Faiz Ahmad Faiz was a Pakistan-based author and poet who wrote in Punjabi and Urdu. He was among Pakistan’s most famous Urdu writers. Outside literature Ahmed has been regarded as ‘a person of considerable experience,’ having worked as a teacher, military officer, trade unionist, broadcaster, and journalist.
After four years in prison, he was released and went on to be a prominent member of Anjuman Taraqi Pasand Musanafin-e-Hind and later an assistant to the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto before self-exiling to Beirut. This article summarizes all the information about him, including Faiz Ahmad Faiz Biography.
|Name:||Faiz Ahmad Faiz|
|In Urdu:||فیض احمد فیض|
|Famous As:||TV Host|
|Education:||Arabic literature B.A., MA English Literature Master of Arts|
|Profession:||Poet and Journalist|
|Notable works:||Naqsh-e-Faryadi Dast-e-Sabah Zindan-nama|
|Literary movement:||Progressive Writers’ Movement Communist Party of Pakistan|
|Alma mater:||Murray College at Sialkot Government College University Punjab University|
|Ethnicity :||Punjabi (Jat)|
|Language:||Punjabi Russian English Urdu Arabic Persian|
|Awards :||MBE (1946) Nigar Awards (1953) Lenin Peace Prize (1962) HRC Peace Prize Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1990)Avicenna Prize (2006)|
|Date:||13 February 1911|
|Children:||Salima (b. 1942) Muneeza (b. 1945)|
|Date:||20 November 1984|
|Rest Place:||Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan|
Table of Contents
Faiz Ahmad Faiz Biography
Despite spending a restless and simple life, his work, poetry, and political beliefs became immortal, calling him Pakistan’s “greatest poet.” He remained a famous and prominent character in Pakistan’s literary growth, including drama, theatre adaptations, and arts. He received the ‘Lenin Peace Award’ in 1962, which improved Pakistan’s relations with the Soviet Union that had been adversarial and hostile with Pakistan at the time.
The Lenin Peace Prize helped raise his international profile even more. It also drew the Soviet Union and Pakistan closer together, opening up opportunities for the people of both countries to improve their lives.
The majority of his works have been translated into Russian. He was one of Pakistan’s most renowned poets, with his work regarded as the backbone of the country’s arts, literature, poetic growth. He is known as the “Poet of the East” alongside Allama Iqbal.
Faiz Date of Birth
He opened his eyes on 13th Feb 1911 into a Jutt family in Kala Qader (now Faiz Nagar), Narowal District, British India.
Education of Faiz
He was raised in a secular Islamic tradition, despite the fact that all the members of his family were staunch Muslims. His family instructed him to acquire Islamic knowledge at the local Mosque. Maintaining the Muslim custom, he learned Arabic, Urdu, Quran, and Persian.
His father eventually removed him from Islamic education when Faiz, who attended a Religious school for few days, realized that the underprivileged children there were uncomfortable with him and mocked him; despite his efforts to keep them comfortable, Faiz used to go to the Madrassa dressed neatly and in a horse-drawn buggy, while the pupils were from poor families and sat on the ground on straw mats.
In the book ‘Faiznama,’ his companion Dr. Ayub remembers that Faiz returned home and informed his father that he would not attend Madrassa. His father enrolled him at the Scotch Mission School that was administered by a British family. He got admission to Murray College, Sialkot, for intermediate studies after matriculation.
In 1926, he took admission to the Languages & Fine Arts department at Government College Lahore. During his stay at Government College Lahore, he got influenced by and Professor Bukhari. Professor Hassan was also the teacher of a well-known South Asian philosopher, politician, and poet Dr. Allama Iqbal.
Faiz completed his graduation in the Arabic language in 1926, under the guidance of Professor Mir Hasan. He took admission at GC’s post-graduate program in 1930 and earned an MA degree in 1932 in English literature. He graduated from Oriental College of Punjab University in 1932 with a master’s in Arabic and cleared his post-graduate examination in the first division the same year.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz Family
He belonged to a well-known academic family. His house was frequently the site of meetings of authors and local poets who came together to promote the literacy campaign in his home province. Ahmad’s father, Sultan Khan, worked as a Barrister in British Government and a self-taught person who authored. He belonged to a well-known academic family.
In 1941 he got in love with a British national, Alys Faiz, who was getting an education at GCU (Government College University), where he taught poetry. The wedding ceremony was arranged in Srinagar, whereas the nikah took place in Pari Mahal. The couple stayed in the building now used as Government College for Women situated at M.A. Road.
His host at that time was M D Taseer, who was working as a college principal, and later tied the knot with Alys’ sister Christobel. Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad, Ghulam Muhammad Sadiq, & Sheikh Abdullah were present at his nikkah ceremony.
While Alys chose to become a Pakistani citizen, she was an active member of the CPP (Communist Party of Pakistan) and played a pivotal part in the Rawalpindi Conspiracy when she united the communist masses. The couple had two daughters Moneeza and Salima.
As a Lecturer
He began working as a lecturer in British and English literature at Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College situated in Amritsar in 1935. After accepting the post of professor at the Hailey College of Commerce in 1937, he went to Lahore to live with his family, initially teaching courses on commerce and economics.
He joined PWM, a literary movement, in 1936, and his colleague Marxist Sajad Zaheer named him as its 1st secretary. The movement got widespread support among civil society in both East & West Pakistan. He started working as editor-in-chief of an Urdu magazine “Adab-e-Latif, in 1938 and remained there until 1946. In 1941, he published his 1st literary work, “Naqsh-e-Faryaadi,” and in 1947, he became a member of the PAC (Pakistan Arts Council).
