Sunday, June 1, 2014

Hāfez: Ba Har Su Jalwa-e-Dildaar Deedam

Hāfez of Shīrāz (1325-1389) was the greatest of 14th-century Persian poets, a contemporary of Timur the Turk. During the life of Hāfez, the control of Persia went from the Ilkhanids to the Timurids (i.e. from Mongol to Turk, though Timur's own Barlas tribe was more Mongol than Turk.) Hāfez is a takhallus or nom-de-plume; it means 'guardian', and as a title is awarded to someone who has memorized the Quran. His actual name was Shamsuddin Muhammad, and in his close Sufi circle he was simply called Khwaja.

Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī's works are to be found in the homes of most people in Iran - children learn his poems by heart and when they grow up they use them as proverbs:

If that Shirazi Turk would take my heart in hand
I would remit Samarqand and Bukhārā for his/her black mole.

When he heard these lines Timur had Hāfez arrested. 

"By the beard of the prophet! With the blows of my lustrous sword," Timur complained, "I have subjugated most of the habitable globe... to embellish Samarqand and Bukhara, the seats of my empire; and you would sell them for the black mole of some dancing-boy (or girl) in Shiraz!" 

Hāfez bowed deeply and replied, "Alas, O Sultan, it is this prodigality which is the cause of the misery in which you find me."

He was spared.

Munshi Raziuddin's sons Farid Ayaz and Abu Muhammad perform Hāfez:

यार अग्यार में नज़र आया
गुल हमें खार में नज़र आया
जिसको वैज़ छुपाये फिरते थे
वो हमें बाज़ार में नज़र आया

I saw Beloved in the Stranger
I saw a Flower in the Ash
Who the Preacher so tried to hide
I saw that Beloved in the square.

Ba har soo jalwa-e-dildaar deedam
Ba har cheez jamal-e-yaar deedam

بہ ہر سو جلوہ دلدار دیدم
بہ ہر چیز جمال یار دیدم

In every way the splendor of Beloved do I see
In every thing the beauty of my Love do I see

कर गौर ज़रा दिल में जलवागरी होगी
ये शीशा नहीं खाली -  देख इसमें परी होगी
साक़ी तेरा मस्ती से क्या हाल हुआ होगा
जब तू ने ये मय शीशे में भरी होगी ...
ब हर सू जलवा-ए-दिलदार दीदम

Na deedam haich shaira khaali az ve
Par az ve kooncha-o-bazaar deedam

I don’t see anything without It
But I see Love in every corner and bazaar

Jo khud ra bingaram deedam hamuna ast
Jamal-e-khud jamal-e-yaar deedum

My own-ness does not belong to me
My beauty is Beloved's beauty do I see

मेरी सूरत से किसी कि नहीं मिलती सूरत
मैं जहाँ में तेरी तस्वीर बना फिरता हूँ

Namaz-e-zahidaan mehrab o minbar
Namaz-e-ashiqaan bar daar e deedum

Namaz of the pious is on mehraab and minbar
Namaz of the Lovers on the stake do I see

ज़ाहिद कि नमाज़ मिनबर ओ मेहराब में होती है
आशिकों कि नमाज़ सूली पर होते देखा हूँ

(Possibly a reference to Timur sparing the Muslim clergy but not the Sufi scholars. 28 towers of 1500 heads apiece were reported by eyewitnesses from the sack of Isphahan.)

Jo yak jura raseed az ghaib Hāfez
Hama aqal-o-khird bekaar deedam

So suddenly your righteousness is gone Hāfez
Now reason and intellect useless do I see.

From Engels' letter to Marx:

It is, by the way, rather pleasing to read dissolute old Hafiz in the original language, which sounds quite passable and, in his grammar, old Sir William Jones likes to cite as examples dubious Persian jokes.

مـن باکـمر تو در میان کردم دسـت
پنداشتمش که در میان چیزی هست
پیداسـت از آن میان چو بربست کمر
تا من ز کمر چه طرف خواهم بربسـت

I put my arms around your waist,
A lover’s embrace to taste.
From your resolve it’s obvious
All my efforts will go to waste.


  1. I cannot express my elation at seeing this post. I had been looking for its meaning ever since I first heard this kalam. Its a gem and the rendition by Munshi Raziuddin intoxicating.


  3. do you also know the original poem where it comes from

    1. The lyrics are traditionally attributed to Hafez, and part of the folk tradition. Curiously, they seem not be listed in his divan.

  4. i have searched in his dewan but i couldn't find this nazm will you please share any reference book.

  5. Going by e-Hafez - see