Shikwa


Kiyoon Ziyaan Kaar Banoon Sood Faramoosh Rahoon?
Fikr E Farad Na Karoon, Mehw E Gham Doosh Rahoon
Nalay Bulbul K Sunoon Aur Hamatan Goosh Rahoon
Hamnawa! Mein Bhi Koi Gul Hoon K Khamoosh Rahoon?
Jurrat A Mooz Taree Tab E Sukhn, Hai Mujh Ko
Shikwa Allah Say Khakum Ba Dahan, Hai Mujh Ko



Why should I be destructive and remain reckless of betterment?
Think not of the future, remain occupied in today’s problems?
Should I hear nightingale’s wails, and remain completely silent?
O companion! Am I some flower so that I may remain silent?
The strength of my poetry is encouraging to me
Woe be to me 1! My remonstrance is against God!


Hai Baja Shaywa E Tasleem Mein Mashoor Hein Hum
Qissa Dard Sunatay Hein K Majboor Hein Hum
Saaz Khamoosh Hein, Faryaad Say Ma'moor Mein Hum
Nalaa Aata Hai Agar Lab Pay, To Ma'zoor Hein Hum
Ay Khuda! Shikwa E Arbab O Wafa Bhi Sun Lay
Khogar E Hamd Say Thora Sa Gila Bhi Sun Lay

It is true that we are famous in the methods of obeisance
But we are relating our story of pain out of compulsion
Though a silent orchestra, we are full of complaint
If the wailing comes to lips we are excusable
O God! Listen to the remonstrance also from the faithful
Listen to some complaint also from the one accustomed to praise you


Thi To Mojood Azal Say He Taree Zaat Qadeem
Phool Tha Zaib E Chaman, Par Na Pareshaan Thi Shamim
Shart Insaaf Hai Ay Sahib E Altaf E Ameem
Bo E Gul Phailti Is Tarhe Jo Honti Na Nasim
Hum Ko Jamiat E Khatir Yeah Pareshaani Thi
Warna Ummat Teray Mehboob Ki Deewani Thi.

Though Thy Eternal Essence had existed since eternity
The flower existed in the garden but fragrance had not dispersed
Justice is a condition, O Lord of Universal Benevolence
How could flower’s fragrance spread if zephyr did not exist?
This problem’s solution was the source of satisfaction to us
Otherwise was the Holy Prophet’s Ummah insane?


Hum Say Pehlay Tha Ajab Tairay Jahan Ka Manzar
Kaheen Mazjood Thay Pathar Kaheen Ma'bood Shajar!
Khogar E Paiker E Mehsoos Thi Insaan Ki Nazar
Manta Phir Koi Un-Daikhay Khuda Ko Kiokar
Tujh Ko Maloom Hai Laita Tha Koi Naam Tera?
Quwwat E Baazo E Muslim Nai Kiya Kaam Tera!

The scene of Thy world was strange before us
Stones were adored somewhere, trees were worshipped somewhere
The eyes of Man were accustomed to tangible forms
How could they be amenable to accept the Unseen God?
Doth Those know who ever told Thy beads?
The strength of the Muslim’s arm completed Thy task!


Bus Rahay Thay Yah een Saljooq Bhi, Torani Bhi
Ehl E Chee Cheen Mein, Irani Mein Sasani Bhi
Isi Ma'moor Mein Aabad Thay Yonani Bhi
Isi Dunya Mein Yahoodi Bhi Thay Nasrani Bhi
Per Tairay Naam Per Talwaar Uthaii Kiss Nai?
Baat Jo Bigri Howi Thi, Wo Banaii Kiss Nai?

Saljuqs 2 were living here and the Turanâs 3 also
The Chinese in China and in Iran the Sasanâs 4 also
The Greeks were also living in the same habitation
In the same world were the Jews and the Christians also
But who raised the sword in Thy name?
Who reclaimed the despoiled world in Thy name?


Thay Hameen Aik Teray Ma'ar K Aaraoon Mein
Khushkiyoon Mein Kabhi Lartay, Kabhi Daryaaon Mein
Dee Azanein Kabhi Europe K Kaleesaoon Mein
Kabhi Afreeqa K Taptay Hoay Sehraon Mein
Shaan Aankhon Mein Na Jajti Thi Jahandaaron Ki
Kalima Parhtay Thay Hum Chaaon Mein Talwaaron Ki

We alone were the marshals of Thy troops!
We were fighting now on land and now in the oceans
Some times we were calling adhans in the Europe’s cathedrals
And sometimes in the scorching African deserts
We never cared for the grandeur of monarchs
We recited the Kalimah 5 under the shade of swords


Hum Jo Jeetay Thay, To Jangoon Ki Musibat K Liyeah
Aur Martay Thay Teray Naam Ki Azmat K Liyeah
Thi Na Kuch Zani Apni Hakomat K Liyeah
Sir Bakaf Phirtaythey Kia Dehr Mein Dolat K Liyeah
Qaum Apni Jozaro Maal Jahan Per Marti
But Farooshi K Iwaz But Shikni Kiyoon Karti!

If we lived we lived for the calamities of wars
If we died we died for the grandeur of Thy name
We did not wield the sword for our kingdoms
Did we roam about the world fearlessly for wealth?
If our nation had been greedy of worldly wealth
Why would we have been idol breakers instead of idol sellers 6?


Tal Na Sakay Thay, Agar Jang Mein Urh Jatay Thay
Paoon Shairoon K Bhi Maidaan Say Ukhar Jatay Thay
Tujh Say Sirkash Howa Koi, To Bigar Jatay Thay
Taigh Kia Cheez Hai? Hum Toap Say Lar Jatay Thay
Naqsh Toheed Ka Her Dil Pay Bithaya Hum Nai
Zeer E Khanjar Bhi Yeah Paighaam Sunaya Hum Nai

Once firmly standing in the battle we were immovable
Even lions in the battle against us would be in flight
We were enraged if some one rebelled against Thee
Not to talk of sword we were fighting against canons
We impressed Tawéâd’s picture on every heart
We conveyed this message even under the dagger


Tu He Keh Day K Ukhara Dar Khyber Kiss Nai
Shehr E Qaiser Ka Jo Tha Is Ko Kiya Sir Kiss Nai?
Toray Makhlooq Khudaoon K Paiker Kiss Nai?
Kaat Ker Rakh Diyeah Kuffar K Lashkar Kiss Nai?
Kiss Nai Thanda Kia Aatish Kada E Iran Ko?
Kiss Nai Phir Zinda Kia Tazkara E Yazdaan Ko?

