Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The folly of reading Ghalib as un-Muslim- Ghazal 65

Every beauty throngs to thee, by propinquity, in all candor
I only accede to tyranny, so a rival raise thy dander

Ghalib wrote this when he was about 19

sitam-kash maṣlaḥat se hūñ kih ḳhūbāñ tujh pah ʿāshiq haiñ
takalluf bar-t̤araf mil jāʾegā tujh-sā raqīb āḳhir
1) I am oppression-accepting from advice/prudence, for beautiful ones are your lovers
2) {leaving aside formality / 'to tell the truth'}, a Rival like you will become available [to me] finally

The commentators, and Prof Pritchett herself, take Raqib as 'rival in love' and neglect its other meaning, when applied to God, as protector as in the phrase 'Allah raqib'.

No comments: