Saifuddin Saif

Saifuddin Saif (20 March 1922 – 12 July 1993) was a Pakistani lyricist, poet, film producer-director, and the founder of Rehnuma Films, a film studio of 1954.[1]

Saifuddin Saif
Saifuddin Saif Portrait.jpg
Native name
سیف الدین سیف
20 March1922
Amritsar, British India
DiedJuly 12, 1993(1993-07-12) (aged 70)
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Resting placenear Model Town, Lahore cemetery
  • Lyricist
  • Poet
  • Film producer
  • Director
LanguageUrdu, Punjabi
Alma materGovt. M.A.O. College Lahore
SubjectPolitics, Entertainment
Literary movementProgressive Writers' Movement
Years active1948 – 1993
Notable awardsTwo Nigar Awards (1957)
Best Film Saat Lakh (1957)
Best Script/Story Writer for Saat Lakh (1957)

He was involved in writing poems and lyrics before and after the Partition. However, most of his films written before partition remained unreleased due to political instabilities in the subcontinent.[2][3] He was best known for his film Kartar Singh, and is also credited for writing lyrics for Pakistan's historical and first-ever feature film Teri Yaad, which helped him to appear among the prominent writers.[4][5]

As a poet, he wrote eleven gazals and four nazms on various subjects, including fifteen on friendship, fifteen on social, one on hope, and a poetic book titled Kham-e-Kakul, also known as Khan-e-Kamal (amazing ruler).[6][7][4]

Early life and educationEdit

Saifuddin was born and raised in British Raj at Amritsar.[1] He received his education from the Govt. M.A.O. College Lahore, but left midway after he was barred from taking part in board exams over joining political activism of the Khaksar Movement, a social movement aimed at freeing India from the British Empire.[2][1]


Saif started his career as a lyricist, but his childhood was originally associated with poetry writings and after leaving the college, he pursued poetry as a career.[1] He migrated to Pakistan following the partition and settled in Lahore where he initially worked as a dialogue writer and lyricist in the cinema of Pakistan. He later established Rahnuma Films, a full-fledged filmmaking production. He also wrote lyrics before partition, but none of the films was released. After his migration to Pakistan, all the films he worked for were released, and he was subsequently considered one of the prominent filmmakers of Pakistan.[2]

His first film as a lyricist was Hichkolay (1949), and later wrote songs for Amanat in 1950 and Naveli in 1952. His work for Ghulam and Mehbooba films of 1953 are generally recognized as his commercial success. After his commercial success, he established his film company called Rahnuma Films. He also worked as a producer, director and scriptwriter in Raat Ki Baat and Saat Lakh (1957),[4][8] including Lollywood's historical film Kartar Singh (1959), which is claimed to have covered real events and bloodshed of the 1947 partition.[9][10] He wrote "Payal Main Geet Hain Chham Chham Ke" song for film Gumnaam (1954) and also for film Qatil (1955).[11]

couplet by Saifuddin Saif

Dekha to phir vaheen thay chalay thay jahan se hum,
Kashti kay saath saath kinaray chalay gaye.

Translation: We found ourselves to be where we had begun our journey,
The coast moved as did the boat.[12]

Besides films, he primarily used to write poems which were sung by the prominent Pakistani singers, including Noor Jehan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Mahdi Hasan. Saif wrote a book titled Khan-e-Kamal, comprising a collection of gazals.[2]


  Remarks denote a short description of the work where available.
# Title Year Type/Credited as Remarks
1 Teri Yaad[1] 1948 Lyricist
2 Hichkoley[4][1] 1949 Lyricist
3 Amanat[4] 1950 Lyricist
4 Naveli[1] 1952 Lyricist
5 Ghulam 1953 Lyricist
6 Mehbooba 1953 Lyricist
7 Raat Kee Baat 1954 Writer, producer-director[2] The film flopped under the Rehnuma Films banner
8 Gumnaam[1] 1954 Song-writer
9 Qatil 1955 Song-writer
10 Saat Lakh[4][1] 1957 Writer, producer-director[2] It was Pakistan's first film that won Nigar Awards[13]
11 Kartar Singh[4][1] 1959 Writer, producer-director[2] After the success of film Kartar Singh, he became one of the most sought-after producer/directors in Pakistan[2]
12 Roopmati Baaz Bahadur 1960 lyricist
13 Darwaza[1] 1962 producer-director
14 Madr-e-Watan[1] 1966 Producer-director[14]
15 Kham-e-Kakul 1992 Poetry Also known as Khan-e-Kamal

Awards and recognitionEdit


  • Saif, Saifuddin (1992). Kham-e-Kakul. al Hamd Publications. Retrieved 3 July 2020.


Saifuddin Saif died on 12 July 1993 in Lahore, Pakistan and is buried near Model Town, Lahore cemetery.[2][1][16] His life is covered in a MPhil thesis book titled Shair-e-Kujkulah by Robina Shaista.[17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Profile of Saifuddin Saif". website. 5 January 2010. Archived from the original on 10 October 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "26th death anniversary of lyricist Saifuddin Saif observed". The Express Tribune. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  3. ^ Amarjit Chandan (13 August 2017). "Unfinished epic of grief & shame". The Tribune (Indian newspaper). Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Saifuddin Saif remembered". Pakistan Today (newspaper). 13 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Death anniversary of famous poet, filmmaker Saifuddin Saif observed". Associated Press of Pakistan website. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Saifuddin Saif Poetry - Urdu Shayari, Ghazals, Nazams & Poems". UrduPoint.
  7. ^ "Saifuddin Saif Poetry - Love & Sad Shayari, Ghazals, Nazams". UrduPoint.
  8. ^ "Famous Poet Saifuddin Saif Remembered On His Death Anniversary". UrduPoint.
  9. ^ Ghosh, Partha S. (23 May 2016). Migrants, Refugees and the Stateless in South Asia. SAGE Publishing India. ISBN 9789351508533 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ Roy, Anjali Gera; Chua, Beng Huat (10 November 2014). Travels of Bollywood Cinema: From Bombay to LA. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199088621 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Encore, NOS, The News International".
  12. ^ Rehman, Asha’ar (30 November 2018). "Corridors and other peace openings". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  13. ^ "In-Depth - Film Special". DAWN.COM. 1 June 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  14. ^ Wazir, Hamid Khan (5 September 2019). "Masheer Kazmi and Naseem Begum became eternal through "Aye Rah-e-Haq Ke Shaheedo"". Dispatch News Desk. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Nigar Award for Saifuddin Saif for film Saat Lakh (1957)". website. 13 May 2010. Archived from the original on 25 October 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  16. ^ Parveen, Aqsa (12 July 2019). "Remembering Poet, Filmmaker 'Saifuddin Saif'".
  17. ^ "Saifuddin Saif's book presented in entertaining style". The News International.

External linksEdit