sarmaaya o mehnat-iqbal

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

خضرِ راہ ۔ سرمایہ و محنت ۔ محمد اقبال
۱
بندۂ مزدور کو جا کر مرا  پیغام دے
خضر کا  پیغام کیا ہے یہ  پیامِ کائنات
۲
اے کہ تجھ کو کھا گیا سرمایہ دارِ حیلہ گر
شاخِ آہو پر رہی صدیوں تلک تیری برات
۳
دستِ دولت آفریں کہ مُزد یوں ملتی رہی
اہلِ ثروت جیسے دیتے ہیں غریبوں کو زکات
۴
ساحر الموُط نے تجھ کو دیا برگِ حشیش
اور تو اے بے خبر سمجھا اِسے شاخِ نبات
۵
نسل، قومیّت، کلیسا، سلطنت، تہذیب، رنگ
خواجگی نے خوب چن چن کر بنائے مُسکِرات
۶
کٹ مرا ناداں خیالی دیوتاؤں کے لئے
سُکر کی لذّت میں تو لٹوا گیا نقدِ حیات
۷
مکر کی چالوں سے بازی لے گیا سرمایا دار
اِنتہائے سادگی میں کھا گیا مزدور مات
۸
اُٹھ کہ اب بزمِ جہاں کا اور ہی انداز ہے
مشرق و مغرب میں تیرے دور کا آغاز ہے
۹
ہمّتِ عالی تو دریا بھی نہیں کرتی قبول
غنچہ ساں غافل تیرے دامن میں شبنم کب تلک
۱۰
نغمۂ بیداریِ جمہور ہے سامانِ عیش
قِصّۂ خواب آورِ اِسکندر و جم کب تلک
۱۱
آفتابِ تازہ  پیدا بطنِ گیتی سے ہوا
آسماں ڈوبے ہوئے تاروں کا ماتم کب تلک
۱۲
توڑ ڈالیں فطرتِ اِنساں نے زنجیریں تمام
دوریِ جنّت سے روتی چشمِ آدم کب تلک
۱۳
باغبانِ چارہ فرماسے یہ کہتی ہے بہار
زخمِ گُل کے واسطے تدبیرِ مرہم کب تلک
۱۴
کِرمکِ ناداں طوافِ شمع سے آزاد ہو
اپنی فطرت کے تجلّی زار میں آباد ہو

ख़िज़्र-ए राह – सरमाया ओ मेहनत


बन्दा-ए मज़्दूर से जा कर मेरा पैग़ाम दे
ख़िज़्र का पैग़ाम क्या है ये पयाम-ए काएनात

अए के तुझ को खा गया सरमाया-दार-ए हीला-गर
शाख़-ए आहू पर रही सदियों तलक तेरी बरात

दस्त-ए दौलत-आफ़्रीं को मज़्द यूँ मिलती रही
अहल-ए सर्वत जैसे देते हैं ग़रीबों को ज़कात

साहिर-उल-मूत ने तुझ को दिया बर्ग-ए हशीश
और तू अए ख़बर समझा इसे शाख़-ए नबात

नस्ल, क़ौमियत, कलीसा, सल्तनत, तहज़ीब, रंग
ख़्वाजगी ने ख़ूब चुन चुन कर बनाए मस्करात

कट मरा नादाँ ख़याली देवताओं के लिए
सुक्र कि लज़्ज़त में तू लुटवा गया नक़्द-ए हयात

मक्र कि चालों से बाज़ी ले गया सरमाया-दार
इन्तेहा-ए सादगी में खा गया मज़्दूर मात

उठ के अब बज़्म-ए जहां का और ही अंदाज़ है
मश्रिक़ ओ मग़्रिब में तेरे दौर का आग़ाज़ है

