Saturday, 20 July 2013

Is Poetry Universal?- a gristly verse of Mir

Is poetry Universal?
Stupidity, we know, is universal and poetry, we have been taught, is what stupid people now go in for to make believe they are smart.
Over the last 40 years, Translations, of the best American Academic type- and 22,000 new M.F.A's add more to the pool every decade- have indeed made poetry Universal in this special sense. Great energy and enterprise has been devoted to this end. Suppose the Jodrell Bank radio telescope detects a transmission of alien poetry from some distant Galaxy. It will be seamlessly translated into shit long before it is even deciphered. The same thing will happen after it is deciphered. Thus, a Globalized translation industry has already yielded us a Universalized poetry. Advanced Galactic Civilizations have banned contact with less developed planets precisely for this reason. They too have Academic poetry translators just itching for something 'primitive' to vomit all over.

Theology was once the Universal form of Stupidity and that was cool because, if you think about it, God makes us stupid.
But, Poetry?
It used to be the thing that knit the people of an oikumene together.
I guess that's more profitably done by S.U.V's and Shopping Malls.
Since India now has plenty of both, what is the point of Poetry? One answer, I think, is that with the aid of distinguished Globalised academics, people belonging to different Religions from different parts of India can at last come to despise everything venerable possessed by each other as worthless shite .
How? Why? Academic translations of and commentaries on great vernacular poets focus entirely on proving not just the poets themselves, but their entire intellectual milieu, to have been utterly stupid. 
In the past, we had to take the savants at their word when they assured us that our great poets were incorrigible fuckwits. Now, thanks to Google search, we can find things out for ourselves and discover that the reverse is the case. The great poets of other religions, other times, other languages were just so-oooo much smarter, wiser, more sophisticated in their thinking than we can ever hope to be.

Look at this ghazal of Mir Taqi Mir's-
                                      - 'vājib kā ho nah mumkin maṣdar ṣifat ṡanā kā/
                                           qudrat se us kī lab par nām āve hai ḳhudā kā 
The first line is difficult to make sense of because there is a word-play involvng Arabic grammatical terminology- but it means something like-  Though necessary (for salvation), finding the source of ecstatic praise of the name and attributes of God is highly improbable.
The second line is limpid-  'By the power of Nature, the name of God has come upon her lips'- which is what happens in my erotic reveries featuring hotties like Angela Merkel & Nancy Pelosi who, notwithstanding the Satanic origin of their Socialist beliefs, nevertheless cry out the name of Our Saviour in the throes of passion.
The second couplet of the ghazal is-
Every hair of my body is horripilated by the jaundice of Grief. The dust print on my shroud is the map of which gold mine? - i.e. Grief has turned me into the Gold mine sought by Mystical Alchemy but rather than my gaining immortality or the status of the perfect man, I am a sort of reverse Midas, deadened by what most touches me.
A gold mine is similar to 'masdar'- which means 'source' and, in grammar, is the basic verbal noun from which everything else is derived. God, of course, is the source of all things and it is our duty to praise Him both formally and ecstatically. However, to experience ecstasy while calling out the name of God is not a duty we can discharge simply out of a sense of obligation. It is a halachah vein morin kein. The knowledge that it is necessary for us forecloses the path to its fulfilment. This isn't a case of 'fake it till you make it'. What's totally unfair is that Tyrannical hotties, though thoroughgoing Satanic Socialists, like Merkel & Pelosi, nevertheless are saved, at least in our wet dreams of them, coz they're all like thrashing about screaming 'O God, O God, O God, O GOD!'
In Arabic, I'm guessing, this would be 'Subhan-allah!' which is interesting because there is a doubt as to whether the word Subhan (Glory) is a verbal noun derived from a 3 letter root in the typical way, or if it is 'ismul masdar' without such a root.
Q: Is Subhān (Glory) a Masdar or Ismul-Masdar? In other words is this word a state of something in and of itself, or is it extracted from an actual verb?

A: The learned sages inclined towards both options, some said Subhānallāh (Glory for Allah) is Masdar a verbal noun extracted from the verb Sabaha and some others said Subhānallāh (Glory for Allah) is an Ismul-Masdar again a verbal noun though it is not extracted from any verb i.e. Subhān (Praise) is a Hāla (State) of Wujud (Being) and has no verbal equivalent. 

