Ahmad Faraz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ahmed Faraz
Ahmad Faraz, in Toronto 2005
Ahmad Faraz, in Toronto 2005
Native name
احمد فراز
BornSyed Ahmad Shah Ali
(1931-01-12)12 January 1931
Kohat, NWFP, British India (now Pakistan)
Died25 August 2008(2008-08-25) (aged 77)
Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan
Pen nameFaraz Urdu: فراز
OccupationUrdu Poet, Lecturer
EducationUrdu literature
Persian literature
Alma materEdwardes College, University of Peshawar
GenreUrdu Ghazal
SubjectRomance, Politics, Resistance
Literary movementDemocratic Movement
Notable awardsSitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) Award
Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence) Award
Hilal-e-Pakistan (Crescent of Pakistan) Award
Nigar Awards
ChildrenSaadi, Shibli Faraz and Sarmad Faraz

Syed Ahmad Shah (Urdu: سید احمد شاہ), better known by his pen name Ahmed Faraz, (Urdu: احمد فراز 12 January 1931 – 25 August 2008)[1][2][3] was a Pakistani Urdu poet, scriptwriter and became the founding Director General (later Chairman) of Pakistan Academy of Letters.[4] He wrote his poetry under the pseudonym Faraz.[a] He criticised military rule and coup d'état in the country and was displaced by the military dictators.[5]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Ahmad Faraz was first awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan and then the Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2004 by the then President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf. He returned this award two years later in 2006 "as a means of protest against the actions of the Musharraf regime".[2][4][6]

On 25 August 2008, he died in Islamabad, and later Government of Pakistan conferred Hilal-e-Pakistan posthumously upon Faraz for his contribution to poetry and Urdu literature.[2][4]

Early life[edit]

Faraz was born as Syed Ahmad Shah on 12 January 1931 in Kohat, a son of Syed Muhammad Shah Bark.[4][2][6] His brother is Masood Kausar, an ex Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Faraz had earlier moved to Peshawar from Kohat District with his family. He studied at Edwardes College, Peshawar and received his Master's degree in Urdu and Persian from Peshawar University.[1][4][6] During his college life, the two poets Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Ali Sardar Jafri influenced him and became Faraz's role models.[4]

Literary work[edit]

Faraz is credited for writing Pas Andaaz, Sab Awazain Meri, Khuwab Gul, Janan Janan, and Ghazal Bahana Karoon.[7]


Singers like Mehdi Hassan, Noor Jehan, Ghulam Ali, Pankaj Udhas, Jagjit Singh and Runa Laila greatly popularized his poetry by singing his ghazals in films and in live concerts.[1][4][5]

Ahmad Faraz served as Chairman of the National Book Foundation in Islamabad, Pakistan.[8][4]

Political activity[edit]

Faraz was arrested for writing poems that criticised military rulers in Pakistan during the reign of General Zia-ul-Haq. Following that arrest, he went into a self-imposed exile.[5] He stayed for 3 years in Britain, Canada, and Europe before returning to Pakistan,[8] where he was initially appointed as Chairman of the Pakistan Academy of Letters and later chairperson of the Islamabad- based National Book Foundation for several years.[8][1][4]

Death and legacy[edit]

Ahmad Faraz's tombstone

Earlier in 2008, after a fall in Baltimore, Maryland, there were false rumors of his death while he was being treated in a Chicago hospital. But he was able to return to his homeland, Pakistan. Then later, Ahmad Faraz died of kidney failure, confirmed by his son Shibli Faraz, in a private hospital in Islamabad on 25 August 2008. His funeral was held on the evening of 26 August, among many admirers and government officials at H-8 Graveyard, Islamabad, Pakistan.[6][1][9]

Ahmad Faraz is included in the long list of revolutionary poets of Urdu language and is "acclaimed as one of the most influential modern Urdu poets of the last century".[2][8][5]

"This felicity with words is evident in much of Faraz's work, as is an economy of expression, along with an ability to wrap layers of meaning into brief lines, the hallmark of an artist who has a command over his craft".[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Takhallus is a pseudonym, fictitious or a pen name used by the Urdu or Persian speaking people when they perform a particular social or cultural role such as poetry etc.


  1. ^ a b c d e Haresh Pandya (1 September 2008). "Ahmed Faraz, Outspoken Urdu Poet, Dies at 77". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Tribute to a legend: Remembering Ahmed Faraz". The Express Tribune (newspaper). 12 January 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Profile of Ahmad Faraz". Ahmad Faraz Trust. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Faraz dies: Poetry loses a voice, people a friend". Dawn (newspaper). 26 August 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d "Interview in Urdu language سلسلے توڑ گیا وہ سبھی جاتے جاتے". BBC News website. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d "Profile of Ahmad Faraz". Urduwire.com website. Archived from the original on 3 April 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  7. ^ "Remembering Ahmed Faraz, on his sixth death anniversary". Dawn (newspaper). 25 August 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Remembering Ahmad Faraz". Outlook (India magazine). 11 September 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  9. ^ "Ahmad Faraz laid to rest". Gulf News. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2022.