Lyrics & Translation of “Mere Rashk-e-Qamar”


Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

This Urdu ghazal was penned by the Pakistani poet Fana Buland Shehri and performed as a qawwali by the great Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948-1997). I could not find much online about the poet’s life, but quite a few famous qawwalis are attributed to him. Although “Mere Rashk-e-Qamar” is not as famous as other qawwalis performed by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, in my opinion it is one of the most poetic and powerful ones.

میرے رشکِ قمر تو نے پہلی نظر، جب نظر سے ملائی مزہ آ گیا
mere rashk-e-qamar tu ne pehli nazar, jab nazar se milaaii maza aa gaya
O my envy of the moon, when your eyes first met mine, I was overjoyed

برق سی گر گئی، کام ہی کر گئی، آگ ایسی لگائی مزہ آ گیا
barq si gir gaii kaam hi kar gaii, aag aisi lagaaii maza aa gaya
Lightning struck and destroyed me; you ignited such a fire that it made me ecstatic

جام میں گھول کر حسن کی مستیاں، چاندنی مسکرائی مزہ آ گیا
jaam mein ghol kar husn ki mastiyaan, chaandni muskuraaii maza aa gaya
Mixing beauty’s mischief into my drink, the moonlight smiled – how enjoyable!

چاند کے سائے میں اے میرے ساقیا، تو نے ایسی پلائی مزہ آ گیا
chaand ke saaey mein ae mere saaqiya, tu ne aisi pilaaii maza aa gaya
In the moon’s shadow, O my cup-bearer, you made me drink such a wine that I was ecstatic

نشہ شیشے میں انگڑائی لینے لگا، بزمِ رنداں میں ساغر کھنکنے لگے
nasha sheeshe mein angraaii lene laga, bazm-e-rindaan mein saaghar khanakne lage
Intoxication spread through the bottle, and goblets clinked in the party of debauchees

میکدے پہ برسنے لگیں مستیاں، جب گھٹا گھر کے چھائی مزہ آ گیا
maikade pe barasne lagiin mastiyaan, jab ghata ghir ke chaaii maza aa gaya
Mischief descended upon the tavern, and when storm clouds poured down, I was overjoyed

بےحجبانہ وہ سامنے آ گئے، اور جوانی جوانی سے ٹکرا گئی
behijaabana woh saamne aa gae, aur jawaani jawaani se takra gaii
Unveiled, she came before me, and her youthful splendor collided with mine

آنکھ اُن کی لڑی یوں میری آنکھ سے، دیکھ کر یہ لڑائی مزہ آ گیا
aankh un ki lari yuun meri aankh se, dekh kar yeh laraaii maza aa gaya
Her eyes clashed with mine in such a way that seeing this fight made me joyful

آنکھ میں تھی حیاہ ہر ملاقات پر، سرخ عارض ہوئے وصل کی بات پر
aankh mein thi hayaa har mulaaqaat par, surkh aariz hue wasl ki baat par
Modesty was in her eyes every time we met; her cheeks blushed red when I spoke of our union

اُس نے شرما کے میرے سوالات پہ، ایسے گردن جھکائی مزہ آ گیا
us ne sharma ke mere sawaalaat pe, aise gardan jhukaaii maza aa gaya
Embarrassed by my questions, she lowered her head in such  a way that I was delighted

شیخ صاحب کا ایمان مٹ ہی گیا، دیکھ کر حسنِ ساقی پگھل ہی گیا
shaikh saahib ka eemaan mit hi gaya, dekh kar husn-e-saaqi pighal hi gaya
The shaikh’s faith was obliterated; upon seeing the cup-bearer’s beauty, it melted away

آج سے پہلے یہ کتنے مغرور تھے، لٹ گئی پارسائی مزہ آ گیا
aaj se pehle ye kitne maghroor the, lut gaii paarsaaii maza aa gaya
Before today, how proud he was; now his piety has been lost – how enjoyable!

اے فناؔ شکر ہے آج بعدِ فنا، اُس نے رکھلی میرے پیار کی آبرو
ae Fana shukar hai aaj baad-e-fana, us ne rakhli mere pyaar ki aabroo
O Fana, today I am grateful that after my demise, she has maintained the honor of my love

اپنے ہاتھوں سے اُس نے میری قبر پر، چادرِ گل چڑھائی مزہ آ گیا
apne haathon se us ne meri qabar par, chaadar-e-gul charhaaii maza aa gaya
With her own hands, she spread a sheet of flowers on my grave – how delightful!


