Hafiz: Ghazal 246 "The Night of Power" (From Persian)

The Night of Power, or šab-i qadr (laylatu l-qadr in Arabic) is the night on which, according to Islamic mythology, the first revelations of the Qur'an were made to the prophet Muhammad via the angel Gabriel. Hafez toys with the the term by putting it in an amatory context, while also reinforcing its religious aspect (three of the lines are actually written in Arabic, one of which is an almost exact quotation from the Qur'ān.) The Sufi overtones which had been forced on the Persian lyric vocabulary by the mystical tradition allow both the religious and amatory implications to coexist in quite harmonious yet paradoxical, and surely intentional, balance and tension. The age-old question of whether Hafiz is being amatory or spiritual is badly framed and worse than useless when it comes to poems of his like this one, and the reader would be well-advised to keep in mind that a key feature of Hafez' aesthetic is to undermine notions of consistency. You don't know what the meaning of the poem really is, because there really isn't any one meaning.  Hafiz would be the first to remind us that trying to make too much sense of something, like why I seem to have spelled his name two different ways in this paragraph, might just ruin the fun, and that the meaning of a poem, like the meaning of life itself, does not need to be completely understood for you to enjoy it.

Ghazal 246: The Night of Power
By Hafiz
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original Persian

It is the Night of Power, the scroll   
Of loss is rolled away.  
  Salam. All through the night is peace.
  Peace till the break of day.
My heart in travel on the path   
Of love, be strong and true.  
  You are to be requited for
  Each step along that way.
And even though you wound me with  
Disdain and banishment,  
  I'll not repent of what I am:
  A wanton debauché. 
My heart is gone. I caught not one  
Sight of its sweet thief's face.  
  Such tyranny! Such heartlessness!
  What else is there to say? 
Dear Lord, O Lord! Restore the light  
Of morning to my heart.  
  The dark of separation's night
  Has wiped my sight away. 
Hafiz, endure this faithless torment  
If you seek love and faith.  
  Profit in any business means
  An up-front cost to pay.

The Original: 

شب قدر است و طی شد نامۀ هجر
 سلامٌ فيه حتی مطلع الفجر
دلا در عاشقی ثابت قدم باش  
که در اين ره نباشد کار بی اجر
من از رندی نخواهم کرد توبه  
ولو آذيتنی بالهجر والحجر
برآی ای صبح روشن دل خدارا  
که بس تاريک می‌بينم شب هجر
دلم رفت و نديدم روی دلدار
 فغان از اين تطاول آه از اين زجر
وفا خواهی جفاکش باش حافظ
فإنّ الربح و الخسران فی التجر

Tajik Cyrillic:

Шаби қадрасту тай шуд номаи ҳаҷр,
Саломун фиҳи ҳатто матлаъ-ил фаҷр.
Дило, дар ошиқӣ собитқадам бош,
Ки дар ин раҳ набошад кори бе аҷр.
Ман аз риндӣ нахоҳам кард тавба,
Валав озайтанӣ билҳачри валҳаҷр,
Барой, ай субҳи рӯшандил, Худоро,
Ки бас торик мебинам шаби хаҷр.
Дилам рафту надидам рӯи дилдор,
Фиғон аз ин татовул, оҳ аз ин заҷр.
Вафо хоҳӣ, ҷафокаш бош, Ҳофиз
Фаиннал рабҳа вал ҳисрона филтаҷр.

Romanization:

Šab-i qadr ast o tay šud nāma-i hajr.
Salāmun fīhi ħattā maṭlaˁi l-fajr.
Dilā, dar 'āšiqī sābitqadam bāš,
Ki dar īn rah nabāšad kār-i bē'ajr.
Man az rindī naxwāham kard tawba,
Wa-law āðaytanī bi-l-hijri wa-l-ħajr.
Barāy, ay subh-i rōšandil, xudārā,
Ki bas tārīk mēbīnam, šab-i hajr.
Dilam raft o nadīdam rōy-i dildār.
Fiɣān az īn tatāwul, āh az īn zajr.
Wafā xwāhī, jafākaš bāš, Hāfiz,
Fa'inna l-ribħa wa-l-xusrāna fī l-tajr.

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