Bahadur Shah ‘Zafar'
The Moghul emperor, who faced a lot of torture by British regime, and spent many years of his life
in prisons, was a great poet of his times. He was influenced by Sauda, Meer and Insha, eminent
poets of those times. His poetry depicts the agony and mental tortures he had to face in prisons.
'Zafar‘ wrote hundreds of thousands of Urdu verses, and it was not easy to make a selection and
then translate into English also. Khwaja Tariq Mahmood deserves compliments for completing this
job, and here is a selection of Zafar’s poetry in Urdu. Roman and Hindi text, as also poetic
translation into English.
STAR feels pride to bring this collection for all those who appreciate and love Urdu poetry.
About the Translator:
Khwaja Tariq Mahmood, born in 1927 at Chakwal, graduated in engineering from the Punjab University
in 1947. He was commissioned in January 1948 in Mechanical Engineering, Pakistan Army, and retired
as brigadier in College, Quetta in 1956, and from Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham,
U.K. in 1960-61. He took his law degree in 1977 from the Punjab University and Master’s degree in
International Relations in 1985 from University of Southern California, U.S.A.
Bahadur Shah ‘Zafar’
Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Bahadur Shah, the last emperor of Mughal period, who was tortured by the
British regime in India, was born in 1775. He was the son of Akbar-II and grandson of the King
Shah Alam, took reigns of the kingdom of India as heir to Akbar—II but was the King himself just
for name sake. He spent major part of his life in prisons of the British emperor in India, and had
a very tragic and painful life. He died in 1862, and that was also an end of the Mughal period in
‘Zafar’ had started his life under the influence of the great scholar, and in tradition of the
literary environment during the kingdom of Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan, which had eminent great
poets like Sauda, Meer and Insha in their courts. He had to face a great defeat to his kingdom
from me British emperor and spent difficult times, particularly during the last days of his life.
And his poetry can easily depict his agony and mental and physical tortures.
‘Zafar’ wrote hundreds and thousands of verses, which are published in a four- volumes. We have
tried to include some representative poems (Ghazals) of this great poet, and that proves him as
the third great poet of Urdu, after Ghalib and Momin.
These verses have been translated into English by Khwaja Tariq Mahmood, who has earlier done
similar poetic translation into English of the poems of Ghalib, Iqbal, Faiz, Sahir Ludhianvi and
Shakeel Budauni. As publishers we feel pride to present this collection to our readers.
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