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National

August 26, 2018

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Remembering Professor Taha Khan

Mufliss ho tum agar mera kashkol bech do

Ay ahl-e-sheher hosla dekho faqeer ka (Taha baba)

(Sell out my pot of beggary for your bread and butter. Natives see how rich this beggar is?)

It’s a philosophical couplet by a humorous poet, Mr Taha Khan, who met his creator on 25 Aug. A Pathan by origin and an Urdu speaking by language, established himself in an entirely different culture of Pashtoons in Peshawar. Like so many, who migrated from India and promoted new colors in the local cultures throughout Pakistan, he introduced several literary terms of Urdu literature in Pashto language. He also translated norms and traditions depicted in Pashto folk poetry into Urdu language. His poetry has literary traits of Purbi, Arabic, Pashto, Urdu and Persian language. He had grip on the subject is like Meer Anees, thoughts of Meer Durd and comic touch of Nazeer Akbar Abadi. Students of Urdu department of Peshawar University are also tasked for research on his literary pieces before awarding PhD degree.

His poetic mind got influenced by the spiritual poetry of Rehman Baba. He made his lost sight his strength by developing his vision. Unable to read he hired a Pashto speaking person to narrate the poetry of maestros’ Rehman Baba and Khushal Khan Khattak. He translated both these stalwarts of the Pashto language and earned Pride of Performance on translations of 1600 verses of Rehman Baba. The linguistic experts say, it is very difficult to translate the literary terms of a language to another one, especially Pashto and that too in the same rhyme and rhythm with the same expression. I take liberty in naming him Taha Khan Baba and I am sure in the heavens he does not mind it.

Ka zahir de ka batin de ke mabaen de

La huma o khabardar de rabb-e-zama (Rehman baba)

Kiya hay israr zahir-o-batin

Khoob waqif hay kibria mera (Taha khan baba)

Rehman baba is a believer of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SA) and praises his stature as the last messenger of Almighty.

Nabuwwat pa Muhammad (SA) bande tamam she

Nishta puss la Muhammad (SA) ambia (Rehman baba)

Too kamal-e kamiliyat ikhtitam-e-ambia

Ye amal Allah tere baad duhrata naheen (Taha Khan Baba)

The study of Rehman baba opened new doors of wisdom upon Taha Khan baba, who stated Rehman Baba is a follower of the Holy Quran. Rehman Baba holds Sharia in one hand and Fiqah on the other, decorated with the crown of Holy Quran over his head. Rehman baba’s poetry depicts concepts of monotheism, prophethood, Judgment day, equality, affection, fraternity, peace, spiritualism and brotherhood. Taha baba underscores knowledge preaching in Rehman baba’s poetry which dates back to the first revelations of “Iqra be-ism-e-Rabbi kul lazi khalaq”.

Taha baba would narrate a Hadith depicting Rehman baba’s personality. “Scholars are the inheritors of prophets who do not leave behind the money but knowledge”. It continued till the establishment of Asshaab-e- Suffa and payment of fidya from the prisoners of Badar who taught the Muslims in Medina. Taha baba solves the labyrinths in poetry of Rehman baba by explaining the sufi thoughts in education.

Nangyale che yo zul mukh pa hagha la warka

Nor hiss na wee ko ha wee ka karrang (Rehman baba)

Naam-e- khuda ka jo sahib-e-namoos chul parray

Parrhna jinhe hay parrhhte rahen phhool hoon ke sung

Rehman baba translated Hadith from Arabic to his Pashto poetry. Taha baba further translated both the Hadith and Rehman baba’s translation in Urdu poetry. This poetry of Taha baba is inscribed on three walls of the shrine of Rehman baba in Hazar khani area Peshawar. Sequentially Hadith in Arabic comes at the top, followed by the couplet of Rehman baba in Pashto and in the third tier translation of Taha baba in Urdu. No other poet enjoys this honor. Taha baba says Rehman baba’s ideology is present in the spiritual gatherings, in the pyramids of mosque, in the saints’ shrines, in the religious discussions and in the half lights of morning and evening. Love of Allah in Rehman baba’s poetry inspired Taha baba who translated this relationship between the creator and the created for understanding of non-Pashto speakers.

Ta zama matloob zo talib yama

Ta zama tabeeb no za beemar sta (Rehman baba)

Hum dono maen hay talib o matloob ka rishta

Tum meray mualij ho maen beemar tumhara (Taha baba)

Taha baba concludes, goodness of heart, care and respect for every human being regardless of religion, caste, creed and culture are the kernel philosophy of Rehman baba, who preached all the divine religions carry the same message which has been infringed by humans according to their perception and ease.

