Ahmed Faraz Still Alive But Struggling For His Life

Posted on July 17, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, People, Poetry
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Adil Najam

Ahmed Faraz[UPDATE: Sadly, Ahmed Faraz died in Islamabad ]on August 25, 2008. Details here.]

Despite an erroneous news earlier that renowned poet Ahmed Faraz had died in a Chicago hospital, the news right now is that Ahmed Faraz is still alive, but not at all well, struggling for his life in a Chicago hospital.

Here is the latest from The News:

CHICAGO: Renowned poet Ahmed Faraz is alive and still under medical treatment at a local hospital here, said his physician Tahir Rohail, brushing aside the earlier report of his death aired by state TV. He said Ahmed Faraz is seriously ill at a hospital in Chicago where necessary medical treatment is being provided to him.

Others are still reporting his death, seemingly based on a TV channel news item. It seems – we hope – that the TV channel jumped the gun on this and Faraz Sahib is still alive.

We have, of course, written multiple times on the legendary poet – including here, here and most recently here. I shake as I type this and I pray that we will NOT be writing about his demise anytime soon. For me Faraz has always been a fighter, and we are rooting for him in this fight too. Here is some of Fawaz the fighter:

We certainly pray that he is and that he will remain alive and kicking for a long time. But (earlier) reports, from people close to him, seem to suggest that his condition is very critical and it has been and remains a touch and go situation. He needs our prayers.

35 Comments on “Ahmed Faraz Still Alive But Struggling For His Life”

  1. Amna says:
    July 17th, 2008 11:31 am

    I am so very glad to hear that he is alive. I am praying for his life. He is a voice of sanity and struggle for all of us.

    I just got an email that he had died and was totally devastated. I hope the news remains false.

    My prayers are with Faraz Sahib and his family.

  2. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    July 17th, 2008 11:34 am

    @Unfortunately, PTV announced ( during Lunch hour news )Faraz’s death upon wrong sources, I saw the announcement myself, condolences were even presented by Iftikhar Arif .
    PTV should revise there attitude !!
    I wish Faraz Sahib a rapid recovery.

    Azm-o-Agahi tera paimana-e-bazm-e adab hey,
    jo bhi guzra is maikhaney say, faizyab guzra
    Rafay Kashmiri

  3. Qasim says:
    July 17th, 2008 12:03 pm

    My prayers are with him. A freind heard him recently at APPNA and told me he was obviously not well but his peotry style was still full of zest. May he have a long long life and much more beautiful poetry.

  4. Darwaish says:
    July 17th, 2008 12:25 pm

    I am just so relieved that Faraz sahab is still alive. I am sure entire Pakistani nation is praying for his health as he is our own voice. May Allah give him health. Ameen.

    On a side note, it was not just PTV but every other news channel reported his death including Geo, ARY, Aaj etc. Extremely irresponsible and inhuman behavior on part of news channels in a race to break the news first.

  5. July 17th, 2008 12:26 pm

    I pray for Ahmad Faraz recovery and long life.
    He taught me in Islamia College Peshawar in the early 60′s. I always seek his guidance to sort out my dilemmas -his prayers to get out of trouble.
    He’s what my father was to me -charismatic, kind, loving, and a source of light.
    MAY ALLAH give him health and long life. Ameen.


    This is Habib Khan, PhD Harvard

  6. Mashkoor alam says:
    July 17th, 2008 12:47 pm

    I pray to allah for the speedy recovery of the great international poet AHMAD FARAZ.

  7. Qureshi says:
    July 17th, 2008 1:04 pm

    Thank you ATP for correcting this news. So glad that he is alive but praying for him to recover and come back to his old fighting self. Ameen.

  8. Roshan says:
    July 17th, 2008 1:31 pm

    Hope and pray for Faraz Sahab’s health. Earlier I heard about his knee injury and never thought that his health is so critical. God bless him.

