(A paper read in the Karachi meet of THE RA VIANS, the alumni of Government College & University, Lahore, now living in Karachi to celebrate Faiz centenary. It was presided over by me.       Guests included Faiz’s daughter Munayyza Hashmi, Faiz’s long time friend, (now Karachi based) Zohra Nigar, Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu’s chief, Dr. Fatema Hasan, and others)               


On a one-to-one basis, my personal contact with Faiz has been fewer than a dozen times. All these meetings took place in London during the seventies of the last century. One last meeting with him was in 1983, a year before his demise at the relatively young age of 73. Let me explain. I have never publicized my friendly contact with him and, therefore, much has remained hidden. I shunned Mushairas and Mehfils organized by local Urdu elite in London and kept my distance. It was either he or Chacha Mulk who gave me a phone call at my residence in Milton Keynes where I was a research associate at the British Open University. Chacha Mulk        (the renowned novelist Mulk Raj Anand) didn’t drive himself and he would ask me to bring my small Morris Minor, pick him up from Indian High Commission’s Guest House and take him to  Faiz.

Faiz was twenty years my senior; Chacha Mulk was twenty-seven years older than me. Another example is Saqi Farooqi who was a quarter century junior to Faiz as also to Noon Meem Rashid  and yet had a warm and intimate friendship with both. Let me add in haste that friendship is neither bound by age nor by gender. It only partakes of common interests, concernments, conversation topics – and most important of all, participating partners’ level of intellect, education, mental calibre and parlance of conversation. I believe that he was more akin to me in this respect than to Mulk. Maybe one reason was that Mulk just garbled his Urdu and was never adept in speaking that language.

The one and only exception to my rule of no public display of our sporadic contact and my reverence for him or his affection for me was the irreverent poem I wrote about him the same day that I met him 1983. I published the poem six years after his death. Titled “Aik Nadaar Mulk ka Shair”, this poem is included in my poetry collection “DAST E BURG” (1990). It was written in a sombre mood. When I met Faiz that evening, I found not his usual assured self, but a fearful, broken man lurking in him. I forthwith knew that he was shattered both in his life-long belief in Communism as also in his health. His conversation with me bore testimony to this loss of faith.

He was suffering from Fistula and was in pain. He had come back from a visit to Soviet Union     which was at the brink of dissolution and the chaos before its final break into bits and pieces  across Europe and Central Asia. This time he was staying not at Zohra Nigahar’s house, but at a different location. If my Image result for faiz ahmed faizmemory serves me right, it was an apology of a house (so small it was!) in Bamsbury, across Kings Cross Road where it changes its name to Euston Road. Just whose property it was I never enquired. Alys, his wife and Muneeza, his daughter, both were with him. Salima wasn’t there. As we know, his two daughters were married to two Hashmi brothers, Shoaib and Humair.

Leaving my personal reminiscences of Faiz’s personality to the later instalments of this article, I will now take up the most important aspect- his poetry, as I evaluate it now.

FAIZ AS A “MODERN” POET                                                                            

(a)        IMAGERY.   

The first quality of Faiz’s poetry that strikes me is its visual imagery that permeates into the essential musicality of his verse. After Iqbal, Faiz has this quality in abundance; the difference is “baland aahangi” (loud tenor) in Iqbal and the silk-like soft and sometimes cloyingly sweet tenor of Faiz. This quality is less apparent in other “Taraqqi Pasand” (progressive) poets. Faiz cultivated the ghazal format in a neo-classical or post-romantic genre and he brought a marriage of convenience between the classical and romantic modes. It is in this context that the second generation of Progressive poets took their content, communicability, style and even the Faiz-inspired parlance of ghazal to its zenith.     It became almost a fad with poets. “Thus Faiz’s poetic felicity,  choice of words, coinages, allusions, neo-classical reliance on the true – classical patterns of ghazal became order of the day”.

The quality that differentiates Faiz from, say Josh Malihabadi, both in his nazms and ghazals, is that that he leaves things unsaid or half-said or just hinted at or given a symbolic or metaphoric treatment to  achieve shareable quality of modes of poetic experience with the reader. Josh, on the other hand, doesn’t leave anything unsaid. I would use the words “poetry as a slogan” and “poetry as a sweet whisper” in the case of these two poets.


Now we will see how and why Faiz was not as new-fangled as Noon Meem Rashid. It can be said that Faiz was tradition-bound not only in the poetic parlance used by his predecessors but also in the socio-political and socio-cultural context in the post-partition days. This is borne out by his ghazals as also his nazms. A random selection of ghazal’s stock-in-trade metaphors will bear this out.

