Pashto literature (Pashto: پښتو ليكنې) refers to literature and poetry in Pashto language. The history of Pashto literature spreads over five thousands years having its roots in the oral tradition of tapa. However, the first recorded period begins in 7th century with Amir Kror Suri (a warrior poet). Later, Pir Roshan (1526–1574), who founded his own Sufi school of thoughts and began to preach his beliefs. He gave Pashto prose and poetry a new and powerful tone with a rich literary legacy. Khair-ul-Bayan, oft-quoted and bitterly criticized thesis, is most probably the first book on Sufism in Pashto literature. Among his disciples are some of the most distinguished poets, writers, scholars and sufis, like Arzani, Mukhlis, Mirza Khan Ansari, Daulat and Wasil, whose poetic works are well preserved. Akhund Darweza (1533–1615), a popular religious leader and scholar gave a powerful counterblast to Bayazid’s movement in the shape of Makhzanul Islam. He and his disciples have enriched the Pashto language and literature by writing several books of prose.
|Proverb||In Roman Pashto||Meaning in English||Notes|
|په رومي پښتو کښې
pə romí pәx̌to ke
|انګرېزۍ کښې مانا
angrezә́i ke mānā́
|مور په يولاس زانګو او په بل لاس نړۍ زانګوي||mor pə yaw lās zāngó aw pə bəl lās naṛә́i zāngawí||A mother rocks the cradle with one hand and the world with the other|
|هر څه چې ډېر شي نو ګنډېر شي||har tsә če ḍér ši no ganḍér ši||When anything becomes allot it becomes poisonous||ګنډېر
= a bitter poisonous plant
|غوا که توره ده, شيدې يې سپينې دي||ğwā kә tóra da šidé ye spíne di||Although a cow be black, her milk is white|
|واده اسان وي خو ټک ټوک يې ګران وي||wādә́ asā́n wi xo ṭak-ṭúk ye grān wi||A wedding is easy but its workings are hard||ټک ټوک
= the sound when two small things bang against each other; to denote working on small tasks
|د وچو سره لامده هم سوځي||də wә́čo sәrá lāmdә́ ham swadzí||The wet too burn with the dry|
|ژرنده که د پلار ده هم په وار ده||žránda kә dә plār da ham pә wār da||Even if the mill is of father, it is by turn|
|تورې ته ګېنډې نيسه خبرو ته تندی نيسه||túre tə genḍé nisá, xabә́ro tə tandáy nisá||Hold the shield to the sword, the forehead to words||ګېنډه [genḍá]
= rhino; as its skin is hard so shields would be made from it
|کار په کولو کېږي||kār pə kawә́lo kéǵi||Work gets done by doing it|
|پاړو د مار له لاسه مري||pāṛú dә mār lə lā́sa mrí||The snake charmer dies because of the snake|
|په ګوهار کښې به يې سخی نه وي
وايي به زموږ د کلي ګوهار هغه دی
|pə gohā́r ke bə ye sxay nə wi. wā́yi bә zamuǵ də kalí gohā́r háğa day||In the herd he will not have calf. But will keep on saying: that is the herd of our village||ګوهار
=herd of cattle
|پيشو زبرګه شوه منږک نه نيسي||pišó zbә́rga šwa manǵák nә nisí||The cat has become holy/saintly, she does not catch mice.||زبرګ
|چېرته خوله چېرته څنګل||čérta xwla čérta tsangә́l||Where (be) the mouth (and) where (be) the elbow ?||To point out contrast: as most people cannot touch the elbow with the mouth|
|چې اوګره سړېږي مېلمه ډېرېږي||če ográ saṛéǵi melmә́ ḍeréǵi||When the rice porridge cools the guests increase||اوګره
- Amir Kror Suri, son of Amir Polad Suri, he was an 8th-century folk hero and king from the Ghor region of Afghanistan.
- Pir Roshan, Pashto poet known for assembling Pashtun armies to fight against the Mughal emperor Akbar; founded the 16th-century Roshanniya movement and wrote the Pashto book Khayr al-Bayān to present his philosophical ideas.
- Shaikh Mali, narrated the Yusufzai conquest of Swat, and devised rules for distribution of land and water rights which became known as da Shekh Mālī daftar.
- Khushal Khan Khattak, 17th-century warrior-poet who preached the unity of all Pashtuns.
- Rahman Baba (c. 1632 - c. 1706), one of the greatest Pashto poets of all time, whose works are as important to the Pashtun as William Shakespeare is to the English; his works are spiritual.
- Khan Abdul Ghani Khan, (c. 1914-1996), Pashtun philosopher and Pashto language poet, artist (painter and sculptor), writer and Pashtun nationalist politician of the 20th century. He was a son of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and older brother of Khan Abdul Wali Khan.
- Afzal Khan Khattak
- Ashraf Khan Khattak
- Ajmal Khattak
- Pareshan Khattak
- Khan Roshan Khan
- Nazoo Anaa
- Ghani Khan
- Hamza Baba
- Kabir Stori
- Ahmad Shah Baba
- Shah Shuja
- Timur Shah
- Abaseen Yousafzai
- Hamza Shinwari
- Riaz Tasneem
- Sahib Shah Sabir
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- Afghan Monarchs: Sher Shah Suri, Amanullah Khan, Habibullah Khan, Amir Kror Suri. London: General Books. 2010. p. 26. ISBN 9781156384251. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- Afghanistan. Vol. 20–22. Historical Society of Afghanistan. 1967. p. 47. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Rahman Baba: Poet of the Pashtuns". BBC News. February 21, 2005. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
- Pasho Shayro Shayri at Khyber.org