tashkeek – shahed

تشکیک  – شاہد

 

کامل ترا ہی حق تومگن اس خوشی میں  ہے

حائل یقین علم میں ہومجھ کو ڈر یہ  ہے

خودفر یبی حصار باندھے بڑامطمئن تو ہے

منظر عیاں خِرد کے ہیں تجھ کوخبر بھی  ہے

اندھے کو ئیں میں باندھ کے رکھا یقین ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

منزل اسے سمجھ کے تو آرام ہے کرتا

سلجھانے پہیلی کو میں بے چین ہوں پھرتا

خوداپنی سمجھ کاٹ کے آگے ہوں میں بڑھتا

اس جد و جہد کو ہی میں منزل ہوں سمجھتا

رفتار جستجو میں ہے ٹھہرا یقین ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

بیشک یقیں غر یب کو اُمید ہے دیتا

لیکن اِسی دھوکے میں حقیقت بھی چھپاتا

غرُبت کا اصل راز چھپاۓ ہوئے رکھتا

اس واسطے سرماے کا ہے راج بھی چلتا

غرُبت کے سر افیم چڑھاتا یقین  ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

تیّقن ہی نے خوُدکشُ کے جنوں کو ہے بڑھایا

توہینِ رِسالت کابھی ہے ڈھونگ رچا یا

جنتّ کی الِف لیلہ میں حوُروں کو نچایا

بیٹے کو ذبح باپ کے ہاتھوں سےکرایا

پٹی ہر اک کی آنکھ پہ باندھا یقین ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

خوُدکشُ نےخوں بہایاہوئے تیرے ہاتھ لال

دیتاکہیں ہو تیرا یقیں اُسکو اِشتعال

اللہ ترا حافظ ہے خدا پر تجھے ملال

اِنجیل سےالہ کونکالا یہی خیال

اس بےضرر رسم کے بھی پیچھے یقین ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

افسانہ جنم بھومی کا گڑھنا یہ بتاتا

ایجاد لَو جہاد کا کرنا بھی یہ کہتا

اور گودھرا فساد کا قصّہ یہ سناتا

پھر منتظم یہ خون خرابابھی دکھاتا

کتنی ہی سازشوں کا بھی مفسد یقین  ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

طبع یقین ہےکہ جو برداشت نا کرے

تحقیق ہوسوال ہو،چاہےکوئی کرے

تیرا یقین ہے جو کہ نظارہ گُل کرے

تشکیک ہےجوعلم کادروازہ وا کرے

ہر زاوئیے کو بند جو کرتا یقین ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

روح تحقیق کی بے معنی بنا دیتا ہے

فتوں کی خرافات کوایمان بنادیتا ہے

شمبکھ کا گلا کاٹنے بھگوان بلالیتا ہے

ملالہ کوقتل کرنے پھر اک بار کھڑا ہوتا  ہے

ہر دور میں ہنر کو جو روندا یقین ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

بس دین کی جنّت کاہے تو خواب دکھاتا

یہوہ کی چنُی قوم کا فِتنہ وہ چلاتا

اوتار دس ہیں رام کہانی کوئی کہتا

عیسی سے گناہوں کی تلافی وہ بتاتا

ہر اک کی عاقبت کایہ دعوا یقین ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

داڑھی کوئی رکھتا تو کوئی بال بڑھاتا

اک ذبح کرے دوسرا جھٹکاہے لگاتا

تیرتھ کوئی کرتا کوئی کعبہ کوہے جاتا

گنگامیں کوئی شنان طہارت کوئی کرتا

ہرایک سمجھتا ہے خدا داد یقیں ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

خود اپنی پارسائی پہ یہ ناز ہے کرتا

سیتا کو دنڈ دھوبی کے کہنے پہ ہے دیتا

یکلویہ کاانگوٹھابھی ہے کاٹ کے رکھتا

وامن مہابلی کو ہاں دھوکہ بھی ہے دیتا

ہر قصّہ دیکھوغور سے نیتی کابھرم ہے

ہاں تیرا دھرم، تیرا دھرم، تیرا دھرم ہے

 

رستہ خرد کا بند یقیں نے ہے کر دیا

سقراط کے سوال پہ اُسکو زہر دیا

منصورکوبھی قتل ان الحق پہ کر دیا

یاں تک گلیلیو کابھی لکھاجلا دیا

ہر اک زباں جو کاٹ کے رکھا  یقین ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

تجھکویقین علم پرانی کتب میں  ہے

لیکن اگر خِرد کی بِنا ہے توشک پہ  ہے

کر اِن پہ شک کہ علم کی آغازِ رہ  یہ ہے

تیرایقین ہے جو کہ روکے خِرد کو  ہے

تحقیق کی سعی کو جو کاٹا یقین ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

قرآن ہو کہ گیتاہو، اِنجیل یا زُبوُر

اِنسان کی خرد کانچوڑ اِن میں کچھ ضرور

بندش لگافہم  پہ وہم میں پھنسا ظہور

آگےنکل گیاہے اب انسان کا شعور

دیکھ اِرتقا کاراستہ روکا یقین  ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

 

