Architectural Role in Modern Na’t

Architectural Role in Modern Na’t” by Prof Dr Rauf Parekh.

It is a fact that Sabih Rehmani has played a vital role in not only popularizing Na’t poetry but also getting it recognized as a literary genre. Sabih’s Na’t poetry as well as his relentless efforts—which he has been carrying out for over a quarter of a century—for promotion of Na’t as a literary genre cover a vast domain of activities. Recitation of Na’t and editing and publishing a book serial ‘Na’t Rang’ is just one aspect of it.

Sabih Rehmani has been instrumental in recognition of Na’t as a serious, poetic and valuable genre. For quite long, Na’t poetry was considered just a religious genre and was not given a thought beyond a sacred image and a revered attitude.

It was Sabih who convinced critics that Na’t poetry is as meaningful, profound and thought-provoking as any other poetic genre, or more beautiful and impressive in some cases. Interestingly, when Sabih began using the word ‘tanqeed’ (criticism) for the genre of Na’t, it caused to raise many heckles as people generally believed that ‘tanqeed’ meant “criticizing”.

It took quite long time and great effort for Sabih to convince them that ‘tanqeed’ means evaluating and not criticizing alone and Na’t genre deserves literary evaluation just as any other literary genre does. But Sabih’s efforts have largely been ignored or were recognized only half-heartedly. We must be grateful to Shaykh Abdul Aziz Dabbagh that he has penned an entire book on Sabih’s role in promoting Na’t as a literary work.

Dabbagh has very carefully crafted the structure of the book and beginning right from where it should have begun: the historical and religious background of Na’t and praise for our exalted Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

Carefully taking into account all the relevant details Dabbagh has succinctly presented the essence of Sabih Rahmani’s efforts in the field.

I congratulate him on this useful work and hope that it will guide the coming generations of researchers who would work on Na’t, its significance, place in Urdu literature and Sabih Rahmani’s commendable work in this field.

Prof Dr. Rauf Parekh
Director General National Language Promotion Department

November 26, 2021.

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