Tell us Thou, by whom was uprooted the gate of Khaibar7
By whom was conquered the city which was Qaisar’s8?
By whom were the images of created gods destroyed?
By whom were the armies of infidels slaughtered?
By whom was the fire temple of Iran extinguished?
By whom was the story of Yazdan9 restored to life?


Kaun Si Qaum Faqat Teri Talabgaar Howi?
Aur Teray Liyeah Zehmat Kash E Paiker Howi?
Kiss Ki Shamsheer Jahangir, Jahandad Howi?
Kiss Ki Takbeer Say Dunya Teri Baidaar Howi?
Kiss Ki Haibat Say Sanam Sehmay Hoay Rehtay Thay
Moun K Bal Girtay Ho Allah Ho Ahad Kehtay Thay

Which nation did become Thy seeker exclusively?
And became embroiled in wars’ calamities for Thee?
Whose world-conquering sword did world-ruler become?
By whose Takbâr did Thy world enlightened become?
Through whose fear idols did perpetually alarmed remain?
Falling on their faces saying “Huwa Allah O Ahad 10 did remain?


Agaya Yain Larai Mein Agar Waqt E Namaaz
Qibla Ro Ho K Zameen Boos Hoee Qaum E Hijaaz
Aik He Sif Mein Kharay Ho Ga'ay Mehmood O Ayaaz
No Koi Banda Raha Na Koi Banda Nawaaz
Bunda O Sahib O Muhtaaj O Ghani Aik Hoay
Teri Sarkaar Mein Pohchay To Sab He Aik Hoay

If the time of prayer right during the battle fell
Hijaz’ nation in prostration facing the Ka’abah fell
Both Mahmud and Ayaz 11 in the same row stood
None as the slave and none as the master stood
The slave and the master, the poor and the rich all became one!
On arrival in Thy Audience all were reduced to one!


Mehfil E Kon O Makaan Mein Sehr O Shaam Phiray
Mai Tauheed Ko Lay Ker Saft E Jaam Hoay
Koh Mein, Dasht Mein Lay Ker Tera Paighaam Phiray
Aur Maa'loom Hay Tujh Ko Kabhi Nakaam Phiray
Dasht To Dasht Hein Darya Bhi Na Choray Hum Nai
Behr E Zulmaat Mein Dora Diyeah Ghoray Hum Nai

We continuously wandered all over the world
We wandered like the wine-cup with Tawéâd’s wine
We wandered with Thy Message in the mountains, in the deserts
And doth Thou know whether we ever returned unsuccessful?
What of the deserts! We did not spare even oceans!
We galloped our horses in the dark ocean 12!


Saf A E Dehr Say Baatil Ko Mitaya Hum Nai
No'h Insaan Ko Ghulami Say Churaya Hum Nai
Tere Kaa'bay Ko Jabeenoon Say Basaya Hum Nai
Tere Quran Ko Seenon Say Lagaya Hum Nai
Phir Bhi Hum Say Yeah Gila H K Wafadaar Nahi
Hum Wafadar Nahi, Tu Bhi To Dildaar Nahi

We effaced falsehood from the earth’s surface
We freed the human race from bonds of slavery
We filled Thy Ka’bah with our foreheads
We put Thy Qur’an to our hearts
Still Thou complaineth that we are lacking fealty
If we are lacking fealty Thou also art not generous


Ummatein Aur Bhi Hein, Is Mein Gunaahgaar Bhi Hein
Ijz Walay Bhi Hein Mast Maye Pandaar Bhi Hein
In Mein Kaahil Bhi Mein, Ghaafil Bhi Hein, Hushyaar Bhi Hein
Sainkroon Hein Jo Tere Naam Say Beezar Bhi Hein
Rehmatein Hein Teere Aghyaar K Kashaanon Per
Barq Girti Hai To Becharay Musalmaanon Per

There are other ummahs, among them are sinners also
There are modest people and arrogant ones also
Among them are slothful, indolent as well as clever people
There are also hundreds who are disgusted with Thy name
Thy Graces descend on the other people’s abodes
Lightning strikes only the poor Muslims’ abodes


But Sanam Khaanon Mein Kehtay Hein Musalmaan Ga'ay
Hai Khushi Unko K Kaa'bay K Nigahbaan Ga'ay
Manzil E Dehr Say Oonton K Hudi Khuwaan Ga'ay
Apni Baghloon Mein Daba'ay Hoay Quraan Ga'ay
Khanda Zan Kufr Hai, Ehsaas Tujhay Hai K Nahi?
Apni Tauheed Ka Kuc h Paas Tujhay Hai K Nahi?

The idols in temples say ‘The Muslims are gone’
They are glad that the Ka’bah’s sentinels are gone
From the world’s stage the hudâ 13 singers are gone
They, with the Qur’an in their arm pits, are gone
Infidelity is mocking, hast Thou some feeling or not?
Dost Thou have any regard for Thy own Tawheâd or not?


Yeah Shikayat Nahi, Hein In K Khazanay Maa'moor
Nahi Mehfil Mein Jinhein Baat Bhi Karnay Ka Sha'oor
Qehr To Yeah Hai K Kaafir Ko Milein Hoor O Qusoor
Aur Becharay Musalmaanon Ko Faqt Wada O Hoor
Ub Woh Altaf Nahi, Tum Pay Inayaat Nahi
Baat Yeah Kia Hai K Pehli Si Madaraat Nahi?

