Muslim Saleem: An analysis by Dr. Shahzad A. Rizvi, Washington

Muslim Saleem: An analysis

By Dr. Shahzad A. Rizvi, Washington


(Dr. Shahazad A.Rizvi is a Washington-based writer. He was born to Syed Nashtar Khairabadi, illustrious son of Hazrat Muztar Khairabadi, in Gawalior. He entered Hamidia College, Bhopal, in 1953 and received M.A. in English Literature in 1960. In 1964 he received M.A. in English from AMU. The same year he left for the United States and studied there for many years receiving two more MAs and PH.D. In addition, he takes courses Oxford, London, and France. In 1971 he became a professor in Washington D.C. and taught there for many years. During this period he had a chance to be an interpreter for the President of the United States. Currently Dr. Shahzad Rizvi is a writer and a poet in English and his following books are published as e-books: 1. The Last Resident, 2 Behind the Veil, 3. The Story of a Finnish Woman, 4. Collection of stories for grown-ups, 5. Stories for children. One can find them and download them at:


Muslim Saleem belongs to the generation of people who were born shortly after the independence of India and grew up as this independent nation grew and became a big power on the world scene Creation of Pakistan, two-nation theory, “communal politics,” separate existence of Hindus and Muslims,  was never part of ethos of this generation. This generation was basically caught up in soul-searching, ascertaining its identity – where it fitted in the scheme of things – what role it could play as the twentieth century was whizzing by and the twenty-first was knocking at the door. For this generation national and international issues of great magnitude loomed larger on the firmament of their psyche than the petty and inane diurnal issues.

While the new wind blew in the post-independent India shaping the young minds – Muslim Saleem, who was getting his education at Aligarh Muslim University and Allahbad University, honing his prowess in Arabic, Persian, Hindi, English, and, of course Urdu, and understanding the new dynamics – was among them. As the new waves co-opted Muslim Saleem in its objectives and the ambitious goals it set for itself, Muslim Saleem co-opted the new waves for his personal agenda – how he could use language and literature in the service of mankind.

It is often said that literature holds mirror to the society; i.e., literature is the medium through which we familiarise ourselves with multifarious elements and forces and currents of our society. And now the question arises whether we should just passively subject ourselves to the whims of literature or put it to our service as a visionary. Muslim Saleem chose the later route as is reflected in his writings published in a host of Urdu periodicals including Shair, Ahang, Asri Adab, Agai, Naya Daur, Sada-E-Urdu etc. Unfortunately because of the constraint of time and space I cannot delineate my point by giving examples from his specific writings in detail.

As is exuded by the writings and life-work of Muslim. Saleem that Urdu language is not a property of holders of one religion or the other. He truly believes that the domain of Urdu cuts across communal and religious lines. If anything is the true creation of Hindu-Muslim unity is the creation of Urdu language. Urdu has Hindi grammar and syntax, Persian script, and a literature which is the true SANGAM or meeting of rich Hindu and Muslim religions. In my view the analysis of Muslim Saleem’s work reveals this belief. If his career is not an example of this view, what else can be? He is the only journalist known to us who writes in Urdu, Hindi, and English and moves seamlessly and effortlessly from one linguistic zone to another. He began his career in Aftab-e-Jadid, Bhopal in Urdu and now he has moved to leading English newspaper Hindustan Times as Chief Copy Editor..

Muslim Saleem is doing yeoman’s service in the cause of Urdu: he has prepared directories of Urdu writers and poets, who are currently spread all around the world. If it were not for him and his indefatigable efforts, many Urdu litterateurs would have been working obscurely and anonymously in the literary vignettes scattered around the world unknown to each other. In this area, in my view, his service to Urdu – a real sister of Hindi – is unparalleled and can place him with Baba-e-Urdu – Maulvi Abdul Haq.


kaun hai is shahr mein mujh se zyaada baakhabar

mujh ko saare bewafaaonke patey maloom hain

Literal translation: “Who is more well-informed than me in the city? I know the addresses of all the faithless.”

Analysis: In this couplet Muslim. Saleem is saying that I am familiar not only what good things this life and this world has in store for us but, also, all the difficulties, obstacles, and challenges we have to face.

Taqdeer ki mujh se yunhi takraar chalegi

Main saae mein baithoongaa to deewar chale gi

Literal translation: “My destiny and I will be so loggerheads with each other that my shelter would move away as soon as I would sit down and find refuge from the sweltering sun.”

Commentary: Though Muslim Saleem approaches this issue of destiny from totally a new and fresh angle, though this is an age-old issue and other poets and philosophers have dealt with for a millenia. Allama Iqbal has touched it along with the issue of SELF; he has asked his fellow human beings to raise the level of self to such a point that before each destiny is ordained, God asks his creation, the human being, as to what his pleasure

is. Mr. Saleem is saying in his couplet that arguments between him and destiny go on; he wants it to do one thing and the destiny in its stubbornness does something else; it continues to be a source of grief for him and for other human beings. And this state of affairs is not going to change till human life on this planet is intact.

Deo qaamat wo shjar jab tez aandhi mein gira

pasta-qad jitne they paudey sad qad-aawar ho gaye

Literal translation: “When that tall tree fell as a result of heavy wind, all small trees became huge.”

