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Hazrat Khwaja Ghulam Fareed URS celebration beginning .  -  Three-days Ceremonies Of URS Of The Famous Saint And Sufi Poet Of the South Punjab Hazrat Khwaja Ghulam Fareed will be Starting  From 6th February.KFF is The Host Of The Celebration Ceremony.  Diwan-e- Fareed new research, which the Author is Mr. Mujahid Jatoi are celebration ceremony will be held on February 7th in Qaser-e-Fareed. KFF is the  host of the celebration ceremony. The Delegation Of Khwaja Farid College Rahim Yar Khan, Visit The Kot Mithan. A Delegation Of The Professors And Lecturers In The Leadership Of Mr. Chaudhry Mohammad Akram Principal Khwaja Fareed College Rahim Yar Khan Visited The Kot Mithan. After Darbar –e-Fareed Thay Also Visit The Khawaja Fareed Museum And Then They Attended a Ceremony Arranged by KFF, in Qaser-e-Fareed.  

تیڈا شان فضل کرم دا ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔    میں وچ ڈو تے عیب ہزار  ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔   میں مسکین فرید ہاں تیڈا  ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔  توُں بن کون اُتاریم پار


Translated and Explained by Dr. Shahzad Qaiser

Dedicated to: My Revered Spiritual Master Hazrat Baba Sufi Muhammad Tufayl The embodiment of Primordial Wisdom


 Copyright © Suhail Academy 1997 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording or therwise, without written permission of the publisher. Printed at the Shirkat Printing Press, Lahore For Muhammad Aslam Suhail Produced and distributed by Suhail Academy, Chowk Urdu Bazar, Lahore, Pakistan 1st Published 1997 Cataloguing in Publication Data: 1. Dr Shahzad Qaiser 2. Understanding Diwan i Farid 3. ystical Poetry 4. Islamic Literature 5. Punjabi Literature  6. Sufism Pp. lvi + 890, Size, cm 22.5 x 14.5 ISBN 978-969-519-188-0


                                                                      Appearance and Reality 



وَوَهَبْنَا لِدَاوٗدَ سُلَيْمٰنَ ۭ نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ ۭ اِنَّهٗٓ اَوَّابٌ    30؀ۭاِذْ عُرِضَ عَلَيْهِ بِالْعَشِيِّ الصّٰفِنٰتُ الْجِيَادُ    31؀ۙفَقَالَ اِنِّىْٓ اَحْبَبْتُ حُبَّ الْخَيْرِ عَنْ ذِكْرِ رَبِّيْ ۚ حَتّٰى تَوَارَتْ بِالْحِجَابِ    32؀۪رُدُّوْهَا عَلَيَّ ۭ فَطَفِقَ مَسْحًۢا بِالسُّوْقِ وَالْاَعْنَاقِ       33؀  وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا سُلَيْمٰنَ وَاَلْقَيْنَا عَلٰي كُرْسِيِّهٖ جَسَدًا ثُمَّ اَنَابَ   34؀قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِيْ وَهَبْ لِيْ مُلْكًا لَّا يَنْۢبَغِيْ لِاَحَدٍ مِّنْۢ بَعْدِيْ ۚ اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ   35؀

“And We gave unto David Solomon; how excellent a servant he was! He was a penitent. When in the evening were presented to him the standing steeds, he said, ‘Lo, I have loved the love of good things better than the remembrance of my Lord, until the sun was hidden behind the veil. Return them to me!’ And he began to stroke their shanks and necks. Certainly We tried Solomon, and We cast upon his throne a mere body; then he repented. He said, ‘My Lord, forgive me, and give me a kingdom such as may not befall any-one after me; surely Thou art the All-giver.’” (Surah Saad: 30-35)


قَالَ نَكِّرُوْا لَهَا عَرْشَهَا نَنْظُرْ اَتَهْتَدِيْٓ اَمْ تَكُوْنُ مِنَ الَّذِيْنَ لَا يَهْتَدُوْنَ 41؀فَلَمَّاجَاۗءَتْ قِيْلَ اَهٰكَذَا عَرْشُكِ  ۭ قَالَتْ كَاَنَّهٗ هُوَ  ۚ وَاُوْتِيْنَا الْعِلْمَ مِنْ قَبْلِهَا وَكُنَّا مُسْلِمِيْنَ 42؁وَصَدَّهَا مَا كَانَتْ تَّعْبُدُ مِنْ دُوْنِ اللّٰهِ  ۭ اِنَّهَا كَانَتْ مِنْ قَوْمٍ كٰفِرِيْنَ 43؀قِيْلَ لَهَا ادْخُلِي الصَّرْحَ  ۚ فَلَمَّا رَاَتْهُ حَسِبَتْهُ لُجَّةً وَّكَشَفَتْ عَنْ سَاقَيْهَا  ۭ قَالَ اِنَّهٗ صَرْحٌ مُّمَرَّدٌ مِّنْ قَوَارِيْرَ  ڛ قَالَتْ رَبِّ اِنِّىْ ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِيْ وَاَسْلَمْتُ مَعَ سُلَيْمٰنَ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعٰلَمِيْنَ  44؀ۧ

“He said, ‘Disguise her throne for her, and we shall behold whether she is guided or if she is of those that are not guided.’ So, when she came, it was said, ‘Is thy throne like this?’ She said, ‘It seems the same.’ ‘And we were given the knowledge before her, and we were in surrender, but that she served, apart from God, barred her, for she was of a people of unbelievers.’ It was said to her, ‘Enter the pavilion.’ But when she saw it, she supposed it was a spreading water, and she bared her legs. He said, ‘It is a pavilion smoothed of crystal. She said, ‘My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, and I surrender with Solomon to God, the Lord of all Being.’ (Surah An Namal: the Ants: 41-44)

(The Koran Interpreted: translation by A. J. Arberry)




I owe my deepest gratitude to Seyyed Hossein Nasr, an original thinker in the world of Islam, who has kept the Light of Tradition shining against the strong billows of modernism. His writings are a source of great inspiration for us.

My thanks are due to Mr. William C. Chittick, an outstanding scholar on traditional literature, who has delved deep into Sufi Tradition and has made it understandable for the contemporary man.

I am grateful to late Mr. N.A. Baloch, an eminent Sindhi scholar, whose writings reflect a deeper understanding of the different facets of Language and Culture. My interaction with him had been highly educative for me.  I am very grateful to Mr. Suheyl Umar, a profound scholar of Iqbal and traditional studies, who provided technical advice in the publication of my book.

I am obliged to Mr. Moeenuddin Koreja, a noble and hospitable person, who gave me full access to his Farid Museum at Kot Mithan, which is a repository of traditional Art and Culture.

I am thankful to Mr. Khalid Faisal Photographer, a dedicated soul, who accompanied me to Rohi/Cholistan for days and captured beautiful aspects of traditional life.

I am highly appreciative of Mr. Muhammad Tariq of Prime Minister’s Secretariat and Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed of Iqbal Academy Pakistan for their efforts in processing the allied data with expertise, patience and perseverance.


Most part of the Indo-Pakistan-Bangladeshi Subcontinent, which became Islamic did so through the influence of Sufism, and during the past millennium this area has produced some of the most outstanding Sufi saints, metaphysicians, gnostics and poets. Unfortunately, many of these figures are not well known outside of the Subcontinent, especially those belonging to more recent times. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has performed a great service in making available the work of one such figure, the Punjabi Sufi poet, gnostic and metaphysician Khawaja Ghulam Farid, who was almost our contemporary, having lived into the 20th century. In this volume, which complements his earlier volumes on the metaphysics of Khawaja Farid and his Diwan, Dr. Qaiser provides a complete and masterly commentary in English upon the gnostic and Sufi poems of this recent sage. The commentary uses the vocabulary of the traditionalist school and is thereby able to bring out succinctly in English the remarkable metaphysical depth of these precious poems.

In reading this work one not only encounters beautiful expressions of a wisdom that is perennial and becomes enriched by the depth of expression of so many aspects of the truth, but one also becomes startled to discover that such a figure as Khawaja Farid lived so recently during a period so often associated by the educated Muslim mind with so-called reformers who have often dealt with only the surface of things. We must all be grateful to Dr. Qaiser for making such a precious treasure available to the public at large and also for helping present day Muslims to remember the very rich intellectual and spiritual tradition that has survived in the Islamic world until now and that is of vital significance for Muslims today and in the future if they are to confront successfully the numerous intellectual, religious and spiritual challenges that they face now and will face in the years to come.

6th May 2011                                                                                                                             Seyyed Hossein Nasr

University Professor of Islamic Studies The George Washington University

Washington DC



Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, the author of this book, is one of the greatest authorities on the study of Khawaja Ghulam Farid, who is the most renowned poet of Saraiki language. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has desired that I should write a Foreword of his new work which he has produced with the title: Understanding Diwan-i-Farid. I was really surprised at his desire because I know very little about the poetry of this great Sufi and the most popular poet of Saraiki language. In fact I had expressed my little knowledge about this great Sufi poet and his message in a couple of meetings in Multan and Bahawalpur, which seem to have prompted Dr. Shahzad Qaiser to have done so.

Iconfess that I am not a scholar at all, who could write a Foreword of such a scholarly research work contributed by Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, the most outstanding scholar of Farid Studies. I have, in front of me, the thought provoking masterpieces contributed by Dr. Shahzad Qaiser in the field of ‘Khawaja Farid Studies’.

Dr. Qaiser has said: “Khawaja Ghulam Farid (1845-1901) is a Saraiki poet metaphysician par excellence. He has revived the traditional metaphysics in the modern world by embracing the universal elements of pure metaphysics. His learning and scholarship coupled with his spiritual experiences had added a glorious chapter on world spirituality. He is multilingual and has left a rich repository of prose and poetry.”

Dr. Shahzad Qaiser further says:

Diwan-i-Farid is the fountain- head of his whole metaphysical thought and its realization. It speaks of the religion of the heart that essentially takes one to the heart of the religion. Diwan-i-Farid is essentially symbolic. It gives us symbolic understanding of the ultimate nature of things, expressed in a beautiful poetic imagery.”

In my opinion in Pakistan, after Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Sachal Sarmast and Allama Iqbal, Khawaja Farid is the only Sufi poet who has been thoroughly and critically studied by our scholars.

Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has already contributed his three masterpiece works on the life and work of this great poet:

1.           The Metaphysics of Khawaja Farid

2.           Beyond the Manifest – Metaphysics, Tradition and Culture

3.           The Message of Diwan-i-Farid

It is really Nature’s gift which is bestowed upon philosophers, thinkers, scientists, poets, writers and scholars as they are claimed to have been the only persons for such a gift. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser is one of those God-gifted scholars. This is evident from the masterpiece work contributed by him in the field of Farid Studies. I would say without any hesitation that he is a scholar in his own right along with being the son of Dr. Nazir Qaiser, a God-gifted and most renowned international scholar on Iqbaliyat. The learned author of the present scholarly work has thoroughly explained the metaphysical insights of Khawaja Farid. He has rightly said that this Sufi poet has uncovered the tracks of metaphysics, cosmology, tradition and symbolism in his poetry. He has demonstrated the possibility of looking beyond physics, has experienced the universe in cosmological terms, rooted his intellectual doctrine in the Islamic tradition and taught the language of symbolism. The author is hopeful that there is still time for the modern man to forsake the wrong tracks and move on to the primordial road that leads to destination. The learned author further opines that if this road is not taken then Man would certainly be lost in wilderness and would absolutely cease to be human. What a heavy price man has to pay for turning away from his own “Ideal Human Nature”.

The author has explained all these points with the help of quotations from the verses of Khawaja Farid.

Primordial Beauty is present every where. Sufis understand it by witnessing it. Every Sufi believes that there is nothing resembling Him. Like other Sufis, Khawaja Farid also knows Him as All Reality. There is no dependence on anything except Allah. Nothing exists except Him. It is the way of our tradition. Farid advises the seeker to keep constant watchfulness. He says:

ہِک ہے ہِک ہے ہِک ہے

ہِک دی دم دم سِک ہے

ہِک دے ہر ہر جا وچ دیرے

کیا اُوچ ہے کیا جھِک ہے

ہِک ہے ظاہر ہِک ہے باطن

بِیا سَب کجھ ہالِک ہے

مقناطیس تے لوہے وانگن

ہوں ڈو دل دی چھِک ہے

جیڑھا ہِک کوں ڈوں کر جانے

او کافر مشرِک ہے


Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has introduced the Kafis of Khawaja Farid to the people all over the globe, particularly to those who are interested in his message of mysticism.

Writing about the teaching of Sufism in our part of the world, Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, states:

“One of the primary manifestations of Islamic tradition has been in Sufi doctrines, methods and practices. It is reflected in Sufi adages, maxims and proverbs. The Sufis of Punjab, Sindh, Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas are the most creative expression of this tradition. They have essentially communicated their doctrine to the common folk which, among other things, have been instrumental in preserving the traditional truths from corruption. They have happily embraced the votaries of different religions of the world and have included every one in the all encompassing reality of universal great love of humanity. The Sufis, in consonance with the Divine Message and the conduct of the Prophet of Islam, love humanity from the core of their heart. They are not interested in proving other people wrong just for the sake of it but use indirect methods to inspire rightness of ideas, sentiments and conduct. Their essential purpose is to save humanity from sufferings and help it to achieve happiness in different abodes. The Sufis, in all humility, without any hidden pride, act as real benefactors of the down trodden mankind. They help every one and harm no one. This is the reason that all votaries of different religions and traditions come to the Sufis without any reservations. The Sufis have also creatively contributed in the flowering of the sacred art, which occupies a central place in traditional Islam”.

The learned author of this book has further explained the metaphysical thoughts of the great Sufi poet, Khawaja Farid. In his view:

“The Metaphysics of Khawaja Farid is essentially committed to that Reality which lies beyond all cosmic manifestation but in total perspective it conveys the message that the journey to the Absolute starts from the study of the cosmic book. His poetry is replete with study of cosmos both in its principial abstractions and concrete realities.”

He has qouted Dr. Mehr Abdul Haq, a renowned Saraiki scholar, to bring out Khawaja Farid’s love of Nature:

“Khawaja Farid loved the open vast sand-dunes of the Rohi desert, and spent many weeks there every year during summer and springs, winters and autumns and specially the rainy season in which nature is at its best, in picturesque panoramic scenes. His heart leaped up when he beheld a rainbow in the sky but, unlike Wordsworth, this rainbow transported his mind from the concrete to the abstract, from the contingent to the real, from the known to the unknown and from the physical to the metaphysical truths. He was delighted to see the after-rain clear blue skies, the vast silvery horizons, and around the muddy hatched huts, young girls drenched cap-a-pie the welcome showers. The sweet calls of the lonely bird perched on the leafless desert trees, the rhythmic tinkling of the bells of the home coming cattle, the echoing love song of the solitary camel driver, the sobs and sighs of the newly wed young girl whose paramour has been compelled to leave her in search of wages to far off cities, the churning sounds coupled with jingles of the glass-bangles worn up to elbows, the mysterious hissing sounds of the winds passing through the narrow phantom-line sandy mounts. All this bewitched Khawaja Farid with their every-fresh living message of the unity of creation, its inter-relationship and powerful ties of love, peace and tranquillity.”

Khawaja Farid depicts the said scenario in one of his Kafis. He says:

آئے مَست ڈہاڑے ساون دے

وہ سانون دے من بھانون دے

بدلے پورب ماڑ ڈکھن دے

چارے طرفوں زور پون دے

کجلے بھورے سو سو وَن دے

سارے جوڑ وساون دے

چکویاں چکوے اغن پَپّیہے

سہنس چکور چنڈور پپیہے

کوئل مور چچونے چیہے،

شاغل گیت سناون دے

ڈینہاں پِینگھاں سَاویاں پِیلیاں

گج گج گاجاں گجن رسیلیاں

راتیں کِھمنیں کِھمن رنگیلیاں

وقت سنگار سہاون دے

روہی راوے تِھیاں گلزاراں

گھنڈ تنواراں بارش باراں

تھل چِترانگ وی باغ بہاراں

چرچے دہانون گانون دے

چاندنی رات ملہاری ڈینہہ ہے

سوہنی موسم لگڑا نینہہ ہے

ٹھڈڑیاں ہِیلاں رِمجِھم مینہہ ہے

گئے ویہلے غم کھانون وے

مُد مستانی تے خوش دِنڑے

سہجوں مینہہ برساتوں سِنڑے

سالہوں سوہے کیسر بِھنڑے

جھڑ گے لانگھے لانون دے

دیہہ فرید آباد تھیوسے

دل دردوں آزاد تھیوسے

مال مویشی شاد تھیوسے

چولے انگ نہ مانون وے


The title of the book under reference is “Understanding Diwan-i-Farid”. As already stated, Khawaja Farid is one of the greatest Sufi poets, who is exponent of the social and cultural life of the people of ‘Rohi’. He is no, doubt, the poet of common people. He has described herdsmen, peasants and all other common inhabitants of ‘Rohi’ – the region which, is geographically known as ‘Cholistan’. He witnessed the sorrows and grief, pains and sufferings, and also joys and happiness of the people of Cholistan. He is an outstanding Sufi poet of Seraiki. He has conveyed the message of Sufism through his ‘Kafis’ and ‘Baits’ in Saraiki language. In his present work, Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has, not only, translated two hundred and seventy two Kafis of the renowned poet, but he has also explained the metaphysical terms used by the poet. The author has also introduced and explained the theme by the poet which is in fact the original and scholarly contribution of the author.

I quite agree with the learned scholar who is of the opinion that:

Diwan-i-Farid is the masterpiece of traditional literature. It reaches the heights of poetic excellence. It claims all the essential elements of traditional poetry. It thrives on vision, imagination and inwardness. It is replete with intellectuality and existentiality. His Kafis abound with symbols, allegories, similes, metaphors, analogies and images in its poetic diction. The Kafis of Khawaja Farid deal with a whole Saraiki world including the flora and fauna, ornaments and adornments, folk lore and folk takes, tradition and culture, customs and conventions and so on. His poetry reveals the whole world of symbolism. His Kafis manifest the infinite depths of love with the Almighty”.

Kafi is a classical form of Sufi poetry. It is composed by the Sufis of Sindh, Punjab including Saraiki belt and Kutch (a region of Indian Gujrat). Kafi is in fact very popular among the people, both literate and illiterate. The singing of a Kafi enthralls the audience. It is intelligible to all. The Kafi from of poetry is lyrical in essence. Its theme is eternal love. Love songs have always had a wider field in appeal. Every nation possesses its own love songs, and Sindh, Punjab and Saraiki belt in Pakistan are not bit far behind them. The old sing them as acts of devotion, the young derive pleasure out of their contents, the pious consider them as sacred, while the profane will find in them many things from glory to power of achievements. These songs are the sacred hymns and are the lays of the Lord. (Wadhwani Tirathdas 1984:89)

To the form of Kafi, Khawaja Farid has also contributed considerably. The most important thing, for which Khawaja Farid, Shah Latif and Sachal Sarmast cannot be forgotten, is the fact that they gave music to their people as a path leading them to mysticism. The prosodic from of Kafi is generally based on musical notes and modes, composed according to the set rules of Ragas and Ragnis. It is sung in accompaniment of Harmonium, Yaktaro, Khartal, Pakhwaza, Surundo and Sarangi.

The earliest poets of Kafi form of poetry were Madhulal Shah Hussaini, Baba Bulhe Shah, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast. It is worth to be mentioned here that the earliest form of Kafi form, is “Ginan” which was first composed in eleventh century A.D. by Pir Satgur Nur (d.1079) and after him by Pir Shams Sabzwari Multani, then his grand-son Pir Shahbuddin, followed by his great grand-son Pir Sadruddin, and his son Pir Hassan Kabiruddin of Uch Sharif from 12th to 15th century A.D. in Punjabi, Sindhi, Saraiki, Kutchi, Hindvi and Purbi languages. The Ginans of all these Sufi poets are available with the Ismaili community all over the globe, wherever they are settled. They recite them in congregation of the Jamat in their Jamat Khanas. Ginans are really very interesting form of literature in the local languages of the people, who accepted the Ismaili Tariqa under the hands of these Pirs.

