The Fifth Era of Āb-e ḥayāt:
'CHIEF OF POETS', 'ḲHĀQĀNĪ OF INDIA',
SHAIḲH IBRĀHĪM ŻAUQ
#420# When that master of accomplishment traveled from the realm of spirit to the world of bodies, angels of eloquence prepared for him a crown of flowers from the garden of paradise, the perfume of which turned into universal fame and diffused throughout the world. And their color, by remaining bright forever, bestowed coolness on all eyes. When that crown was placed on his head, then the Water of Life became dew and rained down on it, to prevent it from withering even the least bit. The sikkah [=coin; poem] of 'Chieftainship of Poets' became mauzūñ [=measured; metrical] in his name alone, and on his royal seal the shape was embossed, 'With him Urdu poetry culminates'. Thus there is now absolutely no hope that such a master of speech would again be born in India.
The reason for this is that the garden of which he was the nightingale has been destroyed. No fellow-songster remains, no fellow-singer remains, no one who understands that speech remains. In the ruined city that was the mint of that language, different kinds of birds speak. The city has become worse than a military enclave. The families of the nobles have been destroyed. The heirs of those families, deprived of learning and accomplishment along with bread, sit in a stupor. Where could those magic temperaments come from now, that with every word created an attractive style and fine devices? Today, those people to whom freedom from worldly care has given the leisure for this type of inventions and discoveries--those people are branches that come from different roots. They have been nourished on different water, and float along on different breezes. Then what faith can be placed in the progress of this language? How auspicious will the time be?
The relationship between him and the writer: When the Shaiḳh and my father, both of whom God has called to Himself, were growing up together, their acquisition of knowledge, like their age, must have been in a state of childhood. Books of usage and grammar must have been in their hands. And they must have been educated at the skirts of the kindness of the same ustad. Everything these virtuous people did rested on the foundation of stability. And their relationship kept growing with their age. And to the end of their lives they so upheld it that it was even more than blood ties. As I write about them, people will consider it trivial if I record certain small matters. But what can I do? My heart wants to omit not a letter of this precious story. Perhaps this is because everything about the loving #421# and beloved elders is lovable. But no! Not a single tiny hair on the body of this living image of poetry was devoid of use. In an industrial machine, about which part can we say, 'Take it out, it doesn't belong here?' And which of its movements is there, from which some educative benefit does not flow? For this reason I will write, and I will write everything. Whatever matter can be linked into the sequence of his life, I will set down without omitting a letter.
His ancestors: The late Shaiḳh's father, Shaiḳh Muḥammad Ramaẓān, was a poor soldier. But the experience of life and the company of elders made him so aware of the affairs of the world, that the words from his lips were the valuable substance of a library of history. In Delhi, he lived near Kābulī Gate. And Navab Lut̤f ʿAlī Ḳhān, considering him a reliable and worthy person, entrusted him with the affairs of his ladies' apartments. The Shaiḳh, may God bless him, was his only son.
He was born in A.H. 1204: He was born in A.H. 1204 [1789-90]. At that time who knew that from that Ramẓān, a moon would rise that would become the moon of ʿĪd and shine in the sky of poetry? When he was old enough to study, a person named Ḥāfiz̤ Ġhulām Rasūl, one of the royal Quran reciters, lived near his house; most of the boys of the neighborhood studied with him. They enrolled him also.
His education and training: Ḥāfiz̤ Ġhulām Rasūl was a poet as well. He used the pen-name Shauq.a The way people of former times #422# would compose verses--that was how he composed. The enthusiastic young men of the neighborhood, in their heartfelt desire [to become poets], would make him compose a few verses, and would then carry them away. Often they obtained correction as well. In short, at his place this was constantly the subject of discussion. The late Shaiḳh himself said, 'As I used to hear them, many verses stuck in my memory. My heart received a sort of spiritual pleasure from the reading and hearing of poetry. And I used to wander around, always reciting to myself. My heart was full of enthusiasm, and I used to pray to God, "Oh God, may I learn to compose poetry!"'
His first two verses: 'One day when I was in a state of rapture, two verses spontaneously issued from my mouth. And it was only a fortunate coincidence that one was a ḥamd and one was a naʿt. At that age how would I myself have had the intelligence to begin this auspicious affair in such a way, with the first a ḥamd and the second a naʿt--when I didn't even realize that I should take this natural chance to be an auspicious omen? But the happiness that entered my heart when those two verses took on metrical form--even now I haven't forgotten the pleasure of it. I used to write them over and over, sometimes in my book, sometimes here and there on pieces of paper, illuminating them in many colors. I recited them to everybody, and I was so happy I could scarcely contain myself.' In short, in this manner he kept composing something or other, and kept receiving correction from Ḥāfiz̤-jī.
His initial practice: In this same neighborhood there was a contemporary and fellow student named Mīr Kāz̤im Ḥusain who was the nephew of the late Navab Sayyid Raẓī Ḳhān. He used the pen-name Beqarār. And he obtained correction from that same Ḥāfiz̤ Ġhulām Rasūl, but the creativity of his mind and the brightness of his temperament were such that he was sometimes lightning, sometimes wind and rain. He received many good opportunities to obtain excellence through the company of his elders. The late Shaiḳh and he, because of the affinity of their temperaments, spent much time together, and in the field of practice they galloped their horses together. I record an opening verse of the late Shaiḳh Sahib's from these days, as an example of his quickness of temperament:
/On your forehead gleams the hanging moon of your forehead-chain
Come, kiss me--you promised to kiss me when the moon was high in the sky; the moon is high in the sky/.
His becoming a pupil of the late Shāh Naṣīr: One day Mīr Kāz̤im Ḥusain brought a ghazal and recited it. The late Shaiḳh asked, 'When did you compose the ghazal? You've produced some fine lively verses.' He said, 'I've become the pupil of Shāh Naṣīr, and I've obtained this correction from him'. The late Shaiḳh too grew enthusiastic, and went with him and became a pupil.
