Mujh Se Pehli Si Mohabbat Mere Mehboob Na Maang

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"Mujh Se Pehli Si Mohabbat Mere Mehboob Na Maang" (translated as "My love, don’t ask me for the love I once gave you") is an Urdu nazm by Faiz Ahmad Faiz.[1] The song is popular through its rendition by singer Noor Jehan and has been notably performed by many others. According to Faiz, the nazm also marks his transition from romantic work of his earlier years to mature works of his later years.


The poem appeared in his first collection of poetry Naqsh-e-Fariyadi, published in 1943.[2][3] Faiz belonged to the Progressive Writers’ Movement and "Mujhe Se Pehli Si Mohabbat Mere Mehboob Na Maang" marks his transition from ‘traditional Urdu poetry, to poetry with purpose’.[4]


The poet entreats his beloved not to ask of him the love that he once had for her because he has witnessed oppression, violence and death.[5] He tells her that while she still enchants him, he can no longer love her with the same intensity as he cannot turn his gaze away from the brutal realities of society built on inequality and injustice.[6][7] The poem contrasts and maintains a tension between the disembodied love of beauty and the ugly reality of social disparity and oppression.[8] However, it has been noted that the poetic subject remains a reluctant revolutionary who merely views the scenes of social oppression, immobilized by his beloved’s gaze.[9] The poem signals Faiz’s evolution from romantic poetry towards poems that deal with social concerns and has been compared to W. B. Yeats’ poem "Sailing to Byzantium".[10] Faiz himself described it as 'the boundary' between his early romantic work and the mature works of his later years.[11]

In popular culture

The nazm was originally set to music and sung by Noor Jehan at the request of Faiz himself at a gathering held to celebrate his release from prison.[12] It was also set to music for the film Qaidi in 1962.[13] Noor Jehan’s rendition of the poem became famous and Faiz is said to have remarked that the poem no longer belonged to him but to Noor Jehan.[14][15][16] The poem was parodied by Khalid Akhtar in his novel Bees Sau Gyarah (1950).[17] A line from the poem, "Teri aankhon ke siva duniya mein rakha kya hai", was used by Majrooh Sultanpuri as the opening verse of a song in the Hindi film Chirag (1969).[18] Sahir Ludhianvi’s song "Tum mujhe bhool bhi jaao to yeh haq hai tumko" (1959 Bollywood film Didi) is noted for its similarity of theme with this poem.[19] The song featured in Episode 03 of Season 10 of Coke Studio Pakistan and was sung by Humaira Channa and Nabeel Shaukat Ali as a tribute Noor Jehan.[20] Zohra Sehgal’s reading of it for the 2012 documentary Zohra Sehgal: An Interview by M. K. Raina went viral on the internet.[21] The 2016 Hindi film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil featured an extract from the nazm.[22]


  1. ^ Salam, Ziya Us (26 April 2013). "A renaissance of sorts". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  2. ^ "Three Modern Urdu Poets: Faiz, Rashid, Miraji". Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Surekha Sikri's recital of Faiz's 'Mujhse Pahli Si Mohabbat' poem resurfaces online". The Indian Express. 16 July 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Faiz Ahmad Faiz: The years that preceded Hum Dekhenge". ThePrint. 13 February 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  5. ^ "Faiz Ahmed Faiz: the voice of dissent - ProQuest". Kashmir Monitor. 26 May 2013. ProQuest 1355303737. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Journey from Ghalib to Faiz - ProQuest". The Nation. ProQuest 1507244636. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  7. ^ Ayoob, Mohammed (5 January 2020). "Theatre of the absurd". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  8. ^ "Review: 'Transgressions' Celebrates the Timelessness of Faiz's Poetry". The Wire. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Progressive gendering & the heroine of Urdu - ProQuest". Kashmir Monitor. ProQuest 927047757. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  10. ^ Jabbar, Abdul (1991). "NAOMI LAZARD'S "The True Subject: Selected Poems of Faiz Ahmed Faiz"". Journal of South Asian Literature. 26 (1/2): 156–170. ISSN 0091-5637. JSTOR 40873227. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  11. ^ "'He is still haunting unjust rulers from beyond the grave'". The Indian Express. 7 January 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  12. ^ Rather, Athar (26 June 2021). "'Mujh Se Pehli Si Mohabbat': We Recite a Faiz Ahmad Faiz Gem". TheQuint. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  13. ^ Datta, V. "'Bol ke labh azad hain tere': Faiz beyond revolution and romance (book review)". IANS English. ProQuest 1916073240. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  14. ^ "Noor Jehan gets teary-eyed recalling her infatuation with Faiz in throwback interview". The Express Tribune. 25 September 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  15. ^ Gaekwad, Manish. "How Noor Jehan took 'Mujh Se Pehli Si Mohabbat Mere Mehboob Na Maang' away from poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz". Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  16. ^ Nawaz, G. "QUEEN OF MELODY". Southasia. ProQuest 2655067605. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  17. ^ "Farce for old pakistan, prophecy for the naya - III". The Friday Times. ProQuest 2459953793. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  18. ^ "An Ode to the famous lyricist late Majrooh Sultanpuri". Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  19. ^ "A playlist of eternal love songs". The Hindu. 13 February 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  20. ^ "Coke Studio Episode 3 blends our glorious past with the sounds of tomorrow". Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  21. ^ "Zohra Sehgal thought she was 'ugly' and not sexy, yet taught us how to live life: 'She tried hard to attract attention'". The Indian Express. 27 April 2022. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  22. ^ Bhattacharya, Ananya. "High on Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat in ADHM? Ghazals for Gen X, re-packaged in today's films". India Today. Retrieved 30 May 2022.