Celebrating Faiz

Celebrating Faiz

A legendary poet like Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) needs no introduction. In Pakistan, where one authoritarian government has made way for another since 1947, Faiz’s person and work is largely known as a symbol of resistance. In his poetry, he represented the people’s longing for freedom and democracy and became a source of inspiration for those seeking to build a just society.

Faiz began his career as a lecturer in English at Amritsar, but switched to journalism after the Second World War. He went on to become the editor of The Pakistan Times. In 1951, he was charged with complicity in the Rawalpindi conspiracy case and imprisoned. It was his four-year term in prison that gave him first-hand experience of the harsh realities of life and provided him with much-needed solitude to translate his thoughts into poetry.

As a poet, Faiz began writing on the conventional themes of love and beauty, but soon these thoughts were submerged in the larger social and political issues of the day. An admirer of Karl Marx, Faiz was also honoured by Soviet Russia with the prestigious ‘Lenin Award for Peace.’

Over the years, Faiz’s poetry has provided hope during the dark days of martial law, even as recently as November 3, 2007, when former president General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency.

Twenty-five years ago, when Faiz passed away at the age of 73, Dawn described him as the ‘greatest Urdu poet of his time,’ who became a living legend for ‘his intrepid struggle against what he himself once described as “the dark and dastardly superstitions of centuries untold”.’


Today, to mark Faiz’s death anniversary, Dawn.com invites its readers to share their favourite lines by the masterful poet and help keep the power of his poetry alive.

The views expressed in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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192 Responses to “Celebrating Faiz”

  1. ahmed says:

    Faiz Ahmed Faiz was without doubt a great poet. LET’S HONOUR HIS MEMORY BY FORMING
    AN INTERNATIONAL ” Faiz-poetry CLUB ”

    His works,in my humble opinion,should be displayed for general appreciation in the URDU script
    rather than romanized-urdu.

    Here is just one example :

    خیال و شعر کی دنیا میں جان تھی جن سے
    فضاے فکر وعمل ارغوان تھی جن سے
    وہ جن کے نور سے شاداب تھے مہ و انجم
    جنونِ عشق کی ہمت جوان تھی جن سے
    وہ آرزوئں کہاں سو گئ ہیں میرے ندیم ؟

  2. Ansa Kausar Perveen Rani says:

    The great work of this legend will be remembered for ever.He is a great veteran of the world.Faiz Ahmad Faiz will be remembered for ever.

  3. Aziz Akhter Rana says:

    I like the progressive poetry this veteran.Since 1936 progressive movement in Urdu literature has brought positive awareness among the people .Faiz Ahmad Faiz played very important role for human rights.He is the great supporter of human rights.He raised his voice in favour of poor and oppressed people of the world.

  4. Dr Hammad Arshi says:

    mere dil mere musafir
    hua phir se hukm saadir
    ke watan badar ho hum tum
    de gali gali sadaayein
    karein rukh nagar nagar ka
    ke suraag koi paaein
    kisi yaar e naama bar ka
    harek ajnabi se poochein
    jo pata tha apne ghar ka
    sare koowe naashnaaya
    hamein din se raat karna
    kabhi is se baat karna
    kabhi usse baat karna
    tumhe kya kahoon main kya hai
    shab e gham buri bala hai
    hamein ye bhi tha ghanimat jo koi shumaar hota
    hamein kya bura tha marna
    agar ek bar hota……

  5. Dr.Ghulam Shabbir Rana says:

    All these comments should be made available to common reader. I like these comments very much. People love Faiz Ahmad Faiz. His poetry is very popular among the people. He is the greatest progressive poet of the world.

  6. Bin Ismail says:

    Faiz was a Pakistani poet, while Iqbal was a pre-Pakistan poet. No disrespect to Iqbal, but he not by any standards Pakistani. He lived and died as a citizen of India, so to recognize him as the “Qaumi Shaa’ir” of Pakistan would not be historically correct. He was a very good poet indeed, but not a Pakistani poet. Faiz, on the other hand was a very good poet and a Pakistani poet. Faiz should be recognized as the “Qaumi Shaa’ir” or National Poet of Pakistan.

  7. Ansa Kausar Perveen Rani says:

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz lived in a country in which real stardom is so very rare, the veteran poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz was one of the very few true legends and bright stars who shone with so blinding glitter. I respect his competence and integrity. He was a great progressive writer of the world. After the death of this veteran, we lack poets, critics and writers able to step into his shoes. Every body knows that Faiz Ahmad Faiz figured prominently on the literary, cultural and political scene of the world for more than half century. Faiz Ahmad Faiz is quite immortal.