#423# The process of correction continued. Ghazals were recited in mushairahs. People's cries of 'Bravo!' stirred the wings of temperaments toward high flights--and then envy, which is the special quality of the heart-mirrors of the students of the Merciful One, began to incite the ustads and pupils. On some occasions it happened that Shāh Naṣīr, looking at a ghazal of his, returned it without any correction, and said, 'Work harder on this one'. Sometimes he said, 'This is nothing. Concentrate more, and re-do it.' A number of ghazals on which Shāh Naṣīr had given correction were found to have been corrected only casually. As for the Shaiḳh, it was partly that people instigated him, and partly that his isolated situation gave rise to misery: 'The Shāh Sahib shows indifference or evasiveness when he gives me correction'. Thus in this way Shāh Naṣīr returned ghazals a number of times. Many verses were struck out. The worst thing was that in the ghazals of the Shāh Sahib's son, Shāh Vajīh ud-Dīn 'Munīr', who in brightness of temperament was the true son of his father--in those ghazals, whether through coincidence or God knows what chance, the same themes were found. This made the Shaiḳh even more miserable.
However high the late Munīr's claims, the ebullience and arrogance of youth in his temperament was even greater. He had no respect for any poet. And he used to say, 'Any ghazal I lift my pen to write--who else can set foot on that ground?' He used very difficult patterns. And he used to say, 'What champion is there who can lift up this weight?' In short, he and the late Shaiḳh, because of their equality in age, often ran up against each other and argued with each other. One time things went so far that the Shaiḳh, may God bless him, said, 'Verses composed at home are not admissible. Perhaps you are having them composed by the ustad. Indeed, you and I should sit down in one gathering and compose ghazals.' Accordingly, although they had this encounter, I cannot find the late Munīr's ghazal. I remember the opening verse of the Shaiḳh's ghazal, may God bless him.
/Oh messenger, let her fix the day of coming here
Whatever you ask, I'll give you--may God bring that day to pass!/
Although he had a ready temperament, a far-reaching mind, a trim structure, and on top of all this he had force, and thus he had everything--still, since he was the son of a poor soldier, he had no experience of worldly affairs, and no one to be a sympathetic friend. Thus his grief and downheartedness used to be beyond bounds.
Now the quarrel begins: In the midst of all these exchanges, one day #424# he composed, on a ghazal of Saudā's, a ghazal of his own: 'dosh-e naqsh-e pā, āġhosh-e naqsh-e pā'. He took it to Shāh Naṣīr. The Shāh Sahib grew angry and threw the ghazal away: 'Do you compose a ghazal on the ghazal of an ustad? Now you've begun to fly higher even than Mirzā Rafīʿ!' At about that time there was a mushairah in a certain place. Made restless by his passionate desire to recite, he left his house. But his ghazal had received no correction. The fear in his heart stopped him: 'I'm a beginner. I must be careful.' Near evening, in a state of sadness and despondency, he went to the Jāmaʿ Masjid. He recited the Fatihah over the holy relics. When he came to the pool [in the courtyard], Mīr Kallū 'Ḥaqīr' was seated there. Since his lively ghazals in the mushairah had made him known by sight, and senior people had begun to show him kindness, Mīr Ḥaqīr seated him by his side and said, 'Well, Miyāñ Ibrāhīm! You seem somewhat sad today. Is everything all right?' He told him the dejection that was in his heart. Mīr Sahib said, 'Why, for heaven's sake, recite those ghazals to me!' He recited the ghazal. Mīr Ḥaqīr felt compassion at his situation. He said, 'Go, recite the ghazal without hesitation. If anyone makes an objection, it will be my responsibility to answer it.' And lifting his hands, he invoked blessings on him for a long time. Although Mīr Sahib had an old-fashioned [poetic] style, he was a person of very mature years and had seen many great and accomplished poets. And he used to teach in a school. Thus the late Shaiḳh's confidence was restored. And he went to the mushairah and recited the ghazal. There it was much praised. Thus this is the ghazal in question:
/At every step she has this awareness of the footprint:
May the dust of past lovers not embrace the footprint
Don't think the fallen ones devoid of resources
The skirt of dust becomes the veil of the footprint
From the miracle of your foot it's not strange if in the road
A voice should arise from the silent lip of every footprint
On this road, who had the leisure to settle down
There are footprints on the shoulder of every footprint
The emaciated body of the dust-sitter of the path of love
Lies on the ground as it if were nothing but a footprint
Thanks to Majnūn's going barefoot in the desert
Every blister has become a pearl in the ear of the footprint
Not to speak of foot-kissing--even my dust
Could not come near enough, Żauq, to embrace the footprint/.
#425# From that day his courage increased, and he began to recite in the mushairah ghazals that had received no correction. Now his poetry began to be more widely spoken of. The liveliness of his temperament and the energy of his verses began to run through listeners' hearts like electricity. The people of that time were fair-minded judges. Venerable elders of pure temperament, who were the living memorials of the masters of the past, saw him in the mushairah and graciously praised him and lifted his heart. In fact, if they arrived after he had recited his ghazal, they made him recite it again. His ghazals began to fall from the lips of the singers, and scatter color through streets and bazaars.
With what recommendation he arrived in the Fort: Akbar Shāh [II] was the king; he had no taste for poetry. But Mirzā Abū Z̤afar, the Crown Prince, who became Bahādur Shāh when he became king, was madly in love with poetry. And he subdued the world of renown with the pen-name of Z̤afar [=Victorious]. Thus whatever long-practiced poets there were at court--for example, Ḥakīm Ṡanāʾullāh Ḳhān 'Firāq', Mīr Ġhālib ʿAlī Ḳhān 'Sayyid', ʿAbd ur-Raḥmān Ḳhān 'Iḥsān', Burhān ud-Dīn Ḳhān 'Zār', Ḥakīm Qudratullāh Ḳhān 'Qāsim', his son Ḥakīm ʿIzzatullāh Ḳhān 'ʿIshq', Miyāñ Shikebā who was a pupil of the late Mīr Taqī, Mirzā ʿAz̤īm Beg 'ʿAz̤īm' who was a pupil of Saudā, Mīr Qamar ud-Dīn 'Minnat', his son Mīr Niz̤ām ud-Dīn 'Mamnūn', and so on--they all gathered together in the mushairah and recited their poetry. They put their opening verses and lines before the gathering. They all tried their prowess by composing one opening verse in response to another, and by joining lines. Mīr Kāz̤im Ḥusain 'Beqarār' was one of the personal courtiers of the Crown Prince. He often used to take part in those gatherings. It occurred to the late Shaiḳh that if he could regularly try his prowess in this gathering, the power of his thought would have a fine high flight. But in that time, even after some noble gave a recommendation, the royal permission was also necessary for someone to be able to enter the Fort. Thus he entered the Fort through the mediation of Mīr Kāz̤im Ḥusain, and he began often to attend the Crown Prince's court.
