Abbadullah Farooqi

A student of Iqbal's poetry will not fail to notice that the influence of Khawaja Hafiz Shirazi[1] on him is both wide and deep; and it will be interesting to trace it out. In order to understand and appreciate the thoughts of both the poets one needs an intuitive and inner under-standing. For mere words are insufficient to convey the deep meaning and beauty of their expression.

The chief claim of Hafiz to immortality is that he succeeded in sounding the depths and reaching the heights of human emotions. He portrayed life —spiritual, mental and physical — as it really is and did not hesitate to, speak his mind when he felt the necessary course to take. This has brought him in conflict with the pure moralists and ethicists who point to his life and verses for confirmation, as his being immoral and far from being exemplary. There were times when Hafiz gave him-self up completely to wine, woman and song. His following couplets relate indubitably to human love and sexual gratification:

دریں زمانہ رفیقے کہ خالی زاز خلل است
صراحی مئے ناب و سفینۂ ڑزل است

"In this age the only friends who are free from blemish are a flask of pure wine and volumes of elegant love songs".

آں تلخوشے کہ صوفی آم الخبائشش خواند
اشھیٰ لنا و اھلیٰ من قبلۃ العذارا

"The poignant liquor which the Sufi calls the `mother of sins', is pleasantter and sweeter to me than the kisses of a maiden".

خبر دل شنفتنم ھوس است


حال دل با تو گفتم ھوس است


"To utter to thee the state of my heart is my desire.

To hear the news of my heart (by way of counsel and advice) is my desire".

با تو تا روز خفتنم ھوس است


شب قدرے چنیں عزیز و شریف

در شب تار سفتم ھوس است


دہ کہ دردانۂ چنیں نازک

کہ سحرگہ شگفتنم ھوس است


اے صبا امشبم مدد فرما

"An auspicious night like this, precious and holy,

To sleep with thee till day is my desire.

Alas! the unique pearl, so tender,

To pierce in the dark night is my desire.

0 breeze, tonight give help

For in the morning time to blossom is my desire".

These verses are strongly tinged with sexuality, and it is extremely difficult to find any mystic meaning underlying them. Therefore one has to admit that Hafiz had human propensities and was consequently dominated purely by sensualism when he wrote these verses. It is, therefore, fantastic to say that they have a mystic import which the common man cannot grasp. There were times when Hafiz gave himself completely to wine, woman and song. Consequently, in some of his verses the apparent abandonment of everything in order to fly to pleasure has led some critics to consider him more than an ordinary profligate.


On the other hand, many zealous admirers of Hafiz insist that by wine he invariably means devotion; and they have gone so far as to compose a dictionary of words in the language, as they call it, of the Sufis. In that vocabulary "sleep" is explained by meditation on divine perfection and "perfume" by the hope of divine favour; "kisses and embraces" the raptures of piety; "idolaters, infidels and libertines" are men of purest religion and their idol is the Creator Himself. Beauty denotes perfection of the Supreme Being, "tresses" are the expansion of his glory, "lips" the hidden mysteries of his essence, and "mole", the point of indivisible unity. Lastly, wantonness, mirth and inebrity mean religious ardour and abstraction from all terrestrial thought. To these may be added the following few terms, which I discovered during my study of Diwan Hafiz:—

چشمۂ خورشید درخشاںmeans the ultimate reality,غصہ  means mental agony caused by separation from the beloved, عیسیٰ دم means beloved,  Pir ( old) means a deserted friend or jilted lover, شباب means everlasting joy of love and union, and wine means love.

According to Hafiz, all men are not equally endowed with the divine impulse of love to be able to attain the happy stage of union with the Supreme Reality. This is the lot of a few.

طالب چشمۂ خورشید درخشاں نہ شود


ذرہ را تا نبود ھمت عالی حافظ طالب

"O Hafiz, unless the particle is endowed with high spirit, it cannot aspire for the fountain of the glittering sun".

According to him, people separated from the chief fountain of life are destined to live in a perpetual state of gloom and mental agony. Just as, according to Hafiz, Love, Beauty and Eternity are three aspects of the same reality, similarly, he maintains that ugliness, mortality and mental agony (غصہ ) are the three chief characteristics of the state of separation from the ultimate source of Beauty and Love. He beautifully illustrates this point in his following couplet:

چل سال رنج و غصہ کشبدیم و عاقبت
تدبیر ما بدست شراب دو سالہ بود

"We had to undergo sorrow and grief for forty years till at last our lot fell into the hands of two years old wine".

In the following verses. Hafiz further illustrates the meaning of his terms:

قصۂ غصہ کہ در دولت یار آخرشد


باورم نیست ز بد عہدئ ایام ھنوز

"It is on account of the foul play of time that I still harbour doubt as to the end of my grief with the union of the beloved".


جاں رفت در سر مے و حافظ ز غصہ سوخت
عیسیٰ دمے کجاست کہ احیائے ما کند

In the following couplet the term "Pir' means a jilted lover:

من پیر سال و ماہ نیم یار بیوفاست
بر من چو عمر مے گذرد پیر ازاں شدم

Thus, the state of agitation or mental agony is invariably caused by separation from the Supreme Love or Beauty. Its accessary results are ugliness and mortality. In order, therefore, to attain immortality one has to drink deep from the fountain of Beauty and Love. Hafiz gives expression to this in the following couplet::

ھوائے منزل یار آب زندگانئ ماست
صبا بیار نسیمے ز خاک شیرازم

Further, it is note-worthy that in the terminology of Khawaja Hafiz "Youth" (شباب) invariably means one endowed with the divine impulse of love and beauty, while Pir (پیر ) is one who has grown old and ugly for want of love and divine glory. This is illustrated beautifully in the following couplet:

گرچہ پیرم تو مرا تنگ در آغوشم گیر
تا سحرگہ ز کنار  تو جواں بر خیزم

G "Although I am old, press me to thy breast one night,

And at dawn I shall arise young from thy side".

Hafiz identifies Love, Beauty and Eternity and uses these terms figuratively. Those who use these terms literally, utterly fail to grasp the underlying conception of Love and Beauty advocated by Hafiz. The study of the genius of Iran would not be complete without some examples of his work. Below, therefore, are given examples of his metaphysic and Sufi philosophy along with some of his most illuminating odes and couplets which will help us fathom his nature. The point at issue is to determine whether the poems of Hafiz should be taken in a literal or figurative sense. The question does not admit of a general and direct answer, for even the most enthusiastic of his com­mentators allow that some of them should be taken literally.

The fact that mysticism had been in existence years before Hafiz was born and there had been in existence many glossaries bearing such titles as "a key to the correct interpretation of Sufi (mystic) ter­minology", establishes that Hafiz too had initiated mystic terminology. If we read some of his Ghazals in the Sufi fashion, we can realise this truth. His art, of course, lies in the fact that he succeeded in creating the same effect on the readers which swayed him to write. He has infused a new life into poetry by skilfully mingling in his verse divine and human love. As he says

گفتم صنم پرست مشو، با صمد نشیں
گفتا بکوئے عشق ھم این و ھم آں کنند

"I advised him to avoid the company of sweet-hearts and associate himself with the Absolute:

He said in reply : both the forms are permissible in the domain of His love".


A careful reading of Hafiz' odes, keeping in mind the metaphysical interpretations of the imagery used by the Persian mystical poets, will leave no doubt about his connection with Sufism. In the following verses he has given expression to Sufi ideas regarding pre-determination, the unity of being, the human soul's relation to God, the Sufi way of purification, repentance, conversion, self-extinction and illuminative life etc.