हिम्मत-ए आली तो दर्या भी नहीं करती क़ुबूल
ग़ुंचा-सां ग़ाफ़िल तेरे दामन में शब्नम कब तलक
१०
नग़्मा-ए बेदारी-ए जम्हूर है सामान-ए ऐश
क़िस्सा-ए ख़्वाब-आवर-ए इस्कंदर ओ जम कब तलक
११
आफ़्ताब-ए ताज़ा पैदा बत्न-ए गेती से हुआ
आसमां डूबे हुए तारों का मातम कब तलक
१२
तोड़ डालीं फ़ित्रत-ए इन्सां ने जंजीरें तमाम
दूरी-ए जन्नत से रोती चश्म-ए आदम कब तलक
१३
बाग़बान-ए चारा-फ़रमा से ये कहती है बहार
ज़ख़्म-ए गुल के वास्ते तदबीर-ए मरहम कब तलक
१४
कर्मक-ए नादाँ तवाफ़-ए शम’अ से आज़ाद हो
अपनी फ़ित्रत के तजल्ली-ज़ार में आबाद हो

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. There is a series of nazm in baaNg-e dara called ‘Khizr-e raah’. Khizr is supposed to be a very wise old man who is a guide. The poet comes across Khizr and asks him a number of questions. One of those questions relates to the injustice of the condition of the worker. This is Khizr’s answer asking the poet to carry this message to the worker.
1
banda-e-mazdoor1 ko ja kar mera paiGhaam2 de
Khizr3 ka paiGhaam kya hai, ye payaam4-e kaayenaat5 
1.creature/servant (of god) who is worker/labourer 2.message 3.legendary old man who is wise and a guide to lost travelers 4.message 5.universe
Go (you poet/iqbal) and deliver this message from me (Khizr) to the worker. This is not just my message this is a universal message of all creation.

2
aye ke tujh ko kha gaya sarmaaya-daar1-e heela-gar2
shaaKh3-e aahu4 par rahi sadiyauN5 talak teri baraat6 
1.capitalist 2.excuse making 3.branch (in urdu) but also antler (in faarsi) 4.deer, antelope 5.centuries 6.wages
There is a saying in faarsi ‘baraat-e aashiqaaN bar shaaKh-e aahu’ literally meaning that the wage of lovers is on the antlers of deer … used to mean false/deceptive promise. As an example, zauq says …
savaal-e vasl ko Taala javaab-e cheen-e abru se
baraat-e aashiqaaN bar shaaKh-e aahu is ko kahte haiN
meaning … when the poet/lover asked for union, the beloved arched her eyebrows in response, ignoring the question. This is what they mean when they say, ‘the wage of the lover is on the antlers of the deer’. Thus, here, the message from Khizr to the worker is that his wage is a false promise.

3
dast1-e daulat-aafriN2 ko muzd3 yuN milti rahi
ahl-e-sarwat4 jaise dete haiN GharibauN ko zakaat5  
1.hand 2.wealth creating 3.wage 4.people of affluence 5.tithe that muslims have to pay, which is then distributed among the poor
The hand that creates wealth receives wage as if the affluent are giving alms.

4
saahir-e al-amoot1 ne tujh ko diya barg-e-hashish2
aur tu aye beKhabar3 samjha ise shaaKh-e-nabaat4 
1.magician of (the fortress of) moot 2.leaf of hashish (opiate) 3.simpleton 4.candy/misri
hasan sabbaah, a legendary chief of the fortress of al-amoot was considered to have powers of enchanting people to the point of being able to hypnotize and send them off on suicidal assassination attempts. iqbal uses it here to mean that the capitalist has similarly enchanted the worker into giving up his labour/life. He offers the worker a leaf of hashish (Karl Marx’s opiate of the masses) and he thinks it is sweet candy.

5
nasl1, qaumiyyat2, kaleesa3, saltanat4, tahzeeb5, raNg6
Khwaajagi7 ne Khoob8 chun9 chun kar banaaye muskeraat10 
1.pedigree 2.nationality 3.church 4.empire/emperor 5.culture 6.colour/skin colour/race 7.leadership 8.well 9.selected 10.intoxicants, opiates
Also see josh malihabadi’s “zindaan-e musallas – three cornered prison” where he writes passionately about how prejudices associated with language, faith and nation imprison us. Thus, says iqbal, leadership (colonial power) has chosen opiates like (prejudices of) pedigree, nationality, church, empire and race/colour, very well in order to keep the worker in control.

