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February 19, 2017

Writers, poets pay tribute to Hamza Baba


February 19, 2017

Sufi poet preached peace and tranquility

PESHAWAR: Writers and poets at a literary event paid glowing tributes to Sufi poet Amir Hamza Baba and hailed him as a great advocate of peace.

A literary organisation Hamza Baba Pakhto Adabi Tolana in collaboration with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture Directorate organised the event at Nishtar Hall to mark 23rd death anniversary of Hamza Baba.

Senior fiction writer and spiritual successor of Hamza Baba, Syed Tahir Bukhari said in his inaugural speech that Hamza Baba had contributed a lot to Pashto literature.

He said that Hamza Baba advocated peace, humanism and love.  Syed Tahir Bukhari said Hamza Baba launched his career by composing verses in Urdu when he was in 5th grade but on the advice of his spiritual guide, Syed Abdul Sattar Shah Bacha, he switched over to Pashto.

“We need to spread his message as he was a great figure of promoting universalism and humanism,” he stressed.  A large number of writers, poets, research scholars, intellectuals, students and fans of Hamza Baba attended the function. 

Around 30 poets paid tributes to the legendary poet while 10 scholars read out papers on different aspects of Hamza Baba’s life and services.

Research scholars pinpointed important features of the Sufi poet and hoped that young writers would further explore him in his true spirit.

Chief organizer of the event, Naveed Alam Shalmani, presented inaugural address and shed light on the aims and objectives of his organization.

Professor Zubair Hasrat, director of Pakhtunkhwa Research Centre in his paper, said that Hamza Baba pioneered many genres in Pashto from scripting first-ever Pashto movie Laila Majnoon in pre-partition era to the poetic travelogue in the modern age.  He said Hamza Baba had mastery over Urdu, Persian and Arabic too and also contributed to the disciplines of philosophy, human psychology and anthology.

Muntazir Shinwari, a poet, dwelt upon his long associations with the Hamza Baba and shared some fond memories with the audience. 

He said Hamza Baba was a humble soul and had never indulged in unnecessary debates.  

He said being a spiritual guide Hamza Baba wanted a broadminded Pashtun society free from all kinds of prejudices.

“Hamza Baba as a literary giant explored new dimensions to use his talent for the unification of Pakhtuns.  He promoted Pakhtun Sufism and merged it with romanticism,” he explained.

Kalimullah Kalim, grandson of Hamza Baba, said that Hamza Baba’s translation in other major languages of the world was need of the hour so that people could know about his message of peace.

He said that substantive work on Amir Hamza Baba’s work should be carried out to understand his deep thoughts.

Dr Masood, a staunch disciple of Hamza Baba, said that Sufi thoughts were reflective of Baba’s sublimity and creativity drenched in his imaginative flight. “Most of Baba’s poetry and prose tell us that he was a Sufi par excellence in this turbulent time,” he remarked. 

Later, a musical concert was conducted in which folk singers including Meena Gul, Shahsawar, Shaukat Mahmood, Lal Jan Ustad, Gul Sanam and Danial Ahmad sang popular Sufi numbers of Hamza Baba.   Young poet from Shangla Afsarul Mulk Afghan moderated the event.

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