  8. Faiz sahib was legend and all Pakistani’s are proud of him.

  9. DR.Ghulam Shabbir Rana says:

    I appreciate this blog about veteran poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz.I am sure our readers ,writers and critics will take part in this discussion.In my opinion Faiz Ahmad Faiz is the greatest poet of this century.

  10. Ansa Kausar Perveen Rani says:

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz is the greatest poet of 20th century. He was a great veteran. His progressive poetry is a ray of hope for poor, helpless and oppressed people of the world. He figure most prominently on the literary scene of the world. Since 1936 he was committed with the progressive movement. In Urdu literature he wrote very popular poetry. His poetry is mainly based on resistance against cruelty and injustice found in the society. He never accepted dictatorship in the country. He worked hard for human rights and democracy in the country. In Pakistan we feel that as if there is a forest in which law of forest has been imposed. Cruel and corrupt mafia has ruined the life of oppressed people. Faiz Ahmad Faiz felt the miseries and troubles of poor people of Pakistan. He was a brave, courageous and a great patriot. He will be remembered for ever.

  11. K H RASHEED. Seattle, WA, USA says:

    ” Here Today Here Tomorrow.”
    “Sher’hey firaaq-o-mad’hey labey mushkbu kareyN
    Ghurbat kadey mein kis se teri guftgu kareyN
    Yaar ashnaa nahiN ko’ee takra’ain kis se jaam
    Kis dilrubaa ke naam peh khaali subu kareyN.”
    Celebrated poet Faiz in these verses describes his utter sense of frustration over being lonely and without any friend with whom, he could talk about the grace of his beloved. He finds no one to celebrate the evening and toast to the beauty of his sweetheart.
    To me in a given set of circumstance, the “beloved” by an extension personifies the whole environment of a locale, where one grows physically and emotionally, makes friends, weaves relationships, loves and cares for his family and relatives and is cared and loved in return. After having carved a place for his own in a given social setting, firmly tied to his roots, he cannot be transplanted elsewhere; if done, then he certainly can’t flourish.

  12. Dr.Ghulam Shabbir Rana says:

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz is the most prominent poet of the world. In Urdu poetry freedom of thought has a glorious tradition. From Syed Muhaddad Jafar Zatali to Faiz Ahmad Faiz in the period of about three hundred years Urdu poetry has set up a strong tradition of freedom of thought. Faiz Ahmad Faiz is a veteran. He figured most prominently on the literary horizon of the world for more than five decades. He will live for ever.

  13. Khuram says:

    Faiz na hum Yusaf, na koi Yaqob jo hum ko yad kary,
    Apna kya Kin’aan me rahy ya Misr me ja abad huay

  14. switteSnine says:

    I would like too take some time too thank the posters for doing what you do and making the community what it is im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.

  15. A. Khan says:

    In these testing times…Faiz sahib’s message reverberates..

    At this moment…Dostoo…Friends…Take courage..

    At this moment, it seems …
    Iss Waqt Too Yeh Lugtah Hai
    Iss Waqt too yeh laghtah hai Aab Kuch bhey nahey hai
    Mahtab na suraj, na Andayhra na Sawayhra

    At this moment it seems like nothing exists
    No moon, no Sun, neither darkness nor radiance
    In front of eyes, there is some beauty behind laced curtains
    In the domains of heart, some pain resides
    May be it is just an illusion or may be something I heard
    In the street, there are sounds of someone’s vanishing footsteps
    Perhaps in the dense tree, in fancy’s boughs
    No dream will ever come to seek refuge.
    No estrangement, no affection, no involvement
    No one is yours, for me no one a stranger.

    Manah kay yeh suunsaan Ghari Saakht KarRey hai
    Laykin maray dil yeh too faqt aik Ghari hai
    Himmat karoo jeenay koo too aik umer parrey hai.
    It is true, this lonesome moment is very cruel and testing
    But, O my heart, this is only just a moment,
    Take courage, there is all the time that remains to live on.

  16. Sultan Mehmud Rana says:

    I like the poetry of this veteran. He is the most prominent poet of the world who figure so popularly and prominently on the literary horizon of the world. During the turbulent era of dictators he stood firm on his ideology, He was a progressive writer. His poetry is full of hope and courage.

  17. Ansa Kausar Perveen Rani says:

    I like the poetry of Faiz Ahmad Faiz very much .Following poems have lasting effect on the feelings of reader.

