rubaaiyaat-talaash-josh

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

رباعیات۔تلاش۔جوش ملیح آبادی

۱

ہوتی ہے عیاں ذہن پہ قیمت اپنی

آتی ہے نظر صاف حماقت اپنی

ہوتا ہے وہ کِس درجہ چکاچوند کا وقت

جب علم پہ کھُلتی ہے جہالت اپنی

۲

کرتے نہیں تازہ زندگی سے اِنصاف

رہتے ہیں ہمیشہ عصرِ حاضر کے خلاف

ماضی کے قصیدہ خواں، قدامت کے مرید

کرتے رہتے ہیں صرف لاشوں کا طواف

۳

زہاد ہیں مرتشی، خدا راشی ہے

ترکِ لذّت کی تہہ میں اوباشی ہے

یہ صوم و صلوٰۃ حج و خیرات و زکوٰۃ

واللہ کہ تیاریِٔ عیاشی ہے

۴

محمود ہے ہا ؤ ہوئے عشق و ایماں

مذموم ہے دار و بستِ عقل و برہاں

کب دیکھیں ملے یقین کو یہ منصب

اب تک تو گماں ہے الہِ دوراں

۵

اے مردِ خدا نفس کو اپنے پہچان

اِنسان یقین ہے اور اللہ گمان

میری بعیت کے واسطے ہاتھ بڑھا

پڑھ کلمہ، لا الہ الا انسان

۶

تحقیق و تلاش سے عداوت ہے تمہیں

اوہام و روایات سے اُلفت ہے تمہیں

شرمندہ و رسوا و سُبک ہونے کی

اے اہلِ یقیں سخت ضرورت ہے تمہیں

۷

کیونکر نہ چلے مزے سے ادیان کا کام

جب عقلِ خواص بھی ہو مانندِ عوام

مخلوق کو پھانستا ہے ‘یا حق’ کہہ کر

مُلّا کا ہے چوہے دان اللہ کا نام

۸

تمکیں کی جڑیں ہلا کے رکھ دیتا ہے

دامانِ خرد جلا کے رکھ دیتا ہے

اللہ وہ پر ہول تخیل ہے کہ جو

ہر راست کو کج بنا کے رکھ دیتا ہے

۹

ہر شخص سمجھ سکتا ہے آسانی سے

ناداں کو آرام ہے نادانی سے

لیکن اُس بے پناہ اذیت کو نہ پوچھ

ہوتی ہے جو عقل کی فراوانی سے

۱۰

وہ بابِ سحر کھلا، وہ دوڑی تنویر

وہ زلفِ طرب کھلی، وہ ٹوٹی زنجیر

گُل رنگ ہوا وہ خوابِ فردا کا اُفق

وہ دیکھ کرن کی طرح پھوٹی تعبیر

 