We do not complain that their treasures are full
Who are not in possession of even basic social graces
Outrageous that infidels are rewarded with Houris and palaces
And the poor Muslims are placated with only promise of Houris
We have been deprived of the former graces and favors
What is the matter, we are deprived of the former honors?


Kiyoon Musalmaanon Mein Hai Dolat Dunya Nayaab
Tairee Qudrat To Hai Woh Jinki Na Had Hai Na Hisaab
Tu Jo Chahay To U thay Seena E Sehra Say Habaab
Rehro E Dasht Ho Seeli Zada Mooj Saraab
Taa'n E Aghyaar Hai, Ruswaai Hai, Nadari Hai
Kia Tere Naam Pay Marnay Ka A'wiz Khuwari Hai?

Why is the material wealth rare among Muslims?
Thy omnipotence is boundless and inestimable
With Thy Will the desert’s bosom would produce bubbles
The desert’s rambler can be facing flood of mirage’s waves
Others’ sarcasm, disgrace and poverty is our lot
Is abjection the reward for Loving Thee?


Bani Aghyaar Ki Ub Chahnay Wali Dunya,
Reh Gayi Apnay Liyeah Aik Khayali Dunya!
Hum To Rukhsat Hoay Auron Nai Sambhali Dunya
Phir Na Kehna Howe Tauheed Say Khaali Dunya!
Hum To Jeetay Hein K Dunya Mein Tera Naam Rahay
Kaheen Mumkin Hai K Saaqi Na Rahay, Jam Rahay?

Now, this world is the lover of others
For us it is only an imaginary world
We have departed, others have taken over the world
Do not complain now that devoid of Tawheâd has become the world
We live with the object of spreading Thy fame in the world
Can the wine-cup exist if the cup-bearer does not live?


Tairee Mehfil Bhi Gayi, Chahnay Walay Bhi Ga'ay
Shab Ki Aahein Bhi Ga'een, Subh K Lalay Bhi Ga'ay
Dil Tujhay Day Bhi Ga'ay, Apna Sila Lay Bhi Ga'ay
Aa K Baithay Bhi Na Thay Aur Unka Lay Bhi Ga'ay
Aa'ay Aashiq, Ga'ay Waa'da O Farda Lay Ker
Ub Unhein Dhoon d Charaagh Zeba Lay Ker

Thy assemblage is gone, and Thy Lovers are also gone
The night’s sighs and the dawn’s wailings are gone
They had loved Thee, they are gone with their rewards
They had hardly settled down and they were turned out
The Lovers came but with tomorrow’s promise were sent away
Now seek them with Thy beautiful face’s lamp 14 every way!


Dard E Laila Bhi Wohi, Qais Ka Pehlo Bhi Wohi
Bukhd K Dasht O Jabl Mein Ram Aaho Bhi Wohi
Ishq Ka Dil Bhi Wohi, Husn Ka Jaadu Bhi Wohi
Ummat E Ahmad Mursal Bhi Wohi, Tu Bhi Wohi
Phir Yeah Aazird Gayi Ghair, Sabab Kia Maa'ni?
Apni Shaidaaon Pay Yeah Chashm Ghazab Kia Maa'ni?

Lailah’s pathos is the same, and Qais’ bosom is the same
In the Najd’s wilderness and mountains the deer’s running is the same
The Love’s heart is the same, the Beauty’s magic is the same
The Ummah of the Holy Prophet is the same, Thou art the same
Why then this displeasure without reason is?
Why then this displeasure for Thy Lovers is?


Tujh Ko Chora K Rusul E Arabi Ko Chora
But Gari Paisha Kia, But Shikni Ko Chora
Ishq Ko, Ishq Ki Aashiftasri Ko Chora
Rasm E Salman O Oais Qarni Ko Chora
Aag Takbeer Ki Seenon Mein Dabi Rakhtay Hein
Zindagi Masl E Bilal Habshi Rakhtay Hein!

Did we forsake Thee, did we forsake the Arabian Holy Prophet?
Did we adopt idol sculpture, did we idol breaking forsake?
Did we forsake Love, and did we forsake the madness of Love?
Did we forsake the customs of Salman 15 and Uwais of Qur’an 16?
We have the Takbâr’s fire suppressed in our hearts!
We are living the life of Bilal 17 the Negro!


Ishq Ki Khair, Who Pehli Si Ada Bhi Na Sahii
Jad O Paimaayi Tasleem O Raza Bhi Na Sahii
Maghtarab Dil Sift E Qibla Numai Bhi Na Sahii
Aur Pabandi Aa'een E Wafa Bhi Na Shii
Kabhi Hum Say. Kabhi Ghairoon Say Shanasaayi Hai
Baat Kehnay Ki Nahi Tu Bhi To Harjayi Hai

Granted that Love has lost its former elegance also
We may have lost treading the path of Love also
We may have lost the restless heart like the compass also
And we may have lost the observance of fidelity’s rules also
Thou art changing friendship between us and others
It is difficult to say but Thou art also unfaithful 18!


Sir E Faaran Pay Kiya Deen Ko Kamil Tu Nai,
Ik Isharay Mein Hazaroon K Liyeah Dil To Nai
Aatish Andooz Kiya Ishq Ka Haasil Tu Nai
Phoonk Di Garme E Rukhsaar Say Mehfil To Nai
Aaj Kiyoon Seenay Hamaray Sharr Aabad Nahi?
Hum Woji Sokhta Samaan Hein, Tujhay Yaad Nahi?

Thou perfected the Dân on the peak of Faran 19
Thou captivated the hearts of thousands in a moment
Thou consumed the produce of Love with fire
Thou burned the congregation with Thy face’s fire
Why are not our breasts filled with Love’s sparks now?
We are the same Lovers, dost Thou not remember now?


Wadi E Bukhd Mein Woh Shor E Silasal Na Raha
Qais Deewana Nazara Mehmil Na Raha!
Hoslay Who Na Rahay, Hum Nai Rahe, Dil Na Raha
Ghar Yeah Ujra Hai K To Ronaq E Mehfil Na Raha
Ay Khushaan Rooz K Aayi O Burasnaz Aayi
Bay Hijaba Na Soye Mehfil Ma Baaz Aayi!

