Faiz Ahmed Faiz - Pakistani Poet and one of the most famous Poets of the Urdu Language

Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911–1984) ) was a renowned Pakistani poet, and one of the most famous poets of the Urdu language. He was a member of the Anjuman Tarraqi Pasand Mussanafin-e-Hind (All India Progressive Writers' Movement) and an avowed Marxist. In 1962, he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union.

Early life

Faiz Ahmed Faiz was born in Kala Kader village, Sialkot in Punjab in British India to Sultan Mohammad Khan and his youngest wife Fatima.
Following the Muslim tradition in South Asia, at an early age Faiz was sent to the Masjid (Mosque) to be oriented to the basics of religious studies by Maulvi Muhammad Ibrahim Mir Sialkoti. He went on to the Scotch Mission School, Sialkot, for academic education and after matriculation joined Murray College, Sialkot, Punjab for intermediate study and graduation. His most influential teachers were Professor Yousuf Saleem Chishti, who taught Urdu, and Shams-ul-Ullamah Syed Mir Hasan, who taught Arabic. Hasan had also taught the renowned philosopher, poet, and politician of South Asia, Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal. Faiz acquired a post-graduate degree from the Government College, Lahore, a Master of Arts in English Literature, and he also attended the Oriental College in Lahore, where he obtained another master's degree in Arabic Literature.


Faiz started a branch of Progressive Writers' Movement in Punjab in 1936. Also he was a Member and Secretary of this branch. He was also an Editor of Mahanama (Monthly). Faiz became a lecturer in English at M. A. O. College, Amritsar in 1935 and then at Hailey College of Commerce, Lahore. He briefly joined the British Indian Army 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, In 1959 he was appointed as Secretary, Pakistan Arts Council and worked in that capacity till 1962.

Return to Pakistan

Returning from London in 1964 he settled down in Karachi and was appointed 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 and during that period Faiz was very much close to the senior officers, like Syed Fakhruddin Balley. In exile he acted as Editor of the magazine Lotus in Moscow, London and Beirut.
Faiz wrote poems that opposed the bloodshed during separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.


In a certain period of his life, Faiz was a communist and was associated with the Communist Party of Pakistan. He spent much of the 1950s and 1960s promoting the cause of communism in Pakistan. During the time when Faiz was editor of the Pakistan Times, one of the leading newspapers of the 1950s, he lent editorial support to the party. He was also involved in the circle lending support to military personnel (e.g.Major General Akbar Khan. His involvement with the party and Major General Akbar Khan's coup plan lead to his imprisonment later.

Personal life

In the 1930s Faiz Ahmed Faiz married a British woman, Alys Faiz. They had two daughters, Moneeza and Salima Hashmi. Salima is an eminent artist and Moneeza is a TV producer. Salima and Moneeza are married to brothers Shoaib Hashmi and Humair Hashmi respectively, who are noted media personalities.


Faiz was the first Asian poet to receive the Lenin Peace Prize, awarded by the Soviet Union in 1963. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize shortly before his death in 1984.


Post a Comment


free counters