रुबाईयात-तलाश-जोश मलीहाबादी

होती है अयां ज़हन पे क़ीमत अपनी

आती है नज़र साफ़ हिमाक़त अपनी

होता है वो किस दर्जा चकाचौन्द का वक़्त

जब इल्म पे खुलती है जेहालत अपनी

करते नहीं ताज़ा ज़िन्दगी से इन्साफ़

रहते हैं हमेशा अस्र-ए हाज़िर के ख़िलाफ़

माज़ी के क़सीदा-ख़्वां, क़दामत के मुरीद

करते रहते हैं सिर्फ़ लाशों का तवाफ़

ज़ोहाद हैं मुर्तशी, ख़ुदा राशि है

तर्क-ए लज़्ज़त कि तह में औबाशी है

ये सौम ओ सलात ओ हज ओ खै़रात ओ ज़कात

वल्लाह के तय्यारी-ए अय्याशी है

महमूद है हा-ओ-हू-ए इश्क़ ओ ईमां

मज़्मूम है दार ओ बस्त-ए अक़्ल ओ बुरहां

कब देखें मिले यक़ीन को ये मन्सब

अब तक तो गुमां है इलाह-ए दौरां

अए मर्द-ए ख़ुदा नफ़्स को अपने पहचान

इन्सान यक़ीन है और अल्लाह गुमान

मेरी बै’अत के वास्ते हाथ बढ़ा

पढ़ कलमा, ला इलाहा इल्ला इन्सान

तहक़ीक़ ओ तलाश से अदावत है तुम्हें

औहाम ओ रिवायात से उल्फ़त है तुम्हें

शर्मिन्दा ओ रुस्वा ओ सुबुक होने कि

अए अहल-ए यक़ीं सख़्त ज़रूरत है तुम्हें

क्यूंकर न चले मज़े से अद्यान का काम

जब अक़्ल-ख़वास भी हो मानिन्द-ए अवाम

मख़्लूक़ को फांस्ता है ‘या हक़’ कह कर

मुल्ला का है चूहे दान अल्लाह का नाम

तम्कीन कि जड़ें हिला के रख देता है

दामन-ए ख़िरद जला के रख देता है

अल्लाह वो पुर-हौल तख़य्युल है के जो

हर रास्त को कज बना के रख देता है

हर शख़्स समझ सकता है आसानी से

नादाँ को जो आराम है नादानी से

लैकिन उस बे-पनाह अज़ीय्यत को न पूछ

होती है जो अक़्ल कि फ़रावानी से

१०

बाब-ए सहर खुला, वो दौड़ी तन्वीर

वो ज़ुल्फ़-ए तरब खुली, वो टूटी ज़ंजीर

गुल-रंग हुआ वो ख़्वाब-ए फ़र्दा का उफ़क़

वो देख किरन कि तरह फूटी ताबीर

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. josh malihabadi is well known for his fiery nazm. He also wrote many romantic as well as cerebral nazm and Ghazal. His marsia are a celebration of dignified death rather than bowing to injustice even at the cost of life. He also wrote numerous rubaaii. This series is a collection of nearly 300 rubaaiyaat from various books organized by subject. This selection is all about constant struggle to keep uncovering new knowledge with a dose of humility about how our own ignorance is revealed to us.
1
hoti hai ayaaN1 zahn2 pe qeemat3 apni
aati hai nazar saaf himaaqat4 apni
hota hai vo kis darja5 chakaachaund6 ka vaqt
jab ilm pe khulti hai jihaalat7 apni
1.revealed, apparent 2.mind 3.value 4.foolishness 5.how much 6.dazzled, amazed 7.ignorance
(When) our real value is revealed to the mind and we can clearly see our ignorance. How much a moment of amazement it is, when our ignorance is comprehended by our knowledge/mind.

2
karte nahiN taaza1 zindagi se insaaf2
rahte haiN hamesha asr-e-haazir3 ke Khilaaf4
maazi5 ke qasida-KhwaaN6, qadaamat7 ke mureed8
karte rahte haiN sirf9 laashauN10 ka tawaaf11  
1.fresh, present 2.justice 3.present period/age 4.opposed to 5.past 6.praise singers 7.ancient traditions 8.disciple, convinced of, believing in 9.only 10.corpses 11.circumambulate, go around
They don’t do justice to fresh life/knowledge. They always oppose the present age, these singers of the praise of the past, these disciples/followers of ancient traditions. They circumabulate only corpses.

3
zuh-haad1 haiN murtashi2, Khuda raashi3 hai
tark-e-lazzat4 ki tah5 meN aubaashi6 hai
ye saum7 o salaat8 o haj o Khairaat9 o zakaat10
vallah ke tayyari-e ayyaashi11 hai
1.pious observer of rituals 2.bribe taker 3.bribe giver 4.giving up pleasures 5.beneath 6.depravity, debauchery 7.roza, fasting 8.namaaz, prayer 9.alms 10.islamic tax 11.luxury
The pious observers of rituals take bribes and god bribes them (with promise of luxuries in heaven). Behind the façade of giving up pleasures is debauchery. By god, all these rituals of roza, namaaz, haj, alms and zakaat/tax are but preparations for luxury. Ghalib’s beautiful she’r comes to mind
taa’at meN taa rahe na mae o aNgabeeN ki laag
dozaKh meN Daal do koi le kar behisht ko