The noise of Lovers’ chains in the Najd’s Valley has disappeared
Qais has no more remained longing for the litter’s sight
Those old ambitions, we, as well as the heart have disappeared
The house is destroyed as Thou art not present in the house
O that happy day when Thou with elegance will come back
When Thou unveiled to our congregation will come back


Baad A Kash Ghair Hein Gulshan Mein Lab Jo Baithay
Suntay Hein Jam Bakaf Naghma Ko Koo Baithay!
Daur Hangama E Gulzaar Say Yaksuu Baithay
Tere Deewanay Bhi Hein Muntazir Hu Baithay!
Apnay Parwaoon Ko Phir Zauq E Khud Afroozi Day
Barq E Daireena Ko Farmaan E Jigar Soozi Day

Others are sitting at the stream bank in the rose garden
Listening to the cuckoo’s call with wine-cup in their hand
In the garden on a side far from the riotous crowd are sitting
Thy Lovers are also patiently wanting for a Hë! 20
Again endow Thy moths with Longing for burning themselves
Give the command for consumption in Love to the old lightning


Qaum E Aawara Aan Ta'ab Hai Phir So'ay Hijaaz
Lay Ura Bulbul E Bayper Ko Mazaaq E Parwaaz
Muztarib Baagh K Her Ghunchay Mein Hai Boo'ay Niyaaz
Tu Zara Chair To Day, Tishna E Mazraab Say Saaz
Naghmay Baytaab Hein Taaron Say Nikalnay K Liyeah
Toor Muztir Hai, Ise Aag Mein Jalnay K Liyeah

The wandering nation is riding again towards Hijaz
The taste of flight has carried the unfledged nightingale
The fragrance of humility is restless in every flower bud
Just start the music, orchestra is seeking the plectrum
Songs are restless to come out of the strings
Tur is impatient for burning in the same fire


*Mushkilein Ummat E Marhoom Ki Aasan Ker Day
Mooribe Maya Ko Humdoosh E Sulmaimaan Ker Day
Jins E Nayaab Muhabbat Ko Phir Arzaan Ker Day
Hind K Dair E Nasheenon Ko Musalmaan Ker Day
Jo'ay Khoonmee Chakraaz Hasrat Deerena E Ma
Mee Tapeedna Lab E Nashtar Kar Day Seena E Ma

Make easy the difficulties of the blessed Ummah
Place the poor ant shoulder to shoulder to Sulaiman 21
Make the invaluable produce of Love accessible again
Change the idolatrous Muslims of India into Muslims again
A stream of blood drips from the frustrations mine
Wailing palpitates in the wounded breast of mine!


Bo'ay Gul Lay Gayi Bairoon E Chaman, Raaz E Chaman
Kia Qayamat Hai K Khud Phool Hein Ghammaz E Chaman
Ehd E Gul Khatm Hua, Toot Gaya Saaz E Chaman
Urh Ga'ay Daaliyo on Say Zamzama Pardaaz E Chaman
Aik Bulbul Hai K Yeah Mehw E Tarannum Ub Tak,
Is K Seenay Mein Hai Naghmoon Ka Talatum Ub Tak

The rose’ fragrance took garden’s secret outside the garden
Outrageous that flowers themselves are informers against the garden
The spring is over, broken is the orchestra of the garden
Flown away from branches are the songsters of the garden
Only a nightingale is left which is singing still
In its breast overflows the flood of songs still 22


Qumryaan Shaakh Sanoobar Say Gurezaan Bhi Hoween
Pattiyan Phool Ki Jar Jar K Pareshaan Bhi Hoween
Who Purani Rawishein Baagh Ki Weeran Bhi Hoween
Daaliyan Pairhun E Bargh Say Uryaan Bhi Hoween
Qaid E Mosam Say Tabiyat Rahi Aazad Is Ki
Kaash Gulshan Mein Samajhta Koi Faryaad Is Ki

Turtle-doves from the juniper’s branches are gone also
Flower petals dropping from the flower are scattered also
The garden’s old beautiful walk-ways are gone also
The branches became bare of the cover of leaves also
But his nature remained free of the season’s restrictions
Would somebody in the garden understand his complaint!!


Lutf Marnay Mein Hai Baaqi, Na Maza Jeenay Mein
Kuch Maza Hai To Yehi Khoon E Jigar Peenay Mein
Kitnay Baytaab Hein Johar Maray Aaiinay Mein
Kiss Qadr Jalway Tar aptay Hein Mere Seenay Mein
Is Guliastaan Mein Magar Daikhnay Walay He Nahi
Daagh Jo Seenay Mein Rakhtay Hoon Who Lalay He Nahi

There is no pleasure in dying and no taste in living is
If there is any pleasure it in bearing this affliction is
Many a virtue is restless in my mirror!
Many an effulgence is fluttering in my breast!
But there is none in this garden to see them
There are no poppies 23 with Love’s stain on their breasts


Chaal Is Bulbul E Tanha Ki Nawasay Dil Hoon
Jaagnay Walay Isi Bang E Dara Say Dil Hoon
Ya'ni Phir Zinda Naye Ehd E Wafa Say Dil Hoon
Phir Isi Bada E Daireena K Piyasay Dil Hoon
Ajami Khum Hai To Kia, Maay To Hijazi Hai Meri
Naghma Hindi Hai To Kia, Lay To Hijazi Hai Meri

May hearts open up with the song of this lonely nightingale
May the sleeping hearts wake up with this very Bang-i-Dar
May the hearts come to life again with a new covenant
May the hearts be thirsty again for this same old wine
My alembic may be from `Ajam, but my wine is from Hijaz
The song may be Indian but my tune is from Hijaz

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Explanatory Notes
1. “Dust in the mouth”- This is the expression used in the original poem. This expression is used as a curse in Urdu and is pronounced when someone makes an exaggerated statement or request.