منعم از مے مکن اے صوفئ صافی کہ حکیم
در ازل طینت ما را ز مئے صاف سرشت

O "Sufi, forbid me not wine.

For the All-wise, in the eternity without beginning

compounded my nature with pure wine".

یک جو از خرمن ھستی نتواند برداشت
ھر کہ در راہ فنا و رہ حق دانہ نہ کشت

"A grain of the harvest of existence cannot take up whoever in the path of effacement and God sowed not a grain".

ز چشم عشق تواں دید روئے شاھد ما
کہ نرر چہرۂ خوباں ز قاف تا قاف است

"With Love's eye one can behold the face of the beloved (God). For the radiance of the face of the lovely ones spreads from Qaf (Caucasus) to Qaf".

حدیث از مطرب و مے گوئے و راز دھر کمتر جو
کہ کس نکشود و نکشاید بہ حکمت ایں معما را

"Tell the tale of ministrels and wine. Little seek the mystery of the world,

For this mystery none has solved nor will solve through his wisdom"

دلا ز ھجر مکن نالہ زانکہ در عالم
غم است و شادی و خاور و گل و نشیب و فراز

"O heart! complain not of separation,

For in the world joy and grief, thorn and rose,

Ups and downs go side by side".

تا نفخت فیہ من روحی شنیدم شد یقیں
بر من ایں معنی کہ ما زان ویم، وے زان ماست

"From the moment I heard the divine utterance:`We have breathed into man a portion of our spirit', I was assured that we are his and He ours".

ندیم و مطرب ب ساقی ھمہ اوست
خیال آب و گل در رہ بہانہ

"The companion, the minstrel and the Saqi constitute one Being The fancy of water and clay is illusory".

 Thus, from the Sufistic point of view Hafiz' poetry has multiple functions. It may be read for the apparent contents alone ; it may be recited under certain conditions to provide special improvements in the range of consciousness. He is then to be numbered among the greatest mystics of all times. It is perhaps this which caused him to be called لسان الغیب (the tongue of mystery) which is the secret of his powers.


While going through the poetry of Hafiz and Iqbal one is bound to be struck with many similarities of ideas and ideals. In this article we have to be content with making only a few comparisons and observations illustrated with quotations from the poems of both the poets. As compared with Iqbal, Hafiz believes in the unity of existence, a doctrine which maintains that all things are God. The phenomenal world is the outward manifestation of the one real.

Hafiz observes that when the final nearness is attained, the human soul becomes absorbed in divinity. Thus the doctrine of Hafiz may be described as Pantheism. It interprets belief in one God who is eternal, without beginning and without end. The human soul is also considered to be eternal in the same sense, inasmuch as it is an infinitely small emanation of the absolute God whose spirit pervades all space. The souls of infinite creations, according to Hafiz, differ infinitely in degree but not at all in kind from the divine spirit in which they are particles and in which they will be ultimately absorbed.

Thus, according to Hafiz, God alone is the Absolute Ego and the Absolute Spirit. In all individuals the same ego or spirit manifests itself. They are like mirrors wherein God reflects Himself. Says Hafiz

نظرے کرد کہ بیند بہ جہاں صورت خویش
خیمہ در آب و گل مزرعۂ آدم زد

"The Absolute existence castaglance to behold His own form in the world. He pitched His tent on the water and clay of Adam".

In this way, the spirit may be conceived as one from one point of view and many from another point of view. Hafiz explains this:

مستور و مست ھر دو چو از یک قبیلہ اند
ما دل بعشوۂ کہ دھیم اختیار چست
در کار گلاب و گل حکم ازلی ایں بود
کاں شاھد بازاری ویں پردہ نشیں باشد

"The austere one and the intoxicated one (the profligate) both are of one family. To whose glance shall we give our heart ? What choice have we?" "In the matter of rose-water and the rose, the decree of Eternity without begiming was this: one should be the bare-faced one of the bazar and the other hid behind the veil".


On this issue, Iqbal revives the tradition of Ishraqi philosophy according to which Light means Self-conscious existence. Light is being and existence its absence, darkness, non-existence. The being that, is conscious of itself is really existent in itself. If a being is unconscious of itself, that is, devoid of light, it is non-existent. In the metaphysics of Shah'ab-ud-Din Suhrawardi, the contemplating being must dissolve itself in the contemplation of a higher being. The light which is diffused in all directions, returns to itself, dissolving all the grades of being in the light of lights. Hafiz maintains that the thrill of ecstacy is a thrill with which man surpasses the limits of his ignorance and comes to a partially regained consciousness of his eternal being. Thus he says, we are that what we adore. Iqbal rejects all these Pantheistic views and develops his own ideas of ascension and elevation of ego. In the early stage of his career, he fully agreed with Hafiz, even on this point, but later on developed his philosophy of ego, according to which there is no possibility of submergence of the finite beings into the Supreme Being. For God holds the finite egos in His own Self without obliterating their existence. Thus the moral and the religious ides according to this changed attitude of Iqbal is "self-realisation". Iqbal explains his view-point by pointing out that "unitive experience is not the finite ego effacing its own identity by some sort of absorption into the infinite ego, it is rather the Infinite passing into the loving embrace of the finite"!. His poetry bears ample testimony to this faith. Says he:

اے زاھد ظاھر بیں گیرم کہ خودی فانی است
لیکن تو نمے بینی طوفاںبہ حباب اندر

"O pious one, who can see only superficialities,

I grant that the self is mortal.

But thou hast failed to see the tempest

concealed in the bubble".

In the ultimate analysis, however, it would be apparent that the goal of the two poets (i.e , Union of self with the Absolute) is the same, though it can be reached by two different paths. Thus, whether the end is to be achieved by being absorbed in the Absolute or by absorbing the Absolute within the self, is a question of method. Thus the methods of approach to their common goal differ. The path of Hafiz is of love, peace and tranquillity, while that of IqbaI is of stress and struggle. This difference becomes evident from their following respective verses:

چناں بزی کہ اگر خاک رہ شوی کس را
غبار خاطرے از رہ گذارے ما نرسد

"In the world so pass that when thou art dead and become dust of the path, nothing malign should reach any one from our both".

 Iqbal, on the other hand, says

چناں بزی کہ اگر مرگ تست مرگ دوام
خدا ز کردۂ خود شرمسار تر گرد

"In the world so live that if your death signifies eternal death,

then God should blush at His conduct".

The verse simply means that since life means action directed to some goal, the death of an active being will certainly mean a break or a dead-lock created in the purposive activity of God for which He created man and breathed His spirit into him. Therefore, the directive nature of the finite ego is derived out of and proceeds from the directive energy of God. When God breathed into man His spirit, it is this essen­tial and uniqueness of His nature that He imparted to man. It is man's fundamental experience of purposive action, of his striving and reaching end which convinces Iqbal of the individual's efficiency as a personal cause. It is this directive control that makes man a free personality akin to the ultimate ego. It follows that there is no striking difference between Iqbal and Hafiz with regard to their conception of the nature of the finite and the Infinite. As Hafiz says :

تا نفخت فیہ من روحی شنیدم شد یقیں
بر من ایں معنی کہ ما زاں ویم وے زان ماست

"The moment I heard the divine utterance

'I have breathed into man a portion of my spirit'

I was assured that we are His and He ours".

According to this theory all manifestations perceived by the senses are only indicative of one Supreme Being. It signifies that all existence tends to become one indivisible unity, namely God. Hafiz maintains that all things including man proceed from one, all-embracing power, forming an integral part of Him. The same idea works in the mind of Iqbal who sometimes dwells on this theme:

کہ اَو پیداست تو زیر نقابی


کرا جوئی؟ چرا در پیچ و تابی

تلاش خود کنی جز اَو نیابی


تلاش اَو کنی جز خود نہ بینی

"Whom seekest thou so restlessly ? He is manifest while thou art self-veiled.

