Of spiritual, poetic and academic writing | Pakistan Today

Of spiritual, poetic and academic writing


Ch Anwaar Ahmad is a noted educationist and religious scholar. In the second part of his publication Aa’ina-e-Haqeeqat, he has discussed the fundamentals of Islam besides a miscellany of historic events and Quranic interpretations in a non-denominational but lucid manner of exposition.

Hatheli pay likhi Nazmain is a collection of veteran poet and educationist (Dr) Tauseef Tabassum having been translated/rendered into English as Poems Written on the Palm by a host of acknowledged literary writers of the language.

Prof Manzoor Mirza is a reputed educationist and prose writer. As an academic he has excelled himself in writing on economic issues and functional English. His latest publication titled Special Reflective Essays is an academic exercise intended to benefit the candidates competing for the federal and provincial civil services.

This review is meant to cover the aforesaid three books.




Like its precursor, this book is also divided into two parts. In the first part, the author has discussed the fundamentals of the religion at length in an analytical but perspicacious style. The topics highlighted here relate to Namaz, Zakat, Roza, and Hajj. These are the fundamentals of Islam preceded by the concept of Tauheed and Risalat which signifies an unshakable faith in Almighty Allah and His Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW). Ibadat in Islam serves to activate and discipline the life of its followers. It trains and ushers them into righteousness of thought and action leading to a homogeneous social set-up rooted in virtuosity, justice and public good.

The second part of the book focuses on ten miscellaneous topics encompassing some historic events and Tafseeri articles with a detailed commentary on Miracles in the light of Holy Quran and the opinions of some pre-eminent Muslim scholars. Other topics analysed here relate to Ashab-e-Kahf al-Raqim; Prophet Musa (AH) and Majma ul Bahrain; protection of Prophet Ibrahim (AH) against fire; Prophet Ismail (AH) and the supreme sacrifice; Prophet Sawleh (AH) and Naqatullah; comprehension of some abstruse questions and mysteries with reference to Holy Quran; salient features of Prophet Isa (AH)’s life; the testimony of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)’s glorious words and deeds; and, the demands of our love and devotion to the Holy Prophet (SAW) and the demon of sectarianism.

The style of the author is research-oriented, fully reflecting the catholicity of his temperament, and is commensurate with the delicacy and solemnity of the subject. It is hoped that the book will be widely acclaimed for the relevance, clarity and insightfulness of its content and the earnestness of the author’s style.


Aa’ina-e-Haqeeqat (Part II)

Ch Anwaar Ahmad

Pages: 267; Price: Not indicated


Poems Written on the Palm

This collection embodies the English version of Tauseef Tabassum’s select Urdu verse. In his prefatory remarks, Aftab Iqbal Shamim, himself a noted poet and aesthete, perceives a marked ‘balance between thought and emotion’ in Tauseef’s verse. He goes on to say that it (Tauseef’s verse) portrays ‘the disillusionment of an idealist who finds himself a misfit in a world of heart-rending realities’.

Poets are dreamers no doubt, but their dreams, often emanating from introspection, won’t stray them into a world of ennui or self-abnegation. The ‘impression of intensity’ conveyed by Tauseef’s poems would substantiate the phenomenon:

Once again, a Day dawned/Passed into Evening/And the Night arrived!/In a monotone/Life came/To its ultimate conclusion. (Axis)

Remember!/If you sow a dagger’s/Sharp point in the heart of soil,/|You’ll surely reap the harvest of scars/In the seasons to come. (New Testament)

Paths strewn in all directions/Like furrows on the forehead/Which, once appearing now, never vanish — /Destinations — dreams becoming nightmares/Covered under the dust of desires/As if someone feels unable to read/The lines of the two palms! (Wind has no Destination)

An exorable will to see beyond horizon/Took him away, in the company of stars/Himself a star, he belongs there! (An Elegy)

The translators of the original poems include names of noted writers and scholars like Sajjad Sheikh, Jameel Azar, Bashir Hussain Nazim, Asif Humayun, Sajjad Haider Malik, and Hamid Yousufi. Their grasp of the theme of a poem and its lingual transformation is quite apt. The book is genuinely meant to satisfy the urge of the readers (of English) interested in the current scenario of the representative Urdu poetry.


Poems Written on the Palm (Hatheli Pay Likhi Nazmain)

Tauseef Tabassum

Publisher: Akkas Publications, Islamabad

Pages: 148; Price: Rs.300/-



Special Reflective Essays

The book is intended ‘to present certain topics of reflective nature’ for the benefit of the candidates preparing for competitive examinations in the country. The writer’s style is not only original, it is lucid and elegance also. Themes of the essays cover a vast area of personal observation, academic-cum-literary studies, and experience.

The variegated topics discussed in the book relate to democracy, social evils, overpopulation, adversity, gender and socio-economic development, terrorism, problems of youth, governance, history and its lessons, modern civilisation, purpose of life, and economy vs politics.

Some vital declamatory questions and affirmations too, tend to enrich the content of the book: What life has taught me? O’ wind, if winter comes/Can spring be far behind? What we call progress is largely delusory. Man can be destroyed but not defeated. Might is right. Heal thyself. The suffering soul in the scientific age! The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Independence, a myth for poor countries! Help from within invigorates, help from without enfeebles. If I take care of today, tomorrow will take care (of) itself.

The book is a compendium of knowledge, wisdom, and practical utility.


Special Reflective Essays

Prof Manzoor Mirza

Publisher: Ilmi Kitab Khana, Urdu Bazaar, Lahore

Pages: 160; Price: Rs.225/-