Transliterated and translated from the Urdu by Asif Jehangir Selections from the Salam of Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi
Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Sidi Abu’l Hassan al Ridawi for his helpful suggestions and corrections. All existing mistakes are solely my own. Shaykh Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ Okarvi Sahib (alayhirahmat) whose book, Al Dhikr al Jamil Fi Hilyatul Habib al Khalil [The Beautiful Remembrance: The Hilya of the Beloved of the Friend] better known as Zikr e Jamil was the inspiration behind this little effort, also has my eternal gratitude. May Allah perfume his resting place! Amin!
Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful!
Jis taraf uTh gayee dam mein dam aagya
Uss nigaah i ‘inaayat pe laakhon salam
Kis ko dekha yeh Musa se pooche ko’ii
Aankhon walon kii himmat pe laakhon salam
Door o nazdeek kay sun-nay waalay woh kaan
Kaan e la’l e karaamat pe laakhon salam
Patli patli gul e quds ki patiyaaN
Un laboN ki nazaakat pe laakhon salam
Jinkay guchchay se lachchay jhaRein noor kay
Un sitaaroN kii nuzhat pe laakhoN salam
Woh dahan jis kii har baat wahi e Khuda
Chasma e ‘ilm o hikmat pe laakhon salam
Jiskay paani se shaadaab jaan o jinaan
Us dahan kii tarawaT pe laakhon salam
Jis se khaaray kunwein sheerah-e-jaan banay
Uss zulaal halaawat pe laakhon salam
Voh zubaan jis ko sab kun kii kunji kehein
Uski nafiz hukumut pe laakhon salam
Uski pyaarii fas.aahat pe bayhad durood
Uski dilkash balaaghat pe laakhon salam
Uski baaton kii lazzat pe laakhon durood
Uskay khutbay kii haybat pe laakhon salam!
Rîsh e khush mu’tadil marham rîsh e
Haala e maah i nudrat pe laakhon salam
Khat kii gird dahan who dil-aara phaban
Sabza i nahr e rahmat pe laakhon salam
Jis mein nehrein shîr o shakar kii rawaaN
Us galay kii naz.aarat pe laakhon salam
Dosh bar dosh hai jinkay shaan e sharaf
Aisay shaanon kii shawkat pe laakhon salam
Hajr e aswad e Ka’aba e jaan o dil
Ya’ni mohr e Nabuwwat pe laakhon salam
Bay-saheem o qaseem o adeel o maseel
Johar e fard e izzat pe laakhon salam
Jis ko baar e do aalam kii parwaa nahin
Aisay baazoo kii quwwat pe laakhon salam
Ka’aba e deen o imaan kay donon sutoon
Sa’idayn e Risaalat pe laakhon salam
HaaTh jis simt uThaa ghanii kardiya
Mawj e bahr e samaaHat pe laakhon salam
Jis kay har khat mein hai mawj e noor e karam
Is kaf e bahr e himmat pe laakhon salam
Noor kay chashmay lehrain, daryaa behein
Ungliyon kii karaamat pe laakhon salam
Eid e mushkil-kushaa’ii kay chamakay hilaal
Naakhunon kii bashaarat pe laakhon salaam
Rafa’ e zikr e jalalat pe arfa’ durood
Sharh e sadr e sadaarat pe laakhon salam
Dil samajh se waraa’ hai magar yoon kahoon:
Ghuncha e raaz e wahdat pe laakhon salam
Kul jahan milk aur jaw kii roTi ghiza
Us shikam kii qana’at pe laakhon salam
Jo ke `azm e shafa’at pe khinchkar bandhii
Uss kamar kii hamaayat pe laakhon salam
Anbiya teh karein zaanoo Inkay huzoor
Zanoo’on kii wajaahat pe laakhon salam
Saaq e asl e qadm, shaakh e nakhl e karam
Shama’ e raah e isaabat pe laakhon salam
Khaaii Qur’an ne khaak e guzar kii qasam
Uss kaf e paa kii hurmat pe laakhon salam
Qad e bay-saaya kay saaya-e-marhamat
Zill e mamdood o raafat pe laakhon salam
T.aairaan e quds jis kii hain qumriyaan
Uss sahi sarw e qaamat pe laakhon salam
Jis kay aagay sar e sarwaraan khum rahain
Us sar e taaj e rif’at pe laakhon salam
Shabnam-e-baagh e Haqq, ya’ani rukh kaa `arq
Us kii sachchii baraaqat pe laakhon salam
Bheenii bheenii mehak par mehaktii durood
Pyaarii pyaarii nafaasat pe laakhon salam
[Note on the meter: Although English and Urdu poetical meters do not correspond exactly, I have tried in my translation to reproduce the meter used by Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmad Riza Khan by using the English iambic hexameter [Alexandrine] as it approximates the meter used by Ala Hazrat fairly well in this case. Of course, it is not an exact replica as stated and where the translation flowed better otherwise, I have taken liberties. The translation is not a perfect iambic hexameter either: I have used lines of twelve metrical feet but taken liberties with the iamb!]