Seek Him and thou shalt discover naught but thy own self; seek thy self and thou shall not but discover Him".

Hafiz gives a clearer and more luminous expression of this idea in his following verse

در اندرون من خستہ دل ندانم کیست
کہ من خموشم و اَو در فغان و در غوغاست

"Within my shattered heart, I know not who dwells,

For I am silent but He is in clamour and tumult".

It short, whereas Hafiz maintains that all existence tends to become one indivisible unity, namely God, Iqbal asserts the uniqueness and sovereignity of the individual ego. He believes in the doctrine of self. This end can be achieved by absorbing God within oneself and not allowing oneself to be submerged in God.

It is on account of this method of approach to his goal that Hafiz is often accused of preaching resignation and inactivity. Iqbal condemns his philosophy of life because he deprecated a life of active striving in the world of concrete force and phenomena ; but a little consideration will show that this is not always the case. Far from preaching passive and inactive life, Hafiz insists on active and strenuous life of individuals, so as to be able to overcome odds and obstacles in the path of love. He is definitely of the view that a lover's personality is sharpened and steeled through a life of active experience. According to him, the odds and sufferings are of particular importance in love, as they serve the useful purpose of strengthening the character of the lover. Here are some illustrations:

در طریق عشقبازی امن و آسائش خطاست
ریش باد آں دل کہ با درد تو جدید مرھمے

"Peace and tranquillity are repugnant to the affairs of love.

Woe be to the heart that seeks remedy of the pain of your love".

از گلبنے گلے بہ گلستاں نمے رسد


تا صد ھزار خار نمے روید از زمیں

"So long as thousands of thorns do not come forth from the earth Not a single rose appears on the rose bush in the garden".

استادہ ام چو شمع سترماں ز آتشم


در عاشقی گریز نباشد ز سوز و ساز

"No one can avoid the burning of heart in the matter of love;

I stand like a candle, so do not frighten the people of my inner burning".

قرار چیست، صبوری کدام، خواب کجا


قرار و خواب ز حافظ طمع مدار اے دوست

"O friend, do not expect tranquillity and sweet repose from Hafiz ; Neither does he know peace, nor slumber".

رفیق عشق چہ غم دارد از نشیب و فراز


روندگان طریقت رہ بلا سپرند

"The travellers of the path of love undergo a lot of trouble;

The companion of love cares very little for the ups and downs in his way".

ز مشکلات طریقت عناں متاب اے دل
کہ مردہ راہ نیندیشد از نشیب فراز

"O heart! Do not turn away from the odds of love, for a brave traveller has no fear of ups and downs".

Iqbal who awakened the Muslims to their choicest misssion of life, infused in them the spirit of life, poured fresh vigour in their body, and inspired them to shake off their slumber. His message to the nation is the message of life, action and struggle. He expresses his perpetual quest of the infinite in the following verse.

ھستم اگر می روم گر نہ روم نیستم


موج ز خود رفتۂ تیز خرامید و گفت

"A wild wave rolled fast and said,

I exist if I move; I cease to exist if I do not".

سفر بہ کعبہ نہ کردم کہ راہ بے خطر است


بہ کیش زندہ دلاں زندگی جفا طلبی است

"In the creed of the living souls life means nothing but striving,

I declined to undertake the journey of Ka'ba, as it was not beset with dangers".

In the prologue of Asrar-i-Khudi, Iqbal explains his dynamic philosophy thus:

محرم راز حیاتم کردہ اند


چشمہ حیواں براتم کردہ اند

پر کشود و کرمک تابندہ گشت


ذرہ از سوز نوایم زندہ گشت

"The Fountain of life hath been given to me to drink;

I have been made an adept in the mystery of life;

The speck of dust was vitalised by my burning song;

It unfolded wings and became a fire-fly".

Again he says:

زمانہ با تو نسازد تو با زمانہ ستیز


حدیث بے خبران است با زمانہ بساز

"It is the ignorant who say : `Adjust yourself to your times';

If the times do not conform to your wishes, fight against them".

Again Iqbal says:

فاختہ شاھیں شود از تپش زیر دام


زندگئ سوز و ساز بہ ز سکون دوام

خیز چو سرو بلند اے بہ عمل نرم گام


ھیچ نیاید ز تو غیر سجود نیاز

چیست حیات دوام؟ سوختن ناتمام


تو نشانسی ھنوز شوق بمیرد ز وصل

"A tumultous life is better than perpetual peace; a dove becomes a falcon due to agitation in being entrapped.

You do not know anything except submissive prostration; stand up like a cypress, you, slow in activity. You hardly realise yet that desire dies with union. What is ever-lasting life? It is ceaseless burning".[2]

Iqbal thus apparently provides us with an instructive contrast with the ideas of Hafiz; yet deep thinking will reveal that both teach the same lesson of living active and strenuous life.

A good deal of Iqbal's poetry is devoted to this intense and consuming faith. Thus, life as Iqbal iterprets it, is a prepetual change, a continuous journey of man to new goals and new triumphs, while rest spells death:

اختیار جادہ و ترک مقام


کیش ما مانند موج تیزگام

"Our creed, like that of a swift-footed wave, is the adoption of the road and rejection of the goal".[3]


Both Hafiz and Iqbal are unanimous in holding that love individualises the lover and beloved. They define life as continuous restlessness, constant burning and ceaseless quest. While for Iqbal, it is a wish to advance on the journey without longing for the goal, for Hafiz it is a wish to attain union with the eternal Being.

Iqbal maintains that God is not necessarily the goal, for He Himself is in pursuit of man:

حل نشد ایں نکتہ من صیدم کہ اُوست


زندگی ہر جا کہ باشد جستجوست

"Life wherever it may be, is a restless search; unresolved is the riddle— am I the quarry or is He ?"

According to Iqbal, the submergence of the finite into the infinite means the end of love and individuality. He therefore says:

چیست حیات دوام سوختن نا تمام


تو نشناسی ھنوز شوق بمیرد ز وصل

"Thou knowest not that love dies on achieving union. What is life ever-lasting? It is ceaseless burning".

Again he says

اصل اُو در آرزو پوشیدہ است


زندگی در جستجو پوشیدہ است

فطرت ھر شے امین آرزو


آرزو جان جہان رنگ و بو

موج بیتابے ز دریائے خودی


آرزو ھنگامہ آرائے خودی

"Life is preserved by purpose;

Its origin is hidden in desire.

Desire is the soul of the world of hue and scent;

From the flame of desire the heart takes life;

Desire keeps the self in perpetual uproar;

It is a restless wave of the self's sea".

The same idea is expressed by Hafiz in his beautiful verses, though unlike Iqbal his ultimate aim is not the affirmation but the negation of the self. Says he

ازاں بہ دیر مغانم می دارند
کہ آتشے کہ نمیرد ھمیشہ در دل ماست

"In the cloister of the Magian, they hold me dear for the reason that in our heart a fire that does not die is ever burning".

Yearning for the Supreme Being, as Hafiz maintains, is from eternity without beginning and will continue till eternity without


کہ داغدار ازل ھمچو لالۂ خود روست


نہ ایں زماں دل حافظ در آتش طلب است

"Not at this time Hafiz' heart is in the fire of search; for in eternity without beginning it possessed the mark of love like the self-growing wild tulip."

In the following verse Hafiz observes that immortality is the lot of one who cherishes love with the infinite.

