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The Real Meaning of Faiz’s Hum Dekhenge – An open challenge to all protesters

Author: Ashish Naredi
Publication: Myind.net
Date:  January 4, 2020
URL:      https://www.myind.net/Home/viewArticle/the-real-meaning-of-faizs-hum-dekhenge-an-open-challenge-to-all-protesters

Had written in detail, a few days back, about what Faiz may have actually meant in his nazm (song/verse) “Hum Dekhenge,” in this article (would highly recommend reading it, before or after reading the present article, for a complete picture on the topic). Since then, the controversy over it has increased many times over and has occupied prime time space across TV channels.

Several interesting aspects have come out of this controversy and the debates conducted on it. Some of them which are relevant to our present discussion are:

The students and professors of IIT Kanpur, who complained against the song, are being made an object of ridicule

I find all the ridicule and condescension coming towards the students and faculty of IIT Kanpur to be completely inappropriate, if not abhorring. I have written in my earlier article that there is nothing against the Hindus in this verse of Faiz. But that in no way is to suggest that anyone who finds it against Hinduism is a to be treated as a loony worthy of ridicule.

The song, one may note, is mostly in Urdu of the kind which has led to a great difference of opinion even amongst the Urdu scholars. Yet, there are, in it, a few lines that can be easily discerned by any average Hindi speaking person. What does one do if these lines naturally lend themselves to the (mis)interpretation that they are anti-Hindu? Afterall, they seem to talk about destruction of all idols and of victory of Allah over all others. Read these lines below:
* “Jab arz-e-khuda ke kaabe se - Sab but (बुत) uthwaaye jaayenge” (When all idols will be removed from Kaaba in Mecca); and

* “Bas Naam rahega Allah ka” (Only Allah’s Name shall prevail / remain).

Now, add to the above - other Islamic slogans (like La ilaha illallah) coupled with some known dog whistles against hindus (Hinduon se azaadi, Hindutva ki kabar khudegi etc.) that have been shouted by crowds largely comprising of Muslims, in protests against CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act)? The students and faculty at IIT, therefore, can in no way be ridiculed – especially when they have just registered a formal complain and not resorted to any kind of violence, whatsoever.

The right thing to do, in my opinion, would be to explain to them and to everyone else, the real meaning of this song. Once, the real meaning is explained, it will be interesting to note if and how the reactions change. My guess is that we might find the situation reversed – wherein, those who are singing it now may start protesting violently, even going to an extent of asking for a ban on it, and those who are protesting now, may just start singing it! Such, perhaps, is the real meaning of this song.

Case in point being - the time taken to acknowledge the core meaning of the song.

For the first time in nearly 40 years of existence of this song – someone, publicly acknowledged the true meaning of “An-al-Haq!”

While too much attention has been paid towards the two lines of the song discussed above (Bas naam rahega Allah ka…), very little or absolutely no attention has been paid towards other two lines that encapsulate in them, the very soul of this song. These lines are:

“Uthega an-al-haq ka naara” (The slogan of “an-al-haq” will be raised)

“Jo main bhi hoon aur tum bhi ho” (The one who is me and also you)

Read interpretations that were being given for this song till now. They either did not translate “An-al-Haq” at all (see 1 & 2) or completely diluted the meaning, if they did translate (see 3 & 4). However, yesterday (02/01/2020), a noted scholar for the first time acknowledged the true meaning of these words.

That, it took 40 years (to the best knowledge of the author) to do so – speaks about the power and difficulty of these words. Noted poet and lyricist, Javed Akhtar, acknowledged yesterday, first in a tweet response to the author and then over multiple interviews across tv channels that “An-al-Haq” means “I am him (God)” and that this amounts to blasphemy, which is punishable by death, in Islam. See screenshot below:
Ashish Naredi @naredi - Jan 1
Kanchan da ask @irfhabib to read this and make"An-al-Haq" as the true revolutionary slogan for CAA protests!
We all will get to know how revolutionary he is and how revolutionary the CAA protestors are!!

Did Faiz root for “Aham Brahmasmi” in his verse “Hum Dekhenge?”
There is a raging debate on the social media about the real meaning of a famous poem “Hum Dekhenge,” (We shall see) written by the well-know...
& myind.net

Javed Akhtar @Javedakhtarjadu
Replying to @naredi @KanchanGupta and @irfhabib
Anal haq means ahem Brahama which is the philosophy of Adved and Sufism .
4:17 PM - Jan 2, 2020

For the benefit of those who may not have read the earlier article, the slogan of “An-al-Haq” was first raised by a sufi saint called Mansur-al-Hallaj. “An-al-Haq” means “I am the truth” or “I am him (God/Allah)!” - the natural corollary to which is - “He (God/Allah) is me!” (See this reference).

 To attribute divinity or to equate Allah with any person or thing, living or dead, is considered to be an act of ‘shirk’ - an unpardonable sin(blasphemy) in Islam. Mansur-al-Hallaj was thus declared guilty of shirk for proclaiming “An-al-Haq” and was subsequently sentenced to death. In spite of this, al-Hallaj continued to proclaim “An-al-Haq” till he was beheaded in public in the year 922 AD.

It thus becomes clear as to why this meaning is sought to be brushed under the carpet. Acknowledging the meaning of “an-al-haq” and the story of Mansur-al-Hallaj, in this context, would mean not only acknowledging blasphemy which al-Hallaj committed but also, perhaps, promoting blasphemy each time the song is sung. It would be really interesting to note the change in reactions of the people, once this fact of blasphemy gets more widely acknowledged and publicised.

This leads us to the third and the most crucial aspect of the controversy, emanating from the interviews with Javed Akhtar on this song:

No one deemed it fit to ask why the slogan of “An-al-Haq” is not the slogan of choice for the anti-CAA protests?

Given the heroic story of Mansur-al-Hallaj, this is a question that all of us should be asking – “can there be a symbol of protest against the stated beliefs & authority of the state/religion greater than this act of defiance by al-Hallaj?”

Why then would the protestors against CAA, for all the love that they profess for Faiz and his song “Hum Dekhenge,” not use al-Hallaj or his slogan of “An-al-Haq” as their preferred symbol of protest?

If they are as revolutionary & secular as they claim to be and are true lovers of Faiz and his ideas, then they should, ideally, be using the slogans of “Je Sui Mansur” or “Je sui al-Hallaj,” (I am Mansur-al-Hallaj) or “an-al-haq” itself in their protests.

Challenge to all protestors

I would like to throw this open challenge to all protestors against CAA and to all the self-professed lovers of Faiz and his ideas – please narrate the story of Mansur-al-Hallaj at each protest meet and get everyone to proudly and openly proclaim “an-al-Haq” & “Je Sui Mansur.” Let them also maintain the same fervour when they chant these slogans as is there when they sing “sab but uthwaaye jaayenge” and “Bas Naam rahega Allah ka!”

If the protestors accept the challenge and fulfil it, they will prove, to the world, the completely secular and revolutionary character of their protests & cause. And if they do not take it up or fail in it, then they would end up exposing not only their own religious underpinnings but also their sheer hypocrisy in this entire controversy on Faiz and CAA.

Whether the protestors accept the challenge or not and if they do accept, whether they succeed in it or not – Hum Dekhenge, We shall see..
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