Khabar-e-Tahayyur-e Ishq Sun - Listen to the amazing saga of Love

I was composing an Iqbal ghazal today and ran across this beautiful ghazal by Siraj Aurangabadi, a sufi poet form Aurangabad form the 18th century.  Khabar-e-tahayyur-e-ishq sun is his most famous ghazal. I also came across a great rendition of a few verses of this ghazal as a qawwali by Ustad Farid Ayaz and Ustad Abu Muhammad:


ḳhabar-e-tahayyur-e-ishq sun na junūñ rahā na parī rahī 
na to tū rahā na to maiñ rahā jo rahī so be-ḳhabarī rahī 

shah-e-be-ḳhudī ne atā kiyā mujhe ab libās-e-barahnagī 
na ḳhirad kī baḳhiya-garī rahī na junūñ kī parda-darī rahī 

chalī samt-e-ġhaib siiñ kyā havā ki chaman zuhūr kā jal gayā 
magar ek shāḳh-e-nihāl-e-ġham jise dil kaho so harī rahī 

nazar-e-taġhāful-e-yār kā gila kis zabāñ siiñ bayāñ karūñ 
ki sharāb-e-sad-qadah aarzū ḳhum-e-dil meñ thī so bharī rahī 

vo ajab ghaḌī thī maiñ jis ghaḌī liyā dars nusḳha-e-ishq kā 
ki kitāb aql kī taaq par juuñ dharī thī tyuuñ hī dharī rahī 

tire josh-e-hairat-e-husn kā asar is qadar siiñ yahāñ huā 
ki na ā.īne meñ rahī jilā na parī kuuñ jalvagarī rahī 

kiyā ḳhaak ātish-e-ishq ne dil-e-be-navā-e-'sirāj' kuuñ 
na ḳhatar rahā na hazar rahā magar ek be-ḳhatarī rahī 

Translation and Discussion

By Kashikeya Vats

Khabar-e-tahayyur-e-ishq sunn, na junoon raha na pari rahi
Na toh tu raha na toh mein raha, jo rahi so be-khabari rahi
On learning the amazing saga of love, neither the frenzy (junoon) was left, nor did the sweetheart (pari) remain. I was ‘me’ no more, you were ‘thee’ no more; only a state of oblivion remained.

This she'r reminds me of the lines from Rumi:

I always thought that
I was me — but no, I was you
and never knew it.

The consciousness of self is obstructive and it is only the removal of 'knowledge' and 'thought' (Rumi has used the words ‘thought’ and ‘knew’) that leads to the state of self-unconsciousness where the lover and the beloved become one.

Shah-e-bekhudi ne ataa kia, mujhay ab libas-e-barahanagi

Na khirad ki bakhiyagari rahi, na junoon ki pardadari rahi

The gift of the ‘Lord of Ecstasy’ to me was a garb of nakedness. All that the wisdom had stitched was gone; the veil of madness no longer remained.
At the spiritual level the couplet can be interpreted like this: My beloved, the shah-e-bekhudi has ripped naked my heart and soul, ridding them of the layers of stitching by the misguided intellect, which is nothing more than a veil of madness. The extreme of love endows the heart with divine purity. Reason and intellect have been viewed as hindrances, and the perceived sanity as madness. 
Chali simt-e-ghaib se aik hava, ke chaman zahoor ka jal gaya
Magar aik shakh-e-nihal-e-gham, jise dil kahe so hari rahi
A sweeping wind, which came from beyond the visible world, consumed the visible garden with fire; just one branch on the tree of grief, which they call heart, despite the blaze retained its green.
The reference here is to the lost Paradise, and the perennial quest to re-unite with it. The Divine breeze would burn the worldly existence leaving behind the hope for reunion. The worldly existence (chaman) has been likened to a tree of sorrow and suffering, and the Divine breeze as the liberator. Nothing grows on that tree except sadness, caused by the separation from his beloved. Now that entire existence is gone, only the abode of the beloved (heart) has survived.