    Someone finally came, O my unhappy heart!
    No, no one came;
    He must be a passer by, to some other place he’d go.
    The night is now over, the clouds of stars are scattering.
    The lamps full of dreams are wavering in the winds.
    Listening to the travelers’ footsteps the roads are now falling asleep
    And the strange dust has blurred the footprints.

    Blow out the lamp, O my unhappy heart!
    Break the glasses, efface all memories of wine.
    Bolt your un dreaming doors.
    No one will come here now. No one.

    Having lost both his universe in thy love,
    He departs after having spent as if some night of hell.

    Dreary is the house of wine and gloomy are the goblets,
    Your departure has as if displeased the flowering spell.

    I have been granted the leisure to sin but merely four days,
    In that I have seen the guts of that invincible.

    The world prevented me from reminiscing over you,
    More mystifying than you are the woes of labour.

    Today she did smile though only unwittingly ‘Faiz’,
    Ask not about the unrest it created in the heart of a quiet soul.

    Ham keh the hare ajnabi itni mudaraton ke bad
    Phir banenge ashna kitni mulaqaton ke bad

    Will we who remain strangers after all kindnesses are over
    Become familiar after all these meetings are over?

    How many seasons of rain will have to fall over
    Scarred leaves before their greenness comes unblooded to mind?

    The instant when pain of love ceased brought only numbness.
    Mornings are merciless after the merciful nights are over.

    How I wanted, but how my fractured heart did not allow,
    Flirtatious complaints after the supplications were over.

    And what you came so willing to give up all for, Faiz,
    Was utterly unvoiced when all the talking was over.

    Faiz is quite immortal.

    • ahmed says:

      BUT—– let’s just read the original lines :|

      پھر کوئی آیا دلِ زار ! نہیں ، کوئی نہیں
      راہرو ہوگا ، کہین اور چلا جاے گا
      ڈھل چکی رات ، بکھرنے لگا تاروں کا غبار
      لڑکھڑانے لگے ایوانون میں خوابیدہ چراغ

      this is grand poetry !

  18. A. Khan says:

    Pen, Paper and the Truth

    Mutay-e Low wa Qalum Chiin ghai too kayh Ghum Hai
    Kay Khoon e Dil maiN Duboo LiaN haiN ungliaaN maiN nay
    Zabaan pay mohar lagey hay too kayh kay Rakh deh hay
    Her aik halqa e Zangeer main ZubaaN main nay

    What if my pen and paper have been snatched away from me
    I have dipped my fingers in heart’s blood
    What if my lips have been sealed
    I have lent my tounge to each link of the chain!

    (Faiz’s message to the brave DAWN’s journalist who was tortured for speaking the truth!)

  19. Ansa Kausar Perveen Rani says:

    Sad demise of Faiz Ahmad Faiz is the death of a veteran. This famous Pakistani poet figured popularly and prominently on the literary, social and political scene of the world for more than six decades. During turbulent era of dictators in the mother land he had to suffer many difficulties. He was imprisoned and was forced to go to exile. The poet of such talent is very rare in the world. He shone with the blinding glitter on the horizon of knowledge.

    Faiz always disliked cruel and corrupt mafia. He brought positive awareness among oppressed people.

    Jo zulm pe lanat na kere aap laeen hai
    Jo jabar ka munker nahien woh munkre e din hai

    In a society in which cruel and corrupt mafia has ruined the human rights, moral values and traditions of civilized life, Faiz Ahmad Faiz worked hard for human rights. He was a great patriot. His progressive thoughts were appreciated all over the world.

    Na reh janoon sere wafa yeh rasan yeh dar kero ge kia
    Jinhen jurme ishq pe naz tha woh gunah gar chale gae

  20. Randeep Singh Soin says:

    Bas Naam rahe ga Allah ka
    Aur Raj kare ghi Khalaq e Khuda
    jo tum be ho aur hum be haiN

    Faiz demonstrated the power of the word.

    But no Nobel Prize for Faiz – when relatively mediocre European writers who make a minimal impact on their own people are so rewarded. Let the people of India and Pakistan who speak the languages in which Faiz wrote – honor him – read him – sing him.