  9. July 17th, 2008 1:40 pm

    Here is the link to my interview with the legendary poet in 2001. Thanks. Siraj Wahab, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Interview With Ahmed Faraz (2001)

    Note: Ahmed Faraz, the legendary Urdu poet, is a romantic genius. No two opinions about that. This is perhaps one of my best interviews to date. Maybe because I have a passion for Urdu poetry, especially romantic poetry. This was first published in the Jeddah-based Arab News in 2001. Ahmed Faraz was visiting Jeddah that year for an unforgettable mushaira organized by a good Pakistani friend of mine, Sher Bahadur Khan of PASCO (Pakistan Social and Cultural Organization). I also covered that mushaira for my newspaper. At the end of this interview, I am reproducing the mushaira report as well to give you an idea about its historicity.

  10. July 17th, 2008 1:42 pm

    Adil Bhai,

    I hope you can update us all as we are all praying for Faraz saab. OP has taken cue from you to ask for prayers too here:


    Let us all pray for this son of the soil wherever we are.

    Feimanallah Faraz Saab


  11. Umair Hoodbhoy says:
    July 17th, 2008 1:58 pm

    Do you know which hospital in Chicago? I am in town.

  12. July 17th, 2008 2:14 pm

    Umair Bhai,

    Tahir Rohail is Faraz saab’s physician/doctor in Chicago somewhere if you can find him.



  13. Shiraz says:
    July 17th, 2008 4:44 pm

    Does anybody know which hospital in Chicago ? I live nearby so want to vist him..

  14. MQ says:
    July 17th, 2008 6:11 pm

    It’s so irresponsible of PTV and other channels to announce someone’s death without ascertaining the facts, particularly when that someone happens to be Ahmad Faraz! Imagine the distress it must have caused to his family, friends and fans.

    I saw Faraz 2-3 weeks ago at the mushaira organized by the APPNA in DC. He was the last one to recite his poetry, a little after 2 in the morning. He looked good, recited his poems mostly from memory, in his usual booming voice, drawing wild applause from the audience. He was a bit forgetful, and a little wobbly when he walked, but for those who know Faraz it was nothing unusual. Later, we heard that he was admitted to a hospital in Chicago but was doing well.

    May he recover fast, live long, and continue to sing his song — the song of resistance to status quo.

    Here are two pictures from DC mushaira:

  15. Ikramullah says:
    July 17th, 2008 10:29 pm

    I am so relieved to hear that the news earlier was wrong. I pray for his life and health.

  16. Faraz says:
    July 17th, 2008 10:29 pm

    How do you email a story on this site to someone else?
    I couldn’t find a “email this story” link anywhere.

  17. Riaz Haq says:
    July 17th, 2008 10:49 pm
  18. L.S.M. says:
    July 18th, 2008 1:15 pm

    Does anyone know if any of the TV channels actually apologized for their horrible mistake?

    I hope they did.

  19. sidhas says:
    July 18th, 2008 3:41 pm

    This is most unfortunate.

  20. ahsan says:
    July 19th, 2008 5:17 am

    I pray for his health and life. Ahmed Faraz was a rebel to the core. Excerpts from one of his works which I suppose never got published for very obvious reasons. A poem about “pak” army which he wrote in early 70′s.

    Mai nay ab tak tumharay qasiday kahay
    aur aag apnay naghmoan say sharminda hoon
    Apnay shairoan ki hurmat say hoon munfayil
    apnay fun kay takazoan say sharminda hoon
    apnay dilgeer pyaroan say sharminda hono

    Jab kabhi meri dil zara khak par
    saya-e-ghair ya dast-e-dushman para
    jab bhee katil muqabil saf ara howay
    sarhadoan par meri jab kabhi run para
    mera khon-e-jigar tha ya harf-e-hunar
    nazar mai nay kia mugh say jo bun para…

