rubaaiyaat-zulf-e yaar-josh

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

رباعیات۔زلفِ یار۔جوش ملیح آبادی

۱

یہ زلف ہے کہ محیطِ رخسارہ و صدر

حلقوں میں لئے سیاہ ترشے ہوئے بدر

یا لیلیٔ ظلمت کا ہے تاجِ عنبر

یا عالمِ کیف و سرخوشی کی شبِ قدر

۲

نافوں کا مچلتا ہوا طوفاں ہے کہ زلف

یہ تیرگیِٔ چشمۂ حیواں ہے کہ زلف

یا زلمتِ شب ہائے درازِ غم کا

بکھرا ہوا افسانۂ جنباں ہے کہ زلف

۳

یہ تند ہوائیں اور یہ زلفِ دو تا

سنگم پہ ہے اضطرابِ گنگا جمنا

یوں زلف کے حلقوں میں بپا ہے ہلچل

دریا میں بھنور سے پڑ رہے ہیں گویا

۴

یہ زلفِ دراز ہے کہ ساون کی ندی

یا ابرِ سیاہ ہے سرِ سرو قدی

یا خطِّ شکست کی مچلتی سطریں

یا رشتۂ انفاسِ حیاتِ ابدی

۵

بادل میں یہ روئے ماہِ تاباں کیسا

ظلمات میں یہ نورِ شبستاں کیسا

حلقے میں لئے ہوئے ہے رُخ کو کاکل

یہ کفر کے زیرِ سایہ قرآں کیسا

۶

اللہ ری یہ زلف میری مستِ شباب

ہر حلقۂ شب رنگ ہے گویا گرداب

یا آتشِ رُخ کا ہے یہ دودِ پیچاں

یا رِندِ سیاہ مست کا اُلجھا ہوا خواب

۷

ہر گام پہ جنبش میں ہے یہ زلفِ رسا

فوّارے سے یا اُبل رہی ہے صہبا

یا موجِ خرام کا اِشارہ پا کر

شانوں پہ اُمنڈ آئی ہے گھنگھور گھٹا

۸

ظلمت سے ہوا جھگڑ رہی ہے گویا

بادل کی پری بگڑ رہی ہے گویا

یوں موجِ صبا سے ہِل رہی ہیں زلفیں

تاریک پھوار پڑ رہی ہے گویا

۹

یہ سلسلۂ لا متناہی ہے کہ زلف

گہوارۂ بادِ صبح کاہی ہے کہ زلف

اے جانِ شباب! دوشِ سیمیں پہ ترے

دھُنکی ہوئی رات کی سیاہی ہے کہ زلف

 

रुबाईयात-ज़ुल्फ़-ए यार-जोश मलीहाबादी

ये ज़ुल्फ़ है के मोहीत-ए रुख़्सार ओ सदर

हल्क़ों में लिए सियाह तर्शे हुए बदर

या लैली-ए ज़ुल्मत के है ताज-ए अंबर

या आलम-ए कैफ़ ओ सरख़ुशी कि शब-ए क़दर

नाफ़ौं का मचलता हुआ तूफ़ां है के ज़ुल्फ़

ये तीरगी-ए चश्मा-ए हैवां है के ज़ुल्फ़

या ज़ुल्मत-ए शब-हा-ए दराज़-ए ग़म का

बिखरा हुआ अफ़्साना-ए जुन्बान है के ज़ुल्फ़

ये तुन्द हवाएं और ये ज़ुल्फ़-ए दो-ता

संगम पे है इज़्तेराब-ए गंगा-जमना

यूं ज़ुल्फ़ के हल्क़ों में बपा है हलचल

दर्या में भंवर से पड़ रहे हैं गोया

ये ज़ुल्फ़-ए दराज़ है के सावन कि नदी

या अब्र-ए सियाह है सर-ए सर्व-क़दी

या ख़त्त-ए शिकस्त कि मचलती सतरें

या रिश्ता-ए अन्फ़ास-ए हयात-ए अबदी

बादल में ये रू-ए माह-ए ताबां कैसा

ज़ुल्मात में ये नूर-ए शबिस्तां कैसा

हल्क़े में लिए हुए है रुख़ को काकुल

ये कुफ़्र के ज़ेर-ए साया क़ुर’आं कैसा

अल्लाह रि ये ज़ुल्फ़ मेरी मस्त-ए शराब

हर हल्क़ा-ए शब-रंग है गोया गिर्दाब

या आतिश-ए रुख़ का है ये दूद-ए पेचां

या रिन्द-ए सियाह-मस्त का उलझा हुआ ख़्वाब

हर गाम पे जुंबिश में है ये ज़ुल्फ़-ए रसा

फ़व्वारे से या उबल रही है सहबा

या मौज-ए ख़राम का इशारा पा कर

शानौं पे उमंड आई है घनघोर घटा

ज़ुल्मत से हवा झगड़ रही है गोया

बादल कि परी बिगड़ रही है गोया

यूं मौज-ए सबा से हिल रही हैं ज़ुल्फ़ें

तारीक फुवार पड़ रही है गोया

ये सिलसिला-ए ला-मुतनाही है के ज़ुल्फ़

गहवारा-ए बाद-ए सुबह-गाही है के ज़ुल्फ़

अए जान-ए शबाब! दोश-ए सीमीं पे तेरे

धुनकी हुई रात कि सियाही है के ज़ुल्फ़

 