اک طرز تغافل ہے سو وہ ان کو مبارک: اک عرض تمنا ہے سو ہم کرتے رہیں گے                                                                        

Ik tarz -i – taghafuI hai, so woh un ko Mubarak: ik arz –i -tamanna hai so hum karte rahen gay

Let (my beloved) wilfully enjoy the stance of ignoring me: My duty is to keep on expressing my avocation of love.

(Subject: Beloved’s inattention and neglect. Stock-in-trade metaphors are “tarz-i-taghaful”and   “arz-i-tamanna”) Indeed both are worn-out cliche’s.

For the source of this mazmoon, one might refer to Ghalib’s couplet:

وہ اپنی خو نا چھوڑیں گے، ہم اپنی وضع کیوں بدلیں

Woh apni khoo na chhoRen gey, hum apni wazâae kioN badIen

She (the beloved) would never give up her neglect: Why should I change my habit?

Image result for faiz ahmed faizستم کی رسمیں بہت تھیں لیکن نا تھیں تیری انجمن سے پہلے

سزا خطا ئے نظر سے پہلے، عتاب جرمِ سخن سے پہلے

Sitam ki rasmeN bahut theeN Iekin no theeN tiri anjamman se pehle:

Saza Khataey nazar se pehle, ataab jurm-i-sukhan se pehle.

Countless were the rituals of tyranny but none (as cruel) as in your social get-together: The punishment precedes the crime of my (lovelorn look (at you): the wrath comes before even I speak.

Subject: The crime of being outspoken and the beloved’s wrath about this temerity. Locale: the beloved’s gathering of admirers (mehfil, anjumman). Ghazal’s stock-in-trade clichés (rituals of tyranny) and (the crime of being outspoken).

جو چل سکو تع چلو کہ راہ وفا بہت مختصر ہوئی ہے

مقام ہے اب نا کوئی منزل، فراز دار و رسن سے پہلے 

Jo chal sako to chalo ki rah-i- wafa bahut mukhtasar huui hai: Maqaam hai ab na koyi manzil, faraaz-i-daar—o-rasn se pehle.

If you can give me your companionship, do it now, for the path of (mutual) loyalty is not long: There’s no place to neither stop, nor (any other) destination, but the height of our martyrdom at crucifixion.

Subject: Togetherness, companionship (of lovers, like-minded political activists). Locale: the journey of life. Ghazal’s worn out metaphors.  Darâ-o-rasan, maqaam, manzil, rah-i-wafa.

آتے آتے یونہی دم بھر کو رکی ہو گی بہار

جاتے جاتے یونہی پل بھر کو خزاں ٹھری ہے   

aatay aatay younhi pal bhar ko ruki ho gi bahaar: Aatay aatay younhi pal bhar ko khazaN thehri hai.

The spring might have tarried only for a moment on its way: The winter (autumn) might have delayed its exit for a moment.

Subject, locale and the metaphors too dear to the age-old traditional modes of ghazal bespeak of Faiz’s debt to oft-repeated expressions. bahaar, khazaN, dum bhar ko, pal bhar ko, aate aate, jaate jaate – these are so commonly used that no one can erase them from the memory register of one’s racial unconscious mind in the Jungian sense. However, what might be highlighted is Faiz’s unparalleled expertise in wringing the last drop of political or contemporary-contextual overtone of content and meaning in the political sense. While his predecessors had no political message to convey (except for lqbal who used the straight pulpit style to communicate a politico-religious message to Muslims), Faiz’s contemporaries (or immediate predecessors like Akhtar Shirani) had not acquired the subtlety of his style.

The answer to the question “Is he an experimentalist? is in negative. He is an imagist in the limited sense of the word as it applies to the classical nuances of the ghazal format, but, unlike Noon Meem Rashid, he is neither an experimentalist nor a coiner of new-fangled images like the first and the second generations of poets in the early twentieth century in England.


Facebook Comments


  1. Avatar

    quest bars cheap

    August 24, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you may be
    a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and may come
    back sometime soon. I want to encourage you to continue your great job, have a
    nice afternoon!

  2. Avatar

    quest bars cheap

    August 23, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    I take pleasure in, lead to I discovered exactly what I used to be having a look for.
    You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have
    a nice day. Bye

  3. Avatar

    descargar facebook

    August 19, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    Article writing is also a fun, if you know afterward you can write otherwise it is
    difficult to write.

  4. Avatar

    comprar levitra

    August 6, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    La disfunción eréctil es una disfunción sexual.

