,
Whether he's a washerman, a grocer, an innkeeper, a barber.

Once he put on a turban, an undershirt, a leather belt, a loincloth,
Something just whispered in his ear and persuaded him,
Telling him, Well sir, it's first and last only ''you you you"!
The low fellow was really arrogant, and he was beguIled,
He lounged insolently around, and began boasting about his grandeur.

In short, true belief [tauhid] has become so debased in this age,
There's not a particle of effect on people's behavior-­
Not on the so-called "pious," not on the way people uphold their promises.
In all the drug-houses [bhangirah], only "true be1ievers" [muvahhid] are to be seen.
Even down to the huqqah-man, all are absorbed in Divine contemplation.

The gamblers don't take medicine [dava], for the sake of their deuces [duva]
They have entirely committed themselves to victory or defeat on the throw of a 'twenty'.
The potters have girded up their loins, and hitched their wagons to Divinity,
If anyone speaks to the grocer, that gentleman will at once exclaim, "Allah!"
And he'll take up the butcher's cleaver to cut off his head.

Weaver, water-carrier, innkeeper, cotton-carder, cobbler, and laborer
Bow-maker, leather-worker, and washerman, oil-presser, and betel-seller,
Eunuch, transvestite, pimp--they all call out the same slogan,
Sometimes they... (?) ... a whore... (?)
Then she demands one [vahid] ... (?) ... for a time... (?)
    [Naim Ahmad's text contains ellipses indicating obscenity.]

Those advanced in mystic insight have all hidden their faces from the whole of creation,
Cut off from livelihood, finished with sight and satisfaction,
Closing the mouth of unknownness (?) [:taamiirii], they sit in silence,
They have become entirely eyes, they have become entirely ears-­
Seeing, in every direction, all this extravagant display.