This shows that the 'sana' in the first line of the couplet (which means praise not necessarily directed at the Deity but which might focus on His attributes) gives us a clue as to in what form the 'name of God has come upon her lips'. If she has said 'Subhanallah!' then she has, in a sense, achieved a mystical station (Hala) within the hidden hierarchy of Being (Wujud) which is, wajib al-wujud bi-dhatihi, by itself necessarily Existent but only by reason of al lawh ul mahfuz's- all Scription's sykophántēs ascription to a thereby fig-leaf contingent- bi-ghairihi God.

However, our contemplation of her Subhanallah, far from pleasing us sensually by allowing us to glimpse 'the lineaments of gratified desire' has had the opposite effect- we have become the reverse Midas of what most touches us and perish of that Grief whose alchemy impoverishes the slave while permitting the tyrant to climb higher in the chain of Being.
Which is like toooootally unfair.

The Tetragrammaton, to me taunt,  upon her wanton lips
 Appears Salvation's font in Oneiric apocalypse
So jaundiced by what most touches me
I am the Midas of Grief's alchemy

Okay, mebbe that's a bit crap, still it's an attempt to highlight what is interesting here- viz. a dry as dust deontological issue of a substantivist Theological type being re-cast in highly wrought relationist terms, that too within a wholly transgressive erotic mise en scene.

But what I have written above is quite worthless. It is not Academic. It is not Universal. 

Prof. Pritchett & Prof.S.R. Faruqi's commentary on this 'gristly verse of Mir's'.
The salient points are
1) vajib is taken to be 'a thing without which something else cannot exist'- i.e. something necessary rather than contingent.
On this reading, Faruqi treats this couplet as straightforward speculative Metaphysics of a Universal kind. Following him, albeit with some reservations, Pritchett gives us this-
1) the necessary wouldn't [be able to] be contingent, like praise of the origin/source,
2) through that one's nature/Power, on the lip the name of the Lord comes
This may be meaningful- precisely because it is 'Universal'- to Academic or American translators- they write worse everyday- but, to me, it is not intelligible,or indeed recognizable as being related to Mir's couplet.
Vajib, for a cultured and devout Muslim from a Hanafi majority country- or indeed a Hindu from that country- must mean something more than 'necessary'. It is that type of duty which isn't made absolutely clear and unambiguous and which thus requires some hermeneutic effort or imaginative engagement on our part. 
'If there is a binding demand from the lawgiver to do something, it is wazib. However, the Hanafi's consider the demand Fard when both text and the meaning are definitive (qati) and wazib when either the text or meaning is speculative (Zanni - because liable to interpretation of meaning or investigation of authenticity). Difference between Fard and Wazib has important consequence. Denial of binding nature of a command established by definitive proof (Fard by Qati evidence) leads to unbelief. However, denial of Wazib (according to Hanafi's) or 2nd category of Fard (according to the majority) lead to transgression (Fisq).'
(Shah Abdul Hannan, quoted from 'Usul al-Fiqh') 
An Urdu speaking Muslim, I'm guessing, wouldn't even need to look up Google, the way I had to, to clarify this. He'd already know about the farz/ vajib distinction. Still, if he is an academic, he will still write shite by way of translation or commentary because that is more 'Universal' and smart people can't be bothered with what is merely local and particular. Instead, they have to show that Indian poets were primitive and incapable of reasoning properly and thus truly Universal. It gives a frisson of self-recognition- Caliban glimpsing himself in the looking glass- to the truly primitive fuckwits of the American Academy.
Still, they are only doing their vajib duty. Yet, might there not be a better way?

