In the city of love


Iqbal wrote this poem in London, when he received the first letter written by the hand of his little son Javid. The poem is dedicated to Javid, and in that, to all young persons.

dayaar-e-ishq mein apna maqaam paida kar
naya zamaana, naye subho-shaam paida kar

dayaar – city; ishq – love for God; maqaam – residence, dwelling


khuda agar mile, fitrat shanaas de tujhko

sakoot-e-laala-o-gul se kalaam paida kar

fitrat – nature; shanaas – understanding; sakoot – silence; laala – tulip; gul – rose; kalaam – speech, discourse


mera tareeq ameeri nahi, faqiri hai

khudi na bech, gharibi mein naam paida kar

tareeq – path; ameeri – aristocracy; faqiri – poverty; khudi – selfhood


mai shaakh-e-taak hoon, meri ghazal hai mera samar
mere samar se mai-e-laala faam paida kar

shaakh-e-taak – vine; samar – fruit; mai – wine; laala-faam – tulip coloured


utha na sheeshagaraan-e-farang ke ehsaan

sifaal-e-hind se meena-o-jaam paida kar

sheeshagaraan – glass makers; farang – foreigners, french; sifal – pottery; meena-o-jaam – goblet and flask


– iqbal

The intensity and majesty of Iqbal’s thought is present in every couplet.

Give birth to your own place in the world, but in the realm of love, not in the realm of money. A love that is not merely for your fellow beings, but for your God, a love for which you may be willing to not just live but also to die. A love that creates a new morning and a new night. A love that changes the times, that creates a new world.

Your path is not that of aristocracy, your path is of the faqir, the poor saint who cares only for God. Do not sell your self, a self that can be real only in the midst of poverty – a poverty of egotism.

May God give birth in you to the knowledge of creation. Out of that knowledge, may you give birth to thoughts sublime, thoughts inspired by the silent splendour of the tulip and the rose.

I am merely a grape tree, my fruit is this poem. Take this fruit of mine and give birth to a wine that intoxicates your whole being.

Do not drink this wine of life in goblets borrowed from the West. From the humble earth of your country, give birth to your own flask and your own goblet.

Masterfully sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

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~ by tdcatss on December 26, 2013.

One Response to “In the city of love”

  1. nice…

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