Nazar-e-taghaful-e-yaar ka, gila kis zuban se bayan karoon
Ke sharab-e-sad-qadaah aarzu, khum-e-dil mein thi so bhari rahi
I am speechless to complain about the indifferent and uncaring glances (nazar-e-taghaful-e-yaar) of my beloved; the wine of desire that filled the heart remained suppressed, concealed.
At the temporal level, these lines would simply suggest that there is a heart overflowing with desires which one is unable to express due to the indifferent looks of the beloved. At the metaphysical level it would suggest that the worldly desires are often out of sync with the Divine commandments.

Woh ajab ghari thi mein jis ghari, liya dars nuskha-e-ishq ka
Ke kitab aql ki taaq main, jyun dhari thi tyun hi dhari rahi

It was at a moment strange that I read a book of love; the book of reason, brushed aside, remained shelved 
and sheathed.

Reason (aql-o-khirad), the product of mind is considered a detriment, hindering the spontaneity of heart. A person guided by logic and reason is too calculative to be able to devote to pure love; whereas selfless love is motivated by heart and not mind. For that reason love and brain are just incompatible. Mind is deceitful, untrustworthy, selfish and devious whereas heart is pure, untainted and selfless. As Iqbal said: bekhatar kuud para aatishe-namrood mein ishq/aql thi mehvi-tamasha-e-lab-baam abhi

Tere josh-e-hairat-e-husn ka, asar iss qadar so yahan hua
Ke na aayine main jila rahi, na pari kuun jalva gari rahi
Your bewitching beauty, love, such a spell did cast; the mirror stood bereft of gloss and beauty seemed to freeze.

Bewildered by your beauty (Josh-e-hairat-e-husn), I had such a mark on my heart (yahan is a pointer towards the heart) that the heart (aayina , the mirror of heart) has lost all its shine (the basic quality of a mirror) and angel (pari is used as simile to refer profound beauty) had no beauty left to reveal (‘kuun’means ko).

Kiya khak aatish-e-ishq ne dil-e-benava-e-Siraj ko
Na khatar raha na hazar raha, magar aik be-khatari rahi
The fire of love reduced to ashes Siraj’s voiceless heart; fears and cares got consumed, intrepid courage held the field.

The fire of love (aatish-e-ishq) has burnt the voiceless heart (dil-e-benava) of Siraj to ashes. The heart is so liberated from fears (be-khatari) that there is no feeling of vulnerability or threat left. (As Iqbal has used the word bekhatar: bekhatar kood para aatish-e-namrood mein ishq).

Another Translation

trans: Divana Nakujabadi [Saiyad Nizamuddin Ahmad]
The Tale of Love’s Perplexity (khabar-e tahayyur-e 'ishq)

[1]  Hearken to the tale of Love’s [metaphysical] perplexity:
   neither the ardour of madness remained,
   nor the angelic beloved remained;
 Neither did you remain, nor did I remain,
   only unawareness remained.

[2]  The Shah of no-self-ness has now bestowed upon me
   the garment of nakedness;
 Neither the stitching of reason remained,
   neither the veiling of madness’ ardour remained.

[3]  A wind blew from the threshold of the unseen,
   and the garden of bliss was consumed.
 Yet, but a branch of the tree of sorrow
   ―known as the heart― green remained.

[4]  With which tongue am I to recount the indifference of the beloved?
   Desire akin to the wine of a hundred goblets brimmed up
     in the vessel of the heart yet, therein remained.

[5]  What a marvelous instant it was that I learned of the elixir of Love!
   The book of reason placed on the shelf,
      on the shelf remained.

[6]  The intensity of the perplexity of your beauty,
   was so brilliantly revealed, that
    neither the mirror’s shine remained,
    neither the angelic beloved’s beauty remained.

[7]  The fire of love has reduced the mute heart of Siraj to ashes,
    neither fright remained,
    nor caution remained,
fearlessness remained.


  1. Wow, Thank you so much for explaining it so beautifully <3

  2. I am grateful to you for this beautiful explanation

  3. This is extremely beautiful! Thank you so much.

  4. Beautiful explanation. This poetry is out of this world.