تھوڑاساشک، تھوڑاشبہ،اِنکساری کچھ

شاہد تو اب یقین سے کر لے سوال کچھ

منزل پہ پہنچ جاۓ تومنزل پھر اور کچھ

حدِّ نظر کو دیکھ کے آگے تلاش کچھ

تحقیق کی پرواز جو روکا یقین ہے

ہاں تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں، تیرا یقیں ہے

तशकीक – शाहेद

 

कामिल तेरा ही हक़ तु मगन इस ख़ुशी में है

हाएल यक़ीन इल्म में हो मुझ को डर ये है

ख़ुद फ़रेबी हिसार बांधे बड़ा मुतमईन तु है

मंज़र आयां ख़िरद के हैं तुझ को ख़बर भी है

अंधे कुएं में बाँध के रक्खा यक़ीन है

हाँ तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

मंज़िल इसे समझ के तु आराम है करता

सुलझाने पहेली को मैं बेचैन हूँ फिरता

ख़ुद अपनी समझ काट के आगे हूँ मैं बढ़ता

इस जद्दोजहद को ही मैं मंज़िल हूँ समझता

रफ़्तार जुस्तजू में है ठहरा यक़ीन है

हाँ तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

बेशक यक़ीं ग़रीब को उम्मीद है देता

लैकिन इसी धोके में हक़ीक़त भि छुपाता

ग़ुरबत का असल राज़ छुपाए हुए रखता

इस वास्ते सरमाए का है राज भी चलता

ग़ुरबत के सर अफ़ीम चढ़ाता यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

तयक़्क़ुन हि ने ख़ुदकुश के जुनूं को है बढ़ाया

तौहीन ए रिसालत का भी है ढोंग रचाया

जन्नत की अलिफ़ लैला में हूरों को नचाया

बेटे को ज़िबह  बाप के हाथों से कराया

पट्टी हर एक की आंख पे बांधा यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

ख़ुदकुश ने ख़ूं बहाया हुए तेरे हाथ लाल

देता कहीं हो तेरा यक़ीं उसको इश्तेआल

अल्लाह तेरा हाफ़िज़ है ख़ुदा पर तुझे मलाल

इंजील से इलाह को निकाला यही ख़्याल

इस बे ज़रर रसम के भी पीछे यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

अफ़साना जनम भूमि का गढ़ना ये बताता

ईजाद लव जिहाद का करना भी ये कहता

और गोधरा फ़साद का क़िस्सा ये सुनाता

फिर मुन्तज़िम ये ख़ून ख़राबा भी दिखाता

कितनी हि साज़िशों का भि मुफ़सिद यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

तब’ए यक़ीन है जो के बरदाश्त ना करे

तहक़ीक़ हो, सवाल हो, चाहे कोई करे

तेरा यक़ीन है जो के नज़्ज़ारा गुल करे

तशकीक है जो इल्म का दरवाज़ा वा करे

हर ज़ावीए को बंद जो करता यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

रूह तहक़ीक़ की बे मानी बना देता है

फ़तवों की ख़ुराफ़ात को ईमान बना लेता है

शंबुख का गला काटने भगवान बुला लेता है

मलालेः को क़तल करने फिर एक बार खड़ा होता है

हर दौर में हुनर को जो रौंदा यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

बस दीन कि जन्नत का है तू ख़्वाब दिखाता

याहवेह कि चुनी क़ौम का फ़ित्ना वो चलाता

अवतार दस हैं राम कहानी कोई कहता

ईसा से गुनाहों की तलाफ़ी वो बताता

हर एक कि आक़ेबत का ये दावा यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीन, तेरा यक़ीन, तेरा यक़ीन है

 

दाढ़ी कोई रखता तो कोई बाल बढ़ाता

एक ज़िबह करे दूसरा झटका है लगाता

तीरथ कोई करता कोई काबे को है जाता

गंगा में कोई ष्नान तहारत कोई करता

हर एक समझता है ख़ुदा दाद यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीन, तेरा यक़ीन, तेरा यक़ीन है

 

ख़ुद अपनी पारसाई पे ये नाज़ है करता

सीता को दंड धोबी के कहने पे है देता

एकलव्य का अंगूठा भी है काट के रखता

वामन महाबली को हाँ धोका भी है देता

हर क़िस्सा देखो ग़ौर से नीति का भरम है

हाँ तेरा धरम, तेरा धरम, तेरा धरम है

 

रस्ता ख़िरद का बंद यक़ीं ने है कर दिया

सुक़्रात के सवाल पे उसको ज़हर दिया

मंसूर का भी क़त्ल अन-अल-हक़ पे कर दिया

यां तक गलीलिओ का भी लिक्खा जला दिया

हर एक ज़बां जो काट के रक्खा यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

तुझको यक़ीन इल्म पुरानी कुतुब में है

लैकिन अगर ख़िरद की बिना है तो शक पे है

कर इन पे शक के इल्म की आग़ाज़ ए रह ये है

तेरा यक़ीन है जो के रोके ख़िरद को है

तहक़ीक़ की स’अई को जो काटा यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

