Mahirul Qadri: One man army against progressive left
Being a literature student I still call up those poems which I read when I was studying in a school under the aegis of Falah e Aam Trust. It was in this school, I first time heard the names of poets like Nayeem Siddiqui, Hafeez Meerthi, Abu Mujahid Zahid and Mahirul Qadri. During those days Mahirul Qadri was my most favourite Poet. I still recall these verses of Mahirul Qadri
Kuch Kufr Nai Fitnai Phailaye
Kuch Zulm Nai Shole Bhadkayai
Senou Mai Adawat Jaag Uthi
Insaan Se Insaan Takrayai.
Jab Zulm O Sitam Hadd Sa Guzrai
Tashreef Muhammed(saw) Lea Ayai
Mahirul Qadri, whose real name was Manzoor Hussain, was a writer, poet and novelist. He was born on 30 July, 1906, in Bulandshahar district of Uttar Pradesh. He passed his matriculation examination from Aligarh Muslim University and started working with a well-known journal called “Medina” published from Bijnaur. He also got involved with the editing of several other newspapers. In 1943, when Mahir migrated from Hyderabad to Mumbai, he started composing songs for movies, but later he left this profession because he loved litrature and certain values more than anything else. When Indian subcontinent was partitioned between India and Pakistan, likewise many other writers and poets Mahirul Qadri also migrated to the newly formed state Pakistan where from he started his own Urdu journal namely “Faaraan” from Karachi which came to acquire a healthy reputation for itself within no time.
When progressive writers rather Marxists were committed to other ideologies and had their own philosophy of loyalty, the followers of the Syed Moududi, founder of Jamat e Islami started writing against this motion. Shanawaz Farooqui, a well known Urdu columnist says, “Moulana Maududi himself founded Islamic Adab Movement against progressive writers’ movement and poets. Writers associated with this movement gave some masterpieces to Urdu Literature by following the precepts given by Syed Maududi.” Mahirul Qadri was the ace among the prominent writers. One can say he acted as one man army against the Progressive Writers Movement. As Rouf Parekh writes, “Mahirul Qadri had been opposing them and their philosophy even during the Pre-Independence days. After migrating to Pakistan in 1947, Mahir Sahib picked up his relentless ideological pursuit, a war on progressivism from where he had left it in India.” He launched his own monthly ‘Faaraan’ from Karachi and strictly followed the given principles. You may or may not agree to Mahir’s principles, but you have to admit that he had some principle-based policies which he followed sincerely. ‘Faaraan’ was not merely a literary magazine but a vehicle that carried certain moral and Islamic values and reflected certain aspects of traditional Islamic culture. Mahir-ul-Qadri was not a man but a movement unto himself.
Mahirul Qadri not only penned down Ghazal, Nazm but he has a unique place in the field of Naatiya Poetry. His “Kuch Kufur Nai Fitnai Phlayai”, “Salam Us Par Ki’ Jis Nai” are those Naats which earned fame in the literary sphere. His Nazm “Quran Ki Firyaad” is still numbered as a masterpiece of writing from the pen of Mahir.
Mahirul Qadri wrote on various topics and that is why he is recognised as a respectable Poet, Reviewer, Critic, Biographer, and Novelist. He published more than twenty books that have been read with interest over the time. Some of his works include, Aatish-e-Khamosh, Shiraaza, Mehsoosat-e-Mahir, Naghmaat-e-Mahir, Jazbaat-e-Mahir, Karvan-e-Hijaz, Zakhm-o-Marham, Yaad-e-Raftagaan, Firdaus, Tilism-e-Hayaat.
This great Poet and writer left this world due to heart failure while participating in a mushaira in Jeddah on 12 May, 1978
At last I would like to end this write up with these words. No doubt Mahir was a religious poet, but just like the progressive writers who followed particular ideology, his writings also deserve attention in today’s litrary field. He cannot be ignored just because he was a religious poet. He has written beyond religion also. Not only Mahir there are other poets and writers like Nayeem Siddiqui, Aamir Usmani, Hafeez Mirthi, Naseem Hijazi who also deserve our attention not exclusively in Pakistan but also in the whole subcontinent.
Author is studying at University of Kashmir and can be mailed at email@example.com.
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