It is a well known fact that Khawaja Farid was very much influenced by the poetry of Sachal Sarmast, who composed his poetry in Sindhi, Punjabi, Saraiki, Urdu and Persian. Therefore, Sachal Sarmast is liked and loved in Punjab and in the Saraiki belt. Similarly, Khawaja Farid is also sung in Sindh along with Shah Latif and Sachal Sarmast. From the comparative study of the poetry of Sachal Sarmast and Khawaja Farid it is evident that Khawaja Farid has described almost the same themes which were commonly composed by Sachal Sarmast. For instance Sachal says in one of his Kafis:-

جی آئیں تون بھلی آئیں توں،           کنہیں منزل مون پہچائیں توں

تھو موٹی سر وڈھائیں توں،

سرمد کھے ڈیئی لت کہایئی،            سوریئَ تے منصور چڑہایئی

             شیخ عطار جو سر وڈہایئی،               یوسف کھے منجہہ کھوہ وجھایئی  

     شمس ملن ہتھؤں مارایئی،             بلہے شاھہ کھے ذبح کرایئی

     جعفر کھے وریا ہوڑایئی،           تن کھے پار لنگھائیں توں

     گھاٹٹنے میں بلاول پیرایئی،           عنایت کھے میدان مارایئی

         کرمل کھے ہن حکم ہیلایئی،           موسیٰ کھے بے سہاگ وٹھایئی

        اکیداس تعزیر ڈوایئی،           سو اج ساگیو آہیں توں

               سچو سندئِ پندھ پچھائے گھوریو پنہنجو سر گہمائے

                    نینہس واری گالھہ گالہائے، عاشق کھے فرمائیں توں

Khawaja Farid has described the same theme in one of his Kafis. For instance:-

تیڈے نیناں تیر چلایا

تیڈی رمزاں شور مچایا

المست ہزار مرایا

لکھ عاشق مار گنوایا

ابراھیمؑ اڑاہ اڑایو

بار برہوں سر چایا،

صابر دے تن کیڑے بچھے

موسٰیؑ طور جلایا

ذکریاؑ کلوتر چرایو

یحییٰؑ گھوٹ کوھایا

یونسؑ پیٹ مچھی دے پایو

نوحؑ طوفان لُڑہایا

شاہ حسنؓ کوں شہر مدینے

زھر دا جام پلایا

کربلا وچ تیغ چلا کر

ایڑہا کیس کرایا

شمس الحق دی کھل لہوایو

سرمد سر کپوایا

شاہ منصور چڑھایو سولی

مستی سانگ رسایا

مجنوں کارن لیلیٰ ہو کر

سو سو ناز ڈکھایا

خسرو تے فرہاد دے خاطر

شیریں نام دھرایا

درد دا بار اٹھایا ہر ہک

اپنا وقت نبھایا

کر قربان فرید سر اپنا

تیڈڑا وارا آیا


After the through study of the renderings of Farid’s Kafi in simple English prose, and the explanatory notes on the metaphysical thoughts and terms used by Khawaja Farid in his poetry, the learned author has successful proved with his explanation that Khawaja Farid was the most renowned mystic poet of Saraiki language, who has dealt with the entire human society of the world. The poet has, not only taught the lessons of the greatness of human beings but also of brotherhood and equality among the masses. The rendering of every couplet of every Kafi, and the terms used by the poet, will help the readers to understand the infinite depth of the poetry of the renowned poet. For instance:-


اے قبلہ اقدس عالی

اتھ عبد عبید سوالی

ہر عیب کنوں ہے خالی

جیں جو منگیا سو پایا

“The sacred and supreme House of God is free from all imperfections. Here, God’s bondsmen of higher and lower ranks, become recipients in consonance with their asking.”

Then the learned author has explained the terms and metaphysical thoughts of the poet as under:-

“The House of God, symbolizing the spiritual is perfect. It is universal and thereby free from all social and cultural delimitations. The discriminations of sex, colour, class or caste are not there. It does not recognize even an iota of material differentiations, since it primarily addresses to the spiritual nature of humanity. It has a spiritual programme for the entire mankind to be realized by any one who chooses to become its votary in consonance with the ultimate nature of things. It admits both the virtuous and the sinners in its small and big gatherings....The ‘servant-Lord axis’ is the starting point of spiritual life. The postures of servanthood, nonbeing or nothingness imply the Lord, Being or the Essence itself respectively. The Divine blessings are infinite and no finite receptacle can exhaust them. Intention is the key to the Divine Treasure. Here, all the receptacles in consonance with their inner reach are blessed accordingly. A person who is merely outward remains at the periphery as compared to the one who absorbs the sea in the drop of his inwardness.”

Similarly the rendering of one line of the couplet of Kafi-13, along with its explanation is reproduced below:


عشق لگا گھر وِسریا

زر وسری تے ور وِسریا



“My falling in love has made me oblivious of my abode. My spouse and wealth have fallen in oblivion.”

After the translation of the above quoted line of the couplet, the learned scholar has explained the theme along with the metaphysical terms used in this line:

“It was not a conscious effort on my part to leave my abode, spouse and wealth but my falling in love made me oblivious of all these things. Religiosity purports the way of preaching, sermonizing and moralizing with a limited positive result. Spirituality, on the other hand, provides the possibility of a direct contact with God with immeasurable merits. Once the love of God takes roots in a person, it becomes his guide. His worldly love is burnt to ashes in the fire of Divine love. He goes beyond the need of anyone to tell him what to do. His love keeps freeing him from all worldly propensities of the lower self since his love of God makes them peter out accordingly. Religiosity uses the fear of God to smite the sinners. It ends up in instilling a psychological fear, which becomes highly counterproductive. But spirituality takes God as love. It does not talk of fearing God but enlightens man to be fearful of the drastic consequences of his evil actions. An element of genuine fear does remain during the course of spiritual journey but it is transposed in the fear of doing something, which makes one lose grace in the eye of one’s beloved. It is lovers’ hell.”

Another example of the translation of the couplet of Kafi-62 along with its explanation may be studied:-

عشق اساہنجی جا آہے انصاف

ظلم نبھائیندس، تاں بھی تہنجا تھورا گائیندس

This Kafi is composed in Sindhi language. It is translated as:

“Do justice to my heightened love. I harp on the tune of your name in spite of bearing your unjust behaviour.”

Dr. Shahzad Qaiser explains the metaphysical thought expressed by the Sufi poet in these couplets as reproduced below:

“The lover’s consciousness is absorbed in pure objectivity but as against the objective it gives existential meaning to things. It is not possible to understand these meanings from the outside. They have to be understood inwardly in their total context. The cardinal error of religiosity is to interpret the utterances of the lovers at their face value without bothering to decipher their real meanings. The contradictions between the clerics and the Sufis continue because they speak from different perspectives in different languages. The Sufis understand the clerics but the clerics do not understand the Sufis. How could a person stationed at lower echelon understand the higher one? Many Sufis including Mansur Hallaj, Baba Bulleh Shah and the martyr Sarmad had to suffer at the hands of the clerics. The accusations of the lover against the beloved cannot be interpreted on ordinary plane since she communicates at a higher level. Her words and their purport are only meant for her beloved who understands them fully. They are not meant for the ordinary folk to interpret them at their respective level. It is only the beloved, which has a right to check the lover and no one else. The self-styled custodians of religious, social and cultural values have played havoc with the lovers, symbolised in the tragic romantic tales of different parts of the world. They have not allowed love to prosper. The spiritual essence of love cannot be understood at the psychic plane. The contradiction between the psychic and the spiritual has destroyed so many great men and women. The lover and the beloved express two shades of rightness. It is not a conflict between right and wrong but a conflict between two shades of rightness. The lover is placed at a situation where she exercises rightness otherwise how could she be worthy of her beloved’s love. Her ideas, feelings, words and actions are the expressions of righteousness. The beloved, on the other hand, rightfully places his lover in the heightened states of suffering because it makes the realisation of union possible, though his shade of rightness is differently perceived by the lover. Thus, the two shades of rightness come in open conflict with each other. This is the ‘dialectics’ of love, which ultimately leads to union of the lover and the beloved. The lover’s seeking justice against the unjust behaviour of his beloved has to be understood in the total context.”

I honestly believe that this kind of research work has been undertaken for the first time in the field of ‘Farid Studies’ by Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, whom I have credited as the best scholar of Saraiki language, which is spoken by a great number of people in Pakistan and outside world.

I, from the core of my heart, express my congratulations to Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, the author of this masterpiece work of metaphysical poetry of Khawaja Farid, and pray that Allah, the Almighty, may bestow his mercy upon him who has provided such an indispensable key for those who would like to open up their heart to the vast panorama of spiritual teachings and the spiritual core of Islamic tradition. Like the other works of the author, this is also his masterpiece work which is the result of his remarkable scholarly critical study of the poetry of the most renowned poet of Saraiki language, which will help the people at home and abroad to understand the infinite depths of his metaphysical poetry. The author deserves heartiest congratulations of all the readers.

27.8.2009                                                                                                                  Prof. Dr. G. A. Allana


Emeritus Professor University of Sindh Hyderabad/Jamshoro.


It is a distinctive achievement on the part of Dr. Shahzad Qaiser to have produced an English translation of the text, with explanation, of the ‘Kafi compositions’ of Khwaja Ghulam Farid. The venerable poet scholar belonged to Chachran, District Rahimyar Khan, Pakistan, and flourished during the 2nd half of the 19th century. Dr. Qaiser’s work is a standard one on all the essential counts: the translation is based on an authentic text, the meanings recorded convey the correct sense, and the expositions that follow lend insight into the feeling perceptions, philosophic connotations and Sufistic contem-plations. The author’s language power lends lustre to all. In his previous work entitled The Message of Diwan-i-Farid (covering the magnum corpus of the poet’s two hundred and seventy two Kafis), Dr. Qaiser has clarified that his translation is based on an authentic text of the Kafis originally compiled by Maulavi Aziz-ur-Rehman and reedited recently by two scholars (The Message, pxxli).* Thus, the publication of The Message of Diwan-i-Farid  has for the first time placed on record the English translation of the complete text of the compositions of Khwaja Ghulam Farid

Before this, except for Allama Iqbal’s works, a complete text of no other poet from Pakistan has been translated into English. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has set an example by presenting to the reader the entire original contribution of Khwaja Ghulam Farid in English.* This movement is likely to gain momentum hereafter.

Dr. Qaiser deserves credit that even though he himself was born and reared in Lahore, the cradle of the Punjabi language, he has been able to achieve a sound understanding of the Seraiki idiom of Khwaja Ghulam Farid. His grasp of the fine nuances of the poet’s Seraiki expression has enabled him to produce a reliable translation. No doubt, Dr. Qaiser’s contribution is an admirable attempt to mediate knowledge. His English rendering transcends the stage of ‘literal meaning’ and dips deep into the underlying thought process. Often he has presented us with an English ‘version’ instead of an English ‘translation’, of the original. In the volume of Understanding Diwan-i-Farid wherein Kafis are translated and explained, the expositions which following the textual meanings, do not dilate upon any doctrines of the great poet. However, in his earlier work, Beyond the Manifest (2008), Dr. Qaiser has acknowledged that he was essentially inspired by the metaphysical thought of Khwaja Ghulam Farid. Therefore, he has discussed this doctrine in the first chapter and also devoted two chapters to the ‘Doctrine of Oneness of Being (Wahdat al-Wujud) of Khwaja Ghulam Farid’ in which he has explained the relevance of this doctrine in contemporary times as well as in its universal realization. According to the learned author, Khwaja Ghulam Farid is “the precursor of metaphysical thought of the contemporary times” (p.87), and that “his Doctrine of Oneness of Being (Wahdat al-Wujud) is the metaphysical ground of understanding the principle of unity in diversity” (p.99). These are important observations and will need further elaboration from him to highlight the contribution of Khwaja Ghulam Farid.

15.8.2009                                                       N. A. Baloch

Allama I. I. Kazi Chair,
University of Sindh,
Hyderabad Sindh

* The present writer was in contact with the late Maulavi Aziz-ur-Rehman of Bahawalpur in 1943 and he wrote back to inform that he had taken a good care to record the correct text of the Kafis; further that he had captioned the collection as ‘Diwan’ keeping close to the Persian terminology though Khwaja Farid had composed his Kafis mainly in the Seraiki language. As his family originally belonged to Sindh he had also composed some Kafis in Sindhi which were also included in the Diwan. (More recently a worthy scion of the family, Tahir Mahmud Koreja has reedited the Diwan with further clarifications).

* Diwan-i-Farid translated in Enlish prose.


Understanding Diwan-i-Farid is a notable addition to the growing body of textual and exegetical studies of Sufism or Islamic Spirituality as it unfolded in the Indian environment. A sequel to Dr. Shahzad Qaiser’s earlier work of translating and studying Khawaja Ghulam Farid, an outstanding spiritual master of the school of Ibn ‘Arabi in South East Asia in the late nineteenth century, it not only provides useful materials for an in-depth study of Sufism in general but also helps to dispel many ongoing misunderstandings about the history of Sufi thought and praxis. Western scholarship on Islam has often entertained the idea that, not unlike the case of Islamic philosophy, Islamic Spirituality also withered away after the great masters of classical Islam. In doing this it ignores the irrefutable historical record that testifies to the fact that Islamic philosophy is a living tradition in the Islamic lands and did not come to an end in the seventh/thirteenth century after Ibn Rushd. Neither did Islamic Spirituality cease to produce dazzling examples of spiritual excellence who personified the doctrinal and practical aspects of Sufism. Khawaja Ghulam Farid is one of these numerous figures whose spiritual radiation brought about a re-flowering of Sufism in South Punjab and beyond it.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid, whose mystical magnum opus has been translated and explained in Understanding Diwan-i-Farid, belongs to the long illustrious tradition of wisdom poetry or poetically mediated thought which has been a hallmark of the Sufi masters throughout the ages. Poetry, of course, holds the key, for it speaks a universal language. But, as in the case of Rumi, mysticism is added to poetry. This is a winning combination, for poetry and mysticism are both universal languages of the human soul and nowhere do they reinforce each other more than in the life and legacy of the Sufi masters.

Dr. Shahzad Qaiser has not simply given us a translation. He has endeavored to step backward from the text and delve into the point of view that informs it. It is a work which tries to pry open for its readers the door to the universe of discourse of Islamic Spirituality and the metaphysical perspective in which it is squarely rooted and from which it draws its sap and life blood. He is not interested in evaluating Sufism and Islam from within those dominant perspectives of modern scholarship that make various contemporary modes of self-understanding the basis for judging the subject. Instead, he wants to portray Islamic Spirituality from the perspective of those great Muslims of the past who established the major modes of interpretation of the Sufi doctrine and Islamic understanding.

We are thankful to Dr. Shahzad Qaiser for making available to the English reading public the work of an important figure of the Sufi tradition of South East Asia who represents the incredibly rich intellectual and spiritual tradition that is still live and vibrant in the Islamic world.

20.6.2011                                                                                                                      William C. Chittick


    Department of Asian & Asian-American Studies,

                                                                                                  Stony Brook University, New York, USA



The reality of Knowledge in metaphysics becomes a problem of knowledge in philosophy. The problem of the modern West is that it has restricted and constricted the universal dimension of knowledge and thereby the universal realm of being. Philosophy by becoming ‘the handmaid of science’ has done violence both to the spirit of philosophy and the spirit of science. Epistemology is considered as the ‘science of knowledge’. The very word science reduces knowledge to a particular dimension of knowledge. The scientific method by mere use of reason cohere the data received from sense-experience. The scientific view of things, enjoys a certain form of legitimacy within certain parameters but when science transgresses its bounds in considering sense-experience as the only source of knowledge and thereby the scientific world as the only world, that it metamorphoses itself into scientism. Modern epistemology and modern ontology are oblivious of different degrees of knowledge and different levels of being, respectively. They have no inkling of the higher dimensions of knowledge and the supra-ontological levels of Reality. They are forgetful of the metaphysical truth that all the regions of consciousness or experience cannot be reduced merely to sense-experience or sense-perception and the whole cosmos cannot be reduced solely to the empirical world. The inspiring literature of the metaphysical and religious traditions of the world rightly belies the false claims of modernism, which has to realise that the traditional world with all its variations is essentially based on universal experience as against the modern world, which is based on a segment of experience, which frequently assumes a lower form of reasoning and at times fallacious one. The modern attempt to universalise its presuppositions of sense-experience is not only against the law of things but has led to the crises in the fields of sciences, arts and humanities. Philosophy of Science, which is itself a product of modernism, is lost in the morass of contradictions created by modern science in its interpretation of the scientific data. It has deepened the yawning chasm between knowledge and being. The Western critique of modern science by different schools of thought including postmodernism is merely a family affair and does not touch the core of the issue.

The crucial dividing line between the traditional and the modern world is in reference to knowledge and being. It boils down to the division between the Infinite and the finite or between intellectual intuition and sensory intuition. The problem with the modern West since its inception is that the dazzling success of sense-experience in the corresponding empirical world has deluded it into thinking that the method of science can be applied to arts and humanities as well. It has further erred in assuming that other levels of experience are neither possible nor desirable. It has not only misinterpreted the data received from higher levels of experience but has erroneously attempted to reduce it to a lower level of experience. It has to remember the traditional lesson that different levels of being are amenable to different levels of knowledge. Even in the case of physical sciences, the scientific method lacks the inner reach to get in touch with ‘the permanent essences of things.’ It has no method to reach ‘the transparency of the phenomena’.  This virtually creates a problem when the scientists attempt to interpret the data received from sense-perception. The difference amongst the scientists in interpreting the data is essentially due to its methodology, which is insulated from the metaphysical principles. The modern physicists understanding of light, for instance, bereft of the metaphysical principles of Light merely remains peripheral. One who has no idea of Light itself cannot fully understand its manifestation at the empirical level. Likewise, modern biology remains obliviousness of Life itself therefore it does not succeed in encompassing the phenomena of life.  Facts and their interpretations divorced from metaphysical truths end up in erroneous views and distortions, which fail even to give a partial view of Reality. How is it possible to really understand the horizontal dimensions in obliviousness of the vertical ones? The crises of modern science cannot be resolved within the orbit of science itself. Science has to move outside its orbit in order to overcome these crises that, in a certain sense, are its own creation. The problem becomes compounded when the scientific method is applied to social sciences. It fails to give true understanding of human reality expressed in different aspects including religious, moral, economic, psychological, social, aesthetic, political and cultural. A plethora of pseudo-theories of knowledge in different realms has invaded the modern mentality, which glorifies Ignorance at the expense of Knowledge itself.

One of the dominant trends of the modern world is to consider opinion or personal view at par with knowledge. The relevance of personal opinion in everydayness of existence notwithstanding, the modern times have blown it out of proportion. The ghost of the Sophists still haunts humanity. An opinion bereft of real knowledge ultimately misleads human understanding. Man becomes habitual in remaining on the periphery without searching for the ultimate nature of things. The modern man requires revisiting Plato’s essential distinction between opinion and knowledge. A deeper study of the traditional world will further help him in becoming inconsequential in reference to truth.  How could personal opinion or personal view substitute knowledge unless it is a perspective of knowledge? 

The drama of the modern West is the drama of finitude. The modern world is orchestrated in such a way that it continuously harps the tune of finitude. The modern attempts to extent the boundaries of finitude end up in merely extending the frontiers of finitude but they remain enmeshed in finiteness.  They have no knowledge of the Infinite and thereby have no access to it. Kant, the German philosopher, denied knowledge of the noumena, and it is this denial taking numerous forms of modernism and post modernism, which continues till today. He found metaphysics impossible on the basis of his ignorance of the higher realms of knowledge and being.  He took his method as absolute and considered himself authorised to pass judgements on the realms, which could not fit in the strait jacket of his methodology. The problem of Method has haunted the philosophers since times immemorial and in our times we see Jean Paul Sartre struggling with the same. The methods of philosophy, with all their variations, are akin to the methods of science, which deal with certain segments of the Reality and that too in their respective imperfections. Philosophy and science have become so judgemental.

The basic trend of the modern man is to start from multiplicity and end up by denying unity. It tends to forge unity within multiplicity, which is nothing else than a philosophical forgery. The popular slogan of the modern world regarding the unity of sciences has proved to be counterproductive. It has brought forth the multiplicity of sciences as widower of unity.  The same trend is visible in humanities and arts. The talk of unity of mankind, by de-linking it from the metaphysical principle of unity, has not only failed to realise unity but has brought forth further diversity impregnated with antagonistic contradictions. The modern man has to realise that the future of mankind is linked with the future of the metaphysical tradition. Freedom of thought does not mean freedom from thought. The conflict between thoughtfulness and thoughtlessness can be traced back to the times when the modern West destroyed its own tradition by rebelling against it in the forms of Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment. It became oblivious of its Greek tradition, the Latin roots of European languages, the Christian tradition and the metaphysical and religious traditions of the world. It ignorantly metamorphosed metaphysical truths into philosophical categories. Many pseudo-problems of philosophy arose due to the ignorance of the intellectual heritage of mankind. The game of language and thought was narrowed down to the finite at the expense of the Infinite.  The European languages became impoverished by remaining attuned to the poverty of thought. Language and thought intensified the paucity of each other.

