Muslim Saleem at Bhopal in 2010.

(Posted by Muslim Saleem on September 28, 2010. I have added some poets and litterateurs of Kashmiri origin including Khalifa Dr. Abdul Hakim Dar, Dr Saleem Wahid Saleem Dar and Muslim Saleem (Dar). Details about these personalities can be seen in ‘Urdu poets and writers of India’ directory on google as well as links of these names on khojkhabarnews.com, muslimsaleem.blogspot.com, muslimsaleem.wordpress.com and saleemwahid.blogspot.com. Also, browsers are requested to suggest more names and point out if any important name has been left out)

The word Urdu is of “Turkesh” origing, it means a lashkar or army. The word itself signifies the origin of its development. In India Urdu developed as a result of contact between the armed forces of Central Asian dynastics who ruled from the time of Mohammad Ghori towards the end of 12 century A.D. As is well-known Hazrat Amir-Khusrou,(1253-1326 A.D) was the first to compose poetic Rekhtas or stanzas in what came to be known, as the initial form ofurdu language. Therefore, the origin of the language is traced to the times of Hazrat Amir Khusrou.

Dr. Saleem Wahid Saleem in 1946.

With the Passage of time urdu developed gradually in the courts and armed forces of Sultans of Delhi and of Decan.So far as, the valley of Kashmir is concerned, a form of language resembling urdu was simultaneously developing under the patronage of Sultans of Kashmir during the fifeteenth century A.D. It is said that Sultan Hassan Shah wrote a book on music, “Persian and Zaban-a-Hindustani” meaning perhaps that the maintext was written in Persian with illustrations of songs in “Zaban-a-Hindustani”. On the basis of the above,it is assumed that a form of proto-urdu or a dialect akin to it, was already current in Kashmir   during the 15th century, but the actual written records available, do not go beyond the last quarter of the 16th century.From the 16th century upto the present times, the development of the language and the literature in the region may be classified into the  following stages:

1)       The “Rekhtas” belonging to the Chak and early Mughal period.

2)       The literary specimens produced from emperor Aurangzeb’z time to the establishment of Afghan rule in Kashmir.

3)       The development of language and literature during the Afghan and the Sikh period.

4)       Language  and literature under the Dogra rule.

5)       The modern period.

Kashmir  came in closer contact with India after mughal ascendancy in Kashmir. The poets and scholars of Kashmir got more acquainted with Urdu language, with the result the urdu  vocables began to find their way in Persian compositions of the writers. The earliest record available is in the form of  verses composed by Khawaja Mohammad Momin Jeel, the son of  Khawaja Abdul Qasim Jeel who was a counter of Yousuf Shah Chak.

A part from Khawaja Momin a good number of Persian poets who came to prominence during the early years of the Mughal rule in Kashmir are: Zafar Khan Ahsan who was also the Nazim (adminsrator) of Kashmir and a patron of poets; Mulla Mohsin  Fani, Nazir  Nishepuri and others. They have some times used urdu words in their Persian  verses. About Mirza Durab “Juya” who was a contemporary of Gani Kashmiri Tazkira writers have mentioned that he had composed verses in “Rekhta” also, but they are not available now. Kishtwar during the ancient times has its literary traditions. Some of the Rajas too were poets of Persian and one or two have composed versus in Urdu or Khari Boli also. The second phase of its development commence with Mir-Kamal-ud-Din Andrabi, “Ruswa” who was a great Inshapardaz or essayist of his age, besides a poet. He lived during the last decade of the region of Emperor Aurangzeb. He has left a numberof verses composed in Urdu and some in “Rekhta”.

During the  early years of Afghan rule in Kashmir,Sukh Jiwanmal rose to power. He was fond of Persian  poetry and had gathered several prominent poets of his age, among them were Mulla Rafi Masterji, Mulla Lal Mohammad Taufiq and Mirza Jan Beigh Salic who have left poetic composition in which Urdu words  have been used significantly. As such, Salic may be considered as the first important writer in Urdu during this period. Hamid-ullah Shahabdi, though a Persian poet and satirist is said to have composed verses in urdu in order to express his resentment against Sikh fanaticism.

With the annexation of Kashmir to Dogra Kingdom, a multi-racial and multi-lingual State came into being. Urdu as in other parts of the country acquired a position of alink language and gradually got introduced into the administration, the courts and the educational institutions. There was not much literary activity during the reign of Gulab Singh. But it is evident that official correspondence was carried out in urdu. Some important documents of this period are preserved in the State Archives Department.

