yuN hota to kya hota-shahed shuru’aat

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

یوں ہوتا تو کیا ہوتا ۔ سید محمّد شاہد

۱

غالبؔ نے جو پوچھا تھا، یوں ہوتا تو کیا ہوتا

سوچو تو کہ کیا ہوتا، گر غور کیا ہوتا

۲

جس گھر میں ہوا پیدا، گر تُو نہ وہاں ہوتا

ایماں ترا کیا ہوتا، مسلک ترا کیا ہوتا

۳

ممکن ہے تُو دوزخ میں، جنّت میں مگر بی بی

اُس کو بھی بَہتّر کیوں، غِلماں نہ دیا ہوتا

۴

گر تو نہ سمجھتا کہ، تیرا ہی وطن افضل

وطنیّت بھی نہیں ہوتی، جنگجو نہ ہوا ہوتا

۵

پیدائشی برہمن، مردود اور اچھوت

اجلاف بھی نہ ہوتے، اشرف نہ ہوا ہوتا

۶

کہتے ہیں وہی ہوتا، قِسمت میں جو ہے لِکّھا

تیری رضا سے لِکّھی تقدیر تو کیا ہوتا

۷

ہے زیست کا مقصد کیا، اللہ ہی جانے ہے

مقصد تُو خود اپنا، بنا لیتا تو کیا ہوتا

۸

دانشوری یہی ہے، پردا جو فہم پر ہے

وہ پھاڑ کر نکلتا، آگے جو بڑھا ہوتا

۹

کہتا تو بہت کچھ ہے، پر یہ نہ بھول شاہدؔ

ماں باپ کی شفقّت، ملتی نہ تو کیا ہوتا

۱۰

دنیا سے تو اُردو کی، محروم گُذر جاتا

معظمؔ نے تجھے شاہدؔ محرم نہ کیا ہوتا

 

यूं होता तो क्या होता – सय्यद मोहम्मद शाहेद

ग़ालिब ने जो पूछा था, यूं होता तो क्या होता

सोचो तो के क्या होता, गर ग़ौर किया होता

जिस घर में हुआ पैदा, गर तू न वहां होता

ईमां तेरा क्या होता, मस्लक तेरा क्या होता

मुम्किन है तु दोज़ख़ में, जन्नत में मगर बीबी

उस को भी बहत्तर क्यूं, ग़िल्मां न दिया होता

गर तू न समझता के, तेरा ही वतन अफ़्ज़ल

वतनिय्यत भी नहीं होती, जंगजू न हुआ होता

पैदा’एशी बरहमन, मर्दूद और अछूत

अज्लाफ़ भी न होते, अश्रफ़ न हुआ होता

कहते है वही होता, क़िस्मत में जो है लिक्खा

तेरी रज़ा से लिक्खी तक़्दीर तो क्या होता

है ज़ीस्त का मक़्सद क्या, अल्लाह हि जाने है

मक़्सद तु ख़ुद अपना, बना लेता तो क्या होता

दानिश्वरी यही है, पर्दा जो फ़हम पर है

वो फाड़ कर निकलता, आगे जो बढा होता

कहता तो बहुत कुछ है, पर ये न भूल शाहेद

मां बाप की शफ़क़्क़त, मिल्ती न तो क्या होता

१०

दुनिया से तु उर्दू की, महरूम गुज़र जाता

मो’अज़्ज़म ने तुझे शाहेद, महरम न किया होता

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. syed mohammed shahed (1944-living) came to urdu late in life, but early to skepticism, inquiry and unbelief. Irreverent and rebellious, he enjoys retirement in sunny southern California, learning urdu and growing exotic fruit. As he has collected Ghazal modeled after Ghalib, from far and wide, he has been motivated to compose some of his own. This Ghazal, styled after Ghalib’s “na tha kuchh to Khuda tha, kuchh na hota to Khuda hota” is yet another transgression.
1
Ghalib ne jo poochha tha, yuN hota to kya hota
socho to keh kya hota, gar Ghaur1 kiya hota    
1.carefully thought through, analyzed
That which Ghalib had asked, “if this had been, then what would have happened”. Just think, what might have happened, if we had thought about it carefully.

2
jis ghar1 meN hua paida, gar2 tu na vahaaN hota
eemaaN3 tera kya hota, maslak4 tera kya hota    
1.home, family 2.if 3.faith, belief 4.path, way, religious practice
The family that you were born into, if you had not been born in it, what would have been your faith/belief, what would have been your religious practice i.e. animosity between religious communities born of certitude would have been reduced.

