These tarnished rays, this night-smudged light —
(Ye daagh daagh ujaalaa, ye shab-gaziida sahar) This is not that Dawn for which, ravished with freedom,
(Vo intizaar thaa jis-kaa, ye vo sahar to nahiin) we had set out in sheer longing,
(Ye vo sahar to nahiin jis-kii aarzu lekar) so sure that somewhere in its desert the sky harbored
(Chale the yaar ke mil–jaaye gi kahiin na kahiin) a final haven for the stars, and we would find it.
(Falak ke dasht men taron kii aakhiri manzil,) We had no doubt that night’s vagrant wave would stray towards the shore,
(Kahin to hogaa shab-e sust mauj kaa sahil,) that the heart rocked with sorrow would at last reach its port.
(Kahin to jaa ke rukegaa safiina-e-gham-e-dil) Friends, our blood shaped its own mysterious roads.
(Jawaan lahu kii pur-asraar shaahrahon se) When hands tugged at our sleeves, enticing us to stay,
(Chaley jo yaar to daaman pe kitne hath parey,) and from wondrous chambers Sirens cried out,
(Diyaar-e-husn kii be-sabr khwaabgaahon se) with their beguiling arms, with their bare bodies,
(Pukaarti-rahiin baahen, badan bulaate-rahey,) our eyes remained fixed on that beckoning Dawn,
(Bahut ‘aziiz thii lekin rukh-e-sahar ki lagan,) forever vivid in her muslins of transparent light.
(Bahut kareen thaa hasiinan-e-nuur kaa daaman,) Our blood was young — what could hold us back?
(Subuk subuk thii tamannaa, dabii dabii thii thakan.) Now listen to the terrible rampant lie: Light has forever been severed from the Dark;
(Sunaa hai ho bhii chukaa hai firaaq-e-zulmat-o-noor,) our feet, it is heard, are now one with their goal.
(Sunaa hai ho bhii chukaa hai visaal-e-manzil-o-gaam,) See our leaders polish their manner clean of our suffering:
(Badal-chukaa hai bahut ahl-e-dard kaa dastuur,) Indeed, we must confess only to bliss; we must surrender any utterance for the Beloved — all yearning is outlawed.
(Nishaat-e-vasl halaal o ‘azab-e-hijr haraam.) But the heart, the eye, the yet deeper heart —
(Jigar kii aag, nazar kii umang, dil kii jalan,) Still ablaze for the Beloved, their turmoil shines.
(kisii pe chaara-e-hijraaN kaa kuchh asar hii nahiin) In the lantern by the road the flame is stalled for news:
(Kahaan se aa’ii nigaar-e-sabaa, kidhar ko gayi) Did the morning breeze ever come? Where has it gone?
(Abhii charaagh-e-sar-e-rah ko kuchh khabar hii nahiin;) Night weighs us down, it still weighs us down.
(Abhii giraanii-e-shab meN kamii nahiin aayi,) Friends, come away from this false light.
(Najaat-e-diidaa-o-dil ki gharii nahiin aayi,) Come, we must search for that promised Dawn.
(Chale-chalo ke vo manjil abhii nahiin aayi,)