His God-given opportunities: The late Shāh Naṣīr, who always used to give correction to the Crown Prince's ghazals, went off to the Deccan. Mīr Kāz̤im Ḥusain began to do the Crown Prince's ghazals. In those days John Elphinstone Sahib set off to sign treaties and agreements from the border areas of Shikarpur, Sind, to Kabul. He needed a chief clerk who, along with worthiness #426# and knowledge, would also possess the special quality of noble birth. Mīr Kāz̤im Ḥusain asked the kindness of the Crown Prince in writing him a letter of recommendation for that post. Mirzā Muġhal Beg in those days was the chief steward, and he was always on the lookout to somehow dispose of anyone on whom the Crown Prince looked with special favor. Due to this natural intrigue, Mīr Kāz̤im Ḥusain's letter of recommendation was easily obtained, and he went away.
The Crown Prince becomes his pupil: After some days, one day when the late Shaiḳh had gone to the Crown Prince, he saw that he was practicing archery. The moment he saw him, the Crown Prince began to complain, 'Miyāñ Ibrāhīm! My ustad has gone to the Deccan, Mīr Kāz̤im ʿAlī Ḥusain has gone off in another direction, have you too abandoned us?' In short, at that very time he pulled a ghazal out of his pocket and gave it to him: 'Please just do this one!' He sat down right there and did the ghazal and recited it. The Crown Prince was very pleased, and said, 'My friend, come occasionally and do my ghazals'. This was that time when for Mumtāz Maḥal's sake Akbar Shāh was trying to make sometimes sometimes Mirzā Salīm, sometimes Mirzā Jahāngīr, and so on among the princes, the Crown Prince. And he used to say, 'Mirzā Abū Z̤afar is not even my son at all'. This matter was pending with the government. And the Crown Prince was being given, instead of five thousand rupees a month, only five hundred rupees.
In short, the correction went on for some days, and finally from the Crown Prince's office a salary of four rupees a month was fixed. At that time, the awe and reverence in people's hearts for the king was something extraordinary. Therefore, somewhat thinking of the court case about the position of Crown Prince, and somewhat with an eye to the smallness of his salary, the father tried to prevent his only son from doing this service. But on the one hand the charm and entertainment of the large assembly of poets--and on the other hand Destiny called out, 'Don't consider it four rupees: the four pillars of the Hall of Poetry are being established here. Don't let the chance slip from your hand.' Thus the late Shaiḳh became the ustad of the Crown Prince.
Navab Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān obtains correction: In Delhi, Navab Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān Maʿrūfb was a noble from an aristocratic family. He was well acquainted with #427# the necessary knowledge. And he was long-practiced in poetry. But he loved this art so much that he lived in a state of 'absorption in poetry'. Since he was a lover of excellent poetry, when he saw fine goods he didn't leave them lying there. His length of years had caused his poetry to pass under the eyes of seven poets in succession. Thus in the beginning he obtained correction from Shāh Naṣīr, and used also to obtain advice from ustads like Sayyid ʿAlī Ḳhān 'Ġhamgīn' and others. When the late Shaiḳh became renowned, he too became enthusiastic [to know him]. This was the time when the Navab, thanks to the blessing of the company of faqirs, had renounced the world and ceased even to go out #428# of his house.
Thus my late Ustad used to say, 'I was nineteen or twenty years old. Near my house was an old mosque. After the afternoon prayer, I was seated there reciting my usual devotions. A herald came and respectfully saluted me. Placing before me something wrapped in a scarf, he sat down at a little distance. When I finished doing my devotions, I looked at it, and in it was a bunch of grapes. At the same time the herald said, "The Navab Sahib is pleased to send his best wishes. He has sent this token of blessing and says that your poetry has reached him, but he wants to hear it from your own lips."' The late Shaiḳh promised, and a couple of days later went there. The Navab Sahib received him with great courtesy, and after the usual conversation, requested poetry. He had begun to compose a ghazal. He recited its opening verse:
/The glance attacked the heart--the soul began to flutter
The lance was aimed at someone--it struck someone else/.
When he heard this, he was very pleased and said, 'Well, even previously I had known how it would be. But having heard it #429# from your own lips, I've enjoyed it even more.' They began to talk of this and that.
The Ustad's courtesy: The strange coincidence is that Ḥāfiz̤ Ġhulām Rasūl 'Shauq',c that is to say the late Ustad's old ustad, just then came by that way. Seeing him, the Navab smiled, and the late Shaiḳh greeted him respectfully, as is the duty of auspicious and respectful pupils. Shauq used always to be angry at him: 'He is my pupil, and he doesn't show me ghazals, and he doesn't go with me to mushairahs!' In short, Shauq began to recite his poetry. The late Shaiḳh did not consider it proper to remain there, and asked leave to depart. Since he was seated next to the late Navab, the Navab said softly, 'My ears feel sour--say some verse of your own before you go'. The late Ustad in those days had just composed a ghazal. He recited two opening verses from it:
/My life does not appear as at all possible to me
If even today that envy of the Messiah doesn't come
Who is there who doesn't receive mention in your gathering?
But mention of me--doesn't come, doesn't come/.
From that day the custom became established that he would go there two days in every week, and do the ghazals. Accordingly, the volume of Maʿrūf that is in circulation now--the whole of it has been done through the Ustad's correction.
Navab Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān Maʿrūf was a perfect master of poetry: Although because of the weakness of old age the late Navab could not himself actively cause a theme to be fitted into words, he understood the demands and subtleties of it as well as the theme demanded. In such a state of affairs the late Ustad's youthfully vigorous temperament and intellectual industry did justice to every single point of the themes he invented. The late Ustad always used to say, 'Although I had to endure great labors, in doing [=refining] his ghazals I myself was 'done' [=refined]'.
#430# The Ustad used to say, 'In his times of youthful ardor, he kept composing ghazals sometimes in the style of Jurʾat, sometimes of Saudā, sometimes of Mīr; but in the end, partly because of the claim of his years, partly because he had a passionate heart and had direct connection [with Sufis], he entered into the style of Ḳhvājah Mīr Dard. He himself would say, "In those days my state of life was different. Youth is wildness. Sometimes in the style of Jurʾat, sometimes of Saudā--" and he used to stop me. Today, if the late Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān were here, then I would compose something and show him. Now I would make his volume just exactly as he wanted it.' While speaking of him, the Ustad again and again showed grief, and said, 'Alas, Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān!' He always mentioned his name with respect, and spoke of him like some true believer speaking of his spiritual guide. He used to tell us hundreds of things about him that are worthy to be rules of behavior for this-worldly and other-worldly affairs.
