Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Aziz Mian: Mujh Azma'nay Waley - Oh You Who Tests Me...

I’m guilty as charged for losing sight of spiritual depths and concentrating on current affairs relating to politically motivated understandings of Islam. I raised a few questions relating to the Scottish Islamic Foundation in hope that it would help progress. Let me be clear, I’ve never said that the progressive approach is the correct one, maybe the progressive vision is a load of nonsense, I am willing to accept that but my aim in raising questions is not to score points against others but to add to the debate and most certainly not to be understood as some form of 'leader', quite happy being understood as a Muslim on a spiritual journey finding his way to God in Scotland.

Questions are a good source of strength for it is only when we question what we believe in that we truly understand what we are. So let us not get all defensive on the questions but reflect on them in union. God is my witness that my desire is only to see a flourishing and beautiful Scotland where Muslims dwell in security and safety without the use of political motivations for it is only through love and passion that God blesses hearts. Och well, no point in getting our knickers in a twist because time will tell what the best approach is/was.

So, I’m presenting another of Aziz Mian’s Qawallis which will hopefully bring us all back to our main focus, God. During this month of fasting our focus must remain on God. Enjoy…

Aql kay soog mar daytay hai
Ishq kay roog mar deytay hai
Aap khud koi nahi mur ta
Doosray log mar deytay hai'


The burdens of the mind kill you
The weeping heart laden with the burden of love kills you
But no one dies on their own accord...
It is always someone else who kills us...

Comment: These verses have touched me profoundly as I tried to understand what they actually meant. The burdens that we all carry are numerous to the detriment of the hearts death which fails to see the light of God. I understand this verse to say there are so many factors in our lives that ‘kill us’ or kill our soul from God.

Mujhe aazmanay waley, mujhe aazma’ kay roo’ay
Meri daastan-e-hasrat woh suna suna kay roo’ay


The one who tests me cries after testing me
He tells the tales of my desires over and over again and weeps

Comment: I think this verse is talking about the Great tester, God. God tests the believers on earth to see in what way they will react to the obstacles placed before them. But there is a twist. It presents God with emotions, the emotion to cry at the state of the believer being tested. That as God recalls the tales of the tester He wept. A powerful image where God is not that silent, all empowering force that sits back and watches but here showing the believer that God is more than just present.


Koi aisa ahl-e dil ho jo fasana-e-mohabbat
Aray jisay mein sun’akay ro’o
Aray mujhay woh sun’akay ro’ay


Someone who dwells in the heart of passion, love,
Someone I cry for after telling them…
Someone who cries after telling me…

Comment: We seek this ‘someone’ in many different forms. It could be through our delusions of a ‘true love’, wealth, prestige, power but in fact the search but start and end with God. That it is only God who must dwell in the heart of the believer. For it is only God who listens to the sorrows and grief of the believer and weeps at their state.

Jo son’a’i anjumun mein shabhay ghum ki aap bhi’ti
Ka’i roh kay musqura’ay…ka’i musqura’kay ro’ay


Someone who narrates/recalls in the congregation the soul’s distress
Some cry and then smile…some smile and then cry

Comment: I understand this congregation to be the Great Day of Judgement when everyone is presented before God. It is here that God and the self tell the tale of life. It is here that some cry and then smile and it is here that some smile and then cry. Powerful imagery which makes us all consider what we have to smile and cry about in our lives.


Aray mein ho bewatun musaffar
Mera naam bey kasi hai
Mera koi bhi nahi hai
Jo galay la'ga kay ro'ay


I am a wild traveler without a nation
My name is destitution
I have no one
Who will embrace me and shed tears

Comment: This is pressing the believer to consider their self without the restrictions. That the nation becomes a metaphor for all sorts of restraints that society and the puritans try to enforce. That destitution and understanding the sorry state is the path to realising that there is infact no one greater than God who embraces the believers and shed tears for them.

Meray paas sey guzar kur array meri baat tuk na pooch’i
Mein yeh kaisay maan ja’o … array kay woh door ja kay roo’ay?


He passed by me yet he failed to inquire about me
How am I to accept this…that He went afar and shed those tears?

Comment: Does God actually listen to us? We don’t see this God so the rational mind may consider that God does not exist. This is a verse which raises that exact question that when the believer turns to God and expresses their distress God doesn’t seem to listen and how is one to believe that God has been moved to tears on the believers state?

Kabhi mujhsey rooth kur woh, array jo milay tey rastay mein
Mein un’hay mana kay roo’ya, array woh mujhay mana kay roo’ay


That time when he had turned away from me, He met me in the path
I embraced and cried at that moment, He embraced me and cried at that moment

Comment: This is Aziz Mian’s own verse in which he talks about the union with God. That during the believers life time there are ups and downs in the relationship with God. The time when there is a tiff between God and the believer and the believer meets God on the path is recalled. The path could be life or the path to heaven, this could be any of these ‘paths’. It is here that the believer embraces God and weeps. That these tears are of a lifetime that God has been watching throughout and it is at this same spot that God moves forward for the embrace and also cries.

The tears and embraces between God and us are maybe something missing in our spirituality....

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