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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.
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
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.
"The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die"
– Haji Ali to Greg Mortensen (p.150)
This is one of the most inspiring book I have read. Its the life story of one American, Greg Mortenson, and his quest to build schools in the most dangerous and remote regions of Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan. This one man saw the importance of education, especially for girls, and how it is needed to bring peace and a future to areas that are ignored but a hot bed for strife and unrest, especially in these times.
He has so far build 50 schools in that region. A really amazing feat! Here are some of his words of wisdom –
- The happiest people are those who serve others.
- If we educate a boy, we educate an individual. If we educate a girl, we educate a community.
- When your heart speaks, take good notes.
- The real enemy we all face–in Africa, in America, in Asia–is ignorance, and ignorance precedes hatred.
- If God is on anyone’s side, he’s on the side of the refugees, the orphans, the widows, the 78,000 wounded war veterans.
If anyone deserves to win the Nobel Peace Prize, it is this man with his efforts to unite the world through education and female literacy. It is a truly remarkable story that will change your perspective on what goals you see as attainable.