After 1858 A.D. with the establishment of British rule firmly in India , Urdu acquired importance as a regular language in the State also as elsewhere in the country. In Maharaja Ranbir Singh’s reign the conditions created after the  establishment of British rule, necessitated radial reforms in the administration and educational syatem of the state. To fulfil the demands for the western technical education, a bureau of Translation of Western Science and Art was established. Books on medical subjects, engineering, history, logic and a few other branches of learning were translated into Urdu which was being used as a medium of Instruction. These early experiments of translating western sciences would have been useful, if these booked would have been published. Some note-worthy scholars such as, Diwan Kirpa Ram, Moulvi Noor-ud-Din Qudwai,Babu Naurallah, Sahib Singh and a few others whom the Maharaja had gathered at his court and who came to be known as the “Nav Ratan” of his Darbar, wrote books in urdu. Among  poets of this period, worth mention are, Diwan Shiv Nath “Muntazir”and Pandit Thakur Prasad “Maftoon” who wrote Ghazal and Qasida and “Muntazir” wrote”Shahr-a-Shob”. Allah Baksh “Dardi” who was attached to Diwan Lachman Dass does not rank high as a poet, but his congratulatory composition on wedding ceremony of the son of Diwan Chand at Jammu is worth mention.

During the latter years of the reign of Ranbir Singh, two brothers came into prominence in the political and literary life of Kashmir. They were Pandit Hargopal “Khasta” and Pandit Salik Ram Koul, “Salik”. Their family had stayed at Lahore and Patiala for a long time, but their father, ramchand Koul, who was a schola of Shaiva philosophy maintained his connection with Kashmir where he had his family property also. Both “Khasta”and “Salik” have left behind considerable  urdu literature. “Khasta” is the auhor of three or four Masnavis,a short tale written in the style of Deputy Nazir Ahmad and a few Ghazals. But he will be chiefly remembered for his “Guldasta Kashmir” a work relating to the History of Kashmir. “Salik” was better  endowed with political faculties than “Khasta” and has left a Diwan of Ghazals and a Masnavi entitled “Sunder Badan”. He  also wrote a romantic tale in the style of ‘Fasana-e-Ajaib” of Raja Ali Beg, “Saroor”. “Salik” practiced as a lawyer and wrote commentaries on several laws of the State. The other prominent urdu writers worth note are: Sadiq Ali Khan, Mirza Mubarik Beg, Kashi Nath,  Munshi Siraj-ud-Din, Raja Sher Ali, Dr. Umaou-ud-Din Soz, Sagar Nizami etc.

The most important event of the reign of Maharaja Pratap Singh was the recognition of the Status of urdu as the official language of the State. By the end of the first quarter of this century, owing to the impact of new education a number of young men had received degrees from  universities outside the state. A new era dawned in Kashmir, when the people were awakened to new realities and a demand for responsible government and their due share in the administration was pressed far. This period coincided with the accession to power of Maharaja Hari Singh. The earlier demand for establishing press and starting of news papers was conceded and the first popular weekly in the State;”Ranbir” made in appearance from Jammu in 1924, under the editorialship of Lala Mulkh Raj Saraf. In a few years Pandit Prem Nath Bazaz started his weekly “Vitasta” from Srinagar in 1931. Since then Journalistic ventures became the most popular occupation among the educated young men of the State and scores of dailies, weeklies, fornightlies and monthly magazines began to make their appearance from time to time. The “Martland” and the “Khidmat” were the earliest news papers which along with “Hamdard” of Pandit Bazaz, played a prominent part in creating political consciousness among the people of the state and at the same time provided a forum for the young urdu writers. Some of the Urdu poets  and writers who came to the forefront during this  period were master Zinda Kaul ‘Sabit” Baldev Kishen Tikku, Tara Chand Trisul “Salik”, Shyam Lal Vali “Teerath”, Dina Nath Wariku “Shahid” Radha Krishan Bhan “Junoon”, Shyam Lal Aima, besides a host of others who tried their geneus in poetry, short stories, essays and almost all other literary topics.

Those who attained prominence as Urdu poets and writers are: Pandit Nand Lal “Talib”, Rasa Javidani, Ghulam Rasool Nazki, Mirza Kamal-ud-Din, Shahid Budgami, Tanha Ansari, Manhor Lal, Abdul Haq Burq, Shehrouz Kashmiri, Al Ahmad Saroor, Dina Nath ”Mast”, Kishen Samelpuri, Qamer Qamraji and Amar Chand “Vali”. The new changes brought about in urdu poetry elsewhere were reflected in their writings.