Da salour mazhab warra sara yoe de

Ma o ta pakay peda karra ikhtilaf (Rehman baba)

In Charon mazahib maen koi farq nahi hay

Hum loag magar khud haen zaban aawar o-harraf

(Taha baba)

Taha baba would say to understand Rehman baba you need not to be a Pashto speaking but a telepathic translator. Rehman baba’s thoughts are combination of jurisprudence, impressionism, expressionism, comprehension, understanding and allegory. The spirit of Rehman baba is alive in the world since last 350 years. Taha baba grades Rehman baba a diversified thinker with command over expressionism, genuineness of Ghalib and vision of Iqbal. Gumaan me karra che ba bia stargu la warshi

Hugha ozee che la stargu she juda (Rehman baba)

Chashma hai chashm maen wapas kabhi aate nahin

Ik dafa aansoo jo ho jate hain aankhon se juda (Taha baba)

At the start of his work, biased individuals, questioned

how a non-pushtoon can translate big names like Rehman

baba. During the translation process, these Pashto speaking

declared them high quality translations and commented

“Taha Khan do not try to die during this classical work”.

Taha baba would never take credit but termed it “Blessings of Almighty”. He would follow the preaching’s of Rehman baba that the company and thoughts make someone a diamond or clay. Har kula che sok pa zmaka bande kegdee

Hagha zmaka ee la jinsa da khpul gurd ka (Rehman baba)

Rakho ge zur-e-surkh agur farsh-e-zamin per

Dekho ge ke matti ne use gurd banaya.

These minds were forced to kiss his hands in respect after reading completion of this grand achievement in Urdu. He would narrate famous poet Ajmal Khattak said

“The job which was supposed to be done by Pashto speaking has been done by an Urdu speaking”.

Taha baba was inspired by the concept of a Muslim culture defined by Rehman baba. Brave and open mind, committed to their cause in line with preachings of Prophet Muhammad (SA). They are focused and earn bread and butter by perseverance in pursuit of Rehman baba that encouraged moving constantly with the rotation of sun:

Da pe her uruz che khawage bael bael namar de

Her che pe usee hagha nashe khate bia (Rehman Baba)

Roz magrib maen huwa karti hay ik sooruj ki maut

Roz mashriq se nickel aata hay ik sooraj nia (Taha Khan baba)

Taha baba narrated that Rehman baba is a saint with a true Muslim philosophy, who stands for peace and justice. Rehman baba is at an ultra-level of spiritualism and to comprehend his work, one needs to understand universal literary linguistics. Had his teachings been made part of our curriculum at the educational institutions and society, today’s hooliganism and disorder would have been automatically addressed. Respect of humanity and blessings of Almighty are explicitly found in the poetry of Rehman baba.

Kay o khakh-ke obo tagay lura wurkarra

Da dozukh o sta termeaan ba she darya (Rehman baba)

Gar kisi piyase ko tu ne aik qatra bhi diya

Apne or dozukh ke beechon beech darya payay ga (Taha baba)

Rehman baba was a social reformer and a philanthropist asking elders to preach “tolerance and respect for all”. He enlightened that patience, acceptability and motivation removes frustrations and evil thoughts in society. He uses literature as tool of social education. To him literature owes social responsibility to change the prevailing attitudes. He refers elders in a society the reformers (not theologians), have responsibility for bringing cultural change and social behavior. Aimless literature without a social improvement dies soon, whereas positive literature is always alive.

Deendaran dahaghe o khpala deen o ta nazar ka

Sok fikroona da sawab sok da khata (Rehman baba)

Saheban e deen apne deen per rakhhen nazar

Koi karta hai ataa’at koi karta hay khata (Taha baba)

Taha khan said Rehman baba’s poetry is symbolism for self-negation and elimination of worldly desires. The great pathan philosopher wants to be “La-idree” as expressed by Plato. He negates self-existence and desires to be part of clay where he has to be mingled with. He is at the level of Hallaj Mansoor but negates “Ana-ul- Haq”

Ka o zaro ta lass kadum khawra kigee

Ka da khawra pa aarzoo shum astughna ka (Rehman baba)

Lagaoon hath jo sonay ko khak ho jayay

Jo khak mangoon to milta hay mujhko astughna (Taha baba)

Taha baba a staunch follower of Rehman baba developed belief of self- negation. He would proudly travel on public transport intercity and on Rickshaw within Peshawar city. At the time of death Taha baba’s earnings were barely enough for his funeral rituals. To his siblings he always taught

“Biggest wealth I’m leaving behind for you is the education, which I managed to impart to you.”

He left behind thousands of disciples throughout the world, to promote education and knowledge.

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