PESHAWAR: Pashto poet Hanif Gul Mastana has said that Sufism being a perpetual fountain of good thoughts is an emblem of sublime soul and poets should not ignore it while expressing their creative self.
Since childhood, he has only two subjects that he loved the most -- Sufism and patriotism. Out of his busy schedule, he takes out time to pen down his thoughts on daily basis.
Hailing from Akbarpura area in Nowshera district, the poet is fluent in Pashto, Urdu, Punjabi and Persian while Hindko is his mother tongue. He has brought out 11 poetry collections on self-support basis and has two volumes still unpublished. He has been working with radio Peshawar on contract basis for the last 11 years.
Mr Mastana told this scribe that he was in 8th grade when he came across great Sufi poets of his area including late Abdullah Ustad, and also was able to read great Pashto and Persian poets like Rahman Baba, Hafiz Shirazi and Sheikh Saadi through his mosque teachers.
“I have received Sufi knowledge from late Mohammad Gulzar Ustad and Syed Yousaf Shah Bacha, who were great Islamic scholars and were also conversant with Sufi literature and homeopathy. I have an extensive study on Sufism especially on romantic mysticism. My first poetry volume ‘Da Hijar Taigh’ had come out in 1990 while my recent poetry book titled ‘Jalal Au Jamal’ was published two months ago,” he said.
Mr Mastana said that noted folk vocalists including Ahmad Gul Ustad, late Akbar Hussain, Bahar Ali, Anwar Khial, Master Rahim Gul and late Zarshad Ali had sung his Sufi poems where Pashto services of radio China, Voice of America, Kabul, New Delhi and Peshawar had aired his popular numbers on many occasions.
Being a polyglot, he said that he could express himself in Hindko, Pashto, Punjabi, Urdu and Persian and one of his volumes had poems in all those lingos but he was more fluent in Pashto than others.
He said that he could express himself in several literary genres and was well aware of the style of major Urdu, Pashto and Persian poets and once the director of Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar, invited him for delivering a lecture on the folk poetry where the audience were wonderstruck to know how a matriculate poet could guide doctorate students on such a topic.
“When I was done with the lecture, the students didn’t believe I am just a matriculate. I have been through an age when Pashto, Arabic and Persian classic literatures were part of our school syllabus but I regret that now-a-days, our schoolchildren are being kept away from our own culture and social values,” said Mr Mastana.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2019