جز دل کم ز ازل تا بہ ابد عاشق تست
جاوداں کس نشنیدم کہ دریں کار  بماند

"Save my heart which is burning with your love from eternity without beginning to eternity without end, I have heard of none who remained list in this affair for ever".

Thus in dealing with the question of immortality of self both Iqbal and Hafiz are unanimous, holding that personal immortality is not man's by right, but can only be achieved by personal efforts. The way is always open to man to achieve this high ideal and become immortal.

Although man's ego has its beginning in time, with the emergence in the spatio-temperal world, this finitude is not a misfortune. It is with the irreplaceable singleness of his individuality that the finite ego will approach the infinite ego to see for himself the consequences of his past action and to judge that one can reach the high point of self-possession through divine force of love. Likewise, Iqbal maintains that one can preserve one's individuality in contact with the infinite ego. Both regard the path of love as arduous and beset with perils. These obstacles and negative forces in the way of life are, however, necessary and vital. For the evolution of life cannot become complete without its struggle with the forces which negate and oppose it. Therefore, both Iqbal and Hafiz welcome all difficulties, dangers and sufferings in the pursuit of their ideals. For instance, says Iqbal:

کہ ترا کام بگرداب و ہنگ است ھنوز


اے کہ آسودہ نشینی لب ساحل برخیز

"O thou, who seekest thy ease on the banks of the river, rise up for you have still a great task before you of battling with the whirlpool and crocodiles".

سفر بہ کعبہ نہ کردم کہ راہ بے خطر است


بہ کیش زندہ دلاں زندگی جفا طلبی است

Thus according to Iqbal one has to stake one's life to make a way.

از بلاھا پختہ تر گردد خودی
تا خدا را پردہ در گردد خودی

 "The self becomes more mature through sufferings until it rends the veil that covers God".

گل از شگاف سینہ زر ناب آفرید


گفتم کہ سود خویش ز جیب زیاں بیار

خوگر بہ خار شو کہ سراپا چمن شوی


درماں ز درد ساز اگر کستہ تن شوی

"Get profit out of loss; the rose has created pure gold by rending its breast! If thou art wounded, make pain thy remedy.

Accustom thyself to thorns that thou mayst become entirely one with the garden".

Like Iqbal, Hafiz also believes that nothing comes easy to man. One has to win one's heart's desires with one's blood:

از گلبنے گلے بہ گلستان نمے رسد


تا صد ھزار خار نمے روید از زمیں

"Until from the soil spring not a hundred thousand thorns,

 No rose can appear from a rose-bush in the garden".

Again he says:

فکر معقول بفرما گل بے خار کجاست


حافظ از باد خزاں در چمن دھر مرنج

"Hafiz grieve not at the autumn wind which blows in the garden of the world. Exercise reason: Where is there a rose without thorn?"

چراغ مصطفوی با نژاد بولہبی است


دریں چمن گل بے خار کس نچید آرے

 "In the garden none plucked a rose without thorns. The glorious lamp of the Prophet is destined to be with the flame of Abu Lahab".

According to Iqbal man has got the mission of conquering the op-posing forces and mastering nature to remould it nearer to his heart's desire. This struggle with the opposing forces will undoubtedly develop the self and thus save it from dissolution at the time of death.


Love and beauty are two aspects of the same reality.

"Beauty is love and love is Beauty, and a thing of beauty is a joy for ever", constitutes the main theme of Hafiz' poetry. Love and Beauty, the divine and spiritual in nature, are identical. As Hafiz says:

عشق پیدا شد و آتش بہ ھمہ عالم زد


در ازل پر توحسنت ز تجلی دم زد

"In the eternity without beginning a ray of beauty began to gleam; then Love aroise and cast flames over all the world".

In his view, Beauty is not something physical or corporeal, nor does it consist in the expression of lovely features of the human body. It is the expression of love. According to Hafiz, love is the inner urge of life which emanates from the celestial Beauty and pervades the heart of divine luminaries. Thus the fininte being is both love and beauty, just as the Infinite is. In the couplets that follow Hafiz illustrates the subjective nature of beauty.

جمال شخص نہ چشم است و زلف عارض و خال
ھزار نکتہ دریں کاروبار دلداریست
لطیفہ ایست نانی کہ عشق ازو خیزد
کہ نام اں نہ لب لعل و خط زنگاریست

"Neither eye nor tresses, nor cheeks nor mole constitutes beauty; it, on the other hand, involves thousand subtle points in its scope". It is the hidden element that kindles the fire of love. Neither does it consist of ruby lips nor the green down of the beloved".

The same idea is expressed by Fughani:

خوبی ہمیں کرشمہ و ناز و خرام نیست
بسیار شوہ ہاست ب تاں را کہ نام نیست

Hafiz further holds that divine love not only lends charm but also immortalises its recipient:

ہر گز نمیرد آنکہ دلش زندہ شد بہ عشق
ثبت است بر جریدۂ عالم دوام ما

"Never dies a man who is inspired by the divine force of love. Our immortality is recorded for ever in the annals of time".

"Beauty is the expresion of love," says Hafiz; "the perfume of the rose is in no need of the musk of China and Chigal — for its pod of musk is from fastening the coat itself".

Hafiz spoke with convincing passion that beauty is the product of love while immortality springs from beauty as well as love. To make this point clear, he illustrates

لب لعل نگار را دریاب


چوں سکندر حیات اگر طلبی

موسم گل بنوش بادۂ ناب


بر رخ ساقی پری پیکر

"If, like Alexander, you desire immortality, gain occess to the beloved's lips. Quaff pure wine in the assembly of the fairy-faced cup-bearer".


خطبان پارسی کو پخشندگان عمر اند
ساقی بدہ بشارت پیران پارسا را

"The charming beauties of Persia are life-giving. 0 cup-bearer, bring these glad tidings to the old men of piety".

Nazriri gives expression to the same idea:

ایں نسخہ از بیاض مسیحا نوشتہ ایم


روئے نکو معالجۂ عمر کوتہ است

Iqbal strikes a similar note in the Javid Namah:

از جمال ذات حق بردن نصیب


چیست بطدن دانی اے مرد نجیب؟

"Noble Sir! do you know what it is to be? To take one's share of the Beauty of God".

Thus separation from the supreme beauty is the chief cause of ugliness and mortality. This state of separation ( غصہ ) and the suffering from this anguish is termed as "Pir". Thus in the terminology of Hafiz "Pir" is one who is bereft of divine glory and grace. Youth (shabab) on the other hand means union and full enjoyment of divine love. Hafiz explains these in the follow ing verses:

ہر من چو عمر مے گذرد پیر ازاں شدم


من پیر سال و ماہ نیم یار بیوفاست

تا سحرگہ ز کنار تو جواں بر خیزم


گرچہ پیرم تو شبے تنگ در آغوشم گیر

"I am rendered old not by the passage of time. Rather my old age is due to the indifferent attitude of my beloved who passes by me like time".

"Although I am old, press me fast to thy breast one night that at dawn I may arise as a youth from thy side".

Both Iqbal and Hafiz maintain that beauty is the manifestation of the divine force of love. Hafiz says

بہ شیوۂ نظر از ناظران دوران باش


کمال دلبری و حسن در نظر بازیست

ما دم ھمت بر او بگماشتیم


گلبن حسنت نہ خود شد دلفریب

"The perfection of love and beauty lies in the mutual exchange of loving glances. So follow the masters in this particular art".

"The rose branch of thy beauty never assumed charm by itself. It was rather I who infused this spirit of beauty into thee by my breath".