क़ुर’आन हो के गीता हो, इंजील या ज़ुबूर

इंसान की ख़िरद का निचोड़ इन में कुच्छ ज़रूर

बंदिश लगा फ़हम पे, वहम में फंसा ज़हूर

आगे निकल गया है अब इन्सान का शा’ऊर

देख इरतेक़ा का रास्ता रोका यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

 

थोड़ा सा शक, थोड़ा शुबह, इनकेसारी कुच्छ

शाहेद तु इस यक़ीन से कर ले सवाल कुच्छ

मंज़िल पे पहुंच जाए तो मंज़िल फिर और कुच्छ

हद्द ए नज़र को देख के आगे तलाश कुच्छ

तहक़ीक़ की परवाज़ को रोका यक़ीन है

हां तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं, तेरा यक़ीं है

tashkeek – shahed

Click here for overall comments and on any passage for meaning and discussionShahed (that is me) is a beginner in learning Urdu, leave aside composing Urdu poetry. But fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Some of my compositions are also posted here. This composition is heavily influenced by Bertrand Russell’s Skeptical Essays which I read in my teenage years and also by “Science is a celebration of human fallibility” – learning from mistakes and moving on. In addition, I am egged on by my irreverence.

kaamil1 tera hi haq2 tu magan is Khushi meN hai
haa’el3 yaqin4 ilm meN ho mujh ko Dar ye hai
Khud farebi5 hisaar6 baandhe baRa mutamain7 tu hai
manzar8 ayaaN9 Khirad10 ke haiN tujh ko Khabar11 bhi hai
andhe kueN meN baandh ke rakkha yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. complete 2. truth, belief 3. obstruct 4. certainty, belief 5. self-deception 6. parapet, boundary 7. satisfied 8. scenes, manifestations 9. apparent, visible 10. knowledge 11. awareness
You revel in the thought that your faith is perfect, but I fear that this stands in the way of learning. You are satisfied in a fortress of self-deception, oblivious that visions of wisdom abound outside. Your faith has confined you to a deep, dark well. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith. Acknowledging Josh Malihabadi and as a tribute to him, this is written in the style (Khaakam ba dahan) of his “gulbadani” but of course, with a very different theme.

manzil1 ise samajh ke tu aaram hai karta
suljhaane2 paheli3 ko maiN bechain4 huN phirta
Khud apni samajh kaaT ke aage huN maiN baRhta
is jadd o jahad5 ko hi maiN manzil huN samajhta
raftaar6 justaju7 meN hai Thahra8 yaqin hai
haaN ter yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. destination 2. to solve 3. puzzle 4. restless 5. struggle 6. speed, forward movement 7. trying, effort 8. stationary, static
You are comfortable, thinking that you have arrived. I am restless, seeking a solution to the puzzle. I prove myself wrong, and keep moving. This struggle itself, I consider my goal. Forward movement is in trying, faith stands still. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith

beshak1 yaqiN Gharib ko ummeed hai deta
laikin isi dhoke meN haqeeqat2 bhi chhupaata
Ghurbat3 ka asal raaz4 chhupaaye hue rakhta
is vaaste sarmaaye5 ka hai raj bhi chalta
Ghurbat ke sar afeem6 chaRhaata yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. without doubt 2. reality, truth 3. poverty 4. secret 5. capital 6. afyoon, opium
No doubt, faith gives us some hope, but in this deception it hides the truth. It hides the real reason for deprivation. Thus does Capital maintain its hegemony. Faith opiates to the deprived. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

tayaqqun1 hi ne Khudkush2 ke junooN3 ko hai baRhaaya
tauheen e risaalat4 ka bhi hai DhoNg rachaaya
jannat ki alif laila5 meN hooroN ko nachaaya
beTe ko zibah baap ke haathoN se karaaya
paTTi har ek ki aaNkh pe baandha yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. certainty, faith 2. suicide bomber 3. passion, madness 4. insulting the prophet 5. Arabian Nights, fables 6. sacrifice by slitting throat
Faith it is that abets the frenzied suicide bomber. Faith creates the bogeyman of “insulting the prophet” (blasphemy laws). Faith dangles the temptation of hoories in heaven. It is blind faith that makes a father slaughter his son. Biblical and Islamic lore has it that Abraham slaughtered his son. At the last minute, unbeknownst to Abraham, god replaced the son with a ram. Abraham had a blindfold because he could not “bear to see the suffering of his son” … never the less, he obeyed the order blindly and thought that he was actually slaughtering his son. I suppose the moral of the story is that blind obedience even to the most senseless instructions is held as an ideal. A blindfold on everyone’s eyes, ties faith. The blindfold on the eyes of Abraham is a metaphor for a suspension of critical thinking – not just for Abraham but for all blind believers. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