* Note on the takhallus: The takhallus (Urdu: تخلص) is the pen name adopted by a poet in Urdu, and is usually incorporated into his/her poems near the end. It often has a double meaning as both a name and as a word. Fana Buland Shehri included his takhallus in this qawwali when he says, “ae Fana shukar hai aaj baad-e-fana, us ne rakhli mere pyaar ki aabroo”. Fana is the author’s name, but it also means “annihilation”. This adds another meaning to that line: “O annihilation (death), today I am grateful that after my demise, she has maintained the honor of my love”.

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  1. this is a masterpiece both by legendary Nusrat sb and the poet….. I just wish to hear it again and again and go on with the flow

      • Unveiled she came before me….her eyes clashed and speaking of union. How is that as described below about the mureed and shaykh? Please clarify, I ask out of a genuine interest to understand not to criticise. Absolutely adore the qalam and translation, thank you.

        • Muhammad Mairaj Siddiqui

          As eyes do not lie. They always wish to achieve reunion only a teacher can see it. Unveild she came before me is to refer that there were no lies and it is talking about eyes not the person incharge.
          It is a very beautiful fight in between deen and dunya. When you become a student of a peer who ask for worldly desires and he makes you fall in love with Allah.
          I can remember my time. Beautiful

  2. I love this translation. You have truly done great justice to the original poet, well done !!

  3. Truly a master piece. Translation is as effective as the original poetry.

  4. Beauty full poetry, only Nusrat can put soul into it by singing the way he did.

  5. This is referring to the joy he felt meeting his peer and shaikh. Although saqi is literally translated as cup bearer, it’s often referenced to our murshids or teachers who provide the spiritual “drink”. I think this translation makes it seem like a love or yearning for a woman when Fana Sheri meant otherwise.

    • I agree that what you said is the metaphorical meaning. Wine, cupbearers, taverns, etc. show up in Urdu and Persian poetry as spiritual metaphors. I wanted to convey the literal meaning, though, and have the audience recognize the metaphor, just as happens in Urdu.

      • I agree with Hamza. The bigger chunk of the audience for qawali comes from the sub-continent and most of them would require literal translation to make sense of Persian words. Rest is very subjective and listeners can draw meaning according to their understanding and state of mind.

        I must thank you Hamza, nice work, your work enhanced my understanding and appreciation for Urdu.

        Kind regards,

    • That’s the beauty of mysticism… it depends entirely on the taker, as to how he/she reads it…. (temporal or transcendental)

  6. My love dedicated me this iz the best song Ever..

  7. Dear brother Hamza, tremendous work, I salutes you. Bravo.

  8. Embarrassed by my questions or blushed by my questions? I think blushing is closer to sharmana as compared to being embarrassed.

    • I guess either could work. I chose “embarrassed” because “sharmaana” comes from “sharm”, and to me that word has more to do with feeling shame or embarrassment.

  9. Irfan Maidad Khel

    Thanks for the translation.

  10. jazak Allah for discovering the poet fana baland sheri , couldn’t find any more of his work though .

  11. Awesome Hamza sahab.. you did a great job man

  12. n0 w0rds
    its perfect like t0tally ✌

  13. Amazing job. Thank you

  14. Amazing qawwali…
    Amazing writer…
    Amazing singer….
    Amazing translator

  15. Great gazal immortal voice of nusrat saheb.enchanting.
    Very accurate translation thanks

  16. [email protected]

    but khubbb

  17. Nushrat Sahab was all over again, from my find to heart……. don’t know how many times I have repeated this song… and everytime it was fresh like new……
    Thanks for the translation… you have done justice to the poet’s thoughts.

  18. Thank you . Excellent work .

  19. What a poetry… just amazing.
    If someone reached the point what poet is trying to say then it will be like ” chand ke saaye mein ae mere saaqiya, tune aisi pilaayi mazaa aagaya”.
    Hats off Fana saab nd khan saab for such a brilliant poetry.

  20. Subhan Allah words can’t explain Nusrat sahab….

  21. amazing…………..

  22. Amazing Hamza

  23. Simply amazing. Listening again and again.

  24. Very nice Hamza. Please keep up this good work of translation, you are giving a great blessing to the whole world…..

  25. Those lines wd those sounds…..akhir

  26. Awsmm work by poet , singer and you hamza .. .. .

    ” Maza aa gyaaa . .. “

  27. Superb…..realy…….maza aa giaaa……

  28. So mesmerizing.. You totally get driven by the song while listening and then reading translation.. Amazing work!!

  29. brilliant piece of work

  30. Bro your really did best … Awesome there is no word that how I discribe that how beautiful you done …

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