The theme recurs in his poetry again and again:

آرے بہ یمن ھمت تو خاک زر شود


از کیمیائے مہر تو زر گشت روئے من

"My face turned golden on account of the blessed touch of thy love;

indeed, it is by virtue of your good wishes that clay turns into gold".

Again he says:

اثر رنگ و بوئے صحبت اوست


ہر گل نو کہ شد چمن آرا

"Every fresh rose that has adorned the garden by its appearance, gains hue and scent from its association with the beloved".


کیمیائست کہ در صحبر درویشان است


آنچہ زر می شود از پرتو آں قلب سیاہ

"That which turns a black heart into gold by its reflection, is the alchemy that is found in the company of Derveshes".

Iqbal also advances expression of the same thought:

بجان ما بلا انگیزئ عشق


بہ برگ لالہ رنگ آمیزئ عشق

درونش بنگری خونریزئ عشق


اگر ایں خاکداں را وا شگانی

"It is love that imparts colour to the tulip;

It is love that agitates our soul.

If you open the heart of the earth,

You will see in it the blood-spilling of love".

نگا ملست کہ برلالہ رنگ و آب فزود


بہار برگ پراگندہ را بہم بربست

"The spring has only tied together the scattered leaves;

It is my eye which has given the poppy colour and sheen."

Again he says:

نگاہ شاعر رنگیں نوا میں ہے جادو


جمیل تر ہیں گل و لالہ فیض سے اس کے

"By its grace the rose and poppy acquire a fresh charm;

There is magic, indeed, in the glance of a poet with colourful melodies".

Further, according to Hafiz, love is mutual and reciprocal. One cannot therefore imagine a true lover denied the response of love. Hafiz beautifully illustrates these points in the following verse:

اے خواجہ درد نیست و گرنہ طبیب ہست


عاشق کہ شد کہ یار بحالش نظر نہ کرد

"There is no true lover whose love has not been reciprocated.

O Khawaja, you have no malady, otherwise the physician is there".

 Iqbal gives expression to the same thought:

حسن مشتاق نمود است و عیاں خواھد بود


عشق از لذت دیدار سراپا نظرست

"Love is all sight from the .deliciousness of seeing;

Beauty wishes to be known and known it must be".

Further, Love, according to Hafiz, is a creative and continuous process. As he says:

زمرۂ دیگر بہ عشق از غیب سر برمے کند


حسن بے پایان اُو چندانکہ عاشق مے کند

ہر کہ آغاز ندارد نپذیرد انجام


ما جرائے من و معشوق مرا پایاں نیست

"The more lovers are annihilated by the resplendent light of the beloved's glory, the more they are replaced by a fresh group of lovers emerging every moment, as a result of love, from non-existence". "The love story of me and my beloved is endless. A thing that has no beginning knows no end".

The same idea is expressed by Iqbal:

گماں مبر کہ بہ پایاں رسید کارمغاں
بزار بادۂ نا خوردہ در رگ تاک است

"Imagine not that the tavern-keeper's work has come to its destined end. For there are thousand wines still untasted in the veins of grapes."

Both Iqbal and Hafiz are unanimous in holding that the lovers can change the destiny of others by their love-inspiring looks. According to Hafiz, a lover transmits love and beauty through his looks. Iqbal, who is in agreement with Hafiz gives enpression to this idea in his following couplet:

فقط نگاہ سے ہوتا ہے فیصلہ دل کا
نہ ہو نگاہ میں شوخی تو دلبری کیا

"Only a `look' decides the matter of the heart.

If the `look' lacks the expression of love, then what constitutes the art of heart-capturing?"

کہ من پروردۂ فیض نگاھم


مرا درس حکیماں درد سر داد

"The lesson imparted by the philosophers brought to me headache; For I was brought up under the charming influence of looks".

نگاہ ماست کہ بر لالہ رنگ وآب فزود


بہار برگ پراگندہ را بہم بربست

Again he says :

بجان ما بلا انگیزئ عشق


بہ برگ لالہ رنگ آمیزئ عشق

درونش بنگری خونریزئ عشق


اگر ایں خاکداں را وا شگافی

Hafiz gives expression to the same idea:

آیا بود کہ گوشۂ چشمے بما کنند


آنانکہ خاک را بنظر کیمیا کند

"Those who can turn dust into alchemy through their looks,

 May be they cast a side-glance on me the destitute one also".

صد ملک دل بہ نیم نگہ می تواں خرید
خوباں دریں معاملہ تقصیر می کنند

"One can purchase hundred domains of heart by half a glance. The beloveds commit blunders who do not do this".


The heart of man is a vehicle of supreme glory and place of manifestation of divine light. It is held by Hafiz as well as by Iqbal that the treasury of Reality and mystic apprehension is in the heart, where from some faint moon-beams gleams the mystic apprehension of God. Again, both contend vigorously that the rays of eternal beauty are not without but within. Both see in h the centre of intuition of the divine. In order to make this point clear, Hafiz significantly remarks:

سالہا دل طلب جام جم از مامے کرد
آنچہ خود داشت ز بیگانہ تمنا مے کرد
گوھرے کز صدف کون و مکاں بیروں کرد
طلب از گم شدگان لب دریا مے کرد

"For years my heart was demanding Jamshed's cup from us;

What it had itself, it desired of strangers.

The pearl which is not in the shell of the phenomenal world,

It sought from the benighted people on the seashore".

Here is a picture of mankind lost on the shore of the boundless sea of divine knowledge. Unaware as man is of his own identity, how can he possibly apprehend transcendent reality. Even though he should spend long years making diligent inquiries from the mirror, he cannot achieve the knowledge of God. Hafiz claims to have achieved this through Intuition. He says:

اے بے خبر ز لذت شرب مدام ما


ما در پیالہ عکس رخ یار دیدہ ایم

"We have seen the vision of God in the depth of our bowl (of wine); 0 you, unaware of our pleasure of perpetual quaffing".

Like Hafiz, Iqbal also detects God in man. He says:

چشم اگر داری بیا بنمائمت


ھست معشوقے نہاں اندر دلت

"A beloved lies hidden in the depth of your heart;

If you have an eye of discernment, come, I will show you".

 Again he says:

آں در عرب نماندن ایں در عجم نماندہ


خود را کنم سجودے دیر و حرم نماندہ

"I prostrate before my own self; there being left no temple and the sanctuary of Kaaba.

The one has ceased to exist in Persia while the other in Arabia".

 Again, in order to attain the goal, both Hafiz and Iqbal lay stress on following the directions of a spiritual guide who lays down to his disciples certain rules of practice and otherwise guides them in every detail of life. According to Hafiz, a person who attempts to traverse this path without the aid of such a counsellor, has Satan for his guide. He illustrates it thus:

بکوئے عشق منہ بے دلیل راہ قدم
کہ گم شد آنکہ دریں رہ برھرے نرسید

"Do not step in the street of love without a guide; for one who enters it without a guide loses the path".

 Again he says:

بہ مے سجادہ رنگیں کن گرت پیر مغاں گوید
کہ سالک بے خبر نبود ز راہ و رسم منزلہا

"If the tavern-keeper (i.e., guide) orders thee to colour thy prayermat with wine, do so ; for the traveller is not unaware of the customs and manners of the stages of love path".

The spiritual guide is believed to be able to transmit spiritual powers to his disciples. Hafiz longs for this spiritual light.

مطرب بگو کہ کار جہاں شد بکام ما


ساقی بنور بادہ بر افروز جام ما

"O cup-bearer, light the cup of our heart with the glow of thy wine; And, 0 minstrel, harp that the affairs of the warld are in full accordance with our will".

