Abdul Khaliq Khaleeq

Abdul Khaliq Khaleeq

Dr Sher Zaman Taizi

            Khaleeq Sahib (1313 AH = 1895 – 26 Jan 1978 (Thursday), as generally known, was not only a good poet and writer but a well known freedom fighter and famous publisher also. Practicing homeopathy at home for quite some time, he moved to Peshawar city and opened Idara-i-Isha'at-i-Sarhad which published many valuable old and new books of Pashto. In this shop and business he attracted the recognised poets and writers to a platform, and asserted his own position as a good writer, also.
            Pushto was saturated with poetry. Prose was just nominal. Even books of religious stories and problems, and the folklore, which had flooded the market in those days, were composed in poetry, mostly in form of masnavi. Abdul Khaliq Khaleeq and his literary friends felt this lacuna and tried their best to popularize prose-writing. Khaleeq himself wrote short stories, light essays and dramas.
            Abdul Khaliq Khaleeq son of Hafiz Abdul Haq was Khattak by tribe. He was born at Manki, when this "holy" village was the centre of pilgrims from far and near to pay homage to their "Pir of Manki Sharif". He got his early education at home from his father and mother and then learned Persian and Arabic from different teachers. He also learned homeopathy from certain homeopaths and opened a clinic at his home village in 1917.
            Khaleeq was a talented poet. He developed immense love with his language which urged him to give up his profession and take up the risky responsibility of service to Pashto language. In 1930, he wrote a drama Khudai Khidmatgar. When Khan Abdul Ghaffar listened to that, he invited Khaleeq to assume office of the editor of the weekly Pukhtun. That was what for which he was cherishing desire and hope. He took up and executed the job excellently until 1947. This magazine, proscribed intermittently, had marked a bold role in development and promotion of Pashto literature.
            Khaleeq founded the Pashto Adabi Jargah at Nowshera in 1933 and was elected its president. This Jargah also played concrete role in advancement of Pashto literature. Some of the leading writers and poets of Pashto such as Said Rasul Rasa, Samandar Khan Samandar, Dr Anwarul Haq and Maulvi Abdul Hanan Hami were attached to this Jargah.
            In 1938, Khaleeq was inducted as a member in the textboard committee which was preparing Pashto books for schools. He was the one who was publishing those books also. In 1947, he moved from his village to Peshawar and opened the publishing agency, and the book shop, in the name of Idara-i-Isha'at-i-Sarhad in the Afghan building of Qissa Khani bazaar. It was another milestone in the history of Pashto literature which made publication of old and new Pashto books possible and accelerated the pace of promotion and propagation of the language.
            This agency, established and run by a devotee, earned the prestige of publishing some unforgettable works such as Da Pukhtano Tareekh of Qazi Attaullah in four volumes, Kulyat-i-Khushhal Khan Khattak with the famous preface by Dost Mohammad Khan Kamil, Rahman Baba, Khushhal Khan Khattak of DMK, Kamil Divan-i-Sikandar Khan Khattak, Pukhtane Shua'ra, Zafrul Lughaat of Bahadur Shah Zafar Kaka Khel, Da Baidiya Guloona of Said Rasul Rasa, Syed Jamaluddin Afghani of Fazal Haq Shaida, Shahida Sakina, Khozh Zhwandoon and Da Azadae Jang of Khaleeq, Shaagh'lay Pushtun, Leet au Laar, Da Quran Zhara of Samandar Khan Samandar.
            Abdul Khaliq Khaleeq was one of the lieutenants of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in the Khudai Khidmatgar movement and had to suffer not only financial losses but imprisonment also.
            Khaleeq was a history, a society, an institution in his person, and a competent leader of the young generation. He used to say that he listened to the folklore and religious stories in Pashto verse from his mother. He was 9-year old when he listened to the pathetic elegies sung by the diehard followers of the Pir of Manki Sharif on his death. That moved him to write poetry, and aroused his consciousness to develop love for his language. He himself wrote an elegy, when he was only 13, on the death of Sahibzada Abdul Qayum which was appreciated by the people and he was encouraged to compose poetry.
            Khaleeq was a compassionate writer. He remembered that in 1934, a few considerate MPAs tabled a bill that the Pakhtun women should be given the religious right of heritage and the law of riwaj (traditions) be repealed. Khaleeq was also a witness to a gloomy and woeful affair. A man received all the properties of his wealthy father in heritage. He was a notorious bad character. His only sister was a good person, famous for her good nature and character. But she got nothing of the legacy. And then, the brother pushed her out of the home. That moved Khaleeq to write his famous drama Shahida Sakina.
            As a good writer and poet, he had composed a good quantity of works in prose and verse. His three books - Shahida Sakina and Khozh Zhwandoon and Da Azadae Jang - have been published in book form. The first two are dramas and the third an eye-witness account of the freedom fight in which the author himself was taking part. Besides, his many articles and poems have been published in Pukhtun, Azad Pakhtun, Zalmay Pakhtun, Nan Paroon, Laar, Rahbar and Dauran.
            Khaleeq was not an idle poet and parasite person. He was a hard worker, a man of thought and action, and had put experiences and hardships of his life in his works. The literary works of Khaleeq are considered excellent in construction, forms and styles, and rich in meaning, reflecting a clear picture of the situation and conditions of the time.
            A poem of Khaleeq had appeared in the monthly Aslam for June 1951 in which he has stressed the importance of the mother tongue and emphasised that it should be introduced as the medium of instruction at the primary level education. It was not only that poetic urge but the movement of Khudai Khidmatgars with which he was affiliated had done so in the schools opened and run by them as a part of their programme of awakening the Pukhtuns. Following is reproduced that poem with its rough English translation.
I feel poison in the aliens' pot of the water of life,
And witchcraft in the charisma of alien languages.
I, snake-bitten, would not recover with the antidote from Iraq,
I feel healthy when I look at my own snake-charmer.
O, healer, give a dose of life to my language, if you like,
I feel my life in the life of my language.
Pashto is the language of thousands of tribes,
Now I see it orphan in its own country, in plains and in Swat.
 Those who are forced to write and read others' languages,
are the unlucky Pukhtuns among the creatures.
Every nation receives primary education in its own language,
But the Pakhtun child is subjected to trouble.
He is given education in such a language,
Which is not known to any one of my villages.
Since the alien language is the medium of instruction,
He is, therefore, ignorant of the skills.
He may be the scholar of Arabic and English,
But illiterate in Pashto (his own language).
O, Pakhtun, if you like honour in your life-time,
And I, too, see some spirit of progress in your person.
Then rise to serve and promote Pashto,
Otherwise your end would be miserable.


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