6
kaT mara naadaaN1 Khayaali devtaauN ke liye
sukr2 ki lazzat3 meN tu luTva gaya naqd-e-hayaat4 
1.simpleton 2.sugar 3.pleasure 4.value/wealth of life
The worker is a simpleton. He sacrifices himself to imaginary gods. For the (deceptive) pleasure of sugar/candy/misri he lets the capitalist loot the wealth/value of his life.

7
makr1 ki chaalauN se baazi2 le gaya sarmaaya-daar3
intehaa4-e saadagi5 meN kha gaya mazdoor maat6 
1.deception 2.turn of toss 3.capitalist 4.excess 5.simplicity 6.defeat
The capitalist makes deceptive moves and wins the turn of toss. In excess of simplicity the worker was defeated. Deceptive moves here refer to nationalism/patriotism, communalism and caste system, which are used to divide workers.

8
uTh ke ab bazm1-e jahaaN ka aur hi andaaz2 hai
mashriq3 o maGhrib4 meN tere daur5 ka aaGhaaz6 hai 
1.system, world order 2.style, way 3.east 4.west 5.period, times 6.beginning
Arise, O worker the ways of the world order are changing (this is a reference to the Russian Revolution). This marks the beginning of your times (meaning power) in the East and West (world wide)

9
himmat1-e aa’li2 to darya3 bhi nahiN karti qubool4
Ghuncha-saaN5 Ghaafil6 tere daaman7 meN shabnam8 kab talak 
1.courage, dignity 2.high, strong 3.ocean 4.accept 5.like a flower bud 6.simpleton 7.apron 8.dew drop
The worker is a simpleton, like a flower bud which is happy/satisfied to get a dew drop in its apron/petal. Great dignity refuses to accept even the ocean in compensation. How long will you, O worker be satisfied with a dew drop.

10
naGhma1-e bedaari2-e jamhoor3 hai saamaan-e-aysh4
qissa5-e Khwaab-aavar6-e iskandar7 o jam8 kab talak 
1.song of 2.awakening of 3.people 4.means of prosperity 5.story of 6.sleep inducing, mind numbing 7.Alexander 8.Jamshed
The song of awakening of the people is the way to prosperity. How long will you be satisfied with mind numbing stories of royalty.

11
aaftaab1-e taaza2 paida batn3-e geti4 se hua
aasmaaN Doobe hue taarauN ka maatam5 kab talak 
1.sun 2.fresh, new 3.womb 4.earth, world 5.mourning
iqbal uses ‘aasmaaN’ as the elevated dignity of the worker and ‘Doobe hue taare’ for obsolete ways of nationalism and feudalism. A new sun is born from the womb of the earth (Russian Revolution). Old stars fade in the light of the new sun. How long will you mourn nationalism and feudalism.

12
toR DaaleeN fitrat1-e insaaN ne zanjeereN tamaam2
doori3-e jannat se roti chashm4-e aadam5 kab talak 
1.nature 2.all 3.distance 4.eyes 5.human
Human nature has shattered all chains that bind. How long will your eyes weep complaining of the distance of heaven/prosperity.

13
baaGhbaan1-e chaara-farma2 se ye kahti hai bahaar3
zaKhm4-e gul5 ke vaaste6 tadbeer7-e marham8 kab talak 
1.gardener 2.healer 3.spring 4.injury, wound 5.rose 7.method, prescription 8.ointment
The coming spring (revolution) asks the healing gardener (leaders of the worker), how long will you devise old prescriptions of ointment for the wound of the rose (worker).