4
mahmood1 hai haa-o-hoo2-e ishq3 o eemaaN4
mazmoom5 hai daar-o-bast6-e aql o burhaaN7
kab dekheN mile yaqin8 ko ye mansab9
ab tak ko gumaaN10 hai ilaah-e-dauraaN11  
1.beloved 2.enthusiastic praise 3.love (of god) 4.faith 5.condemned 6.possession and keeping 7.logic/reason 8.certainty/reality 9.office/status 10.conjecture/superstition 11.god of the times
(In the present times) enthusiasm for faith is loved by all and the possession and safeguarding of mind and logic is condemned. We will have to see when reality/truth will get this status, but as of now conjecture is the lord of the times.

5
aye mard-e Khuda nafas1 ko apne pahchaan
insaan yaqin2 hai aur allah gumaan3
meri bai’at4 ke vaaste5 haath baRha
paRh kalima6, la-ilaaha7 illa8 insaan
1.being/existence 2.reality 3.conjecture 4.acceptance/agreement 5.for the sake of 6.declaration of belief 7.there is no god 8.except
The Islamic declaration of faith begins with ‘la-ilaaha illa allah’ meaning – there is no god but allah. josh plays with this declaration and changes it. O, man of god, understand your being. Man is real, god is conjecture. Raise your hand in affirmation/agreement with me. Recite this article of faith, ‘there is no god except man/human’.

6
tahqeeq1 o talaash2 se adaavat3 hai tumheN
auhaam4 o rivaayaat5 se ulfat6 hai tumheN
sharminda7 o rusvaa8 o subuk9 hone ki
aye ahl-e-yaqiN10 saKht11 zarurat12 hai tumheN
1.inquiry 2.search 3.opposition 4.superstition 5.sayings, traditions 6.liking, affinity 7.ashamed 8.regretful 9.soft/humble 10.people of faith/certainty 11.strong 12.need
You are opposed to inquiry and learning. You love superstitions and traditions. O, people of faith, there is a strong need for you to be ashamed, regretful and humbled.

7
kyuNkar na chale mazey se adyaan1 ka kaam
jab aql-e Khavaas2 bhi ho maanind3-e avaam4
maKhlooq5 ko phaaNsta hai ‘ya haq’6 kah kar
mulla ka hai choohe-daan allah ka naam
1.faiths, religions 2.special, sophisticated 3.like, similar to 4.general 5.creature (human) 6.o, god
Why should not the work of faith be easy when even sophisticated people’s mind is like everyone else’s. The mulla/priest traps everyone by saying, “O god”. It is as if he used the name of god as a mouse-trap.

8
tamkeeN1 ki jaReN hila ke rakh deta hai
daamaan2-e Khirad3 jala ke rakh deta hai
allah vo pur-hawl4 taKhayyul5 hai ke jo
har raast6 ko kaj7 bana ke rakh deta hai
1.forbearance, patience 2.hem of the robe of 3.knowledge 4.fearsome 5.imagination, concept 6.straight/simple 7.crooked
It shakes the roots of patience. It burns the robe of knowledge. The concept of god is that fearsome thing which takes even simple straightforward thoughts and makes them crooked/complicated.

9
har shaKhs1 samajh sakta hai aasani se
naadaaN2 ko jo aaraam hai naadani se
laikin us be-panaah3 aziyyat4 ko na poochh
hoti hai jo aql5 ki faraavani6 se
1.person 2.ignorant 3.limitless, without refuge 4.pain 5.mind, intelligence 6.free flow, availability, plentitude
Everyone understands how easy it is to believe in something and close your mind thereafter. There is comfort in blind belief. But what can I say about the immense pain/discomfort that results from the free flow of thought/reason.