Khudkush1 ne KhuN bahaya hue tere haath laal
deta kahiN ho tera yaqiN usko ishte’aal2
allah tera hafiz3  hai Khuda par tujhe malaal4(a)
injeel5 se ilah6 ko nikaala yahi Khyaal(b)
is be zarar7 rasam, ke bhi peechhe yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. suicide bomber 2. incite 3. protector 4. unhappiness 5. Bible 6. another form of allah 7. harmless 8. ritual
The suicide (bomber) has spilled blood, your hands are red because, perhaps the strength of your faith too, incites him. You insist on allah hafiz, Khuda makes you unhappy. Recent practice is for some Indian/Pakistani Muslims to insist on saying allah hafiz, instead of the more traditional Khuda hafiz. The unspoken thought behind this is that the word “Khuda” is non-Arabic (Farsi and pre-Islamic) therefore does not represent god. The word allah is to be preferred without realizing that this also pre-dates Islam and is used as a common noun for all concepts of god. This thought of yours has taken “allah” out of the bible. A recent court ruling in Malaysia decreed that the word “allah” is Islamic and shall not appear in Bibles or church school books written in Malay as if the word “allah” is copyrighted. In fact, “allah” is a pre-Islamic word and was used for the chief of the gods of pre-Islamic Arabs as also by Arab Christians before Islam. It is still inscribed on the walls of old Coptic Churches in Egypt. Behind this ritual, harmless in appearance, is faith. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

afsaana1 janam bhoomi ka gaRhna2 ye bataata(a)
eejad3 love jihad ka karna bhi ye kahta(b)
aur godhra fasaad4 ka qissa ye sunaata
phir muntazim5 ye Khoon Kharaaba6 bhi dikhaata
kitni hi saazishoN7 ka bhi mufsid8 yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. fable 2. concoct 3. invent 4. conspiracy, riot 5. organized 6. murder and mayhem 7. conspiracy, scheme 8. conspirator
Concocting the fiction of the birth place of Ram, and the invention of the story of “Love Jihad”, the story of post-Godhra riots, and the organized murder and mayhem all show that conspiring in these many evil acts is faith. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith. Love Jihad is a term used to imply that Muslim young men lure Hindu young women into (a pretense of) of love, marry them and convert them to Islam. Most recently, stories such as this were invented and spread widely during elections.

taba’e1 yaqin hai jo ke bardaasht2 na kare
tahqeeq3 ho, savaal ho, chaahe koi kare
tera yaqin hai jo ke nazzaara4 gul5 kare
tashkeek hai jo ilm ka darvaaza va6 kare
har zaaviye7 ko band jo karta yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. basic nature, DNA 2. tolerate 3. inquiry 4. vision 5. exinguish 6. fling open 7. angle, point of view
It is the basic nature of faith that it does not tolerate any inquiry, any question from anyone. Faith, by definition is “blind”, does not invite question itself, unlike science/logic which thrives on self-criticism. “Science is a celebration of human fallibility” – Medusa and the Snail, Lewis Thomas. It is your faith that extinguishes vision. It is skepticism that opens wide the door to learning. It is faith that closes off every point of view. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

rooh1 tahqiq ki be ma’ani2 bana deta hai
fatvoN3 ki Khurafaat4 ko eeman5 bana leta hai
shambukh6 ka gala kaaTne bhagwan bula leta hai
malaaleh ko qatal karne phir ek baar khaRa hota hai
har daur7 meN hunar8 ko jo raunda9 yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. spirit 2. meaningless 3. religious edicts 4. trivialities 5. faith 6. Shambukh of Ramayan 7. epoch, period 8. talent 9. trample
Faith renders meaningless the spirit of inquiry. Trivial edicts become articles of faith. It raises god to cut Shambukh’s head off. There is a story in Ramayan that a low caste young man by the name of Shambukh had learnt and was reciting Vedas. Hindu tradition has it that low caste individuals are not allowed to learn the Vedas. Ram (who is a manifestation of god on earth) apparently went and beheaded Shambukh for the crime of learning. It rises once again to kill Malaaleh. Malaleh is symbolic of all girls seeking to learn. It is ironic that “Taliban” (from talib e ilm – seeker of knowledge) should deny knowledge to girls. In every epoch it tramples upon the desire to learn. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith

bas deen1 ki jannat ka hai tu Khwaab dikhaata
yahweh2 ki chuni qaum3 ka fitna4 vo chalaata
avtaar5 das haiN ram kahaani6 koi kahta
eesa7 se gunaahoN ki talaafi8 vo bataata
har ek ki aaqebat9 ka ye da’ava10 yaqeen hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. religion Islam 2. Jewish god 3. people, nation 4. mischief 5. manifestations of Vishnu, god 6. long fable 7. Jesus 8. compensation, forgiveness 9. end, final judgment 10. claim
You show visions of heaven only for the (Islamic) faithful. They (Jews) perpetrate the mischief of a “chosen people”. They (the Hindus) tell fantastic fables of ten avtaars. Jesus absolves your sins, they (Christians) believe. Everyone’s claim of final judgment, based on faith. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

daaRhi koi rakhta to koi baal baRhaata
ek zibah1 kare doosra jhaTka2 hai lagaata
teerath3 koi karta koi kaabe ko hai jaata
ganga meN koi shnaan4 taharat5 koi karta
har aek samajhta hai Khuda daad6 yaqiN hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. ritual slitting of the throat to kill animals for eating 2. Sikh way of slaughter of animals for food 3. pilgrimage 4. ritual bathing 5. ritual ablutions 6. god given
Some grow a beard, others long hair. Some slaughter their meat one way, others another. Some go to the hills on pilgrimage, others to the Ka’aba Some bathe in the Ganges, others do ablutions. Everyone thinks their faith is a gift of god. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