The late Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān's generosity: He also used to say, 'To this day I've never seen such a generous man. Anyone who came--rich, poor, child, old man--he couldn't refrain from giving him something. And what he gave was something suited to the person's situation. No merchant who came went away empty-handed. He was very happy when I would sit near him and keep doing his ghazals and reciting them to him. I had tried to evade this, but when I saw his eagerness I had no choice, and it was for the best. One day I was doing his ghazal, of which the concluding verse was,
/Maʿrūf, compose one pain-filled ghazal in this pattern
The heart feels the greatest taste [żauq] for verses of pain [dard]
Who is it who weeps, standing by the garden wall?
Instead of fruits, the birds have begun to drop from the trees/.
Appreciating the worth of a sword: A merchant came, and began to show his wares. Among them was an Isfahani sword. It pleased him. Seeing its flexibility, sharpness, and temper, he praised it; and turning toward me, he said, '/In this old age I still have so much passion for swords/'. I at once added the second line and entered it into the ghazal. He was very happy:
/Today I would offer my head for that curving eyebrow
In this old age I still have so much passion for swords/.
#431# Well, he bought that sword too, along with other things. I was astonished: "This has no connection at all with his affairs and his situation! What will he do with it?" By the power of God, only two or three days later the Grand Sahib (Frazier Sahib, Resident of Lucknow), taking another gentleman with him, came to visit the late Navab Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān. From there, they came to him. They sat down, and began chatting. He introduced the gentleman who was with him. When they prepared to leave, he sent for that same sword and buckled it around the waist of the gentleman who was with him and said [in Persian],
/'A green leaf is the [only] gift that an ascetic can give'
What can he do--he has nothing else/.
A memsahib was with them too. He had bought an extremely fine organ from some Turkish merchant; he gave it to her.
'Emerald prayer-beads': Among his verses there is a sequence of one hundred one opening verses, all with refrains, and not one of them is devoid of the theme of greenness. Appropriately, he called it 'Emerald Prayer-beads'. These prayer-beads too, the late Ustad had strung. And at the end the Ustad composed a Persian chronogram in his own name and added it. In the days when he was stringing its beads, the late Navab Sahib used to ask everyone, 'Tell me some proverb, some idiom, about greenness'. Because of his munificence and generosity, and his fine courtesy, and his high rank, most of the elite, and especially the poets, used to come and gather together, and hear and recite verses. In those days, because of his enthusiasm, a green color had come over others too.
He bought an idiom for a hundred rupees: Bhūre Ḳhān 'Āshuftah', an old poet, was both a pupil of Shāh Muḥammadī 'Māʾil', and his disciple as well. He also received a pension of five rupees. In his verse, the word harīchug [='green-picker'] appeared, which had not yet been used in the Navab's poem. He bought that verse from him and arranged it in his own style:
/Here today, there tomorrow, that's how ages have passed for me
Green young people call me harīchug/.d
#432# He tied up one hundred rupees in a scarf and gave them to him: 'Why should your effort go unrewarded?'
The black deeds of Bhūre [=Brown] Ḳhān: Alas, that in the end that wretch Bhūre Ḳhān earned disgrace for himself; forsaking all ties, he composed a satire against him. The interesting thing is that the Navab, who had a heart like the ocean, really never let the dust of rancor affect his heart at all. But this worthless one was determined to make him sad. When he saw that the Navab was not at all annoyed, then he composed a satire against Navab Ḥusām ud-Dīn Ḥaidar Ḳhān 'Nāmī'. The Navab loved the late Nāmī so much that he himself said, and people also said, that between those noble gentlemen was not love [muḥabbat], but passion [ʿishq]. (The friendships of the people of former times used to be exactly like this.) Composing ghazals in Nāmī's praise, the Navab included them in his volume. I remember one opening verse:
/If you will come as my guest, Ḥusām ud-Dīn Ḥaidar Ḳhān
I will offer my heart and sacrifice my life, Ḥusām ud-Dīn Ḥaidar Ḳhān/.
When Bhūre Ḳhān composed a satire against Nāmī, the Navab was very much grieved. Even then, he only said, 'From now on, don't come before me'. Bhūre Ḳhān too understood what this meant; in extenuation, he said, 'People are defaming me unjustly. I never composed it'. The Navab said, 'Enough, say no more. For so long I have wandered over the ground of poetry--don't I even recognize your language? Whatever you said about me, I'm even worse than that. But on account of me, you began to dishonor my friends. My friend, I can't tolerate that.' Then as long as he lived, he never saw Bhūre Ḳhān's face.
Look at how generous he was: The late Ustad used to say, 'In the veranda, a prayer-rug lay spread out in a corner. When I would take my leave, then every eighth or tenth day he would say, "Miyāñ Ibrāhīm, my boy! Please just look under my prayer-rug." The first day when I looked, I was astonished to see some money in a packet. He looked at me with a smile and commanded, "/If God gives, why should the servant not take?/" The subtlety in it was [the implication], "What ability do I have to give? He whom I ask, it is He himself alone who gives to you."'
The way he suggests the huqqah: One time the Ustad fell ill, and went there after some time had passed. He was weak, and some complaints still remained. The Navab said, 'Smoke the huqqah regularly'. He petitioned, 'Very good'. Now when the Navab suggested the huqqah to him, he would hardly make a mere empty suggestion! He caused to be prepared a silver huqqah with a silver fire-bowl and fire-guard, and a pipe full of gold work, and a jewel-encrusted mouthpiece, and placed it before him.
Even a child could not leave empty-handed: #433# The Ustad's son (Miyāñ Muḥammad Ismāʿīl) was small. One day the boy went out with the Ustad to the Navab's palace. When he took leave, the Navab sent for a small hill pony from the stable, harnessed all in gold. Mounting the boy on the pony, he sent him off: 'He is a child. How will he know in whose presence he has been?'
When he felt a desire to eat some special food, he himself didn't eat it. Having a large amount of it cooked, he invited people; he himself remained standing, and fed them. He would be happy and say, 'Now my appetite is satisfied'. All these acts of generosity were done thanks to his auspicious and respectful brother [Navab Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān], who used to devote his whole day to exhausting himself in completing important tasks. By night, he consumed himself in thought, and gave life to the name of his family. And he begged of the Navab only his blessing.
