Friday, 6 March 2009

The Diwan of Rahman Baba (رحمان بابا)

Rahman Baba, (رحمان بابا, Grandfather Rahman) is also called the Nightingale of Pakhtoonkhwa
I joined the interest group in Facebook some some months ago and I had been planning a piece of writing on Rahman Baba for this blog before the recent attack on his mazar.

Seems like along with the many other troubles in Pakistan and Afghanistan including the violence in the Pashtoon belt, bizarre deals with the Taleban, death and destruction has become so commonplace, there's a danger that we carry on without realising the long term impact. The recent dismantling of girls' education in Swat, and mass exodus of people from Bajuar, Swat and the neighbouring areas can somehow be seen as part of a sustained campaign all serving to hit the historical culture of the Pashtoon people.

The Diwan of Rahman Baba

Born over 300 years ago in the Afghan mountains, Abdul Rahman was destined to become one of the most loved and well known poets in Pashto literature. A studious child, Abdul Rahman grew to be a man of great character. Rahman lived a life of solitude, prayer and devotion to Islam.

Traditional Afghan poetry is essentially an oral art without the need of pen and ink, and only later are they collected into books. Rahman Baba's collection are available in a collection, entitled The Diwan of Rahman Baba.
Tor_Khan تور خان

Sow Flowers

Sow flowers so your surroundings become a garden,
Don’t sow thorns; for they will prick your feet

If you shoot arrows at others,
Know that the same arrow will come back to hit you.

Don’t dig a well in another’s path,
In case you come to the well’s edge

You look at everyone with hungry eyes
But you will be first to become mere dirt.

Humans are all one body,
Whoever tortures another, wounds himself.

Rahman Baba (رحمان بابا)

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