Remembering Mahirul Qadri: A Poet par Excellence

Remembering Mahirul Qadri: A Poet par Excellence
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BANI UMER

Mahir ul 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 films, but later he left the cinema world because he loved literature and certain values more than anything else.
When British India was divided into two states just like other writers and poets, Mahir ul Qadri also migrated to the newly formed state of Pakistan, and there he started his own Urdu journal namely “Faaraan” from Karachi which came to acquire a healthy reputation within no time.
When progressive writers especially Marxists were committed to their ideologies and had their philosophy of loyalty, the followers of Syed Mawdudi, the founder of Jamat-e- Islami started writing against this motion. Let me mention here about Shanawaz Farooqui , a well known Urdu columnist. He says Mawdudi himself founded an Islamic Adab movement against so called “progressive” writers movement and poets, and writers associated with this movement gave some masterpieces to Urdu literature by following the precepts given by Syed Mawdudi.
Mahir ul Qadri was the ace of the prominent writers among those who one can say acted as a one man army against the “progressive” writers movement. As Rouf Parekh writes “Mahir ul Qadri had been opposing them and their philosophy even in the pre-independence days.” Having migrated 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 some principles. You may or may not agree with Mahir’s principles, but you have to admit that he had some principle-based policies and followed them 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.
The great poet writer not only penned down ghazals and nazms but he has a unique place in the field of Naatiya poetry. His “ Kuch Kufur Nai Fitney Phlayai ” and Salam Uss Par Kay Jisney Baikason Ki Dast-giri ki ” are those Naats on account of which of Mahir achieved fame in the literary sphere. His nazm “ Quran Ki Firyaad” is a masterpiece.
Mahir ul Qadri wrote on various topics; that is why he is recognized as a respectable poet, reviewer, critic, biographer, and novelist. He published more than twenty books that have been read with interest over time. Some of his works are: 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.
Being a literature student I still call up those poems and poets, which I read when I was studying in Falah-E-Aam Trust school . It was in this school, I first time heard the name of poets like Nayeem Siddiqui, Hafeez Merathi, Abu Mujahid Zahid and Mahir ul Qadri. I love re-reading those of his poems and naats.
This great poet and writer left this world due to heart failure while participating in a mushaira in Jeddah on 12 May, 1978
No doubt Mahir was a religious poet, but just like the “progressive writers” who followed particular ideologies, his writings also deserve attention in today’s literary field. He can’t be ignored because of his religious bent. He has written beyond religion also. Not only Mahir there are other poets and writers like Nayeem Siddiqui, Aamir Usmani, Hafeez Meerthi, and Naseem Hijazi who too deserve our attention not exclusively in Pakistan but also in the whole subcontinent.

The author is studying at the University of Kashmir and can be reached at: at baniumer@gmail.com

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