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 about the beauty of the beloved. More specifically about her long hair, locks and curls. Times have changed and in the “me too” era, this might be considered offensive. I hope that those who find it offensive, will forgive the transgression, considering the beauty of the language, the metaphor and layered meanings.
1
ye zulf1 hai ke moheet-e ruKhsaar-o-sadar3
halqauN4 meN liye siyaah5 tarshe6 hue badar7
ya laili-e-zulmat8 ke hai taaj-e-anbar9
ya aalam-e-kaif10 o sarKhushi11 ke shab-e-qadar12  
1.hair 2.arching over, dominating 3.face and head 4.circles 5.dark 6.carved, sculpted 7.moons 8.laila of darkness 9.amber crown 10.state of pleasure 11.much happiness 12.‘holy’ night when quraan is supposed to have ‘descended’, blessed night
Her locks arch gracefully over her face and head, surrounding them. Eyes (eyeballs) are dark/black sculpted moons … which are dark and at the same sparkle and they are circled/protected by tangled locks. Or is this (her hair) the queen of darkness or an amber (dark and fragrant) crown. Or is it a state of pleasure and happiness. Or is the darkness of this hair like the blessed night.

2
naafauN1 ka machalta hua toofaaN hai ke zulf
ye teeragi2-e chashma-e-haivaaN3 hai ke zulf
ya zulmat4-e shab-haa5-e daraaz6-e Gham7 ka
bikhra8 hua afsaana-e-junbaaN9 hai ke zulf
1.fragrant gland of the musk dear 2.darkness 3.spring of immortality 4.darkness 5.nights 6.long 7.sorrow 8.scattered 9.trembling/shivering/waving fable/fairy tale
Her waving fragrant hair like the trembling musk gland of the deer. There is supposed to be a spring/river of immortality. Whoever finds it and drinks of it, lives forever. But this river is supposed to be in pitch darkness. Thus, is this her hair or the pitch darkness around the spring of immortality. The long nights of sorrow/longing are also dark – just like her long hair. Her waving hair are like a scattered fairy tale.

3
ye tund1 havaa’eN aur ye zulf-e do-taa2
sangam3 pe hai izteraab4-e gaNga jumna
yuN zulf ke halqauN5 meN bapa6 hai halchal7
darya meN bhaNwar8 se paR rahe haiN goya
1.brisk 2.double strand 3.union 4.eagerness 5.circles 6.occuring/happening 7.restlessness 8.whirlpools
In this brisk breeze her hair, braided in two strands look eager for union like the tumultous mingling of the Ganges and Jumna. In the curls/circles of hair there is much restlessness as if whirlpools form, disperse and form again, as in a river.

4
ye zulf-e-daraaz1 hai ke saavan2 ki nadi
ya abr-e-siyaah3 hai sar4-e sarv-qadi5
ya Khatt-e-shikast6 ki machalti7 satreN8
ya rishta-e-anfaas9-e hayaat-e-abadi10   
1.long hair 2.spring rain 3.dark clouds 4.head/top 5.slender height (sarv-cypress is used as a metaphor for tall and slender) 6.hastily written letter of broken lines 7.persistent/demanding/obstinate 8.lines 9.line/string of breath 10.eternal life
Her hair is long like a river in spring. It is dark like a spring cloud at the top of a tall cypress. It is curly, like the wavy lines of a hastily written love letter demanding an answer. It is long like the never-ending string of breath of eternal life.

5
baadal meN ye roo1-e maah-e-taabaaN2 kaisa
zulmaat3 meN ye noor-e-shabistaaN4 kaisa
halqe5 meN liye hue hai ruKh6 ko kaakul7
ye kufr8 ke zer-e-saaya9 qur’aaN kaisa
1.face 2.brilliant/full moon 3.darkness 4.night light 5.circle/protection 6.face/cheeks 7.curls/forelocks 8.evil/darkness 9.under the shadow
Her shining face in the backdrop of dark hair is like the full moon in dark clouds or a shining light in the dark night. It seems that her forelocks are possessive/protective of her face/features. How can the qur’aan/beautiful face be under the shadow/protection of darkness/evil/dark hair.