Commentary: I can say with some confidence that it is a truism that only a poet knows what he is trying to say in his couplet. I believe what Mr. Saleem is saying that vagaries of life can bring down the strongest person from his lofty position. At the same time the lowly and the weak can rise to the occasion and achieve as high a position as others held, and and kept them overshadowed.


About Muslim Saleem

Muslim Saleem (born 1950) is a great Urdu poet, writer and journalist and creator of massive directories of Urdu poets and writers on different blogs. These directories include 1. Urdu poets and writers of India part-1 2. . Urdu poets and writers of India part-II 3. Urdu poets and writers of World part-I 4. Urdu poets and writers of World part-II, 5. Urdu poets and writers of Madhya Pradesh, 6. Urdu poets and writers of Allahabad, 7. Urdu poets and writers of Shajahanpur, 8. Urdu poets and writers of Jammu-Kashmir and Kashmiri Origin, 9. Urdu poets and writers of Hyderabad, 10. Urdu poets and writers of Augrangabad, 11. Urdu poets and writers of Maharashtra 12. Urdu poets and writers of Tamil Nadu, 13, Urdu poets and writers of Karnataka 14. Urdu poets and writers of Gujarat, 15. Urdu poets and writers of Uttar Pradesh, 16. Urdu poets and writers of Canada, 17. Urdu poets and writers of Burhanpur, 18. Urdu poets and writers of West Bengal 19. Female Urdu poets and writers, 20. Hindu Naatgo Shuara etc. These directories can be seen on :- 1. 2, 3., 4. 5. 6 7. (Life) Muslim Saleem was born in 1950 at Shahabad, Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh in India, brought up in Aligarh, and educated at Aligarh Muslim University. He is the son of the well-known Urdu poet Saleem Wahid Saleem. He has lived in Bhopal, India since 1979. (Education): Muslim Saleem studied right from class 1 to BA honours in AMU schools and University. He completed his primary education from AMU Primary School, Qazi Para Aligarh (Now converted into a girls school of AMU). He passed high school exam from AMU City School, Aligarh and B.A. Hons (Political Science) from Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh. Later, Muslim Saleem did M.A. in Arabic from Allahabad University during his stay in Allahabad. (Career) Muslim Saleem began his career as a journalist in the Urdu-language newspaper Aftab-e-Jadeed, Bhopal. He is multilingual journalist having worked on top posts with Dainik Bhaskar (Hindi), Central Chronicle (English), National Mail (English), News Express (English) and most recently as the chief copy editor of the Hindustan Times in Bhopal. At present, Muslim Saleem is English news advisor to Directorate of Public Relations, Government of Madhya Pradesh. (as on December 1, 2012). (Works and awards) Muslim Saleem has been appointed as Patron of Indo-Kuwait Friendship Society. He is the author of Aamad Aamad, a compilation of his poetry published by Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academi. Several of his couplets are well known in the Urdu language. He won the Yaad-e-Basit Tarhi Mushaira, a poetry competition, in 1982. In 1971, Muslim Saleem was awarded by Ismat Chughtai for his Afsana “Nangi Sadak Par” at AMU Aligarh. His ghazals and short stories have been published in Urdu-language publications Shair, Ahang, Asri, Adab, Agai, Naya Daur, Sada-e-Urdu, Nadeem and other periodicals and magazines. His work in service of the Urdu language was recognized in a special 2011 edition of the periodical Abadi Kiran, devoted to his work. Evenings in his honour have been organised in a number of cities. Muslim Saleem is currently compiling a massive database of poets and writers of the Urdu language, both historic and currently active. (Translation of Muslim Saleem’s work in English): Great scholar Dr. Shehzad Rizvi based in Washington has translated Muslim Saleem’s ghazal in English even though they have never met. Dr. Rizvi saw Muslim Saleem’s ghazals on websites and was so moved that he decided to translate them. (Praise by poets and writers) Great poet and scholar of Urdu and Persian Dr. Ahmad Ali Barqi Azmi has also written a number of poetic tributes to Muslim Saleem. Dr. Azmi and Muslim Saleem are yet to meet face to face. Beside this, great short-story writer and critic Mehdi Jafar (Allahabad, Bashir Badr (Bhopal), Jafar Askari (Lucknow), Prof. Noorul Husnain (Aurangabad), Kazim Jaffrey (Lahore) and a host of others have written in-depth articles defining Muslim Saleem’s poetry. (Muslim Saleem on other websites) Muslim Saleem’s life and works have been mentioned on Wikipedia,, and several other website. In fact, has given credit to Muslim Saleem for lifting a number of pictures and entries from Muslim Saleem’s websites and blogs. (Address): Muslim Saleem, 280 Khanugaon, VIP Road, Bhopal-462001 Mobiles: 0 9009217456 0 9893611323 Email: Best couplets: Zindagi ki tarah bikhar jaayen…… kyun ham aise jiyen ki mar jaayen kar di meeras waarison ke sipurd…. zindagi kis ke naam mar jaayen rooh ke karb ka kuchh mudaawa no tha doctor neend ki goiyan likh gaya wo dekhne mein ab bhi tanawar darakht hai haalanke waqt khod chuka hai jaden tamam My Facebook url is!/pages/Muslim-Saleem/176636315722664?sk=info Other blogs
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