Suppose you work for McDonalds. A crystal clear duty (farz) is a statement like 'wash your hands after going to the bathroom'. There's no scope for quibbling because there are no two ways about it. If you deny that this duty is obligatory, you will be sacked. However, a duty like 'greet the customers in a cheerful and friendly way', leaves scope for interpretation and imagination and hence can be called 'vajib'.
 An employee of McDonalds who is passionate about her job may greet an elderly office worker like myself with a degree of archness vastly agreeable to me personally but which gives offence when directed at young, cross dressing, prostitutes like Ramachandra or Ranajit Guha. Clearly, duty of the wajib type is something one should be so passionate about that even more or less perilous experimentation in its discharge amounts to trespass merely- not malicious treachery or outright treason.
To take a case in point; the first time the young lady at the local McD greeted me with 'Look what the cat dragged in! Busy night dear?'- I might have resented the implication that I was a broken down lady of the night driven from the streets by Dawn's unforgiving light- more especially as, in dispensing me the extra sachets of butter I'd requested, she shuddered with revulsion and said 'I know what you use those for!'  Ramachandra & Ranajit Guha, on the other hand, precisely because they genuinely are cross-dressing prostitutes, greatly object to such treatment which, BTW, explains their animus against 'Globalised Capitalism'.
2) Faruqi takes 'sifat' as 'likeness' rather than a metonymy for the theology of Tawhid asma wa sifat- i.e. uniqueness of God's name and attributes- as expressed in ecstatic sifat sanaa- 'praise of the attributes' which can form part of the Sama Musical repertoire of a devout Sufi and serve as a preparation for recognizing the true haqiqa Muhammadi of the age.
Currently, there is some controversy as to whether such practices are permissible or whether they shade into a polytheistic cult of miracle working Saints.
However, for the poet, there can be no doubt that the duty to praise the Lord includes an artistic licence for passionate hermeneutic investigation and semantic experimentation.
3)  Faruqi reads 'masdar' in a univocal and universalist manner. God is the source and return of everything. However, in Islamic philosophy, there is a distinction between 'haqiqi' and 'majazi' such that only what is essential and inerrant in a duty performed returns to the source. Thus, the girl at McD who wordlessly passes me extra napkins with a gesture indicating I should use them to bulk out my cleavage in the hope of at last attracting a customer, is neither the source nor place of return of this sympathetic and friendly gesture because, having no other concern but to correctly discharge her duty, it is only McD's own corporate ethos and success in training its staff which originates, i.e. inculcates, the gesture and, tipping being prohibited, which gathers in the entirety of the continuing stream of profit which that repeated gesture gives rise to every morning.