The modern concept of Man, among other concepts, exhibits the weaklings of language and thought. Man is being studied by sciences, arts and humanities. Modern psychology, either in segregation or in conjunction with related and unrelated disciplines, has come to assume a special status in its study of Man. A plethora of schools of thought have sprung thoughtless of the essential reality of man. There are hundreds and hundreds of individual, existential, social and cultural theories of personality weaving fabrics of being in obliviousness of the metaphysical status of man.  They have no method to reach the unmanifest dimensions of man. The discovery of the unconscious is again principally in the realm of the manifest and it has nothing to do with the metaphysical unmanifest. Even the study of the manifest remains superficial in being insulated from the unmanifest and in being subject to faltering methodologies. The psychologist remains enmeshed in the entrails of the human psyche. He may displace the concept of the psyche with the concept of the self or with the concept of behaviour, but his fundamental approach remains tied to the world of psyche.  He has no method to differentiate the spiritual from the psychical. He debases the spiritual level to the level of human psyche. He has a delimited concept of normalcy and thereby a faltering concept of abnormality. Psychology does give a shade of instrumental knowledge of man but does not understand the essential dynamics of the individual and society. It is precluded in principle in revealing the essential understanding of Man. It errs in being oblivious, by dint of its methodology, of the wholeness of man. It does talk of wholeness, at times, but it is a wholeness that is within the bounds of finiteness bereft of the Infinite. Metaphysics teaches us that even the widest spread of the finite cannot reach the Infinite. The finite is the manifestation of the Infinite. One cannot fully understand the finite at the exclusion of the Infinite. Even the frontiers of parapsychology fall within the bounds of the finite and they have nothing to do with the realm of metaphysics. The philosophies, psychologies, anthropologies and sociologies of religion, for example, face the same delimitations in their study of man and his religion. Their persistence in following their respective methodologies removes them further from the metaphysical reality of man. They raise ‘the dust of multiplicity’ and fail to see the evident reality. How could veiled knowledge unveil the infinite depths of man’s being or consciousness?

The Psychology of Religion can never come to terms with the real foundations of metaphysics and religion unless it evolves a method to reach spirituality, which lies beyond the psychical realm. Religious experience has its source in the spiritual and not in the psychical. It is the obliviousness of this subtle distinction, which made Sigmund Freud propound pseudo-theories of the origin of religion, which have been carried through with certain variations in their subsequent development. His works including Totem and Taboo, Moses and Monotheism and The Future of an Illusion betrayed his understanding of the roots and fruits of religion.  He initiated a major psychological trend in psychology against religion in the modern West, which taking different forms continues in the present times.

Modern psychology not only errs in knowing the origin of religion but it also errs in understanding religious behaviour, nay the whole behaviour of man. The concepts of psychology being fundamentally psychical are inherently incapable of portraying metaphysical and religious truths. The metaphysics of love, for example, is beyond the ken of psychology.  It has no means to understand the lover’s fear, anxiety, despair, pain, sorrow, distress, affliction, misery, torment, anguish, guilt and suffering etc, which he experiences in separation and disunion from his divine beloved.  It cannot comprehend the state of peace, calmness and happiness of the lover while experiencing visions and unions of his friend and the ultimate state of ‘deliverance and union.’ Its failure mainly consists in attempting to interpret the spiritual as psychical. How the lover’s attaining consciousness of his ontological nothingness could be understood by modern psychology? Won’t modern psychology cease to exist as a specialised disciple in recognising pure objectivity of things and events outside the human psyche?

Traditional psychology has truly assigned the role of the psychical and the spiritual in its study of man and his behaviour. It has not confused the psychical with the spiritual. How could one even fully understand the psychical unless he understands the spiritual? The Sufi psychologists, for example, have always excelled in studying man in his wholeness. They have been conscious of separating the illusory from the genuine in the fold of religious experience. They have devised different methodologies to differentiate the divine from the satanic in order to bring to naught the showings and whisperings of the Satan.  The modern psychologist needs to acquaint himself with the masterpieces of Sufi psychology in order to correct his errors and gain a deeper understanding of the realities of man.

The modern thinker frequently commits, which we have called elsewhere, the Delimitation Fallacy that mainly consists in delimiting the realms of knowledge and being by denying the Nondelimited Knowledge and the Nondelimited Being. Science takes sense-experience as its source of knowledge and reason to cohere the data received by sense-perception and delimits the realm of knowledge and being, which does enjoy a certain form of legitimacy. But science commits the Delimitation Fallacy when it is metamorphosed into scientism by denying any other source of knowledge and any other level of being beyond the scientific one.  Philosophy ultimately commits the same fallacy in considering Reason and sensory-intuition as final and all-pervasive and in denying the universality of Intellect and intellectual intuition. The lower fallaciously tends to usurp the place of the higher.

Man is called upon to study the symbols of God (Ayāt) in the universe, his own self and in the heavens. The Qur’an says: There are symbols on the earth for those with certainty, as also in your own selves: will you not then see? And your Sustenance is in the heavens, which is promised to you. (51: 20-22). The symbols of God (Ayāt) in the Qur’an, cosmos (afaq) and selves (anfus) are essentially identical. The Qur’an establishes an intimate bond between knowledge and the symbols of God (Ayāt). It is knowledge, which leads to deciphering the meanings enshrined in these symbols. Islamic tradition assigns primacy to knowledge itself.  Adam’s superiority to the angels is by virtue of knowledge grounded in freedom. Knowledge is the foundation of Man’s cosmic vocation. It is not merely conceptual knowledge but doctrinal knowledge with corresponding means of realisation as well. The Qur’an says: He it is Who created your ears and eyes and hearts. You are so barely grateful. (23: 78).  The Arabic word ‘shukr’ has a higher meaning than what is commonly understood in the sense of being grateful or thankful. It means, in the present context, the realisation of the possibilities of knowledge by virtue of sense-experience and heart-perception gifted to man by God. The failure to realise any of these possibilities is equated with the Arabic word ‘kufr’, which has a higher meaning than infidelity. It means either denying any one of the possibilities or failing to develop them. The Qur’an says:  And the Day when We shall assemble from within every community (ummat), a host of those who gave lie to our Symbols (Ayat) and they will be lined up (according to the gravity of their wrong conceptions). When they are all assembled, He will say: You belied My Symbols (Ayāt) without encompassing them with knowledge, otherwise what else you were doing. And the Truth about their wrongness will be manifest concerning them and they will not be able to speak (justify themselves) (27: 83-85). Tradition further teaches us that those who belie the Symbols of God (Ayat) essentially belie themselves. The Qur’an says: It is an abhorrent example of those who belie Our Symbols and wrong their own selves (7: 177). 

The traditional world, under the sway of modernism, is falling prey to the Delimitation Fallacy by delimiting the categories of traditional thought and becoming oblivious of traditional symbolism. It is displacing the respective traditional languages and their categories with modern ones. Islamic tradition, for instance, is replete with metaphysical and religious categories enshrined in the traditional Arabic language of the Qur’an. But these have been divested from their symbolical, universal, and contextual meanings and displaced with literal, constrictive and out of context meanings. The fallacy consists in assigning finality to the latter in denial of the former.  The Qur’anic text cannot be changed but its root meaning is being interpolated by subjective interpretations of the clerics, in flagrant violation of pure objectivity, who fail to realise the ever recurring possibility of experiencing God in the infinite depths of one’s being as maintained by the mystics and the Sufis. They do not apprehend that mystic experience, as a source of knowledge, grows out of the infinite depths of one’s heart. They are oblivious of the fact that it is the integration of sense-perception and heart-perception which makes man realise his true vocation of life.

Happily, the metaphysical and the religious traditions of the world have not become fully deadened by the onslaughts of modernism, thanks primarily to the intellectuals including metaphysicians, theosophists (hukma), mystics and Sufis, who have kept the vertical and horizontal dimensions of Knowledge alive, active and vibrant.  One of the most enlightened figures among them, in the world of Islam,  is Khawaja Ghulam Farid (1845-1901) belonging to the Saraiki tradition, who hails from South Punjab, Pakistan. He belongs to the intellectual tradition of Ibn Arabi, Mansur Hallaj and Bayazid Bistami. He is in the spiritual lineage of Baba Farid Masud Ganj Shakar. His prose and poetry reflect his profound knowledge of the intellectual heritage of mankind. His understanding of traditional symbolism hardly finds a parallel in our times.  His being multi-lingual gives him direct access to the repositories of knowledge. His understanding of world spirituality deepens his own spiritual experience.   He realises the levels of ‘Shariah’, ‘Tariqah’, ‘Haqiqah’ and ‘Marifah’ within the Islamic tradition at the hands of his elder brother Fakhruddin, his spiritual master and bequeaths wisdom of love and gnosis to humanity. It is by virtue of Providence that he anticipates the metaphysical and traditional thought of a galaxy of thinkers including Rene Guenon (‘Abdul Wahid Yahya–1886-1951), Frithjof Schuon (‘Isa Nur al-Din– 1907-1998), Titus Burckhardt (Ibrahim ‘Izz ud Din– 1908-1984), Martin Lings (Abu Bakr Siraj ad Din–1909-2005) Seyyed Hossein Nasr and William C. Chittick, who have left a great impact in the revival of the Islamic metaphysical tradition in contemporary times. He, in a spiritual sense, has initiated the resurgence of Islamic Intellectuality both in the East and the West. It has led to the revivification the doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud), which is so close to the heart of our Sufi- poet, who has not only added certain creative dimensions to the aforesaid doctrine and its realisation but has demonstrated the efficacy of traditional Saraiki language and culture in the understanding of metaphysics and tradition. 

Khawaja Ghulam Farid structures his metaphysics and its realisation on the foundations of the Reality (Haq) understood as  the Absolute, the Essence, the Infinite, ‘the Metaphysical Whole’ and ‘the Universal Possibility’, manifesting metaphysical, traditional, religious, philosophical, cosmological, cultural, political, socio-economical, psychosocial and symbolical levels of understanding things in his unique literary style. He mirrors a higher understanding of the Reality (God), Man and the Cosmos by virtue of his traditional and metaphysical perspectives. He goes beyond modern epistemology and ontology and demonstrates supra-forms of knowledge and being with their ensuing metaphysical identity. His intellectual intuition unfolds deeper layers of truth, which are beyond the ken of religiosity. Religiosity, bereft of love and gnosis, finds many things as stumbling blocks in his Diwan, which can only be removed at the plane of Intellectuality/ Spirituality.  His ecstatic utterances, for example, in his gnostic mode of poetry (kafis) seem outrageous to the religious psyche for it has never tasted the fruits of spirituality. It also has no ways to appreciate his direct contact with God, experience of the Prophetic Presence (haduri), and his unconditional commitment with his Spiritual Master (murshid), which are the fruits of deepest love and reverence. Likewise, at times, his going beyond the rituals is a dilemma for the religionists, who are condemned to measure spirituality on the level of mere religiosity. They also fail to recognize his Universal vision of finding the metaphysical and religious traditions of the world as manifestations of the identical Light, and thereby transcending the exclusivity of every religion in essentially conceiving their transcendent unity. Religiosity also does not understand his seeing the ontological unreality of everything except the Reality (God), which he attains by different spiritual methods including witnessing (mushahida) and unveiling (kashf). It finds it so difficult to agree with him when he apprehends the Reality (God), in the Attribute of Sovereign (Sultan) of the world, and in the form of labourer (mazdur) in simultaneity or when he witnesses the Reality (God), in the Attribute of Royal (Hakim), the issuer of royal decrees, simultaneously in the form of lowly (miskeen). It is completely at a loss to share his vision when, at times, he transcends the polarisations between Islam and infidelity (kufr); Truth (Haq) and falsehood (batil) ; Beautiful (Sohna) and ugly (kojha); Good ( Khayr) and evil (shar) , Virtuous (Nek) and vicious (bad’); Faithful (Momin) and heathen (kafir); Mindful of God (Zakir) and heedless (nasi) etc, and embraces them all by going to the root beyond these polarisations, which only arise out of the necessity of manifestation; thus, religious consciousness remaining opaque to his metaphysics of Light which teaches that Light essentially remains Light in the state of reflection or deflection, unaffected by any of these states. Religiosity does not comprehend his transcending the individual mode of knowledge and action to the universal mode of Knowledge itself and nonaction respectively. It also has no inkling of his use of traditional symbolism and is condemned to remain stranded on the mere literal meanings of words. Religiosity utterly fails to understand his doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud), wherein the Reality (God) manifests in all forms in the simultaneity of its transcendence and immanence -- without the Reality being affected by any of these forms-- and his experiencing all these forms as essentially inviolable since there is no otherness and, thus his solely finding ‘the Indivisible One-And-Only’ as ‘the One-And-All’. It is ‘Seeing God Everywhere’ and thereby loving God everywhere. It is going beyond the ‘ontological unreality’ of the mediums to the One who is ‘the Most Real’. It is exceedingly imperative to realize Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s higher levels of understanding, otherwise one is likely to miss his ultimate metaphysical vision and thereby falter in considering the most subtle portions of his poetry as blasphemous.

The Holy Tradition of ‘Hidden Treasure’ frequently quoted by different Sufis of the Path of Love and the Path of Knowledge is the starting point of reaching the heart of the Sufi tradition. ‘I was a hidden treasure and I desired (ahabatu, loved’) to be known Accordingly, I created the creatures and thereby made Myself known to them. And they did come to know Me’. This tradition is fundamental in accounting for the original emergence of the principle of differentiation within the Reality. Self-Consciousness is the primordial and fundamental polarization within the Absolute. The otherness is not absolute for in case of divine Self-Consciousness the principle of otherness is essentially for Self-realization. ‘The Reality wanted to see the essences of His Most Beautiful Names or, to put it another way, to see His own Essence, in an all-inclusive object encompassing the whole (divine) Command, which, qualified by existence, would reveal to Him His own mystery. For the seeing of a thing, itself by itself, is not the same as its seeing itself in another, as it were in a mirror; for it appears to itself in a form that is invested by the location of the vision by that which would only appear to it given the existence of the location and its (the location’s) self disclosure to it. The Reality gave existence to the whole Cosmos (at first) as an undifferentiated thing without anything of the spirit in it, so that it was like an unpolished mirror…the (divine) Command required (by its very nature) the reflective characteristic of the mirror of the Cosmos, and Adam was the very principle of reflection for that mirror and the spirit of that form.’ It is the birth of polarity leading to relationship, affinity, tension and conflict. This primordial and fundamental polarization within the Reality or the Self-polarization of the Reality leads to the distinction between the subject and object, knower and known. From the standpoint of Self-polarization, the other is not absolute but is an occasion for Self-realization. ‘Furthermore, because each of the poles is nothing other than the Reality, each must imply, potentially and latently, the other within itself. The process of Self-polarization is then one by which each projects onto the other what is latent of the other within itself. There is of course, at this stage, no real otherness, since it is a case of divine Self-consciousness for which the principle of otherness is simply for Self-realization, as is the case with human self-awareness.’

What is the place of love and knowledge in the attainment of gnosis? Love and knowledge are dialectically related to each other. Love deepens knowledge and knowledge enhances love.  One does achieve mystical or individual realisation in the state of love. It is when the lover ceases to be that he finds no difference between him and his beloved. He becomes identical with the object of his love. But the experience of oneness realised by the lover remains temporary and incomplete and the lover does come to retain a certain sense of identity after his experience has passed away as stated by Iqbal, a religious metaphysician, in his Lecture: Knowledge and Religious Experience. It is very decisive to understand in this context that Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Diwan-i- Farid is saturated with love but it does not consider love as an end in itself. It is a means to realise Knowledge itself. It brings out the traditional truth that love paves the ground for gnosis. In other words, love ultimately leads to gnosis. The alchemy of suffering makes the lover deepen the sense of his own ontological nothingness in the Face of the Beloved. This mystic or individual realization makes him reach the threshold of the highest stage of metaphysical realization. It is by the Grace of the Lord that the possibility of transcending the lover-beloved axis opens up and becomes realised. Both the lover and the beloved cease to be in simultaneity since both are in reference to each other. ‘I am the Truth,’ ‘All is Me’ and ‘All is My Splendid Face’ washes away all dualities and polarizations. It is named as ‘the Supreme Identity.’

Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s metaphysics embraces aspects of both traditional metaphysics (mystic or individual) and pure metaphysics (metaphysical or universal) both in their aspects of doctrine and corresponding realisation. His traditional metaphysics of love essentially demonstrates the same metaphysical truths envisaged by pure metaphysics of contemplation but by a different route. The Path of Love ultimately plunges in the Path of Knowledge. Thus, it is at the higher stage of metaphysical or universal realisation that his experience attained, by virtue of intellectual intuition, becomes akin to the pure metaphysics of the Hindus and the transcendent metaphysics of the Buddhists, nay with all the great metaphysical traditions of the world with all that it implies.  It is very decisive to understand the subtle difference between the mystic and the metaphysical levels of his thought with their corresponding realisations in order to get to the heart of the matter.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud), unveils the deeper layers of the principle of unity. It mirrors the principle of unity in diversity.  His metaphysical understanding of the unity of God (tawhid), both in its reflective and contemplative aspects, takes its essential inspiration from the Qur’an. In order to achieve a doctrinal understanding of the unity of God (tawhid), one has to understand that the Reality (God) is manifests in all things. Everything is ontologically nothing.  God manifests Himself in all forms, in the simultaneity of His transcendence and immanence, without any form whatsoever affecting Him.  The essence of the idea is that the Divine takes all forms but none of these– ordinary or extraordinary– takes the Divine form. No human, for example, could ever take any form of the Divine. No one is with God but God is with everyone. ‘God is. There is no thing with Him’, says the tradition. Metaphysically speaking, all presence is the form of His Omnipresence. The Qur’an is replete with the essential message that no created being could ever be divinized. God says: ‘They are unbelievers who say, ‘God is the Messiah, Mary’s son.’ Say: ‘Who then shall overrule God in any way if He desires to destroy the Messiah, Mary’s son, and his mother, and all those who are on earth?’ For to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them, creating what He will. God is powerful over everything (Qur’an:  translated by A. J. Arberry, 5:17).    God, for example, in His Attribute of Power (Omnipotence), manifests Himself in all forms of power including the ordinary, the charismatic and the miraculous. All receptacles are essentially characterized by their powerlessness including the angels, prophets and saints. They have no inherent powers and they only act by the powers vested in them by God and that too by His leave and accord. No one has ever ascribed power to himself for it tantamount to ascribing divinity (ilah) to his own created (manifested) self. 

The Qur’an dispels ignorance of people about the true nature of their embodied selves (being) and possessions (having), which is one of the fundamentals in doctrinal understanding of the unity of God (tawhid): ‘O men, you are the ones that have need of God; He is the All-sufficient, the All-laudable’.  (Qur’an:  translated by A. J. Arberry, 35: 15). Man’s ontological and ontical needs have no self-subsistence, independence or autonomy since they wholly arise in reference to God, who is the Self-Sufficient (Al-Ghani).  Man cannot consider himself ontologically in the state of nothingness on his own (faqir) since his nothingness is derived from Being itself (God).  He is thus, essentially devoid of his ontological nothingness. In other words, his ‘ontological unreality’ solely derives its credentials from the Real (God).  Man is not even nothing. Otherwise, it tantamount to ‘ascribing aught beside God’ (shirk). The arrogance of the ones, who consider themselves as self- sufficient, on the other hand, is recorded by the Qur’an thus: ‘God has heard the saying of those who said, ‘Surely God is poor, and we are rich.’ We shall write down what they have said, and their slaying the Prophets without right, and We shall say, ‘Taste the chastisement of the burning– that, for what your hands have forwarded, and for that God is never unjust unto His servants.’  (Qur’an:  translated by A. J. Arberry, 3:181-182). The same inimical attitude amongst the Jews is referred to by the Qur’an. ‘The Jews have said, ‘God’s hand is fettered.’ Fettered are their hands, and they are cursed for what they have said. Nay, but His hands are outspread; He expends how He will..’ (Qur’an:  translated by A. J. Arberry, 5: 64).  ‘....And when it is said to them, ‘Expend of that God has provided you,’ the unbelievers say to the believers, ‘What, shall we feed such a one whom, if God willed, He would feed? You are only in manifest error!’(Qur’an:  translated by A. J. Arberry, 36:47). The earlier followers of the prophet were reminded of not ascribing purity to themselves on their own. ‘....But for God’s bounty to you and His mercy not one of you would have been pure ever; but God purifies whom He will; and God is All-hearing, All-knowing’.  (Qur’an:  translated by A. J. Arberry, 24:21).  Rather, the Qur’an cautions against the cardinal errors of ascribing being and having to oneself--- ordinarily or extraordinarily– ‘And strike for them a similitude:  two men. To one of them We assigned two gardens of vines, and surrounded them with palm-trees, and between them We set a sown field; each of the two gardens yielded its produce and failed naught in any wise; and We caused to gush amidst them a river. So he had fruit; and he said to his fellow, as he was conversing with him, ‘I have more abundance of wealth than thou and am mightier in respect of men. And he entered his garden, wronging himself; he said, ‘I do not think that this will ever perish; I do not think that the Hour is coming; and if I am indeed returned to my Lord, I shall surely find a better resort than this.’ 18:35 Said his fellow, as he was conversing with him, ‘What, disbelievest thou in Him who created thee of dust, then of a sperm-drop, then shaped thee as a man? But lo, He is God, my Lord, and I will not associate with my Lord any one. Why, when thou wentest into thy garden, didst thou not say, "As God will; there is no power except in God"? If thou seest me, that I am less than thou in wealth and children, yet it may be that my Lord will give me better than thy garden, and loose on it a thunderbolt out of heaven, so that in the morning it will be a slope of dust, or in the morning the water of it will be sunk into the earth, so that thou wilt not be able to seek it out.’ 18:40 And his fruit was all encompassed, and in the morning he was wringing his hands for that he had expended upon it, and it was fallen down upon its trellises, and he was saying, ‘Would I had not associated with my Lord any one!’ But there was no host to help him, apart from God, and he was helpless. Thereover protection belongs only to God the True; He is best rewarding, best in the issue. (Qur’an:   translated by A. J. Arberry, 18:32-44). 

