Book: Mataa-e-Sha’ari by Dr Haroonur Rasheed Tabasum

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Amjad Parvez

Writing book reviews is a domain of literature in which this reviewer has been working for the past two and a half decades or so. The language used for the reviews is English despite whatever language in which a book is published in Pakistan. The main idea behind using this language is that the English using urbanites of all ages and the foreigners come to know what sort of literature is emanating from this part of the world. Resultantly this reviewer receives dozens of books every periodically to read and write a review on. Selections from these published reviews have appeared in two books Symphony of Reflections and Rainbow of Reflections already. The third one ‘Pearls of reflections’ is on way. Dr Haroonur Rasheed Tabasum seems to have done the same work but in Urdu language on the books he has been given by various authors in his lifetime. He has divided the books into two categories; poetry and prose. The book under review is compilation of his reviews on poetry titled ‘Mataa-e-Sha’ari’. Prose selections have appeared in the book titled Jehan-e-Nasr. The only difference is that most of the authors hail from Sargodha and its surroundings, which in a way a great service done to that area. The books on which this reviewer has worked come from all over Pakistan and some from abroad as well.

While writing a book review this reviewer has kept in mind that a good book review will point out strengths and weaknesses in the book and look at what the author intended to do and whether or not he managed to meet his intentions. The other points to be noted are that full bibliographic information, often presented as a heading or introductory sentence, a brief description of the contents of the book, an assessment of the author’s authority/biases, an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the book based on the purposes of the author, and using evidence to support the reviewer’s argument and an overall assessment of the book, are available. We shall try to see if the author of the book under review has fulfilled these obligations. Often self-proclaimed critics say that criticism should also be added in a review. To quench their thirst, though it is not necessary to do that, this reviewer does point out flaws in the book and disagree wherever the contents necessitate it.

Dr Tabasum has mentioned may quotes in favour of reading books in his introduction. The one I like best is that books are more valuable than expensive jewellery. He is disappointed with gradual flourishing of night net clubs replacing book reading habit in the present generation. About poetry the author says that couplets are just like capsules of wisdom and knowledge that entices the readers to ponder upon the issues touched upon. The poetry can take one to a journey from earth to the skies. Thoughts that dawn upon on the earth take one on to journey of seven colours of rainbow, and stars spread on the sky. The poetry book’s name follows from this concept and has been written on the books from the personal library of the author. That is why the first few books are by Shakir Nizami, Shakir Kandan, Anjum Niazi, Zahuruddin Zaheer, Hanif Sajid, Mirza Shamsul Hassan, Abdul Ghani Taib, Haji Gul Bakhshalvi, Allama Rashk Turabi, Sufi Faqeer Muhammad, Dr Muhammad Musharaf Hussain Anjum and Khursheed Rizvi in praise of the Almighty and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The rest of the 84 books covered are on Ghazal and Nazm formats.

This reviewer remembers having been gifted the book Hamzad Da Dukh by PTV host Tariq Aziz. The book basically refers to the callous attitude of the world in his poems. Dr Tabasum invariably writes on the background of the poet like the place and year of birth. Syed Hassan Abbas Zaidi, author of Khalish-e-Dil was born on January 20, 1920 in Karnal, now India. He used to hold Mushairas in Shahpur when in Education Department. Professor Muhammad Munawar Mirza was a famous personality of Government College Lahore as well as Oriental College, Lahore. He was considered an authority on Iqbal. Though literature lovers enjoyed his prose more but his poetry collection titled ‘Ghubar-e-Tamana’ left a mark.

The other books reviewed by the author are ghazal, Shakh-e-Gul, Benaam, Dr Inayatullah Baluch, Johar Nizami. He was a critic also, Muzaffar Hasan Mansoor, Tafakhar Gondal and Zulfiqar Ahsan. Others are Tabasum Rehan, Riaz Ahmad Anjum, Aziz Alvi, Asim Bukhari, Tafakhar Gondal, Safdar Khurshid, Atta Muhammad Khan, Musarat Birjees Zafar, Asghar Shami Gujhe Rog, Bismil Sabri, Shafqat Qazi, Mumtaz Arif and Wassi Shah.

It is not possible to mention all the poets covered in the book under review due to space limits of this submission.

Amjad Parvez , ” Compilation of poetry reviews ,” in Daily Times, June 29, 2015. Accessed on June 26, 2015, at:

The item above written by Amjad Parvez and published in Daily Times on June 29, 2015, is catalogued here in full by Faiz-e-Zabaan for non-profit educational purpose only. Faiz-e-Zabaan neither claims the ownership nor the authorship of this item. The link to the original source accessed on June 26, 2015, is available here. Faiz-e-Zabaan is not responsible for the content of the external websites.

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