Pritchett writes 'ṡanā kā maṣdar ṣifat = like the source/origin/ground of praise. Apparently the ṣifat has to apply to the whole phrase ṣanā kā maṣdar , because if we try anything else that annoying kā is left just sticking out impossibly. Faruqi Sahib says- 'The idea is that just as the maṣdar of all substances (that is, their origin, the place to which they all have to return-- that is, the place beyond which there's nothing-- that is, the Lord) is necessary, in the same way praise of the maṣdar (that is, praise of the Lord) too is necessary (that is, necessary in its own essence, not dependent for its existence on any other thing). And when that is necessary, then we cannot express it by means of words (which are only contingent, because their existence is dependent on something else).'
My response is- '' sana ka masdar sifat' is illiterate- i.e. corresponds to no collocation. In any case, is it really true that sana (praise not necessarily restricted to the Deity) has a masdar in God? Does God do sana of anything?
Mir wasn't illiterate. Nor was he a dark Theologian.  What he is talking about is sana-e-sifat- which, for euphony, becomes 'sifat sana'- praise, or ecstatic contemplation, of the attributes, a stage in Sufi mystical praxis.
Pritchett's commentary draws attention to the two ka's in the first line. One way of applying her 'meaning-machine' method is to think of the ka in 'Vajib ka' as an example of what Pierce calls 'hypostatic abstraction' by which an adjective or predicate- 'honey is sweet' - turns into an extra subject- sweetness is possessed by honey-, thus increasing by one the number of "subject" slots -- called the arity or adicity -- of the main predicate.
'In this case an izafati construction- namely vajib-e-namumkin- has been broken up into vajib ka nah mumkin which by itself does sound awkward. The meaning however is clear. What is being denominated is the class of acts which, though necessary to Salvation, are not univocally obligatory such that failure to perform them can be recognized without ambiguity. In other words, something necessary is also multiply realizable such that entailment becomes ambiguous because the Piercian arity is either impredicative, fractal or impredicatively fractal but in any case inexact. For acts which are 'farz' but not vajib, not only is it the case that the acts are possible but those acts must necessarily come to be for those who are Saved and thus God is their source and place of return (masdar). Let us suppose it is necessary to say 'Allah hu' to be Saved. Clearly, Frances Pritchett is predestined to be Saved. Hence, during the course of her Doctoral viva voce (what? Jus' coz the Rector of the LSE personally altered my diploma certificate to read 'Confirmed Bachelor of Arts' don't mean I iz totally ignorant of what PhD types get up to) when the examiner said 'Knock Knock' and l'il Franny Pritchett replied 'Who's there?' and the examiner said 'Allah' what happened next was predestined and as such its source and return was with God alone. However, notice that li'l Fran (whom I picture in a pinafore and pig-tails so as not to give way to lubricious thoughts) is not saying 'Allah hu' such that the sifat ('Hu') agrees with the mausuf (subject) derived from the ism masdar (derived noun) 'Allah'. 
'Rather, she is saying 'Allah who?' in which statement there is no sifat at all. By no stretch of the imagination can she be said to have completed a vajib-e-mumkin type of action. The intentionality is lacking, hence her utterance does not have the grammatical property of correct deployment of sifat. Yet, equally clearly, if not more so, l'il Fran is nonetheless saved precisely because God has not merely commanded (amr) but also provided the material ground for the requisite action to be completed (khalq). This is a case where God is both the source and place of return of the occurrence.'
'Prof. Farqui appears to be making a mistake- pardonable because he actually studied Arabic instead of reading Archie Comics in the back row with the cool kids; the Mullah having been either bribed or intimidated to look the other way- by thinking that masdar can be the mausuf of sifat in this context. It can't. That's shirk. It's the doctrine of hypostatic union by which the Christians worked their own damnation at Ephesus.'
Faruqi, by neglecting the specifically Islamic meaning of Mir's words has ended up talking nonsense.
IF God taught Adam the names of things and in any case the Quran is uncreated, why should words be only contingent?
I had a hazy sort of idea that Faruqi Sahib follows Al Jurjani- as opposed to Al Rummani- because he insists on strict compositionality whereas Rummani allows tazmin w.r.t. Revelation - i.e. use of a Quranic word- to be endophorically unrestricted by the rest of the sentence it appears in. In other words, the Quranic word occurring in a secular text yet continues to participate in its own 'masdar' such that the latter proves increasingly more real (haqiqi) while the former's trajectory becomes more and more phantasmal and spectral (majazi) in the same manner that this dervish's all cloaking mist of a winter's morning turns abruptly into the choking collar of a lice ridden khirka with the flinging of the baksheesh of a single, solar, Rupee of Light.
Or doesn't, coz I'm still in bed with a hangover brought on by drinking up my settlement from McD.
Be that as it may, what is of salience here, irrespective of the precise chirality of my spiritual squalor, there is nothing in Jurjani, or indeed any other authority, to license what Faruqi has written.
Excluding the Hanafi meaning of vajib, let us look again at the couplet.
vājib kā ho nah mumkin maṣdar ṣifat ṡanā kā
qudrat se us kī lab par nām āve hai ḳhudā kā
Regarding 'sifat sana ka masdar'- that 'masdar' praised in sifat sana- i.e. the ecstatic practice of praising God as the source and return of the devotee's own piety (which is passionate Love) - it is not possible to say it is part of vajib (i.e. what is necessarily entailed in the manner of a crystal clear duty), yet we see that 'by Nature' the name of the Lord has come upon the lips of the Beloved.
Suppose Mayor McCheese receives a complaint against the girl who serves me my Big Breakfast.
Angrily he upbraids her- 'Why are you pretending that an elderly Tambram office worker is actually a low class prostitute? It is against Company policy. What you are supposed to say is 'Thank you. Have a nice day' not 'Now get the fuck out of here, you diseased old ho-bag.'
'Did I say that?' the tear-stricken girl plaintively replies, 'I have no memory of it. Filled with the spirit of McD what I uttered I know not. Greatly have I sinned. I shall go and commit suicide by eating a whole bucket full of KFC.'
'Wait!' says Mcburglar, 'All these years I have been lurking in the shadows trying to steal cheese burgers. Yet, by the intercession of, the Blessed Thief. McDysmas, this Grace has been vouchsafed me- I saw with my own eyes the McAngel of the Lord descend into this humble vessel you see before you. It was McAngel who spoke through the lips of this handmaiden of the Corporation.'
'But,' says Mayor McCheese, 'How is it possible (mumkin)? Something which is vajib (a necessary duty) must surely be univocal?'
'Nay' spake the McAngel through the lips of a seated customer, 'univocity can be multiply realizable, indeed must be so- otherwise not only is deontics empty but so is alethics as a Globalizable brand. Just as 'Have a nice day' means 'Get the fuck out of here you ugly old ho-bag' when applied to a middle aged Tambram cross-dressing prostitutes like Ramachandra Guha or Sanjay Subhramanyam, so too does the opposite hold when addressing elderly, not cross-dressing at all, Tambram office workers. 'Everybody knows this. Now just Mckindly fuck off and let me finish my Big Breakfast while availing of your free wi-fi to update my blog.'

