guzre na Khuda hone tak-ahmad faraz

For word meanings and explanatory discussion in English click on the tabs marked “Roman” or “Notes”.

گزرے نہ خدا ہونے تک ۔ احمد فرازؔ

۱

وہ تو پتھر پہ بھی گزرے نہ خدا ہونے تک

جو سفر میں نے نہ ہونے سے کیا، ہونے تک

۲

زندگی! اس سے زیادہ تو نہیں عمر تیری

بس کسی دوست کے ملنے سے جدا ہونے تک

۳

ایک اک سانس مری رہن تھی دلدار کے پاس

نقدِ جاں بھی نہ رہا قرض ادا ہونے تک

۴

مانگنا اپنے خدا سے بھی ہے دریوزہ گری

ہاتھ شل کیوں نہ ہوئے دستِ دعا ہونے تک

۵

اب کوئی فیصلہ ہو بھی تو مجھے کیا لینا

میں تو کب سے ہوں سرِ دار، سزا ہونے تک

۶

داورا! تیری مشیت بھی تو شامل ہوگی

ایک اچھے بھلے انساں کے برا ہونے تک

۷

دستِ قاتل سے ہوں نادم کہ لہو کو میرے

عمر لگ جائے گی ہمرنگِ حنا ہونے تک

۸

دشت سے قلزمِ خوں تک کی مسافت ہے فرازؔ

قیس سے غالبِ آشفتہ نوا ہونے تک

गुज़्रे ना ख़ुदा होने तक – अहमद फ़राज़

वो तो पत्थर पे भी गुज़्रे ना ख़ुदा होने तक

जो सफ़र मैं ने ना होने से किया होने तक

ज़िंदगी! इस से ज़्यादा तो नहीं उम्र तेरी

बस किसी दोस्त के मिलने से जुदा होने तक

एक एक सांस मेरी रहन थी दिल्दार के पास

नक़्द-ए जाँ भी ना रहा क़र्ज़ अदा होने तक

माँगना अपने ख़ुदा से भी है दर्यूज़ागरी

हाथ शल क्यूं ना हुए दस्त-ए दुआ होने तक

अब कोई फ़ैसला हो भी तो मुझे क्या लेना

मैं तो कब से हूँ सर-ए दार सज़ा होने तक

दावरा! तेरी मशिय्यत भी तो शामिल होगी

एक अच्छे भले इंसां के बुरा होने तक

दस्त-ए क़ातिल से हूँ नादिम कि लहू को मेरे

उम्र लग जाएगी हमरंग-ए हिना होने तक

दश्त से क़ुल्ज़ुम-ए ख़ूं तक कि मसाफ़त है फ़राज़

क़ैस से ग़ालिब-ए आशुफ़्ता नवा होने तक

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. ahmad faraz (1931-2008) popular love and romance poet as well as a substantial contributor to progressive themes. He wrote openly against military dictatorships for which he was arrested. He composed several Ghazal in the style of Ghalib. This is one of them and linked to ‘Ghalib naqsh-e qadam’, under ‘teri zulf ke sar hone tak’.
1
vo to paththar pe bhi guzre1 na Khuda hone tak
jo safar2 maiN ne na-hone3 se kiya hone4 tak    
1.happen to 2. journey 3.non-existence, non-being 4.existence, creation
The imagery is of a rock being carved into an idol. The process of chipping and carving that ‘happens to’/is visited upon the rock is portrayed as cruelty/pain. The imagery in the second misra is that of the pain of coming into existence. Prior to existence, the soul was a part of the great/divine soul, hence was blissful. The separation was painful. Said Ghalib – “Duboya mujh ko hone ne, na hota maiN to kya hota”. Thus, may such cruelty not happen even to the rock as it is carved into an idol, as happened to me, when I was separated from the divine and created as human.

