30 Ibrahim Zauq Shayari That Tell About His Rivalry With Ghalib

Ai 'zauq' takalluf mein hai takleef sarasar!

Nashrah Ansari

Feb 28, 2021|11 min read


Ibrahim Zauq was one of the most acclaimed Urdu poets and a laureate of the Mughal Court in Delhi just at the age of 19, was better known by his nom de plume, "Zauq."  Some say he surpassed another poet by the name of Ghalib, even though the latter is generally acknowledged to be the finest of the Urdu-Persian language poets of his era.

Ibrahim Zauq Shayari
Ibrahim Zauq Shayari

Zauq was a noticeable contemporary of Ghalib, and in the history of Urdu poetry, the rivalry between the two poets is quite well known. During his endurance, Zauq was more popular than Ghalib, for the significant values in those days were mainly confined to judging a piece of poetry based on usage of words, phrases, and idioms.

Content and carriage were not much taken into account while appreciating poetry. Much of his work was lost during the mutiny of 1857. But, fortunately, enough of it survived for future generations to enjoy. The rivalry between Ghalib and Zauq was intense at that time. Zauq was a court poet of Bahadur Shah Zafar, while Ghalib was an alcoholic.

Ghalib used to think that his entry into the royal court was becoming tough because of the influence of Zauq. There are lots of events and incidents about their cold war. Some are real, some exaggerated, but the famous one is the one with a royal wedding which erupted in an epic battle of wit were both traded poetic insults to show whose influence was significant.

We've collected a list of Shayari by Ibrahim Zauq that will surely tell you why he had a rivalry with Ghalib:-

1) Humne maana ke dakkan mein hai bahut qadr-e-sukhan
Kaun jaaye Zauq par Dilli ki galiyaan chhod kar

Zauq was the poet laureate in Bahadur Shah Zafar's court, who himself was a notable poet. The above lines were Zauq's most famous lines about Delhi. This Ibrahim Zauq Shayari expresses his love for the streets of Delhi. While agreeing that there was a lot of respect for poetry in the Deccan.

Ghalib succeeded Zauq as a court poet and witnessed the Revolt of 1857 and the end of the Mughal dynasty. Ghalib writes about Delhi after the revolt.

'Ek Roz apni rooh se poochha ke dilli kya hai, 
to yun jawaab mein keh gayi, ye duniya maano jism hai aur Dilli uski jaan'

In this, Ghalib asks his soul what Delhi is? The answer that he got was if the world is a human body, Delhi is its heart.

2) Ab to ghabra ke ye kehte haiN ki mar jayeNge
Mar ke bhii chainN naa paaya to kahaN jayeNge

Ibrahim Zauq Shayari is famous, and interestingly, despite the rivalry, Mirza Ghalib endeavoured to trade his entire Diwan-e-Ghalib for just one couplet of Zauq. And this was the only time he conceded that Zauq had written something noteworthy and indeed he was right. The verse talks about death as a release, but it contrasts with the second line that if death doesn't offer peace, where should he go?

3) Layi hayaat aaye qaaza le chali chale
Na apni khushi aaye na apni khushi chale

Here, Zauq has faultlessly penned the tragic essence of life, i.e. The lack of control over it. He says that existence brought him and No one asked if he wanted to be part of this life, part of this existence. You arrive when you're born, and you leave when you die. You have no control over the events of your life.

4) Baja kahey jisey aalam usey baja samjho
Zaban-i-khalq ko naqqara-i-Khuda samjho

Zauq's poetry had a definite spark that could not be overlooked. Here, the verse urges to consider the public's opinion as divine order and also stresses on whatever the world thinks of as correct, think it so.

While Ghalib's verses were a unique phenomenon and here is the penultimate couplet which acts as a prime example juxtaposition between Zauq and Ghalib:

Samjhao usey ye waza chhorey
Jo chahey karey per dil na torey

The verse means to get rid of the habit and never to break anyone's heart under any circumstances.