  21. Sultan Mehmud.Rana says:

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1911-1984) is the most popular and famous poet of Urdu language. His sad demise is death of a veteran. This great poet of the world figured most prominently on the scene of literature, liberty and freedom of thought. He worked hard for human rights. He always raised his voice in favor of oppressed people of the world. During the turbulent era of dictatorship in Pakistan he had to suffer many difficulties. He was imprisoned and was forced to go to exile. He advised poor people the speak again cruelty and injustice. I like his poetry as it has a message and ray of hope for poor and helpless people of the whole world. His poem “Speak” is very important :

    Speak your lips are free
    Speak it is your own tongue
    Speak it is your own body
    Speak your life is still yours
    See how is the blacksmith’s shop
    The flame burns wild, the iron glows red
    The locks open their jaws
    And every chain begins to break
    Speak this brief hour is long enough
    Before the death of body and tongue
    Speak cause the truth is not dead yet.
    Speak Speak, whatever you must speak

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz worked hard for progressive movement since 1936.He worked with Syyed Sajjad Zaheer. He was arrested in Rawalpindi conspiracy case by ruling dictators of Pakistan. His poetry will be remembered for centuries. I like his following poems very much:

    Aaj bazae mein pabajolan chalo
    Nisaar mein tere galion pe ae watan keh jehan
    Kab yad mein tera saath nahien
    Raz e ulfat chhupa ke daikh lia
    Dile mann musafar e mann
    Tere gham ko jaan ki talaash thee
    Phir koi aaya dil e zaar
    Ham keh tehere ajnabi.

    I heard his poem “Sukh ka sapna”in 1962.since then I became admirer of this immortal Urdu poet who inspired whole world. His poetry contains everlasting emotions of love and hope.

    Last night ,your lost memories
    Crept into my heart
    As spring arrives secretly into a barren garden.
    As a cool morning breeze blows slowly in desert
    As a sick person feels well for no reason

    Although his progressive thoughts dominated his poetry yet he speaks about love and romance in a very effective way. His love for humanity is a symbol of his greatness. He calls his beloved as his good fortune.

    Before you came the things were just what they were
    The road precisely a road, the horizon fixed
    The limit of what could be seen
    A glass of wine was no more than a glass of wine.

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz advises to remain hopeful.

    Do not strike the chord of sorrow tonight
    Days burning with pain turn to ashes
    Who knows that happen tomorrow?
    Last night is lost; tomorrow front is wiped out
    Who knows if there will be another dawn
    Life is nothing, it’s only tonight
    Tonight we can be what gods are
    Do not strike the chord of sorrow to night.

    Poor people are always an easy prey for every cruel and corrupt mafia. Faiz Ahmad Faiz always criticized this cruel and corrupt mafia. He gave the true meanings to the voice of poor people which was always misinterpreted. He was certainly biased against corruption .He was grieved on the violation of human rights. He disliked nepotism, favoritism and violation of merit by ruling mafia. As a great patriot he spoke in favor of his motherland and people of Pakistan. He wanted rule of law and justice in Pakistan. He said:

    Balaa se ham ne na daikha tau aur daikhen ge
    faroagh e gulshan o saut e hazaar ka mausam.
    Fiaz Ahmad Faiz will live for ever. He will shine like stars on the milkyway. Every Pakistani is proud of this great poet. May his soul rest in peace in heaven.

  22. Ansa Fiza Perveen Rani says:

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz figured prominently on the literary, and political, and cultural scene of the whole world for about six decades. In 1962 a song sung by Noor Jehan “Sukh Ka Sapna” was very popular. Afterwards in film “qaidi” Actress Shamim Ara performed a song with the play back singing of Noor Jehan .It was ” Mujh se pehli si muhabat mere mehboob na maang”

    I like this poem very much .In this poem Faiz Ahmad Faiz has presented his progressive thoughts in a very effective way.

    Do not ask me my love
    That I once had for you.
    There was a time when
    Life was bright and
    Young and blooming
    And your sorrow was much more than other pain
    Your beauty gave the spring everlasting youth
    Your eyes ,yes your eyes were every thing
    All else was vain.
    While you were mine
    I thought the world was mine
    Though now I know that it was not reality
    That’s the way I imagined it to be
    For there are other sorrows in the world
    Than love and other pleasures too
    Those dark and brutal
    Curses of countless centuries
    Woven in silk and satin and brocade.
    Bodies bathed in blood smeared with dust
    Sold from market place to market place
    Bodies risen from the cauldron of disease
    Pus dripping from their festering sores
    My eyes must also turn to these
    You are beautiful still my love!
    But I am helpless too
    For there are other sorrows in the world than love.
    And other pleasures too.
    Do not ask me my love
    That love I once had for you.

    As a veteran poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz was respected all over the world. He was a member of Progressive movement since 1936. He worked with Syyed Sajjad Zaheer. He was imprisoned and sent to exile. His poetry will make him immortal. I like his following poems as well :

    tum aae ho na shabe intezar guzari hai
    Aaj bazar mein pa ba jolaan chalo
    Bahaar Aaie.
    Her ek oolil amer lo sada do.