2
zindagi is se ziyaada1 to nahiN umr teri
bas kisi dost ke milne se juda2 hone tak   
1.more 2.separate
O life your life-span surely is not any more than this – the duration between meeting a friend to separating from him/her. This could be a reference to the beloved – the only meaningful period of the lover’s life was that spent with the beloved. It could be about god – life-span (with the implication that shorter is better) is only that between coming into being and merging with the divine (the sufi concept of ‘fana’). This sounds like a consolation/relief that he is going to achieve fana – quite unlike faraz.

3
ek ek saaNs meri rahn1 thi dildaar2 ke paas
naqd-e-jaaN3 bhi na raha qarz4 ada5 hone tak   
1.mortgaged 2.beloved 3.benefit of life 4.debt 5.repaid
Every breath was mortaged to the beloved. I could not even get any benefit of life until the debt was repaid. At one level this could be about the beloved. The poet/lover was so much in love with her that he could not get any benefit out of life even to his death (because the beloved is not going to show any favours during his lifetime). This could also have sufiyaana implications, but they are very unlike ahmad faraz and make sense only because he may be paying tribute to Ghalib.

4
maaNgna apne Khuda se bhi hai daryooza-gari1
haath shal2 kyuN na hue dast-e-du’a3 hone tak    
1.begging 2.freeze, become numb 3.hands raised in prayer
I am reminded of Ghalib …
gar tujh ko hai yaqiin-e ijaabat duaa na maaNg
yanii baGhair-e yak dil-e be-muddaa na maaNg
Asking for anything, even from your god, is like begging. Why did my hands not go numb before I raised them in prayer.

5
ab koi faisla1 ho bhi to mujhe kya lena
maiN to kab se huN sar-e-daar2, saza3 hone tak   
1.decision, judgement 2.head/top of the gallows 3.punishment
What difference does it make to me, whatever judgement is pronounced. For a long time now, I have been standing at the gallows, ready to be hanged. This could well be a political statement.

6
daavara1! teri mashiyyat2 bhi to shaamil3 hogi
ek achchhe bhale insaaN ke bura hone tak   
1.god 2.will, intention 3.included
This is a reflection the concept of ‘free will’. If everything is done according to god’s plan, then our transgressions too are in accord with his will. Thus, O god, surely this was done with your will – the process of a perfectly good person committing transgressions.

7
dast1-e qaatil2 se huN naadim3 keh lahuu4 ko mere
umr lag jaayegi hamraNg5-e hina6 hone tak   
1.hands 2.killer, beloved 3.ashamed 4.blood 5.equal to in colour 6.henna, mehndi
In urdu poetic convention the beloved is cruel and is a killer. The blood of the poet/lover is used to enrich the colour of her mehndi. Usually the poet/lover is proud to provide such blood without which henna cannot achieve the desired colour. But here he is ashamed thinking that his blood will not stand up to the colour of henna yet. It will take a long time before it matches that colour.

8
dasht1 se qulzum2-e KhuN tak ki masaafat3 hai faraaz4
qais5 se Ghaalib-e aashufta6 nava7 hone tak   
1.wilderness, desert 2.ocean 3.distance, journey 4.pen-name of the poet 5.another name of majnuN (of laila-majnuN legend) 6.used here to mean mysterious 7.voice
majnuN wander the desert like a madman looking for this beloved, laila. But it takes the distance from a desert to an ocean of blood before majnuN can acquire the same mysterious/enchanting voice as Ghalib i.e., it takes a lot more than madness to compose verse like Ghalib.

ahmad faraz (1931-2008) popular love and romance poet as well as a substantial contributor to progressive themes.  He wrote openly against military dictatorships for which he was arrested.  He composed several Ghazal in the style of Ghalib.  This is one of them and linked to ‘Ghalib naqsh-e qadam’, under ‘teri zulf ke sar hone tak’.
1
vo to paththar pe bhi guzre1 na Khuda hone tak
jo safar2 maiN ne na-hone3 se kiya hone4 tak