10
vo baab1-e sahr2 khula, vo dauRi tanveer3
vo zulf4-e tarab5 khuli, vo TooTi zanjeer
gul-raNg hua vo Khwaab-e farda6 ka ufaq7
vo dekh kiran ki tarah phooTi t’aabeer8 
1.door 2.dawn 3.ray of light 4.hair 5.joy, happiness 6.tomorrow, future 7.horizon 8.interpretation/fulfilment (of a dream)
josh had socialist/revolutionary sympathies. In urdu literature ‘dawn’ is often used as a metaphor for the emerging socialist/just order. The door to dawn is flung open and rays of light run out. Happiness/well-being is pictures as a damsel. She is parting her hair … the darkness of night is being torn assunder by the light of dawn. The chain of subjugation is broken. The horizon turns red like the colour of rose … this is like the dream/vision of future (redness could well be mataphoric for socialism). A ray of light breaks out and the dream is fulfilled.

josh malihabadi is well known for his fiery nazm.  He also wrote many romantic as well as cerebral nazm and Ghazal.  His marsia are a celebration of dignified death rather than bowing to injustice even at the cost of life.  He also wrote numerous rubaaii.  This series is a collection of nearly 300 rubaaiyaat from various books organized by subject.  This selection is all about constant struggle to keep uncovering new knowledge with a dose of humility about how our own ignorance is revealed to us.
1
hoti hai ayaaN1 zahn2 pe qeemat3 apni
aati hai nazar saaf himaaqat4 apni
hota hai vo kis darja5 chakaachaund6 ka vaqt
jab ilm pe khulti hai jihaalat7 apni

1.revealed, apparent 2.mind 3.value 4.foolishness 5.how much 6.dazzled, amazed 7.ignorance

(When) our real value is revealed to the mind and we can clearly see our ignorance.  How much a moment of amazement it is, when our ignorance is comprehended by our knowledge/mind.
2
karte nahiN taaza1 zindagi se insaaf2
rahte haiN hamesha asr-e-haazir3 ke Khilaaf4
maazi5 ke qasida-KhwaaN6, qadaamat7 ke mureed8
karte rahte haiN sirf9 laashauN10 ka tawaaf11

1.fresh, present 2.justice 3.present period/age 4.opposed to 5.past 6.praise singers 7.ancient traditions 8.disciple, convinced of, believing in 9.only 10.corpses 11.circumambulate, go around

They don’t do justice to fresh life/knowledge.  They always oppose the present age, these singers of the praise of the past, these disciples/followers of ancient traditions.  They circumabulate only corpses.
3
zuh-haad1 haiN murtashi2, Khuda raashi3 hai
tark-e-lazzat4 ki tah5 meN aubaashi6 hai
ye saum7 o salaat8 o haj o Khairaat9 o zakaat10
vallah ke tayyari-e ayyaashi11 hai

1.pious observer of rituals 2.bribe taker 3.bribe giver 4.giving up pleasures 5.beneath 6.depravity, debauchery 7.roza, fasting 8.namaaz, prayer 9.alms 10.islamic tax 11.luxury

The pious observers of rituals take bribes and god bribes them (with promise of luxuries in heaven).  Behind the façade of giving up pleasures is debauchery.  By god, all these rituals of roza, namaaz, haj, alms and zakaat/tax are but preparations for luxury.  Ghalib’s beautiful she’r comes to mind
taa’at meN taa rahe na mae o aNgabeeN ki laag
dozaKh meN Daal do koi le kar behisht ko
4
mahmood1 hai haa-o-hoo2-e ishq3 o eemaaN4
mazmoom5 hai daar-o-bast6-e aql o burhaaN7
kab dekheN mile yaqin8 ko ye mansab9
ab tak ko gumaaN10 hai ilaah-e-dauraaN11

1.beloved 2.enthusiastic praise 3.love (of god) 4.faith 5.condemned 6.possession and keeping 7.logic/reason 8.certainty/reality 9.office/status 10.conjecture/superstition 11.god of the times