The denial of one’s ontological nothingness could lead to ascribing divinity to one’s own self, which is a Pharaonic sin. It is the sin of being. ‘And Pharaoh said, ‘Council, I know not that you have any god but me...’ (Qur’an 28:38).  Korah (Qar’un), on the other hand, committed the sin of having. ‘Now Korah was of the people of Moses; he became insolent to them, for We had given him treasures such that the very keys of them were too heavy a burden for a company of men endowed with strength. When his people said to him, ‘Do not exult; God loves not those that exult; but seek, amidst that which God has given thee, the Last Abode, and forget not thy portion of the present world; and do good, as God has been good to thee.’ And seek not to work corruption in the earth; surely God loves not the workers of corruption.’ He said, ‘What I have been given is only because of a knowledge that is in me.’ What, did he not know that God had destroyed before him generations of men stronger than he ill might, and more numerous in multitude? And yet the sinners shall not be questioned concerning their sins. So he went forth unto his people in his adornment. Those who desired the present life said, ‘Would that we possessed the like of that Korah has been given! Surely he is a man of mighty fortune. 
But those to whom knowledge had been given said, ‘Woe upon you! The reward of God is better for him who believes, and works righteousness; and none shall receive it except the steadfast.’ 
So We made the earth to swallow him and his dwelling and there was no host to help him, apart from God, and he was helpless; and in the morning those who had longed to be in his place the day before were saying, ‘Ah, God outspreads and straitens His provision to whomsoever He will of His servants. Had God not been gracious to us, He would have made us to be swallowed too Ah, the unbelievers do not prosper, That is the Last Abode; We appoint it for those who desire not exorbitance in the earth, nor corruption. The issue ultimate is to the godfearing.’ (Qur’an:  translated by A. J. Arberry, 28:76: 83). Thus, by dint of ascribing the amassed wealth to his knowledge, he wrought destruction at his own hands. He forgot that he essentially had no knowledge and it was God’s Attribute of Knowledge (ilm), which was manifest in him. He falsely attributed God’s Attribute of Knowledge to himself. He erred in failing to recognise the inhering of God and His Attributes within his own medium. The mode of prayers mentioned in the Qur’an, on the other hand, speaks volumes of man’s consciousness of his ontological and ontical nothingness. The prayer of Moses is very significant in this context. ‘....and he said, ‘O my Lord, surely I have need of whatever good Thou shalt have sent down upon me’.  (Qur’an:  translated by A. J. Arberry, 28:24).  It is precisely the reason that in consonance with the unity of God (tawhid), we say Masha’Allah (Allah has willed it), Insha’Allah (Allah willing), Alhamdulilah (All Praise is due to Allah), Subhan ‘Allah (Glorious is Allah for being transcendent and immanent in simultaneity), wa maa tawfiqi ‘ilaa bilaah (and my success can come only from Allah) etc, which points towards the Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent Reality (God) working in our mediums. Everything is in the hands of God. All success (nusrat) and help (madad) comes from Him directly (outside the mediums) and indirectly (through the mediums). It takes place according to the Divine measures. Nothing happens without His leave either in the cosmos or in our selves.  The attempt to hold even an atom, more or less, of one’s being or having in one’s own hands is spiritually self-defeating, which is tantamount to ‘ascribing divinity to aught beside God.’ Doesn’t obedience (bandagi) essentially consist in divesting oneself– ontologically and ontically– of being (self) and having (possessions) that belong to Him? Realising the consciousness of one’s ontological nothingness or ontological nonbeing (faqr) is as difficult as to fly without wings, says a Sufi.

The reflective and contemplative aspects of the unity of God (tawhid) make one understand that God is Law itself, which is manifest in the Law of things. It assumes all forms of law. All things are subservient to His Law and thereby are reflections of His implicit Will. However, things in disobedience are deflections of His Will. But these deflections are ultimately in consonance with His implicit Will since He has willed freedom for Man. Man was granted freedom for without freedom goodness could not be created, which necessitated the possibility of evil. A man who starts actualizing the possibility of evil (committing wrongs), makes himself as a receptacle for God to start simultaneously manifesting Himself in His Attributes of Al-Khafid (The Abaser), Al-Mudhill (the Giver of Dishonour), Al-Mumit (The Destroyer), Al-Muntaqim (The Avenger), Ad-Darr (The Afflictor) and so forth since everything is ‘locus of divine self-disclosure.’ God is manifest in the simultaneity of His transcendence and immanence in man’s whole activity including his ideas, feelings, words and acts.

The Qur’anic concept of the unity of God (tawhid) is realised in Man’s submission to God (bandagi), which is constitutive of both worship and service. It is worshipping God in His transcendence and serving Him in His immanence. ’I have not created jinn and mankind except to serve Me. I desire of them no provision, neither do I desire that they should feed Me. Surely God is the All-provider, the Possessor of Strength, the Ever-Sure’ (Qur’an 51:56-58).  The ritualistic psyche of the religionists is more attuned to worship, and here even, without any inkling of a direct contact with God and, at times, even becoming oblivious of His service in the real sense. It considers relationships with the cosmos including man as merely ethical or moral. It is unmindful of the fact that there are no ethical or moral concerns as such. They are theomorphic since God is manifest in all mediums. Our essential commitment is not with these mediums but with the transcendent God who, in His immanence, is manifest in each one of them. They are real concerns of the Reality (God) since God contemplates Himself in all forms. He desires no provision or feeding at our hands because of His transcendence, but He desires that we should serve Him in His immanence in forms of the requirements of the mediums in which He manifests Himself.  A holy tradition (hadith qudsi), whose spiritual import essentially is realized by the friends of God, beautifully expresses the aforesaid point: “Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.” Thus, there are no human rights. All rights are Divine, whether within the mediums or beyond the mediums. Giving charity to a poor person, for example, is not an ethical or moral act but essentially is a loving gift to God, who is cloaked in the form of need and poverty.  It is an act of love. But how could one gift God when one is himself in the state of ontological nothingness or in the state of ontological nonbeing since Being wholly belongs to God? It is the Spirit gifting the Spirit.  A person, who only sees the poor man, without recognising God in him, and simultaneously failing to recognise God in his own self, has no real and experiential understanding of the unity of God (tawhid). One has to constantly remember that it is the transcendent God who assumes all immanent forms and essentially acts within them. A man who dies does not act. It is because the Spirit (Ruh) of the Lord (Rabb) breathed in his medium is withdrawn. ‘They will question thee concerning the Spirit. Say: ‘The Spirit is of the bidding of my Lord (qul al-ruh min amri Rabbi). You have been given of knowledge nothing except a little.’  (Qur’an 17:85). The Spirit inheres in every man. ‘It is in him but is not his.’  It is the Divine Essence, says the tradition. Essentially, the Spirit (Ruh) worships and serves in itself and for itself.

The one, who apprehends the subtle aspects of ‘contemplative tawhid’ in consonance with the teachings of the Qur’an, plainly exposes the error of ascribing divinity (ilah) to anything beside God (‘shirk).  ‘God forgives not that aught should be with Him associated; less than that He forgives to whomsoever He will. Whoso associates with God anything has indeed forged a mighty sin’.  (Qur’an: translated by A. J. Arberry, 4:48). ‘And when Lokman said to his son, admonishing him, ‘O my son, do not associate others with God; to associate others with God is a mighty wrong’.  (Qur’an: translated by A. J. Arberry, 31:13). It is called heinous transgression (zulmun azeem) because it tends to displace divinity with otherness. To ascribe divinity (ilah) to a thing: material, human, celestial, etc is placing divinity beside the Divine (shirk). Reality belongs to the Divine. It is a wrong idea to juxtapose the human and the Divine. ‘And the most part of them believe not in God, but they associate other gods with Him’ (Qur’an: translated by A. J. Arberry, 12:106). The attempt to ‘ascribe divinity to aught beside God’ consists in subtracting from the Reality (God) and correspondingly adding it to nothingness, which is not possible. It has to be recognized that One (Ahad) is not a quantitative number but is essentially qualitative. It is the symbol of Wholeness. It symbolises Unity, which manifests in multiplicity.  It has been aptly said that the act of ascribing ‘divinity to aught beside God’ or otherness (shirk) is not denotative for there is nothing beside God, which could be pointed out, as such. One could only talk of pseudo-relations with ‘divinity to aught beside God’, which are merely connotative. The metaphysics of the unity of God (tawhid) essentially teaches us that God, ‘the Indivisible One- and-Only is the One-And-All’.  The clerics, however, under the spell of modernism, constrict the metaphysical concept of the unity of God (tawhid) and thereby falter in flattening the concept of ‘ascribing divinity to aught beside God’ (shirk), and irresponsibly apply it ignorantly or arrogantly to even those who do not associate or ascribe any parallel power to God in faltering forms of self-subsistence, independence and autonomy, and who, in fact, wholeheartedly ascribe the source of all power in wholesomeness to God. It is equally true of all the Divine Attributes, whose source they acknowledge as the Reality (God). God manifests in all the mediums and in all the worlds. Those who die in the Way of God, for example, are not dead but alive beyond the comprehension of (ordinary) consciousness (but within the ambit of knowledge) and they get their sustenance from their Lord. (Qur’an:2:154; 3: 169). God endows them with spiritual powers (components of sustenance) to establish linkages with the terrestrial world and act in consonance with His Will. The relevance of their life to the terrestrial beings is understood by the ones committed to the spiritual plane. Ordinary eye has no access to the spiritual realities. It is essentially ‘eye of the heart’, which witnesses the working of the Divine in the realms beyond the manifest.  Thus, Spirituality manifests a higher and deeper understanding of the subtleties, perplexities, and antinomies of ‘contemplative tawhid’ than religiosity, which merely remains peripheral.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Diwan-i-Farid, a masterpiece of literature, is essentially gnostic in essence. It principally mirrors the doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) in poetic form.  It fosters the principle of ‘unity in diversity’ by ‘reflecting the Face of the Beloved’ in all forms. Love and gnosis are its ever recurring themes. Search of transcendence, in order to realise vision and union, remains its foremost concern. It enlightens us on the cultural expressions of the metaphysical values of truth, knowledge, freedom, goodness, beauty and love. He considers knowledge as veiled unless transformed into gnosis by virtue of love. Love is suffering but the alchemy of suffering transmutes the base metal into gold. It leads to the realisation of ‘the Supreme Identity’.

Khawaja Ghulam Farid, poet-metaphysician, essentially chooses the gnostic mode of poetry (kafi) based on ‘raags’ and ‘raginis’ mainly, ‘raag bahervi,’ and many others including ‘raag talang,’ ‘raag malkons,’ ‘raag jog’, ‘raag malhar’, ‘raag pahari’ and ‘raag jonepuri,’ to express terrestrial and celestial truths. His understanding of musicology adds creative dimensions to traditional music. He unveils the multi-dimensional beauty and richness of the traditional Saraiki language. His subtle use of words, idioms and proverbs also manifests deeper understanding of his oral tradition, which he deepens to its infinite depths. His commitment with the oral tradition remains primordial in spite of its being reduced to writing. He also beautifies Saraiki culture, which is a fertile ground for nurturing different facets of traditional art. He understands his times and envisions a creative change in the lot of people. He points to the integration of the individual with the society.  His poetry gives light of hope against the darkness of despair.  He is deeply rooted in his own soil but the purport of his message is universal.  He remains down to earth but simultaneously soars higher in the heavens. His linguistic and cultural contributions, among other things, are a great asset of the world culture. He is the world poet.

My trilogy on Diwan-i-Farid starts with The Metaphysics of Khawaja Ghulam Farid (Suhail Academy Lahore, 2009).  The present work is a sequel to my earlier work of translating Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s Diwan-i-Farid into English prose, titled: The Message of Diwan-i-Farid (Suhail Academy Lahore, 2009) whose original text and translation have been kept intact except for a few changes here and there. The expression lover has been understood at times in the feminine sense and at times in the masculine one. The verses of the Diwan, in my current work, have been explained for fostering a plain understanding of the doctrines without going deep into the technicalities of metaphysics and its realisation as done elsewhere in my works. It has essentially been one of my inmost concerns to facilitate an understanding of Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s experience of ‘love and gnosis’ and thereby his attainment of ‘deliverance and union’ within the traditional matrix. It has been primarily written for the searching souls who may feel inspired to walk in the tracks of the Sufi tradition, and contribute further in heightening and deepening the Gnostic consciousness through their intellectual and spiritual endeavours. 

It was by the Grace of God that after almost completing my work at hand, I experienced the holy presence of Khawaja Ghulam Farid in my dream/vision in continuation of my earlier dream/vision of him a few years back. He was amidst a few blessed souls. It was so enlightening to hear reference to one of his ‘kafis’ in the celestial spheres in an atmosphere saturated with Gnostic love. It has heightened my reverence for the great Sufi and deepened my commitment with his Diwan-i-Farid.

February 2011                                              Shahzad Qaiser

                                                                              1432 A.H                                                            Lahore


                          Kafi-1                                        Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                               کافی نمبر1                     

اج سانولڑے مُکلایا

سر بار ڈکھاں دا چایا


“My charming beloved is bidding me farewell today. I have taken the burden of sufferings on my head.”

Ka‘bah symbolises God’s Presence. The House is lively due to its inmate who is Life itself.  The pilgrim develops a relationship of intimacy with the dweller otherwise without a dweller, a mere dwelling is desolation. The charming dwelling, personifying God, is bidding farewell to the pilgrim. A farewell at the hands of one’s beloved creates immense suffering. It is a unique form of farewell with all its pathos, which is so burdensome. It is not mental pain of losing an object but suffering of parting from one’s beloved. All suffering is essentially spiritual. The road to love is characterised by temporary separations and unions, which deepen love and prepares one to have an ultimate union with the beloved. A ritual is a bridge between the lover and the beloved. Rituals devoid of love are mechanical, perfunctory and lifeless leading to ritualism. A ritualistic behaviour is lost to outwardness at the expense of inwardness. Rituals are not ends in themselves but are means for the realisation of the beloved dwelling in the human heart. Heart essentially symbolises the House of God. The spiritual climax of every ritual is to initiate and foster a direct contact with the beloved, who resides in the inmost chambers of one’s heart.

اے قبلہ اقدس عالی

اتھ عبد عبید سوالی

ہر عیب کنوں ہے خالی

جیں جو منگیا سو پایا


“The sacred and supreme House of God is free from all imperfections.  Here, God’s bondsmen of higher and lower ranks, become recipients in consonance with their asking.”

The House of God, symbolising the spiritual, is perfect. It is universal and thereby free from all social and cultural delimitations. The discriminations of sex, colour, class or castes are not there. It does not recognize even an iota of material differentiations since it primarily addresses to the spiritual nature of humanity. It has a spiritual programme for the entire mankind to be realised by any one who chooses to become its votary in consonance with ‘the ultimate nature of things’. It admits both the virtuous and the sinners in its small and big gatherings. The ‘servant-Lord axis’ is the starting point of spiritual life. The postures of servanthood, nonbeing or nothingness imply the Lord, Being or the Essence itself respectively. The Divine blessings are infinite and no finite receptacle can exhaust them. Intention is the key to the Divine Treasure. Here, all the receptacles in consonance with their inner reach are blessed accordingly. A person who is merely outward remains at the periphery as compared to the one who absorbs the sea in the drop of his inwardness.

وَہ امن اﷲ معظم

وَہ بیت اﷲ مکرم

وَہ حرم اﷲ محرم

ہے رحمت دا سرمایہ


“I laud the peace of Divine Majesty. I laud the sacred sanctuary of Allah. I laud the venerable House of Allah. It is the treasury of blessings.”

The majesty, sacredness and veneration of the House of God, both inward and outward, symbolises the absolute and the Infinite, which is a great blessing. There cannot be real universal peace unless the human accepts the Divine. The negation of the sacred tends to profane everything. Going beyond oneself creates the spirit of veneration hardly experienced by the modern man lost in the world of human finitude. There is no blessing greater than the one, which shows the strife ridden humanity the way to principled, real and lasting peace on ‘the human planet’.

اے نور سیاہ مجسم

تھیا بے شک آمن بے غم

ہے عین سوادالاعظم

جو حرم احاطے آیا


“The light embodied in the black covering (of the House of God) demonstrates the unity of the entire Ummah (it symbolizes the principle of unity in diversity). Undoubtedly, the seeker of peace, who enters the compound of the sanctuary, becomes free from sorrow.”

The blackly embodied light symbolises the ‘abysmal darkness of the Essence itself’. It points to the Principle and its Manifestation. The principle of unity in diversity unifies the entire creation. It is the metaphysical principle of uniting mankind. The seeker of universal peace finds contentment in embracing the principle within, which guarantees world peace.

کر یاد حریم حرم کوں

دل آکھے کھانواں سم کوں

رکھ پیش پُرانے غم کوں

ہے جیون کوڑ اجایا


“My sense of primordial sorrow has heightened by remembering the compound of the House of God. My heart prompts me to take bane for (mere) life is false and meaningless.”

The dawning realisation of the pilgrim’s separation increases the sense of his primordial loss, which keeps him so sorrowful. The transcendent and immanent reality of the beloved is his existential truth grounded in pure objectivity. The beloved is his ‘ultimate concern’, which permeates his relative concerns. He considers his life false and meaningless unless it is spent in union with his beloved.

ہُن واگاں وطن ولایاں

دل سچڑیاں پیتاں لایاں

لکھ مُونجھ مونجھاریاں آیاں

وَل میلیں بار خدایا


“Now, I am turning the reins toward my native town (returning back). I am in grip of countless states of anguishes.  My heart has cultivated true ties of love. My God! Make me revisit the place.”

He is returning to his ordinary self filled with great anguish, after his spiritual sojourn. His heart has contracted true love. He prays to God to grant him recurring spiritual openings.

دل دلبر کیتے سِکے

ونج کھوسوں طوف دے دِھکے

گھر شہر بازار نہ ٹِکے

وَل جیکر بخت بھڑایا


“My heart is desirous of my beloved. It does not find breathing space in the house, city or lane. I will again realise the strokes of circumambulation in case fortune smiles on me.”

His heart is so desirous of his beloved that it has ceased to have worldly ties. It will be very lucky if it gets an occasion to make spiritual effort in finding his beloved, who resides in the depths of his heart. His life is in inwardness.

بِن یار ”فرید“ نجرساں

غم کھا کھا اُوڑک مرساں

رَت رو رو آہیں کرساں

ڈکھ ڈکھڑیں جیڑا تایا


“Farid! I will enervate without my beloved. I will heave sighs of distress, while crying bitterly. I will ultimately die by constantly bearing sorrowfulness. The sufferings have made my self fiery.”

He suffers tremendously and has overbearing sorrows without his friend because his whole life is attached to him. His beloved is not one of his many concerns but is his only concern. All attachments are shades of his real attachment. All his commitments have a meaning in reference to his inward commitment.

             Kafi-2                                        Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                            کافی نمبر2              

انہد مرلی شور مچایا

“The divine flute has created percussion.”

Human person is a flute in the hands of the Divine. Self-realisation points towards the infinite wealth buried beneath the ordinary human self. It is musical both in form and content. The modern man has lost the wherewithal of this ‘hidden treasure.’ One who knows how to play this flute is bewildered by the creativity and fineness of its musical its tunes.

گُر نے پورے بید بتائے

مدہوشی وچ ہوش سکھائے

عقل فکر سب فہم گمائے

سارا  سفر  عروج سُجھایا


“My spiritual master communicated to me esoterism in fullness. He made my reason, reflection and entire understanding dwindle into insignificance.  He taught me sobriety in drunkenness. He enlightened me on the ascending stages of spiritual journey.”