Wheresoever it fell, Life itself was revived
Peace be upon that life-bestowing gaze
Whom did he see? Let someone enquire of Moses
Peace be upon the courage of one with such eyes!
Those ears which can hear from both near and from afar
Peace be upon that mine: rubies of charismata!
How delicate the petals of that holy rose!
Peace be upon the exquisiteness of those lips!
From his clustered pearls, radiate those roots of light
Peace be upon the enchantment of those stars!
A mouth whose ev’ry word: divine revelation!
Peace be upon the fount of knowledge and wisdom
Its water makes both spirits and gardens verdant
Peace be upon the moisture of such a mouth!
From it saline wells became sweet like syrup
Peace be upon that sweet, clear, spring water!
A tongue which is known to all as the key to `Be!’
Peace be upon its effective commandments
Countless blessings upon his lov’ly oratory
Peace be upon his heart-enticing eloquence!
Countless blessings upon the pleasure of his words!
Peace be upon the majesty of his sermons
A beard of pleasant length, a salve for the heart’s wounds
Peace be upon the halo around the rarest moon!
A beard around the mouth – striking loveliness!
Peace be upon that beard of the stream of mercy!
From it are flowing streams of milk and honey
Peace be upon the freshness of such a throat!
Lofty nobility from shoulder to shoulder
Peace be upon the majesty of such shoulders!
The Black Stone of the Ka’aba of the heart and soul!
Peace be upon the Seal of Apostleship!
No partner, sum total, matchless, unparalled!
Peace be upon this unique, solitary pearl!
The arm oblivious to the weight of both worlds
Peace be upon the power of such an arm!
Two pillars of the Ka’aba of Faith, Religion
Peace be upon the two wrists of Prophethood
Wherever his hand was raised he made others rich
Peace be upon the waves of this Sea of Bounty
Fountains of light do cascade, and rivers flow out
Peace be upon the miracle of the fingers!
The crescent moon of the Eid of Succour glimmered
Peace be upon the good news of the fingernails!
Loftiest blessings on his zikr’s majestic glory!
Peace be upon the cleaving of leadership’s chest!
Your heart is beyond my ken but I shall say this:
Peace be upon the bud holding secrets of Oneness!
The world’s his dominion yet he eats barley bread!
Peace be upon the contentedness of that stomach!
`Twas tightened with the intention of Intercession
Peace be upon the protection of that waist!
Messengers do bend their knees in their presence
Peace be upon the dignity of such knees!
Antiquity: his essence’ stem; grace: his palm tree’s branch
Peace be upon the candle of the Straight Path!
The Qur’an gave an oath by the dust of thy path!
Peace be upon the reverence of such a foot!
The shadow of mercy of his shadowless stature
Peace be upon that extended, kindly shadow!
He whose turtledoves are the birds of Paradise
Peace be upon his erect height and his stature
The heads of the rulers remain bowed before it
Peace be upon the crown on his towering head!
Dew from Truth’s garden: beads of sweat from his face
Peace be upon his pure veracious brilliance!
Fragrant blessings be upon such delicate fragrance!
Peace be upon such lovely, lovely refinement!
© Asif Jehangir Qadri [May 2004]