Ahmad Faraz

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Ahmed Faraz
احمد فراز
Ahmad Faraz, Toronto 2005
Born Syed Ahmad Shah Ali
(1931-01-12)12 January 1931
Kohat, NWFP, British India
Died 25 August 2008(2008-08-25) (aged 77)
Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan
Pen name Faraz Urdu: فراز
Occupation Urdu poet, Lecturer
Nationality Pakistani
Ethnicity Pashtun
Citizenship Pakistani
Education MA Urdu, Persian
Alma mater
Peshawar University
Period 1950–2008
Genre Urdu Ghazal
Subject Romance, resistance
Literary movement Progressive Writers Movement/Democratic Movement
Notable awards Hilal-e-Imtiaz
Nigar Awards
Children Saadi, Shibli Faraz and Sarmad Faraz

Ahmed Faraz (Urdu: احمد فراز‎, born Syed Ahmed Shah (Urdu: سید احمد شاہ‎) on 12 January 1931[1] in Kohat,[2][3] died 25 August 2008) was a Pakistani Urdu poet. He was acclaimed one of the modern Urdu poets of the last century. 'Faraz' is his pen name, (in Urdu takhalus). He died in Islamabad on 25 August 2008.[4][5] He was awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Sitara-i-Imtiaz and after his death Hilal-e-Pakistan by the government.[3]

Early life[edit]

Faraz was born in Kohat,[3] (then British India) to Syed Muhammad Shah Barq. His brother is Syed Masood Kausar.[6] He moved to Peshawar with his family. He studied in famous Edwards College, Peshawar and received Masters in Urdu and Persian from Peshawar University.[7]

During in college life, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Ali Sardar Jafri were his best progressive poets, who impressed him and became his role models.[8] Ethnically a Pashtun Syed, Ahmed Faraz studied Persian and Urdu at the Peshawar University. He later became lecturer at the Peshawar University.


Served as Chairman National Book Foundation Islamabad


Faraz has been compared with Faiz Ahmad Faiz,[7] holds a unique position as one of the best poets of current times, with a fine but simple style of writing.[6] Even common people can easily understand his poetry.

In an interview with Rediff he recalls how his father, once bought clothes for him on Eid. He didn't like the clothes meant for him, but preferred the ones meant for his elder brother. This lead him to write his first couplet:

:سب کے واسطے لائے ہیں کپڑے سیل سے

:لائے ہیں میرے لیے قیدی کا کمبل جیل سے

Sab kay waste laye hein kaprye sale se

Laye hein mere liye qaidi ka kambal jail se

(He brought clothes for everybody from the sale)

(For me, he brought a blanket of a prisnor from jail)[9]


Faraz was arrested for writing poems that criticised military rulers in Pakistan during the Zia-ul-Haq era. Following that arrest he went into a self-imposed exile.[5] He stayed for 6 years in Britain, Canada and Europe before returning to Pakistan, where he was initially appointed Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters and later chairperson of the Islamabad-based National Book Foundation for several years. He has been awarded with numerous national and international awards. In 2006, he returned the Hilal-e-Imtiaz award he was given in 2004.[7]

He claimed his current writings and said: "I now only write when I am forced to from the inside."[citation needed] Maintaining a tradition established by his mentor, the revolutionary Faiz Ahmad Faiz, he wrote some of his best poetry during those days in exile. Famous amongst poetry of resistance has been "Mahasara". Faraz was also mentioned by actor Shahzada Ghaffar in the Pothwari/Mirpuri telefilm "Khai Aye O".


Faraz died of kidney failure[4] in a local Islamabad hospital on 25 August 2008. His funeral was held on the evening of 26th, by many admirers and government officials at H-8 Graveyard, Islamabad, Pakistan.[3][4]

Samples of poetry[edit]

A sample of his poetry is:

Nazm: Khwaab martay naheen

Khwaab martay naheen

Khwaab dil hain, nah aankhen, nah saansen keh jo

Rezaa, rezaa huwe to bikhar jaayen ge

Jism kii maut se ye bhii mar jaayen ge

English translation.

Dreams do not die

Dream are heart, nor eyes nor breath

Which shattered, will scatter

Die with the death of the body

Another poetic translation of the above

Dreams do not die

Dreams are heart, nor eyes nor a breath

Which shatter and then they scatter,

Die they all, with end being nigh

List of Works/Bibliography[edit]

  • Pas-e-Andaz-e-Mausam[10]
  • Shehr-e-Sukhan Arasta Hai (Kulliyaat)
    Collection of the following books:
    • Pas-e-Andaz-e-Mausam


  1. ^ "Tribute to a legend: Remembering Ahmed Faraz". The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan). 12 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "About Faraz". Ahmad Faraz Trust. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  3. ^ a b c d Samaa TV "Urdu News" Check |url= scheme (help). Samaa.tv. 26 September 2008. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  4. ^ a b c Daily Times "Ahmed Faraz passes away" Check |url= scheme (help). Daily Times.com. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  5. ^ a b "سلسلے توڑ گیا وہ سبھی جاتے جاتے". BBC.co.uk. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  6. ^ a b "Meeting Poet Ahmad Faraz". Chowk.com. 9 July 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  7. ^ a b c "Ahmed Faraz, Outspoken Urdu Poet". The new York Times.com. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  8. ^ "The Hindi Tamasha". Siliconeer. September 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Ahmad Faraz's Interview". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  10. ^ Shehr-e-Sukhan Arasta Hai

External links[edit]