    Aansoowoan say tumhain alwidaain kahin
    Ramz gahoan nay jab bhee pukara tumhay
    tum zafar mund tau khai kia lot-tay
    haar nay bhee na jee say utara tumhay
    tum nay jaan kay auwaz abroo baich dee
    hum nay phir bhee kia hai gawara tumhain…..
    sena chakan-e-mushriq bhee apnay hee thay
    jin ka khoon munh pay malnay ko tum aai thay
    maamtaoan kee taqdees ko lotnay
    ya baghawat kuchalnay ko tum aai thay
    un ki taqdeer kia tum badaltay magar
    un ki naslain badalnay ko tum aai thay..
    jaisay bartanvi raj may ghorkhay
    wahshatoan kay chalan aam un kay bhee thay
    jaisay safaak goray thay vietnam may
    haq parastoan pay ilzam un kay bhee thay
    tum bhee aag un say kuchh mukhtalif tau nahi
    rifalain wardian naam un kay bhee hay…

    jin kay jabroan ko apnoan kaa khon laag gaya
    zulum ki sab hadain patnay aa gaaye
    marg-e-bungal kay baad bolan may
    sharioan kay galay katnay aa gaaye

    aag sarhad say punjab -o-mehran tak
    tum nay maqtal sajaaye hain kion ghazio
    itni gharat ghari kis ki ima pay hai
    kis kay aagay ho tum sarnagoon ghazio
    kis shansha-e-aali ka farman hai
    kis ki khatir hai yea kasht-o-khoon ghazio….
    tum nay dehkhay hain jumhoor kay kaflay
    in kay haatoan may parcham baghawat kay hain
    paprioan pay jami paprian khoon kee
    kah rahi haain yai manzar kiamat kay haain….

  21. AHsn says:
    July 19th, 2008 9:27 am

    For all,
    The latest news is :

    WASHINGTON, July 17: Poet Ahmad Faraz is breathing on his own without
    mechanical assistance, his physicians told Dawn on Thursday, contradicting
    earlier reports that he had died.

  22. MQ says:
    July 19th, 2008 10:38 am

    Thanks, AHsn, for the update on Ahmad Faraz. I wish, when he gets well, he sues the PTV and other channels, for a few million dollars, for televising the false news of his death.

  23. sidhas says:
    July 20th, 2008 12:36 am

    Ahsan thanks for sharing a hopeful news with us.

  24. July 20th, 2008 5:18 am

    Wish You Good Health & Long Life. My Prays are with you for your recovery.

    Best Regards,


  25. Saleem Seyal says:
    July 21st, 2008 1:33 am

    Faraz can write a thousand times better than I can but here is my ghazal dedicated to the erroneous and greatly exaggerated news of his “demise” . May he recover soon:

    Saleem Seyal

    ( Ahmad Faraz being in a Chicago Hospital July 20, 2008 )

    Hawao jhoom ke aao, abhi to zinda hein
    Ghatao khoob se cchao, abhi to zinda hein

    tumhare saanvle mukhre ko dil tarasta hey
    naqab rukh se hatao, abhi to zinda hein

    udas haal hey, lumbi hey shaam-e-gham itni
    haseen rubab bajao, abhi to zinda hein

    woh aana aapka ghar mein, aur aa ke mur jaana
    hamara dil na dukhao, abhi to zinda hein

    yeh kya saleeqa hey kafn-o-dafan ki baaton ka
    koi hakeem bulao, abhi to zinda hein
    ( dedicated to Faraz )
    hamari maut ki khabron pe mat yaqeen kijay
    zara si dhoom machao, abhi to zinda hein

    Mein jaanta hoon musir ho, magar khuda ke liye
    tum aaj raat na jao, abhi to zinda hein

    namaz parh ke abhi aa rahein hein masjid se
    zara sharab pilao, abhi to zinda hein

    agarche shaam-e-sihai se dar naheen lagta
    Saleem, shaman jalao, abhi to zinda hein

  26. Uzma says:
    July 22nd, 2008 7:17 pm

    Is an update available on Faraz sahib’s health.

    I hope he is doing better now!