Khud apni paarsaai1 pe ye naaz2 hai karta
sita ko danD3 dhobi ke kahne pe hai deta
yeklavya ka angooTha bhi hai kaaT ke rakhta
vaaman4 mahabali5 ko haN dhoka bhi hai deta
har qissa dekho Ghaur se neeti6 ka bharam7 hai
haN tera dharam, tera dharam, tera dharam hai
1. purity, greatness 2. pride 3. punishment 4. dwarf avtaar of Vishnu 5. Low caste king who was deceived by Vaman 6. principles 7. pretense, deception
Faith is boastful of its own sanctity, and punishes Sita on the rumours of a washerman. After Sita is retrieved, she was suspected of having been “defiled”. She went through “test by fire” which proved her “purity”. Even after this, on hearing rumours that a washerman refused to take his runaway wife back, telling her that he was not “like Ram”, Ram decided to punish Sita by banishing her to the forest. Faith cuts off the thumb of Eklavya. Eklavya was a low caste tribal boy who sought archery lessons from Dronacharya. He was turned away because of his caste. He made a statue of Dronacharya and practices archery in front of the statue, considering it his “guru”. He taught himself and became a better archer than Arjun. When Dronacharya discovered this, he demanded Eklavya’s thumb as “guru dakshina” – his fee. And yes, Vaman deceives Mahabali too. Mahabali was a low caste king and was reputed to be very kind and honest. His people were very happy with him, so much so that they neglected worship of the then reigning god, Indra. To set things right god (Vishnu) came down disguised as a dwarf and deceived Mahabali out of his kingdom. Consider every story carefully, it is an art of deception. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

rasta Khirad1 ka band yaqiN ne hai kar diya
suqraat2 ke savaal pe usko zahr diya
mansur3 ka bhi qatl4 an alhaq5 pe kar diya
yaaN tak galileo ka bhi likkha jala diya
har ek zabaaN jo kaaT ke rakkha yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. learning 2. Socrates 3. Mansur al Hallaj 4. killing 5. I am the Truth 6. Galileo
Faith has closed the door to learning and inquiry. Faith poisoned Socrates because he asked questions. It killed Mansur because he declared, “I am the Truth”. Mansur al Hallaj was a Sufi philosopher who traveled to India and studied the Vedas. On his return to Iran he wrote and declared “an al Haq” – “I am the truth”, declaring his oneness with god. He was sentenced to death but offered the chance to recant. He accepted death rather than recant his statement. He is used in Urdu poetry as a metphor for resistance. They even burnt the writings of Galileo. Galileo was also accused of heresy for suggesting that the earth revolved around the sun. That which cuts off every questioning tongue is faith. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

tujhko yaqin ilm puraani kutub1 meN hai
laikin agar Khirad ki bina2 hai to shak pe hai
kar in pe shak ke ilm ki aaGhaaz e rah3 ye hai
tera yaqin hai jo ke roke Khirad4 ko hai
tahqeeq ki sa’ee5 ko jo kaaTa yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. books 2. foundation 3. beginning of the path 4. learning, wisdom 5. inquiry 6. trying, effort
You are certain that all knowledge is in ancient books, but if there is a foundation of wisdom, it is in questioning, in skepticism. Question them for the road to learning begins here. It is your certainty that stands in the way of learning. That which impedes the work of inquiry is faith. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

qura’an ho ke geeta ho, injeel1 ya zuboor2
insaan ki Khirad ka nichoR3 in meN kuchh zaroor
bandish4 laga fahm5 pe, vahm6 meN phaNsa zahoor7
aage nikal gaya hai ab insaan ka sha’oor8
dekh irteqa9 ka raasta roka yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. Bible 2. Psalms of David, Torah 3. essence 4. tie down 5. understanding, reason 6. superstition 7. revelation, faith 8. wisdom, knowledge 9. progress
Be it the Qura’an or the Geeta, the Bible or the Torah, they surely contain some essence of human (not divine) learning. But inquiry is forbidden and revelation stuck in superstition. Human understanding has marched forward (leaving the faithful behind). Look the path to progress is stopped by faith. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

thoRa sa shak, thoRa shubah1, inkesaari2 kuchh
shahed tu is yaqin se kar le savaal kuchh
manzil pe pahunch jaae to manzil phir aur kuchh
hadd e nazar3 ko dekh ke aage talaash kuchh
tahqeeq ki parvaaz4 jo roka yaqeen hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai
1. suspicion 2. consideration for the other, humility 3. limits of sight 4. flight
A little doubt, some suspicion, a touch of humility. Shahed, ask some questions of this belief. And when you reach some understanding, then move on to a higher level. Look to the ends of sight, then search beyond. The spirit of inquiry is stifled by faith. Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith. Acknowleding Bertrand Russell’s essay “On Skepticism” which shaped my thinking ever since I read it in my teenage years. And that master of masters … Mirza Ghalib …
manzar ek balandi par aur ham banaa lete
arsh se udhar hota kaash ke makaaN apna

tashkeek – shahed

Overall Comments

Shahed (that is me) is a beginner in learning Urdu, leave aside in composing Urdu poetry.  But fools rush in where angels fear to tread.  Some of my compositions are also posted here.  This composition is heavily influenced by Bertrand Russell’s Skeptical Essays which I read in my teenage years and also by “Science is a celebration of human fallibility” – learning from mistakes and moving on.  I am egged on by my irreverence.

