Saturday September 25, 2021

Saeeda Shabnam, a poetess and writer who never attended school

PESHAWAR: Saeeda Shabnam, the author of three books, is among the few poets and writers who got only religious education and continued imparting education to girls at her home till her death.

Her real name was Sadaqat Begum and literary name was Saeeda Shabnam but the students called her “Bibi Gul” and later the people in surrounding area and literary circles called her “Bibi Gul” as a mark of respect and love.

Her legs were paralysed and she had been bedridden since 2010. She passed away in Ramazan at the age of 72. Born at Mayar village in Mardan district, she remained unmarried. Her father Syed Abdus Salam, was known as “Lala Je”. He was regarded as an intellectual and a good debater.

Her brother, Fakhrul Islam, who had been supporting and encouraging her in writing pursuits and publications, recalled that she remained bedridden for 11 years but never skipped any prayer.

He said she used to preach her students not to complain about disability.

She had God-gifted qualities and was the recipient of five literary awards from different literary and cultural organizations including Ajmal Khattak Adabi Award, Shaeer Aman Pakhtunkhwa Award, Qamar Rahi Award, Mashal Adabi Award and Shirkat Gah Award. She never went to school.

Fakhrul Islam, who retired from Wapda as superintendent, said that despite her weakness and disability, he said that his sister was helping the women and girls.

Commenting on her poetry and literary work, the honorary secretary Adabi Saqafati Sanga Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan said that though she never attended school but got religious education from her elders but her mature writing and poetry had special status in the literary circles.

In her poetry, she expressed her views in a bold and courageous manner and deviated from the traditional way of writing Ghazal.

Recognizing her services for Pashto language and literature, he said Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan conferred awards on her for her work. She also tried to educate readers for social reforms and welfare of people.

Ghamgeen, who had been supporting and guiding the ailing poetess, said that her first book was “Tagay Nazar”, second was “Amal Da Laray Mal” and third was “Da Khabray Ma Da Zra De.” Before her death, he said the Bibi Gul had sent some poems to him for checking before publication.

But unfortunately she died before seeing her published poetry.

The members of the literary circles deplored that Saeed Shabnam was ill and remained bedridden for 11 years, but neither the government nor any literary body bothered to inquire about her health despite their tall claims. She received a cheque from Nishtar Hall Peshawar.