He was a close friend of Yevgeny Yevtushenko, a Soviet poet. He authored eight books & garnered widespread acclaim for his literary work. Furthermore, he was a lyrical poet and a humanist whose fame spread to the Soviet Union and India. Amaresh Datta, an Indian biographer, described him to be “equally esteem in both West and East.”
His revolutionary poems highlighted the cruelty of military dictatorships, oppression, and tyranny throughout his life, and despite being blackmailed by Pakistan’s right-wing groups, he never gave up on his principles. In Urdu poetry, his writings represent a relatively new verse style centered on Western models.
Raised Voice for Socialism
He was influenced by the writings of Ghalib and Iqbal, combining modern and classical Urdu. He increased demands for socialism development in the country, believing that socialism was the only solution to the country’s issues.
Throughout his life, he was interested in wider socialist ideas, used Urdu poetry to spread socialism in Pakistan. He was influenced by Ghazals and Urdu poetry to keep his political themes peaceful and nonviolent, rejecting Pakistan’s far-right politics.
Services in Army
Faiz Ahmad Faiz was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the eighteenth Royal Garhwal Rifles in the British Indian Military on 11th May 1942. Initially appointed to the General Staff Branch as a public relations officer.
He rose quickly through the ranks to acting captain on 18th July 1942, temporary captain and war-substantive lieutenant on 1st Nov 1942, acting major on 19th Nov 1943, and temporary major and war-substantive captain on 19th Feb 1944. He was sent to the North-Western Army’s staff at the post of assistant director, public relations on 30th Dec 1944, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Resignation from Army
In the 1945 New Year Honours roll, he was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire, Military Division for his service. He was a member of a regiment headed by Akbar Khan, a future Pakistan Army general and a left-wing officer.
After the war, he stayed in the army for a brief time, rising through the ranks to interim lieutenant-colonel in 1945 to temporary lieutenant-colonel and war-substantive major on 19th Feb 1946. He chose to join the newly formed Pakistani state in 1947. He, however, decided to quit the military after seeing the 1947 Kashmir conflict with India and resigned in 1947.
Believer of Internationalism
He was a firm believer of internationalism and a proponent of the Global Village idea. He became vice-president of PTUF (Pakistan Trade Union Federation) in 1948 after becoming Pakistan Times’ editor in 1947.
In 1950, he joined PM Liaquat Ali Khan’s delegation in the US, 1st heading a business delegation at the ILO (International Labour Organization) meeting in San Francisco. He led the PTUF group in Geneva from 1948 to 1950 and became a member of the WPC (World Peace Council).
Exile and Rawalpindi Conspiracy
In 1948, the military officers of the Pakistan Armed Forces, including Jinnah, were disappointed by Liaquat’s government’s failure to seize Indian-administered Kashmir. According to one writer, Jinnah had severe doubts about Khan’s capability to maintain Pakistan’s sovereignty and integrity. Khan implemented restrictions on the Communist Party and the Pakistan Socialist Party after his return from the USA.
The Muslim League struggled for its survival in West Pakistan after Jinnah formed it. As a result, PM Liaquat Ali Khan imposed severe restrictions on the communist party and put immense pressure on it, ensuring that it was not allowed to operate fully as a political party. Left-wing military commander and CGS (Chief of General Staff) Major-General Akbar Khan planned the plot.
A secret conference was arranged at General Akbar’s residence on 23rd Feb 1951, attended by several communist officers and party members, including communist Faiz and Marxist Sajad Zaheer.
General Akbar guaranteed Zaheer and Fiaz that the communist group would be permitted to work as a legitimate political group and participate in elections, just like other political parties. According to Zafar Poshni, in 2011, ‘no agreement was made, the plan was rejected, the communists weren’t willing to accept Akbar’s words, and the attendees scattered without meeting again.’
The scheme was disrupted the next morning when one communist officer defected to the Inter-Services Intelligence, revealing the plot’s intentions. When the Prime Minister learned about the situation, he issued orders to the Military Police to make mass arrests.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz Imprisonment
He was sentenced to four years at MCJ (Montgomery Central Jail) in a military court after a trial headed by Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch officers. However, due to his powerful personality, his government continued to locate him in Central Jail Mianwali and Central Prison Karachi.
Huseyn Suhravardie, a socialist, served as his defense lawyer. His sentence was finally reduced by PM Huseyn Suhrawardy on 2nd April 1955, and he traveled for London, Great Britain, shortly after.
He returned in 1958, but President Iskander Mirza arrested him again, accusing him of disseminating pro-communist thoughts and lobbying for a pro-Moscow regime.
Returned to Pakistan
He returned to Pakistan in 1964 and resided in Karachi, where he was designated Abdullah Haroon College’s Rector. From 1959-1962, he was the secretary of the Pakistan Arts Council, and in the same year, he was appointed its vice-president.
In 1965, he was 1st named in government by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a brilliant democratic socialist who was serving as Foreign Minister under Ayub Khan’s presidency. Bhutto advocated Faiz’s appointment to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, where he worked to mobilize the people of West Pakistan to defeat India and save their motherland.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz Death
He passed away on 20th Nov 1984.
Tribute to Faiz
- Hum Daikhain Gai
- Ye Daagh Daagh
- Dard Ayega Dabay Paon
- Sheeshon ka Maseha
- Kuch Ishq Kiya Kuch Kam
- 2011 Drama Festival of Delhi Urdu Academy
- Chaand Roz Aur Meri Jan
- Jatt & Juliet