Hum Dekhenge (Urdu: ہم دیکھیں گے‎) is a popular Urdu nazm, written by Faiz Ahmad Faiz.[1] Originally written as Va Yabqá Vajhu Rabbika (The face of your lord)[2], it was included in the seventh poetry book of Faiz -- Mere Dil Mere Musafir.

Hum Dekhenge 
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Original titleویبقی و جہ ر بک
First published in1981


The nazm was composed as a medium of protest against Zia Ul Haq's oppressive regime.[3] It gained a rapid cult-following as a leftist[4][5] song of resistance and defiance[6], after a public rendition by Iqbal Bano at Alhamra Arts Council[7][8] on 13 February,1986[9], ignoring the ban on Faiz's poetry.[10][11][12][13][14][15]


The poem employs the metaphor of traditional Islamic imagery to subvert and challenge Zia's fundamentalist interpretation of them; Qayamat, the Day of Reckoning is transformed into the Day of Revolution, wherein Zia's military government will be ousted by the people and democracy will be re-installed.[14][16]

In popular cultureEdit

It was recreated in Coke Studio Season 11 on 22 July 2018, under the aegis of Zohaib Kazi and Ali Hamza.[17][A] The poem has gained centre-stage in protests against Pervez Musharraf in early 2000s.[19] The poem has gained attention The poem has been quoted and sung widely across a variety of protests in the sub-continent.[20][21]


During the Citizenship Amendment Act protests in India[22], a temporary faculty of IIT Kanpur took issue with this Pakistani nazm being sung by protesting students in the campus, and alleged it to be "anti-Hindu".[23][B][C] A commission has been subsequently set up[26]; the student media body rejects the charges as misinformed and communal, which divorced the poem out of its societal context.[27][28]

Notes and referencesEdit


  1. ^ The Coke Studio rendition however removed some lines, which were arguably the most controversial part of the poem.[18]
  2. ^ The line "sab but uThvā.e jā.eñge" and "bas naam rahegā allāh kā" respectively translates to "when all the idols will be removed" and "only Allah will remain", from a very-literal reading. It was thus perceived to challenge idolatry and polytheism, central tenets of Hinduism.
  3. ^ The professor claims to promote Vedic Dharma and has had a history of writing Islamophobic articles.[24][25]


  1. ^ Vincent, Pheroze L. (2 January 2012). "Faiz poetry strikes chord in Delhi". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph.
  2. ^ Kantor, Roanne (2 July 2016). "'My Heart, My Fellow Traveller': Fantasy, Futurity and the Itineraries of Faiz Ahmed Faiz". South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. 39 (3): 608–625. doi:10.1080/00856401.2016.1189034. ISSN 0085-6401.
  3. ^ Ali, Tariq (2000). On the Abyss: Pakistan After the Coup. HarperCollins Publishers India. p. 198. ISBN 978-81-7223-389-1.
  4. ^ Hanif, Mohammed (19 December 2019). "Opinion | The Dictator and His Death Sentence". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  5. ^ Dutt, Bishnupriya (3 July 2015). "Performing Resistance with Maya Rao: Trauma and Protest in India". Contemporary Theatre Review. 25 (3): 372. doi:10.1080/10486801.2015.1049823. ISSN 1048-6801.
  6. ^ Korpe, Marie; Reitov, Ole (September 2010). "Banned: a Rough Guide". Index on Censorship. 39 (3): 36. doi:10.1177/0306422010381043. ISSN 0306-4220.
  7. ^ "Husn-e-Ghazal". The Hindu (newspaper). 12 March 2005. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  8. ^ Iqbal Bano ghazal personified Dawn (newspaper), published 22 April 2009, Retrieved 21 June 2018
  9. ^ Bamzai, Kaveree (2 January 2020). "Modi's India unhappy with protesters singing Faiz's Hum Dekhenge. Zia's Pakistan was too". ThePrint. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Iqbal Bano - Renowned Pakistani singer of Urdu ghazals". The Guardian (UK). 10 May 2009., Retrieved 21 June 2018
  11. ^ Khan, M Ilyas (22 April 2009). "Pakistani singer Iqbal Bano dies". BBC News.
  12. ^ Pirzadeh, Saba; Pirzada, Tehmina (4 May 2019). "Pakistani popular music: A call to reform in the public sphere". South Asian Popular Culture. 17 (2): 197. doi:10.1080/14746689.2018.1512702. ISSN 1474-6689.
  13. ^ Chakravarti, Uma (2008). "Archiving the nation-state in feminist praxis: a South Asian perspective". Centre for Women's Development Studies. hdl:2451/34235.
  14. ^ a b Raza, Gauhar (January 2011). "Listening to Faiz is a subversive act". Himal Southasian.
  15. ^ Media, Naya Daur (4 September 2019). "When Iqbal Bano Defied Zia's Dictatorship To Sing 'Hum Dekheinge' At Alhamra". Medium. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  16. ^ "The story of Faiz's Hum Dekhenge — from Pakistan to India, over 40 years". The Indian Express. 27 December 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  17. ^ Maheen Sabeeh (24 July 2018). "Coke Studio 11 announces itself with 'Hum Dekhenge'". The News International. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  18. ^ Kaur, Harnidh (26 July 2018). "What Coke Studio did to Faiz's song, Pakistan is doing to its people". ThePrint. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  19. ^ Khalid, Haroon. "Faiz Ahmed Faiz: Pakistan's symbol of revolution is today a universal symbol of peace, democracy". Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  20. ^ Naqvi, Jawed (15 December 2008). "If mullahs usurp anti-imperialism should the secular fight be given up?". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  21. ^ "DAWN - Features; November 22, 2007". DAWN.COM. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  22. ^ "How these poems have defined anti-CAA protests". The Week. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Who's afraid of a song?". The Indian Express. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  24. ^ Sharma, Unnati (4 January 2020). "IIT Kanpur professor at centre of Faiz row is a 'love jihad' critic, gau raksha proponent". ThePrint. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  25. ^ "Anti-nationals to rape to 'Islamic' Taj: IIT-K prof's gems". The Indian Express. 5 January 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  26. ^ Service, Tribune News. "IIT Kanpur panel to decide if Faiz poem is anti-Hindu". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  27. ^ "IIT Kanpur students respond to professor who accused them of chanting anti-India slogans".
  28. ^ "Don't communalise the peaceful gathering at IIT Kanpur". Vox Populi. 21 December 2019. Archived from the original on 21 December 2019.

External linksEdit