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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

مضناك جفاه
Modnak Gafa

(The One You Weakened is Forsaken)



This page contains a translation into English of the lyrics to the Egyptian song "Modnak Gafa", which was popularized by Mohamed Abdel Wahab. Other transliterations for this song title include "Modnaka Jafahou", "Madanak", "Mdhanak Ajafah Markadouhou", and "Mudnak Jafah".

  • Modnak Gafa (The One You Weakened is Forsaken), 1938
  • Song Title in Arabic: مضناك جفاه
  • Language: Modern Standard Arabic
  • Lyricist: Ahmed Shawqi
  • Composer: Mohamed Abdel Wahab
  • Original Artist: Mohamed Abdel Wahab

It appears Abdel Wahab composed and published the music for this poem after the poet, Ahmed Shawqi, died. Abdel Wahab and Shawqi began their collaboration in 1924, and it would have ended in 1932 when Shawqi died.

Song lyrics are provided for educational purposes. If you like the song, please purchase either the album or a download from an authorized source.

Has Also Been Recorded By:

  • Ahmed Fouad Hassan
  • Abdallah Al Rowaished
  • Angham
  • Simon Shaheen, 1990
  • Bassem Ayyoub, 2000
  • Hussein al-Jassmi, 2013
  • Mohamed Mohsen, 2014
  • Shadi el-Gendy, 2015

About Mohamed Abdel Wahab

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo shows Mohamed Abdel Wahab in a scene from his movie Ghazal al-Banat.

Mohamed Abdel Wahab was a prolific Egyptian composer of the 20th century. He was born in 1902 in the Bab El-Shaariyah neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt, where a statue now stands to honor him. He became known as the "Musician of the Generations" because his career spanned over half a century, creating new hit songs for each successive generation to enjoy.

Abdel Wahab was one of the innovators who created the big-orchestra sound of classical Egyptian music of the 20th century. He was a pioneer of Egyptian cinema, featured in Al Warda Al Baida (The White Rose), which was the second Egyptian movie musical ever made (the first was Ounchoudat al-Fouad).

Abdel Wahab was the first to compose for the "Oriental orchestra" that consisted of instruments from both Europe and the Middle East. In 1954 he introduced the European waltz rhythm into his composition "Al Gondol", and in 1957 he introduced a rock & roll rhythm into the song "Ya Albi Ya Khali" that he composed for Abdel Halim Hafez.

Abdel Wahab was a mentor to Abdel Halim Hafez, and composed many of his hit songs. He also composed ten songs for Oum Kalthoum, including "Enta Omri". In 1976, he composed for Nagwa Fouad the first mejance, "Amar 14".

Some of his personal belongings are housed in a museum at the Music Institute in Cairo.

About Ahmed Shawqi

Ahmed Shawqi, known as "The Prince of Poets," was born in Egypt in 1868. He is considered one of the greatest Arab poets in modern times. Some sources say his father was a Kurd and his mother a mix of Greek and Turkish Circassian. His maternal grandmother worked as a maid in the palace of the Khedive Ismail, and she raised young Ahmed with her in the palace.

Shawqi's genius with words was recognized when he was a young child, as he devoted himself to memorizing and reciting Arabic poetry. In his teens, he traveled to France on a trip funded by the Khedive, where he was exposed to European poetry, though his heart remained with his own culture.

Upon his return to Egypt, Shawqi became a prominent figure at the court of the Khedive, quickly attaining the status of a respected poet.

Around approximately 1914, Shawqi attended a performance by Sheikh Salama Hegazy's band, and heard Mohamed Abdel Wahab singing with this band as a young teen-ager. The English demanded that he ban Abdel Wahab from singing due to his young age. The law permitted singing, so Shawqi demanded that the band stop allowing Abdel Wahab to work with them.

In 1924, Shawqi attended a party in Alexandria where Abdel Wahab was also present. He introduced himself to Abdel Wahab, who remembered his role in preventing him from singing as a teen-ager. Shawqi explained that he did it out of concern for Abdel Wahab's health as a child. This conversation launched a 7-year collaboration between Shawqi and Abdel Wahab which lasted until Shawqi's death in 1932. Shawqi mentored Abdel Wahab in the manners he would need to be accepted by the upper classes, and also introduced him to Egypt's elite of the time, including journalists, politicians, and others.

