Echoing, illuminating and enlightening hearts, minds and souls decade after decade for a century is Akbar Allahabadi, a poet of promise, peace and progress.
Syed Akbar Hussain, popularly known as Akbar Allahabadi (16 November 1846 – 9 September 1921), was an Urdu poet in the genre of satire par excellence.
Distinguishing himself from his contemporaries, Akbar Allahabadi is known for his satire, giving a humorous touch even to serious themes of love and politics.
He broke away all from the traditional metaphors of love, wine, estranged lover, existential angst and introduced a certain political immediacy and currency to Urdu poetry, a style not heard before him.
See the mastery, artistry and tapestry in the satirical poetry of Akbar Allahabadi! “Hum aah bhī karte haiñ to ho jaate haiñ badnām, vo qatl bhī karte haiñ to charchā nahīñ hotā” (Even if I make a tiny sound, I get maligned, but she can get away with murder at will).
Hilarious he is regarding “parda“.
“Be parda kal jo aaen nazar chand beebian, Akbar zameen mein ghairat-e-qaumi se gar gaya, Poocha jo unse, aapka parda woh kya hua, Kahne lagen ke, aql par mardon ki par gaya”
The poet, out of his natural tendency for putting things humorously, has mocked that the veil of women was lost because it was worn by the brains of men!
“Zindagi aur qayamat mein relation samjho
is ko college or usse convocation samjho”
Akbar Allahabadi compares the relation between life and resurrection. Life is like university, where you learn lessons and give exams. But your performance is unknown until the day of ‘Qayamat’.
“Coat patlun pahna to mister ban gaya, Taqrir ki jalse mein to leader ban gaya”.
In this poetry, Akbar Allahabadi talks about the influence of English men on our attires. He laughs away saying that just by wearing a shirt and pant, one can become mister and by addressing a crowd, one can become a leader.
“Paida hua vakil to shaitan ne kaha, Lo aaj hum bhi sahib-e-aulad ho gaye”
Akbar Allahabadi compares the lawyers to children of the devil. They can turn truth into lies and lies into truth. Something only the devil and his children are capable of!
Inherent and embedded in his inner self is unseen and unheard faith (“emaaan”) as he calls and cries quietly and humbly for Allah’s merciful closeness.
“Suno Do Hi Lafzon Mein Muj Se Yeah Raaz”
“Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa” is a popular ghazal, written by Akbar Allahabadi and prominently sung by Ghulam Ali. Verses from his poetry are also in famous qawwali “Tum ik Gorakh Dhanda Ho” by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Literary gems like Akbar Abadi not only reflect by celebrities in public alluring qawwalis and shows but indeed illuminate public libraries and enlighten students minds through prescribed text books. How about literary awards and honors for noble, humble and gentle poets of our legacy!
Commemorating 100 years of Akbar Allahabadi is ILM DOST, a group of our literary world’s enlightened people, including the instrumental role of Shabbir Ibn-e-Adil and illustriously dignified figures like Professor Dr. Raees Ahmed Samdani, Dr. Yasmin Sultana Farooqi, Mohammad Rashid Sheikh, Shakil Khan, Ata Mohammad Tabassum, Hina Ambreen, Akbar Ali, Mohammad Ahmed Shah, Professor Aijaz Farooqi and alike.