Urdu played an important role in the struggle of the people for freedom during the years preceeding independence.Poets like Dina Nath “Nadim”, Rehman “Rahi”, Amin Kamil, MohinderRaina came to  the forefront during the post independence period. Though they are now devoting their interest to writing in Urdu and has now risen much in his status of a teacher of the art, though not exclusively programme poet, is also influenced by new trends and so are Tacus Pampori, Saifi Sopori, Rasa Javidani, Qasir Qalander, Hamidi Kashmiri, Farooq Nazki, Shorida Kashmiri, Krishen Chander, Thakur Punchi, Qazi Ghulam Mohammad, Hakeem Manzoor, hamdam Kashmiri, Shahid Budgami, Pret paul Singh Betab, Rafiq Raz, Sujaj Sultan in the valley.

The number of essay writers who have come to the forefront during the post independence period is fairly large. Professor Mihi-ud-Din Hajini is the most versatileessay writer and scholar, besides being an author of some books,one of which is on Wahab Parray the famous epic poet of Kashmiri, Professor Nazir Malik,Professor Mohammad Amin  Andrabi, Professor Shamsu-ud-Din Ahmad, professor Margoob Banahali are authors of a number of articles on the history and outline of Kashmir. The  essay  and other writers of note are Moti Lal “Saqi”, Professor Kanwal Bali, Ali Mohammad Lone, Akhtar Mohi-ud-Din, Gulam Rasool Santosh,Prem Nath Pardesi, Kuldeep  Rana, Noor Shah and Sansar Chand,Professor Nusrat Anderabi, Miss Mehmooda Ahmad Ali Shiekh. A collection of her articles have been published under the title of “Kashmir-Kal-Aur Aaj”.

Among authors of scholarly and literary works are: Professor Seva Singh, Dr. Akbar Hyderi, Arsh Sabhai,Malik Ram Anand, Dr. Nazir Qureshi, Brij Premi, Sufi Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din,Nishat Ansari, Professor Pushup, Dr. Verma, Khawaja Sonaullah Bhat, Sufi Ghulam Mohd, Syed Tassaduq Hussain, Hakim Hamadani deserve special mention. Mrs. Begum Qureshi  has also written a few books for the use  of the children and has translated two booklets on the teaching of elementary science.

The journalistic activities of modern period are particularly note worthy. Srinagar, can claim large number of dailies and weeklies than any other principal cities in India. “The Martland”,  is the oldest daily published from Srinagar.  The “Aaina” published from Srinagar under the editorialship of Shamim Ahmad Shamim was one of the best weeklies published in urdu. Some dailies published from Srinagar are “ The Aftab”.” The Srinagar Times”, “The Aftaq”, “The Roshini” and “The Alsafa” etc. Besides  the news papers, there are literary journals and almost all the colleges and some Higher Secondary Schools also publish their Magazines, the note-worthy among them are “ Paratap” “Lala Rukh”, Badam-Wari “Pamposh”, “Zoon”, “Danish”,”Shiraza” and “Bazyaft”.

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Dr. Khalifa Abdul Hakim (Dar) was a philosopher, art critic, writer and poet par excellence. He was born on June 13, 1896 at Lahore and died at the same place on  January 31, 1959. Dr. Khalifa Abdul Hakim did his Matriculation in 1910; FA in 1913 from Aligarh Mohammadan Anglo Oriental College (Which was declared as Aligarh Muslim University in the year 1920); BA in 1915 from Delhi St Stephens College; MA in 1917 also from Delhi St Stephen’s College; LLB in 1918 Lahore from Law College. He was appointed Assistant Prof of Philosophy 1919 Osmania University Hyderabad Deccan. In 1925, he did his PhD from Heidelberg University, Germany (paid for by his salary and a loan from the University); The same year (1925) he became, Head of Department Philosophy of Osmainia University Deccan. He became Principal  of Amar Singh College 1943-47 Srinagar, Kashmir and Director Education on Deputation. One again, he was appointed as Dean Faculty of Arts 1948-49 Osmaina University Hyderabad Deccan; He was awarded LLD (Honoris Causa) by the Punjab University Lahore 1957. He penned hundreds of books in Urdu, English and Persian and translated many an epic from Persian. He also translated Gita in Urdu in poetic form, which has been published by Haryana Urdu Academy and Bharti Vidhya Bhavan, Mumbai.  His book Fikr-e-Iqbal is taught in higher Urdu classes.  Though a number of books have been published but here is a list of book found on openlibrary.org (http://openlibrary.org/authors/OL754A/Khalifa_Abdul_Hakim)