14
kirmak1-e naadaaN2 tawaaf3-e shama’ se aazaad ho
apni fitrat4 ke tajjalli-zaar5 meN aabaad6 ho 
1.insect/moth 2.simpleton, unthinking 3.circumabulation 4.nature 5.garden of brilliance 6.prosper
The worker is like the unthinking moth that keeps going around the lamp until it is burnt. How long will you go around this false light. Prosper in the brilliant garden of your own nature/labour.

sarmaaya o mehnat – mohammed iqbal

There is a series of nazm in baaNg-e dara called ‘Khizr-e raah’.  Khizr is supposed to be a very wise old man who is a guide.  The poet comes across Khizr and asks him a number of questions.  One of those questions relates to the injustice of the condition of the worker.  This is Khizr’s answer asking the poet to carry this message to the worker.

1
banda-e-mazdoor1 ko ja kar mera paiGhaam2 de
Khizr3 ka paiGhaam kya hai, ye payaam4-e kaayenaat5

1.creature/servant (of god) who is worker/labourer 2.message 3.legendary old man who is wise and a guide to lost travelers 4.message 5.universe

Go (you poet/iqbal) and deliver this message from me (Khizr) to the worker.  This is not just my message this is a universal message of all creation.
2
aye ke tujh ko kha gaya sarmaaya-daar1-e heela-gar2
shaaKh3-e aahu4 par rahi sadiyauN5 talak teri baraat6

1.capitalist 2.excuse making 3.branch (in urdu) but also antler (in faarsi) 4.deer, antelope 5.centuries 6.wages

There is a saying in faarsi “baraat-e aashiqaaN bar shaaKh-e aahu” literally meaning that the wage of lovers is on the antlers of deer … used to mean false/deceptive promise.  As an example, zauq says …
savaal-e vasl ko Taala javaab-e cheen-e abru se
baraat-e aashiqaaN bar shaaKh-e aahu is ko kahte haiN
meaning … when the poet/lover asked for union, the beloved arched her eyebrows in response, ignoring the question.  This is what they mean when they say, “the wage of the lover is on the antlers of the deer”.  Thus, here, the message from Khizr to the worker is that his wage is a false promise.
3
dast1-e daulat-aafriN2 ko muzd3 yuN milti rahi
ahl-e-sarwat4 jaise dete haiN GharibauN ko zakaat5

1.hand 2.wealth creating 3.wage 4.people of affluence 5.tithe that muslims have to pay, which is then distributed among the poor

The hand that creates wealth receives wage as if the affluent are giving alms.
4
saahir-e al-amoot1 ne tujh ko diya barg-e-hashish2
aur tu aye beKhabar3 samjha ise shaaKh-e-nabaat4

1.magician of (the fortress of) moot 2.leaf of hashish (opiate) 3.simpleton 4.candy/misri

hasan sabbaah, a legendary chief of the fortress of al-amoot was considered to have powers of enchanting people to the point of being able to hypnotize and send them off on suicidal assassination attempts.  iqbal uses it here to mean that the capitalist has similarly enchanted the worker into giving up his labour/life.  He offers the worker a leaf of hashish (Karl Marx’s opiate of the masses) and he thinks it is sweet candy.
5
nasl1, qaumiyyat2, kaleesa3, saltanat4, tahzeeb5, raNg6
Khwaajagi7 ne Khoob8 chun9 chun kar banaaye muskeraat10

1.pedigree 2.nationality 3.church 4.empire/emperor 5.culture 6.colour/skin colour/race 7.leadership 8.well 9.selected 10.intoxicants, opiates

Also see josh malihabadi’s “zindaan-e musallas – three cornered prison” where he writes passionately about how prejudices associated with language, faith and nation imprison us.  Thus, says iqbal, leadership (colonial power) has chosen opiates like (prejudices of) pedigree, nationality, church, empire and race/colour, very well in order to keep the worker in control.
6
kaT mara naadaaN1 Khayaali devtaauN ke liye
sukr2 ki lazzat3 meN tu luTva gaya naqd-e-hayaat4

