Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi

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Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi
احمد ندیم قاسمی

Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi at an event
Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi at an event
BornAhmad Shah Awan
(1916-11-20)20 November 1916
Angah, Khushab District, British India
Died10 July 2006(2006-07-10) (aged 89)[1]
Lahore, Pakistan
Pen nameNadeem
OccupationUrdu poet, journalist, writer, scholar[1]
EducationBachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan
Alma materGovt. Sadiq Egerton College Bahawalpur
GenrePoetry, Afsana
Literary movementProgressive Writers Movement
A member of Progressive Writers' Association[1]
Notable awardsPride of Performance Award by the President of Pakistan (1968)[2]
Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) Award by the Government of Pakistan (1980)[2]
ChildrenNaheed Qasmi

Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi (Urdu: احمد ندیم قاسمی) born Ahmad Shah Awan (Urdu: احمد شاہ اعوان) (20 November 1916 – 10 July 2006) was an Urdu language Pakistani poet, journalist, literary critic, dramatist and short story author.

He wrote 50 books on poetry, fiction, criticism, journalism and art. He was a major figure in contemporary Urdu literature.[1][3] His poetry was distinguished by its humanism, and his Urdu afsana (short story) work is considered by some second only to Munshi Prem Chand in its depiction of rural culture. He was also the editor and publisher of the literary magazine Funoon for almost half a century. He received awards such as the Pride of Performance in 1968 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1980 for his literary work.[4]

Gulzar, one of the most influential writers in modern India, called him his mentor and guru.[5]

Personal life[edit]


Qasmi was born on November 20, 1916, in the village of Anga in Khushab District, British India, into an Awan family.[6] He graduated from a high school in Campbellpur in 1931, (now renamed Attock city in Pakistan), around the time when he wrote his first poem He studied at government college Attock. Later he studied at Sadiq Egerton College in Bahawalpur. He graduated from the University of Punjab, Lahore in 1935. He had a brother, Peerzada Mohammad Bakhsh Qasmi, and a sister. He became an active member of the Progressive Writers Movement as a secretary and was arrested many times during the 1950s and 1970s.[3][1]


Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi died on 10 July 2006 of complications from asthma at Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore.[4][3][7]

Literary career[edit]

Qasmi edited several prominent literary journals, including Phool, Tehzeeb-i-Niswaan, Adab-i-Lateef, Savera, Naqoosh, and his own journal, Funoon.[4] He also worked as the editor of the Urdu daily Daily Imroze. Qasimi contributed weekly columns to national newspapers like Rawan Dawan and Daily Jang for several decades. His poetry has included both traditional ghazals and modern nazms. Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi was also committed to mentoring and grooming others.[7]

Qasmi in May 1949

In 1948, he was selected as the secretary-general of the Anjuman-e-Taraqqi Pasand Musannifeen (Progressive Writers Movement) for Punjab. In 1949, he was elected the secretary-general of the organisation for Pakistan.[3]

In 1962, Qasmi published his own literary magazine Fanoon, with the support of writers and poets including Khadija Mastoor, Hajra Masroor, Ahmed Faraz, Amjad Islam Amjad, Ata ul Haq Qasmi, and Munnu Bhai. Together they did a lot of creative publishing.[1] Qasmi was the mentor of the poet Parveen Shakir. In 1974, he was appointed secretary-general of Majlis-Taraqee-Adab, a literary body established by the government of West Pakistan in 1958.

In December 2011, Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik and noted columnist Ata ul Haq Qasmi arranged a seminar on the life and achievements of Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi at the International Islamic University, Islamabad. Urdu writers, poets, and critics have appreciated and admired his literary work, although there is also criticism of his literary work and his personality. Fateh Muhammad Malik is a long-time friend of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi. In his book about the life and personality of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi called 'Nadeem Shanasi', he gives the impression that it is evident from Qasmi's letters to him that Qasmi had a buried dislike for Faiz Ahmed Faiz and perhaps considered himself a poet greater than Faiz.[8] "The letters also reveal that Qasmi had a narcissistic personality and an inflated ego when it came to his contemporaries. He consciously or unconsciously tried to belittle Faiz, though without much effect."[8][7]

Some people in literary circles of Pakistan also think that there were some envy and rivalry among Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, Wazir Agha and Munir Niazi.[7]

An example of his poetry, with translation[edit]

Dawar-e hashr! mujhe teri qasam
[7] Umr bhar mein ne ibadat ki hay
Tu mera namaa-e-amaal tau dekh

Mein ne insaan se mohabbat ki hay

O Lord of the Day of Judgment
I swear by you
I have worshipped all my life
Look at my balance sheet
I have loved mankind



  • Jalal-o-Jamal[4]
  • Shola-i-Gul
  • Kisht-i-Wafa
  • Dasht-e-wafa
  • Dawam
  • Muheet
  • Loh-e-khaak
  • Baseet
  • Jamal
  • Arz-o-sama

Short stories

  • Afsaanay (40 best short stories selected by Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi himself)[9]
  • Chaupaal (1939)[1][4]
  • Gandasa was also a source of inspiration for the legendary character Maula Jatt which eventually resulted in the making of the Maula Jatt (1979 film)
  • Sannata[4]
  • Kapaas ka Phool[4]
  • Aabley
  • Tuloo-O-Gharoob
  • Sailab-o-Gardab
  • Aanchal
  • Ghar se Ghar Tak
  • Nila-pathar
  • Dawam-dar-o-deewar
  • Bazar-e-Hayat
  • Aas-paas
  • Jhoota
  • Bhoot
  • Jalebis

Awards and recognition[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Pakistan literary giant is dead (Profile and obituary of Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi) on BBC News website Published 10 July 2006. Retrieved 22 November 2023
  2. ^ a b c d "Pakistan National Council of the Arts honours Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi – his profile with info on many of his awards". Associated Press of Pakistan website. 19 November 2016. Archived from the original on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi profile". UrduWire.com website. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi's obituary and profile Dawn (Pakistan), Published 11 July 2006. Retrieved 22 September 2023
  5. ^ Iqbal, Abdullah (11 November 2004). "Gulzar in Lahore to visit his ailing mentor". Gulf News. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
  6. ^ Kamal, Daud (2008). Flower on a Grave: Poems from Ahmad Nadeem Qasimi. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195474978. Archived from the original on 24 December 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e (Raza Rumi) A Tribute: Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi (1916–2006) All Things Pakistan, Published 16 August 2006. Retrieved 22 November 2023
  8. ^ a b "NON-FICTION: Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi: the controversy lives on". Dawn. Pakistan. 21 August 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
  9. ^ a b c d e Profile and Afsanay by Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi on goodreads.com website Retrieved 22 November 2023
  10. ^ CDA approves renaming of 7th Avenue Dawn (Pakistan), Published 25 February 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2023

External links[edit]