Let me imbibe in the mosque, O priest, let me there drink my wine
Else show me someplace God doesn’t go, where his light does not shine
A mosque’s no fitting place to drink, its purpose is God’s praise
If ‘tis drink you want, find an infidel’s heart, where God no longer stays
I have known an infidel’s heart, for I have visited there
God does indeed dwell therein, only the infidel isn’t aware
Zahid sharab peene de masjid mein beth kar,
Yaa woh jagha bata jahan Khuda nahin..
Masjid khuda ka ghar hai, peeney ki jagha nahin,
Kaafir ke dil mein ja, Wahan khudaa nahin..
Kaafir ke dil se aya hon mein yeh dekh kar,
Khuda maujood hai wahan, Par usey pata nahin..
Three great Urdu poets of different temperaments, from different ages and with different outlooks towards life.
Ghalib’s couplet is a challenge to the conventions of society and its strictures, it’s a comment on the hypocrisy inherent in the institutions of people.
Iqbal, being deeply religious, takes Ghalib’s verses as a challenge to his faith, and answers admonishingly. The tone in his couplet is slightly disdainful.
Ahmed Faraz reconciles the earlier two declarations by offering a compromise of hope and optimism.
A great example of the wit and versatility of the Urdu language.