ARZ ULALFAZ, lit. breadth or scope (arz) of words (aJfaz) or petition, request or address (arz) in words (alfaz), is a versified composition in Persian by Bhai Nand Lal Goya, a noted poet and devout follower of Guru Gobind Singh. Bhai Nand Lal in between his periods of service at the imperial courts of Aurangzib and Prince Mu`azzam (later, Emperor Bahadur Shah) had the honour of enjoying the patronage of Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur. Arz is a long poem of 1,346 couplets of much literary as well as spiritual import.
That the poet intended the title to mean “breadth or scope of words” is clear from the introductory couplets: Thousands are praises and thanksgivings owed to the court of that Holy and Fearless Judge, who blessed the composition of these words with completion and illuminated the thoughts enshrined therein like the Sun. (1,2) Each word has many meanings found in old and new lexicons. These are the dis ciplines spread by scholars of intellect and vision.
(3,4) Which are the kinds of “k” and “y”, which are particles and prepositions, which the nouns related to “t”? Such words of spiritual, mathematical and physical content are given in this (book) with discriminative care. (5,6) Which are the six kinds of knowledge and two kinds of wisdom from either of which there grow three names for each? Then there are plural words and plurals of plurals; for the purpose of this work they are free from extraneous consideration.
(7,8) Description of this kind is a virtuous task, because every task and capability to perform it is from Him. Therefore, it is proper to commence this book in the name of God, the Creator of the universe. (9.10) After these introductory couplets begins the laudation of the Almighty panegyrizing His many attributes. The book ends with verbal annotations and interpretations.
1. Ganda Singh, ed., Bhai Nand Lal Granthavali. Malacca (Malaya), 1968