Other ways his name could be translated into English alphabet are "Shawky" and "Shauqi".

ABOUT THE PHOTO: This photo shows Ahmed Shawqi (on the left) and young Mohamed Abdel Wahab together.




Numbers in parentheses refer to footnotes that appear at the bottom of the translation.

Arabic Lyrics

English Translation

مضناك جفاه مرقده .. وبكاه ورحم عوده The one weakened by your love has been forsaken by his bed... and his visitors have wept over him and taken him for a dead man. (1)
حيران القلب معذبه .. مقروح الجفن مسهده With a confused heart, tortured; with wounded eyelids, unable to sleep.
يستهوي الورق تأوهه ويذيب الصخر تنهده His aaaaahhhhs (2) attract the doves... and his sighs melt rocks. (3)
ويناجي النجم ويتعبه ويقيم الليل ويقعده And he pleads with the stars and exhausts them... and he makes the night stay up and tires it out. (4)
الحسن حلفت بيوسفه والسورة أنك مفرده I swear by Yusuf and his surah that you are alone in beauty. (5)
وتمنت كل مقطعة يدها لو تبعث تشهده And every hand cutter (6) wished she could be summoned to witness [your beauty]
جحدت عيناك زكي دمي أكذلك خدك يجحده Your eyes denied and rejected [the shedding of] my pure blood... does your cheek deny it too? (7)
قد عز شهودي إذ رمتا فأشرت لخدك أشهده My witnesses — when you shot me [with your eyes] — were few(8)... so I pointed to your cheek that it might testify [to your crime].
بيني في الحب وبينك ما لا يقدر واش يفسده The love between you and me is something no slanderer(9) can spoil.
ما بال العاذل يفتح لي باب السلوان وأوصده Why is it that a naysayer (10) opens the door of comfort and forgetfulness (11) for me, and yet I shut it tight? (12)
ويقول تكاد تجن به فأقول وأوشك أعبده And the naysayer says [to me], "You're almost mad because of her," and I reply "Not just that... I almost worship her!"
مولاى وروحي في يده قد ضيعها.. سلمت يده She is my god, and my soul is in her hands... she lost [my soul] and abandoned it... blessed are her hands (13)
ناقوس القلب يدق له وحنايا الأضلع معبده The church bells of my heart (14) ring for her, and the depths within my ribs are her temple. (15)
قسما بثنايا لؤلؤها قسم اليقوت منضده I swear by her pearly teeth, and by the matching rubies [of her gums]. (16)
ماخنت هواك ولا خطرت ... سلوى بالقلب .. تبرده I never betrayed your love, and never has another pleasure ever cooled my [burning] heart's [passion] for you.
  1. Instead of saying "I can't sleep", the poet says, "my bed hates me and abandoned me".
  2. Pained lamentations.
  3. From the heat of his sighs.
  4. Because the poet can't sleep, he makes the night and the stars stay up with him, and tires them out.
  5. "Yusuf" is the Arabic equivalent of the name "Joseph". A surah is a chapter in the Quran (the holy book of Islam). Yusuf was said to be the most beautiful human on Earth, and his story is told in Chapter 12 of the Quran.
  6. In the story of Yusuf in the Quran, the Pharoah's wife summoned the ladies to witness Yusuf's beauty. When they did, they cut their hands out of sheer amazement.
  7. There's a theme of a crime being committed — blood, witnesses. The next line expands upon it.
  8. Since her eyes denied and rejected him in the previous line.
  9. Could also be translated as "liar" or "hater".
  10. I.e., someone who doesn't believe in our love.
  11. Freedom from the pain of loving her.
  12. This means he can't and doesn't want to be free of her love.
  13. This line shows the depth of his worship and surrender to her.
  14. This is a reference to his heartbeat.
  15. Could also be translated as "curves" or "bends." It's a reference to everything inside of his chest.
  16. In other words, her pearly teeth are adorned with her ruby gums. The word "coordinating" could also be translated as "aligned", "organized", or "arranged".



Translations of
Mohammed Abdel Wahab's Songs on this Site

Translations on this web site for songs performed by Mohamed Abdel Wahab include:



About the Translator

This translation was created by "gbasfora" on the forum at



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