kaamil1 tera hi haq2 tu magan is Khushi meN hai
haa’el3 yaqin4 ilm meN ho mujh ko Dar ye hai
Khud farebi5 hisaar6 baandhe baRa mutamain7 tu hai
manzar8 ayaaN9 Khirad10 ke haiN tujh ko Khabar11 bhi hai
andhe kueN meN baandh ke rakkha yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. complete  2. truth, belief  3. obstruct  4. certainty, belief  5. self-deception
6. parapet, boundary  7. satisfied  8. scenes, manifestations  9. apparent, visible  10. knowledge  11. awareness
You revel in the thought that your faith is perfect, but I fear that this stands in the way of learning.  You are satisfied in a fortress of self-deception, oblivious that visions of wisdom abound outside.  Your faith has confined you to a deep, dark well.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.  Acknowledging Josh Malihabadi and as a tribute to him, this is written in the style (Khaakam ba dahan) of his “gulbadani” but of course, with a very different theme.

manzil1 ise samajh ke tu aaram hai karta
suljhaane2 paheli3 ko maiN bechain4 huN phirta
Khud apni samajh kaaT ke aage huN maiN baRhta
is jadd o jahad5 ko hi maiN manzil huN samajhta
raftaar6 justaju7 meN hai Thahra8 yaqin hai
haaN ter yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. destination  2. to solve  3. puzzle  4. restless  5. struggle  6. speed, forward movement  7. trying, effort  8. stationary, static
You are comfortable, thinking that you have arrived.  I am restless, seeking a solution to the puzzle.  I prove myself wrong, and keep moving.  This struggle itself, I consider my goal.  Forward movement is in trying, faith stands still.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith

beshak1 yaqiN Gharib ko ummeed hai deta
laikin isi dhoke meN haqeeqat2 bhi chhupaata
Ghurbat3 ka asal raaz4 chhupaaye hue rakhta
is vaaste sarmaaye5 ka hai raj bhi chalta
Ghurbat ke sar afeem6 chaRhaata yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. without doubt  2. reality, truth  3. poverty  4. secret  5. capital  6. afyoon, opium
No doubt, faith gives us some hope, but in this deception it hides the truth.  It hides the real reason for deprivation.  Thus does Capital maintain its hegemony.  Faith opiates to the deprived.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

tayaqqun1 hi ne Khudkush2 ke junooN3 ko hai baRhaaya
tauheen e risaalat4 ka bhi hai DhoNg rachaaya
jannat ki alif laila5 meN hooroN ko nachaaya
beTe ko zibah baap ke haathoN se karaaya
paTTi har ek ki aaNkh pe baandha yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. certainty, faith  2. suicide  bomber  3. passion, madness 4. insulting the prophet  5. Arabian Nights, fables 6. sacrifice by slitting throat
Faith it is that abets the frenzied suicide bomber.  Faith creates the bogeyman of “insulting the prophet” (blasphemy laws).  Faith dangles the temptation of hoories in heaven.  It is blind faith that makes a father slaughter his son.  Biblical and Islamic lore has it that Abraham slaughtered his son.  At the last minute, unbeknownst to Abraham, god replaced the son with a ram.  Abraham had a blindfold because he could not “bear to see the suffering of his son” … never the less, he obeyed the order blindly and thought that he was actually slaughtering his son. I suppose the moral of the story is that blind obedience even to the most senseless instructions is held as an ideal.  A blindfold on everyone’s eyes, ties faith.  The blindfold on the eyes of Abraham is a metaphor for a suspension of critical thinking – not just for Abraham but for all blind believers.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

Khudkush1 ne KhuN bahaya hue tere haath laal
deta kahiN ho tera yaqiN usko ishte’aal2
allah tera hafiz3  hai Khuda par tujhe malaal4
injeel5 se ilah6 ko nikaala yahi Khyaal
is be zarar7 rasam, ke bhi peechhe yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. suicide  bomber 2. incite  3. protector  4. unhappiness  5. Bible
6. another form of allah  7. harmless  8. ritual
The suicide (bomber) has spilled blood, your hands are red because, perhaps the strength of your faith too, incites him.  You insist on allah hafiz, Khuda makes you unhappy.  Recent practice is for some Indian/Pakistani Muslims to insist on saying allah hafiz, instead of the more traditional Khuda hafiz.  The unspoken thought behind this is that the word “Khuda” is non-Arabic (Farsi and pre-Islamic) therefore does not represent god.  The word allah is to be preferred without realizing that this also pre-dates Islam and is used as a common noun for all concepts of god.  This thought of yours has taken “allah” out of the bible.  A recent court ruling in Malaysia decreed that the word “allah” is Islamic and shall not appear in Bibles or church school books written in Malay as if the  word “allah” is copyrighted.  In fact, “allah” is a pre-Islamic word and was used for the chief of the gods of pre-Islamic Arabs as also by Arab Christians before Islam.  It is still inscribed on the walls of old Coptic Churches in Egypt.  Behind this ritual, harmless in appearance, is faith.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

