An Introduction to Rehman Baba
You ask, my love, about my tears
But don’t you recognize the fears
That agonize my heart?
Were not your infidelity
Torturing me so cruelly
My sorrows would depart
(Translated by Jens Enevoldsen: Selections from Rehman Baba)
Known as 'harbinger of peace and love' and 'the nightingale of Peshawar', Rehman Baba (1632-1707) is a poet living in the heart of every Pashtoon.
His poetry composition is very melodic and his words are very sample. That is why all the people like him and his verses are quoted on every subject.
Though he is considered a Sufi (mystic) poet, he is equally popular among politicians, educated people, uneducated villagers, peasants, women and children. Some people even recite his Deewan (collection of poems) like a sacred religious book.
When you read his poems, you feel love and peace all over. It affects your mind and heart deeply. And you want to read it again and again.
Those who have written about his life and poetry, and translated his poems into other languages, termed him as 'a universal poet of love and peace.'
There are other great Pashto poets like Khoshal Khan Khattak, Hameed Moomand, Kazim Khan Sheeda and Ali Khan Baba. But Rehman Baba earned more popularity than any other poet.
Despite lengthy academic researches, his life is still a mystery. Very little is known about where and how he lived. It is a common thought that he has lived in the Hazarkhwani village near Peshawar in the seventieth century.
Anyway, it is his poetry that matters people. His verses are so simple, so melodic and so deep in thought that every one learns them by heart. And some of his verses have become famous quotes.
So it is not exaggeration when he says in some of his verses:
Khoshala and Dawlata (Khoshal Khan Khattak and Dawlat Khan Lwani) are my slaves,
I have universal command on Pashto language.
When my songs are singing;
The girls of Peshawar dance with them.
His poetry has been translated into English, French, Russian, Urdu, Punjabi, Persian, Arabic and some other languages. A new version of its English translation is available here
Tags: Poetry , Pashto , Rehman Baba
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