Abdul Hameed ‘Adam’ was a famous Urdu poet of his time. He was born on 10th April 1910 in District Gujranwala Punjab, now in Pakistan. Some believe that he was born in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad). He got his initial education at Gujranwala. Then the family moved to Lahore. He was enrolled at Islamia High School, Bhati Gate, Lahore, where one of his schoolmates was Mirza Adeeb, a respected Urdu prose writer. According to Mirza Adeeb, young Abdul Hameed was a very good student and his knowledge of Islamiyat was excellent.

When Abdul Hameed was 16 years old, his father passed away in 1926. One of his relatives supported him. After passing his Matriculation Examination he was employed at the Military Account Department, Rawalpindi, in 1927 as a clerk. Soon Abdul Hameed got married. In 1941 he passed the highest exam of his department with distinction.

During the Second World War, Abdul Hameed was sent to the Middle East, where he served in Iran and Iraq. In Iraq he fell in love with an Iraqi girl, to whom he got married. He brought her with him back to India after the end of the War. He was posted in Pune, Maharashtra, India. In Pune he started drinking and became excessively involved with friends and used to come home very late. This caused disturbances in his family life and disputes aroused with his Iraqi wife and she returned to Iraq and thereafter Adam remained loyal to his first wife till her death in 1978.

He started writing poetry in late 1920's. He first used ‘Akhtar’ as his takhallus, and then switched to ‘Adam’. ‘Akhtar Sheerani’ and ‘Hafeez Jalandhary’ were the prominent poets at that time. Hameed seems to have been greatly influenced by Hafeez Jalandhry. Hameed was a simple, straightforward, and honest man and his poetry also reflects his nature. Adam was a master of short meters and simplicity of ideas which touch the heart. His first collection consisted mainly of Nazms in the style of Akhtar Shirani, Hafeez Jalandhary and Josh Malihabadi. At that time nazams were more popular than ghazals. He later turned to ghazals. He also wrote ‘Masnawis’ (long poems) and Qataats (quatrains). He was so adept in writing poetry that he could complete a ghazal in a few minutes. His last three works were published following his death. His philosophy was of being patient and content in life and not make difficult for others by being greedy.

There are about four dozen published collections of his Urdu poetry. The first, ‘Naqsh-e Davaam’ was published in 1934. It consists mostly of nazams.
His publications include ‘Dastaan-e Heer’ (1959) and a Masnawi on Pakistans political history, ‘Jhoot Such’ (1972). Most of his works are collections of his ghazals.


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