By: Kabir Momand of Sabawoon
At the dawn of seventeenth
century, at the age of invasions from the West by Persians and
East by Moghols, at the time when Afghans were in the mist of war
in every corner of the nation, a the time when education was the
last thing in peoples' mind, a legend was born.
the high hills of the Afghan nation, in the provincial area of
Momand, a child was born, by the name of Abdul Rahman. Abdul
Rahman Momand would become one of the greatest poets in the
history of the Pashto literature. Abdul Rahman was a man of
character and great charisma. As a child, he loved to study and
always occupied himself in getting a good education, no matter
what it took. He spent much time and effort trying to teach
a young age, he started studying and reading poetry and became
fond of it. He had a gift, poetry, which he would not realize,
until later in his life. As he grew older, he started having
doubts upon what he was doing, which was studying and writing
poetry. He felt lost and not sure about what he was writing, why
he was writing and to whom he was writing. Because of this, he
entirely abandoned material needs of this world and gave himself
to the mercy of God.
spiritual aspect of God's presents upon him, made him understand
that the true way of life was through his religion, Islam. Living
a life in solitude, he did not want anyone bothering him when he
prayed to God. He had a unique and creative way of praying to God
through the gift he had, poetry. He had a deep passion for God,
which resulted in writing numerous poems in His honor. Through the
understanding of his religion, he wrote magnificent poems, which
made him famous in a short period of time.
admired his work, from Afghanistan to Central Asia to the Indian
Subcontinent. Religious scholars found the real meaning of life in
his poems. National and political leaders used his poetry for
independent uprisings. Musicians used his poetry in their songs.
Soon everyone wanted his books, be it for political, religious or
other interests and desires. Due to his popularity, Afghans gave
him an honorable name "Baba" (Grand father of the
of the great religious scholar of Suwat, Pashtoonistan, Suwat
any other then, the book of God, was permissible for prayer, I
would have defiantly chosen Rahman's book."
Baba published two books from his collections of poetry, which
were distributed all over the Afghan nation. Soon his work became
a model for new poets, and as a result, many people started
learning his way and his direction. A school of poetry was built
in his honor and many people came to study in these schools. The
Founding Father of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Baba, was one of the
students of his school of poetry.
has mentioned that philosophers, poets and insane people are of
one nature. A person cannot become one of these just by trying,
but they are born that way and they have no choice other then to
live by the nature of their life.
looking through Rahman Baba's poetry, one comes to the conclusion
that this great poet was born a poet and had brought the gift of
poetry with him from eternal life. Readers will not understand his
poetry unless they feel that what their reading is indeed their
own thoughts. This might be hard to comprehend but poetry was
never meant to be easy. When one opens Rahman Baba's book, they
immediately realize that their heart is speaking to them. A reader
might wonder how a book written more then four hundred years ago
would have their feeling and thoughts of today. It seem as if
Rahman Baba's books were written for today's need of literature
and one can be sure, that is the case.
Baba has written difficult poetry in such a unique way that one
can immediately grasp the meaning. He has put comprehensive
subject into a very layman term. Rahman Baba wanted to teach
Afghans and, through Afghans, the whole world the real meaning of
life through the love and magnificence of God. He fought against
humans' greediness and mischief and promptly explains this
devilish worship in most of his poems.
Dupree, in his book "Afghanistan", pointed out to Rahman
Baba's teaching: "Rahman Baba was a mystic then warrior. But
his mysticism, born of Sufism, also touches the Pashtun cultural
essence. Not so proud and fiercely militant as Khoshal Khan Khatak,
Rahman Baba continually warned the ambitious and proud of their
base earthly origin."
Baba himself explain here:
not with thy head showing in the clouds,
art by birth the offspring of this earth,
stream that passed the sluice cannot again flow back,
can again return the misspent time that sped,
well the deeds of the good and bad,
in this thy profit lieth or in that
Baba loved music and dancing. He specially loved to play the Rabab
(Afghan Lute) By loving beauty of every kind, no matter if it was
a human, an animal, or nature, he would describe the eternal
beauty of God as a final stage. Considering the beauty here on
earth as merely small portion of the beauty to come, he always
focused on eternal greatness and beauty, which to him was his
Abdul Hay Habibi PHD, a great scholar of Afghanistan, described
Rahman Baba's poetic structure in these terms. He stated the
this structure a poet accepts eternal believes, which are
completely dislodged with this world, and are speaking of a world,
great and wonderful, with all its greatness.
are away from all the misery of this world and are speaking of
peace and humanity, and are usually away from all the troubles of
and presentation of this structure are pure and wonderful, and the
words chosen are simple and to the point.
types of poetry speak of pure love and morals. Believe in the true
love and avoid evil and use fantasy is a common theme.
believe in love being the center of human life, which depends on
Baba's poetry is still a great value to Pashto literature and
still there are numerous student of his structure today. His fans
and students of his school come to his graveside in Peshawar
Pashtoonistan to remember him on his birth date each year. Poets
from all over come to honor him in this special occasion by
reciting poems and speeches on his honor, and this will continue
for ages. '