Abu-Al-Asar Hafeez Jalandhari was a Pakistani writer, poet and, above all, writer of the National Anthem of Pakistan. He was born in Jalandhar, Punjab, British India on January 14, 1900. After independence of Pakistan in 1947, Hafeez Jalandhari moved to Lahore. Hafeez made up for the lack of formal education with self-study but he has the privilege to have some advise from the great Persian poet Maulana Ghulam Qadir Bilgrami. His dedication, hard work and advise from such a learned person carved his place in poetic pantheon. Hafeez Jalandhari actively participated in Pakistan Movement and used his writings to propagate for the cause of Pakistan. In early 1948, he joined the forces for the freedom of Kashmir and got wounded. Hafeez Jalandhari wrote the Kashmiri Anthem, “Watan Hamara Azad Kashmir”. He wrote many patriotic songs during Pakistan, India war in 1965. Hafeez Jalandhari served as Director General of morals in Pakistan Armed Forces, and very prominent position as adviser to the President, Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan and also Director of Writer’s Guild[disambiguation needed]. Hafeez Jalandhari’s monumental work of poetry, Shahnam-e-Islam, gave him incredible fame which, in the manner of Firdowsi’s Shahnameh, is a record of the glorious history of Islam in verse. Hafeez Jalandhari wrote the national anthem of Pakistan composed by Ahmed Ghulamali Chagla also known as Ahmed G Chagla. He is unique in Urdu poetry for the enchanting melody of his voice and lilting rhythms of his songs and lyrics. His poetry generally deals with romantic, religious, patriotic and natural themes. He chooses his themes, images and tunes from the subcontinent and his language is a fine blend of Hindi and Urdu diction, reflecting the composite culture of South Asia.
Hafeez was born in Jalandhar, British India to a Rajput family. His father was Shams-ud-din who was Hafiz-e-Qur’an. He firstly studied in mosque and was then admitted in a local school. He then received formal education up until seventh grade (class). Recently, another poet Jagannath Azad, son of Lahore-based poet Tilok Chand Mahroom, claimed that long before Hafeez Jalandhariâ€™s lyrics were adopted as the national anthem in 1950s, Pakistan had an anthem written by him. He was commissioned by Muhammad Ali Jinnah to write the anthem three days before the creation of Pakistan in 1947. After long debates on this issue in Pakistan, researchers have declined Azad’s claim to be the poet of first national anthem of Pakistan.Dr Safdar Mehmood, a famous researcher in Pakistan, has written an article in ‘Daily Jang’ (6 June 2010), researching this topic a bit further. Based on his research, Dr Mehmood suggests that while there might be a possibility that Azad might have written a national (milli) song which was broadcast by Radio Pakistan after 1947, however, there is no evidence of Azadâ€™s meeting with Jinnah nor of the claim that he wrote a national anthem for Pakistan which was approved by Jinnah and which was broadcast by Radio Pakistan as the new countryâ€™s national anthem. In fact, there is no record of the broadcast of Azad’s anthem in the official archives of Radio Pakistan. Azad has also claimed that he was awarded ‘Iqbal Medal’ in 1979 by the Government of Pakistan. Again, this claim is not true as his name is not included in the governmental record of national award holders maintained by the Cabinet Division of Pakistan.