Abu-Al-Asar Hafeez Jalandhuri writer, poet and above all composer of the National Anthem of Pakistan. He was born in Jalandhar, Punjab, India on January 14, 1900. After independence of Pakistan in 1947, Hafeez Jullundhri moved to Lahore. Hafeez made up for the lack of formal education with self-study but he has the privilege to have some advise from the great Persian poet Maulana Ghulam Qadir Bilgrami. His dedication, hard work and advise from such a learned person carved his place in poetic pantheon.
Hafeez Jullandhuri actively participated in Pakistan Movement and used his writings to propagate for the cause of Pakistan. In early 1948, he joined the forces for the freedom of Kashmir and got wounded. Hafeez Jalandhari wrote the Kashmiri Anthem, “Watan Hamara Azad Kashmir”. He wrote many patriotic songs during Pakistan, India war in 1965.
Hafeez Jullandhuri served as Director General of morals in Pakistan Armed Forces, and very prominent position as adviser to the President, Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan and also Director of Writer’s Guild.
Hafeez was born in Jalandhar, India. His father was Shams-ud-din who was Hafiz-e-Qur’an. He firstly studied in mosque and then got admission in some local school. He got education up to seventh class. He got no more formal education.
Long before Hafeez Jullundhri’s lyrics were adopted as the national anthem in 1950s, Pakistan had an anthem written by Jagannath Azad, son of Lahore-based poet Tilok Chand Mahroom. Azad was commissioned by Jinnah to write the anthem three days before the creation of Pakistan in 1947.
Azad’s lyrics – “Ae sarzameene paak/Zarray teray haen aaj sitaaron se taabnaak/ Roshan hai kehkashaan se kaheen aaj teri khaak/Ae sarzameene paak” (Oh land of Pakistan, the stars themselves illuminate each particle of yours/rainbows brighten your very dust) – were replaced six months after Jinnah’s death in September 1948. The National Anthem Committee chose Hafeez Jullundhri’s poem from among 723 submissions.
He first married in 1917, when he was seventeen years old. His first wife was his cousin “Zeenat Begum”. They altogether had seven children, all of them girls and no boys. In 1939 he married for the second time with a young English woman and had one girl with her. This marriage ended in a divorce. His first wife died in 1954. In 1955 he married with Khurshid Begum. The third relation also gifted him one girl.
In 1922 – 1929 he remained the editor of a few monthly magazines namely, “Nonehal”, “Hazar Dastaan”, “Teehzeeb-e-Niswan”, “Makhzin”. His first collection of poems Nagma-e-Zar was published in 1935. After the World War II, he worked as the director of the Song Publicity Department. During this same time he wrote songs that were much liked by the public.
He died on December 21, 1982 at the age of eighty two years. He was buried in Model Town, Lahore but later on his dead body was re-buried in the tomb near Minar-e-Pakistan.
For his literary and patriotic services he was awarded with the most prestigious awards of Hilal-e-Imtiaz and Pride of Performance.
A patriotic poetic song of Watan hamara Kashmir, is considered to be the official regional State anthem or State song for Azad Jammu and Kashmir, it was written in the mid-1960’s, which was inspired by the conflict of Indo-Pak war II. The first few lines are official recognised by the Kashmiris in Muzaffarabad.
Information compiled by Muslim Saleem
Muslim Saleem reciting his ghazals at Jashn-e-Muslim Saleem at MP Urdu Academy, Bhopal on December 30, 2010.
From Left) Zafar Naseemi, MP Urdu Academy Chairman Saleem Qureshi, Dr. (Barqi Azmi, Prof Afaq Ahmad, Dr. Qasim Niazi, Muslim Saleem.