The spiritual leaders find satisfaction in sessions of meditation that equip them to proclaim the message of truth, to attain peace of mind in the midst of temptations and reach the heart of humanity for the illumination that leads to the domain of reality. The disciple must mystically always bear his guide in mind and become mentally absorbed in him through constant meditation and contemplation of him.

Iqbal is definitely opposed to such meditations and contemplations. All that he says is that the spirit of the leader should follow the disciple in all his efforts and accompany him wherever he may be, quite as a guardian spirit. He further insists upon us to follow a dynamic guide and not one devoid of zeal and enthusiasm.

مرید ھمت آں رھروم کہ پا نگذاشت
بہ جادۂ کہ درو کوہ و دشت و دریا نیست

"I admire the courage of the wayfarer who disdains to set his feet on the path that is not beset with deserts, mountains and streams".

Iqbal, thus would scorn to follow any spiritual leader who shuns the adventurous path, and gives his allegiance only to him who is prepared to do and dare:

حذر ز بیعت پیرے کہ مرد غوغا نیست


مرید حلقۂ رندان بادہ پیما باش

"Join the circle of care-free drinkers;

Follow not the guide who is afraid of turmoil".


بوسہ زن بر آستان کاملے


کیمیا پیدا کن از مشت گلے

"Transmute the handful of dust into gold

By submitting before a perfect guide".

Such a guide alone can lead his disciple from the beginning of the journey to the endless quest of his ideal, guiding him at every stage and helping him in every state.


The entire spirit of Iqbal and Khawaja Hafiz' poetry is cosmo­politan. Both are liberal and disdain sectional wranglings and narrow-minded philosophy of the orthodox. Both believe that all religions are equally true and preach just the same truth and teach the existence of the very same lord found equally in mosque, church and temple, all the apparent difference and conflict being superficial and created by men. Here are as some illustrations:

جنگ ھفتاد و دو ملت ھمہ را ع ذر بنہ
چوں ندیدند حقیقت رہ افسانہ زدند
ما عیب کس بہ رندی و مستی نمے کنیم
لعل بتاں خوش است و مئے خوشگوار ھم
خاطر بدست تفرقہ دادن نہ زیر کیست
مجموعۂ بخواہ و صراحی بیار ھم

"Well, you can excuse the conflicts and wrangling of the seventy-two sects of Islam.

As they failed to realise the truth, they just took to the path of imaginary story telling".

"We do not find fault with any one for being tipsy and intoxicated. Pleasant are the ruby lips of the beloved as also the tasteful wine. It is not wise to give oneself to sectional wranglings.

Just try to attain unity and enjoy the goblet of wine".

Again he says:

ھمہ کس طالب یارند چہ ھشیار و چہ مست
ھمہ جا خانۂ عشق است چہ مسجد چہ کنشت

"Everyone whether sensible or insensible, is the seeker of the beloved. Every place whether the mosque or the temple is the house of love".

Iqbal gives expression to similar ideas:

کافر و مومن ھمہ خلق خداست


حرف بد را برلب آوردن خطاست

منکر خود نزد من کافر تر است


منکر حق نزد ملا کافر است

"It is wrong to utter a bad word ;

The infidel as well as the faithful are God's creations.[4]

A disbeliever in God is Kafir, according to the Mulla. But to me, he who does not affirm the `Serf' is a greater Kafir".

Iqbal thus will not ask the Brahman to give up his religion but wants him to prove worthy of the sacred thread by not trampling down the good traditions of hine ancestors.

کافری؟ شائستۂ زنار شو


من نہ گویم از بتاں بیزار شو

در خور طوف حریم دل نۂ


تو کہ ھم در کافری کامل نۂ

"I do not bid thee to abandon thine idols;

Art thou an unbeliever ? Then be worthy of the badge of unbelief!

Thou that art not even a perfect infidel,

Art unfit to worship at the shrine of the spirit".[5]

This theme recurs in Iqbal's poetry again and again.

فرقے نہ نہد عاشق در کعبہ و بت خانہ
ایں جلوت جانانہ آن خلوت جانانہ
شادم کہ مزار من در کوئے حرم بستند
راھے ز مژہ کاوم از کعبہ بہ بت خانہ

"A lover knows not the difference between the Ka'ba and the Idol House.

For him this is the common and that the exclusive meeting-place of the Beloved.

I am happy that they have built my grave in the precincts of the Ka'ba,

From there I shall make the way with my eyelashes to the Idol House".[6]

Again Iqbal says:

زنار بدوشم من تسبیح بدستم من


در دیر نیاز من در کعبہ نماز من

"In the temple I offer my homage, in the Ka'ba I offer my prayer;

I have the sacred thread round my shoulder and rosary in my hand".


Both the poets are one in their belief of human perfectibility and have prophesied the coming of the superman. Hafiz foresees the com­ing of microcosmic being, the perfect man, in future.

خاکساران جہاں را بہ حقارت منکر
تو چہ دانی کہ دریں گرد سوارے باشد

"Do not look down upon the humble creatures of the world

For it is just possible that out of the dust a rider may appear!"

R. A. Nicholson, giving his own interpretation of the perfect man, says that "he is one who has fully realised the essential essence of one­ness with the divine being, in whose likeness he is made".

The perfect man of Iqbal is the outcome of the impassioned search of the divinity for man. When man realises all his possibilities, he becomes the perfect man. The Superman, according to him, is the completest ego, the goal of humanity. Iqbal greets his coming in these words:

اے فروغ دیدۂ امکاں بیا


اے سوار اشہب دوراں بیا

در سواد دیدہ ھا آباد شو


رونق ہنگامۂ ایجاد شو

نغمۂ خود را بہشت گوش کن


شورش اقوام را خاموش کن

جام صہبائے محبت باز دہ


خیز و قانون اخوت ساز دہ

"Appear' O rider of Destiny ;

Appear 0 light of the dark realm of Change.

Illumine the scene of existence ;

Dwell in the blackness of our eyes.

Silence the noise of the nations ;

Imparadise our ears with thy music!

Arise and tune the harp of brotherhood;[7]

Give us back the cup of the wine of love!"


Again, both the poets (Iqbal and Hafiz) were endowed with pro­phetic vision. The "Diwan Hafiz" is a great monument amongst the Persian-knowing people and as such did not fail to exercise deep influence on the mind of the Persian-knowing people throughout the years. It is still used for the purpose of divination or for an omen by those about to commence an important undertaking of uncertain issues. This was once the custom in Europe when people consulted the works of Virgil on similar occasions. A s Hafiz' prophecies invariably prove true, he has been described as "the tongue of the invisible".

Iqbal who was deeply influenced by Hafiz' raptures also sings of the future in his own way. Below are given a few instances of his prophetic dream:

پس از من شعر من خوانند و دریا بند و می گویند
جہانے را دگر گوں کرد یک مرد خود آگاھے

"When I am gone they will read my verse and discover that a self- 1 knowing man revolutionised the whole world".

Again he foresees a revolutionary change in the world:

مجھ کو تو یہ دنیا نظر آتی ہے دگر گوں
معلوم نہیں دیکھتی ہے تیری نظر کیا

"I see the world revolutionisted; I do not know what thine eyes see".

 When evil and corruption prevail, people are bound to taste the fruit of their misdeeds. How clearly is this point driven home to us by Iqbal:

بینم و ھیچ ندانم کہ چساں مے بینم


انقلابے کہ نہ گنجد بہ ضمیر افلاک

"A revolution that cannot be contained in the heart of the Heaven, I see and do not know how I see it".