His unmalicious jest with his brother: The late Ustad used to say, 'One day I was seated, doing a ghazal of his, when [his elder brother] Navab Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān came. After the usual respectful greetings, in the course of conversation he said, "This many rupees were spent on a banquet for such-and-such an Englishman. At such-and-such a horse race I gave a tea party, this much was the expense. That [English] gentleman came, I showed him around the stables. The pair of Kathiawar horses were standing there; he praised them. I had them harnessed to the buggy, and seated him in it, and sent him off home. And so on, and so on. What can I do--to meet someone empty-handed, to part from him empty-handed, is impossible for me. The rich people here have great claims to affluence"--(he used to speak to him with a frown and a coquettish manner)--"I've gone into the elephant house, I've made such-and-such an arrangement there. Today I've sent all the mares back to the country. Hazrat, what can I do? In the city there's no way to maintain such a herd. If these people would shoulder the burden of maintaining them, then the effort would wear their hearts down."
The late Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān too was a man of great accomplishment in the understanding of nuance. He guessed his meaning. He sat silent, listening. And he smiled. When there fell from his lips "the effort would wear their hearts down", he smiled and said, "A hair-line crack must have come into your heart too?" Embarrassed, he lowered his eyes. Then the Navab said, "After all, you're the scion of a noble family. You come from a family of renown. People do this, but they don't speak of it like this." Navab Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān said, "Hazrat, should I not say it even to you?" He commanded, "Say it to God". He replied, "You are visible to me--I say it only to you. #434# You please say it to God." He commanded, "All right, you and I together will say it to God. You ought to say it too." Navab Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān too knew that whatever generosity is done in this world is absolutely proper, and is what brings all blessing.'
His faqir-like miracle: One day Navab Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān came--but sad and distressed. The late Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān understood that there was some reason or other for him to come like this. The Navab [Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān] asked, 'Are you a bit unhappy today?' He said, 'No, Hazrat. I'm going off to Firozpur Jharkah.' The Navab asked, 'Why?' He said, 'The Grand Sahib (the Resident Sahib) has ordered that whoever wishes to meet with him should come on a Wednesday. Hazrat, you know that in a week I need to see him ten times. When I wanted, I went there. Whatever necessity arose, I spoke of it, heard his reply, and came back. I can't stand these restrictions! I won't even live here now!' The Navab commanded, 'Did he say this to you?' He replied, 'He didn't say it to me. I heard that some nobles did go, and did not meet him. He only sent word, "Please come on Wednesday."' The Navab commanded, 'This does not apply to you. It must be for others.' He said, 'No, Hazrat, these are Europeans. Their law is universal. What is for others, will be for me as well.' The Navab said, 'Well, in any case, go! Go this minute. Let's see what happens.' He said, 'Very good, I will go'. The Navab commanded, 'None of this "I will go!" Please get up and go at once.' He said, 'No--I've said I'll certainly go'. Growing irritated, the Navab replied, 'None of this "said" business! Enough--the requirement is that you please go at once, and please go straight there.' Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān too, seeing his mood, fell silent, rose, and left. The Navab again commanded, 'Go straight there. And you've caused me concern, so on your return just come straight here.'
The Ustad used to say, 'He went, but I saw him--he was silent and his face showed anxiety. Only a couple of hours had passed; I was seated, doing a ghazal, when I saw Navab Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān coming by, very happy, with a smile on his lips. Having entered, he made a respectful greeting and sat down. The moment the Navab saw him, he said, "Well, sir?" Navab Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān replied, "I went, and the moment I was announced, he himself came out and asked, 'Why Navab! At this time, contrary to your habit?' I said, 'My friend, I heard that you'd ordered that anyone who wanted to see you should come on Wednesday'. Before I'd even finished speaking, he said, 'No, no, #435# Navab Sahib! This order is not for you. You are not among those people. Please come whenever you wish.' I said, 'Dear friend, you know that serious matters of state are always there, and I'm always in a hurry. I have to tell you something, to ask you something--and now my work is stopped. My friend, I came to take leave, to go off to Firozpur. Now what's the point of my lingering here?' He again pronounced the same words, and said, 'Day or night, day or night, whenever you wish'. I said, 'Well, now I'm reassured. I'll leave now.'" The late Navab Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān too was delighted, and said, "All right, now go and have a rest".' Āzād [says], when people forsake the world for God, God too does not forsake them.
Whatever God wishes, happens: Along with this, my late Ustad also used to say--and this is worth writing down--'The late Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān never said it in so many words, but I know that he longed for ʿAlī Baḳhsh Ḳhān (he had only the one son) to become the holder of an estate and of authority in his own right, without any indebtedness to his uncle and his uncle's children. Providing him with all sorts of equipment, he sent him off to various states. He made efforts with the Sahibs as well. Worldly and spiritual, he made every sort of attempt. But this was not in his destiny. The will of God, the will of God! Finally he himself accepted it.' One day, recounting these stories, the Ustad said, 'ʿAlī Baḳhsh Ḳhān too was a handsome and glorious scion of a noble family'. I petitioned, 'Hazrat, I have seen him a number of times, in a number of gatherings, at a number of courts--he was not the way you say'. Sadly he said, 'What are you saying? "Talking of youth--in old age". Who can believe it?'
An anecdote--a rakish jest: The late Ustad said, 'In those days Mirzā Ḳhān was the Chief of Police. He was a pupil of Mirzā Qatīl, and claimed not only to be skilled in Persian writing and literary style, but also to have a good understanding of poetry. Munshī Muḥammad Ḥasan Ḳhān was the Chief Clerk. And in truth they were extremely convivial, well-mannered, compassionate people. One day both gentlemen came to meet the late Navab Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān. And after the customary introductions, they requested poetry. He did not have the habit, as others did, of reciting his poetry casually to anyone who happened along. If anyone made a request, he evaded the issue and first heard that person's poetry. If the person was not a poet, #436# he used to say, "Please recite three or four verses by some other ustad that please you". When he had ascertained his temperament, he recited a verse of that sort from his poetry. On this principle, he said to them, "Both of you gentlemen please recite some verses". They recited some verses. After that, Navab Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān recited two or three verses--and that too, only because of their insistence. Then he allowed the matter to drop, as he conversed with them about this and that.