afsaana1 janam bhoomi ka gaRhna2 ye bataata
eejad3 love jihad ka karna bhi ye kahta
aur godhra fasaad4 ka qissa ye sunaata
phir muntazim5 ye Khoon Kharaaba6 bhi dikhaata
kitni hi saazishoN7 ka bhi mufsid8 yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. fable  2. concoct  3. invent  4. conspiracy, riot  5. organized  6. murder and mayhem 7. conspiracy, scheme  8. conspirator
Concocting the fiction of the birth place of Ram, and the invention of the story of “Love Jihad”, the story of post-Godhra riots, and the organized murder and mayhem all show that conspiring in these many evil acts is faith.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.  Love Jihad is a term used to imply that Muslim young men lure Hindu young women into (a pretense of) of love, marry them and convert them to Islam.  Most recently, stories such as this were invented and spread widely during elections.

taba’e1 yaqin hai jo ke bardaasht2 na kare
tahqeeq3 ho, savaal ho, chaahe koi kare
tera yaqin hai jo ke nazzaara4 gul5 kare
tashkeek hai jo ilm ka darvaaza va6 kare
har zaaviye7 ko band jo karta yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. basic nature, DNA  2. tolerate  3. inquiry  4. vision  5. exinguish  6. fling open  7. angle, point of view
It is the basic nature of faith that it does not tolerate any inquiry, any question from anyone.  Faith, by definition is “blind”, does not invite question itself, unlike science/logic which thrives on self-criticism.  “Science is a celebration of human fallibility” – Medusa and the Snail, Lewis Thomas.  It is your faith that extinguishes vision.  It is skepticism that opens wide the door to learning.  It is faith that closes off every point of view.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

rooh1 tahqiq ki be ma’ani2 bana deta hai
fatvoN3 ki Khurafaat4 ko eeman5 bana leta hai
shambukh6 ka gala kaaTne bhagwan bula leta hai
malaaleh ko qatal karne phir ek baar khaRa hota hai
har daur7 meN hunar8 ko jo raunda9 yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. spirit  2. meaningless  3. religious edicts  4. trivialities  5. faith  6. Shambukh of Ramayan  7. epoch, period  8. talent  9. trample
Faith renders meaningless the spirit of inquiry.  Trivial edicts become articles of faith.  It raises god to cut Shambukh’s head off.  There is a story in Ramayan that a low caste young man by the name of Shambukh had learnt and was reciting Vedas.  Hindu tradition has it that low caste individuals are not allowed to learn the Vedas.  Ram (who is a manifestation of god on earth) apparently went and beheaded Shambukh for the crime of learning.  It rises once again to kill Malaaleh.  Malaleh is symbolic of all girls seeking to learn.  It is ironic that “Taliban” (from talib e ilm – seeker of knowledge) should deny knowledge to girls.  In every epoch it tramples upon the desire to learn.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith

bas deen1 ki jannat ka hai tu Khwaab dikhaata
yahweh2 ki chuni qaum3 ka fitna4 vo chalaata
avtaar5 das haiN ram kahaani6 koi kahta
eesa7 se gunaahoN ki talaafi8 vo bataata
har ek ki aaqebat9 ka ye da’ava10 yaqeen hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. religion  Islam  2. Jewish god  3. people, nation  4. mischief
5. manifestations of Vishnu, god 6. long fable  7. Jesus  8. compensation, forgiveness 9. end, final judgment  10. claim
You show visions of heaven only for the (Islamic) faithful.  They (Jews) perpetrate the mischief of a “chosen people”.  They (the Hindus) tell fantastic fables of ten avtaars.  Jesus absolves your sins, they (Christians) believe.  Everyone’s claim of final judgment, based on faith.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

daaRhi koi rakhta to koi baal baRhaata
ek zibah1 kare doosra jhaTka2 hai lagaata
teerath3 koi karta koi kaabe ko hai jaata
ganga meN koi shnaan4 taharat5 koi karta
har aek samajhta hai Khuda daad6 yaqiN hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. ritual slitting of the throat to kill animals for eating 2. Sikh way of slaughter of animals for food 3. pilgrimage 4. ritual bathing  5. ritual ablutions  6. god given
Some grow a beard, others long hair.  Some slaughter their meat one way, others another.  Some go to the hills on pilgrimage, others to the Ka’aba
Some bathe in the Ganges, others do ablutions.  Everyone thinks their faith is a gift of god.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