1.simpleton 2.sugar 3.pleasure 4.value/wealth of life

The worker is a simpleton.  He sacrifices himself to imaginary gods.  For the (deceptive) pleasure of sugar/candy/misri he lets the capitalist loot the wealth/value of his life.
7
makr1 ki chaalauN se baazi2 le gaya sarmaaya-daar3
intehaa4-e saadagi5 meN kha gaya mazdoor maat6

1.deception 2.turn of toss 3.capitalist 4.excess 5.simplicity 6.defeat

The capitalist makes deceptive moves and wins the turn of toss.  In excess of simplicity the worker was defeated.  Deceptive moves here refer to nationalism/patriotism, communalism and caste system, which are used to divide workers.
8
uTh ke ab bazm1-e jahaaN ka aur hi andaaz2 hai
mashriq3 o maGhrib4 meN tere daur5 ka aaGhaaz6 hai

1.system, world order 2.style, way 3.east 4.west 5.period, times 6.beginning

Arise, O worker the ways of the world order are changing (this is a reference to the Russian Revolution).  This marks the beginning of your times (meaning power) in the East and West (world wide)
9
himmat1-e aa’li2 to darya3 bhi nahiN karti qubool4
Ghuncha-saaN5 Ghaafil6 tere daaman7 meN shabnam8 kab talak

1.courage, dignity 2.high, strong 3.ocean 4.accept 5.like a flower bud 6.simpleton 7.apron 8.dew drop

The worker is a simpleton, like a flower bud which is happy/satisfied to get a dew drop in its apron/petal.  Great dignity refuses to accept even the ocean in compensation.  How long will you, O worker be satisfied with a dew drop.
10
naGhma1-e bedaari2-e jamhoor3 hai saamaan-e-aysh4
qissa5-e Khwaab-aavar6-e iskandar7 o jam8 kab talak

1.song of 2.awakening of 3.people 4.means of prosperity 5.story of 6.sleep inducing, mind numbing 7.Alexander 8.Jamshed

The song of awakening of the people is the way to prosperity.  How long will you be satisfied with mind numbing stories of royalty.
11
aaftaab1-e taaza2 paida batn3-e geti4 se hua
aasmaaN Doobe hue taarauN ka maatam5 kab talak

1.sun 2.fresh, new 3.womb 4.earth, world 5.mourning

iqbal uses ‘aasmaaN’ as the elevated dignity of the worker and ‘Doobe hue taare’ for obsolete ways of nationalism and feudalism.  A new sun is born from the womb of the earth (Russian Revolution).  Old stars fade in the light of the new sun.  How long will you mourn nationalism and feudalism.
12
toR DaaleeN fitrat1-e insaaN ne zanjeereN tamaam2
doori3-e jannat se roti chashm4-e aadam5 kab talak

1.nature 2.all 3.distance 4.eyes 5.human

Human nature has shattered all chains that bind.  How long will your eyes weep complaining of the distance of heaven/prosperity.
13
baaGhbaan1-e chaara-farma2 se ye kahti hai bahaar3
zaKhm4-e gul5 ke vaaste6 tadbeer7-e marham8 kab talak

1.gardener 2.healer 3.spring 4.injury, wound 5.rose 7.method, prescription 8.ointment

The coming spring (revolution) asks the healing gardener (leaders of the worker), how long will you devise old prescriptions of ointment for the wound of the rose (worker).
14
kirmak1-e naadaaN2 tawaaf3-e shama’ se aazaad ho
apni fitrat4 ke tajjalli-zaar5 meN aabaad6 ho

1.insect/moth 2.simpleton, unthinking 3.circumabulation 4.nature 5.garden of brilliance 6.prosper

The worker is like the unthinking moth that keeps going around the lamp until it is burnt.  How long will you go around this false light.  Prosper in the brilliant garden of your own nature/labour.

Key Search Words: worker, labour, labor, socialism

One comment:

  1. Iqbal’s powerful and classic poem at a turbulent time of 1930s still hold true today. I so immensely enjoyed reading it and thanks for your efforts to keep Urdu literature and poetry in common conscience.

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