Islamic ideology ( Islamic ideology: the fundamental beliefs and principles of Islam and their application to practical life.  5 editions – first published in 1953) 2. Islam and communism (3 editions – first published in 1953) 3.  Fikr-e Iqbāl (3 editions – first published in 1956),  4. Kalām-e-Ḥakīm (Poetry -  2 editions – first published in 1973) 5.  Dāstān-i dānish ( 2 editions – first published in 1943), 6. The metaphysics of Rumi. 6. (     The metaphysics of Rumi: a critical and historical sketch.-  2 editions – first published in 1933) 7. Afkār-i Ghālib ( 2 editions – first published in 1973). 8. Maqālāt-i Ḥakīm (2 editions – first published in 1969) 9. Fundamental human rights (2 editions – first published in 1955) 10. Tashbīhāt-i Rūmī (2 editions – first published in 1990) 11. Tashbihat-i Rumi (1 edition – first published in 1959) 12. Fikr-e-Iqbal (1 edition – first published in 1961) 13. The Prophet and his message (1 edition – first published in 1972) 14. Iqbāl aur Mullā (1 edition – first published in 1960), 15.  Talkhīṣ-i khutbāt-i Iqbāl      1 edition – first published in 1988),  16. Ḥikmat-e-Rūmī (1 edition – first published in 1955) 17. Afkar-e-Ghalib (1963) 18. The metaphysics of Rumi (a critical and historical sketch-1945).

The thoughts of Dr Khalifa Abdul Hakim are a leading light for the sane Muslims who decry terrorism and regard Islam as a religion of love. Other books of Dr Khalifa Abdul Hakeem have been published by the Institute of Islamic Culture, 2 Club Road, Lahore, Pakistan.

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Dr Saleem Wahid Saleem (sitting extreme right) with Faiz (fourth from left along with Dr Saleem's father Khalifa Abdul Wahid sitting to left of Faiz)

Dr. Saleem Wahid Saleem (Dar):

Dr Saleem Wahid Saleem was a poet par excellence. He was born in Teheran, Iran to Khalifa Abdul Wahid Dar of Lahore (Now in Pakistan) and Bibi Fakhr-us-Sadat, a qajari princess of Iworked as announcer with BBC Persian Service. In Aligarh, hran. In fact, the Khalifa family had moved to Lahore from Kashmir in the 19th century. After the age of 11, his parents shifted back to India along with their two daughters Akhtar and Shamsi. Dr. Saleem was educated in Aligarh Muslim University Tibbiya College, Aligarh and later in London, where he alsoe stayed with his close relative Dr. Ataullah Butt, of famous Butt Kada of Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui. Dr. Butt had founded Aligarh Tibbiya College. Throughout his life, Dr Saleem continued to write both prose and poetry in Urdu, Persian and English. In the 50’s and 60’s, his ghazals were published in many prestigious Urdu periodicals including Nuqoosh, Funoon, Adab-e-Latif, Adabi Duniya and other contemporary periodicals.  The most remarkable work of Dr. Saleem Wahid Saleem is ‘Khayyam-e-Nau’, which is poetic translation of Umar Khayyam’s ruba’is. The collection has been published by Sanjh Publications, Temple Road, Lahore thanks to efforts by Prof. Dr. Farid A. Malik, son of Mrs Akhtar Nazeer and Mirza Nadeem. During his last days, doctor saheb had become financially unstable and was greatly helped by his sister Mrs Akhtar Nazeer and her husband the late Malik Nazeer Ahmad. Dr. Saleem breathed his last in 1981. Dr. Saleem wrote poetry in Urdu and Persian. Some of his works are in English as well. Dr. Saleem Wahid Saleem was married to Begum Umm-e-Habiba, who was grand daughter of Syed Abdul Baqi, who was among first five students of Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College (which later became Aligarh Muslim University) and had imbibed education directly from Sir Syed. He was later appointed as bursar (accountant-cum-registrar) of the university.

Research thesis: Tabenda Batool has completed her master’s thesis on Dr. Saleem in 1987 from Punjab University Lahore and then her M. Phil in 1995 from Allama Iqbal University, Islamabad. Other collections of his poems and ghazals are also in the pipeline. On this blog we will be posting his works from time to time. Hope, you will enjoy them and post your comments. (Dr Saleem Wahid Saleem’s works and pictures can also been browsed on saleemwahid.blogspot. com, urdu poets and writers of India, urdu poets and writers of world directories by clicking on google. The entries can also be seen on the link Dr. Saleem Wahid on khojkhabarnews.com)

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Haq Nawaz Nehru: Printer , Publisher owner & Editor Urdu weekly Sada-e-Kohsar, Doda-182202 (J&K India) Mob:- 9697611439, 9796622250, 9796482839 emails: nehruhn@rediffmail.com, nehruhn@gmail.com, nehruhaqnawaz@yahoo.com

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