(In the present times) enthusiasm for faith is loved by all and the possession and safeguarding of mind and logic is condemned.  We will have to see when reality/truth will get this status, but as of now conjecture is the lord of the times.
5
aye mard-e Khuda nafas1 ko apne pahchaan
insaan yaqin2 hai aur allah gumaan3
meri bai’at4 ke vaaste5 haath baRha
paRh kalima6, la-ilaaha7 illa8 insaan

1.being/existence 2.reality 3.conjecture 4.acceptance/agreement 5.for the sake of 6.declaration of belief 7.there is no god 8.except

The Islamic declaration of faith begins with ‘la-ilaaha illa allah’ meaning – there is no god but allah.  josh plays with this declaration and changes it.  O, man of god, understand your being.  Man is real, god is conjecture.  Raise your hand in affirmation/agreement with me.  Recite this article of faith, ‘there is no god except man/human’.
6
tahqeeq1 o talaash2 se adaavat3 hai tumheN
auhaam4 o rivaayaat5 se ulfat6 hai tumheN
sharminda7 o rusvaa8 o subuk9 hone ki
aye ahl-e-yaqiN10 saKht11 zarurat12 hai tumheN

1.inquiry 2.search 3.opposition 4.superstition 5.sayings, traditions 6.liking, affinity 7.ashamed 8.regretful 9.soft/humble 10.people of faith/certainty 11.strong 12.need

You are opposed to inquiry and learning.  You love superstitions and traditions.  O, people of faith, there is a strong need for you to be ashamed, regretful and humbled.
7
kyuNkar na chale mazey se adyaan1 ka kaam
jab aql-e Khavaas2 bhi ho maanind3-e avaam4
maKhlooq5 ko phaaNsta hai ‘ya haq’6 kah kar
mulla ka hai choohe-daan allah ka naam

1.faiths, religions 2.special, sophisticated 3.like, similar to 4.general 5.creature (human) 6.o, god

Why should not the work of faith be easy when even sophisticated people’s mind is like everyone else’s.  The mulla/priest traps everyone by saying, “O god”.  It is as if he used the name of god as a mouse-trap.
8
tamkeeN1 ki jaReN hila ke rakh deta hai
daamaan2-e Khirad3 jala ke rakh deta hai
allah vo pur-hawl4 taKhayyul5 hai ke jo
har raast6 ko kaj7 bana ke rakh deta hai

1.forbearance, patience 2.hem of the robe of 3.knowledge 4.fearsome 5.imagination, concept 6.straight/simple 7.crooked

It shakes the roots of patience.  It burns the robe of knowledge.  The concept of god is that fearsome thing which takes even simple straightforward thoughts and makes them crooked/complicated.
9
har shaKhs1 samajh sakta hai aasani se
naadaaN2 ko jo aaraam hai naadani se
laikin us be-panaah3 aziyyat4 ko na poochh
hoti hai jo aql5 ki faraavani6 se

1.person 2.ignorant 3.limitless, without refuge 4.pain 5.mind, intelligence 6.free flow, availability, plentitude

Everyone understands how easy it is to believe in something and close your mind thereafter.  There is comfort in blind belief.  But what can I say about the immense pain/discomfort that results from the free flow of thought/reason.
10
vo baab1-e sahr2 khula, vo dauRi tanveer3
vo zulf4-e tarab5 khuli, vo TooTi zanjeer
gul-raNg hua vo Khwaab-e farda6 ka ufaq7
vo dekh kiran ki tarah phooTi t’aabeer8

1.door 2.dawn 3.ray of light 4.hair 5.joy, happiness 6.tomorrow, future 7.horizon 8.interpretation/fulfilment (of a dream)

josh has socialist/revolutionary sympathies.  In urdu literature ‘dawn’ is often used as a metaphor for the emerging socialist/just order.  The door to dawn is flung open and rays of light run out.  Happiness/well-being is pictures as a damsel.  She is parting her hair … the darkness of night is being torn assunder by the light of dawn.  The chain of subjugation is broken.  The horizon turns red like the colour of rose … this is like the dream/vision of future (redness could well be mataphoric for socialism).  A ray of light breaks out and the dream is fulfilled.

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