This was the prophecy of Iqbal nearly forty years ago, and it is indeed wonderful that one should see it being fulfilled.

The prophecy he made about the emergence of the new Muslim state of Pakistan also presents a striking example of his prophetic vision.

Truly did Iqbal foresee the world-wide following he was going to get, as he says:

پیاپے سوزم از داغے کہ دارم


نخستیں لالۂ صبح بہارم

کہ من صد کارواں گل در کنارم


بچشم کم میں تنہائیم را

"I am Tulip-Herald of the spring.

Around the heart the flame of love doth cling.

Disdain me not today if I am alone,

Behind me caravans of flowers I bring!"


Hafiz has been very aptly described as the most elegant poet of Persia. He is acknowledged as the greatest lyricist that Iran has ever produced in the domain of lyrical, mystic and ethical poetry. Perhaps no poet has swayed a greater influence both on his contemporaries and future generations at home and abroad than Hafiz. The lofty flow and irresistible charm of his poems, echoing the delicate sentiments and deep aspirations of every human heart, have an inspiring force and a universal appeal (rarely found in the annals of Persian literature) for their music and eloquence. His lyrics are noted for their inimitable style, their unique mode of expression and profound poetic appeal. During his life-time his reputation spread, not only in Persia but far beyond its borders as he himself sings in one of his odes:

ز شعر حافظ شیراز مے گویند و مے رقصند
سیہ چشمان کشمیر و ترکان سمرقندی


"The black-eyed beauties of Kashmir and

The Turks of Samarkand sing and dance to the strains of Hafiz of Shiraz' verses".

The fame of Hafiz rests upon the creative intensity of his imagination and the easy flow of his expression. There is a wildness of fancy which has made him the first among the favourites of his country-men. His favourite subjects are "contentment", "seclusion", "wine", "love", "beauty" and the Epicurean philosophy of "eat, drink and be merry". But his wine, according to some of his interpreters, is the wine of divine love which frees mankind from all worldly cares and anxieties and elevates it to the blissful heights of glory.

In short, Hafiz is recognised on all hands as the best of all Ghazal-writers of Persia and is one of the finest lyric poets that the world has produced. The most outstanding characteristic of his poetry is the perfect harmony of words and ideas. As a singer of the joys of love, he is unequalled by any other poet of his country. He soared highest, far above the limits where human vision could reach, and conquered for us empires undreamed of by any poet. He was a poet for all ages and all times. His melody, so softly beautiful, so sweet, so ravishing and yet with its import so elusive, has been charming Asia for centuries.

In the Persian Ghazal, Iqbal followed the best traditions of the style of Hafiz, Rumi and Saadi. He subjected Hafiz to scathing condem­nation for his escapist tendencies in the first edition of Asrar-i-Khudi but could not help being swayed by the magical charm of his style and ideas. Thus he tried to reproduce in his lyrics the same ethereal spirit, the same splendid music, the same glowing imagery and the same air of deep ecstacy. Both are highly symbolical, though the significance of their symbols can vary with their diametri­cally opposed philosophies of life.

Lastly, lqbal has taken most of his terms from Khawaja Hafiz' poetry, investing some of them with entirely new meanings. For instance, he has styled the lyrical portion of Payam-i-Mashriq from a term borrowed from Hafiz. Zinda Rod, Shakh-i-Nabat, Saqi, Khudi, Gul-o-Lala, Sharab, etc. are a few terms which Iqbal borrowed from Hafiz. These may be noticed in the following verses of Hafiz:

بدہ ساقی مئے باقی کہ در جنت نخواھی یافت
کنار آب و کنا باد و گلگشت مصلے را
اگرچہ زندہ رود آب حیات است
ولے شیر از ما از اصفہاں بہ
ایں ھمہ قند وشکر کز سخنم مےریزد
اجر صبریست کزاں شاخ نباتم دادند

Iqbal thus shows unmistakable signs of Hafiz' influence on his Ghazals. He reproduced the lyrical forms of Hafiz with unprecedented suceess.

To conclude: the popularity achieved by Iqbal in his life-time and after death has scarcely a parallel in the world. The only other instance of great popularity is furnished by the well-known master of Persian verses, Khawaja Hafiz Shirazi. The world has considerable admiration for both the poets. They have close resemblance in some respects and differ in others. They are both visionaries and dream of a better future of the world. They love humanity as a whole.

Both of them are fond of mystic introspection but with this difference that the one treats it as a goal in itself, while the other uses it as an urge to dynamic energy and a warning against mysticism as an opiate.

In Iqbal's opinion, many of the difficulties of the East are due to her failure to use God-given powers to man to captivate nature and to subordinate it to his own use.

Although Iqbal adopts an uncompromising attitude towards the Pantheistic creed of Hafiz and seeks to preserve, develop and fortify the human personality, he occasionally exhibits the deep impact of Hafiz on his mind and thought.


Notes and References


[1] 1. Khawaja Hafiz, a contemporary of Dante, was born in the romantic city of Shiraz, named also eulogistically the "rose garden of Persia". Shiraz was then the capital of the ancient kingdom of Persia and was ruled by the dynasty known as Muzzaffarians. He was thus born most propitiously since all things favoured his rapid rise to fortune (save those petty jealousies with which all genuises must contend). His proper name was Mohammad Shams-ud-Din, but he is universally known as Hafiz. He spent most of his long life in Shiraz. His ancestors belonged to Isfahan but his father, Baha-ud-Din had taken up his abode in Shiraz, where he earned his living as a merchant or, as some say, a baker. Just before he died, Baha-ud-Din, failed in business The two elder brothers of the poet wasted the whole property in riotous living, leaving the poor boy and his mother in the lurch. Hafiz managed to obtain some education and learned the Holy Quran by heart. This earned him the title of Hafiz. Later in his life when he became a poet, he adopted this title as his nom de plume. He is recognised on all hands as the best of all Ghazal Writers of Persia, and one of the finest lyric poets that the world has produced. The most outstanding characteristc of his poetry is the perfect harmony of words and ideas, As a singer of divine love he is unequalled by any other poet of his country. His bilingual poems show that he had a good knowledge of Arabic. He wrote foot-notes on Kashaf ( کشاف), but unfortunately they are not traceable He was well versed and skilled in Muslim Jurisprudence. He also acquired competence in all the sciences taught in his day. He was courted by many Princes, notably by the Great Temur and by Sultan Ahmad Ilkhani, His high character is seen when he courteously refused such high promotions and preferred a quiet life of retreat with his books and friends,

فراغتے و کتالے و گوشۂ چمنے

درویش و امن خاطر و کنج قلندری


سلطان و فکر لشکر و سودائے تاج و گنج

کلاہ دلکش است اما بدرد سر نمے ارزد


شکوہ تاج سلطانی کہ بیم جاں درو درج است

Compare these lines with the following lines of Iqbal :

تو اے درد آشنا بیگانہ شو از آشنائی ھا


خودی را مردم آمیزی دلیل نارسائی ھا

موز از خدائے خویش ناز کبریائی ھا


بدرگاہ سلاطیں تا کجا ایں چہرہ سائی ھا

"Subservience to others is a proof of the self's immaturity.

Rise superior to such leaning, 0 bearer of the cross. How long wilt thou bow at the courts of kings?

learn from thy God the joy of self-respect"?

He saw as many as seven rulers changing thrones at Shiraz. During the reign of Shuja, who became King in 1358 A,C., Hafiz was appointed professor of Quranic Exegesis at the Royal College of Shiraz by the Minister, Khawap Qiwamuddin,


Anecdotes from Hafiz.

