ATP Faiz Mela: Pakistaniat Kay Naam

Posted on February 13, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, About ATP, ATP Mushaira, People, Poetry, Urdu
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Adil Najam

Today is Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s birthday.

It is always amazing that no matter what the issue, Faiz always has something to say that is not only relevant but revalationary (often it is also revolutionary).

Something that helps us express what we really feel but are unable to articulate. Something that helps us explain what we could not understand. Something that forces us to confront what we would much rather ignore. Something that rises above our fears and speaks to our hopes.

What, then, can one say about Faiz and Pakistaniat that Faiz Sahib has not said himself:

Nisar mein teri galiyoun pay aye watan kay jahaN
Chali hai rasm kay koee na sar uTha kay chalay
Jo koee chahnay waala tawaaf ko niklay
Nazar jhuka kay chalay, jism o jaaN bacha kay chalay

As always, I can offer no better tribute to Faiz Sahib than his very own words. So, here is my very own Faiz Mela for you. A selection of poetry from Faiz that has and continues to inspire me. Poetry that assumes new meaning every time I hear it. Poetry that speaks directly to the state of my existence, to the nuances of my aspirations, and to the core of my convictions.
First, these three poems, presented here in Faiz’s own voice, each of which is as much a credo for this blog as hum daikhain gay:

Nisar mein teri galiyoun pay…
[audio: 06.mp3]

Aaj baazar mein pa-bajoulaN chalo…
[audio: 14.mp3]

[audio: 05.mp3]

A fourth poem that I would have added to this list is Intisaab. It has been most beautifully sung by Nayarra Noor, and I recently stumbled on this wonderful video based on part of that poem (I wish it had used the entire poem):

Intesaab — Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Along with Nayarra Noor, Tina Sani is someone who sings Faiz with a heartfelt passion and understanding; both, of course, are at their best when singing Faiz nazms composed by Arshad Mahmood. There are many Tina Sani renditions that are worth celebrating, but here is a relatively new one – on the poem mairay dil mairay musafir – which like everything above seems to speak personally to me (and to so many others). For those of us who are living in diyar-i-ghair, this is a particularly pertinent poem which is sung particularly well:

Of course, no Faiz Mela can conclude without Iqbal Bano singing Hum Daikhain Gay. Long-time readers of this blog know that ATP and its notion of Pakistaniat (also here) is inspired by Faiz and by this particular tarana of Pakistaniat. Our very first post was based on my own amatuerish effort to visualize that vision, and probably no one except Jinnah has been quoted more often at ATP than Faiz Ahmad Faiz. I have posted it a number of times since then. Let me please do so again. This time, not as much for my visualization as for Iqbal Bano’s wonderful rendition.

Yes, Lazim Hai Kay Hum Bhi Daikhain Gay:

Pakistan: Adil Najam’s Pakistan

25 responses to “ATP Faiz Mela: Pakistaniat Kay Naam”

  1. Raju Jamil says:


    Dil e man Musafir e man
    Meray dil meray musafir
    hua phir sey hukm sadir
    k watan badar hon hum tum

    dein gali gali sadain
    karein rukh nagar nagar ka
    ke suraagh koi paein
    kisi yar e nama bar ka

    har ik ajnabi sey poochein
    jo pata tha apney ghar ka
    sar e kooey nashenayan
    hamein din sey raat karna

    kabhi iss sey baat karna
    kabhi us sey baat karna
    tumhein kya kahoon key kya hey
    shab e gham buri balaa hey

  2. nudma says:

    if anyone can step forward to spread his words in every street of pakistan by using televisin media or theatre we can give chance to many hidden faizs ……………

  3. […] I want to introduce this new (hopefully regular) feature at ATP. (Actually, if you press the ‘ATP Mushaira‘ category you will find that this is the second installment in this category; the first being our little Faiz Mela on Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s birthday.) Of course, poetry has been a regular and favorite subject for us at However, this (sub-) category is distinguished from other posts on poetry because here we will feature kalam i shair ba zaban i shair (i.e., poetry recited by the poets themselves). […]

  4. Aisha Rahat says:

    Happy Birthday to Faiz Ahmed Faiz … He is alive in our hearts and his words shall live till the end of time … I haven’t read much of him just a few and it instilled a lot of interest in me and inspired me in so many different ways. It was good to seem TV channels paying tribute to Faiz Sahab on 13th Feb. Got to learn more about this wonderful person and poet. He showed us our path and we have to follow the guidance … He gave us the signs and signals and its time for action! We have to work in the diirection of his hopes. May his soul find peace. I want to dedicate my favorite among his large collection to the whole of Muslim Ummah:

    Hum dekhenge
    Lazim hai k hum bhi dekhenge
    Wo din k jis ka wada hai
    Jo looh-e-azl pe likha hai
    Hum bhi dekhenge

    Jab zulm-o-sitam k kooh-e-giran
    Roi ki tarah ur jaenge
    Hum mehkomon k paaon tale
    Ye dharti dhar dhar dharkegi
    Aur ahl-e-hukum k sir oper
    Jab bijli kar kar karkegi
    Hum bhi dekhenge

    Jab arz-e-Khuda k kaabe se
    Sab but uthwae jaenge
    Hum ahl-e-safa mardood-e-harm
    Masnad pe bethae jaenge
    Sab taaj uchale jaenge
    Sab takht girae jaenge
    Hum bhi dekhenge

    Bas naam rahega Allah ka
    Jo ghayab bhi hai hazir bhi
    Jo manzar hai nazir bhi
    Uthega ANAL HAQ ka nara
    Jo mai bhi hon tum bhi ho
    Aur raaj karegi Khalq-e-KHUDA
    Jo mai bhi hon tum bhi ho
    Hum dekhenge
    Lazim hai hum bhi dekhenge
    Hum dekhenge!

  5. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    Faiz was not just a progressive thinker that we need to listen to–-and he was most definitely that–-but Faiz was a link in a chain that identifies the poetic peak of our intellectual culture. A chain that runs back from Faiz, who was born before Iqbal passed on, who was born before Ghalib passed on, who was born before …and so on back to Mir, Sauda, and Wali. If our bright, modern and post-modern minds managed to reconnect to that part of our heritage, instead of learning western poets and literature (and even Rumi and Khayyam re-ingested after making it through a Western digestive process), we might make progress as a community.

    iFaqeer: You have said it so very well. Even though an ideologue, Faiz was a great poet and a literary giant. He is a link to the past and the future of the Urdu poetry. I agree with you that we need to maintain our literary heritage but I disagree with you on the second part. We must learn from all literature and not limit ourselves to Urdu only. One of the reasons poets in the past were so prolific was that they studied other languages and literature as well. Could you imagine the poetry of Ghalib and Iqbal without their mastery of Persian. Urdu was rich because of the continue influx of Persian, Arabic and Turkic thoughts, vocabulary and construction. Without this necessary exchange Urdu will become stale if not already there. Our writers need to study other languages and literature including Western. Faiz and Iqbal wrote in English as well and benefited from Western thoughts. Nothing wrong in learning from others. But you are right. Our people have stopped learning the parent languages of Urdu. Now we learn about Rumi, Sadie, Khayyam through their English translations.

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