Isn't it interesting that the Arabic root of the word "ghazal" is "gazl," which means not only "spinning" ...

Hazrat Ali and the Ghazal || Azfar Hussain

6:47 PM Editor 0 Comments

Isn't it interesting that the Arabic root of the word "ghazal" is "gazl," which means not only "spinning" and "thread" but also "twist," and that the form of the ghazal is a spiral, and that one of the first composers of the ghazal was Hazrat Ali himself?

Hazrat Ali's poetic and profound pronouncements have been collected and published under the title _Nahj al-Balagh_ (The Peak of Experience). Legend has it that Hazrat Ali not only copied the Quran with his blood but wrote some of his ghazals with his blood as well. Although I've long been critical of Nietzsche, his famous pronouncement from _Thus Spake Zarathustra_ comes to mind: "Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his blood. Write with blood, and you will find that blood is spirit."

So here are some lines from a ghazal by Hazrat Ali in Paul Smith's translation (and I don't think Kazi Nazrul Islam translated this one into Bengali, although the following lines are immediately reminiscent of the Urdu and Persian poet Allama Iqbal's _Asrar-e-Khudi_):

That you are the book of many fallacies is clear,
In you are all letters spelling out, the mystery.
You're the being, you're the very Being...It:
You contain That, which contained cannot be!

And--again in Paul Smith's translation--here are some lines by the ninth-century Sufi-poet Mansur Al-Hallaj, proverbially famous as he is for his utterance "Anaal Haq," one whose utterances cost him his decade-long imprisonment in Baghdad:

O essence of my being, O goal of my desire:
O my speech, O my hints and my gesturing!
O All of my all, O my hearing and my sight,
O my whole, my element, my atoms are uniting!


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