Mirza Suhaib Ikram
Sab meer ko dete hain jagha aankon per apni
Is Khak rah ishq ka ezaz to dekho
Sitara-e-Imtiaz was raised when it was adorned on Ibne Safi, the uncrowned king of espionage literature. Awards, honors, medals, titles have always been given to people who have done outstanding work in various fields of the world. These honors are the way of appreciating their great work. These things also increase the stature of these people and these awards also put stamp of approval on their work in a way. But there are some people, when they are honored with the award or medal and their name is associated with this award, makes this award come to life. Like Sitara-e-Imtiyaz given to Ibne Safi for literature this year.
When the founding father of Urdu poetry, Mirza Ghalib, is honored by the emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar with the titles of Dabir-ul-Mulk, Najam-ud-Daulah and Nizam-e-Jang on behalf of the state of India, then it was not Ghalib or his work rather emperor registered his name in pages of history. From the beginning of the world till today, kings and emperors have come and gone, but only one Ghalib came to dominate in Urdu literature. Therefore, every word associated with him is respectable for literary lovers.
When the statue of the Filmfare Award is touched by the emperor of emotions, king of popularity and fame and God of acting, Dilip Kumar, the goddess becomes sacred and becomes a landmark for those receiving the Filmfare Awards
When the title ‘Sir’ is given to the great batsman Don Bradman, the forerunner of the history of cricket, who gave meaning and respect to the word ‘cricket’, the word ‘Sir’ rises with pride and joy. And this title achieves its right place.
Gabriel García Márquez, who rose to prominence in the field of literature with his pen, receives the Nobel Prize for creating a masterpiece like “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, Nobel Prize becomes really Nobel. The existence of the Nobel could not have affected the height of Gabriel’s pen, but without Gabriel, the Nobel would always stay low, because any award remain incomplete if the rightful owner does not receive it.
When the biggest and deepest diver in the ocean of acting refuses to hold the Oscars, the world knows that Marilyn Brando is not incomplete without an Oscar, but if the Oscar is to rise, it has to reach the hands of an artist higher than heaven and deeper than ocean, Marilyn Brando, otherwise these awards will lose their prestige.
Similarly, when Ibne Safi, the Pioneer and founder of Urdu espionage literature, who embodied the mysteries and curiosity with words, was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the government of Pakistan 40 years after his demise. It was not Ibne Safi who got this honor and respect was but it was award which received its due.
Ibne Safi’s real distinction, real medal, true honor is his reader who is quenching his intellectual and literary thirst with his sharp pen from generation to generation.
Meri ghutti mein pari thi ho ke hal Urdu zabaN
Jo b mein kehta gaya husn-e-byaan banta gaya
When Ibne Safi stepped into the world of espionage in 1952, critics of Urdu literature rejected this work and expelled him from serious literature without actually reading him. Then, after the Imran series came to existence in 1955, Ibne Safi’s imitator became thousands and admirers count went in millions. But the literary critics who were in charge of Urdu literature at that time turned down Ibne Safi’s immortal writings and continued to block the path of Ibne Safi’s pen for a long time by declaring it popular fiction.
Those who wish to hold up in front of the sea are called fools. The desire to change the direction of the wind can be just a crazy dream. Trying to block sunlight is called irrational. Therefore, when critics and imitators tried to block the light of Ibne Safi’s pen, then the reader of Urdu novels gave them a harsh lesson that can never be forgotten.
Despite the difficulties, Ibne Safi made a place under the pillow from the book shelves in such a way that three generations have passed, but the real, authentic and public literature written by him is still present under the pillow of one or another reader.
Ibne Safi did not only present high and rare examples of crime, punishment and humor to the reader of his time and the reader of the age to come. Neither did he acquaint his reader with only ascension of fiction, but he also showed the sorrows of mankind to people, he made the reader of Urdu literature travel to the past, present and future. With his timeless pen, the readers of literature not only knew the problems of the world but also found a way to tackle them.
Ibne Safi laid the foundations of espionage in Urdu literature. His work had such a fine details of espionage which was never seen before in Urdu language. He was the first man in espionage literature as his style of writing was considered the epitome of espionage literature. During his heyday and after his demise, many people tried their hand at espionage literature, but the language and rhetoric of Ibne Safi’s writings had carved such deep impression on his reader’s mind that it did not change after that. Everyone accepted that Ibne Safi was the Pioneer, but the fact that he was also the final word in this genre was understood by the reader of literature much later.
For decades, Ibne Safi was considered a bestseller and substandard. But the face that turned out to be the cleanest and clearest from the dust of time was his. His pen was a beautiful combination of conservatism and modernity. The fluency of language, sweet narration, freshness and excitement were so mixed in his novels that it still feels the fresh morning breeze.
Today, Sitara-e-Imtiaz is a slap in the face to those who have always shunned the genre of espionage as literature. Undoubtedly, this is a breath of fresh air in the atmosphere of despair for the writers of espionage literature. With this honor, the statement which was going on hundred years against espionage literature and which was earlier torn by Ibne Safi with the tip of his pen, is now completed shattered.
Ham ne jo tarz-e-fughaaN ki hai qafas mein ejaad
Faiz gulshan mein wohi tarz-e-bayaaN thehri hai
Ibne Safi is the architect of espionage literature. The tower of greatness of his pen is above all honors and distinctions, but after him, following in his footsteps, many literary scholars made every effort to uphold the sanctity of the pen. Whose work is both literary and real, who have been serving literature with blood and sweat instead of plagiarism. Now that Ibne Safi has received the award, there is hope and conviction that there are many other deserving people who may have been lost in time, now, at some point, the governments will surely remember them. It is both a requirement and an important need of this era that instead of dividing literature into genres, different styles and expressions should be recognized and the reach of Urdu should be further expanded by encouraging it.
Ibne Safi was the first and last man of his field. Now he is definitely the first person to get Sitara-e-Imtiaz in regards to espionage literature but God forbid that he should not be the last one. But also many writers who love literature by following in his footsteps should receive this honor too and it should reach its rightful owner.
If Ibne Safi and real writers like him are deprived of honors, these honors will one day completely lose their value and prestige. Ibne Safi’s pen will not be heightened with these awards, but in the eyes of later generations, these honors will be more valuable.
The author who extracted the essence from the stories of centuries, the sorrows of generations and the passage of the times to his reader, Urdu literature will always be grateful to this great author and every award will be honored only on the day when it reaches its right place like this award which finally reached Ibne Safi.
Zaban sukhan ko,sukhan basNkpan ko tarse ga
Sukhan kada meri tarz-e-fughan ko tarse ga