FAIZ AHMED FAIZ | The Man Who Left Behind the Legacy of Resistance

Faiz Ahmed Faiz was born on February 13, 1911, in Sialkot, India, which is now part of Pakistan. Faiz’s early poems had been conventional, light-hearted treatises on love and beauty, but while in Lahore he began to expand into politics, community, and the thematic interconnectedness he felt was fundamental in both life and poetry.

He was a communist revolutionary poet who spoke out against the most despotic rulers in the country, including General Zia-ul-Haq’s brutal Islamist regime and General Yahya’s human right violations in Bangladesh. In the era of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, he was imprisoned under charges for being a ‘communist conspirator’ from 1951-55 in what is now known as the Rawalpindi conspiracy case.

Faiz wrote ‘Hum Dekhenge’ in response to General Zia ul Haq’s dictatorial regime; one signature moment was when popular Pakistani musician Iqbal Bano, clad in black saree, recited the poem in Lahore in 1985 to a raptured audience.

Hum Dekhenge, Hum Dekhenge,

Lazim hai hum bhi dekhenge,

Hum dekhenge

Wo din ke jiska waada hai,

Jo louh-i-azl pe likha hai,

hum dekhenge 

(We shall bear witness to the promised day written into the canvas of eternity)

Jab zulm-o-sitham ke koh-e-giran,

Rui ki tarah ud jaayenge

Hum mahkoomon ke paaon tale,

Yeh dharti dhad dhad dhadkegi

(When the gigantic hills of tyranny get blown away like cotton, the earth will shake under our (oppressed) feet)

Jab aarz-i-khuda ke kaaba se,

Sab but uthwaaye jaayenge

Hum ahl-e-safa mardood-e-haram,

Masnad pe bithaaye jaayenge

(From the house of god, all idols of falsehood will be cast out; us, the faithful, will be placed on our high thrones)

Bus naam rahega allah ka,

jo gaayab bhi hai haazir bhi

Jo manzar bhi hai naazir bhi,

uthegaa anal-haq ka naara

(Only Allah’s name will remain, both the vista and the viewer, and shouts of ‘I am the truth’ will resonate)

Jo Main Bhi Hoon, Aur Tum Bhi Ho,

Aur Raaj Karegi Khalq-E-Khuda,

Jo Main Bhi Hoon Aur Tum Bhi Ho

Hum Dekhenge. Hum Dekhenge…

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