Ghazal by Zeb-un-Nissa Makhfi – Daughter of Aurangzeb

The Princess Zeb-un-Nissa was the eldest daughter of the Mogul Emperor Aurungzeb, and was born in 1639 . She came of a distinguished line, in direct descent from Genghis Khan and Tamerlane . Her Mughal Empire ancestors were famous not only for their valour and statesmanship, but also as patrons and inspirers of art and learning , and, moreover, they themselves possessed distinguished literary gifts.

Zeb-un-Nissa wrote mostly mytical poetry and used Makhfi [Hidden One] as her takhalus [poetry pseudonym]. She never married and was buried at Chauburji Monument Lahore.


My eager heart a pang of rapture stings
When the long -wandering wind unto me brings
The perfume of thy presence on its wings .
And so I wait in this my sorrow’s night,

Until thou givest to my weary sight
Thy beauty for my longing eyes’ delight .
The world through Islam light in darkness saw
And walked safe guided by thy Scroll of Law,
Bowing to God in hope and holy awe

To God , Who sinners can forgive and lead,
Inscrutable Himself , yet Who can read
The hidden heart and comprehend its need .
0 Prophet , shining like a lonely gem ,

The fairest of Heaven ’s highest diadem ,
Look on men ’s need and intercede for them .
Thou art the veil through which the light doth shine,
Nay, thou thyself the very torch divine
Naught else behold these dazzled eyes of mine .

HERE is the path of love—how dark and long
Its winding ways , with many snares beset
Ye tcrowds of eager pilgrims onward throng
And fall like doves into the fowler’s net .

Now tell m e what the grain that drew the dove
The mole it was upon a cheek so fair .
Tell me of what was wove the net of love
The wandering curls of the Beloved ’s hair .

The festival of love is holden here ,
The goblet passes ; drink thou of this wine ,
Yea, drain it to the lees , and never fear
Intoxication that is all divine .

How easy ’tis to sigh and to complain ‘
All the world weeps to give its woe relief ;
But proudly in thy heart conceal thy pain ,
And silent drink the poison of thy grief .

Here is the source of light , the heavenly fount,
Here is the vision of eternal grace ;
Brighter than Moses thou , when from the Mount
He came, God ’s radiance shinning in his face



princess zaib-un-nisa

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