Ahmad Faraz

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Ahmed Faraz
احمد فراز
Ahmad Faraz, in Toronto 2005
Born Syed Ahmad Shah Ali
(1931-01-12)12 January 1931
Kohat, NWFP, British India (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan)
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
Citizenship Pakistani
Education MA degrees in Urdu and Persian languages
Alma mater Edwardes College, University of Peshawar
Period 1950–2008
Genre Urdu Ghazal
Subject Romance, political resistance
Literary movement Progressive Writers Movement, Democratic Movement
Notable awards Sitara-i-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 is widely acclaimed as one of the best modern Urdu poets of the last century. 'Faraz' is his pen name, (in Urdu takhalus تخلص). He died in Islamabad on 25 August 2008.[4][5] He was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz, Hilal-e-Imtiaz and posthumously the Hilal-e-Pakistan[6] by the Government of Pakistan.

Early life[edit]

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

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


Ahmad Faraz served as Chairman of the National Book Foundation in Islamabad, Pakistan.[9]

Literary work[edit]

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. Even common people can easily understand his poetry.

In an interview with BBC Urdu, 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 led 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 prisoner from jail)[10]

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 6 years in Britain, Canada and Europe before returning to Pakistan, 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. 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 mentioned 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 the days when he was in exile. Famous among the 'poetry of resistance' has been "Mahasara". Faraz was also mentioned by actor Shahzada Ghaffar in the Pothwari/Mirpuri telefilm "Khai Aye O".

Ahmad Faraz's tombstone


Faraz died of kidney failure 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.[11][12]

Samples of poetry[edit]

A sample of his poetry is:


'Wo adakar hi kya

Wo adakar hi kya jis ka naam Mozzam Hussain

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[13]
  • Shehr-e-Sukhan Arasta Hai (Kulliyaat)
    Collection of the following books:
    • Pas-e-Andaz-e-Mausam

Jana jana Na-yaft

See also[edit]


  • Ahmed Faraz Poetry, November 16, 2016. [14]
  1. ^ "Tribute to a legend: Remembering Ahmed Faraz". The Express Tribune. Karachi, Pakistan. 12 January 2015. , Retrieved 28 Jan 2016
  2. ^ "About Faraz". Ahmad Faraz Trust. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  3. ^ http://allpoetry.com/Ahmad-Faraz, Ahmad Faraz 'Profile', allpoetry.com website, Retrieved 28 Jan 2016
  4. ^ http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/national/26-Aug-2008/ahmed-faraz-poet-of-love-and-defiance[permanent dead link], Ahmad Faraz, poet of love and defiance, published 26 Aug 2008, Retrieved 28 Jan 2016
  5. ^ a b "سلسلے توڑ گیا وہ سبھی جاتے جاتے". BBC.co.uk. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 2016-01-28. , BBC Urdu.com website, Retrieved 28 Jan 2016
  6. ^ "Hilal-e-Pakistan for Ahmed Faraz". The Nation (Pakistan). 11 November 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c "Ahmed Faraz, Outspoken Urdu Poet". New York Times. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  8. ^ http://www.siliconeer.com/past_issues/2007/siliconeer_september_2007.html#Anchor--CULTU-22201, Ahmad Faraz 'Profile', published Sep 2007, Retrieved 28 Jan 2016
  9. ^ http://www.ahmadfaraztrust.org/about_faraz.html, Biography of Ahmad Faraz, Retrieved 28 Jan 2016
  10. ^ "Ahmad Faraz's Interview". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-29. , Retrieved 28 Jan 2016
  11. ^ "Ahmad Faraz in 'critical condition' in a U.S. hospital". Daily Times (Pakistan). 21 Jul 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2016. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Ahmad Faraz laid to rest". Gulf News. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  13. ^ Shehr-e-Sukhan Arasta Hai
  14. ^ alifseye, Ahmed Faraz Poetry, November 16, 2016

External links[edit]