Mahmood Zaki: A Symbol of our Plurality

      The great exponent of the composite culture and emotional integration, the noted poet, Mahmood Zaki devoted his entire life for the educational and reformative work and for promotion of the Urdu language and literature. On 3rd May 2008 Mahmood Zaki left his mortal world for ever but the Urdu knowing people of the country especially the people belonging to Madhya Pradesh will never be able to forget the work of this multi dimensional role model personality of the city of Ujjain.
Mahmood Zaki was an eminent poet, writer, translator, journalist and reformer. He was a great scholar not only of Urdu, Persian and Hindi, but also of Sanskrit literature. He was born on 24th December, 1924 in Ujjain. His father Mr. Syed Peer Ali was a Sufi saint with great literary and academic characteristics.
Mahmood Zaki began his poetic journey with writing Ghazals. The early imprints of his Ghazal compositions are there in a collection of verses of the selected Urdu poets of Madhya Pradesh entitle, “Naqoosh” (Imprints), which was published in 1953. His Ghazals reflect respect for literary traditions and also cover the modern topics. Along with the experience and emotions of love, the description of different social, political and international issues is found in his poetry in a very straightforward manner with a distinct style. The canvass of his verses is quite wide and vivid. He believed not in the ideology of art for the art’s sake but rather in the philosophy of the art for life’s sake. He portrays the true pictures of the issues of his era. The freshness of thoughts and truthfulness of feelings are evident in his verses. His poems are full of patriotism and valour. He wrote Hamd, Naat, Qataat, Rubaiat and many other poems on various historical and religious places reflecting his devotion and respect for them. His love for the colourful city of Ujjain is effectively expressed by him in his famous song, “Tarana-e-Ujjain”, which is musically presented in the cultural programmes and schools of the city along with the “Madhya Pradesh Gaan.” “Aitbar” and “Naye Charagh Jalao” are the famous collection of his verses. “Such Kehna Sooli Chadhna Hai” is a collection of his verses in Devnagri script. The aspirations, vigour and force of life are there in his poetry. He is a poet with a message. In his couplets you will find the desire for a better and brighter future. The sufferings of the community and the nation simultaneously find expression in his letters. He knows the art of presenting truthfully the love and the realities of life.
Mahmood Zaki took up the mission of eradicating the educational and social backwardness of the people, particularly of the Muslims of Madhya Pradesh. He played a crucial role in the formation of all India Muslim Education Society in different cities and towns of the state. Zaki did a very significant work in the context of women and adult education in the Ujjain city. He took up the editorial responsibilities of such epoch making Urdu magazines and journals as “Mahaul”, “Naya Samaj” and “Shola-o-Shabnam.” He compiled a special issue of “Shola-o-Shabnam” on classical Sanskrit poet Kalidas. On the occasion of Kalidas Samaroh, while releasing that special issue of “Shola-o-Shabnam” Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru expressed his admiration and happiness on this exclusive work in the Urdu language in Ujjain. Vikram-o-Urwashi and Hritushranghar were given the Urdu panorama by him. Based on the creative work of Kalidas, Mr. Zaki’s book “Kaldidas: Aik Mutalea” (Kalidas: A Study) was a very much appreciated in the literary circles of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. He was an excellent interpreter, eminent journalist, columnist and intellectual.


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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One Response to Mahmood Zaki: A Symbol of our Plurality

  1. sayed saidur Rehman says:

    Shri Mehmood’s contrbution in varied fields will be remembered for long after his departure from the temporal world he is one of the few who realised the importance of modern education amongst the minorities after independence .How one wishes there should have been more like him. His contribution in the social educational and cultural fields will be appreciated and admired by succeding generations.

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