2. Saljëqs- This was a Turkish tribe which inhabited Central Asia. Later they accepted Islam and produced famous Khalâfahs like Öal«h-al-Dân Ayyëbâ.

3. Tër«nâs- People inhabiting the tract north of the Oxus River.

4. S«s«nids- This was a tribe inhabiting Persia. They ruled over a large empire east of the Byzantine Empire across the Euphrates River (ca. 226-641). They were followers of Zoroaster and worshipped fire. They were defeated by the Muslims in 641 during the time of S. ‘Umar R.A.

5. Kalimah-The Muslim creed of “L« Il«ha Ill Allah O Muéammad al-Rasël Allah,” (There is no deity except God and Muéammad S.A.W. is His Prophet).

6. This alludes to Öult«n Maémëd of Ghaznâ and his very favorite slave, Ay«z for whom see Appendix I, No. 34.

7. Khaibar- This was a stronghold of Jews in £ij«z, where they consolidated themselves after their expulsion from Madânah Munawwarah (625). Khaibar had six forts of which Qamës was the strongest. It was attacked by the Holy Prophet in ca. 630. The gate of the fort of Qamës was broken by S. ‘Alâ R.A. which is a very famous act of bravery in Islamic history.

8. City of Qaisar- Allusion to Qusèunèuäiyah (Constantinople) for which see poem 76 (Bil«d-i-Isl«miyah) Note 10.

9. Yazd«n- This is the god of Virtue and Good in the Zoroastrian religion as opposed to the god of Evil and Sin represented by Ahirman. The word is also used in Persian and Urdu for God, as is done here.

10. Allusion to the Holy Qur’«n (48:22-23 and 112:1).

11. Maémëd O Ay«z- See Appendix I, No. 34.

12. Allusion to the achievements of Khair-al-Dân Barbaràsah (1474-1546), for which see Appendix I, No. 51. This particular verse alludes to the expedition of Barbaràsah Brothers (Arouj and Khair-al-Dân Barbaràsah) in north-west Africa for expelling the Spaniards from those Muslim lands and establishing the suzerainty of the Islamic Ottoman Khil«fah. About 1512 they conquered up to the north-western sea coast and in their zeal drove their horses to some distance in the Atlantic Ocean, saying that if the land of God extended beyond the African coast they would conquer it also in His name.

13. £udâ- Songs which camel drivers sing when the caravan is marching.

14. The expression “searching something with a lamp in hand” is used in Urdu to search for something almost non-existent. The intensity of the search as well as a hint of taunt is added by ‘All«mah Iqb«l by including the part of the “lamp of the Beautiful Face of God”.

15. Salm«n Abë `Abd Allah F«risâ R.A.- See Appendix I, Nol. 68.

16. Uwais Qaranâ- See Appendix I, No. 78.

17. Bilal Ibn Rab«é- See Appendix I, No. 17.

18. This is a pun on the word “harj«’â” used in the text. It means omni-present as well as a person who is not restricted to one person in love and fidelity.

19. Peak of F«r«n- F«r«n is the mountain on which the Cave of £ir« is located. God, in His Infinite Grace and Mercy sent His prophets and messengers among all people of the world and at all times. The message of these prophets was confined to that nation and that period. However, the Holy Prophet S.A.W. brought Islam, which was sent as the Dân for all people for all times (see The Holy Qur’«n 5:3).

20. Hë- This is an abbreviation for ‘huv«’ which means ‘He’ and is used for God. Here it is used as part of the expression ‘All«h Hë’ which means ‘Only God has real Existence’ and is used in TaÅawwuf’s spiritual exercises.

21. S. Sulaim«n A.S.- See Appendix I, No. 73.

22. In this verse and those following it to the end of the poem ‘All«mah Iqb«l is referring to himself and his book, B«ng-i-Dar«.

23. The poppy flower has a black stain at the bottom of its corolla. This is poetically referred to as the mark of Love of God.


Jawab-E-Shikwa


Dil se jo baat nikalti hai, asar rakhti hai,
Par nahin, taaqat-e-parwaaz magsr rakhti hai.
Qudsi-ul-asal hai, rif-atpe nazar rakhti hai,
Khaak se uthti hai, gardoon pe guzar rakhti hai.
Ishq tha fitna gar-o-sarkash-o-chalaak mira,
Aasman cheer gaya nala-e-bebaak mira. _______________

Whatever comes out of the heart is effective
It has no wings but has the power of flight
It has holy origins, it aims at elegance
It rises from dust, but has access to the celestial world
My love was seditious, rebellious and clever
My fearless wailing rent through the sky


Pir-e-gardoon ne kaha sun ke, kahin hai koi!
Bole sayyaare, sar-e-arsh-e-barin hai koi!
Chaand kahta tha, nahin, ahl-e-zamin hai koi!
Kahkashaan kahti thi, poshida yahin hai koi!
Kuchh jo samjha tau mere shikwe ko Ruzwan samjha,
Mujhe jannat se nikala hua insaan samjha. _______________

On hearing it the sun said, “Somewhere there is somebody!”
The planets said, “At the ‘Arsh-i-Barân 1 there is somebody!”
The moon was saying, “No, it is some inhabitant of the earth!”
The milky way was saying, “Somebody is concealed just here”!
If someone understood my Remonstrance Riîw«n 2 did
He understood me as the Man turned out of the Paradise

Thi farishton ko bhi hairat, ke yeh aawaaz hai kya!
Arsh waalon pe bhi khulta nahin yeh raaz hai kya!
Taa sar-e-arsh bhi insaan ki tag-o-taaz hai kya?
Aa gai khak ki chutki ko bhi parwaaz hai kya?
Ghaafil aadaab se yeh sukkaam-e-zamin kaise hain,
Shokh-o-gustaakh yeh pasti ke makin kaise hain, _______________

Even angels exclaimed in surprise “What could this voice be!
Unknown even to the ‘Arsh’s keepers what the secret could be!
Is the mankind’s reach really even to the ‘Arsh?
Has this pinch of dust also learned flight?
How ignorant of good manners the earth’s denizens are!
How bold and insolent these denizens of the low are!