6
allah ri ye zulf meri mast-e-sharaab1
har halqa2-e shab-raNg3 hai goya4 girdaab5
ya aatish-e-ruKh6 ka hai ye dood-e-pechaaN7
ya rind8-e siyah-mast9 ka uljha10 hua Khwaab11  
1.intoxicating wine 2.circle 3.colour of night, dark 4.as if 5.whirlpool 6.glowing face 7.wispy/curly smoke 8.imbiber of wine 9.completely drunk 10.tangled 11.dream
Her hair is intoxicating – like wine. Every circle/curl of her dark hair is like a whirlpool that sucks you in. Her face is bright and glowing (as if on fire). Her hair is like curly wisps of smoke from this fire, or perhaps like the tangled dream of total intoxication.

7
har gaam pe junbish1 meN hai ye zulf-e-rasa2
favvaare3 se ya ubal4 rahi hai sahba5
ya mauj-e-Kharaam6 ka ishaara7 pa kar
shaanauN pe umanD aaii hai ghanghor ghaTa
1.movement, waving 2.hair of long reach i.e. long hair 3.fountain 4.boiling over 5.wine 6.wavy gait 7.sign, permission
When she walks, her long hair wave from side to side as if intoxicating wine is pouring freely out of a fountain. Or, perhaps her wavy/sinuous gait has given a sign/permission to dark clouds to hover over her shoulders.

8
zulmat1 se hava jhagaR rahi hai goya2
baadal ki pari bigaR3 rahi hai goya
yuN mauj-e-saba4 se hil rahi haiN zulfeN
taareek5 phuvaar paR rahi hai goya
1.darkness 2.as if 3.annoyed 4.waves of wine (intoxication) 5.darkness
There is a light breeze and her hair is blowing … the dark and light layers created by the blowing hair are as if darkness is fighting with air/brightness. Or it may be that the god-fairy of clouds is getting annoyed. Her hair blow in such intoxicating waves that it looks like there is a misty waterfall of darkness.

9
ye silsila1-e la-mutanaahi2 hai ke zulf
gahvaara3-e baad4-e subah-gaahi5 hai ke zulf
aye jaan-e-shabaab6! dosh-e-seemiiN7 pe tere
dhunki8 hui raat ki siyaahi9 hai ke zulf  
1.continuation, series 2.without end 3.cradle 4.breeze 5.time of dawn 6.life/peak of youth 7.silvery shoulders 8.stretching cotton to make it fluffy 9.darkness
Her long hair appear like a never ending series. It is the cradle in which morning breeze is born – fragrance emanating from dark hair. She is at the apex of her youth and on her silvery shoulders her fluffy hair look like puffs of darkness (like freshly puffed up cotton balls, except these are fluffly balls of darkness).

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 about the beauty of the beloved.  More specifically about her long hair, locks and curls.  Times have changed and in the “me too” era, this might be considered offensive.  I hope that those who find it offensive, will forgive the transgression, considering the beauty of the language, the metaphor and layered meanings.
1
ye zulf1 hai ke moheet-e ruKhsaar-o-sadar3
halqauN4 meN liye siyaah5 tarshe6 hue badar7
ya laili-e-zulmat8 ke hai taaj-e-anbar9
ya aalam-e-kaif10 o sarKhushi11 ke shab-e-qadar12

1.hair 2.arching over, dominating 3.face and head 4.circles 5.dark 6.carved, sculpted 7.moons 8.laila of darkness 9.amber crown 10.state of pleasure 11.much happiness 12.‘holy’ night when quraan is supposed to have ‘descended’, blessed night

Her locks arch gracefully over her face and head, surrounding them.  Eyes (eyeballs) are dark/black sculpted moons … which are dark and at the same sparkle and they are circled/protected by tangled locks.  Or is this (her hair) the queen of darkness or an amber (dark and fragrant) crown.  Or is it a state of pleasure and happiness.  Or is the darkness of this hair like the blessed night.
2
naafauN1 ka machalta hua toofaaN hai ke zulf
ye teeragi2-e chashma-e-haivaaN3 hai ke zulf
ya zulmat4-e shab-haa5-e daraaz6-e Gham7 ka
bikhra8 hua afsaana-e-junbaaN9 hai ke zulf

1.fragrant gland of the musk dear 2.darkness 3.spring of immortality 4.darkness 5.nights 6.long 7.sorrow 8.scattered 9.trembling/shivering/waving fable/fairy tale

Her waving fragrant hair like the trembling musk gland of the deer.  There is supposed to be a spring/river of immortality.  Whoever finds it and drinks of it, lives forever.  But this river is supposed to be in pitch darkness.  Thus, is this her hair or the pitch darkness around the spring of immortality.  The long nights of sorrow/longing are also dark – just like her long hair.  Her waving hair are like a scattered fairy tale.
3
ye tund1 havaa’eN aur ye zulf-e do-taa2
sangam3 pe hai izteraab4-e gaNga jumna
yuN zulf ke halqauN5 meN bapa6 hai halchal7
darya meN bhaNwar8 se paR rahe haiN goya