If not for McDonald's, then certainly for Islam, granted that what we know to be necessary (vajib) does not entail praise of the source of attributes, nevertheless, by nature rather than pious reason, we constantly observe that the name of God has come to the Beloved's lips.
Mumkin, in the philosophical sense, means that which is possible but which carries no entailment properties. A mountain of gold is possible but its actual existence is not entailed nor is anything from us with respect to it demanded or required. I am not religiously obligated to deny it exists or to go looking for it or to buy bonds issued by its prospector.
Mumkin in the ordinary sense would give us- 'Just from what we know to be necessary for our salvation it is not probable that the ecstatic practice of praise of the name and attributes could take its origin or find its completion in God (i.e. the attributes are more like prosopoi and thus no hesychastic practice is essential for Salvation for the reason given by Barlaam of Calabria) .'
 In other words, the devotional practice under discussion is supererogatory. In the second line, the proof is given- The name of God came upon her lips- how? Not from what she considers necessary for her salvation, but because Nature itself, when in ecstasy, cries out the name of God.
True, Faruqi Sahib reads masdar and sifat as having a grammatical meaning and holds that we can't change the necessary into the contingent.
However, the conventional view is
1) It is shirk to say masdar of all substances is necessary.
Piercian hypostatic abstraction is a feature of all languages, formal or otherwise. No entailment of prosopoi or hypostases arises- indeed it is specifically guarded against in Hanafi Islam.
2) It is bida to say praise of masdar is necessary.
When did Caliph Omar do praise of masdar? Show the grounds of likelihood that any significant percentage of the Sahiban did so. Why is it not mentioned in the Sahih hadith of Bukhari?
3) It is ridda to say that words- including those found in the Quran- are only contingent.
In the Quran, unlike the Bible, Allah reveals the names of things to Adam. Even the Mutazilites didn't consider tazmin of Quranic words to suffer the defect of contingency.
Nevertheless, Faruqi Sahib says- 'The simple meaning is that praise of the Lord is impossible/non-contingent [naa-mumkin]. The interpretation of vaajib kaa mumkin nah ho is that vaajib kaa mumkin nahii;N ho saktaa . Here kaa has been used in an extremely fine way. For example, they say aadhe kaa puuraa nahii;N ho saktaa ; that is, the thing that is half cannot become whole.'
So- let's see if we understand you right, Faruqi Sahib. Mir's 'simple meaning' is, just as half can't become whole, so too Religious duty is impossible to perform. Why? Because God is a bastard/ Gimme pork with  mustard.
What is the fucking point of reading a fucking Urdu poet from North fucking India if that's the level of his thought?
Is it really impossible to perform namaz, keep roza, go for Hajj? Maybe for stupid North Indian Urdu speakers. Tamil Muslims face no such difficulty.
But, it is a fact that a pious young Tamil Muslim, A.R. Rehman, shows great veneration for great Urdu poets like Mir. So, I think the simpler explanation is that Faruqi is wrong about this couplet which means- granted, the ecstatic Sufi practice of 'praise of the attributes' is not a supererogatory religious duty or hallmark of Salvation such as God has to exert himself to bring about to fulfill His plan of predestination- nevertheless, as if to prove the contrary, such and such has occurred.
What precisely?
qudrat se us kii lab par naam aave hai khudaa kaa
By the power of Nature (which was Created by God) the name of God has come on that person's lips.
Faruqi Sahib says next-
'In the second line he has said that if the name of the Lord comes to our lips, then this too is through the power of the Lord.'
But Mir hasn't said 'if the name of the Lord comes to our lips'. I'm no scholar but 'us ki' means 'to that person' not 'to us'. But who is 'that person' in the context of the Ghazal? It is the tyrant/beloved. When does the word 'God' come to the lips quite spontaneously or as if from Nature itself? The answer, of course- if you will pardon my coarseness- is in the throes of ecstasy.

