Faiz Ahmad Faiz, 1911-1984

Faiz was one of Pakistan’s most famous poets, intellectual and a prominent Marxist. In July 1977 General Zia ul Haq seized power in Pakistan through a coup.

Hum Dekhenge was written in Urdu in 1979. It is considered Faiz’s response to General Zia ul Haq’s repressive dictatorship and a critical commentary of Zia’s brand of authoritarian Islam. Faiz ended up being  imprisoned by Zia.

It was then famously sung by Iqbal Bano at a Lahore stadium full of 50,000 people, wearing a black sari in defiance of Zia’s ban on the sari. Zia had banned the sari as an un-Islamic dress, as it was considered an attire of the Hindu India.

Here are the lyrics in Hindi and translation in English.

हम देखेंगे
लाज़िम है कि हम भी देखेंगे
वो दिन के जिसका वादा है

जो लोह-ए-अज़ल में लिख्खा है
जब ज़ुल्म-ओ-सितम के कोह-ए-गरां
रुई की तरह उड़ जाएँगे
हम महक़ूमों के पाँव-तले
ये धरती धड़-धड़ धड़केगी
और अहल-ए-हक़म के सर-ऊपर
जब बिजली कड़-कड़ कड़केगी
जब अर्ज-ए-ख़ुदा के काबे से
सब बुत उठवाए जाएँगे
हम अहल-ए-सफ़ा, मरदूद-ए-हरम
मसनद पे बिठाए जाएँगे
सब ताज उछाले जाएँगे
सब तख़्त गिराए जाएँगे

बस नाम रहेगा अल्लाह का
जो ग़ायब भी है हाज़िर भी
जो मंज़र भी है नाज़िर भी
उट्ठेगा अन-अल-हक़ का नारा
जो मैं भी हूँ और तुम भी हो
और राज़ करेगी खुल्क-ए-ख़ुदा
जो मैं भी हूँ और तुम भी हो

हम देखेंगे

We shall witness
It is certain that we too, shall witness
the day that has been promised
of which has been written on the slate of eternity

When the mountains of torment and tyranny
are blown away like cotton in wind.

Under our feet- the feet of the oppressed-
the earth shall shiver and tremble violently
and lightning will smite the head of our tormentors;

From the abode of God
When those on pedestals will be removed;

Then the faithful we; we who have been barred out of sacred places
will be elevated to our inalienable legacy.

Every crown will be flung,
And all thrones brought down.

Only His name will remain; He
who is both unseen and omnipresent; He
who is both the vision and the beholder.

When the clarion call of ‘I am Truth’
(the truth that is me and the truth that is you)
will ring out, all God’s creatures will rule,
those like me and those like you.

And we shall witness it.

Shams Tabrizi and Rumi

Picture: Shams Tabrizi and Rumi with the Dervishes

Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, born in 1207 was a Persian poet, an Islamic dervish and a Sufi mystic. He is regarded as one of the greatest spiritual masters and poetical intellects.

His poems of love and ecstasy are beloved by millions of readers in America—he is often described as “the best-selling poet in America.” His poems have been translated to several languages around the world and are a favorite reading at weddings.

He has been compared to Shakespeare for his creativity and Saint Francis of Assisi for his spiritual wisdom. Rumi underwent a remarkable midlife transformation when he met the itinerant mystic Shams of Tabriz, who encouraged him to reorient from a path of knowledge and life as a respected Muslim teacher, preacher, and jurist, to a path of love and of the heart by including music, poetry, and the whirling dance as part of his spiritual practice. When Shams of Tabriz disappeared, Rumi coped with the pain of separation by composing joyous poems of reunion, both human and divine. The great legacy of Rumi over the centuries has been as an interfaith icon, as he articulated the notion of “religion of love,” and wrote that “Since we worship the one God, then all religions must be same.”

Rumi was a refugee and migrant for most of his life. His family escaped their home in present-day Afghanistan, which was destroyed by the invading Genghis Khan and the Mongols. He acquired poetic and spiritual wisdom during a time of great turmoil in Central Asia.

Remarkably at his funeral in Turkey in 1273, the procession included singers and dancers, traditional chantings from the Quran as well as Christian priests chanting the Gospel and Jewish rabbis reciting Psalms.


Neil Diamond was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, to a Jewish family. His grandparents were immigrants: on his father’s side they came from Poland, and on his mother’s side from Russia.

This is one of my favorite song of his.

We’ve been traveling far
Without a home
But not without a star
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They’re coming to America
Never looking back again
They’re coming to America

Home, don’t it seem so far away
Oh, we’re traveling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we’ll say our grace
Freedom’s light burning warm
Freedom’s light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They’re coming to America
Every time that flag’s unfurled
They’re coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They’re coming to America
Got a dream they’ve come to share
They’re coming to America

They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today

My country ’tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing
Of thee I sing

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