When they went away, he said to me, "Miyāñ Ibrāhīm! Did you see? And did you hear their verses too? They're totally obscure people! It's not even possible to say what they are. So these are Mirzā Ḳhān and Munshī Sahib, whose power of composition and subtle understanding are so renowned--and on top of this, they pretend to admire singing and dancing also! A prostitute wouldn't even bother to give them a couple of slaps in the face with her sandal. What the hell can they compose, and what the hell can they understand?"' Āzād, the realm of speech and the world of poetry are a teeming world. A universal capability, and a temperament that can enjoy every mood, are necessary for it. The late Navab Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān was tender-hearted, and pure in spirit, and a knower of minds. But he knew how to do everything, and the knowers know that to know something is one thing, and to do it is another. There are temperaments that do not do things, but know everything. And there are also ones that do everything, but know nothing. Those people are fortunate to whom God has given a heart that can feel, and a temperament that can experience moods; for this is an extraordinary wealth.
Encounters take place with the late Shāh Naṣīr: On the one hand the requests of the Crown Prince, on the other hand the late Navab's ghazals, were exercising his powers to the fullest--then after some years, the late Shāh Naṣīr returned from the Deccan, and re-established his usual mushairah. The Shaiḳh, peace be upon him, had reached a high level in his practice; he too attended the mushairah and recited his ghazals. In the Deccan, the Shāh Sahib had, at someone's request, composed a ghazal of nine verses of which the refrain was 'fire and water and earth and air'. He recited that ghazal in the mushairah and said, 'Anyone who writes a ghazal in this pattern, I will consider an ustad'.e At the next mushairah, the Shaiḳh recited a ghazal in it. Shāh Naṣīr, for his part, #437# raised some objections to it. The celebrations were near. The Shaiḳh, may God bless him, composed an ode in that same pattern in honor of the king. But first he took it to Maulvī Shāh ʿAbd ul-ʿAzīz Sahib: 'Please tell me the the right and wrong things in it'. When the Shāh Sahib heard it, he gave him permission to recite it. But the Crown Prince sent it again to the Shāh Sahib, with a note from him. The Shāh Sahib put in writing whatever he had said orally, and also wrote this [Persian] verse:
/To object to whatever I say
Is like someone poking a finger in a seeing eye/.
The late Shaiḳh's heart became even stronger. And he went to the royal court and recited the ode. It was discussed at great length, and after some days he heard that objections had been written about it.
The late Shaiḳh took the ode into the mushairah, to recite it there and have it judged in a face-to-face public encounter. Accordingly, the ode was recited. The late Shāh Naṣīr presented in the gathering a quick-witted student, who was well-read in the standard books of study, and said, 'He has written some objections on this'. The Shaiḳh, peace be upon him, humbly said, 'I am your pupil, and I don't consider myself worthy of having your objections addressed [directly] to me'. Shāh Naṣīr said, 'It has no connection with me. He's the one who has written something.' The late Shaiḳh said, 'Well, writing is useful only when people are at a distance. While we are all here in each other's presence, please speak about it orally.'
An extraordinary encounter: The opening verse of the ode was:
/Even if mountain and storm contain fire and water and earth and air,
They still won't be able to move today, fire and water and earth and air/.
The objector made the objection, 'A proof is needed for fire moving inside rock'. The Shaiḳh said, 'When the mountain moves forward, the fire inside it will also move accordingly'. The objector said, 'There should be a proof for fire moving inside stone'. The Shaiḳh said, 'Observation'. He said, 'Give an authority drawn from a book'. The Shaiḳh said, 'It is proved from history, that in the time of Hoshang1 fire came out [from stone]'. He said, 'In poetry, the authority of a verse is required. History is of no use in poetry.' Those present at the mushairah #438# were watching the spectacle of the back-and-forth questions and answers. And they were dumbfounded at the objection, when all at once the Shaiḳh, peace be upon him, recited this [Persian] verse of Muḥsin 'Tāṡīr':
/I burnt down even before the appearance of the beloved
It was just as if there was fire in the stone--I burnt down my house/.
The moment they heard this, there was a tumultuous clamor in the mushairah. And along with it, he presented Saudā's line /In every stone there is a spark of Your presence/; and in the same way a number of similar verses were argued and debated. Shāh Naṣīr too kept intervening with his own comments. Finally to one verse he made this objection: 'In this there's no proof of flowingness'. The Shaiḳh, may God bless him, said, 'Here there is taġhlīb'.2 At that time Shāh Naṣīr himself said, 'Taġhlīb has not come into this anywhere'. The Shaiḳh said, 'The rule of taġhlīb is commonly accepted'. Shāh Naṣīr said, 'Until it is found in the poetry of some ustad, it cannot be considered proper'. The Shaiḳh, may God bless him, said, 'You recited a ghazal of nine verses, and said, "If anyone composes a ghazal in this pattern, I'll consider him an ustad". I composed a ghazal and three odes--am I still not an ustad?' The objector said, 'Just now I cannot enumerate all my objections. Let it be postponed until tomorrow.' And the gathering broke up.
For the acquisition of learning, means were given by God: From that day, he felt that it was necessary for him to acquire learning and busy himself with looking into books. God provided the means in this way: Raja Ṣāḥib Rām ['Ḳhāmosh'], who was the administrator of the properties of the King of Avadh, formed a strong desire to have his son given a thorough command of the books of learning. Maulvī ʿAbd ur-Razzāq, who was the former teacher of the late Shaiḳh, was appointed to teach him. By chance one day the Shaiḳh too went with the Maulvī Sahib. Since his quickness of temperament had became famous, Raja Sahib Rām said to him, 'Miyāñ Ibrāhīm! Always be present during the lesson.' It reached the point that if sometime because he was busy, or because of some necessity, he didn't go there, the Raja Sahib's man searched him out and fetched him. And if not, then the lesson was postponed.
#439# He always used to say, 'When the king was Crown Prince, then I had written a masnavi for the wedding celebration of Mirzā Salīm. Its meter was different from the usual meter of masnavis. People talked about it, saying that it was not permitted. I had seen Mīr Najāt's Gul-e kushtī. But Ḥakīm Mirzā Muḥammadf Sahib was alive--may God bless them both. And he used to be my late father's physician. With an eye to his breadth of information and his scholarly attainments, I went to him and asked. He said, "It is a happenstance of custom that masnavis have come to be confined to those particular eight meters. Otherwise, who is lord over a right-minded temperament, to hold it back? Write in whatever meter you want."' Among the Ustad's manuscripts one piece of paper turned up, on which some verses of it are written. In them is the theme of the henna ceremony [during the wedding festivities]. I still remember two verses: [two verses].