Is qadar shokh ke Allah se bhi barham hai,
Tha jo masjud-e-malaik yeh wohi Aadam hai?
Aalam-e kaif hai, dana-e-ramuz-e-kam hai,
Haan, magar ijaz ke asrar se namahram hai.
Naaz hai taaqat-e-guftaar pe insaanon ko,
Baat karne ka saliqa nahin nadaanon ko! _______________

Is he so insolent that even angry with God he is?
Is he the same Man who once worshipped by angels was ?
He is the knower of Kamm 3, and of the enigmas of Kaif 4
But, he is unacquainted with the secrets of modesty
Mankind are proud of the power of their rhetoric
These ignorant people are incapable of talking”!


Aai aawaaz ghum-angez hai afsana tira,
Ashk-e-betaab se labrezhai paimana tira.
Shukr shikwe ko kiya husn-e-ada se tu ne,
Hum sakhun kar diyabandon ko khuda se tu ne.
Hum tau mayal ba-karam hai, koi sayal hi nahin,
Rah dikhlain kise rahraw-e-manzil hi nahin. _______________

A voice came “Very pathetic is your story
Full of restless tears is your wine-measure
You sweetened the Remonstrance with elegant graces
You established intercourse between God and His people
We 5 are inclined to Mercy, but there is no one to implore
Whom can we show the way ? There is no wayfarer to the destination

Tarbiat aam tau hai, jauhar-e-qabil hi nahin,
Jis se taamir ho aadam ki yeh who gil hi nahin.
Koi qabil ho tau hum shan-e-kai dete hain;
Dhoondne waalon ko duniya bhi nai dete hain!
Haath be-zor hain, ilhaad se dil khoo-gar hain,
Ummati baais-e-ruswai-e-paighamber hain. _______________

Jewel polishing is common, but there is no proper jewel
There is no clay capable of being molded into ÿdam
We confer the glory of Kai 6 on the deserving
We confer even a whole new world7 on those who search!
Arms are feeble, hearts are accustomed to apostasy
The ‘believers’ are a source of disgrace to the Prophet


But-shikan uth gaye, baaqi jo rahe but-gar hain,
Tha Brahim pidar, aur pisar Aazar hain.
Bada aasham naye baaqi naya khum bhi naye,
Harm-e-Kaaba naya, but bhi naye, tum bhi naye.
Who bhi din the ke yehi maya-e-raanai tha,
Naazish-e-mausim-e-gul lala-e-sahraai tha! _______________
Jo Musalmaan tha Allah ka saudai tha,
Kabhi mehboob tumhara yehi harjaai tha.

Idol-breakers have departed, the rest are idol-makers
Though the father was Ibr«hâm8 the sons are ÿzar9
The wine-drinkers, the wine, even the decanters are new
The sanctuary of the Ka‘bah, the idols, even you are new
There was a time when this alone was the source of Beauty
The wild tulip was the pride of the season of spring
Whichever Muslim there was, the Lover of God he was
A while ago your beloved this very Unfaithful was10

Kis taraha tum pe gira subah ki naadari he?
Hum se kab pyaar he haa neend tumhe pyaari he.

How difficult for you is waking up at the dawn!
You have no Love for Us, sleep is dear to you

Safah-e-dahar se baatil ko mitaya kis ne?
Nau-e-insaan ko ghulami se chhuraya kis ne?
Mere Kaabe ko jabeenon se basaya kis ne?
Mere Quran ko seenon se lagaya kis ne? _______________
The tau aaba who tumhaare hi, magar tum kya ho?
Haath par haath dhare muntezir-e-farda ho!

Who effaced false worship from the face of the world?
Who rescued the human race from slavery ?11
Who adorned my Ka‘bah with their foreheads in Love?
Who put my Qur’«n to their breasts in reverence?
They were surely your ancestors, but what are you ?
Sitting in idleness, waiting for tomorrow are you !


Kya kaha? "bahr-e-musalmaan hai faqt waade-e-hur,"
Shikwa beja bhi kare koi tau laazim hai shaoor!
Adal hai faatir-e-hasti ka azal se dastur,
Muslim aaeen hua kafir tau mile hur-o-qasur; _______________
Tum mein hooron ka koichahne wala hi nahin,
Jalwa-e-tur tau maujood hai, Moosa hi nahin.

What did you say? “For the Muslim is only the promise of houri
Even if the Remonstrance be unreasonable decorum is necessary
Justice is the Creator of Existence’ custom since eternity
When the infidel adopts Muslim ways he receives houris and palaces
Not a single one among you is longing for houris
The Effulgence of ñër exists but there is no Mës«12


Munfait ek hai is qaum ki, nuqsaan bhi ek,
Ek hi sab ka nabi, din bhi, imaan bhi ek,
Harm-e-paak bhi, Allah bhi, Quran bhi ek,
Kuchh bari baat thi hote jo musalmaan bhi ek! _______________
Firqa bandi hai kahin, aur kahin zaaten hain.
Kya zamane mein panpaneki yehi baaten hain?

The gain of this nation is one, also the loss is one
Only one is the prophet of all, dân is one, ¥m«n is one
The Holy £aram is one, God is one, Qur’«n also is one
Would it have been very difficult for Muslims to be one
Sects abound somewhere and somewhere are castes!
Are these the ways to progress in the world?

Jaa ke hote hain masaajid mein saf-aara tau gharib,
Zahmat-e-roza jo karte hain gawara tau gharib.
Naam leta hai agar koi hamara, tau gharib,
Pardah rakhta hao agar koi tumhara, tau gharib. _______________
Umra nasha-e-daulat mein hain ghafil hum se,
Zinda hai millat-e-baiza ghurba ke dam se.

