Home Articles An unforgettable poet of South Punjab

An unforgettable poet of South Punjab

Muhammad Shafi Shakir Shuja Abadi
Muhammad Arif : Chairman Centre of Advisory Services for Islamic Banking and Finance (CAIF), Former Head of FSCD SBP, Former Head of Research ArifHabib Investments and Member IFSB Task Force for development of Islamic Money Market, Former Member of Access to Justice Fund Supreme Court of Pakistan

Muhammad Shafi Shakir Shuja Abadi is a prominent Saraiki-language poet. In 2007; he received his first presidential award. In 2017, he received his second presidential award.

ShakirShujaAbadi is not well, in fact, he is now bed-ridden but unfortunately, nobody has noticed because he is one of the underrated godfathers of Seraiki poetry, and the voice of the millions of underprivileged.  Shakir is only sixty, but a stroke has taken away his voice. He can still write but his health has deteriorated over the years.ShaukatTarin visited him in hospital on 27th Oct 2021 and provided some financial help to hi family

His poetry is part of siriaki syllabus for Matric and intermediate students. In japan a documentary was made on his life that was also released in Europe.

He is so popular in south Punjab that after KhawajaGhulamFareed, his poetry is on the tongue of very one. For both of them their beloved city is Bhawalpur.

He was born in very poor family. When he was only three years he was attacked by some fever. His family could not afford treatment. Some years later he was shown to some doctor in a civil hospital who prescribed polio. He stuck to his bed but with determination after age of 8 year he tried to walk. He was very fond of education but could not afford it. Some teachers advised him to join some school but he replied that his mother is ill and he thinks it is better to buy her medicines in spite of going to school. Later his mother died. He tried to earn some money and came to Karachi where he got job of a guard.

There he passed very tough life with some days with no food. He some time chewed burned cigarettes to relieve his hunger.

Later on after marriage with one Shabnam once he was carried to a hospital where doctors diagnosed dystonia instead of polio. If he would have been diagnosed in young age than its treatment was possible but now it was not possible.

ShakirShujabadi was born in 25 February 1968. He from earlier age and till now cannot speak properly due to physical disability.

His poetry is laced with beautiful prose, which offers riddles regarding the world and society. He discusses themes of honesty, poverty, inequality and underdevelopment related to the region. He is able to overcome linguistic barriers to appeal to non-Seraiki speakers.

He has sons and a daughter. His daughter is a patient of TB. His sons are jobless. Government has promised several times to provide him aid on regular basis but with the blessings of bureaucracy he is still penniless, living as a dead man. This is how we treat our heroes and writers. HabibJalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz,AhmedFaraz,Ustad Daman are some other examples

In period of media we only respect and listen those who succeed in becoming anchors with connections with high ups, but be careful history only remember those who have done something for others and not for themselves.
Among his best-known verses are “TuMehnatKar, TayMehnat da sillaJaaneKhudaJaane” (Just work hard and reward for that hard work, only God knows what you will get) and “Tudewabalkayrakhshakir, Hawajaanekhudajany” (Light the lamp, and let the winds decide or fate decide)

His some other verses are-

“Nuclear era has provided many facilities but has made difficult for humans to live on earth. This has made the job of Hazrat Israel very easy”

“Poverty and illiteracy can be overcome through education. So along with making Shaheen and Ghouri missiles people’s miseries also needs to be addressed”

“People at the helm of affairs, why not you find a mid-way where your love for money may satisfy and poor man should also get easy life”

”Body damaged by hunger needs treatment, water for satisfaction and joy. We are also people of God. Ruling class! Please allow us to live”

 “We have been told that we would get 72 women in paradise. We would contend on one but our request is that for 71 surrendered we may be given bread and water to live on this earth”

 “People of Pakistan clean the garbage of all kind surrounding you, otherwise we have no right to call ourselves Pakistanis, hence it would be advisable to surrender this name immediately”

“In mosques that have sincere namazy’s are better than “BaitullahShareef”. In mosques where mullahs have opened their shops have no right to survive”

“Under the flag of justice, justice is on sale. It is better to close such platforms”

“We are Muslims and recite Kalmas but in deeds we have become disciples of Satan. With this dual face it is better to name ourselves Kafir. Whether we have any right to call us Muslims”

“My poetry is not liked by the rulers. I only speak truth. If to side with truth is a mutiny than I concede that I am a rebel. For these crimes behead me and burn my home but I would not disconnect myself from truth”

“Why good life is not required by any one.  Get away from good life and you would know its meaning. Cries emerge from pains; try to make it without any pain. If one can weep without any reason than do it without any reason and you would know. Shakir has passed his life in agonies. Nobody can do it. Try it and you would come to know actuality”

“In my listening I get voices from BaitulMuqudus that whether people like me have any right on people sitting at the helm of affairs in Mecca and Medina. They have in fact forgotten our relationships”

“Around my house on one side live Wahhabis and on the other side live Devbandi. On front and back we have Shia and Sunnis. On every side I see sects. My poor house is surrounded in such a way that gives me pain for such bad luck. In the same mohallah eight different sects have their mosques and I cannot decide which one to go”

“You continue your struggle and for its return rely on Allah. Ignite Light of your side and believe Allah would protect this light. Fear of autumn cannot make afraid to any farmer. Continue your struggle. With help of Allah spring would appear in any case”

”Who does not like happiness? You just turn away its one ray and you would know. The cries which you call fabrication dump it and you would know. If crying’s can be controlled than cry and you would know. How Shakir has passed his life in miseries nobody can follow this you just pass such time for a second and you would know.”

“Allah, please protect this country. Here your sayings are on sale. Somewhere religion is bargained and somewhere faith is on sale. Mullahs and Peers have made the religion a business. In industry of Politics leaders have become traders. Parliament and its members are on sale. In my country dollar has become god and money its prophet. The urge to go up is so intense that everyone can be purchased or sold easily.”

“God! Give us concession by changing times of prayer to the night. How can we pray in day time when for earning bread it gets night”

“Their children cannot sleep in the night due to hunger who serves others children as Ayahs”

“I with my pen would penetrate in to the chest of brutals. For peace I am ready to face hell even. Sometime I am pressurized by sentiments but I am not afraid of my destruction. But if something tried to hurt my nation than it would be worse than any death to me”

“Who has made poor’s poorer. Elites give its answers with accounting for every one with owning luxurious life for yourself”

“With golden water of charity what you wipe out speaks even with dead words. This opens the book of nobility”

“Why color of wine is red. Whose meat is in Kebabs? Whose beauty was snatched by whom? Who would be accountable for all these?”

“Whom black money suits buys the ruling chairs than why you play drama of election to put people in hell”

“Politics is in the hand of old and evil politicians. Education institutions are in the hand of illiterates. God may keep this country safe as this house of glass is in the hand of Lohars (Blacksmiths)”


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