    As a great Pakistani Poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz lives in the heart of all the poor people of Pakistan. He was great supporter of the poor people. He worked hard for human rights. May his soul rest in peace.

    • ahmed says:

      Ansa Rani, madam,

      This heart-breaking poem of FAIZ :

      مجھ سے پہلی سی محبت میرے محبوب نہ مانگ
      اور بھی دکھ ہیں زمانے میں محبت کے سوا
      راحتیں اور بھی ہیں وصل کی راحت کے سوا
      Ask me not for that old fervour !!
      Life has other demands,too !

      my trouble with this English-language blog is this,
      any poetry read in TRANSLATION appears like the
      wrong side of a CARPET

      مجبوری ہے !!!

  23. Uzbekfriends says:

    In uzbekistan and Ex Soviet Union Faiz was a very Respected and admired personality. He was awarded highest Soviet Award Lenin Award for Literature. Urdu Academy of Uzbekistan always organizes the seminars every year

  24. Aziz Fatima Rani says:

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz is a great legend of Urdu poetry. His sad demise was the death of a veteran.

    tumhari yadon ke jab zakhm bherne lagte hain
    kisi bahane tumhen yad kerne lagte hain

    We shall remember Faiz Ahmad Faiz forever. His poetry is a ray of hope and pleasure for third world countries. for example:

    Aa jao Afriqa
    Ham keh tehere ajnabi itni mulaqaton ke baad.

    His criticism against the dictators and undemocratic forces made him a freedom fighter of the country. He remained firm on his progressive ideology. He was imprisoned in Rawalpindi conspiracy case, He was sent to exile, but he wrote the truth.

    Mataa e loh o qalam chhin gae to kaya gham hai
    keh dabo li hain khoon e dil mein unglian mein ne

    Mature minds and civilized society always appreciated his work, conduct and fight against dictatorship. He disliked nepotism, violation of human rights and undemocratic rule. I like his poems;

    Bahaar aaie to phir se jaise ubal pare hain azaab saare.
    He ek oolil amer ko sada do keh apni farde amal sanbhale
    Gulon mein rang bhare baad e nau bahaar chaley
    na canwao nawak e neem kash dil e raiza raiza ganwa dia.

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz is immortal Pakistani poet.

  25. Muhammad Naveed Ahsan says:

    Faiz Ahmad Faiz is a legend of this century. He is a classic poet of Urdu. His poetry is a message of hope and freedom of thought .He advises the poor people to speak for their rights. Life is although a brief period but we should speak for truth and integrity of human beings. He loves humanity. He says:

    ger bazi ishq ki bazi hai jo chaho laga do der kaisa .
    ger jeet gae to kaya kehena hare bhee to bazi maat nahien.

    Faiz Ahmad is a famous poet, thinker and patriot. He is the pioneer of the progressive movement in Urdu literature. After 1936, he and his companions like Syed Sajjad Zaheer worked hard for common man. Faiz Ahmad Faiz was the helper and well wisher of poor and oppressed people. As a veteran poet of Urdu language he was respected all over the world. He figured prominently and popularly on the literary scene of the world for more than seven decades. During the turbulent era of dictatorship in Pakistan, he was imprisoned by non democratic forces. He remained firm on his ideas. I like his poetry as he said:

    jo ham pe guzri so guzri mager shab e hijraan
    Hamaare ashk teri aqbat sanwar chale

    Gulon mein rang bhare baad e nau bahaar chale
    chale bhee aao keh gulshan ka karo baar chale

    His poem “Bahaar Aaie” is ever green and ever lasting poem. Faiz Ahmad Faiz was a great freedom fighter of this century. His work will be remembered for ever. His kuliat has been published “Nuskha Hai wafa” is the most popular book all over the world.

    Ham khasta tanon se mohtesabo kaya maal manaal ki poochate ho

    Dashaye tanhaaie mein
    Tere gham ko jaan ki talash thi ter jan nisar chale gae.

    The poetry of this great poet is very popular among all generations. Faiz Ahmad Faiz is quite immortal. He will live in the hearts of the people for ever.

    Mujh se pehli si mohabat mere mahboob na maang.

    This poem which was sung by Noor Jehan (Late) was so popular in the country that I saw people weeping. Similarly when Tina Sani sang the famous poem “Bahaar Aaie” of this great poet, she became popular. I think this is the miracle of his poetry which attracted the listener.

    I like his poetry, personality and work very much.

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