FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ
Faiz Ahmad Faiz- the most eminent and well-known modern Urdu poet was born to a noble and educated family in Sialkot of pre-partition Punjab on February 13, 1911. Faiz's father was learned man and friend to many literary figures, including Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal.Thus Faiz grew up in a literary environment. Faiz started his formal education by learning Urdu, Persian and Arabic in the famous madrassa of Moulvi Muhammad Ibrahim Mir Sialkoti. Later on he was admitted to Scotch Mission School, Sialkot and did his matriculation from there. He then attended Murray College, Sialkot and completed his graduation. During this period he learned Arabic from illustrious scholar Shams-ul-Ullamah Syed Mir Hasan. He then moved to Lahore, did his masters in English literature from Government College Lahore and masters in Arabic from Oriental College. Faiz started his practical carrier as teacher; he joined M.A.O College Amritsar as English lecturer in 1935 and then taught at Haley College of Commerce, Lahore. Faiz started a branch of 'Progressive Writers Movement ( Anjuman Tarraqi Pasand Mussanafin)' in Punjab in 1936. Faiz was also an Editor of Monthly Adab-e-Lateef (1938-1942 AD). Faiz has already established himself as an Urdu poet in literary circles and published first volume of poetry, Naqsh-e-Faryadi in 1941,which was well-received by poetry lovers. He briefly joined the British Indian Army during second world war and was promoted to the rank of Lieut. Colonel in 1944. He resigned from the Army in 1947 and returned to Lahore to become the first editor in chief of the Pakistan Times, a paper started by Mian Iftikharuddin under Jinnah's patronage. This paper played an important role in partition. In 1959 he was appointed as Secretary, Pakistan Arts Council and worked in that capacity till 1962. Faiz was an avowed communist and was associated with Communist Party in Pakistan. Faiz spent much of the 1950s and 1960s promoting the cause of communism in Pakistan. At that time Faiz was editor of 'The Pakistan Times', one of the leading newspapers of 50s. Due to his leftist ideas, opposition to the government and military dictators, Faiz spent several years in prison and was forced to go into exile at different times in his career . In 1951 Faiz and a
number of army officers were implicated in the so-called Rawalpindi Conspiracy case and arrested under Safety Act. The government authorities alleged that Faiz and others were planning a coup d'etat. He spent four years in prison under a sentence of death and was released in 1955. Second and third volume of Faiz's poetry were published during his imprisonment Dast-e-Saba 1952-53 and Zindan Nama, 1956.both of these collections were politically motivated, and include some of his most famous poems based on his prison experiences. Faiz describes his life behind the walls, in confinement, finding consolation in the thought that "though tyrants may command that lamps be smashed / in rooms where lovers are destined to meet / they cannot snuff out the moon..." (from 'A Prison Evening') His tone is introspective along the conventions of ghazal, the favorite form of traditional Urdu
poetry. Returning from exile in 1964 he settled down in Karachi and worked as Principal at Abdullah Haroon College. Faiz distinguished himself as a journalist and was editor of the Pakistan Times, the Urdu newspaper Imroze and the weekly Lail-o-Nihar. In the 1965 war between India & Pakistan he worked in an honorary capacity in the Department of Information. During his exile he acted as Editor of the magazine Lotus in Moscow, London and Beirut. As a socialist Faiz Ahmad Faiz rejected the notion of "art for art's sake". He was a "committed" poet who used his simple verses to probe not only beauty and love but also humanism and justice. His imprisonment was evident in more than his two collections of poems written during his political detention. In spite of his Marxist beliefs, Faiz did not
burden his poems with ideological rhetoric. He fused classic traditional forms of poetry with new symbols derived from Western political ideas. He effectively used his verses to elucidate communist ideas of social equality and justice. Faiz was a nominee for the Nobel Prize in 1984 and in 1963 was the first Asian poet to win the Lenin Peace Prize. He recorded for the Library of Congress in 1977 which has fifty two works by him. Faiz died in 1984, his death was a great loss to Urdu literary world. Faiz's contribution to the Urdu poetry has been paramount. Faiz was a genius in real sense. He was a true revolutionary who has devoted his life to uphold the cause of humanity and social indiscrimination. Faiz is one of the modern Urdu poets whose work has been translated into many different languages of world. He is being read and appreciated all over the world.