God’s Love

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Week 9: Sufi piety: the ghazal (love lyric)

Medium: Poetry

Teri Chahat Jo Meray Naam Ho Gayi | Zindagi Bhi Ik Inaam Ho Gayi

Your desire which became my possession | Life also became a gift

Shaad Mein Ho Gya Har Ik Rang Say | Teri Ulfat Jo Sar Aaam Ho Gayi

I became happy with every color | As your affection became my new every day

Dekha Tunay Jo Bhar Kay Mujhe | Manzil Ishq Ka Paygham Ho Gayi

You saw me with a full gaze| My destination became a message of your love

Rehta Bilal Isi Darpay Sada | Sehar Thi Jab Chalay! Ab To Shaam Ho Gayi

Bilal stays sound step by step | It was morning when we started walking, now it’s evening

 

I have written an Urdu ghazal in name of my love for God. Through the ghazal the love is expressed as a form of unending affection and longing. Ghazals in Urdu are used by mystics to express their devotion to God. It is a form of Sufi poetry. The concept of love can not be understood without evoking it for another human being in physical form as such the Ghazal can be interpreted as expressing love for another human or God. “As a phenomenon the concept of love cannot be understood without reference to its human and even biological origin” (Poetry of Love, Pg 51). The “earthly emotion is ‘sublimated’ into a higher state of the spirit” (Poetry of Love, Pg 51) through which a human being is able to connect with God and express his love for the Creator. In my Ghazal, I maintain the convention of having the Kafiya or Qaafiyaa precede the Radif. The Kafiya which is commonly understood as the rhyming pattern of words is in the case of my Ghazal all share the ending sound of “am” used in words like “Inaam”(Gift) “Aaam”(common), “Paygham”(message), and lastly “Shaam” (evening). The radif in my ghazal is “Ho Gayi” which means “it happened” or “to happen”. I have translated the Ghazal into English. It starts with an expression of love that is synonymous with the desire to possess God making my life into a beautiful gift; through accepting God I can see the life given to me as a gift from God which is valuable in itself by way of being a gift. Second, I explain how I became full of life as I started acknowledging God within me every day. Third, I express how when God saw me and accepted me, the purpose of my life became a message of his love in which I wanted nothing more than the affection of God. I end the ghazal by stating how it was morning when I started remembering God and now it’s evening and I have still been lost in the remembrance of my lover. “Another feature which soon became characteristic of ghazals is the mention of the poet’s name in one of the last lines” (Poetry of Love, Pg 52) I have stayed true to the tradition of including the poet’s name by including it in the last stanza to express that the love expressed towards God in the Ghazal is directly from me. In answering the question of “Does the life of the poet provide us with clues of a mystical affiliation, or is the poet only known as a court poet?”, the ghazal in my case can be regarded as mystical instead of a court poem since I have in my personal life tried to find and connect with God through merging my religious identity with my interests in music as a musician and adventurer. I also identify as a member of the Ahmadiyya community which has been perceived by some as having Sufi inclinations due to their belief in a Messiah although I personally fail to see the similarities. However, except for my personal pursuits of finding God through music and experiences, I do not have any official connection with Sufism so the Ghazal can perhaps not be regarded as a Sufi poem but can be categorized as a “profane love song” written in the name of love for God.

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