He receives the title 'Ḳhāqānī of India' from the royal court: After some years, he composed and recited an ode in the court of Akbar Shāh, in the various verses of which he had used different types of figures of speech and rhetorical devices. In addition to this, there were eighteen verses, each of which was in a different language. Its opening verse is, [a verse]. For this, the king bestowed on him the title of 'Ḳhāqānī of India'. At that time the late Shaiḳh's age was nineteen years.
#440# Some days previously, Ḥāfiz̤ Aḥmad Yārg had seen in a dream that there was a bier, with many people gathered around it. There Ḥāfiz̤ ʿAbd ul-Raḥīm, who was Ḥāfiz̤ Aḥmad Yār's father, was standing, holding a bowl of rice pudding, and feeding it by spoonfuls to the Shaiḳh, may God bless him. The Ḥāfiz̤ asked him, 'What momentous encounter is this, and whose is the bier?' He said, 'This is the funeral procession of Mirzā Rafīʿ, and Miyāñ Ibrāhīm has been appointed to fill his place'.
People discussed the title 'Ḳhāqānī of India' very much: 'What has the king done--while there are venerable and well-known poets, he has made a youth the 'Chief of Poets', and given him so lofty a title!' In one gathering, just this conversation was taking place. Someone said, 'The ode for which this title was given--we ought to look at that too'. Accordingly, the ode was brought and read out. Mīr Kallū 'Ḥaqīr', who was a poet of venerable years and had been an acquaintance of the former poets, said upon hearing it, 'My friends, there should be justice! Look at the poetry too. If the king made such a person 'Chief of Poets', and gave him the title 'Ḳhāqānī of India', then how was he wrong?' I remember that when the late Ustad narrated this story, even at that time he said something. And when I was grieved by the injustice and ignorance and blindness of the people of the world,and spoke of it, then too he commanded, 'Even among the unjust ones, some just person suddenly speaks up as well; among the ignorant, some knowledgeable person emerges. Keep on doing your work.'
His repentance, and the chronogram of his repentance: He was thirty-six years old when he repented of all forbidden things. And he composed a [Persian] chronogram of this: /Oh Żauq, say three times, 'I repent'/.
Congratulations--the king became his pupil: When Mirzā Abū Z̤afar became king and assumed the title of Bahādur Shāh, first of all the Ustad offered this ode:
/How can it face your face--the Eastern sun with its dawn-bright color
It's a little bit of your reflection--the dawn light and the morning color/.
Although Mirzā Abū Z̤afar always loved him wholeheartedly, and considered him a #441# treasury of trust for the secrets of his heart, during his time as Crown Prince Mirzā Muġhal Beg was the Chief Steward. When sometimes a time came for the grandest promotions or rewards, then for the Ustad it happened that he went from four rupees a month to five, from five to seven rupees a month. When he became king, and Mirzā Muġhal Beg became vazir, the royal vazir's whole family came in and filled up the Fort--but for the royal Ustad, thirty rupees a month! Nevertheless, he never opened his mouth in the royal presence to petition for advancement. His habit was to stroll around concentrating on poetic composition, and to make metrical verses. Accordingly, in those days, when some lofty theme was put into verse with trimness and correctness, in the joy of this he looked toward the sky, and wandered around saying,
/That people of accomplishment should wander around like this, in disarray--it's a pity
Oh Accomplishment, it's a shame to you--it's a pity/.
Miyāñ ʿAbd ul-ʿAzīz Ḳhānh Sahib was a venerable man, directly connected [with Sufis], a faqir. The late Shaiḳh too had a great deal of faith in him. In this state, he went to him one day and said, 'Before he took the throne, His Excellency made great commitments. But now the situation is that although Mirzā Muġhal Beg doesn't even know A from B, and even his language is ungrammatical, no one counts except him.' The Ḳhān Sahib said, 'In the Divine activities, although outer-looking Rationality does not work, just look: the wealth God has given to you, He has not given even to him. The authority by which you stand in the court and recite your poetry--how could he stand with the same authority in his place as vazir? Even low, base clerks and scribes of his must be literate. How much he must be filled with longing, that he cannot understand their written words, nor ascertain the true and the false of their writing!' The late Shaiḳh acknowledged his instruction; he never complained again.
After some days, Mirzā Muġhal Beg suffered a downfall. The whole family was banished from the Fort. The late Navab Ḥāmid ʿAlī Ḳhān became the chief steward; from then on the royal ustad received one hundred rupees a month. At the festivals of ʿĪd and Nauroz he always read odes of congratulation, and was honored with robes of honor.
#442# At the end of the Ustad's days, one time the king fell sick. When he recovered his health and the Ustad composed a powerful ode and offered it, then in addition to a robe of honor he received as a reward the title of 'Ḳhān Bahādur' and an elephant with a silver howdah.
Then he composed a very grand ode and offered it. Of which the opening verse is /Last night, lying in my bed of rest/. For which a village was bestowed on him as his personal estate.
The night when, near morning, he died--that evening I too was present, when he had to urinate. His son lifted him. A platform with a chamber pot stood at the foot of his bed. His son gave him his hand, and he leaned on him and wanted to move forward. When his strength deserted him, he said, 'Ah, weakness!' His son said, 'You are as weak as poets are'. Ḥāfiz̤ Vīrān was seated there, and said, 'You yourself have used wonderful themes of weakness'. Smiling, the Ustad said, 'Now I'm somewhat weaker even than that'. I said, 'Praise be to God! Even in this state, there's still exaggeration. May God give strength with the same exaggeration.' I took my leave. The night passed in that same condition. As morning came, on the 24th Ṣafar A.H. 1271 [1854-55], Thursday, the seventeenth day of his illness, he died. Three hours before dying he composed this verse,
/They say that today Żauq has passed away from this world
What a fine man he was--may God have mercy upon him/.
More chronograms were composed by the poets of India than have fallen to the lot of any king or person of accomplishment to this day.