3
mumkin hai tu dozaKh1 meN, jannat meN magar bibi2
us ko bhi bahattar3 kyuN, GhilmaaN4 na diya hota  
1.hell 2.wife 3.seventy two 4.slave, male equivalent of hoor
The focus is not on what is ‘true’ and what real faith says. The focus is on popular imagery which is highly male-centric, with the man in heaven getting 72 hoors to attend to his pleasures. What about the woman! What if you (man) burn in hell and your wife arrives in heaven. Why should she not get 72 male slaves to attend to her pleasures! Why is this totally absent from popular imagery! On top of it all a government of pakistan web based disctionary “http://udb.gov.pk/result.php?search=%D8%BA%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86&posi=offline” gives the meaning of ‘Ghilmaan’ as ‘nau-umr Khoobsuurat laRka’ i.e. the subliminal message is that they are intended for the pleasure of men.

4
gar1 tu na samajhta keh, tera hi vatan2 afzal3
vataniyyat4 bhi nahiN hoti, jangju5 na hua hota   
1.if 2.homeland 3.superior 4.nationalism 5.war-monger, warlike
If you had not thought that only your homeland is superior, then there would not have been (militant) nationalism nor would there have been war-mongers.

5
paidaa’eshi1 barhaman, marduud2 aur achhuut3
ajlaaf4 bhi na hote, ashraf5 na hua hota    
1.by birth 2.rejected 3.untouchable 4.low class, vulgar, scum 5.superior, noble
Although, technically there is no caste system in islam, among Indian muslims the concept of caste/class takes the form of ashraaf vs ajlaaf and can be considered the rough equivalent of the hindu caste system, even if not as extreme. Thus, by birth you are either brahman or ashraf or you are considered untouchable, ajlaaf/scum of society and rejected. The implication is that if you had thought about it, no one would be categorized like this by birth.

6
kahte haiN vahi hota, qismat meN jo hai likkha
teri raza1 se likkhi taqdiir2 to kya hota     
1.will, agreement 2.fate
This reflects a she’r of mohammed iqbal …
Khudi ko kar baland itna keh har taqdiir se pahle
Khuda bande se Khud poochhe, bata teri raza kya hai
Raise your self-reliance so much that before writing your fate
god himself asks the devotee, what is your will
Thus, we all acquiese to whatever happens and explain it away as fate. But it you had thought and then fate would have been written with your agreement. What would have happened then i.e. you would have been in control of your own fate.

7
hai ziist1 ka maqsad2 kya, allaah hi jaane hai
maqsad tu Khud apna, bana leta to kya hota    
1.life 2.purpose
When we think of the “purpose of life” we deflect it to “god’s purpose in creating us”. Instead of that “deflection” if we think and decide the purpose of our own life i.e. our own goals, then would have happened!

8
daanishvari1 yahi hai, parda2 jo faham3 par hai
vo phaaR kar nikalta, aage jo baRha hota    
1.wisdom 2.curtain, mystery 3.knowledge
The history of human knowledge tells us that humanity has always come up against the limit/curtain of knowledge and through reason/thought/research torn through this curtain and advanced. If we think about this (instead of accepting blind belief), then what could have happened.

9
kahta to bahut kuchh hai, par ye na bhool shahed1
maaN baap ki shafaqqat2, milti na to kya hota    
1.name and pen-name of this beginner 2.love, nurturing
You talk (brag) too much, O, shahed, but do not forget, where would you have been, if you had not received the love and nurturing of your father and mother (and many others).

10
duniya se tu urdu ki, mahroom1 guzar2 jaata
moazzam3 ne tujhe shahed4, mahram5 na kiya hota    
1.deprived, unaware 2.passed through 3.moazzam siddiqi – my teacher/mentor in urdu 4.name and pen-name of this beginner 5.familiar, friend
O, shahed, you would have passed through the world of urdu, deprived/unaware of its nuances, had moazzam (who has been patiently and generously teaching me for more than ten years) not made you familiar with it.

syed mohammed shahed (1944-living) came to urdu late in life, but early to skepticism, inquiry and unbelief.  Irreverent and rebellious, he enjoys retirement in sunny southern California, learning urdu and growing exotic fruit.  As he has collected Ghazal modeled after Ghalib, from far and wide, he has been motivated to compose some of his own.  This Ghazal, styled after Ghalib’s “na tha kuchh to Khuda tha, kuchh na hota to Khuda hota” is yet another transgression.  He asks uncomfortable questions in the spirit of ‘yuN hota to kya hota’.
1
Ghalib ne jo poochha tha, yuN hota to kya hota
socho to keh kya hota, gar Ghaur1 kiya hota