If some array themselves in mosques, it is the poor
If some endure the discomfort of fasting it is the poor
If some are reverent to Us it is the poor
If some hide your faults it is the poor
The rich in their arrogance of wealth are negligent of Us
The Millat-i-Baiî« is alive on the strength of the poor


Shor hai ho gaye duniya se musalmaan naabood,
Hum yeh kahte hain ke the bhi kahin Muslim maujood?
Waza mein tum ho nisari, tau tamuddan mein Hanood,
Yeh musalmaan hain! Jinhen dekh ke sharmain Yahud? _______________

Clamor is that Muslims have disappeared from the world
We ask whether the Muslims were present anywhere?
In fashion you are Christians, in culture you are Hindus
Are these Muslims ! Who put the Jews to embarrassment!


Baap ka ilm na bete ko agar azbar ho,
Phir pisar qabil-e-miraas-e-pidar kyonkar ho!

If the art of the father not well-known to the son be
How can the son worthy of the heritage of the father be!

Har koi mast-e-mai-e-zauq-e-tan aasaani hai,
Tum musalmaan ho? Yeh andaaz-e-musalmaani hai?

Everyone is intoxicated with the wine of indulgence
Are you Muslims? To you is this the way of Islam?


Chaahte sab hain ke hon auj-e-surayya pe muqeem,
Pahle waisa koi paida tau kare qalb-e-salim! _______________

Though everybody wants to reach the zenith of Thurayyah
Every body must first cultivate that kind of affable heart


Ahd-e-nau barq hai, aatish zan-e-har khirman hai,
Aiman is se koi sahra no koi gulshan hai.
Is nai aag ka aqwaam-e-kuhan eendhan hai,
Millat-e-khatam-e-rasal shoula ba parahan hai.
Dekh kar range-e-chaman ho na pareshan maali,
Kookab-e-ghuncha se shaakhen hain chamakne wali, _______________

The new age is a lightning, consuming every barn is
Safe from this no wilderness and no rose-garden is
Of this new fire old nations are the fuel
The Ummah of the last Prophet is set afire
The gardener should not be upset by seeing the garden’s state
Branches are about to appear from the bunches of buds


Khas-o-khashaak se hota hai gulistan khaali,
Gul bar andaaz hai khun-e-shuhda ki laali.
Rang gardoon ka zara dekh tau unnabi hai,
Yeh nikalte hue suraj ki ufaq taabi hai.
Nakhl-e-Islam namoona hai bro-mandi ka,
Phal hai yeh sainkron saalon ki chaman bandi ka. _______________

The garden will be cleared soon of the waste and trash
The red of the martyrs’ blood will be producing rose buds
Look a little the color of the sky somewhat red is
This the glowing of the horizon by the rising sun is!
Some nations in the existence’s garden benefited from their labors are
And some deprived of fruits and even destroyed by autumn are


Qaafila ho na sakega kabhi weeran tera,
Ghair yak baang-e-dara kuchh nahin samaan tera.
Nakhl-e-shama asti-o-dar should dood resha-e-tu,
Aaqbat soz bood saya-e-andesha-e-tu.
Ki Mohammed se wafa tu ne tau hum tere hain,
Yeh jahan cheez hai kya, lauh-eo-qalam tere hain.

It will never be possible to destroy your caravan
Nothing except the ‘Clarions’s Call’ are your chattel
You are a candle-like tree, in its flame’s smoke your roots are
Your thoughts free from the care of the end are#20
If you are loyal to Muéammad we are yours
This universe is nothing the Tablet and the Pen27 are yours


Explanatory Notes
1. ‘Arsh-i-Barân Literally it means the “High Divine Throne”. It is difficult to comprehend the nature of the Throne of God because it so much different from the earthly thrones. For details see Appendix II.

2. Riîw«n - The angel who is the gate keeper of Paradise.

3,4. Kaif and Kamm - These are two terms of Greek philosophy which were adopted by the early Muslim philosophers. They concern properties of matter. Kaif refers to the qualitative properties or “attributes”, such as color, taste, big, small etc. Kamm refers to quantitative properties and is derived from Aristotle’s ten categories. It includes volume, length, age, weight etc. These two terms were the precursors of the Muslim philosophy of Existence. This philosophy dealt with two aspects of the Existence of God, i.e. the “Sif«t (attributes) of God” and the “Dh«t (Essence) of God”. Together these two terms give the complete knowledge about something. This verse means that though Man is conversant with all knowledge about God and His universe he is not aware of the secrets and qualities of modesty.

5. The use of the words “We” and “Us” in this and other poems does not compromise the concept of Tawéâd of God in Islam. These words are used instead of “I” and “Me” to indicate His Grandeur and Glory. These plural pronouns indicate the Majesty of God. The Holy Qur’«n uses these expressions frequently e.g. (2:34,35).

6. Ka’â - This is the generic name of one of the ancient pre-Islamic dynasties of pre-Christian Ir«n (then Persia). As Persia was a world power for several pre-Christian centuries this dynasty is often used as a metaphor for grandeur and power.

7. This means the “New World” and alludes to the discovery and occupation of the continents of America and Australia by Europeans.

8. S. Ibr«hâm A.S- See Appendix I, No. 43.

9. ÿzar- See Appendix I, No. 13.

10. Har J«’â - This word in the original literally means “omni-present”. However, it is commonly used for an unfaithful beloved. This is a pun on the word and is used as sarcasm for God. Also see the last verse of stanza 22 of poem 88, “Shakwah” (The Complaint.

11. ‘All«mah Iqb«l has emphasized this achievement of Islam and early Muslims at many places in his works. See Appendix III, No, 23, pp. 119-20, Section titled “On the Subject that the Purpose of the Prophethood of Sayyidina Muéammad S.A.W. was the Formation and Establishment of Freedom, Equality and Fraternity of Mankind”. This concept is based on the message of the Holy Qur’«n. Though this message of the Holy Prophet S.A.W. has been explained in many verses of the Holy Qur’«n and Muslims have been instructed to make all possible sacrifices in their struggle to make the mission successful the following three verses are very significant in that the message has been repeated verbatim three times to emphasize its importance. These verse were: 9:33; 48:28; and 61:9.