Khud apni paarsaai1 pe ye naaz2 hai karta
sita ko danD3 dhobi ke kahne pe hai deta
yeklavya ka angooTha bhi hai kaaT ke rakhta
vaaman4 mahabali5 ko haN dhoka bhi hai deta
har qissa dekho Ghaur se neeti6 ka bharam7 hai
haN tera dharam, tera dharam, tera dharam hai

1. purity, greatness 2. pride 3. punishment 4. dwarf avtaar of Vishnu 5. Low caste king who was deceived by Vaman 6. principles 7. pretense, deception
Faith is boastful of its own sanctity, and punishes Sita on the rumours of a washerman.  After Sita is retrieved, she was suspected of having been “defiled”.  She went through “test by fire” which proved her “purity”.  Even after this, on hearing rumours that a washerman refused to take his ranaway wife back, telling her that he was not “like Ram”, Ram decided to punish Sita by banishing her to the forest.  Faith cuts off the thumb of Eklavya.  Eklavya was a low caste tribal boy who sought archery lessons from Dronacharya.  He was turned away because of his caste.  He made a statue of Dronacharya and practices archery in front of the statue, considering it his “guru”.  He taught himself and became a better archer than Arjun.  When Dronacharya discovered this, he demanded Eklavya’s thumb as “guru dakshina” – his fee.  And yes, Vaman deceives Mahabali too.   Mahabali was a low caste king and was reputed to be very kind and honest.  His people were very happy with him, so much so that they neglected worship of the then reigning god, Indra.  To set things right god (Vishnu) came down disguised as a dwarf and deceived Mahabali out of his kingdom.   Consider every story carefully, it is an art of deception.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

rasta Khirad1 ka band yaqiN ne hai kar diya
suqraat2 ke savaal pe usko zahr diya
mansur3 ka bhi qatl4 an alhaq5 pe kar diya
yaaN tak galileo ka bhi likkha jala diya
har ek zabaaN jo kaaT ke rakkha yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. learning 2. Socrates 3. Mansur al Hallaj 4. killing 5. I am the Truth 6. Galileo
Faith has closed the door to learning and inquiry.  Faith poisoned Socrates because he asked questions.  It killed Mansur because he declared, “I am the Truth”.  Mansur al Hallaj was a Sufi philosopher who traveled to India and studied the Vedas.  On his return to Iran he wrote and declared “an al Haq” – “I am the truth”, declaring his oneness with god.  He was sentenced to death but offered the chance to recant.  He accepted death rather than recant his statement.  He is used in Urdu poetry as a metphor for resistance.  They even burnt the writings of Galileo.  Galileo was also accused of heresy for suggesting that the earth revolved around the sun.  That which cuts off every questioning tongue is faith.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

tujhko yaqin ilm puraani kutub1 meN hai
laikin agar Khirad ki bina2 hai to shak pe hai
kar in pe shak ke ilm ki aaGhaaz e rah3 ye hai
tera yaqin hai jo ke roke Khirad4 ko hai
tahqeeq ki sa’ee5 ko jo kaaTa yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. books  2. foundation  3. beginning of the path 4. learning, wisdom  5. inquiry  6. trying, effort
You are certain that all knowledge is in ancient books, but if there is a foundation of wisdom, it is in questioning, in skepticism.  Question them for the road to learning begins here.  It is your certainty that stands in the way of learning.  That which impedes the work of inquiry is faith.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

qura’an ho ke geeta ho, injeel1 ya zuboor2
insaan ki Khirad ka nichoR3 in meN kuchh zaroor
bandish4 laga fahm5 pe, vahm6 meN phaNsa zahoor7
aage nikal gaya hai ab insaan ka sha’oor8
dekh irteqa9 ka raasta roka yaqin hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. Bible  2. Psalms of David, Torah  3. essence  4. tie down 5. understanding, reason  6. superstition  7. revelation, faith 8. wisdom, knowledge  9. progress
Be it the Qura’an or the Geeta, the Bible or the Torah, they surely contain some essence of human (not divine) learning.  But inquiry is forbidden and revelation stuck in superstition.  Human understanding has marched forward (leaving the faithful behind).  Look the path to progress is stopped by faith.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.

thoRa sa shak, thoRa shubah1, inkesaari2 kuchh
shahed tu is yaqin se kar le savaal kuchh
manzil pe pahunch jaae to manzil phir aur kuchh
hadd e nazar3 ko dekh ke aage talaash kuchh
tahqeeq ki parvaaz4 jo roka yaqeen hai
haaN tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN, tera yaqiN hai

1. suspicion  2. consideration for the other, humility 3. limits of sight  4. flight
A little doubt, some suspicion, a touch of humility.  Shahed, ask some questions of this belief.  And when you reach some understanding, then move on to a higher level.  Look to the ends of sight, then search beyond.  The spirit of inquiry is stifled by faith.  Yes, your faith, your faith it is, indeed your faith.
Acknowleding Bertrand Russell’s essay “On Skepticism” which shaped my thinking ever since I read it in my teenage years.  And that master of masters … Mirza Ghalib …

manzar ek balandi par aur ham banaa lete
arsh se udhar hota kaash ke makaaN apna

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