  5. Avatar

    buy cialis

    August 2, 2019 at 11:21 am

    It is number one drug for ED, because the duration of action of these drugs is up to 36 hours, and side effects are insignificant, which allows its use for different types of diseases and even when combined with alcohol, which is not even about Viagra.

  6. Avatar

    comprar cialis

    July 31, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Pero también una diabetes puede producir una disfunción eréctil. Hablaré desde el lado que interesa a quien lo toma, los efectos que me produce y porque pienso que es mejor esto que la Viagra.

  7. Avatar

    plenty of fish

    July 31, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    I blog often and I genuinely thank you for your content.
    Your article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your site and keep checking
    for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  8. Avatar

    plenty of fish

    July 30, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was
    wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you
    have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to
    get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be
    enormously appreciated!

  9. Avatar

    plenty of fish dating site

    July 23, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Wow, amazing blog layout! How lengthy have you been running a blog for?
    you made blogging look easy. The entire glance of your site is excellent, as well as the

  10. Avatar


    July 23, 2019 at 1:33 am

    Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i
    read this paragraph i thought i could also create comment
    due to this good paragraph. natalielise pof

  11. Avatar

    how to get help in windows 10

    July 22, 2019 at 5:58 am

    Very good post. I will be going through a few of these issues
    as well..

  12. Avatar

    plenty of fish dating site

    July 19, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Can I simply just say what a comfort to uncover
    someone that genuinely knows what they are talking
    about online. You actually understand how to bring an issue to light and
    make it important. More and more people need to look at this
    and understand this side of your story. I can’t believe you’re not more popular because you certainly possess the gift.

  13. Avatar

    plenty of fish dating site

    July 18, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    If some one wishes expert view concerning blogging then i recommend him/her to pay
    a visit this webpage, Keep up the nice job.

  14. Avatar

    how to get help in windows 10

    July 16, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I
    thought this post was great. I do not know who you
    are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉

  15. Avatar

    plenty of fish dating site

    July 15, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    hi!,I love your writing very much! share we keep up a correspondence
    extra approximately your article on AOL? I need a specialist on this space to resolve my problem.
    May be that’s you! Looking forward to look

  16. Avatar

    July 1, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  17. Avatar

    how to get help in windows 10

    June 29, 2019 at 2:51 am

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I think that you should write more on this topic, it might
    not be a taboo subject but generally people do not speak about such issues.

    To the next! Cheers!!

  18. Avatar

    plenty of fish dating site

    June 21, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Every weekend i used to pay a visit this web site, because i want enjoyment, since
    this this site conations actually pleasant funny material too.

  19. Avatar

    June 17, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Definitely consider that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared
    to be on the net the easiest thing to keep in mind of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while other folks consider issues that they
    just do not recognise about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and defined out
    the entire thing without having side-effects , other folks could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  20. Avatar

    quest bars

    June 16, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet people,
    its really really fastidious paragraph on building up new

  21. Avatar

    quest bars cheap

    June 15, 2019 at 6:50 am

    I for all time emailed this website post page to all my associates, since if like to read it next my friends will too.

  22. Avatar

    playstation 4 best games ever made 2019

    June 12, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Actually when someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to
    other users that they will assist, so here it happens.

  23. Avatar

    ps4 best games ever made 2019

    June 12, 2019 at 10:29 am

    If some one needs expert view about blogging and site-building after that i advise him/her to visit
    this web site, Keep up the nice job.

  24. Avatar

    gamefly free trial 2019 coupon

    June 10, 2019 at 10:25 am

    Ahaa, its pleasant conversation on the topic of
    this article here at this web site, I have read all that, so now me also commenting at this place.

  25. Avatar

    ps4 games 2019 list coming out

    June 7, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice even as you amend
    your web site, how could i subscribe for a weblog web site?
    The account aided me a applicable deal. I were tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast provided brilliant clear concept

  26. Avatar

    carpet cleaning germantown

    June 7, 2019 at 12:54 am

    I just couldn’t leave your site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard info an individual provide on your visitors? Is gonna be again steadily in order to investigate cross-check new posts

  27. Avatar

    carpet cleaners near me germantown

    June 7, 2019 at 12:32 am

    I think other website proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and magnificent user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  28. Avatar

    carpet cleaning germantown

    June 6, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Together with the whole thing that seems to be building inside this specific area, a significant percentage of points of view are generally very exciting. However, I am sorry, because I can not subscribe to your entire theory, all be it radical none the less. It seems to everybody that your remarks are actually not totally validated and in actuality you are generally your self not even thoroughly convinced of your assertion. In any event I did take pleasure in examining it.

  29. Avatar

    carpet cleaning services germantown

    June 6, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and terrific design.