5) Jin ko daawa ho suKhan ka yeh suna do unko
Dekh is taraH se kehte haiN suKhanwar sehra

This Shayari by Ibrahim Zauq is from the famous clash between Mirza Ghalib and Sheikh Ibrahim Zauq over the composition of the royal 'sehra' (a celebratory poem at the time of a wedding). 

Zeenat Begum asked Ghalib to write a 'sehra' for her son, Mirza Jawan BaKth's wedding, initially the honour should be given to Zauq, but he was reportedly unwell. Complying the wishes, Ghalib wrote a 'sehra' whose maqta was:

'hum sukhan-fahm hain, Ghalib ke tarafdar nahi
dekhen keh de koi is sehre se barh kar sehra' 

In which he challenges if there's anyone who can write a better 'sehra'. When Emperor Zafar came to know about this, he asked Zauq to write a 'sehra'. Never missing an opportunity, he composed the earlier mentioned verses which are directed to those who claim to be eloquent and end with the statement 'this is how poets write a sehra'.

6) Ho umr-e-Khizr bhi to kahenge ba waqt-e-marg
Hum kya rahe yahan, abhi aaye abhi chale

Ibrahim Zauq Shayari is from his ghazal 'Laayi hayat aaye kaza le chali chale,' a pure masterpiece, and showcases Zauq's elegant style. This couplet depicts a man's quest for immortality, the craving for eternal life, and accepting the inevitable truth that life must end someday has been brilliantly encapsulated.

7) Zahid sharab piine se kafir hua main kyuun
Kya dedh chullu paani mein iman bah gaya

In this, Zauq questions whether drinking makes him a disbeliever, and in the second line, he asks whether his faith drowned in a handful of water. A similar verse from Ghalib can be found:

Ghalib sharab peene de masjid mein baithkar,
Ya wo jagah bataa jahan khuda nahi.’

The above-mentioned verse translates into having a drink, sitting in the mosque, or letting him know about the place where there is no God. The couple was written by Ghalib in the 19th century, to which several poets like Iqbal and Faraz responded.

8) Ai 'zauq' takalluf mein hai takleef sarasar
Aram mein hai vo jo takalluf nahin karta

This Ibrahim Zauq Shayari is quite relevant and speaks volumes as he addresses that people who eschew formality remain at ease. While asking to save the trouble of being formal as nothing can be achieved from it.

9) Ma.alum jo hota hamein anjam-e-Mohabbat
Lete na kabhi bhuul ke hum nam-e-mohabat

This beautiful Shayari by Ibrahim Zauq speaks of the harsh reality of being in love. If he had known how his love would have ended, he wouldn't even let its name cross his lips.

10) Hum rone pe aa jaen to dariya hi baha den 
Shabnam ki tarah se hamein rona nahin aata

This Zauq's verse talks about the sadness his heart is filled with, and if he cried his heart out, it would have overflowed the ocean but then contradicts his statement as he compares his tear to dew and expresses that he can not cry as the dew which falls uncontrollably.

11) Maraz-e-ishq jise ho use kya yaad rahe 
Na dawa yaad rahe aur na dua yaad rahe        

This beautiful Shayari talks about the illusion of love, he remembers nought at all. No cure will come to his mind, or he won't be able to recall any prayer.

12) Kitne muflis ho gae kitne tavangar ho gae 
Khaak mein jab mil gae donon barabar ho gae 

There’s a degree of wisdom in realizing that everything must pass. This verse by Ibrahim Zauq expresses that whether a person is poor or wealthy will eventually die. When they consigned to dust, they were all the same. No amount of wealth will stop the inevitable that is death.

13) Waqt-e-piri shabab ki baatein 
Aisi hain jaise KHwab ki baatein 

Yet again, this Ibrahim Zauq Shayari talks about the inevitable of life, i.e., which ends with old age. Here, he tells how in old the talk about youth just seems to be stuff one would dream.

