Thursday, January 19, 2012

On Ghalib

We shall begin with an anecdote told to us by late Miyan, may Allah show His Mercy to him. The story is about Dr Zakir Hussain's stay in Germany. Some one asked him as to was the greatest poet of his mother tongue. Naturally Ghalib's name came in the discussion. Anything of him available to the foreigners? When some book was presented to that person on Ghalib's poetry he remarked how shabbily you treat your best poet. A good point. No wonder Dr Zakir Hussain, with the help of some one else, published a short collection of Ghalib's poetry in a presentable form.

Now let us come to the point that was roaming in the ecology of yours truly's mind. There is couplet by Ghalib:

Ye masa-il-e-tasawwuf, ye tera bayan ghalib
Tujhe hum wali samajhte jo na badah khar hota

This discourse on Mysticism, this sermon of yours
But for your drinking would have mistaken you for a Wali

A Wali is a Friend of Allah - a pious man.
Here the first observation is that this is self criticism by the poet. Seeing his overall attitude one will conclude that this is a patting of the self on the back. But this too can not be the whole truth. One has to look as to what he used to think about himself in the serious moments. There is a reason for that. Suppose there is a person with overall careless attitude but this attitude is just to overcome the miseries of life in which he finds himself and can not, in fact does not want to, share with others. Then the overall visible reality is completely replaced by this single technical detail. It is a great loss if a person squanders away his time in carelessness and in those actions that do not bring rewards in the hereafter but this does not cancel the license to Jannah. Jannah depends on faith and belief in Allah(SWT)  as He is in his attributes and in accepting all of His injunctions. This much is already included in There is no god bu God and Muhammed (PBUH) is His messenger.
And one decent rule of life is to keep things simple.
So if we take the couplet at the face value it only says that he is accepting his weakness - an action of piety.
Thus a good thing for us too will be to get back to our duties.