National Anthem of Pakistan: All You Need to Know

Qaumi Taranah in Urdu

The national anthem of Pakistan was played for the first time in 1954, 7 years after Pakistan’s independence. Graana.com outlines its history and some interesting facts below.

 

History of the National Anthem of Pakistan

In 1948, a South African Muslim named A. R. Ghani announced 2 prizes (each of PKR 5000) for the poet and composer of the national anthem of the newly independent state of Pakistan. A public announcement through a government press conference was made in June 1948. A National Anthem Committee (NAC) was later established in December 1948 for this task.

In January 1950, the President of Indonesia visited Pakistan and there was no national anthem to pay tribute to the foreign dignitary at that time. In the same year, a much-awaited visit of the Shah of Iran demanded urgency for the national anthem of Pakistan.

The government asked the NAC to finalise the lyrics and move forward with the final anthem. However, despite several attempts, the committee failed to do so.

Finally, on 21st August 1950, the government adopted Ahmad G. Changla’s tune for the national anthem. The same tune was performed without any lyrics in front of the Shah of Iran and several other foreign dignitaries until 1954.

In that year, the NAC distributed copies of the tune among the most prominent poets of that time. Several hundred songs were submitted to the committee as a result. Eventually, it chose the lyrics submitted by Hafeez Jalandhari and, on 13th August 1954, he himself sang the national anthem of Pakistan for the very first time.

In 1955, there was a performance of the national anthem by 11 famous singers of Pakistan, including Ahmad Rushdi, Kaukab Jahan, Rasheeda Begum, Najam Ara, Naseema Shaheen, Zawar Hussain, Akhtar Abbas, Ghulam Dastagir, Anwar Zaheer and Akhtar Wasi Ali.

 

Music of the National Anthem of Pakistan

An interesting fact about the national anthem is that the music was composed in 1949 without any words or lyrics. The tune was a harmonious composition, based on eastern music. However, the arrangement is such that foreign bands can easily play the melody.

Ahmad G. Changla composed the music of the National Anthem in 1949. 21 different musical instruments and 38 different tones were used to play the national anthem for the first time. Its total duration is 80 seconds.

 

Lyrics

Abu Al Asar Hafeez Jalandhari wrote the lyrics of the national anthem of Pakistan in 1952. The ‘tarana’ was written in Persian due to its similarities to the Urdu language. No verse has been repeated in the three stanzas, and there is only one Urdu word – “ka” – in the anthem.

 

Translation of the National Anthem of Pakistan

The Urdu lyrics, written by the Pakistani Urdu-language poet Hafeez Jullundhri in 1952. 

The following is the English translation of the national anthem of Pakistan:

 

Blessed be sacred land,

Happy be the bounteous realm,

Symbol of high resolve, Land of Pakistan.

Blessed be thou citadel of faith.

 

The Order of this Sacred Land

Is the might of the brotherhood of the people.

May the nation, the country, and the State

Shine in glory everlasting.

Blessed be the glory everlasting.

 

This flag of the Crescent and the Star

Leads the way to progress and perfection,

Interpreter of our past, the glory of our present, Inspiration of our future,

Symbol of Almighty’s protection.

Milestones Related to Qaumi Tarana

  • 1949 – Music for the “Qaumī Tarānah” is composed by the Pakistani musical composer, Ahmad G. Chagla (running time: 80 seconds).
  • 1950 – Anthem, without lyrics, was performed (for the first time for a foreign head of state) on the Shah of Iran’s visit to Karachi on 1st March 1950 by a Pakistan Navy band.
  • 1952 – Verses written by the Pakistani poet, Hafeez Jullundhri, are selected from amongst 723 entries.
  • 1954 – It is officially adopted as the national anthem and broadcast for the first time on Radio Pakistan on 13th August.
  • 1955 – The anthem is sung by 11 famous Pakistani singers.
  • 1996 – The anthem is rendered in electric guitar for the first time by Pakistani rock band Junoon in their album Inqilab.
  • 2009 – It is rendered as an acoustic instrumental for the first time by Pakistani musician Jehangir Aziz Hayat.
  • 2011 – On 14th August, 5,857 people gathered in a stadium in Karachi to sing the “Qaumī Tarānah” and set a new world record for most people gathered to sing a national anthem simultaneously.
  • 2012 – On 20th October, 70,000 people gathered in a stadium in Lahore to sing the Qaumi Tarānah and set a new world record for most people gathered to sing a national anthem at the same time, which was certified by Guinness World Records.
  • 2017 – Coke Studio released a collaborative rendition of the anthem on 4th August by featured artists in its tenth season, to celebrate 70 years of Pakistan.
  • 2022 – The anthem was re-recorded with modern instruments and in a higher quality. It was released on Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day.

 

For more informative articles, visit the Graana blog.

About Muhammad Jahanzaib

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