12. S. Mës« A.S- See Appendix I, No. 48.

13. S. Bil«l R.A. - See Appendix I, No. 17.

14. Im«m Abë £«mid al-Ghaz«lâ- See Appendix I, No. 7.

15. S. ‘ÿlâ R.A. See Appendix I, No. 33

16. S. Uthm«n Ibn `ÿff«n R.A - See Appendix I, No. 77

17. Faghfër- This is the generic title of the Emperors of Ancient China.

18,19, S. Yësuf A.S. Allusion to the story of S. Yësuf A.S. for which see the Holy Qur’«n Surah 12 and Appendix I, No. 80. The message of this verse is that Islam and Muslims are super-national and are not restricted to geographical boundaries. This thought has also been emphasized by ‘All«mah Iqb«l by repeating it in his works. Cf.

(199) When T«riq burnt the boats on the Spain’s shore
People said “Your deed is against common sense

(200) We are far from our homeland how shall we reach back
Renunciation of resources is not permitted by the Shari«h”

(201) He laughed and took his hand to the sword and said
“Every land is our land because it is our God’s land

(Appendix III, No. 24).

20. This is the expression of the Islamic teaching that a true Muslim should struggle in the cause of God and Truth without caring for his success and failure. Islam’s history is replete with acts of unimaginable heroism in the cause of God. ‘All«mah Iqb«l has also conveyed this message repeatedly in his poems. Detailed description of Islam’s teachings on this point are contained in the poem 144. Khiîar-i-R«h (The Guide), section Zindagâ (Life) which appears later in this commentary.

21. As stated earlier the Muslim world was on the path of decline even before World War I, which continued for a long time. However, focusing attention on Ir«n in this verse is not for exigencies of poetry. Under the Q«j«r dynasty (1794-1925) Ir«n was drawn into European power politics, entering into treaties with France (1807), Britain (1814), and ceding most of it’s territory in the Caucasus to Russia. Though Britain and Russia had guaranteed Ir«n’s independence in 1834 Britain forced Ir«n’s withdrawal from Afghanist«n in 1885. The discovery of oil in 1901 increased Western interference in the Ir«n’s affairs. In 1907 Britain and Russia agreed to divide Iran into two zones of influence. An army officer Raz« Khan mounted a coup de`etat and became dictator in 1921, assuming the title of Raz« Sh«h Pahlavâ in 1925. All these circumstances bereaved ‘All«mah Iqb«l on account of which he included Ir«n in this verse. However, he has used it as a conviction of hope for Islam and Muslims to reduce their frustration at the world affairs vis- a-vis Muslims.

22. Allusion to the Mongol invasion on and destruction of the Islamic world in the 13th. century. This included the destruction of Baghd«d ca. 1218, which was the capital of the Khalâfah and the murder of Must‘aÅam Billah, the Khalifah. The descendants of Mongols, who were a branch of T«t«rs embraced Islam and rendered glorious service to Islam in political as well as cultural fields.

23. Reference to the two Balk«n Wars (October 1912- July 1913) in which the Balk«n Provinces of the Uthm«niyyah Khil«fah declared their independence and attacked Turkey. The Bulgarians had captured Adrianople and were marching on Constantinople, the Turkish capital. These wars were instigated and supported by the European imperialist powers in a conspiracy to destroy Turkey. Their machinations would have succeeded but for the timely bold and sincere move by General Enver P«shah in which he forced his way into the cabinet meeting, which was debating surrender, killed the War Minister, and forced the government to a defense which ultimately succeeded . By this move he saved the Turkish capital and even conquered back Adrianople. Obviously, this should have been an eye-opener to the Turkish Government. If they had reformed and strengthened themselves they would not have faced the disgrace of the defeat in World War I.

24. Allusion to the Holy Qur’«n 94:4 which reads “And raised high the esteem in which you are held”, (addressed to the Holy Prophet S.A.W.). The pervious Sërah and this one are complementary to each other and carry the same message to the Holy Prophet S.A.W. and through him, to the Muslim Ummah. In these sërahs the ups and downs of human life are referred to and the message of hope and consolation is conveyed to muslims, on the basis of God’s Mercies. The Holy Prophet S.A.W. is commanded to pursue the path of virtue and proclaim the bounties of God. ‘All«mah Iqb«l is reminding the Muslim Ummah of this message to muster courage and face their trials and tribulations with heart within and God overhead.

25. ‘All«mah Iqb«l had drawn the world’s attention repeatedly in his works to the moral degeneration and ethical bankruptcy of the Western nations which are responsible for all their political, economic and social evils. Small samples of this message have been presented previously in notes. He also believed that the human race will ultimately rise through Islam and not through Western values. Cf.

“The idealism of Europe never became a living factor in her life, and the result is a perverted ego seeking itself through mutually intolerant democracies whose sole function is to exploit the poor in the interest of the rich. Believe me, Europe today is the greatest hindrance in the way of man’s ethical advancement. The Muslim, on the other hand, is in possession of these ultimate ideas on the basis of a revelation which, speaking from the inmost depths of life, internalizes its apparent externality.”

(Appendix III, No. 27).

As the Islamic world, being outside Europe, is looked down upon by Western nations, and called “dark people” the reference here is to the “world of the dark people”

26. Darvâsh- This a stage in sëfism. According to sëfism when a person reaches this stage of spiritual elegance he does not need strict observance of rituals for his soul’s purification. He also has the ardent Love of God and the latter has much regard for the darvâsh and grants his supplications. The word is used here in that context, i.e. God would grant the request of ‘All«mah Iqb«l for alleviating the sufferings of the Muslim world and improving its condition to ultimately restore it to its pervious glory.

27. Laué O Qalam Reference to the Laué-i-Muéfëï or the “preserved tablet” and the “qalam” or pen accompanying it. This combination exists in the metaphysical world and they are the implements with which the decrees of God are recorded and in which they are preserved. The Holy Qur’«n is also preserved in the same way. See The Holy Qur’«n 85:21-22

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