  30. Avatar

    germantown top carpet cleaning services

    June 6, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    I’ll right away grasp your rss as I can not to find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me know in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  31. Avatar

    carpet cleaners near me germantown

    June 6, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  32. Avatar

    This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  33. Avatar

    germantown top carpet cleaning services

    June 6, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i am happy to show that I’ve a very excellent uncanny feeling I came upon just what I needed. I most undoubtedly will make sure to do not omit this site and provides it a look regularly.

  34. Avatar

    carpet cleaning services germantown

    June 6, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    The following time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I know it was my option to learn, but I actually thought youd have one thing interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you might fix in case you werent too busy searching for attention.

  35. Avatar

    germantown carpet cleaning services

    June 6, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Heya i’m for the primary time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to present something back and aid others such as you aided me.

  36. Avatar

    carpet cleaning germantown

    June 6, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  37. Avatar

    This is really attention-grabbing, You’re an overly professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and sit up for looking for extra of your magnificent post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  38. Avatar

    top carpet cleaning germantown

    June 6, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    I precisely needed to appreciate you again. I am not sure the things I could possibly have accomplished in the absence of these creative ideas revealed by you relating to my question. It became a daunting scenario for me personally, nevertheless taking note of the specialized technique you processed the issue forced me to cry for delight. I am happier for this work and thus hope you realize what a great job you were providing educating some other people all through a blog. Most likely you’ve never got to know any of us.

  39. Avatar

    I will right away clutch your rss as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me understand so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  40. Avatar

    carpet cleaning services germantown

    June 6, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    I just could not depart your web site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard information a person provide for your visitors? Is going to be back often to check up on new posts

  41. Avatar

    carpet cleaning near me germantown

    June 6, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  42. Avatar

    germantown carpet cleaning services

    June 6, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    My brother suggested I may like this blog. He used to be entirely right. This put up actually made my day. You cann’t consider simply how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  43. Avatar

    best carpet cleaning germantown

    June 6, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing skills has inspired me to get my own website now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a good example of it.

  44. Avatar

    Workers Compensation Attorney

    June 6, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Currently it sounds like Drupal is the top blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  45. Avatar


    June 6, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    A powerful share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a bit of evaluation on this. And he actually purchased me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading extra on this topic. If possible, as you grow to be expertise, would you thoughts updating your weblog with extra particulars? It is extremely useful for me. Large thumb up for this blog post!

  46. Avatar


    June 6, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    My brother suggested I may like this blog. He was totally right. This put up actually made my day. You can not consider just how so much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  47. Avatar

    youtube video

    June 6, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite sure I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  48. Avatar

    New Jersey

    June 6, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to look it over. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and brilliant style and design.

  49. Avatar

    June 6, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to protect against hackers?

  50. Avatar

    New Jersey

    June 6, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again

  51. Avatar

    Workers Compensation Attorney

    June 6, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    I simply had to appreciate you yet again. I do not know what I might have implemented in the absence of the entire ways shown by you on my subject matter. It actually was an absolute fearsome case in my view, but viewing the very professional mode you processed the issue made me to weep for fulfillment. I’m thankful for this help and thus pray you know what an amazing job you have been doing teaching the others through the use of a blog. I am certain you have never got to know any of us.

  52. Avatar

    June 6, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, fantastic site!

  53. Avatar

    Workers Compensation Attorney

    June 6, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    I appreciate, cause I found exactly what I was looking for. You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  54. Avatar


    June 6, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you’ll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

  55. Avatar


    June 6, 2019 at 11:56 am

    I do like the way you have presented this particular challenge plus it does present me personally some fodder for thought. Nonetheless, from everything that I have observed, I only wish when the feedback stack on that people keep on issue and in no way start on a tirade regarding some other news of the day. Yet, thank you for this superb point and though I can not really agree with this in totality, I respect your point of view.

  56. Avatar

    youtube video

    June 6, 2019 at 11:12 am

    After study a couple of of the weblog posts in your website now, and I truly like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site list and might be checking again soon. Pls take a look at my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  57. Avatar

    Workers Compensation Attorney

    June 6, 2019 at 10:57 am

    What i do not realize is actually how you are now not really much more smartly-preferred than you might be right now. You’re very intelligent. You realize therefore considerably with regards to this subject, produced me in my view imagine it from so many varied angles. Its like men and women aren’t interested until it’s something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs great. All the time take care of it up!

  58. Avatar


    June 6, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Great post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Cheers!

  59. Avatar

    New Jersey

    June 6, 2019 at 10:42 am

    This design is spectacular! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

To Top