In those days, the Urdū Aḳhbār of Delhi was being published. For a whole year, there was no issue of it in which every week numbers of chronograms were not published.
a Here is a sample of his poetry: [ten verses].
b In Bukhara, Ḳhvājah ʿAbd ur-Raḥmān Yasavī was a noble of aristocratic family. He was descended from Ḳhvājah Aḥmad Yasavī. Through the exigencies of the times, he left his homeland and went to Balkh. And there he established a household. God gave him three virtuous sons, #426fn through to 427 fn# Qāsim Jān, ʿĀlam Jān, ʿĀrif Jān. Their youthful, gallant courage did not like to sit at home. Taking a detachment of horse and foot, archers, Uzbeks, and so on, they came to India. In the Panjab, Muʿīn ul-Mulk, known as Mīr Munnū, son of Navāb Qamar ud-Dīn Ḳhān the vazir of Muḥammad Shāh, was the governor. He took these nobly-born young men into his companionship. In the land of the Panjab the Sikh community, like wild grass, was springing up everywhere. In his time their galloping of the horses of courage and earned them a reputation. After some time, Mīr Munnū died. The Sikhs began to suppress the royal power. The brothers, feeling downhearted at the helplessness and worthlessness of the royal nobles, turned their faces toward the court. It was the time when Shāh ʿĀlam was the king, and in order to confront Mīran he had taken an army and gone off to Bengal. They too arrived there, and showed such hardihood and courage that Navab Qāsim Jān received an estate [manṣab] of seven thousand and the title of Sharaf ud-Daulah Suhrāb Jang. When the king turned back from there, all three brothers came to Delhi and took up residence here. In battles, with their courage, they remained the strength of the arm of Ẓulfiqār ud-Daulah Navab Najab Ḳhān the Commander in Chief. Navab ʿĀrif Jān managed their estates, and so on, in the villages. Even in death, he kept his noble brother Navāb Qāsim Jān company. He left four sons: Nabī Baḳhsh Ḳhān, Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān, Muḥammad ʿAlī Ḳhān, Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān. Navāb Aḥmad Baḳhsh Ḳhān became a secretary and agent for Rāʾo Raja Baḳhtāvar Siñgh, ruler of Alwar, and in that capacity he took part with Lord Lake Sahib Bahādur in expeditions in India. And maintaining a detachment of troops at his own expense, he continued to serve the government. In recompense for which Firozpur, Jhirkah, and so on, estates were bestowed by the government. And from the royal court he received the titles Faḳhr ud-Daulah, Dilāvar ul-Mulk, Rustam Jang, through the instrumentality of the Resident of Delhi. His older son Navab Shams ud-Dīn Ḳhān succeeded him. But the times turned his page in such a way that not even his name, or a trace of him, remains. The late Faḳhr ud-Daulah had given a separate estate to Navab Amīn ud-Dīn Ḳhān and Navab Ẓiyā ud-Dīn Ḳhān, which is known as Lohārū. Navab Amīn ud-Dīn Ḳhān remained the head of state. After him, his son Navab ʿAlā ud-Dīn Ḳhān assumed charge of the state, who along with Eastern sciences is masterfully accomplished in the English language. He uses the pen-name ʿAlāʾī, and is a pupil of the late Ġhālib. Navab Ẓiyā ud-Dīn Ḳhān Bahādur, having acquired the necessary learning, developed such an interest in the art of poetry and scholarly books that he had no eyes for worldly wealth or pleasure. To the present, he is still absorbed in this. He is a pupil of the late Ġhālib. In Persian, he uses the pen-name Nayyar. At the request of his friends, he sometimes composes in Urdu as well, and in it he uses the pen-name Raḳhshāñ. He shows a kindness like that of a venerable elder toward the faqir Āzād. May God keep the shade of the skirt of their accomplishment over the heads of the people of Delhi! Only by reason of these people is Delhi, Delhi. Otherwise, what are brick and stone? /We are sacred relics--come and do pilgrimage, oh Majnūn / [We are so venerable that] the blister of the foot carries us everywhere on his own head/.
c It was in the presence of Ḥāfiz̤ Ġhulām Rasūl that the late Shaiḳh died. Thus a number of times it happened that the Ustad was strolling in a lane, and I too was with him. Ḥāfiz̤ Ġhulām Rasūl Sahib appeared from in front of us. The late Shaiḳh saluted him with the same courtesy with which he used to salute him in childhood. Ḥāfiz̤ Ġhulām Rasūl returned a reply--but with such sourness, as though he poured out a hundred bottles of vinegar. When he came out of the bazaar, people used to point him out to each other: 'Look, my friend, there goes the ustad of Ustad Żauq'.
d Harīchug means faithless and fickle. As if there is an animal, and wherever it finds green grass, it grazes. When there is no more left, then wherever it sees more green grass, it goes and stays there.
e This is a sarcasm directed at the late Shaiḳh, who did the ghazals of the Crown Prince and Navab Ilāhī Baḳhsh Ḳhān, and was called an ustad.
1 Hoshang was a legendary early Persian king who, according to the Shāh nāmah, flung one stone against another so that a spark leaped forth; thus fire came into the world. See Reuben Levy, trans., The Epic of the Kings (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1967), pp. 6-8.
2 The term taġhlīb is puzzling: within the literary critical tradition, it seems to be completely nonexistent. One possibility is to take it as an absent-minded misspelling of tablīġh, 'slight exaggeration'.
f Ḥakīm Mirzā Muḥammad Sahib was a person of perfect accomplishment in learning and universal attainment, from a family of learning and knowledge. In medicine, he was the pupil of the late Ḥakīm Sharīf Ḳhān, who was the paternal grandfather of Ḥakīm Maḥmūd Ḳhān. Ḥakīm Mirzā Muḥammad Sahib was himself a poet, and his father too was a poet of learning and knowledge. He used the pen-name Kāmil, and was the pupil of Mīr Shamsuddīn Faqīr, the author of Ḥadāʾiq ul-balāġhat. I have seen a long essay of his called ʿIlm-e qavāfī. He had written a reply to Tuḥfah-e iṡnā ʿashariyah. The last three chapters were yet to be written, when he departed this world. Many learned men have written replies to this book. But no one has written with such dignity, comprehensiveness, and conciseness.
g See page #279#. Ḥāfiz̤ Aḥmad Yār was a friend of Sayyid Inshā's. He was an extraordinarily lively-natured, cheerful person who understood poetry very well. Although the Ustad was young and he was old, they met like real friends. The late Ḥāfiz̤ was the son-in-law of that very Maulvī Sahib who had given the fatvā of ḥillat zāġh [declaring that the crow is not prohibited as food]. And Saudā had composed a satire against him. It is a repeated-line poem in the form of a five-liner: /A clown says that the crow is permitted [as food]/.
h He used to live at Farrāshḳhānah kī Khīṛkī.