It may be noted that Sultan Ghias-ud-Din Azam Shah of Bengal, sent his emissary to Hails, asking him to visit Bengal. The Sultan sent him the first line  of his couplet. ساقی حدیث سرو و گل و لالہ می رود. for completion by Hafiz, as he and his court poets failed to do so. Hafiz did it but declined to leave Shiraz and come to Bengal. He said inter alia that "Bengal parrots will become sweet-tongued with the sugar candy of Persia being sent to Bengal".

The story goes that Sultan Azam Shah fell seriously ill and expressed the wish that the lady loves Sery (سرو ), Gul (گل) and Lala (لالہ ) should wash his dead body after his death. The Sultan survived but his beloved trio being joked and scandalized by others as washers of the dead (غسالین ), felt the sting of the satire and complained to the Sultan who improvised the firs: tine quoted above, meaning; "My talk, O Saqi ! continueth to be of Serv, Gul and Lala". The other line did not come in quick, so reference was made to Hafiz whose reputation had travelleed far and wide. The first six lines of the cont. pleted Ghazal are as under

ویں بحث با ثلاثۂ غسالہ مے رود


ساقی حدیث سرو و گل و لالہ مے رود

کار ایں زماں ز صنعت دلالہ مے رود


مے دہ کہ نو عروس چمن حد حسن یافت

زیں قند پارسی کہ بہ بنگالہ مے رود


شکر شکن شوند ھمہ طوطیان ھند

"My talk, O Saqi! continueth to be of Serv, Gul and Lala (Cypress, Rose and Tulip). And this talk goes on between the three body washers

Drink on, for the new bride of the garden is in full bloom. Work proceeds these days by the good offices of a go-between.

The parrots of India will become sweet-tongued all, now that the Persian sugar-candy is going to Bengal".

Unlike his illustrious predecessor, Sheikh Saadi, Hafiz never left Shiraz except on one or two occasions. He was not much of a traveller, and his life was chiefly spent in retirement at Shiraz. Hafiz loved Shiraz, a city for which he expressed his love in many of his poems. In one of these the following verse occurs:

نسیم خاک مصلے و آب رکنا باد


نمے دھند اجازت مرا بسیر و سفر

On one occasion, on the pressing invitation of Mahmood Shah Bahmani of Deccan, he was tempted to visit India and accordingly embarked on one of the royal ships but a storm soon broke out on the sea, which frightened him so much that he was eventually put back on the shore. Returning to Shiraz he wrote the following charming ode and sent it to the Sultan through Fazlullah. (vide Tarikh-i-Farishta).

بمے بفروش دلق ما کزیں بہتر نمے ازد


دمے با غم بسر بردن جہاں یکسر نمے ارزد

کلاہ دلکش است اما بدرد سر نمے ارزد


شکوہ تاج سلطانی کہ بیم جاں درو درج است

زھے سجادہ و تقویٰ بہ یک ساغر نمے ارزد


بہ کوے مے فروشنانش بجامے بر نمے گیرند

غلط گفتم کہ یک موجش بہ صد من زرنمے ارزد


بس آساں می نمود اول غم دریا بہ بوئے سود


When Temur captured Shiraz in 1387, he summoned Hafiz before him and reproached him for writing the following verse:

بہ خال ھندوش بخشم سمر قند و بخارا را


اگر آں ترک شیرازی بدست آرد دل ما را

`If that Turkish maid of Shiraz takes my heart, for the mole of her cheeks, I would give away Bukhara and Samarkand”,

"Are you the one", said Temur sternly, "who was so bold as to offer my two great cities for the mole on your mistress' cheeks"?

"Yes Sir", replied Hafiz, "and it is by such acts of extravagance that I have brough myself to such a state of poverty that I now solicit your bounty". Temur felt flattered and rewarded the poet generously.

One more characteristic story is told of his very young days His uncle had gained some renown as a poet, and Hafiz as a consequence was initiated into the mysteries of prosody at an early stage of his life. One day, however, his uncle went out leaving an unfinished Ghazal on his table. Hafiz, roaming about, saw the poem, and adding the requisite further verse, began to recite it. He found that in the verses written by his uncle, there were se%oral mistakes in the metre. He corrected his errors and left the poem, When his uncle returned, his amazement and fury knew no bounds, since he realised that his nephew had the elusive muse within his soul and his jealousy of his own reputation blinded him to the merit of the accomplishment of Hafiz.

Hafiz never pretended to more than human virtues and it is known he had human propensities, for in his youth he was passionately in 'love with a girl surnamed "Shakh-i-Nabat" or the Branch of a Sugar-cane, and Prince of Shiraz was his rival. The poet himself alludes to it in one of his poems.

There is a place called Pir-i-Sabz or the Green Old Man at a short distance from Shiraz, and popular opinion had long prevailed that a youth who should pass forty successive nights without sleep there would infallibly become an excellent poet. Young Hafiz accordingly made a vow that he would serve that apprenticeship with the utmost exactness and for thirty-nine dap vigorously discharged his duties, walking every morning before the house of his mistress and passing the nights away at his poetical station, but on the fortieth morning he was transported with joy on seeing the girl beckon to him through the lattices and inviting him to enter, She received him with rapture, declared her preference of a bright genius to the son of a king and would have detained him all night, if he had not recollected his vow, and resolving to keep it inviolable returned to his post. This is grounded on these couplets of Hafz.

و اندراں ظلمت شب آب حیاتم دادند


دوش وقت سحر از غصہ نجاتم دادند

بادہ از جام تجلی صفاتم دادند


بیخود از ششعۂ پر تو ذاتم کردند

آن شب قدر کہ ایں تازہ برا تم دادند


چہ مبارک سحرے بود و وچہ فرخندہ دمے

خاک اُو گشتم و چندیں درجاتم دادند


کیمیائست عجب بندگئ پیر مغاں

The people of Shiraz add that early next morning, an old man in a green  mantle, who was no less a personage than "Khizr" (خضر) himself, approached him at `Pir-i-Sabz' with a cup brimful of nectar and rewarded his perseverance with an inspiring druaght of it. After his juvenile passions had subsided, we may suppose that his mind took the mystic bent which appears in most of his compositions, for there can be no doubt that the following distiches, collected from different odes, are related to the mystical theology of the Sufis.

عشق پیدا شد و آتش بہمہ عالم زد


در ازل پر تو حسنت ز تجلی دم زد

"In eternity without beginning, a ray of thy beauty gleamed, then love sprang into being, and cast flames over the whole world".

Haas, thus, vigorously maintains that when man comes into being, something of heaven yet lingers around him He has faint reminiscinses of the celestial glory which surrounded him in the heavently home he has left. Lofty idealism still fills his soul. He retains some of the spiritual insight of the blessed seer. The one omniscient soul in him is still eager to break through the bonds of matter or the phenomenal world in order to find self-knowledge which is the object of its earthly quest.

Hafiz yearns for his Ideal;

طائر قدسم و از دام جہاں بر خیزم


مژدۂ وصل تو کو کز سر جاں برخیزم

پیشتر ز انکہ چو گردے زم میاں بر خیزم


یا رب از ابر ھدایت برساں برانے

"Where are the glad tidings of union with thee that I may abandon all desires of lite! I am a bird of holiness and would fain escape from the net of the world. Shed forth from the cloud of heavenly guidance one cheering shower before the moment I rise up like dust from the midst".


[2] Payam.i-Mashriq P. 99, P.99.

[3] Payam.i-Mashriq P.48.

[4] Translation by S.A. Vahid,

[5] Translation by S.A. Vahid,

[6] Translation by S.A. Vahid,

[7] Translation by S.A. Vahid,