1.brisk 2.double strand 3.union 4.eagerness 5.circles 6.occuring/happening 7.restlessness 8.whirlpools

In this brisk breeze her hair, braided in two strands look eager for union like the tumultous mingling of the Ganges and Jumna.  In the curls/circles of hair there is much restlessness as if whirlpools form, disperse and form again, as in a river.
4
ye zulf-e-daraaz1 hai ke saavan2 ki nadi
ya abr-e-siyaah3 hai sar4-e sarv-qadi5
ya Khatt-e-shikast6 ki machalti7 satreN8
ya rishta-e-anfaas9-e hayaat-e-abadi10

1.long hair 2.spring rain 3.dark clouds 4.head/top 5.slender height (sarv-cypress is used as a metaphor for tall and slender) 6.hastily written letter of broken lines 7.persistent/demanding/obstinate 8.lines 9.line/string of breath 10.eternal life

Her hair is long like a river in spring.  It is dark like a spring cloud at the top of a tall cypress.  It is curly, like the wavy lines of a hastily written love letter demanding an answer.  It is long like the never-ending string of breath of eternal life.
5
baadal meN ye roo1-e maah-e-taabaaN2 kaisa
zulmaat3 meN ye noor-e-shabistaaN4 kaisa
halqe5 meN liye hue hai ruKh6 ko kaakul7
ye kufr8 ke zer-e-saaya9 qur’aaN kaisa

1.face 2.brilliant/full moon 3.darkness 4.night light 5.circle/protection 6.face/cheeks 7.curls/forelocks 8.evil/darkness 9.under the shadow

Her shining face in the backdrop of dark hair is like the full moon in dark clouds or a shining light in the dark night.  It seems that her forelocks are possessive/protective of her face/features.  How can the qur’aan/beautiful face be under the shadow/protection of darkness/evil/dark hair.
6
allah ri ye zulf meri mast-e-sharaab1
har halqa2-e shab-raNg3 hai goya4 girdaab5
ya aatish-e-ruKh6 ka hai ye dood-e-pechaaN7
ya rind8-e siyah-mast9 ka uljha10 hua Khwaab11

1.intoxicating wine 2.circle 3.colour of night, dark 4.as if 5.whirlpool 6.glowing face 7.wispy/curly smoke 8.imbiber of wine 9.completely drunk 10.tangled 11.dream

Her hair is intoxicating – like wine.  Every circle/curl of her dark hair is like a whirlpool that sucks you in.  Her face is bright and glowing (as if on fire).  Her hair is like curly wisps of smoke from this fire, or perhaps like the tangled dream of total intoxication.
7
har gaam pe junbish1 meN hai ye zulf-e-rasa2
favvaare3 se ya ubal4 rahi hai sahba5
ya mauj-e-Kharaam6 ka ishaara7 pa kar
shaanauN pe umanD aaii hai ghanghor ghaTa

1.movement, waving 2.hair of long reach i.e. long hair 3.fountain 4.boiling over 5.wine 6.wavy gait 7.sign, permission

When she walks, her long hair wave from side to side as if intoxicating wine is pouring freely out of a fountain.  Or, perhaps her wavy/sinuous gait has given a sign/permission to dark clouds to hover over her shoulders.
8
zulmat1 se hava jhagaR rahi hai goya2
baadal ki pari bigaR3 rahi hai goya
yuN mauj-e-saba4 se hil rahi haiN zulfeN
taareek5 phuvaar paR rahi hai goya

1.darkness 2.as if 3.annoyed 4.waves of wine (intoxication) 5.darkness

There is a light breeze and her hair is blowing … the dark and light layers created by the blowing hair are as if darkness is fighting with air/brightness.  Or it may be that the god-fairy of clouds is getting annoyed.  Her hair blow in such intoxicating waves that it looks like there is a misty waterfall of darkness.

9
ye silsila1-e la-mutanaahi2 hai ke zulf
gahvaara3-e baad4-e subah-gaahi5 hai ke zulf
aye jaan-e-shabaab6! dosh-e-seemiiN7 pe tere
dhunki8 hui raat ki siyaahi9 hai ke zulf

1.continuation, series 2.without end 3.cradle 4.breeze 5.time of dawn 6.life/peak of youth 7.silvery shoulders 8.stretching cotton to make it fluffy 9.darkness

Her long hair appear like a never ending series.  It is the cradle in which morning breeze is born – fragrance emanating from dark hair.  She is at the apex of her youth and on her silvery shoulders her fluffy hair look like puffs of darkness (like freshly puffed up cotton balls, except these are fluffly balls of darkness).

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