Ustad Khalili; Afghanistan’s brilliant star of poem and literary

Borne in 1907 AD (1286 solar year, in Bagh-e-Jahanara Kabul), Ustad Khalilullah Khalili was son of Mohammad Hussein Khan known as Mostawfiulmamalek from the influentials of Parwan province, north of Kabul who was minister of finance during the reign of Amir Habibullah Khan.
Khalili lost his parents in childhood and left education on the half way and lived for many years in Kabul, Kohistan and Balkh and later served in several senior posts of government inside and outside the country.
In mid of 20th century, Khalili was appointed as assistant chancellor of Kabul university. In 1951 he undertook the post of Press Independent Department and in 1953 he was appointed as senior Royal advisor.
For a while he was the house representative and later in early years of 50s he was tasked as ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Iraq respectively.
After April 1978 coup d’etat, he left ambassadorship and took refuge to Europe and US.
But due to love of motherland, he didn’t stay longer there and migrated to Pakistan and settled beside his thousands refugee compatriots and created many work in this period.
Khalili has totally 62 versified and prose works, in different fields of literary, politics, philosophy, Gnosticism etc as most of them have been published inside and outside Afghanistan.
It should be acknowledged that late Ustad Khalili had acquired high reputation among Iranian Persian speakers as Iranian academic and literary authorities had invited him in 1956 and 1961 to Iran and was greatly welcomed by Iranian cultural circles that proved Khalili high prestige and influence among Iranian cultural authorities.
Iranian cultural figures including Rezazada Shafaq, Badiuzzaman Ferozanfar and Lutfali Soratgar have written proper acknowledgments on Khalili poetical collection and titled Khalili as National Poet a title this outstanding poet actually deserves it.
Ustad Khalili passed away in spring of 1987 AD in Islamabad, Pakistan. After 25 years, in 1991 AD his body was returned to Kabul and buried under an official ceremony in the compass of Kabul university beside the grave of Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan. His family and some cabinet members, Kabul university lecturers and large crowd of enthusiasts had attended his refuneral services.
Despite of his difficult life, at the age of 16, Khalili was appointed as teacher in Mir Bacha Kot school and later due to his abilities he was promoted to special secretary at the MoF.
He was appointed as Chief Accountant (Mostawfi) of Balkh and later served for 13 years in Prime Minister’s Office.
Due to his believes and political activities he spent four years in prison and exile and after releasing, he was appointed as assistant rector of Kabul University.
Ustad Khalili has been recognized as one of the biggest and acknowledge classical poet of Afghanistan who had created many works in literary and historical researches including Herat works, Kingdom of Ghaznavids, Faiz-e-Qods, Hakim Sanayee works, from Balkh to Qoonia, Yamagan, Nainama, and an imposter from Khorasan while Herat works enjoy particular reputation which was published in three volumes and explained biography of Herat poets, artists and scientists.
Kingdom of Ghaznavids deals with emerge, ascension and collapse of Ghaznavid rulers. Khalili has mentioned certain poems from all poets living in this era.
An imposter from Khorasan consists of life of Amir Habibullah Kalakani and his rule. Khalili has written a book on the life of Mirza Abdul Qader Bedel under the title of Faiz-e-Aqdas which has been frequently used by researchers of Bedel as a reputable reference. Ustad has also written three books on Mawlana Jalaluddin Balkhi too which were proven very useful for Mawlana researchers. These books include from Balkh to Qoonia, Nainama and Devish Charkhana.
Khalili has also written works in Arabic and published them as one of them is on the visit of Arab tourist Ebne-Batoota to Afghanistan which was published in Baghdad.
Ustad Khalili poems include lamentation on the death of friends, relative etc. he has also invented poems on mourning of Badiuzzaman Ferozanfar, Ustad Betab, Allama Saljoqi, Sarmad, Prince of Poets Bahar, Sarwar Goya, Azizurrahman Fathi, Prince Nader…etc.
Collection of Ustad Khalili pomes has been published repeatedly in Iran, Afghanistan and some western countries and greatly welcomed by enthusiasts. Abdul Hai Khorasani has collected and published Ustad Khalili collection of works.
Commenting on Ustad’s life, Khorasani said, we can divide Ustad’s life into three stages of first, death of his parents and vagabondage, second reputation position and literary creativity and third, migration and political creativity.
In an interview with the BBC, Khorasani called Khalili pomes during migration in Pakistan as the best samples of Afghanistan contemporary poems in which the pains and grievance of Afghan mujahedin have frankly been reflected.
Afghan researcher, writer, diplomat and ex-UN ambassador Dr. Rawan Farhadi who is an acknowledged expert of history and literary critiques, described Khalili power of expression unique, on the occasion of Ustad 100th birth anniversary.
Daoud Nejrabi

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