Hamza Shinwari

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Hamza Shinwari
حمزہ شينواری
Born 1907
Landi Kotal, Khyber Agency, British India (present day Pakistan)
Died February, 1994
Resting place Landi Kotal, Khyber Agency, NWFP, Pakistan
Known for Pashto and Urdu poetry
Notable work Ghazawanay, Baheer, Yoon etc.
Home town Khyber Agency/Peshawar
Parent(s) Bazmeer Khan

Ameer Hamza Shinwari (Pashto: حمزه شينواری), commonly known as Hamza Baba was a prominent Pashto-language poet.[1][2][3] He was born in Landi Kotal, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan in 1907 and died in February 1994.[4][5]

He belonged to the Shinwari tribe of the ethnic Pashtuns.

His work is considered a fusion between classic and modern poetry. He wrote classical poetry and blended it with modern innovations, as well as introducing new ideas in Pashto Ghazals. He is known as the father of Pashto Ghazals.[citation needed][6]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Khyber Agency, the fifth son of Bazmeer Khan. In 1915 he enrolled in primary school. The teacher asked him to write the Urdu alphabet (Alif, Bhe, Fei………). Instead he drew the figure of a human, displaying his artistic abilities. Because of this, the teacher beat him and he began to hate school. He went to Islamia Collegiate school in the fifth class, and started writing poetry in Urdu. He wrote many tales (Afsana). He chose Urdu because his friend told him "You can't get a good position in the Urdu language, so you must start poetry in your native tongue". Hamza did not like writing in Urdu, but he wrote in Urdu anyway. He wrote his first Pashto ghazal in 1933.

Za da yaar da makh pa shama zei da danesta swazama,
Shamei tha bha ghura hase be aqala parwa na kawei.
Zaa saa dar hada mashahoor sharab nushei kei yam,
Zam che mekhanei tha isteqbal me mekhane kawei.


He was working on the railway, and had very little money. He was given a low income certificate, leading him to quit. He went to Mumbai to work in the film industry. He failed to get work in film. He was coming through Ajmeer Sharif with his brother on basant maila. Wali Sb Nisar Ahmed with his co-Qawal was singing "Aaj Khawaja Moheen Uddin k ghar aaj easi hai basant", which inspired Hamza and he started crying. It was His turning point to Sufiism. Hamza was inspired by Mirza Khan Insari and Khushal Khan Khattak. In early 1940's his poetry was related to romanticism.

He wrote about romance with different aspects. He placed Pukhtoon culture in Ghazals. Ameer Karor was the first poet of Pashto in the tenth century CE. Before Hamza no one concentrated on Pashto ghazals. He is called the father of ghazal. As Khushal Khan did poetry related to war, but Hamza touch the side of Pukhtoon culture and love. He linked tasawuf with Ghazal. He liked Khatir's poetry. In 1957-58 he wrote the phrase: "Waye agheyar che da dhuzakh Jhaba dha, Za Hamza bha jannat ta da pukhto sara zam".

Hamza was also a critic and a playwright, producing 200 plays for Radio Pakistan, features, critical essays and research papers for different literary magazines and newspapers of Pakistan.


According to Saif Ur Rehman Saleem "I found his status, he was like sweet river some quenched their thirst, some water their fields with his knowledge. In short every one benefit with his knowledge. Syed Tahir Bukhari is Jaana sheen and khaleefa of Hamza in cheeshteya line. He got "bhait" on hand of Hamza. He has the honor of translating his two books on tassauf "Tajalleyat-e-Muhammadeya" and "Tazkera-e-Satareya" from Pashto to Urdu in 1967.

Hamza's work on Pashto ghazals included such phrases as"

  • sta pa annango ke da hamza da weeno sraa dhe
  • Ta shwe da pukhto ghazaala zwan za dhe baba kram

Personal life[edit]

Hamza lived in Landi Kotal. His home was in Muhalla sakhi shah Mardan. He died in February 1994 and is buried in Khyber Agency.


  1. ^ Correspondent, The Newspaper's (16 July 2017). "Hamza Baba mausoleum reopened to visitors". 
  2. ^ "Writers, poets pay tribute to Hamza Baba". www.thenews.com.pk. 
  3. ^ "Swirls and twirls: Locating mysticism in Hamza Baba's work - The Express Tribune". 3 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Shinwari, Sher Alam (18 February 2017). "'Several aspects of Hamza Baba's works yet to be explored'". 
  5. ^ Shinwari, Sher Alam (19 February 2017). "Hamza Baba remembered as preacher of peace". 
  6. ^ Khan, Moxet. "Profile : Ameer Hamza Shinwari". The Peshawar. 

External links[edit]