14) Nikalun kis tarah siine se apne tir-e-janan ko 
Na paikan dil ko chhode hai, na dil chhode hai paikan ko 

'Tir-e-Janan' here means love's arrow, which has been dislodged in the poets' chest, and he pleads in this verse asking how he removes the love he’s filled with. Since the arrow won't leave his heart, nor is his heart ready to go.

15) Tum bhulkar bhi yaad nahi karte ho kabhi
Hum to tumhari yaad mein sab kuch bhula chuke

This one is a beautiful verse that expresses how love makes it forbidden to remember and terrified to forget, which is a hard link of work that may result in failing everything in your memory except memories of that person. While, on the other hand, the other person doesn't even remember you. Not even accidentally. It hurts to know that, but unfortunately, it is the harsh reality of life that needs to be embraced.

16) Behtar to hai yahi ki na duniya se dil lage 
Par kya karen jo kaam na be-dil-lagi chale 

Never get too attached to anyone because attachment leads to expectations. Which, in turn, binds us to the past while the world moves on. Here, the poet advises that one should not get hooked to the charms of the world. However, what one can do when nothing can be accomplished without getting involved.

17) Jab tak mile na the judai ka tha malaal,
Ab ye malaal hai ke tamanna nikal gayi

The poet speaks about separation from his lover. He experiences sadness and loneliness when he is away from his lover. But he soon comes to terms with detachment, but now he is sad that his desire will come out.

18) 'Zauq' jo madrase ke bigDe hue hain mulla 
Un ko mai-KHane mein le aao sanwar jayenge 

Here, Zauq talks about repentance. People who have been misleading and have gone astray will mend their way. If they are brought to a tavern where one will review their actions or regret past wrongs and prove to a change for the better.

19) Wo kaun hai jo mujh pe tassuf nahin karta 
Par mera jigar dekh ki main uf nahin karta 

In this, the poet simply asks is there someone who pities his courage and not the pain. He urges that the person who pities his courage need to be seen as he doesn't complain.

20) Dekh chhoton ko hai allah badai deta 
Aasman aankh ke til mein hai dikhai deta

Here, Ibrahim Zauq Shayari acts as an example of honour. God Gives greatness and respect to whom he wills. This verse beautifully illustrates the concept of honour by comparing it to the vast sky visible to us in our eyes pupil.

21) Phir mujhe le chala udhar dekho 
Dil-e-khana-kharab ki baatein 

Here, Zauq talks about his ruined heart's advice. He says that his heart is shattered, and he should not take its advice. But, he is a creature of habit, and his advice takes him to a place he doesn't wish to go. Therefore repeating the same mistakes that ruined his heart in the first place.

22) Lakh deta falak aazar gawara the magar 
Ek tera na mujhe dard-e-judai deta 

This Shayari by Ibrahim Zauq expresses his dislike when he is separated from his lover. He describes his love by saying that he would gladly bear whatever a million aches the skies bestows upon him. But he wouldn't be able to handle the pain of separation from his lover.

23) Samajh hi men nahin ati hai ko’i bat Zauq us ki
Ko’i jane to kya jane koi’i samjhe to kya samjhe 

This couplet was recited by Zauq to the prince while the social gathering happened. The incident involves Khizr sultan joining the crowd where Zauq paid no heed to his entry and showed his displeasure by reciting the verse to the prince.

24) Kahiye ya na tanuk zarf se ai Zauq kabhi raz
Kah kar use sun-na ho hazaron se to kahiye

The couplet mentioned above was recited by Zauq to acknowledge that he heard Mirza Khizr return to the city and know that he narrated a social gathering to the Master, i.e., Mirza Ghalib.

25) Aag dozaKH ki bhi ho jaegi pani pani 
Jab ye aisi araq-e-sharm se tar jayega

Here, he talks about how the blazing and roaring fires of hell will be quenched and satisfied when the sinners enter hell. The sinners will be thoroughly drenched in the sweat of shame, which will satisfy the blazing fires of hell.