His murshid communicated to him the whole of esoterism both in its doctrinal aspects and the ways of realisation. He made him understand the entire way, so that he could be mentally prepared about encountering different stages during his spiritual voyage. He was taught the subtleties of intellectual intuition and the ultimate identity of knowledge and being. He was educated on the limitations of reason, reflection and ordinary understanding during the course of his spiritual journey. He learnt the lessons of sobriety in drunkenness from him. The light and love of God during the spiritual experience is so overwhelming that he made him conscious of sifting the real from the illusory. He was cautioned regarding the need of making spiritual efforts in returning back to the domain of everyday experience in order to resume his normal activity. He had to rediscover his new being with a sublime sense of personal identity.

وحدت عین عیان ڈٹھوسے

مخفی کل اظہار تھیوسے

طمس حقیقی سمجھ لیوسے

ہر گن گیان دے گیت نوں پایا


“I have witnessed Oneness as openly manifest.  I have understood the reality of annihilation.  All hidden has become seeable. I have realised, each and every tune (degree) of virtuousness and gnosis.”

The doctrine of Oneness is not merely a theoretical truth but is undergone by virtue of spiritual experience. It is a genuine experience, which lends certainty, factualness and verifiableness to the metaphysical truth. Metaphysical truth is followed by a corresponding metaphysical realisation. He entirely realises the truth of Oneness in his inwardness. The hidden realities become manifest. The reality of annihilation lays bare before him. It is a process of re-creation wherein everything is annihilated and re-created in simultaneity. The movement is so swift that it gives the illusion of stability to things. Things are devoid of being and at every moment they plunge into nothingness. Everything perishes at each moment except the Face of God.

تھئے واضح مشہود دقائق

ظاہر گجھ سب کجھ دے لائق

تھئے لائح انوار حقائق

قُرب تے بُعد دا فرق اُٹھایا


“The subtleties of existence have opened up. The lights of realities have become perceptible.  The visible and the Invisible are capable of being understood. The difference between proximity and remoteness has withered away.”

The mystery of existence is revealed to him. Ordinary existence is a veil to the metaphysics of existence. Spatio-temporal order curtains real existence. The curtain has been lifted and the ordinary dimensions of space and time have vanished. The perception of near and far is not absolute. It is relative to a specific spatio-temporal order. His experience of Oneness has been from the absolute dimension, which has obliterated all the relative differentiations, which are essentially provisional in nature.

بنسی خوب بتایاں باتاں

گم تھیاں کوڑیاں ذات صفاتاں

گجھڑے راز انوکھیاں گھاتاں

لمن الملک دا دورہ آیا


“The flute has successfully unravelled the reality of deeper secrets and novel stations. The dawning realisation of His Omnipotence has led to the privation of false existents and their properties.”

It is by virtue of turning his being into a flute that the Reality unveils before him. The unveiling of the Omnipotent Reality leads him to directly experience the ephemeral nature of the world. Everything is powerless in Face of the Power itself. How could a powerless thing claim existence? There is no self-subsistent reality except the Absolute.

خمر طہوروں پی پیمانے

بھل گئے صوم صلوۃ دوگانے

تھیوسے عاشق مست یگانے

رندی مشرب سانگ رسایا


“We have become matchless enraptured lovers after drinking from the cups of pure wine. We have transcended fasting and ritualistic prayer and adopted an inebriate mode of expression.”

Pure wine enraptures their love of the Divine to the extent that they transcend ritual modes of existence. They see the Real with the eye of the Real. They reach their destination. Farewell to the milestones.  Farewell to the rituals. Their inebriate mode of existence is a scandal for the illusory eye. It is an ordinary eye, which cannot perceive the extra-ordinary. It lacks the perception of their spiritual state. Their inward determines their outward. Only a spiritual eye perceives them in their own right.

جانے کون گنوار مقلد

تھی مطلق بے قید موحد

وَہ وَہ ریت مقدس جیّد

سبھ صورت وچ آپ سمایا


“How can an unenlightened person bereft of gnosis know the laudable, holy and powerful tradition (of Oneness of Being)? The One is identified with Freedom Itself without delimitation. He has descended in all forms.”

A person bereft of gnosis cannot understand the tradition of Oneness of Being. His perception, conception and imagination are delimited. He is constrained to perceive, conceive and imagine the Reality in reference to his own spatio-temporal apparatus ingrained in his mind. He is condemned to consider all provisional polarisations as final. He lacks the metaphysical perspective to perceive the One as identified with Freedom itself. He is a loss to understand that if the Reality were not delimited by descending in each form then it would have suffered delimitation by virtue of its being Pure Freedom. It is to exercise Pure and absolute freedom that the Reality has to delimit itself.

جب ہک رمز ملی توحیدوں

تھی کر فرد، فرید! فریدوں

دل آزاد ڈٹھم تقلیدوں

سِری روحی وعظ سنایا


“My heart was freed from merely following the letter of law after getting a clue of Oneness.  Farid! The individual by ceasing to be– narrated the sermon:  My essentiality is Spirit.”

He has been following the letter of law. His sense-perception and reason had delimited him. He was constrained to remain tied with the outward. His ideas, feelings, discourses and actions were all tied to the crust. He had no access to the inward. It was a spiritually decisive moment of his life that his heart was blessed with a clue of Oneness. It was a spiritual blessing, which made him realise his own nothingness in the Face of God. The Spirit (Reality or God) within him had taken over his medium and declared that the Reality within his human overlay was essentially the Spirit. It was an experience, which not only led him to experience his own nonbeing but it also made him experience the Spirit, which is essentially in ‘him’ but is not his.


               Kafi-3                                      Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                         کافی نمبر3                

بن دلبر شکل جہان آیا

ہر صورت عین عیان آیا


“My beloved has manifested in the form of the outward.  He has become openly manifest in each form.”

The doctrine of Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujud) with its corresponding realisation sees the universe including Man as the manifestation of the Absolute and the Infinite. It considers all polarisations as provisional and essentially devoid of being. The metaphysical reality of nothingness constitutes those Possibilities, which have not taken the form of Names or Attributes. To consider the world as absolutely cut off from the Absolute or God is erroneous and is the product of ordinary thinking, which creates an unbridgeable gulf between subject and object. It is metaphysical thought, which posits the possibility of identity between knowledge and being. The beloved has taken the shape of the world and openly manifests in every form.

کتھے آدمؑ تے کتھے شیثؑ نبی

کتھے نوحؑ کتھاں طوفان آیا


“He has manifested in Adam at times and at times in the Prophet Sheesh.  His manifestation has been at times in Nuh and at times in the Flood.”

He manifests in the form of the Prophets as well in the appearance of cosmic events like ‘the Great Flood.’ There are degrees of His manifestations. He manifests to a greater degree in Man and to much a higher in Perfect Man. His manifestation in any cosmic event is a truth dealt with traditional cosmologies. The universe does not stand in opposition to Him as ‘other’ but reflects Him as if in a mirror.

کتھے ابراہیمؑ خلیل نبی

کتھے یوسفؑ وچ کنعان آیا


“He has manifested at times in the Prophet Ibrahim, the friend of God, and at times in Yousaf of Canaan.”

He manifests Himself in forms of prophecy and friendship.  He figures in knowledge, sentiment and human interactions.

کتھے عیسیٰؑ تے الیاس نبی

کتھے لچھمن رام تے کان آیا


“He has manifested at times in Isa and the Prophet Ilyas and at times in Lachman Ram and Kaan.”

His manifestation is not restricted to any one tradition. He has manifested Himself in all traditions of the world including the Hindu tradition.

کتھے ذکریاؑ کتھے یحییٰؑ ہے

کتھے موسیٰؑ بن عمران آیا


“He has manifested at times in Zachariah and at times in Younis.  His manifestation has been at times in Musa bin Imran.”

His manifestation has been in the Prophets, their ancestors and their progeny in varying degrees.

بوبکرؓ عمرؓ عثمانؓ کتھاں

کتھے اسدؓ اﷲ ذیشان آیا


“He has manifested at times in Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman.  His manifestation has been at times in the glorious lion of God.”

He has manifested in the form of the four friends of the Prophet. How one can detest any one of these forms where He has manifested Himself in such a high degree? The truthfulness of these friends has been verified by virtue of spiritual experience. The historical accounts regarding the conflict between the Household of the Prophet and his foremost Companions after the death of the Prophet lack wider perspectives. It was not a conflict between good and evil but it was a divergence between different shades of rightness. They all deserve reverence. It is spiritually fatal to show disrespect to any one of them.

کتھے حسنؓ حسینؓ شہید بنے

کتھے مرشد فخر جہان آیا


“He has manifested at times in the martyrs, Hasan and Husayn, and at times in Fakhr-e-Jehan, my spiritual master.”

It was for the time that a conflict between good and evil took place between Husayn and Yezid respectively. He ‘embraced martyrdom’ in the form of Hasan and Husayn. He is eternal but manifest in the temporal. He experiences transcendence and immanence in simultaneity. He cloaks in the form of his murshid Fakhr Jehan.

کتھے احمد شاہ رسولاں دا

استاد نفوس عقولاں دا

محبوب سبھے مقبولاں دا

سلطاناں سر سلطان آیا


“He has manifested at times in Ahmad: the vanguard of the Messengers, the beloved of all the illustrious, the preceptor of selves and intellects and the sovereign of the sovereigns.”

His manifestation in the form of Ahmad has been of the highest degree. He has manifested Himself perfectly in the perfect form of Ahmad. He has contemplated Himself fully in Ahmad’s mirror of the heart. It is He who came in the form of Ahmad and did all wonders.

تنزیل کتھاں، جبریل کتھاں

آیات کتھاں ترتیل کتھاں

توریت زبور انجیل کتھاں

حق باطل دا فرقان آیا


“He has manifested at times in Revelation and at times in Gabriel.  His manifestation has been at times in Torah, David Psalms and New Testament.  He has manifested at times in verses and at times in their recital. His manifestation has been at times in the discernment between truth and falsehood.”

It is His manifestation in the whole process of religious revelation including the Archangel Gabriel. It is His Divine Speech, which takes the form of Scriptures. It is His manifestation at a certain level, which discerns the true from the false.

کل شئے وچ کل شے ظاہر ہے

کتھے ناز نیاز دا ماہر ہے

سوہنا ظاہر عین مظاہر ہے

کتھے درد کتھاں درمان آیا


“The Whole illuminates the individual aspects. The Beautiful has manifested itself and has assumed an open form of manifestation. He masterly manifests at times in priding and humility. His manifestation at times is in pain and at times in alleviation.”

The Whole lights up everything. It embraces totality. There is nothing outside it otherwise it cannot be metaphysically termed as ‘the Whole’. Beauty itself in its outward form is so openly manifest. He manifests in pride and humility and in pain and its alleviation. He manifests in all things and events---positive and negative--- and nothing can be excluded from it. If His manifestation is a mystery, then His supposed ‘non manifestation’ is a greater mystery because He is ‘the metaphysical Whole’ and nothing can be excluded from it.

کتھے ریت پریت دا ویس کرے

کتھے گل وچ مارو کیس دھرے

کتھے عاشق تھی پردیس پھرے

لٹ دھاری تھی مستان آیا


“He manifests at times in the tradition of love and at times as lover wandering in alien lands.  His manifestation at times is in bewitching dishevelled locks around the neck and in the enraptured one with flowing hair.”

He is not partially inward or partially outward but He is absolutely the Inward and totally the Outward. Reason finds it so scandalous.  It is the doctrine of Oneness and it is its realisation, by virtue of Intellectual intuition, that makes the metaphysical truth dawn on the percipient.

کتھے پنڈت جوسی جوگی ہے

کتھے مصر براگی روگی ہے

کتھے سامی تے کتھے بھوگی ہے

کتھے بید بیاس گیان آیا


“He manifests at times as Hindu metaphysician, astrologer and ascetic and at times as religious and at times as worldly.  His manifestation is at times as doctor, ascetic and sick and at times as Vedic, Brahman and Knowledge.”

He manifests in all forms including positive and negative.  The religious consciousness may give a concession in accepting His manifestation in positive forms but finds it highly appalling in attributing His manifestation in negative forms. It fails to understand, for instance, that how could the One, who Himself bestows health manifest in the negative form of a sick person.

خاموش ”فرید“ اسرار کنوں

پر غافل نہ تھی یار کنوں

چپ بیہودہ گفتار کنوں

ایہو لاریبی فرمان آیا


“Farid! Remain silent and do not disclose these mysteries.  You should desist from such outrageous discourse. But, never be oblivious of your friend. Such a (Divine) decree has been made beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

He stops short of disclosing these mysteries, which seem so outrageous to ordinary understanding. He reminds the votaries of their foremost duty of never being oblivious of their friend, which is a doubtless decree of the Qur’an. The possibility of friendship with God is readily realised by spiritual consciousness but seems abhorrent to the religious one. The religious psyche remains tied to the relative master-slave polarity and considers it as absolute. The question of a slave loving his master does not arise. The vocation of a slave is just to follow the commandments of his master out of fear for the punishment inflicted upon him if he does otherwise. Friendship with God takes one to a realm where one stands before Him not ‘in fear and trembling’ but in love and poise. He only fears the disruption of his friendly relationship with God, which is qualitatively different from ordinary fear and the religious one. Good is, in the spiritual sense, what fosters friendship and evil is what severs it. Doctrines, rituals and morals essentially become lively in the situation of love and friendship.


             Kafi-4                                    Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                         کافی نمبر4          

تھئی تابع خلقت سب

تاں وی کیا تھی پیا

ہئی گم تھیون مطلب

“If the entire creation is subjected to you, then even what? The meaning lies in thy ceasing to be (the state of supreme identity or the realized consciousness of your ontological nothingness in the Face of the Absolute).”

What is the ultimate significance of even subjecting the entire creation to oneself? What is the meaning of life? It is not reflected in the power one has over things and events. It does not lie in outward achievements. The attainment of the cosmic purpose of existence lies in realising one’s ontological nothingness in the ‘Face of the Absolute’ or God. It is the whole meaningful endeavour of life. Things could be meaningful on other criteria but anything short of it becomes meaningless on this absolute, supreme and ultimate criterion. It is the litmus test of the entire human activity.

%ا رشد ارشاد تونیں

ونج پہنتا عجم عرب


تاں وی کیا تھی پیا

 “If you’re intellectual discourse has made an impact on Arabia and Persia, then even what.”

If the impact of one’s intellectual widespread discourse has no eternal bearing then what is its value? The earthly fame will fade away in contrast to one’s ceaseless subsistence in the Divine Consciousness.

پڑھ پڑھ بید پران صحائف

پیا سِکھیوں علم ادب

تاں وی کیا تھی پیا

“If you have been seeking knowledge and reverential conduct by the study of Vedas, Puranas (sacred writings of Hindus) and Scriptures, then even what?”

Gaining of Scriptural knowledge, learning and reverential conduct are a nullity as compared to one’s original vocation of union with the beloved.

سارے جگ تے حکم چلانویں

پا شاہی دا منصب

تاں وی کیا تھی پیا

 “If you exercise sovereign authority, by virtue of you’re royal status, then even what.”

A person gets possessed by the very thing he possess. There is no end to one’s yearning for subjugation. One’s achievements on the spectrum of time have no value unless they are transformed into eternity. How one’s masterly gains could measure up to being a realised possibility of the Divine Essence?

دنیا دے وچ عزت پاتو

گیوں عقبیٰ نال طرب

تاں وی کیا تھی پیا

 “If you command respect in the temporal world and go happily to the eternal one, then even what.”

The religious consciousness is content with being happy in both the worlds. What is the significance of one’s being happy in this world and the life hereafter without achieving the spiritual station of servanthood?

سنی پاک تے حنفی مذہب

رکھیو صوفی دا مشرب

تاں وی کیا تھی پیا

 “If you are pure Sunni, belonging to the Hanifi tradition and committed to the Sufi Path, then even what.”

One’s being pure Sunni and a Sufi only attains mystic realisation. The ultimate goal is to achieve metaphysical realisation.

وچ آثار، افعال، صفاتیں

جے یار گھدؤئی لبھ

تاں وی کیا تھی پیا

 “If your search of finding your friend manifest in forms of signs, activity and attributes has become fructuous, then even what.”

If one has discovered his friend in the outward, then even it has no significance as compared to uniting with the Being itself in the state of nonduality.

غوثی قطبی، رتبہ پایو

تھیوں شیخ شیوخ لقب

تاں وی کیا تھی پیا

 “If you have achieved the level of ‘Ghaus’ and Pole, entitled as Master of the Masters, then even what.”

The attainment of higher spiritual stations is nothing in front of gaining the paradise of the Essence. 

شعر ”فرید“ %ا ونج ہُلیا

ہند ماڑ ڈکھن پورب

تاں وی کیا تھی پیا

“Farid! If your poetry has become renowned in Hind, Marwar, South and East (all regions), then even what.”

He questions the value of the recognition of his poetry far and wide, when weighed against his realising the possibility of namelessness.

             Kafi - 5                           Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                    کافی نمبر - 5          

تیڈے نیناں تیر چلایا

تیڈی رمزاں شور مچایا

“Your eyes shot arrows (prompted moves). Your expressions impregnated with mysteries made percussions.”

The Essence manifests itself in the form of the beloved to make love possible. His eyes have captured many a souls. His mysterious expressions have left a deep impact on the lovers.

المست ہزار مرایا

لکھ عاشق مار گنوایا

“You made numerous enraptured ones eliminated and got countless lovers wiped out.”

He has got countless enraptured lovers lose their lives for his sake. His love is so mesmerising that the lovers submit to him in fullness. They do not listen to the voice of reason. The ordinary considerations of the world have no meaning in their eyes. They are in such a state of intoxication that laying down their lives for their beloved does not matter.

ابراہیمؑ اڑاہ اڑایو

بار برہوں سر چایا

“You flung Ibrahim -- whose being had been permeated by love -- in the blazing fire and made him bear the burden of love.”

He made the Prophet Ibrahim saturated with love. He made him carry the onerous burden of love and finally flung him in the blazing fire. He saved him from being torched by the physical fire by turning it into a garden but consumed him completely in the fire of love.

صابر دے تن کیڑے بچھے

موسٰیؑ طور جلایا

“You made worms germinate in the body of Ayub and in front of Musa burnt the mount Tur (by the reflection of your Light).”

He tested the patience of the Prophet Ayub in different ways till his body was germinated with worms. He was not unmindful of him for a single moment when he was undergoing these ordeals for the sake of his beloved. He bestowed upon him countless blessings including reunion with his family but after he had undergone such spiritual tests. The Prophet Musa in a state of deep love wanted to see him. He made him fall down in a swoon after seeing the mount Tur burn with a reflection of his Light. The insatiable quest of seeing him with naked eye kept burning Musa till the end of his life. He kept quiet because of His Majesty, but his burning love kept on questioning the impossibility of his seeing the Reality with his physical eye.

زکریاؑ کلوتر چرایو

یحییٰؑ گھوٹ کوہایا

“You sawed Zechariah in the saw and slaughtered Yahya in the prime of his youth.”

He raised the status of the House of Imran by virtue of its purity and love. He sawed the Prophet Zechariah, who loved him from the core of his heart and had taken so much care of Maryam. He responded to his prayer and granted him a son. He named him as Yahya and also made him a Prophet. He slaughtered him when he was so young.

یونسؑ پیٹ مچھی دے پایو

نوحؑ طوفان لُڑھایا

“You caused Younis’ entry in the body of ‘the great fish’ and made Nuh face the torments of the Flood.”

He made the Prophet Younis enter body of ‘the great fish’ after he had left his community because it was not paying heed to his beloved. He saved him and sent him back and he won them on his side. Such are the ordeals of love. He made the Prophet Nuh face constant hardships and sarcasm from his near and dear ones for such a long time and finally made him face the torments of flood. He did not accede to his request for pardoning his dead son for he was not from his spiritual progeny (Aal) since his actions were not virtuous (Ghair salih). The Prophet Nuh loved his son much and had deepest fatherly attachment with him but the Divine reprimand filled his heart with the overpowering love of the Divine to the extent that the love of his son faded away completely and he reiterated his resolve to act according to the Divine Will.

شاہ حسنؓ کوں شہر مدینے

زھر دا جام پلایا

“You made the regal Hasan drink the cup of poison in the city of Medina.”

The story of love does not end with the Prophets but embraces lovers from all eons and countries. He made Hasan, the grandson of the Prophet of Islam, die by administering him the cup of poison. Earlier, his love had made him abdicate the alienable Caliphate. If the oath of allegiance (bay’ah) had been imposed on him by Muawiyah, then, ‘Karbala’ would have occurred there and then.

کربلا وچ تیغ چلا کر

ایڑھا کیس کرایا

“You caused a colossal tragedy by demonstrating swordsmanship at Karbala.”

Yezid departed from the tradition of the earlier Caliphs of Islam and decided to impose the oath of allegiance (bay’ah) on Husayn in order to make the Imamate subaltern to the Caliphate. Husayn’s love for his beloved made him stand in ‘Karbala’ against it. The Divine caused a colossal tragedy in which, Husayn and those along with him underwent great sufferings and ultimately sacrificed their lives for him.