Prof Faruqi says- Without the power of the Lord it is not possible that His name comes to the lips. If the Lord would not so wish, or the Lord would not exert his power, then what capacity does mankind have to invoke His name? The meaning of lab par naam aanaa can also be, in addition to 'to mention', 'to remember'. Now the interpretation emerges that if we remember the Lord, then this is His power. For khudaa ki qudrat there are three meanings. One is the one that has been mentioned above, that this is an expression of the Lord's power. Reference has also been made to the second meaning, that if the Lord so wills, only then can we bring his name to our lips. The third meaning is exclamatory, that if his name comes upon our lips, then that is his power. That is, that if even deaf-mutes like us, or even sinners like us, remember him and mention him, then if this isn't the power of the Lord, then what is it?
Moreover, in the whole line is hidden the meaning that if the Lord's name comes to our lips only through the will of the Lord himself, then if we don't remember him, what sin do we commit? To encompass so many meanings within a verse of praise [;hamd] is a difficulty fit for Mir alone. On the basis of its fineness of meaning, the troublesome entanglement of the first line (or rather its weakness of poetic structure [na:zm], which is very rare in Mir) becomes acceptable.
The problem here is that Faruqi is missing out all the philosophical subtlety in Islam and thus reducing Mir's couplet to imbecility and antinomianism of a cliched, Orientalist, Omar Khayyam type. It is sheer imbecility for a Muslim to say 'if we don't remember the Lord (i.e. pray regularly) then we don't commit any sin'. This is like saying 'If I don't wash my hands after going to the toilet, I don't breach McD's code of conduct. They have no right to sack me. Why? Because they have the power to force their employees to wash their hands after taking a dump. Yet, I was an employee when I took the dump. I was still an employee when I failed to wash my hands. Only after I emerged from the bathroom with shit stained hands was I sacked. No failure of mine occurred. The failure was McDonald's. They didn't use their power to make me wash my hands while I was still in the bathroom.'
Faruqi's reading of this couplet cashes out as
1) Mir was stupid. If he thought he was a Muslim it was only because he was a stupid Indian donkey.
2) Mir wasn't a Muslim. He was just too cowardly to come out and say so.

Faruqi also misses out what is poetic about the second line- thus, on his reading, not only is Mir stupid and not Muslim, he is also not a poet.
The fact is people who cry out 'Jesus Christ!' or 'Sarah Palin!' while in the throes of passion- pace Faruqi- aren't actually 'remembering' God, nor is it a type of prayer which the Lord himself must exert his omnipotence to specifically bring about. This is because, though 'remembering God' even at the moment of orgasm may indeed be a necessary part of one's self surrender to the Deity it is 'vajib-e-mumkin' something possible and perhaps deontically enjoined but carrying no entailment property such that God necessarily causes it to occur.
Pritchett writes- The first half of the first line is in fact doubly confusing because the normal, least-marked meaning of mumkin is not 'contingent' (in a philosophical sense) but 'possible', in a plain everyday sense, so that nah mumkin readily suggests naa-mumkin , 'impossible'. The reader's mind plays with ways that some necessary thing might prove also to be impossible, a (Ghalib-like) paradox so enjoyable that it's hard to let go of it. But that kaa does do what SRF says-- it makes the expression idiomatic, since normally an adjective like vaajib simply won't have a kaa after it. It forces the expression to become, 'to make OF the necessary, the contingent' and denies us the chance to read 'the necessary would not be possible'.
This is quite foolish. A necessary thing which proves impossible is simply an instance of an axiom system being shown to be inconsistent. It is something a priori known to be wrong. There is no question of 'the mind playing about' in this arena. If you do the sum 5 plus 10 on your calculator and you get back 'battery low' on the screen your mind does not play around with stuff. No gorgeous Ghalibian paradoxes arise. You just put in new batteries.
Why is Pritchett compelled to utter such idiocy? It is because she does not understand that vajib can mean something highly specific in the poetry of a Hanafi majority country- viz. a type of duty which is essentially poetic. With respect to that type of duty, granted there is no necessary entailment of a particular ecstatic Sufi practice founded upon something which, in Christendom, we might link with prosopoi and hesychasm, yet nevertheless, is it not remarkable that, in reverie, we see Nature itself wringing from her lips the cry 'O God!'

What's wrong with saying Mir or Ghalib or whoever was a Muslim? What's wrong with saying Urdu is a proper Muslim language? Are you worried that this hands an easy victory to illiterate, N.R.I, Hindutva nutjobs like me?  If so, it still behooves you to give the hate-mongers a walkover every-time on those questions where they are logically in the right. Not to do so damages the ethos of what you seek to defend. Moreover, our nature, of itself, is brisk to beat anyone who thinks being Right creates Might- so that's entirely forgivable.
What is unforgivable is treating dead Brown Men as illiterate imbeciles unable to profit by the philosophical hermeneutics of the very traditions they enriched.  Why? Because them Dead Brown Chaps were good poets- at least in comparison with the merely brain-dead Brown person who is writing this-

If prayer & fasting is to our back a rod
Must Nature in ecstasy cry out 'God!'?
Upon Men, Mercy, Mystics explain
 Love is the crutch of Tamburlane

1 comment:

  1. Men say 'subhanallah' but women clap. Beloved in Urdu is denoted by Male gender- purpose is to show Spiritual Love is meant- not Erotic.