Friday, September 12, 2014

Ay Zama Watana by Ghani Khan (song, script)

Ghani Khan is perhaps my most favorite person in history. He's a fascinating character and certainly one of the most brilliant icons to have lived this earth. His humor makes me crazy, his conversation with God and his love for God overwhelm me (in a beautiful way), and his poetry is just ... no, it kills me. It really, really kills me. When I listen to his poetry, sung mostly through Sardar Ali Takkar, I close my eyes, the world stops momentarily, my heart, too, stops to listen, and I'm no longer the same person afterwards. I call this powerful. He died in 1996, when I was too young to know him and all, but if there's anyone in history who I'd love to see in a dream, it's him. (Well, there's a couple of other interesting/influential figures as well, like Mary Mother of Jesus (peace be on them) and Muhammad (peace be on him), but Ghani kho Ghani dey kana :) Ghani is Ghani. Ghani is from me, and I'm from him. I'm OF him. He was Pukhtun, you see. He's my eternal chalice of hope. He, along with so many other brilliant poets and scholars and legends, is a beautiful reason Pukhtuns have something to claim. 
May God bless us (Pukhtuns) with many more Ghanis, aameen, and may we actually appreciate and celebrate them while they're alive - although Ghani seems to have enjoyed his good fortune among Pukhtuns.

Another reason I love him? Because he loved himself. He knew how to love himself. This love was expressed in multiple ways, and one of the most powerful ways he expressed it was through his patriotic poetry. Check the poem below (Ay Zama Watana = O' My Dear Homeland) - it's so beautiful it makes you tear up for your people, your parentland, your past, your future. You want to hug your people and say, "You know what? I love y'all, and I'mna really sacrifice my everything so you can survive." Because, as Ghani says, "Sta sar che we tit no za pa shaan au shaukat sa krrama" (rough/qrratu-i translation: "I don't want any personal fame and respect if you are subjugated"). This line isn't included in the part below. I'm not sure why.

This new book has just come out called A Pilgrim of Beauty that includes Ghani Baba's artwork and English translations of some of his poems by Imtiaz Ahmad Sahibzada. When I get a hold of it, I'll share more excerpts from the book, inshaAllah.

I've no idea, still, what I think about the dream of a Loy Afghanistan (Grand Afghanistan - the unification of the Pukhtuns of Pakistan and Afghanistan under one, united nation), and I'm not sure if it's worth any blood that will be shed for it to happen, but whenever it does happen or if God ever wills for it to happen, I have absolutely no doubt that this is going to be our taraana, our anthem that children in schools sing every morning. Check it out:

Also, I found the following on Speen Khan's FB page, so credit to him for the photo/scan and all.


  1. Thanks for sharing one of my favorite from the Lovely Poetry of Ghani Khan Baba. I proud that he was also an Utmanzval. Last weekend I have visited the graveyard where he is buried in Utmanzai.

    1. You're very lucky to be from his area and to have visited his grave. I dream of visiting his grave, too, one day, inshaAllah. And I'm going to weep at his grave.

  2. Check out this lovely rendition of one of Ghani Khan's classic poem:

    1. OhmGod - I'm crazy about this song and poetry. It's got such a beautiful message, no? Ahh, rest in Peace, Ghani Baba.


Dare to opine :)

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