شمس الحق دی کھل کھلایو

سرمد سر کپوایا

“You made Shams, the truthful one, skinned alive and Sarmad’s head chopped off.”

He made his intoxicated lovers Shams and Sarmad face such brutalities. When Shams addressed a dead boy and said ‘kumbe-iznil-lah’ (come to life by the order of Allah), the dead boy did not rise but when he said ‘kumbe-izni’ (come to life by my order)  the dead boy came to life but Shams was skinned alive because of being blasphemous. It was the Divine who, to a higher degree in the medium of Shams, granted life to the dead boy. When Sarmad, the naked martyr, denied the physical ascension of the Prophet to the heavens on the ground that the heavens resided in him; remained nude for inviting people to search the naked truth within him; supported Dara Shikoh’s spirituality against Aurangzeb’s religiosity bereft of inwardness and frequently recited a portion of the first Shahadah, there is no ilah (self-subsistent reality) meaning thereby that one could not go to the stage of affirmation before realising negation; the Divine made the head of Sarmad chopped off by those who did not understand the reality of his God-intoxicated love and the deeper meanings of his acts.

شاہ منصور چڑھایو سولی

مستی سانگ رسایا

“You caused the enraptured state and crucified Mansur, the Master.”

He enraptured Mansur, who had attained the consciousness of his ontological nothingness, and crucified him. He had taken over his medium. It was the Divine who said ‘I am the Truth’ (Ana’l Haqq) from his tongue.

مجنوں کارن لیلیٰ ہو کر

سو سو ناز ڈکھایا

“You became Layla and exhibited countless prides for the sake of Majnun.”

He is Love itself, which is polarised in the forms of the lover and the beloved. It was His manifestation as lover in Majnun and as beloved in Layla. It was His prideful expression in the form of Layla that bewitched Him in the form of Majnun.

خسرو تے فرہاد دے کارن

شیریں نام دھرایا

“You named yourself Shireen for the sake of Khusru and Farhad.”

He took the beloved form of Shireen, which attracted Farhad to love. It was His presence in his form, which performed extraordinary feats beyond the human.

درد دا بار اٹھایا ہر ہک

اپنا وقت نبھایا

“The burden of pain was shared by every one during the course of his time (by remaining faithful to his vocation).”

He gave leave (izn) in His Almighty Wisdom to all those calamities that befell on each one of them. All His lovers underwent pains, anguishes and sufferings, in varying degrees, but remained steadfast and faithful to Him. They did not betray His love. The infinite capacity and immense strength of His love made it possible for them to face the vicissitudes of life.

کر قربان ”فرید“ سر اپنا

تیڈڑا وارہ آیا

“Farid!  Sacrifice your head for it is now your turn.”

It is now his turn to sacrifice his life for the sake of his beloved. He has to bear pains and sufferings in the path of love. He is happy in being chosen by the beloved to realise union. One gain is worth many losses. What more does he need than realisation of the real purpose of his existence?

             Kafi - 6                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                        کافی نمبر - 6         


 چوڑا انا ڈے جیسلمیر دا

سوہا رنگاڈے خاص اجمیر دا


“Do get me set of bangles from Jaisalmer and dyed colourful dopatta especially from Ajmer.”

Beauty and love are intertwined.  Love has stirred her from within. She wants to bring out the finest sentiments, which inhere in her self. She wants to beautify herself with the best that exists in her culture.

ہووے اصلی خاص مڑیچہ

نہ نقلی ول پھیر دا

“It should be truly and specially from Marwar and not a counterfeit to the original.”

Love elicits genuineness. Love and truth are intertwined. Her colourful dopatta from Marwar ought to be real and not a counterfeit to the real. Appearance and Reality should be identical.

جلدی آوے ناں چر لاوے

کم نہیں اتھ دیر دا

“These may be brought forth quickly without any hold up for over here there is no margin of delay.”

Her heart longs for these belongings right away without any hold-up. It is such a longing that cannot be measured on the spectrum of serial time. It can only be fulfilled in pure duration, which transcends the ordinary distinction of time in series of past, present and future. It is time turning into eternity.

برہوں دا چُوڑا پریت دَا سوہا

کاک ندی دے گھیر دا

“These bangles of affection and dyed colourful dopatta of love symbolise my stepping in the stream of love.”

Her bangles and dopatta symbolise her initiation in the fold of love. Love has transformed both her inward and the outward.

بِچھوا بیکانیری گھِنساں

سجڑے کھبڑے پیر دا

“I would procure the Bikaner toe – rings for my right and left foot.”

Her desire to secure Bikaner toes for her feet symbolise the start of her journey from the earthly to the heavenly within her cultural matrix.

سہجوں پیساں پا ٹھمکیساں

تھورا چیساں ڈیر دا

“I shall fondly wear and display myself even if I have to take the obligations of my brother-in-law (who will fetch these things for me).”

She shall happily adorn herself and be presentable even if she has to take some obligation (outward help). Her love no bounds. It is a stream, which determines its own course. There is no family consideration refraining her from expressing her love in fullness.

یار ”فرید“ منیندم آکھیے

کیا غم بئے دے ویر دا

“Farid! My friend is responsive to me. Why I should be sorrowful about the detestation of others?”

Love is an individual sentiment but with social and cultural upheavals. He loves his friend that makes others detest him. There is no point in his being sorrowful since his friend responds to him in love. Otherwise, love would have been so overbearing for him.

             Kafi - 7                                    Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                        کافی نمبر - 7         

حسن قبح سب مظہر ذاتی

ہر رنگ میں بے رنگ پیارا

“Beauty and ugliness are the manifestations of the Essence.  The lovely colourless is in each colour.”

All the possibilities inhere in the Divine Essence. It is the Universal Possibility. There cannot be any possibility outside it. The Essence in order to realise the possibilities, which inhere in him has to take the form of Names or Attributes. It manifests itself in one of its forms, Beauty. It is then Beauty itself, which manifests in all forms of beauty. It is in the process of this manifestation that the Beauty appears in the form of a given beauty, which implies the possibility of a given ugliness. There cannot be such manifestation unless it is in a ‘world of contrasts.’ But there is no ugliness in the Essence since it is free from all imperfections. The phenomenon of ugliness arises in the process of manifestation and passing through different cycles ultimately returns to its source as transformed beauty. Pure water, analogically speaking, is free from all impurity but impurity arises in the process and is recycled into purity. It is not a perfect analogy since it deals with another level of reality but it does give some inkling of the point in issue. However, both beauty and ugliness are manifestations of the Essence with the difference that beauty is directly manifested from the Essence whereas ugliness as a privation only arises in the course. Likewise, the lovely One is colourless but assumes different colours in the process of manifestation.

”نَحْنُ اَقْرَبْ“ راز انوکھا

سمجھ سنجانو، عالم لوکا

”وَھُوَ مَعَکُمْ“ ملیا ہوکا

ہے ہر روپ میں عین نظارہ

“His being nearer to man than his neck vein is a novel secret.  His ever presence with you has been proclaimed. O people! Do grasp and identify that it is His open manifestation in each form.”

The material percept and the rational concept of nearness break down in this case. He is more nearer to man than man is to himself. It is the nearness of the Spirit or Divine Essence (that is in man but is not his) with a person. The Spirit takes the form of a human body in order to express itself in relative fullness. It can roughly be likened to the nearness of His Essence with His own Names or Attributes. The metaphysical meaning of nearness is supreme identity or nonduality. His ever presence with human has been openly proclaimed. Metaphysical realisation finds Him openly manifest in each form.

”وَفِیْ اَنْفُسِکُمْ“ سر اِلٰہی

ہر صورت وچ رانجھن ماہی

”لودُلّیتم“ فاش گواہی

کیتا ناز دا ڈھنگ نیارا


“It is a divine secret that He dwells in the self. It is a divulged testimony to His Omnipresence.  Ranjhan friend is in each form.  His mode of pride is unique.”

His dwelling in the human self is a secret of God. He dwells as the Self in the human. It is the housing of the Spirit in each pore of a human being. Man in his wholeness and totality is an outward form the Inward takes to manifest itself. It is an irrefutable testimony to His Omnipresence. A thing can only exist at any level by virtue of His presence. He is Omnipresent. The beloved is immanent in every form with uniqueness of transcendence.

حسن ازل دی چال عجیبے

آپ ہے عاشق آپ رقیبے!

طرح لطیفے طرز غریبے

تھی دلبر جگ موہیس سارا

“The move of the Primordial Beauty is a mystery with subtle style and manner only one of its kind. He is himself the lover and is himself the rival.  He is the beloved, who has captivated the whole world.”

The manifestation of the Primordial Beauty is a mystery. It has polarised itself as the lover and the rival. It has no parallel in human relationship of love, where the lover and the rival are understood to have two distinct realities. He is the One, who is manifest in multiple forms. Since there is no one beside Him, therefore He has to assume the form of the ‘other’ (rival) in order to fan the contradictions of love that take love to incredible heights. His form as the beloved has capitulated His other form as the world. 

کتھ مطرب کتھ تان ترانہ

کتھ صوفی سرمست یگانہ

کتھ عابد کتھ نفل دوگانہ

کتھ رنداں میں کرے اوتارا

“He is at times singer and at times musical songs. He is at times devout and at times prayer with two genuflexions.  He is at times matchless highly enraptured Sufi and at times descends in the form of the inebriates.”

His Omnipresence is all-pervasive. It is not possible to understand His manifestations from ordinary religious perspectives, which thrive in the world of duality bereft of the metaphysical sense of oneness. The religious consciousness is a split consciousness and it finds it appalling to accept His presence in all modes including the contradictory worlds of musicians, devout and rituals, enraptured Sufis and inebriates. It attempts to save His transcendence at the cost of His immanence thus resulting in the idea of a limited God firmly enthroned in Heavens. It fails to understand that the transcendence of God is saved in spite of His immanence. He is immanent but simultaneously transcendent in any form He assumes. His immanence in the form of an inebriate, for example,  also carries in simultaneity an equal dimension of transcendence, by virtue of which, He simply cannot be reduced to being an inebriate.

کیا افلاک ، عقول ، عناصر

سب جا ، نُور حقیقی ظاہر

کیا متکلم ، غائب ، حاضر

کون ”فرید“ غریب وچارا

“What to talk of heavens, intellects and elements?  What to talk of the creation with faculty of speech, visible and invisible beings? The essential Light is manifest everywhere. Who is Farid, the poor and the pathetic (to hold any place in the Face of the Absolute)?” 

The Essence or ‘the supra-formal Divinity’ is in ‘abysmal darkness’. It is, in a certain sense, even beyond light. It is when it assumes the form of personal Divinity (Allah) that He becomes the light of the Heavens and the earth. Light has both the individual and the universal elements. Light is both absolute and infinite. Light as the Absolute is identified with His Individuality and Light as the universal is identified with His aspect of the Infinite.  There is no contradiction between these ‘two fundamental aspects of the Real’. His Omnipresence arises by virtue of His being the Infinite. Light itself is manifest in all forms. It is the inherent nature of light to manifest itself. Human medium has no self-subsistent reality and thereby is a mere shadow of light.

             Kafi - 8                                    Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                        کافی نمبر - 8         

درد اندر دی پیڑ

ہجر فراق دے تیر

ڈاڈھا سخت ستایا

دل نوں ، مار مونجھایا

“The inward excruciating pain has highly vexed me. The arrows of disunion and separation have ravished my heart with anguish.”

Religiosity has no means to transcend ‘servant-Lord axis’. It considers it as final. It does not explore the possibility of experiencing God. The mystics and Sufis have stepped forward and have shown the way to ‘deliverance and union’. A person who embarks on the road to experiencing God ultimately finds Him ‘within the infinite depths of his being’. Love opens the door to reach the inmost chambers of one’s consciousness. But love and suffering are inseparable.  The lover is shot by the arrows of disunion and separation, which give him severe inward pains and anguishes.

عشق ہے ڈکھڑے دل دی شادی

عشق ہے ساڈا پیر

عشق ہے رہبر مرشد ہادی

جیں  کل  رازُ  سجھایا

“Love is the delight of the suffering heart. Love is the mentor, spiritual master and guide.  Love is our spiritual teacher, who has made us realise the whole secret.”

His suffering heart finds delight in love. The elixir of suffering removes the dross from his heart and makes it shine like ‘a polished mirror’ in which the beloved contemplates himself.  He realises the dictum: I love, therefore I am. Love guides him in unravelling the entire secret of the way. Love itself has polarised in the forms of the lover and the beloved. It is by virtue of loving that he realises the possibility of uniting with his beloved.

اے دل مٹھڑی ، گندڑی مندڑی

ازلوں تانگھ دا تیر

جانون لادی ، برہوں دی بندڑی

جانی ، جوڑ چو نبھایا


“My heart is miserable, loathsome and vile.  It is bondwoman of love ever since birth. The primordial arrow of longing has been perfectly pierced by my beloved.”

Her miserable heart turns unworthy of her beloved though it has been subjected to love since the primordial day when it was pierced by the arrow of longing. She cannot bear the primordial separation from her beloved. Her longing intensifies. Her heart becomes incapacitated to absorb the intense passion of love.

ناز تبسم گجھڑے ہاسے

حسن دے چار امیر

چالے ، پیچ ، فریب دلاسے

جنہاں چو گوٹھ نوایا

“The prideful smiles, deeper laughter, styles of pretension and deceitful consolations are the four scions of beauty that have subjugated the four corners of the world.”

The beloved armed with the scions of beauty completely subjugates the world. There is no way out for him except to bear all this in the hands of the beloved. It keeps him in a state of uncertainty about his self-image and the response of his beloved. It is a necessary stage in the ripening of love. Ordinary lover gets disheartened and is dismissed accordingly. Patience and steadfastness in adverse situations of love help in the game of the Divine hunt.

وُٹھڑی پالی سدا متوالی

روہی رشک ملہیر

مینہہ وسراند تے والی آلی

وَاہنْدا بخت ولایا

“It has been continuous raining on the ground. The sand has moistened, by virtue of rain, to an extent that even Malheer is being envious of the desert. The once receding fortune has now started to smile.”

The desert is enlivened by rain to such an extent that even certain green areas have become envious of the desert. It is likened to his state of barrenness turning lively at the response of his beloved. His liveliness was so unique that other people became envious of him. His receding fortune of love did embrace him. There are certain stages in love where activity on the part of the lover is ‘neither possible nor desirable’. The desert of his self has to act as a conscious receptacle. He does not remain passive but in a state of receptivity awaiting heavenly response of his beloved.

تھیاں سر سبز ”فرید“ دیاں جھوکاں

نند نہ مانون کھیر

سہجوں خنکی چائی سوکاں

مولیٰ ماڑ وسایا

“The dwellings of Farid have become all green.  The dried ones have fondly become lively (due to an inner urge). The udders of cows and buffaloes are oozing out milk. God has brought the desert to life again.”

His inner and outer deadness has quickened to life. Love bestows thousands a deaths and thousands a rebirths. His being in a state of receptivity, has elicited the Divine response. His static feelings have turned dynamic. God has turned his inner desolation into a feeling of well-being and fulfilment.

             Kafi - 9                                    Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                        کافی نمبر - 9         

ساڈا دوست دلیندا  نور محمد خواجہ

ڈھولا یار چہیندا نور محمد خواجہ

“Nur Muhammad Khawaja is our bosom friend. Nur Muhammad Khawaja is our intimate and favourite beloved.”

Nur Muhammad Khawaja is steeped in spirituality. He is the forbearer of Khawaja Ghulam Farid who considers him as his friend and beloved close to his heart. He has reverential love for him. The friends of God are the embodiments of beauty, truth and love. God dwells in their inner and outer forms. Revering them is revering God Himself.

ساری ساڈی شرم بھرم دا

%ے گل وچ لاجا

“You are the custodian of our whole honour and prestige.”

God has granted him immense spiritual powers. His contributions in strengthening his family and spiritual ties with him are manifold. He symbolises his entire honour and prestige.

عرب وی تیڈی عجم وی تیڈی

ملک پنجاب دا راجہ

“You are owned in Arab and Persia and you enjoy a royal status in the dominion of Punjab.”

The Arabs, Persians and people living in the area of Punjab hold him in high esteem. His spirituality and noble conduct has attracted them to him.

زمین زمن وچ وجدا گجدا

فیض تیڈے دا واجا

“The tune of your blessings is being drummed in all parts of the world.”

His spiritual blessings know no bounds. He has blessed all parts of the world by his spirituality and graceful demeanour.

قدیم تیڈے وچ نوں من بھاگے

انگن میرے پوں پاجا

“Do step in my courtyard with your full boon steps.”

He beseeches him to grace his courtyard with boon. His stepping in the courtyard of his inner being shall elevate his spiritual status. It will add freshness to his life. 

دلبر جانی یوسف ثانی

موہن مُکھ ڈکھلا جا

“O’ Yousaf like sweetheart! Do show me your beautiful countenance.”

He is his Yousaf like beloved friend. He is desirous of his inward and outward beauty.

نوشہ شہر مہار دا بنرا

سکدی کوں گل لا جا

“O’ bridegroom of the nuptial city of Mahar! Do come and embrace the one desirous of you.”

He is eagerly desirous of him. He beseeches him to come and fold him in his arms. His owning him will turn him into gold. It will satiate his quest for him.

نین ”فرید“ دے درس پیاسے

آ جا ناں ترسا جا

“The eyes of Farid are thirsty of your vision. Do come and do not tantalise me.”

He is keen to meet him. He entreats him not to tantalise him by remaining away from him. His heart cherishes for him and shall be filled with joy in meeting him.

        Kafi - 10                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 10         

ساڈے نال سدا توں وس پیا

وس، ہس، رس، دل کھس پیا

“Do dwell with us everlastingly.  Live in merriment and grab my heart.”

Communication with one’s beloved heightens love. It at times assumes the form of soliloquy. These soliloquies are great treasures of love. These are not mere talks, which one undergoes with oneself but they reflect the imaginative presence of one’s beloved. He invites his beloved to dwell with him for all times. He wants him to be merry and captivate his heart. He presents himself with his whole being. He desires his happiness from the core of his heart.

سر وچ درد، دماغ خماری

جیڑے جھورا دل آزاری

تُنلے رتڑے، ہنجڑوں جاری

تن سولاں دے وس پیا

“I have headache and my mind is in a state of drunkenness. The tears are flowing from my reddened eyelids. My self is worrisome and my heart is distressed.  My body has been infested with afflictions.”

Love and suffering are intimately linked with each to the extent that both weave the fabric of his being. The journey of love is replete with separations and disunions, visions and unions. The stage of love determines the nature and intensity of these experiences of love. He misses his beloved and as a consequence his body, self and heart are in a state of great distress.

بے پت دی بے پتڑی یاری

پہلوں لٹ لٹوا دل ساری

ظلم اندھاری بے نِرواری

پچھے چوری نس پیا

“The dubious friendship of the untrustworthy is cruel, oppressive and unjust. He looted (ransacked) my heart in the first case and then stealthily fled away.”

He usually holds his beloved responsible for his plight. He is at a loss to understand the queer moves of his beloved. The deepening of his love unties many knots but also creates others. He does not understand the oppressive behaviour of his beloved. He contracted love with him and then stealthily assumed transcendence by leaving him forlorn.

ہجر سوا کوئی سود نہ پایم

منتاں کیتم سیس نوایم

چوٹیاں کھتم حال ونجایم

نک گھر ڑینْدیں گھس پیا

“I have earned nothing except disunion.  I have plucked my hair and worsened my condition.  I have implored and bowed my head.  I have rubbed my nose till it has reddened.”

The dividend of his love has been disunion. He inflicts pains on himself in order to bear the terrible state of separation from his beloved. He adopts extreme postures of humility in order to attract him but all in vain.

پیش کیتا جیں فہم فکر کوں

کر کر شکر نہ ڈتڑس سرکوں

لیت لعل دی اِرکھر کوں

عشق دی رہ وچ بھس پیا

“The one who resorts to understanding, reflection, and the seductiveness of prevarication, instead of sacrificing his head with countless thanksgivings, shall be a failure in the path of love.”

The whole problem lies in trying to know the dynamics of love by dint of ordinary understanding. The tools of thinking, which otherwise are so effectual in different situations of life, become completely ineffectual. Any one who resorts to these supports, instead of offering his head with immense gratitude, shall miserably fail in the path of love. He needs to be thankful to the beloved for agreeing to accept his head in return of love.

لانے پھوگ ”فرید“ سو ہسیاں

کرڑی تے ونج جھوکاں لیساں

سٹ گھر بار تے بار  وسیساں

اج کلھ ٹوبھا وس پیا

“Farid! I will rejoice in the company of desert plants and bushes. I will leave my household and dwell in the forest. I will have my habitation amongst the thorny shrubs. These days the pond is full of water.”