  27. AHsn says:
    July 23rd, 2008 8:58 am

    One of the editorials of today’s (July 23) Dawn (Karachi) is:

    Faraz deserves more

    UNLIKE many essentials, apathy is not in short supply. One sad example is our legendary poet, Ahmad Faraz, who has been fighting for his life in a Chicago hospital for over a fortnight. So far, neither has there been any government concern nor has the Pakistan embassy initiated contact with his family or his medical team. The son of a scholar, Ahmad Faraz made his foray into the literary circles as a lyricist and went on to become an icon of verse who dealt with both love and ideology with the same inimitable passion. His work speaks of injustice, rage and heartache and is as personal as it is political. He also founded the National Academy of Letters and was at the helm of the National Book Foundation. Decorated with numerous national and international awards, including the Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 1994, Faraz has endured countless tyrannical efforts to silence him. He was exiled from Sindh for writing against Bhutto

  28. Hussain says:
    July 25th, 2008 2:07 am

    I hear from a friend in Chicago that Faraz Sahib is doing better now. Can someone please confirm.

    Also, I think what AHsn has written is true and it is really sad that we have not heard a word from anyone in government or the embassy about assisting this national treasure.

  29. Naim Akhtar says:
    August 4th, 2008 5:18 pm

    I ever,never forget the kindness of Mr.Ahmad Faraz during my past association with him .I pray for his recovery .Inshallah he will be among us very soon.

  30. maria says:
    August 7th, 2008 12:56 pm

    i m da bgst fan of ahmad faraz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he iz a suprb man nowadyz his poetry iz being famed through mobylz. I realy like him, his way of sayng iz awsom>>>> “I PRAY 4 HIM MAY ALLAH BLESS HIM VID GUD HEALTH, AMEEN”.

  31. maria says:
    August 7th, 2008 1:04 pm

    he 2ruly said>>>
    mohabat kar sakte ho tu rab say kro faraz
    matti kay khilono say kabhi wafa nhi milti!!!
    i hav mch of his colection he iz awsome 2ru prsn luvly man!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. fareeha says:
    August 7th, 2008 6:02 pm

    we pray for one personality FARAZ…but why dont we pray for those who are invisible…

  33. Farooq Ahad says:
    December 26th, 2008 5:07 pm


    Shamma ki tarha yeh shola bhi tha ik raat ki baat
    Ab khuli ham pay teri chashm-e-mdaraat ki baat

    Ham k jis baat pay tajj aay thay saari dunya
    Teray nazdeek hamesha woh rahi baat ki baat

    Teray altaaf ki barish say shraboor tha dil
    Yaad parti hai yeh guzri hoei barsaat ki baat

    Aankh mein jesay kisi khwab nagar ka manzar
    Hoant par us kay kisi shehr-e-tilismaat ki baat

    Khud framoshi ki ummid pay aa bethay thay
    chhaer di too nay bhi aakhir,wohi halaat ki baat

    Jesay ik umr pay chhaei ho syahi iss ki
    Yeh gham-e-hijr hai kehnay ko to ik raat ki baat

    by Samina Raja

  34. DANIEL says:
    May 22nd, 2011 12:36 pm


  35. D says:
    May 22nd, 2011 12:38 pm


    Shamma ki tarha yeh shola bhi tha ik raat ki baat
    Ab khuli ham pay teri chashm-e-mdaraat ki baat

    Ham k jis baat pay tajj aay thay saari dunya
    Teray nazdeek hamesha woh rahi baat ki baat

    Teray altaaf ki barish say shraboor tha dil
    Yaad parti hai yeh guzri hoei barsaat ki baat

    Aankh mein jesay kisi khwab nagar ka manzar
    Hoant par us kay kisi shehr-e-tilismaat ki baat

    Khud framoshi ki ummid pay aa bethay thay
    chhaer di too nay bhi aakhir,wohi halaat ki baat

    Jesay ik umr pay chhaei ho syahi iss ki
    Yeh gham-e-hijr hai kehnay ko to ik raat ki baat


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