1.happen to 2. journey 3.non-existence, non-being 4.existence, creation

The imagery is of a rock being carved into an idol.  The process of chipping and carving that ‘happens to’/is visited upon the rock is portrayed as cruelty/pain.  The imagery in the second misra is that of the pain of coming into existence.  Prior to existence, the soul was a part of the great/divine soul, hence was blissful.  The separation was painful.  Said Ghalib – “Duboya mujh ko hone ne, na hota maiN to kya hota”.  Thus, may such cruelty not happen even to the rock as it is carved into an idol, as happened to me, when I was separated from the divine and created as human.
2
zindagi is se ziyaada1 to nahiN umr teri
bas kisi dost ke milne se juda2 hone tak

1.more 2.separate

O life your life-span surely is not any more than this – the duration between meeting a friend to separating from him/her.  This could be a reference to the beloved – the only meaningful period of the lover’s life was that spent with the beloved.  It could be about god – life-span (with the implication that shorter is better) is only that between coming into being and merging with the divine (the sufi concept of ‘fana’).  This sounds like a consolation/relief that he is going to achieve fana – quite unlike faraz.
3
ek ek saaNs meri rahn1 thi dildaar2 ke paas
naqd-e-jaaN3 bhi na raha qarz4 ada5 hone tak

1.mortgaged 2.beloved 3.benefit of life 4.debt 5.repaid

Every breath was mortaged to the beloved.  I could not even get any benefit of life until the debt was repaid.  At one level this could be about the beloved.  The poet/lover was so much in love with her that he could not get any benefit out of life even to his death (because the beloved is not going to show any favours during his lifetime).  This could also have sufiyaana implications, but they are very unlike ahmad faraz and make sense only because he may be paying tribute to Ghalib.
4
maaNgna apne Khuda se bhi hai daryooza-gari1
haath shal2 kyuN na hue dast-e-du’a3 hone tak

1.begging 2.freeze, become numb 3.hands raised in prayer

I am reminded of Ghalib …
gar tujh ko hai yaqiin-e ijaabat duaa na maaNg
yanii baGhair-e yak dil-e be-muddaa na maaNg
Asking for anything, even from your god, is like begging.  Why did my hands not go numb before I raised them in prayer.
5
ab koi faisla1 ho bhi to mujhe kya lena
maiN to kab se huN sar-e-daar2, saza3 hone tak

1.decision, judgement 2.head/top of the gallows 3.punishment

What difference does it make to me, whatever judgement is pronounced.  For a long time now, I have been standing at the gallows, ready to be hanged.  This could well be a political statement.
6
daavara1! teri mashiyyat2 bhi to shaamil3 hogi
ek achchhe bhale insaaN ke bura hone tak

1.god 2.will, intention 3.included

This is a reflection the concept of ‘free will’.  If everything is done according to god’s plan, then our transgressions too are in accord with his will.  Thus, O god, surely this was done with your will – the process of a perfectly good person committing transgressions.
7
dast1-e qaatil2 se huN naadim3 keh lahuu4 ko mere
umr lag jaayegi hamraNg5-e hina6 hone tak

1.hands 2.killer, beloved 3.ashamed 4.blood 5.equal to in colour 6.henna, mehndi

In urdu poetic convention the beloved is cruel and is a killer.  The blood of the poet/lover is used to enrich the colour of her mehndi.  Usually the poet/lover is proud to provide such blood without which henna cannot achieve the desired colour.  But here he is ashamed thinking that his blood will not stand up to the colour of henna yet.  It will take a long time before it matches that colour.
8
dasht1 se qulzum2-e KhuN tak ki masaafat3 hai faraaz4
qais5 se Ghaalib-e aashufta6 nava7 hone tak

1.wilderness, desert 2.ocean 3.distance, journey 4.pen-name of the poet 5.another name of majnuN (of laila-majnuN legend) 6.used here to mean mysterious 7.voice

majnuN wander the desert like a madman looking for this beloved, laila.  But it takes the distance from a desert to an ocean of blood before majnuN can acquire the same mysterious/enchanting voice as Ghalib i.e., it takes a lot more than madness to compose verse like Ghalib.

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