About Grief - 1

Like the halls of the dawn, may your grave be radiant! May your dusty sleeping chamber be filled with light!

About Grief - 1
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge / Unsplash

For an extended period of time I have been thinking to write about grief.

The only way to get my idea across was some piece of fiction because non fiction for such topics just doesn't cut.

Meanwhile I was reading Iqbal. Again...

There was no story I could think of that would convey the philosophy of grief better than Iqbal does.

I couldn't draft anything worth publishing. I made Hazrat-e-Iqbal an inspiration and decided to just reiterate his awe-inspiring, gothic highness.

I will publish a long series of posts and creating a beautiful collection from Iqbal's take on grief.

Posts will be in English and it does kill the essence a bit but I am still doing it so no one is alienated. Translation is work of Iqbal Academy.

Walida marhooma ki yad me (In memory of my late mother) from Bang-e-Dara

Every atom of creation is a prisoner of fate;
Contrivance is the veil of constraint and helplessness.

The sky is compelled; the sun and the moon are compelled;
The fleet‐footed stars are compelled in their course.

The cup of the bud in the garden is destined to be smashed;
Verdure and flowers are also compelled to grow in the garden.

Be it the song of the nightingale or the silent voice of the innermost spirit,
Everything is a captive of this world encompassing chain.

When this secret of constraint is clear to the eye,
The flowing stream of tears grows dry in the heart.

The dance of pleasure and grief no longer remains in the human heart;
The song remains, but the joy of high and low does not.

Knowledge and wisdom are the highway-robbers of the goods of tears and sighs;
The aware heart is a fragment of a diamond.

Here I remember something from Lord Byron:

Sorrow is knowledge, those that know the most must mourn the deepest, the tree of knowledge is not the tree of life. - Lord Byron

Although in my garden, there is not the freshness of the dew
And my eye is not the possessor of the dark red tear,

I know, alas! the secret of human tribulations;
The instrument of my nature is empty of the melody of complaint.

The tale of the changing colours of time is not on my lips;
My heart is not amazed, not laughing, not weeping;

But your picture is the messenger of eternal grieving—
Alas! it cancels out my powerful wisdom.

By drunken lamentation, the foundation of life is made firm;
By the knowledge of pain, stony hearted intelligence is put to shame.  // No comments!!

Ah, this world, this house of mourning for young and old;
To what spell of yesterday and tomorrow is mankind captive!

How hard life is! How easy is death!
In the garden of existence, death is as cheap as the morning breeze.

There are earthquakes, lightning, famines, tribulations—
All daughters of the mother of the days!

Death comes to the poor man’s hovel; death comes to the rich man’s palace.
Death is present in deserts and towns, in cities, in garden, in the wilderness.

Death even creates its tumults in the silent sea,
And boats sink in the embrace of the wave.

Brace yourself!

There is no room for complaint, nor power of speech;
What is life? A noose that squeezes the throat.

In the caravan, there is nothing but the lament of the bell;
Nothing but the capital of a tearful eye.

But the age of testing will also end;
Behind the nine veils of the firmament even now there are other ages.

If in this garden the breasts of the tulip and the rose are torn, so what?
If nightingales are forced to cry and lament, so what?

The bushes, which keep the sigh of the autumn imprisoned in their cage—
The wind of eternal spring will make them green.

If our vital spark sleeps in the trampled earth, so what?
If our pinch of dust travels in this transitory litter, so what?

The finality of the fire of life is not a bed of ashes.
It is not the pearl whose destiny is to be broken.


Death is the name of the renewal of the taste for life.
In the veil of sleep, it is a message of awakening.

Those who are accustomed to flying have no fear of flying.
In this garden, death means nothing more than the poising of wings.

People of the world say that the pain of death is incurable;
The wound of separation is healed by the balm of time.

But the heart which is filled by grief for the death
Is freed from the links of the chain of morning and evening.

The lamentation of mourning is not stopped by the spell of time;
Time is no balm for the wound of the sword of separation.

When a disaster suddenly befalls a man,
Tears continually flow from his eyes.

There comes about a connection between the heart and lament and complaint;
The blood of the heart flows in the tears which fill the eyes.

Although man is bereft of the strength of patience,
In his nature there is an undefinable sense.

Man’s spirit does not know annihilation;
It may disappear from sight, but is not obliterated.

The apparel of existence is turned to ashes by the flames of grief;
This fire is put out by the water of that pleasant feeling.

Ah! The suppression of lamentation is not the silence of indifference.
It is awareness that brings consolation, not forgetfulness.

As soon as the morning appears in its brightness from the veil of the east,
The morning washes the strain of the night from the garment of the skies.

It clothes the fading tulip in a fiery cloak,
And it stirs the silent birds to ecstatic song.

The melody is freed from the prison of the nightingale’s breast.
The early morning breeze is full of a hundred tunes.

The sleepers of the garden of tulips, the flank
of the mountain and the rivers are at last by the side of life’s bride.

If this is the law of existence that every evening turns into morning,
Why should not the end of the night of man’s tomb not be morning?

The net of my swift imagination captures the heavens;
By it I have captured your memory.

My heart which knows pain is full of your memory,
As in the Kaʹba, the air if filled with prayers.

That chain of duties, whose name is life—
Its places of manifestation are thousands of unstable worlds.

Every stage of existence has different ways and customs;
The world to come is also a coursing‐field.

There the tilled field of death produces no crop;
The climate is appropriate for the seed of action.

The light of nature is not the prisoner of the darkness of the body;
The scope of human thought is not so narrow.

Life was made brighter by your moonlight.
Your journey was also made better by the morning star.

Like the halls of the dawn, may your grave be radiant!
May your dusty sleeping chamber be filled with light!

May the sky shed its dew upon your grave!
May the freshly grown verdure watch over your home!

Do you wonder, why am I doing this? No good reason. Killin your time.

I hope you like the new theme. Word count: 1227.