1.carefully thought through, analyzed

That which Ghalib had asked, “if this had been, then what would have happened”.  Just think, what might have happened, if we had thought about it carefully.
2
jis ghar1 meN hua paida, gar2 tu na vahaaN hota
eemaaN3 tera kya hota, maslak4 tera kya hota

1.home, family 2.if 3.faith, belief 4.path, way, religious practice

The family that you were born into, if you had not been born in it, what would have been your faith/belief, what would have been your religious practice i.e. animosity between religious communities born of certitude would have been reduced.
3
mumkin hai tu dozaKh1 meN, jannat meN magar bibi2
us ko bhi bahattar3 kyuN, GhilmaaN4 na diya hota

1.hell 2.wife 3.seventy two 4.slave, male equivalent of hoor

The focus is not on what is ‘true’ and what real faith says.  The focus is on popular imagery which is highly male-centric, with the man in heaven getting 72 hoors to attend to his pleasures.  What about the woman!  What if you (man) burn in hell and your wife arrives in heaven.  Why should she not get 72 male slaves to attend to her pleasures!  Why is this totally absent from popular imagery!  On top of it all a government of pakistan web based disctionary “http://udb.gov.pk/result.php?search=%D8%BA%D9%84%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%86&posi=offline” gives the meaning of ‘Ghilmaan’ as ‘nau-umr Khoobsuurat laRka’ i.e. the subliminal message is that they are intended for the pleasure of men.
4
gar1 tu na samajhta keh, tera hi vatan2 afzal3
vataniyyat4 bhi nahiN hoti, jangju5 na hua hota

1.if 2.homeland 3.superior 4.nationalism 5.war-monger, warlike

If you had not thought that only your homeland is superior, then there would not have been (militant) nationalism nor would there have been war-mongers.
4
paidaa’eshi1 barhaman, marduud2 aur achhuut3
ajlaaf4 bhi na hote, ashraf5 na hua hota

1.by birth 2.rejected 3.untouchable 4.low class, vulgar, scum 5.superior, noble

Although, technically there is no caste system in islam, among Indian muslims the concept of caste/class takes the form of ashraaf vs ajlaaf and can be considered the rough equivalent of the hindu caste system, even if not as extreme.  Thus, by birth you are either brahman or ashraf or you are considered untouchable, ajlaaf/scum of society and rejected.  The implication is that if you had thought about it, no one would be categorized like this by birth.
5
kahte haiN vahi hota, qismat meN jo hai likkha
teri raza1 se likkhi taqdiir2 to kya hota

1.will, agreement 2.fate

This reflects a she’r of mohammed iqbal …
Khudi ko kar baland itna keh har taqdiir se pahle
Khuda bande se Khud poochhe, bata teri raza kya hai
Raise your self-reliance so much that before writing your fate
god himself asks the devotee, what is your will
Thus, we all acquiese to whatever happens and explain it away as fate.  But it you had thought and then fate would have been written with your agreement.  What would have happened then i.e. you would have been in control of your own fate.
6
hai ziist1 ka maqsad2 kya, allaah hi jaane hai
maqsad tu Khud apna, bana leta to kya hota

1.life 2.purpose

When we think of the “purpose of life” we deflect it to “god’s purpose in creating us”.  Instead of that “deflection” if we think and decide the purpose of our own life i.e. our own goals, then would have happened!
7
daanishvari1 yahi hai, parda2 jo faham3 par hai
vo phaaR kar nikalta, aage jo baRha hota

1.wisdom 2.curtain, mystery 3.knowledge

The history of human knowledge tells us that humanity has always come up against the limit/curtain of knowledge and through reason/thought/research torn through this curtain and advanced.  If we think about this (instead of accepting blind belief), then what could have happened.
8
kahta to bahut kuchh hai, par ye na bhool shahed1
maaN baap ki shafaqqat2, milti na to kya hota

1.name and pen-name of this beginner 2.love, nurturing

You talk (brag) too much, O, shahed, but do not forget, where would you have been, if you had not received the love and nurturing of your father and mother (and many others).
9
duniya se tu urdu ki, mahroom1 guzar2 jaata
moazzam3 ne tujhe shahed4, mahram5 na kiya hota

1.deprived, unaware 2.passed through 3.moazzam siddiqi – my teacher/mentor in urdu 4.name and pen-name of this beginner 5.familiar, friend

O, shahed, you would have passed through the world of urdu, deprived/unaware of its nuances, had moazzam (who has been patiently and generously teaching me for more than ten years) not made you familiar with it.

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