Mar gaya sadma-e-yak jumbish-e-lab se Ghalib Na-tavani se, harif-e-dam-e-Isa na hua

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 Mar gaya sadma-e-yak jumbish-e-lab se

Ghalib died just by the (minute) push of air from lips

Na-tvani  se, harif-e-dam-e-Isa na     hua

He was so weak he couldn’t bear this push of air from Jesus’ lips.

Sadma = Shock   Jumbish =movement, jump    lab=lip   sadma-e-yak jumbish-e-lab=Shock caused by the disturbance in air due to movement of lips      Na-tavani=weakness (Tawan=strong)      Harif=rival       dam=breath      Isa=Jesus         harif-e-dam-e-Isa=rival the breadth of Jesus, couldn’t bear the movement in air

This is the 7th and the end verse of Ghalib’s 9th ghazal.  Ending verse of a Ghazal is called Maqta; it holds the poet’s pen name called takhallus. Also, the verse before any Maqta, is called last she’r or last verse of a ghazal.

This is a popular ghazal. It has 7 verses; all of them are beautiful & are bursting with great thoughts. It has been sung by many artists including Lata. For audio, please click here

 Meaning: Let me explain two aspects of this verse.                                                                                    1. Muslims and Christians believe that Jesus Christ was endowed with power of miracle. He could cure the sick and raise the dead. At the moment of performing this miracle, he would utter, “Rise by the command of Allah” then he would blow the breath over the dead/sick person. As soon as these words were uttered, the sick became healthy and the dead became alive. Both Christian and Muslims believe Jesus never failed.

  1. Second aspect is that Ghalib might have observed that if some blows mouthful of air over any weak & tiny insect like an ant, it gets pushed away and gets injured.

 In this verse, Ghalib describes a situation when he is extremely sick, weak, and fragile; probably he refused food and drink and brought this condition upon him, as he may have been shunned by his sweetheart. His friends fetch Jesus Christ to make him healthy. When Jesus came to perform his miracle and uttered the magical words, “Qum be Izn-i-Allah (Rise by the command of Allah)”, and then blew his breath, the blow of breath proved to too much for this weak Ghalib. He couldn’t bear this minute shock of air and died by its push. It is like someone very sick, dies just by the prick of an injection that his doctor gave him to cure!

 Ghalib is an iconoclast. In this verse he cleverly refutes the fundamental belief that Jesus always succeeded in curing sick. He presents a highly exaggerated situation when the remedy of Jesus proved to be a killer.

 Finer aspects of this verse:This verse is full of Ghalib’s magic of imagination and exaggeration. Ghalib always likes to poke fun at established beliefs in such a way that he is not accused of blasphemy. Look at his power of imagination, exaggeration, and choice of words. Ghalib always use biblical and Qur’anic references to tell a huge story in just two lines. Elsewhere he mentions that his problems are too many; one Jesus is not enough! Or, Jesus is helpless when it comes to Ghalib. By questioning Jesus capacity to cure, Ghalib glorifies his problems to nth degree

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