Tag Archives: holy

So why did you do it?


اک  خوابیدہ  درد  کو  جگایا  کیوں تھا؟

کوئی پوچھے ہم نے دل لگایا کیوں تھا؟

An old ache

Yet they wake it up again

Someone should find out

Why people fall in love


پوچھوں گا روزِ حشر یہ خدا سے

مٹانا ہی تھا تو جہاں بنایا کیوں تھا؟

And on the day of judgement

I shall inquire of the holy

If the end result was destruction

Why did you make the world?


ترے  بلواے  آے  کعبہ، دیدار تو کرا

جو نظارہ نہیں ہے تو بلایا کیوں تھا؟

And I am told

I was invited to the holy places

So now I am here

Where is The Light?


ظالم  سے  سوال  ہو  گا  روزِ  قیامت

مرے بندوں کو تو نے ستایا کیوں تھا؟

And one day

The cruel will face

The final question

Why did they show cruelty to others?


خیالِ توبہ کے ساتھ ہی خیال آتا ہے

ساقی نے وہ پہلا جام پلایا کیوں تھا؟

With the thought of penance

I wonder

Why did the cup bearer

Give me that first drop?


آپ ہی کا نام لکھا تھا ہم نے اس پے

بتایے مرے نامہ کو جلایا کیوں تھا؟

It was your name

Written in my letters

So tell me

Why did you burn them?


اب  کس کے ہاتھ میں شفا رہی باقی

عیسیٰ کو جہاں سے اٹھایا کیوں تھا؟

Who remains in the world

With the skills of a healer?

Why was the healer

Taken away?


کیوں شک تھا آپ کو میری وفا پے

اب آپ روتے ہیں؟ آزمایا کیوں تھا؟

Did you doubt

My faithfulness?

And now you weep?

Why did you test me?


سوال  از  تقدیر  با حالِ  فراقت

جدا کرنا تھا تو ملایا کیوں تھا؟

A question for fate

In a period of parting

If we were to be parted

Why did we meet at all?


بڑے دکھ سے بولی وقتِ رخصت

یونہی  جانا  تھا  تو آیا  کیوں تھا؟

And she said to me

With tremendous sorrow

If you planned to walk away like this

Why did you come here at all?


دلِ استاد ٹوٹنا کوئی نئی بات تو نہیں

ذرا سونے ہی دیتے! جگایا کیوں تھا؟

And there is nothing newsworthy

In the fact that he has lost

You should have let me sleep

Why did you wake me up?


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Filed under Ghazal, Poetry

Where do we go from here?

Punjabi is one of the languages that is tremendously close to my heart. A friend of mine recently talked about the language and brought up Bullay Shah as one of the poets that inspire. I freely admit that Shah’s words have often inspired me as much as Rumi’s or the Allama’s even though I perhaps understand Iqbal better. At the same time, I find that there is a certain passion and depth as well as common sense simplicity in Bullay Shah’s words that is difficult to replicate in Persian. While Rumi and Iqbal seek to solve the mysteries of the universe, Bullay Shah is more concerned with the reality and experience of love rather than the esoteric idea of love.

As a child, one of my instructors told me that the Punjabi language will die out in a few hundred years simply because there are fewer and fewer individuals who are able to write it. At that time I was somewhat shocked and saddened to realize that the words of poets such as Waris Shah and Bullay Shah may be lost for future generations. With that realization, I also thought about all the words and works that have fallen victim to time. I’m fairly certain that there were great poets and writers as well as philosophers in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Babylon whose works are now lost. Sadly, that seems to be the essence of evolution and perhaps one should not lament the loss but celebrate that those words existed at all. Or maybe the lamentation itself should lead us towards preserving what is left. It is with that feeling of not knowing exactly what to do or feel about things that I present this dismal Punjabi ghazal.

اودے کہر وی ہو آئیں آں، هن کتہے جائیے؟

سارے کم مکا بیٹھے آں،  هن کتہے جائیے؟

I returned from her house

Not knowing where to go next

I finished all that I had to do

Now where do I go?


مکے مدینے ہو آئیں آں، زم زم پانی پی آئیں آں

حج تے عمرہ کر آئیں آں،  هن کتہے جائیے؟

I traveled to holy lands

I drank from the sacred wells

I performed my pilgrimage

Now where do I go?


کی پلیکها پا آئیں آں؟ کی کی گلاں کہ آئیں آں

اودا  دل  دکھا  آئیں  آں، هن کتہے جائیے؟

Have I created a confusion?

Whatever did I say?

Did I hurt her somehow?

Now what do I do?


یار  نواسی چھڈ آئیں آں، بتاں وچ وڑ آئیں آں

اے کی ظلم کما آئیں آں؟ هن کتہے جائیے؟

I left my friend alone

I have seen the temple of falsehood

O what a crime have I committed

Now what can I do?


دل گنوا ویکھا,  ٹھیر  مصیبتان  پا  ویکھا

رب نو وی بھلا آئیں آں، هن کتہے جائیے؟

I lost my heart to her

I took on a mount of troubles

I even forgot God in the process

Now what can I remember?


سنگھی کوئی ملدا نہی, دل دا ول کھلدا نہی

ایدر اوھدار ہو آئیں آں، هن کتہے جائیے؟

I do not find a friend

To whom I can unburden my soul

I went from pillar to post

Now where should I go?


Filed under Ghazal, Poetry