Urdu Acadmy
on YouTube

Picture Gallerynew


Books & Articles on Urdu Literature

UA Banner-F


September 19, 2010

Urdu Academy pays tribute to Akbar Allahabadi
and Hafeez Hoshiarpuri

The Urdu Academy of North America held its monthly literary event on September 19, 2010 at the Chandni Restaurant, Newark, CA. The event was dedicated to the life and work of two prominent Urdu poets, namely Akbar Allahabadi and Hafeez Hoshiarpuri.UA 9-19-2010 10

Dr Nirmal Mann presided over the event while Dr. Ghazala Ansari was the chief guest of the program. Interestingly, this event was combined with the PADF Literary Circle’s program on the life and work of Faridud Deen Attar and Jalaluddin Rumi.

Dr. Ghazala Ansari, who served as MC for the first session of the program, presented a well researched paper on the life and work of Akbar Allahabadi.

Akabar Allahabadi who was born in 1845 as Syed Akbar Hussain Rizvi at Allahabad , India. Though initially educated only in madrasas (religious school), he later studied law and finally retired as a session judge in Allahabad High Court. He lived through tumultuous times, which is evident in his poetry, witnessing the first war of independence in 1857 and the First World War. He passed away in 1921.                                            (Picture shows from left: Dr. Nirman Mann, Dr. Ghazala Ansari and Tashie Zaheer.)

Akbar is the pioneer in the field of humor and sarcasm; before him there were only serious poets who occasionally had one or two verses of that kind in their ghazals. For Akbar humor was not only a style but an instrument to clearly understand the social change. He conveys his message in his own original style without losing the humorous feel. He desired to inform the Muslims of the negative impacts of western civilization.

Akbar had great understanding and control of the Urdu language. He used simple language with very effective use. He also used English words in his poetry with interesting results, which was also to make fun of the Hindustanis who pretend to be British; a subculture that had thrived in the era of Akbar.UA 9-19-2010 4

Another aspect of his poetry is the strict criticism of so called religious figures who damaged the dignity of Islam by playing double standards. His poetry is the mouth piece of the modern culture at that time and clearly portrays his indepth knowledge with what was happened and the transition in cultural values.

Some of Akbar Allahabadi’s verses have become proverbs, such as:

Khuda Bakhshe Buhut See Khoobiyaan Thein Marne Wale Me

Among those who amused the audience with the recitation of Akbar Allahabadi’s humorous poetry included: Naseer Humayoun, Abdulrazzak Adenwala, Asim Bajwa, Mukesh Kackar and Abdus Sattar Ghazali.

(Picture shows from left: Arshad Rashid, Dr. Nirman Mann and Dr. Ghazala Ansari. Abdulrazzak Adenwala is seen reading poetry.)

Hafeez Hoshiarpuri

The second session of the monthly literary meeting was dedicated to the life and work of Hafeez Hoshiarpuri. Arshad Rashid served as MC of this session. He also presented an interesting paper on the life and work of the well known poet.

During the later half of the previous century two poets with the same name made their debut in Urdu poetry, Hafeez Jullandhri and Hafeez Hoshiarpuri.     

Born as Abdul Hafeez Saleem in Hoshiarpur India in 1912,he later became famous as Hafeez Hoshiarpuri.

He studied philosophy in Government college Lahore with N M Rashid & Faiz Ahmed Faiz as his college fellows. He was well versed in Urdu, Persian, Sindhi and Punjabi..

Hafeez Hoshiarpuri grew up at a time when Urdu poetry was under the sway  of modernization but he chose ghazal as a medium of expression, which was most suited for his temperament. He believed that ghazal can be accommodative to all we want to say in a suggestive way.

With this belief during the years of partition he suspended his romantic poetry and turned his attention to the sorrows and sufferings caused by Hindu-Muslim riots and the consequent migration.

Hafeez Hoshiarpuri died in Karachi in 1973. He was a perfectionist & probably this was the reason his poetry was not published in his life-time and was later published by his friends as MAQM E GHAZAL.

The following literary enthusiasts presented Hafeez  Hoshiarpuri’s poetry: Arvin Kumar, Misbah Rehman, Abdulrazzak Adenwala, Asim Bajwa, Mukesh Kackar, Naseer Humayoun, and Abdus Sattar Ghazali.

Jalaluddin Rumi

Earlier Chaudhry Ashraf and Dr. Agha Saeed spoke about the message and philosophy of Jalaluddin Rumi and Faridud Deen Attar.

Rumi's major work is the Masnavi, a six-volume poem considered by many to be one of the greatest works of mystical poetry. It contains approximately 27000 lines of Persian poetry.

The Masnavi weaves fables, scenes from everyday life, Qur’anic revelations and exegesis, and metaphysics into a vast and intricate tapestry.

In the Masnavi, Rumi describes in detail the universal message of love:

Lover's nationality is separate from all other religions,
The lover's religion and nationality is the Beloved (God).

The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes
Love is the astrolabe of God's mysteries.

See More Pictures