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Shafiq ur Rehman - The Writer - A Proud Kemcolian

I recently stumbled upon a discussion on facebook going on about late Mr. Shafiq-ur-Rehman and how very few people know that he is an alumni of King Edward Medical University. Upon running a google search, I found his biography and his works, A few of which are posted below. 

Shafiq ur Rahman 

The Writer - A Proud Kemcolian.

Shafiq-ur-Rahman (Urduشفیق الرحمن‎) (November 9, 1920 - March 19, 2000) was a Pakistani humorist[1] and a short-story writer of Urdu language.[2][3] He was one of the most illustrious writers of the Urdu speaking world. Like western Mark Twain and Stephen Leacock,[4] he has given enduring pleasure to his readers. He was a medical doctor by profession, and served in Pakistan Army. He also received Hilal-e-Imtiaz for his military and civilian services.[2] He has widely been apprecitated by writers and critics of Urdu literature.[4]


Early life

Rahman was born in a small town near Rohtak. He received his education in Bahawalpur.[2] He completed his MBBS from King Edward Medical CollegeLahore in 1942, [2]and post-graduation in tropical medicine and public health from Edinburgh, in 1952. Rahman began writing humorous stories during his school days. His stories were published in a literary monthly magazine Khayyam. His first book Kirneyn was completed before he joined the medical college and was published in 1938, while he was still a medical student.[2] His unforgettable characters include Razia, Shaitaan, Hukoomat Aapa, Maqsood Ghora, Buddy, Nannha and others.Rahman had three sons, Attique, Kahlique and Ameen. He died on March 19, 2000 in Rawalpindi.[4]


Rahman joined the Indian Army Medical Corps and served at different war fronts during the Second World War. After partition, he joined the Pakistan Army and eventually rose to the rank of general. He also served as chairman of the Academy of Letters of Pakistan from 1980 to 1985.[4] During his tenure, the Academy of Letters acquired a new dimension as a prominent literary institution of Pakistan. He continued to write till his death in March 2000. Rahman's work added a new dimension to humor in Urdu literature.[4] He created a world that was very real with all its joys, pains and anguish. It was an affirmation of life and of human values: empathy, compassion and respect. Even the seemingly frivolous and trivial situations had hidden meanings that probed deep into the human psyche. His language was simple, spontaneous and expressive.[2][4]
He was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz for his military and civilian services after his death on March 23, 2001.[2]


Rahman has highly been praised by Urdu writers, like:
"Though Shafeeq's humour is not shy of practical jokes, he uses it sparingly and his playfulness stops just in time to save the humour from becoming tragedy, which sometimes is the case with Chughtai. Secondly, Shafeeq is the master of parody".[4]
"Then he often philosophises about joys and sorrows, sweeping the young readers with the bouts of optimism and pessimism, giving semi-philosophical, semi-romantic explanations to the queries that haunt the youth. In addition, his many essays are nothing but a collection of jokes and the essay itself is only the thread that binds them together. His characters, novel and funny, such as Rufi or Shaitaan, Maqsood Ghora, Hukoomat Aapa and Buddy, make reading joyful".[4]

An excerpt

English translation is given at the end.
Owais Mughal recalls
Following ‘azad’ poem is by one of my favourite writers, Shafiq-ur-Rehman and it comes from his book ‘lehreN’. The poem is actually a satire on modern day poets who write ‘azad’ Urdu poem by using all the ‘azadi’ they can get. The poem describes a situation of fighting cats in a garden. I hope it brings a smile to you just like it has been bringing smiles to me for the past 20 years.

Here is my attempt at an approximate translation for our English readers:
Cats are fighting
Oh Cats
May be cats are fighting in garden now
There is the haze of dusk
It is time to rest
to work
get rewarded
And cats are fighting
May be they are 4 in number
or may be 3
But this little doubt has made house in my heart
that the cats are 5 in number
and definitely they cannot be 6
and the night is glowing in moonlight
and the moon is shining bright
and the moonlight is ubiquitous
and this moonlight will only last for a little while
and then there is a pitch dark night ahead
What was i saying?
Aah, it just slipped out of my mind
What happened to my memory?
Only God can fix it
Oh Yes, I just remembered!
the cats are fighting
Cats are probably finghting in the garden now!


  • Kirnein (Rays of Light) 1942[4]
  • Shagofey 1943[4]
  • Lehrein (Waves) 1944[4]
  • Madd-o-jazar (Ebb and Flow) 1946[4]
  • Parwaaz (Flight) 1945[4]
  • Himaqatain 1947[4]
  • Mazeed Himaqatain 1948[4]
  • Dajla (a travalogue) 1980 [4]
  • Insaani Tamasha (a translation of “a human comedy”) [4]
  • Dareechay 1989[4]
  • Pachtaway (Regrets) 1948[4]


  1. ^ "Tete-a-tete with Abid Ali"The Express 2011-12-22. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  2. a b c d e f g "شفیق الرحما ن کی بر سی Shafiq-ur-Rehman Death Anniversary". Pakistan Radio News Network. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  3. ^ "Humour and Satire in Urdu Literature". Qurtuba.Edu.PK. p. 183. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Shafeeq-ur-Rahman: Humorist Par Excellence". 2009-07-01--Note: This article also appeared in theDaily Dawn of Tuesday, 24 Mar, 2009. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  5. a b c "An excerpt from Shafiq-ur-Rehman’s ‘lehreN’". Critical PAKISTAN'S ALTERNATIVE MEDIA. 2008-02-09 ( Retrieved 2012-09-02.


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