He resolves to leave the comfort of his abode and rejoice in wilderness in spite of its being so uncomfortable. The easiness of life tends to distract him from his original vocation. He wills to dwell in proximity to the pond, which symbolises the ‘spring of life.’

        Kafi - 11                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 11         

سانول پنل ول گھر ڈوسدھایا

تن مونجھ ماریا سرسول تایا

“The charming Punnal has returned to his abode. My body is ravished by anguish and my head is fiery with afflictions.”

The romantic tales are cultural, which mirror the intensity of love and suffering. Punnal, the Baloch son of the ruler of Kech fell in love with Sassi and started living with her in Bhambore. His kinsmen took him away forcibly while Sassi remained sleeping. When she awoke, she underwent the greatest ordeals of her life. The psyche of the lover is very complex. It contains a sense of guilt, which is often projected to the beloved. The drama of love contains psychic meanings with a lot of ‘mysterious sensitivity’ in the folklore literature. An eye of the mystic transposes these psychic realities into spiritual forms. Love relationships are placed within the spiritual ambience. The earthly facts start mirroring celestial realities. The temporal is transformed into eternal. Time plunges into eternity. The game of love is transformed into a game of symbolism. The beloved becomes transcendent after contracting love with her. She experiences acute forms of sufferings, as a consequence.

ڈونگر ڈراون ڈکھڑے ستاون

بن ڈھول سکڑے سوڑے نہ بھاون

ڈینیں، بلائیں کر ٹول آوِن

گھر بار ڈسدا سارا پرایا

“The mountains instil fear in me and the sufferings are so vexing. The witches and demons flock around me.  The presence of my close relatives in the absence of my beloved is not appealing to me.  My entire household seems estranged to me (I have a feeling of homelessness).”

The outward is so dreadful. The mountains instead of giving her a sense of protection instil fear in her. Her psychic realities appear to her as flocks of witches and demons. They want to scare her away from the path of love. The absence of her beloved has wrought such changes in her that her close relatives who once were her psychological and social support seem distant to her. She becomes stranger to the social world, which once was so familiar to her.


مُٹھڑی موئی نوں خوشیاں نہ پھلڑیاں

جانی اویڑا، پیتاں کللڑیاں

ڈوڑے ڈوڑاپے تانگھاں اولڑیاں

ہے ہے اڑایا اکھیاں اجایا

“Happiness has not been a boon for the spiritless and the miserable. There are instead multiple difficulties and intricate longings. My beloved is peculiar and ties of love are unintelligible.  Oh! Oh! My eyes have been entangled meaninglessly.”

The dynamics of love are beyond her understanding. She becomes spiritless and miserable instead of being happy. She has yet to decipher the code of love. She does not understand the strange behaviour of her beloved. Her ties of love with him are equally unintelligible. Her eyes have entangled her in a meaningless relationship. She finds no meaning in her love.


تحفے ڈکھاندے غم دیاں سوغاتاں

بِرہوں بساطاں اوکھڑیاں گھاتاں

کیچوں سسی ڈو آیاں براتاں

جِیڑا نہیڑے نِیڑا نِبھایا

“The presents of sufferings and the rare gifts of sorrows are the fortunes of Sassi that have come from Kech.  It is so difficult to be receptive to these fortunes of love, which have shaken me so rudely but still I have remained committed to my love.”

She receives the rare gifts of sorrows and sufferings at the hands of her beloved. It becomes so testing to accept these fortunes. She accepts them as blessings in disguise. She reiterates her commitment to love. It strengthens her from within.


گُذرے وِہانے جوبن دے مانے

جُھر دی جُھو رانے ڈھولن نہ جاٹے

سہرے کُمانے، اُجڑے ٹکانے

دِلڑی مُسایا ، بے وس رُلایا

“The vanity of youth has whisked away.  My chaplets have lost their freshness and the dwellings have become deserted. My beloved does not care that worries have plunged me in an acute state of worrisomeness. My heart has beguiled me and made me wretchedly helpless.”

He has been so engrossed in love that his youth has faded away with all its vanity. His ordinary sense of serial time does not hold true for him. The past he lived just seems to him like a dream. It cannot be measured by clocks. Could one measure the sufferings of a lover whose moments of union with his beloved are lost? He experiences himself as a dried leaf. His beloved is least bothered about the state of his wretched existence. His heart has enticed him on the path of love. His sense of being perpetually dwindles into non-being.

آساں اُمیداں ، ساڑیاں پُجالیاں

مارو ، مِہر دیاں دیداں نہ بھالیاں

اصلوں بروچل پیتاں نہ پالیاں

آیُم فریدا سختی دا سایا

“My hopes and expectations have been burnt to ashes.  My beloved has not truly nurtured love with me. He has not cast glances of affection and care on me.  Farid! I am condemned to live in the shadow of hard times.”

He has no expectation and hope of a loving response from his beloved. His beloved has not returned his love. It is so difficult for him to live in a state of despair.


        Kafi - 12                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 12         

سٹ سانول سجن سدھایا

سر سنجڑے سول ستایا

“My charming beloved has left me forlorn.  I am the damned one, who has been vexed by afflictions.”

A general feeling of being left out by an individual or group is not as agonising as being uncared for by one’s beloved. It shatters one’s ordinary self. She feels forlorn, damned and vexed by afflictions.


تپڑی کلہڑی تپڑی ملٹری

جندڑی جلڑی دلڑی گلڑی

پیڑ اَوّلڑی نِیڑے گھلڑی

سانگ ہجر دی رلڑی

لگڑی اگ کللڑی

پل پل پور پرایا

“I am burning in loneliness, while sitting on the worn out mat. The spear of disunion has pierced me. My life has burnt and my heart has rotten due to unintelligible fire. Love has made me undergo intricate pain. I am bothered about others at each and every moment.”

She burns in the fire of love without any internal or external support. It is an unintelligible fire beyond the ken of human reason. It eludes her rational grasp. The outer crust of her personality or her every day self starts petering. The transcendence of her beloved haunts her at every moment.



پربت رولے جکھڑ جھولے

سوز سمولے یار نہ کولے

سختی گولے سجھم نہ اولے

غم دے سانگ سنگولے

جیڑا جل بل کولے

دم دم روگ سوایا

“I am wretchedly wandering in the mountains amidst strong winds. I am facing the arrows and hatchets of sorrows. My passion is getting hold of me in the absence of my friend. My self has been burnt to ashes.  The hardships are on hunt for me and I cannot find a way out. My malaise is increasing every moment.”

The burning of the self to ashes fosters a sense of nonbeing in her. A feeling of helplessness envelops her, which increases the consciousness of her ontological nothingness.



نیں باری منتاری ہاری

درداں ماری کرم نہ کاری

انگ ازاری اکھیاں جاری

ماری مونجھ مونجھاری

الٹا تروڑِم یاری

جو لکھیا سو پایا

“I know not how to swim across the deep and splashing waters. There is no remedy of my anguishes. I am abject but my friend does not shower his blessings on me. He is severing his friendly ties with me, instead. I am bodily distressed and tears are flowing from my eyes.  I have got what was destined for me.”

There are different levels of knowledge and understanding. Knowledge of one level may not be of any avail at a different level. The ordinary degree of knowledge does not vouchsafe for the entire human understanding. Understanding a state of love requires a corresponding state of knowledge. She feels at times that her plight is destined from eternity. Isn’t it the primordial separation of the lover and the beloved, which passing through the path of suffering ultimately leads to union?


ڈونگر کالے پیریں چھالے

اکھاں نالے سوز پجالے

پیت نہ پالے کر دا چالے

تتڑی واقع گھالے

زخم جگر دے آلے

فکر فراق مونجھایا

“I am the inept one bearing hardships, while wandering in the black mountains with boils on feet. The eye streams have burnt my passions. My heart sores are all green.  My beloved does not love me but plays tricks with me. The very idea of separation creates anguish in me.”

The anguish of separation from her beloved leaves deep imprints on her embodied self. The unrelenting ways of the beloved elude her grasp and she frequently experiences crises of understanding.



خوشیاں کھسدا بھیت نہ ڈسدا

نیڑے وسدا سب کوئی ہسدا

ڈوڑا ڈکھڑا جی بے وس دا

ول وَل ڈھولن نسدا

جھیڑا جھگڑا سسدا

دلڑی مفت اڑایا

“He grabs my happiness without disclosing the secret. My beloved slips every now and then.  He makes all nearby people laugh. There are brawls and wrangling with my mother-in-law. I am helplessly bearing multiple sufferings. My heart has got me entangled just for nothing.”

The beloved does not disclose the secret of treating her so brashly, thus making her a laughing stock for the passers by. She desperately wants to see the cards of the game of love but these can only be shown at their appointed time. Love cannot be taken at its face value since it has its hidden cost.



روہ گھنیڑے راہ اویڑے

اَمڑی جھیڑے ویر نہیڑے

آوَڑ ویڑھے چھوڑ بکھیڑے

وَسدا یار پریڑے

سس ننان کہیڑے

سَٹ گھت شور اجایا

“There are spread out mountain ranges and peculiar passages. My friend dwells at a far distance. The brawl of my mother, the rudely shakes of my brother, the provocations of my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law can end if you enter my courtyard leaving aside all incongruities. Discard the meaningless noisiness.”

She considers the transcendence of her beloved as the root cause of all her internal and external contradictions impregnated with sufferings.



نکلن آہیں سنجھ صباحیں

لگڑیاں چاہیں سُجھن نہ واہیں

سنجڑیاں جھوکاں اجڑیاں جاہیں

برہوں دُوکھیندا بھائیں

رولدی بیلے کاہیں

یار فرید نہ آیا

“I heave sighs in the mornings and in the evenings. The flame of love intensifies. I cannot find a way out of this impasse of love. I am wandering wretchedly in the riparian shrubbery and reeds. The dwellings are empty and the places are deserted. Farid! My friend has not come.”

He feels that awaiting his beloved may require a whole life-time. It is one of the greatest mysteries of love. There is no cause-effect relationship in love. It is not a mechanical relation. It is beyond control and prediction. One’s love does not elicit an automatic response. There is no logical nexus between human emptiness and fulfilment. The relevance of the his striving and suffering in the way of love notwithstanding, the response of his beloved, is only by virtue of grace.



        Kafi - 13                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 13         

عشق لگا گھر وِسریا

زر وسری تے ور وِسریا

“My falling in love has made me oblivious of my abode.  My spouse and wealth have fallen in oblivion.”

It was not a conscious effort on her part to leave her abode, spouse and wealth but her falling in love made her oblivious of all these things. Religiosity purports the way of preaching, sermonizing and moralizing with a limited positive result. Spirituality, on the other hand, posits the possibility of a direct contact with God with immeasurable merits. Once the love of God takes roots in a person, it becomes his guide. His worldly love is burnt to ashes in the fire of Divine love. He goes beyond the need of anyone to tell him what to do. His love keeps freeing him from all worldly attachments. He puts no fight against the propensities of the lower self since his love of God makes them peter out accordingly.  Religiosity uses the fear of God to smite the sinners. It ends up in instilling a psychological fear, which becomes highly counterproductive. But spirituality takes God as love. It does not talk of fearing God but enlightens man to be fearful of the drastic consequences of his evil actions. An element of genuine fear does remain during the course of spiritual journey but it is transposed in the fear of doing something, which may not lead one to lose grace in the eye of one’s beloved. It is lovers’ hell.


گزرے ناز حسن دے مانے

زیور تریور وِسریا

“My pride and vanity of beauty has passed away.  My jewellery and apparel have fallen in oblivion.”

She did understand that pride, vanity of beauty, jewellery and apparel were transient. Her formal knowledge of these phenomena merely remained static at the rational level, and did not become existential or dynamic. It is by virtue of love that she realises the ephemeral and outward nature of these things and acts accordingly.


وِسرے کجلے سرخی میندیاں

بولا بینْسر وِسریا

“I have become oblivious of collyrium, rouge, and henna. My nose ornaments have fallen in oblivion.”

Her state of love has made her forgetful of her adornments and ornamentations since these have not succeeded in attracting her beloved.


درد اندیشے دل دی موڑی

بِیا، کل، جوہر، وِسریا

“Pain and anxiety are the fortunes of my heart. All other resources have fallen in oblivion.”

Love works wonders in detaching him from all internal resources except pain and anxiety, which purifies his self and make him worthy of his beloved.


دیر کنشت دوارہ مندر

مسجد منبر وِسریا

“Idol temple, Church, Sikh place of worship, Temple, Mosque and Pulpit have fallen in oblivion.”

His love makes him transcend all formal places of religious worship. God is not housed there. He resides in the inmost chambers of his heart. He has an insatiable informal relationship with him.


ہک دے سانگے ہک دی سوں ہے

خیر  بھلی  شر وِسریا

“I swear by the One that for the sake of the One, I have become oblivious of both good and evil.”

The force of his love for the One makes him transcend the polarisation of good and evil.  He lives beyond it. He identifies his self with Good itself.


ہر ویلے ہر یاد اسانوں

ہور اماں  ہر وِسریا

“We constantly remember God.  All other things, my mother, have fallen in oblivion.”

Love has soaked him in the constant remembrance of God. There ‘is no thing with Him’.


ویساں کیچ فرید نہ مڑساں

سنج بر دا ڈر وِسریا

“Farid! I am determined to go to Kech. The fright of wilderness has fallen in oblivion.”

He is blessed with resoluteness to meet his transcendent beloved. The courage of love overcomes his fear of wilderness. How could it be overcome otherwise?


        Kafi - 14                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 15         

کوئی ماہنوں آئمیں یار دا

ساتھی کھڑا سنہیڑا ڈیندا

“Perhaps, an envoy has come to deliver message of my beloved.”

The process of communication between the lover and the beloved is the soul of love. The communication between the Divine and the human takes numerous direct and indirect forms. The finality of prophethood in Islam has set a seal to the prophetic mode of communication but has kept its mystic channels open. The door of love remains open both for the lover and the beloved.

عشق نہیں ہے تیر بلا دا

ظلمیں چوٹ چلیندا

“It is not love but a sharpened spear that cruelly causes hurt.”

It is the efficacy of love that appears as a sharpened spear causing hurt so cruelly.


ناز ادا کجھ کرے نہ ٹالا

حکمیں برہوں بچھیندا

“There is no escape from the pride and style of my beloved, which coerces love to keep track of me.”

The antics of his beloved coerce him in the tracks of love. It is a form of communication, which is so necessary for fructifying love.

رمز رموز تے گجھڑے ہاسے

سب کجھ درد سجھیندا

“Pain makes me understand all intricate clues and deeper laughter.”

Love is essentially existential with perceptual, conceptual and imaginative off shoots. His pain plays a crucial role in making him understand the intricacies of love. No pain, no understanding. It is pain, which takes him to a higher dimension, where he understands the valid cause of his beloved befooling him. He joins in this laughter.

سوز فراق تے درد اندیشے

تن من پھوک جلیندا

“Passion and separation along with pain and anxieties are blowing (intensifying) fire of my embodied self.”

The passionate pains and anxieties caused by separation burn his embodied self. The purification process has to continue till all traces of his being are reduced to nothingness.

ہرگز سول نہ سہندی دلڑی

یار اے بار سہیندا

“My heart would not have borne these afflictions but for my friend, who makes me bear this burden.”

The process of his reduction to nothingness was so heavy that he would not have bore it but his friend helps him in bearing such heaviness. His load becomes light when he realises that the burden of love that he carries is solely for the sake of his friend. It is, again the gracefulness of his friend, which lightens his burden.

ہجر فرید کیتی دل زخمی

دوست نہ مرہم لیندا

“Farid! Disunion has hurt my heart but my friend does not apply balm on it (does no medication).”

His heart is hurt by disunion but his friend does not medicate it. The withholding of medication at the hands of one’s beloved apparently seems an act of cruelty but it reflects deepest love since it leads to the ripening of the state of love. Any intervention by the beloved at this stage is more of a cruelty than love. Analogically speaking, if the inmates of hell are given a temporary respite from the blazing fire then the process of purification of their souls reverses back and they ultimately cease to be purified, thus it is love and not cruelty that the intensity of fire is not reduced.

        Kafi - 15                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 15         

کیا حال سناواں دل دا

کوئی محرم راز نہ مِلدا

“How could I narrate the state of my heart for there is no one to share my secrets?”

Love is a strange sentiment. It prompts him to communicate with someone who could share his plight but he finds no one. It is uniqueness of individuality that the pains and happiness of an individual are so personal. One cannot experience even the pain of a toothache of the other. Love is a higher experience, which condemns him to remain in a state of solitude. 

منہ دھوڑ مٹی سر پایم

کوئی پچھن نہ ویڑھے آیم

سارا ننگ نموز ونجایم

ہَتھوں اُلٹا عالم کھِلدا

“There is dust covering on my face and ashes on my head.  I have lost all my honour and prestige.  No one has come to share the state of my being. Rather, the world is laughing at me.”

He comes in contradiction with society by virtue of his higher consciousness. A society governed by the law of averages promotes the average and the mediocre. It feels threatened by an individual who tends to challenge its norms. It takes different measures against him. He suffers for the sake of his beloved. He already loses his honour and prestige at the hands of people who instead of sharing his misery make fun of him. However, the non-responsiveness of his beloved and the hostile behaviour of people strengthen him from within.

گیا بار برہوں سر باری

روندیں عمر گزاریم ساری

لگی ہو ہو شہر خواری

نہ پایم ڈس منزل دا

“The burden of love has fallen on my head.  I have earned infamy and notoriety. My whole life has been spent in crying. I have found no sign of my destination.

The society smites a lover with infamy and notoriety, which ultimately prove to be blessings. He is burdened with love. He finds no clue to reach his goal of uniting with his beloved. His destination of love ‘is not a line already drawn but it is a line in drawing’.

دل یار کیتے کُرلاوے

ڈکھ پاوے سول نبھاوے

تڑپھاوے تے غم کھاوے

ایہو طور تیڈے بیدل دا

“My heart groans for my friend.  It makes me restless and sorrowing.  It is suffering and bearing afflictions.  It is the condition of the one, who is deprived of your love.”

These groans, sorrowing, sufferings and afflictions do make him restless and ravish his heart but they eventually prove a boon for him.


کئی سہنس طبیب کماون

میڈے دل دا بھید نہ پاون

سے پڑیاں جھول پلاون

پووے فرق نہیں ہک تِل دا

“There are countless therapists, who are diagnosing and administering medicines as remedial measures. They are far from understanding the mystery of my heart’s malady. There has not even been an iota of improvement in my state.”

The society is inimical to the lover but even that segment of society, which is friendly and wants to help him, is at a loss to understand the malady of his heart. Their diagnosis and medication are wide off the mark and thus, fail to restore his wellbeing. They falter, in the very first instance, in considering his love as a disease. They consider it as ‘sickness-unto-death’ without realising that the sickness of love is many times better than so-called healthiness.

پنوں ہوت نہ کھڑ مکلایا

سوہنے جان پچھان رولایا

' کلہڑی کیچ سدھایا

کوڑا عذر نبھایم گِھل دا

“My beloved Punnal went away without bidding me farewell.  He left me alone and headed towards Kech.  My sweet heart consciously made me wretched. I concocted the story that sleep had befallen me.”

Her beloved became transcendent without adieu with a conscious design to leave her wretchedly alone. It all happened in a dream-like state. She pretended to be fast asleep. Later, for the sake of his honour, she circulated the idea that sleep had befallen her and he had been forcibly taken away by his kinsmen.

سن لیلیٰ دَھانہہ پکارے

سوہنا یار تونے ہکوَارے

تیڈا مجنوں زار نزارے

کڈیں چا پردہ محمل دا

“O Layla! Listen to the imploring call of your Majnun, who is in a distressful state. My lovely friend! Do reveal thy self, at least once, by unveiling from the palanquin.”

The beloved is understood both in the masculine and feminine senses in different cultures and even within a culture. The beloved in the forms of Ranjha, Mahinwal, Punnal, Mahinder and Omar, for example, are taken in the masculine sense whereas the beloved Layla is considered in the feminine sense. It points to the masculine-feminine aspects of the Reality. It also refers to the reciprocity of love between the Divine and the human.  The lover, in the form of Majnun, imploringly calls Layla (his lovely beloved) to at least lift for once the curtain of transcendence and become immanent. His request is orchestrated with such a distress. It is so difficult to see the beloved hidden in one’s own eye.

دل پریم نگر ڈوں تانگھے

نا راہ فرید نہ لانگھے

جتھاں پینڈے سخت اڑانگے

ہے پندھ بہوں مشکل دا

“My heart longs for the City of Love. The pathways leading to it are very hazardous. Farid! There are no passages or openings. It is an extremely difficult way.”

His heart longs for the city of love. There is no road map. There are no sign-posts. It is a hazardous journey within his self.  It is so difficult.