26) Duniya ne kis ka raah-e-fanaa mein diya hai saath
Tum bhi chaley chalo yunhi jab tak chali chaley

This Shayari by Ibrahim Zauq is from his famous Ghazal' Life Brought Me So I Came'. In this, he talks about how it is impossible to rescue someone who's about to leave this world, and neither you nor someone else will be able to do it. He ends by saying that you need to have to move forward in life as the world waits for none.

27) Ek aansu ne doboya mujh ko un ki bazm mein
Buund bhar paani se saari aabru paani hui

This Ibrahim Zauq Shayari has a beautiful meaning. It speaks about how a single drop of tear holds the capacity to drown him in her company, like that of drop water which drowned his dignity.

28) Na hua par na hua Mir ka andaz naseeb
Zauq yaron ne bahut zor ghazal men mara

The couplets as mentioned above by Zauq are written with 'Ghalib’s couplets' in cognizance. In the first couplet, the sarcasm in ‘yaron’ which means a friend is really directed at Ghalib for his verse:

‘Ghalib apna ye aqeeda hai ba-qaul-e Nasikh
Ap be-bahra hai jo mu’taqid-e Mir nahin’

In Ibrahim Zauq Shayari, it's quite clear that expresses a sense of mutual dislike for Ghalib, strengthening the feeling each of them had while writing couplets in response to each other.

29) Ai Zauq bas na ap ko sufi jattiye
Maalum hai haqiqat-e hu haq janab ki

This the second couplet from the couplet as mentioned above which consciously attacks Ghalib's couplet in which he boasts about himself, and this verse sounds like a rebuttal.
‘ye masa’il-e tasavvuf ye tira bayan Ghalib
tujhe ham vali samajhte jo na bada-khvar hota’

Ghalib’s boastful mysticism is alluded to and speaks about himself, that if he didn't drink so much, he could have considered himself as a saint.

30) Irada gar kare naqis ‘ulu-e jah-e kamil ka
To ye jano ki na-bina kinar-e bam chalta hai

After reading this Shayari, you may wonder, whether Zauq is consciously attacking Ghalib or only our hypothesis. The question cannot be answered decisively, but it is assumed that the following verse was the rebuttal to Ghalib's poetry:

‘agahi dam-e shanidan jis qadar chahe bichha’e
mudda ‘anqa hai apne ‘alam-e taqrir ka’

In this, Ghalib compares his poetry as a mystery that cannot be solved with all the intelligence and knowledge of words that would make it impossible to arrive at its meaning.

Zauq was a contemporary of poets of 'Ghalib' and 'Momin' in Urdu poetry's golden age. But not even an original collection of his poetry could be published during his lifetime. A significant portion of Zauq's poetical output got lost during the disturbance at the time of the revolt of 1857. 

Even though much of his work was lost, he left behind a legacy of Ghazal, Qasida, and Mukhammas. Anyone aware of Urdu poetry and poets knows that the Qasida was his particular forte. Zauq's language was polished and his diction sophisticated. He quickly used different styles successfully with a harmonious flow of speech.

He passed away in 1854. In a way, he was fortunate that he didn't see his precious Delhi getting destroyed by the British after the strife of 1857. Zauq grave today lies in the by-lanes of Paharganj, Delhi. His grave was restored after the Supreme Court orders in the early 2000s.

Read More: 32 Iqbal Shayaris | 30 Jaun Elia Shayaris | 34 Mirza Ghalib Shayaris | 30 Ahmad Faraz Shayari | 30 Parveen Shakir Shayari | 30 Amrita Pritam Shayari

Explore: Feeding Trends | Events


Nashrah Ansari

I am passionate about writing and love reading poems and novels. Apart from that, I also love getting lost in fictional worlds, for a while since I don't have to deal with my dilemmas. I firmly believe that every upcoming writer should be allowed to represent themselves. I’m so thankful to feedin... read more



Read More