Kazi Nazrul Islam

(24 May 1899 - 29 August 1976 / Bardhaman / India)

Fateha-i-Doazdaham [The Passing Away]


What an amazing sight is this!
Tears well up even is Azrail's eyes!
His stony heart lies in a sea of grief
trembling like a leaf.
His iron fist, ever alert to make the kill,
is weak and palsied,
his mind dull and inert, his heart lacerated,
his blue headgear kissing the dust in despair!
Even Gabriel's fiery wings appear to be in pieces,
The debt of the world is all but paid,
and yet the heart is full of pain.
Mikail ceaselessly pours all the waters
of the salty seas on the bosom of the earth.
In the dark still night pine branches swing
endlessly in the stormy wind.
Is this the same moon of the twelfth night?
Is this the same Rabiul Awwal?
In the northeastern sky a dark flag flies.
Even Israfil's bugle of annihilation cries weakly.
The heart-crushing thunder, too, weeps
in inconsolable grief.
O Azrail Satan, why do you stand at the
prophet's door?
But even in his eyes tears well up
and they flood the plains of Medina!
The mighty Borrak raises his head
and with his prancing feet spans the earth
and the sky;
he looks at God's throne and neighs angrily
and yet with pity!
All the angels and fairies weep today,
Even the flames of Hell die
leaving only a sea of weary waters.
Today even all the nargis lala of Firdous
break down in a flood of tears.

Mother earth clasps to her bosom
the corpse of her son,
her whole body shakes with deep sighs,
and in the caves of hell mourn the genii.
Well, did Solomon die a second death?
The doe does not care today for her young ones,
they go without their mother's milk'
The birds, too, have forgotten to sing.
All the leaves and flowers fall off from tile trees
and a chilly north wind blows heavily,
The world seems to have reached the end of her days,
all her veins and arteries appear to have snapped.
Mecca and Medina, overwhelmed with grief,
look desolate and dead.
It seems all have assembled in the plain
of Roz-Hashr
and are now crazily running about everywhere.
Even the Kaaba trembles violently every now and then.
The whole creation seems to be suffocating!

All happy tunes sound weak and subdued;
a sad strain pervades the whole atmosphere.
Whose sharp edged sword strikes at the distant moon?
Tears roll down Abu Bakr's cheeks in an endless stream,
and mother Ayesha's cry frightens even the stars
in the sky.
Maddened with grief, Omar brandishes his sword
and cries,
'I shall not spare even God,
Him I shall kill!'
Bereft of his senses the mighty hero rants,
'Who says that the prophet is dead?
Who wants to take his body to the grave?
Let him come near, and I'll severe
his head from his neck!'

Who cry with such broken hearts
in the mosques and over the domes and minarets.?
The muazzin, too, is upset.
Deep is his grief, his heart dull and heavy.
Even Belal's voice breaks in uncontrollable anguish
as he recites the azan! -
The call for janaza, as it tearfully trembles
in the air,
seems to pluck one's heart out!
grief-stricken Usman lies in a swoon,
and the heroic Ali sobs like a child,
sorrow and pain have blunted his double edged zulfiquar!
And, look, there the prophet's darling-daughter

Fatima sobs in heart-breaking grief.
'Where has father gone?', she cries,
and wildly runs about with per uncombed hair,
all dishevelled and awry.

Hassan and Hossain writhe on the ground
like two stricken doves,
'Where has grandpa gone?', they wail,
and look for him everywhere.
The day has lost its sun,
the night its moon and stars.
The world looks sombre and dark
and all eyes shed tears of blood.
The seven seas chum and foam
and appear to drown the heavens above,
they seem to be sweeping away the whole universe,
leaving nothing behind but a vast ocean
of salty tears.
Even God looks sad and restless,
He longs to clasp His friend to His breast,
and yet a strange pain sears His heart;
how can He snatch one away from the
bosom of the earth
for whom the whole creation laments
in this fashion!
There is a great rejoicing in Heaven today.
A mood of festivity prevails there.
All the angels and fairies heartily sing;
'SalIa Allahu-Alaihe-Salam!'
They stand row after row with folded hands
and sing the prophet's praise.

Tears well up only in mother earth's eyes!
Have Amina, Abdullah and the ever devoted
Khadija come?
Look! A gracious smile lights up the face
of even the Lord of the universe! .
Only the children of mother earth lament;
'What is this injustice of yours, O God?'
Today the bright lights of Heaven grow brighter still,
and a happier laughter rings out there,
while mother earth's light dies
and an inky blackness engulfs her!

Today over the tears of the earth
Heaven's laughter rings out endlessly,
and like the roaring of the ocean
from every comer resound the words:
'Salla Allahu-Alaihe-Salam!'

[Original: the same as above; Translation: Kabir Chowdhury]

Submitted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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