        Kafi - 16                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 16         

مارو مٹھل وَل مکھڑا چھپایا

ڈکھڑیں ڈکھایا دردُیں منجھایا

“My overpowering sweet heart has again hidden his face.  The sufferings have made me suffer and the pains have caused me anguishes.”

The suffering of separation stands in corresponding inversion to the joy of union. It is this inversion, which makes her fall in anguish and despair. One who tastes the best flavour of love cannot withstand his being divested of this savour. The attainment of union after severest suffering leads to the most intense joy. How could such intensity be experienced otherwise? After the end of this phase, she has to undergo the period of immense distress. The cycle of love, comprising continual unions and separations, moves on till the final union. The intermittent periods intensify both her joys and sufferings.

تانگھیں تپایا مونجھیں مُسایا

سُولیں ستایا نیڑے ہرایا

“My longings have burned me and the anguishes have beguiled me.  My afflictions have vexed me and made me lose the game of love.”

The feeling of losing the game of love arises in her many a times but still the game continues. She is a key player but the master card is in the hands of her beloved. What she considers her loss is in reality her win. All losses in love are victories.

آتن نہ بھانْواں سینگیں رُوایا

دھوتیں دا ویڑھا ڈھولن پرایا

“I have become alienated from the place of spinning my wheel, in the company of my friends, who make me cry.  The place has become a courtyard of the slanderers and my beloved has become a stranger too.”

She experiences solitariness of love. Her friends cease to understand her, which is so terrible for her. The animosity of the world intensifies. The most awful thing is when her own beloved seems a stranger to her.

سنجڑی سسی نوں جبلیں رُلایا

ہے ہے پُنل ول پھیرا نہ پایا

“Oh! Oh! Punnal! You left the damned Sassi wretched in the mountains and did not turn up.”

Her expectations keep growing in testing situations. The circumstances in which her Punnal (beloved) became transcendent made Sassi (lover) roam in wilderness. Her expectation to see her beloved in immanent form did not fructify. Such are the ways of love.

پوریں پرائیں دلڑی نوں تایا

پیڑیں پرانیں سکھڑا ونجایا

“My worrying about others has made my heart fiery. It is the primordial pain that has made me lose peace.”

The primordial game of love, on both sides, is to realise unity. The transcendence of the beloved makes her heart fiery.  The primordial pain of love has made her lose peace.

خوشیاں وہانیاں سانول سدھایا

گل گیا فریدا جوبن اجایا

“My beloved has parted and my happiness has whisked away too.  Farid! My youth has rotten just for nothing.”

His entire happiness is linked to union with his beloved. The parting of his beloved (transcendence) is identical to the parting of his youth.

        Kafi - 17                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 17         

مان مہیندا چاک

ساڈے  من   بھانوندا

“The adorable shepherd of the herd (Ranjha) appeals to my inner self.”

She loves the shepherd of the herd (fine sentiments). He is the shepherd of her being.

ہر دم ہویں کولے میڈے

کر رکھاں دل پاک

وتاں گلکڑی پانوندا

 “I wish you were with me all the times. I have kept my heart pure to be worthy of your embrace.”

The desire to have the ever presence of her beloved haunts her throughout her journey on the path of love.  She keeps her heart pure of otherness. She does not defile herself with the thought of the other. She loves her beloved with sincerity, which consists in loving him whole-heartedly and in wholesomeness. It is this purity that makes her worthy of her beloved’s embrace.

راتیں روندیں تپدیں کھپدیں

پھٹ گئی ہم باکھ

کیوں گل نہیں لانودا

 “I have been crying, mourning and raising hue and cry during the whole night and now the white streak of dawn has emerged.  Why don’t you embrace me?”

She is in an acute state of suffering during ‘the dark night of the soul’ desiring to see its dawn, which consists in union with her beloved. She is dying for this union.

سانون سہجوں مینگھ ملہاراں

آئی ملن دی مد ساکھ

نیڑا جیڑا تانواد

 “The sky has readily become overcast with thick clouds in the rainy season. The moment of union has dawned. Love is blazing my self.”

One of the most crucial moments in her love is when the inner and outer portents of union become visible. She experiences an isthmus between union and disunion.

دردوں ٹھڈڑیاں ساہیں کڈھدی

رو رو ڈیواں باک

ڈکھڑا انگ نہ مانودا

 “Pain makes me heave cold sighs. I groan while crying. My body cannot bear suffering any longer.”

She experiences sadness, groans and sufferings, which are so overbearing for her embodied self. Heaving cold sighs (‘icy cold darkness’) and groaning while crying in the state of pain (hell-fire) are the signs of the inmates of hell. They make suffering unbearable. But, it is within these that ultimately door to ‘deliverance and union’ is found. All fire is the fire of love.

نال فرید دے سچ نہ کیتو

آنون دی گبیوں آکھ

سوہنا ول نہیں آوندا

 “You did not remain true to Farid.  My beloved! You undertook to come but did not turn up.”

He accuses his beloved of not remaining true to his words. He promised to assume immanence but chose to remain in transcendence. The game of love is, in a certain sense, a blame game. The blame essentially is made from the lover’s side. The charges he levies as a lover, in a charged way, against his beloved arise from his human situation, which cannot comprehend the ways of the Divine. He has relative knowledge of love, which he considers as absolute. Though his understanding keeps on developing as he moves ahead yet love always remains a mystery for him. It is only at the highest stage of realisation or union that he understands the ways of the Almighty Wise.


        Kafi - 18                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 18         

مساگ ملیندیدا گذر گیا ڈینہہ سارا

سنگار کریندیدا گذر گیا ڈینہہ سارا

“I have been using twig (of the walnut tree) as tooth powder and lipstick (for its darkening effects) but the whole day has passed.  I kept doing makeup but the whole day has passed.”

Beautifying herself for the sake of her beloved is her great passion. This gradual awakening of love deepens the sentiments. But when the beloved does not appear, her green sentiments turn into dried leaves. The unfulfilled desires constitute hell for her.

کجلہ پایم سرخی لایم

کیتم یار وسارا

“I applied collyrium and rouge but my friend forsook me.”

The very act of being forsaken at the hands of her friend for whom she has beautified herself adds insult to injury.

کانگ اوڈیندیں عمر وہانی

آیا نہ یار پیارا

“My life has been spent in shooing ravens but my lovely friend has not returned.”

The attempts to secure the return of her beloved to her abode at times become so desperate. The crowing of the raven on the wall of a house, considered as an omen for the visit of one’s friend, is just a cultural consolation without being grounded in truth. But still she shoos ravens to make them fly far and wide with the expectation that they bring news of her friend’s return. She has spent years of her life in resorting to this practice but without any success, which is so disheartening. 

روہ ڈونگر تے جنگل بیلا

رولیم شوق آوارا

“My wayward keenness has made me wander wretchedly in mountainous terrains, forests and riparian shrubbery.”

Her keenness to unite with her beloved makes her wretchedly wander in wilderness. Is it really wretchedness to suffer for the sake of one’s beloved?

ہکدم عیش دی سیجھ نہ مانٹریم

بخت نہ ڈتڑم وارہ،

“My fortune did not let me have a single turn on the nuptial bed of enjoyment even for a moment.”

It was her misfortune to be deprived of even a moment of nuptial enjoyment. Doesn’t dawn emerge from the bosom of night?

پڑھ بسم اللہ گھولیم سرکوں

چاتم عشق اجارا

“I sacrificed my head starting with recital of God’s Name. I assumed the entire responsibility of love.”

She made the absolute choice of love with her whole being. It made her assume absolute responsibility of her choice. There can be no love without freedom. Love and freedom are identical. Her first step as lover is to barter her head for the sake of the Divine. Pure love is essentially divine.

رانجھن میڈا میں رانجھن دی

روز ازل دا کارا،

“Ranjhan is mine and I belong to Ranjhan.  It is a pre-eternal covenant.”

The mutual belongingness of the lover and the beloved is by virtue of the pre-eternal covenant, which took place when the undifferentiated Reality (Love itself) assumed a differentiated form (lover and the beloved).

ہجر فریدا لنبی لائی

جل گیوم مفت وچارا

“Farid! Disunion has enkindled the flame of love. The pathetic one has been consumed in this fire for nothing.”

Disunion is instrumental in enkindling the flame of love. Disunion intensifies love. The intensity of love has to reach the highest degree in him in order to qualify him for attaining union with his beloved.


        Kafi - 19                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 19         

نام اللہ دے پاندھیڑا

میڈا لے سنہڑا جا

 “O’ envoy! Deliver my message for the sake of Allah’s name.”

It is the utmost state of desperation almost at the end of her tether that she beseeches the envoy in the name of God to deliver message to her beloved. It is an unusual message in which she accuses her beloved of transcendence and communicates to him the sufferings she is undergoing for his sake. However, it has not to be taken formally but understood in an informal context. It is an attempt to understand certain aspects of the Divine in the human context. The form and contents of this message symbolise further closeness of the Divine and the human.

آکھیں بٹھ گھت دروہ، پریت کوں

یار نہ وٹڑا لا

“Do ask my friend to cast aside deceitfulness and not to stigmatize love.”

The act of deceitfulness and stigmatising love cannot be levied to the perfect beloved but the levying of these charges, in the human context, simply show the delimitedness of the human. It implies the intricacies of judging the Divine by human standards. How could an aspect be studied in isolation from the whole?

جیویں جیویں کنڈھ ڈے گیا ہیں

اُونویں مُنہ ڈے آ،

“The way you have gone by turning your back, likewise come back by turning your face (towards me).”

She desires the return of her beloved (immanence) exactly from the point he became transcendent.

ہے ہے ظالم نیت مرادئی

تھولے کھوٹ کما،

“Oh! Oh! Cruel one! One gets in consonance with one’s intention. Do not be a counterfeiter.”

Intention gets primacy over all conduct. The cruel and counterfeit behaviour has been the product of the intention of the beloved who never wanted to respond to her.

چالیں پیچ فریبیں والی

ڈھولن ریت وٹا،

“My beloved!  Change your styles of pretence and deceit.”

The style of pretension and deceit has ensnared her in the path of love. She wants her beloved to be sincere in love.

کرکے سنگت، سانگ بیگانے

بیٹھوں من پرچا

“You have become rest contended by taking strangers as friends.”

She counsels her beloved against taking strangers as friends. She advises him in his own ultimate interest. But, actually she projects her own insecurity to him.

بیاہی کون کہیندا تو ہیں

ساڈے بار اٹھا

“Do carry the burden of owning me since no one is mine without you.”

She openly declares that she has no one except him to carry the onerous burden of owning her. She has banked her whole being and having in the game of love. She does not want any misunderstanding with her beloved.  She does not want to lose the game of love by any intervention.

سس نیناناں مارم طعنے

مہنیں ڈیوم ما،

“My mother taunts me and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law rebuke me.”

The taunts of her mother-in–law and the rebukes of her sister-in–law add fuel to the fire of separation, which engulfs her.

آکر ماہی دیدیں دیرے

دل وچ جھوکاں لا،

“My beloved!  Do become the vision of my eyes and dwell in my heart.”

She is dying to have vision and union with her beloved.

ناں کڈھ گالہیں ناں ڈے مندڑے

واتوں سمجھ اَلا،

“Don’t hurl abuses at me and do not say anything vile to me. Do hold your tongue.”

The intermediate imaginal phases in the world of love, located between the self and the Spirit, give rise to her audition of being abused and degraded by her beloved. It demolishes a sense of hidden pride that she carries with her. It helps her in getting emancipated from the shackles of her self.

یاری لایو، لا نہ جاتو

محض نہ آیو ڈا،

“You contracted friendship but you did not know the art of friendship. You failed to remain steadfast.”

The art of friendship and steadfastness are the virtues of love. She essentially educates herself by critically examining the behaviour of her beloved.

جھور جھرانے جند دا جوکھوں

ڈتڑس ماس سوکا

“It is very exacting to be worrisome in love. It has led to the contractions of my skin.”

The effects of suffering are visible on her embodied self.

ڈٹھڑے باجھوں کیویں جتراں

برہوں لگا ھڈ تا

“How can I live without witnessing you?  Love has consumed me from within.”

Her love bereft of witnessing her beloved is self-defeating. Religiosity remains content with following the dictates of Divine law. Spirituality rises higher in demonstrating direct contact with the Law-giver in the form of the beloved. The fruit of love is witnessing the beloved in one’s mirror of heart.

سکھنڑیں نہ ڈے یار الانبھے

کر کجھ کان حیا،

“Do not accuse me, my friend. Do have some sense of shame.”

Her Imaginal world again exhibits the forms of accusations made by her beloved. It reflects the reality of communication between the lover and the beloved.

سوہنی نال نبھاوے ہر کوئی

کوجھی نال نبھا،

“Every one honours his commitment with the one who is beautiful. Do honour your commitment with the ugly one.”

She realises that she has to perfect herself in order to attract her beloved. She does not deny the reality that love and beauty are inseparable but she beseeches her beloved to act beyond it and embrace her in her ugliness. She invokes the Divine principle that consists in the Mercy of Allah preceding His wrath.  

جلدی آنویں نہ چر لاویں

ساہ تے نہم وسا

“Do return quickly without any delay. There is no certainty attached to the breath of life.”

Life is threatened by the uncertainty of its end at any time. The moment of uniting with her beloved cannot be delayed.

ڈے کر ساڈی بانھ سراندی

سوہی سیجھ سُہا

“Do adorn the nuptial bed by folding my arms under your head.”

The posture of meeting with her beloved symbolises unity.

تیں کن سانول دلڑی آپے

آ ویچم سر چا

“My charming beloved! I have chosen to pledge my heart to you on my own account.”

Love bereft of freedom, choice and responsibility is no love. She accepts this triplicity for the sake of love.

بیٹھائی گذران نہ بھلی،

بٹھ پیا کوڑ نبھا

“Life of deviance is not noble. False commitment is utterly useless.”

Love strives for singleness of purpose and true commitment.

چاڑہیں توڑ نہ رہ وچ رولیں

رکھناں یاد وفا

“Do take me along with you to the end and do not desert me in the way (don’t make me wretched). Remember faithfulness (sincerity) of love.”

It is sincerity of love, which makes love prosper. She appeals to her beloved (Self) not to desert her in the way but to take her to the end. The primordial tradition of love can only fructify in union. 

انگن فریدؔ دے بھورل جانی

سہجوں آپوں پا

“O’ my charming beloved! Do fondly step in the courtyard of Farid.”

He remains at the receiving end, in spite of levelling wild accusations against his beloved. His accusations do not arise by dint of his pride but due to his humility. He remains in such a precarious situation of love. He does not want his beloved to react to these accusations. He wants his spontaneous response of love in order to realise union. 


        Kafi - 20                                   Understanding Diwan - i - Farid                                کافی نمبر - 20         

وَاہ وَاہ سوہنے دا ورتارہ

ہک جا چاوے عشق اجارا

ہر صورت وچ کرے اوتارہ

بئی جا ڈیوے حُسن ادہارا

“It is laudation to the conduct of the Beautiful. He descends in each form.  He is love itself at times and at times He is Manifest Beauty.”

The Beautiful is manifest in each form. Love itself is polarised in the forms of the lover and the beloved making beauty and love inseparable. 


او مالک میں ادنیٰ سگ دا

میں کَیا موہ لئیس من جگ دا

ہر صورت وچ مٹھڑا لگدا

ماریس ہر جا ناز نقارا

“I am canine and He is my Master.  He looks sweet in each form.  What to say of me, he has captivated the heart of the world. He has beaten the drum of his pride everywhere.”

He is completely at the command of his Master is sweet in every form. It is not he alone but the whole world, which is attracted to Him both in transcendence and immanence. He is the Individual and the Universal in simultaneity making it possible for every one to love him. His responsiveness to an individual’s love does not deprive other individuals of his love. He is fully responsive to each individual in his or her own right.

میں بے آس امید دا مانا

دوست اویڑا یار ایانا

ہر کس ناکس دے من بھانا

ہر ہک دل کوں لگے پیارا

“I am bereft of any hope but He is the ground of my expectations.  He is heartily appealing to the apt and the inept. My friend is peculiar and amateur in love but still every heart rules him lovable.”

 He is the fundament of his expectations in spite of his falling in despair. He appeals to everyone. He is peculiar and amateurish in love (likened to the colour of water, which is due to the colour of the vassal). He is universally enchanting.

جو میں وانگ بجھارت بجھدا

ہرگز دخل نہیں کہیں کجھ دا

سوتھیا واقف ساری گجھ دا

جان نظارا یار دا سارا

“The one, who like me unravels the mystery, becomes acquainted with whole esoterism.  There is absolutely no possibility of any thing. Do witness the total manifestation of the friend.”

Anyone who unravels the mystery understands esoterism in fullness. He sees the entire manifestation of his friend without otherness at any level. Being is there in all its plenitude without any trace of otherness. The unrealised possibilities of the Essence (nothingness) and its realised possibilities (Being) are identical. There is no duality, for example, between the colourless light and its manifestation in the form of colourful lights. The transcendence of light and its immanence enjoy a supreme identity. The Unmanifest, simultaneously keeps its transcendence intact, while manifesting in all forms of being and nothingness. There is no thing, which is not a manifestation and there is no manifestation that is not of the Unmanifest. It is love, which makes this manifestation possible and at the same time sustains it.

چرن گرو دے سیس نوائیں

جہد جہاد دا بار اٹھائیں

جو آکھے چم اکھیاں چائیں

قرب کمال ہئی مطلب بارا

“Bow your head at the feet of your Master. Carry out his commands wholeheartedly. Bear the onerous obligation of spiritual struggle. The meaning of this quest lies in achieving perfect proximity.”

The total receptivity to the instructions of spiritual master (guru or murshid) in struggling against one’s baser self makes one realise the goal of union with the beloved.


تھی گر پیر دا چیلا سچا

برہوں کڑاہ چڑھیا مچ مچیا

نہ ہو قدم ہٹا کر کچا

جل بل مار انا دا نعرہ

“Be a true disciple of your spiritual Master. Do not become frail by faltering your steps.  The cauldron of love is ablaze.  Get burned in it completely by raising the cry: I am Truth.”

The sincerity with the spiritual master requires firmness of steps and getting oneself completely burned in the blazing cauldron of love. The resultant disappearance of being occasions the Self or the Reality to appear in one’s human medium and proclaim: I am Truth.

جو کوئی رکھسی اے گن چارے

ونج خوش وسسی شام دوارے

جو راتی جگ جوگ جگارے

رہسی جنم جگت سوں نیارا

“The one who cultivates the four virtues of self-restraint, generosity, meditation and night watchfulness, shall enter and remain happy in the temple of the beloved detached from the cycles of decadence.”

The realisation of the possibility to happily enter and reside in the temple of the beloved by being detached from the cycle of decadence is by virtue of spiritual effort. The nature and degree of the effort varies from individual to individual. It is the beloved beneath his apparent effort, which does all the work.

جگرت سپن سکوپت ٹریا

جیندا پیر سنجانوں تُھڑیا

تیڈی سیر دے سانگے جڑیا

پھر سی تھی چو گوٹھ آوارہ

“The one, who traverses the terrestrial world along with the world of imagination and the world of spirits, shall know that all this has been created for Self-realisation. But the one, whose steps falter in realising this truth, shall remain itinerant in the four corners of the world.”

It is by virtue of spiritual experience that the recipient realises that the terrestrial and the celestial worlds are instrumental in the achievement of Self-realisation. It is such realisation that ultimately leads to ‘deliverance and union’.

توں ہیں سمجھ، سنجان نہ چھوڑیں

اپنے آپ توں مونہہ نہ موڑیں

نرگن سرگن وچ جا جوڑیں

سب ہے روپ سروپ تہارا

“Do not discard this Gnostic learning and understanding. Be in harmony with your Self.  Never be oblivious of your essentiality.  All is your splendid Face.”

One has not to discard the gnostic truth of attaining permanent harmony with one’s Self, which is ones essentiality. The mystery of Self-realisation dawns when one comes into contact with the roots of one’s being. He attains gnostic knowledge that everything is the expression of his Self within him. It is his essentiality as against his individual being, which is an illusion. Gnosis is ‘an inward journey from self to the Self.’

چاروں بید بدانت پکارن

آتم اوتم روپ سدھارن

اوم برم نارائن دھارن

دویت فرید ہے جوٹھا لارا

“The four Vedas and Hindu sacred tenets openly proclaim that the Nameless has been named as Om, Brahma and Vishnu. He has assumed the form of the Supreme Soul.  Farid! Multiplicity is merely ephemeral.”

Hindu metaphysics or pure metaphysics intellectually demonstrates that the Nameless has assumed different Names in the process of manifestation. The transcendence of the Nameless and the immanence of the Named are identical. The Supreme Soul or the universe has no duality. There is no otherness because there is no self-subsistent reality except the Reality. A thing that lacks self-subsistent reality has no being. Thus, multiplicity at any level is ephemeral. The metaphysical principle of unity in multiplicity explains this metaphysical truth.