Launching ceremony of ‘Nagma-e-Yaqeen’: A unique event

Syed Saqib Akber’s first poetry book ‘Nagma-e-Yaqeen’ was launched at the Islamabad Club in Islamabad on 29 April 2015. The launching ceremony was organized by Al-Basirah.

Although, lots of poetical writings of Saqib Akber are ready for publication, but among this he selected some of his poetry to be published in the form of ‘Nagma-e-Yaqeen’, which is basically a collection of ‘Na’at’, ‘Munqabat’ and ‘Salaam’. The opening ceremony of this book was a unique occasion of its kind. It looked like as if the whole atmosphere was hypnotized by this poetic book. Poems and verses from the book written out of sheer devotion and love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his Ahle Bait (progeny) were being uttered by almost every speaker and listener. Some said that launching of this book in the month of Rajab was a good omen and some others stated that verses of the Holy Quran come to mind while reciting Na’at from this book. Some speakers paid tribute in verse form while others used plain prose to eulogize the author and his poetic collection. Every speaker had already selected some verses from the book according to his taste and during his turn read the same verses before the audience thrilling them and warming their hearts with the love of Alhe Bait. Apart from these songs of love and affection, artistic features of this book also came under discussion. Saqib Akber, the writer of the book, was also a topic of discussion. The speakers also made a mention of other books written by the author. What the chief guest Professor Fateh Mohammad Malik said on the occasion is sufficient to describe the distinctive atmosphere that was generated by the event. He stated, “Since the beginning of the ceremony it feels as if we are in a state of worship.”

When the talk is about the love and affection of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his progeny, then how is it possible not to presume such an event as being a religious observance. The Prophet (PBUH) has said: Remembrance of Ali (a.s) and speaking about him is worship. And throughout this event the remembrance of the whole family (Ahle Bait) continued unabated. The ceremony started with the recitation of Quranic verses, which was followed by reciting of a Na’at chosen from ‘Nagma-e-Yaqeen’. It would be unfair not to mention the name of young poet Syed Hasan Raza Naqvi. He aptly hosted the whole ceremony using easy and flowing language.

Assembling of academic and literary stars was a good sign for the ambience and atmosphere of Islamabad and Dr. Ghazanfar Mehdi also made a reference of it. He rightly said that the government should sponsor such events. He also urged media to give full coverage to such meetings so that the nation is freed from ignorance, extremism and incivility. Following is the brief account of what writers, poets and intellectuals said on the occasion:

Syed Abbas Naqvi

Syed Abbas Naqvi was the first to speak on the occasion. He himself is a poet of repute and different volumes of his poetry have already been published. The paper which he presented will be included in a separate publication.

Mufti Gulzar Ahmed Naeemi

While shedding light on ‘Nagma-e-Yaqeen’, Gulzar Naeemi said it is a song of faith. He said title of one of the Surah (chapter) of Quran is Ash-Shu'ara (The Poets) and there is mention of both good and bad poets in it. He said that this Surah divides poets into two classes. Some preach profanity and drive people towards perversion and immorality while others preach nobility enhancing the divine mission of prophets through their poetry. He said Saqib Akber has glorified God in his poetry. He said it has been reported in Hadith that the Prophet (PBUH) enjoyed certain forms of poetry and for this the Holy Prophet (PBUH) regularly made special arrangements. Encouraging good poets the Prophet (PBUH) used to say to them that their verses pierce the body of the enemies of Islam just like arrows penetrate into their chests.

Anjum Khaliq

Eminent poet Anjum Khaliq presented his scholarly paper on the occasion, which is being included in the Monthly Payam.

Dr. Ghazanfar Mehdi

Addressing the ceremony, leading social activist and Chairman Markazi Imam Hussain Council Dr. Ghazanfar Mehdi said that he has an old association with Saqib Akber. He said that he also had very good relationship with his father. He said Saqib Akber, besides being a poet, is an established intellectual, writer, journalist and promoter of Muslim unity. He suggested that the writer should give his book to ‘Na’at Khwans’ and ‘Zakireen’ so that they can benefit from it. He demanded of the government to give media coverage to such kinds of academic and literary gatherings. He said that these meetings are an integral part of our culture and they help in evolution of our heritage.

Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali

Eminent personality and Nazim-e-Aala Tanzimul Arifeen Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali while speaking on the occasion said that the launching of the book made him really glad. He said that the headings of ‘Nagma-e-Yaqeen’ were perfect. He said the tone and style used by Saqib Akber in writing Na’at resembles with the Quran reflecting deep study of the author. He said the reader is absorbed in deep thought and the verses of the Holy Book come to his mind when reading these poems written in praise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Sultan Ahmad Ali is a descendant of Hazrat Sultan Bahu.

Mian Muhammad Tanvir Qadri

Mian Muhammad Tanvir Qadri, a well-known poet famous for writing poetry in praise of Holy Prophet (PBUH), said that Saqib Akber apart from being a thinker, religious scholar and poet was also an ordained spiritual superior. He said that he had not only read this book but also had been studying the personality of Saqib Akber for long.

Aqa Shahabuddin Daarai

The head of Iran's Cultural Center, Aqa Shahabuddin Daarai while speaking on the occasion said that man is a dichotomous (dual nature) being consisting of  a body and a soul. He said the well-being of soul depends on the type of food it gets just like the well-being of body depends on the quality of diet it receives. He said that poetry, discourses, and love of the Ahle Bait serve as food for the soul. He said that the Quran had attached great importance to the pen and among the Quranic oaths God has taken the oath of the pen in the Holy Book. He said although a martyr or martyrdom is highly revered in Islam, but at the same time the Islamic Shariat has termed ink of the pen superior to the blood of martyrs. He said just as a doctor aspires that his patient gets well, similarly a writer should pick up his pen for the transformation of society for its betterment.

Professor Jaleel Aali

Renowned poet Professor Jaleel Aali said writing Na’at is a Divine blessing. He said writing Na’at about such a revered personality is difficult but Saqib Akber has done it with great care. He said Na’at is so firmly embedded in the culture of Pakistan that our poets make use of Na’at verses in Ghazals also. He said apart from being Sadaqah-e-jaria (an everlasting charity), this volume of Saqib Akber is an excellent addition to our religious literary books.

Akram Zaki

Prominent scholar and diplomat Akram Zaki said that in this era of uncertainty ‘Nagma-e-Yaqeen’ is a very good addition for the literati. He said that Saqib Akber has shown immense love for the Ahle Bait in the book. He said that those having deep love for the Ahle Bait can never reconcile with autocracy and monarchy. Indirectly referring to Yemen conflict, he said that we are patting those on the back who are the aggressors. He said that we are ready to defend Harmain (two sacred shrines at Makkah and Medina) but not a particular family. He said that we need to safeguard the teachings of the Quran and the commandments of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his progeny. He said we can’t give protection to Al Saud in the name of protecting the two Holy Mosques. Akram Zaki also read out a beautiful Na’at written by him.

Professor Fateh Mohammad Malik

Renowned intellectual Fateh Mohammad Malik said that Saqib Akber has translated in verse form Allama Iqbal’s famous Qasida (genre of Urdu and Persian poetry eulogizing a person) which is a beautiful tribute to Hazrat Fatima (a.s.). He said it is very unfortunate that we have not so far understood it in its real perspective. Referring to few verses of this Qasida in which the Allama has said that he is bound by the law of Islam and commandments of the Prophet, otherwise, he would have gone round and round the gravesite of Hazrat Fatima and would have done sajdah on her grave, Fateh Malik said that it proves that the status of a woman in Islam is much higher than that of a man. He said that right from childhood he has been listening that paradise is under the feet of a mother. He said that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) highly respected women. Praising the poetry of Saqib Akber he said it is the quality of a writer that he beautifully transfers his ideals to his readers.  He said, at least, Saqib Akber has done so as far as he is concerned. He said God’s blessings be on Saqib Akber and Al-Basirah for the good deeds that he and his institution is doing.

In the end Saqib Akber thanked all the participants especially poets, intellectuals and writers.