Nazir Ahmed (scholar)
|Died||19 October 2008 (aged 93)|
|Resting place||Aligarh Muslim University graveyard|
|Occupation||Indian scholar and writer|
|Children||Professor Rehana Khatoon|
Presidential Award and Lifetime Fellowship
|Website||Official web site|
Nazir Ahmed was an Indian scholar, writer and teacher of Persian language. He was honoured by the Government of India, in 1987, by bestowing on him the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for his contributions to the propagation of Persian and literature.
Nazir Ahmed was born on 3 January 1915, in the small hamlet of Kolahi Gharib (Ghurrah/Gorra), near Gonda, in Uttar Pradesh, India. He did his schooling in a local school from where he passed the primary education in 1930 and shifted to Gonda High School to complete his matriculation in first division and distinction in mathematics, in 1934. Subsequently, he joined Christian College, Lucknow and completed his intermediary and Munshi examinations, in 1936 and went on to secure BA (Hons) in Persian, in 1939, with first rank and first division. His master's degree was completed in 1940, again with a first rank, which earned him two gold medals and a scholarship for higher studies.
Ahmed started his career as a teacher at the Deoria Government High School, in Uttar Pradesh, immediately after the completion of his master's degree and continued there till he was transferred, in 1943, to Basti Government High School. Professor Ahmed taught at the school for ten years which he utilized for higher studies by pursuing research in Persian and enrolling for PhD, under the guidance of Prof. Masood Hasan Rizvi, to earn the doctoral degree in Zahoori (Tarshezi), in 1945. He continued his research by registering for DLitt at the Lucknow University, and his thesis on the Persian poets of Aadil-Shah period earned him the degree of DLitt, in 1950.
Ahmed joined Lucknow University as a lecturer in 1950 and continued his research and studies by securing a diploma in Farsi Baastan-e-Pahlawi and Modern Persian from the University of Teheran and earned a second DLitt, this time in Urdu, from Lucknow University for his research on Nauras of Adil Shah, in 1956. After seven years of teaching at the Lucknow University, Nazir Ahmed moved to Aligarh Muslim University, in 1957, as the Assistant Director of Aligarh-Taareekh-e-Urdu Adab, on invitation from the then Vice Chancellor of AMU, Col. Bashir Zaidi and a year later, in 1958, he became the Reader in the Department of Persian language. In 1960, he became a Professor and Chairman of the department.
At AMU, Ahmed founded the quarterly journal, Fikro-Nazar, along with Professor Yousuf Hussain Khan, as served as its founding secretary. However, the students' unrest of 1965 on minority issue precipitated a minor setback in Professor Ahmed's life when his eldest son, Abdul Basit, got embroiled in the movement and got expelled from the University which resulted in Professor Ahmed's exit from the editorial board of the journal. In 1969, Ahmed became the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and retired from AMU service in 1977, when he was made the Professor Emeritus.
Nazir Ahmad died on 19 October 2008 in Aligarh. He inspired his daughter, Rehana Khatoon, to continue on his path and she eventually became a Padma Shri winner and a scholar in her own right. Professor Ahmed's remains were buried in Aligarh Muslim University graveyard.
Ahmed left a legacy by way of his students such as Prof. Azarmi Dukht Safavi, Prof. S. M. Tariq Hasan and Prof. Khalid Siddiqi and through his studies on Mirza Ghalib whom he claimed to have been influenced by Bedil and Abul Fazal, but achieved literary success through the great poet's creative brilliance.
Nazir Ahmed has contributed to the propagation of Persian language in more ways then one. He has served in many academic committees and editorial boards of many journals in Persian language. He was a member of the editorial board of Ma-arif, a monthly journal published by the Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy Azamgarh. After taking part in the First International Conference on Amir Khusro, held at Chicago, in 1988, at the request of the Amir Khusro Society of America (AKSA), Professor Ahmed led a team of scholars in a project funded by the Smithsonian, for translation of the works of Amir Khusro, with the support from Hakim Abdul Hameed, the founder of Jamia Hamdard of New Delhi and former Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. In connection with the UNESCO announcement declaring the year 1988 as the Year of Hafez, Professor Ahmed edited and published two old manuscripts by the 14th century Persian mystic and poet.
Awards and recognitions
He has also received many other awards such as:
- Ghalib Award - Ghalib Institute of New Delhi - 1976
- Presidential Award and Lifetime Fellowship - President of India - 1977
- Khusro Award - Amir Khusro Society of America (AKSA) - 1987
- Hafez Sanaash - Iranian Cultural Council of India - 1988
- Jaizah Afshar - Government of Iran - 1989
- DLitt (Honoris Causa) - University of Tehran, Iran- 1990
- Nazir Ahmed. Zahoori- Life and Work. Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Tahqeeqi Maqaley (in Urdu). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Nauras (in Urdu). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Nauras. Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Makaateeb Sanashi (in Persian). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Tareekh aur Adabi Mutaaley (in Urdu). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Beewan-e-Hafiz (in Persian). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Farhang Qawaas (in Persian). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Dasturul Afzal (in Persian). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Kitabus Sidna (in Persian). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Deewan Saraji (in Persian). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Taarekh aur Ilmi Maqalat (in Urdu). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Naqd Qatey Burhan (in Urdu). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Deewan Ameed Lawaiki (in Persian). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Zafaan Goya (in Persian). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Fazala-e-Balakh (in Urdu). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Ghalib per Chand Maqaley (in Urdu). Aligarh.
- Nazir Ahmed. Farsi Qaseedah Nigari (in Persian). Aligarh.
- "Padma". Government of India. 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014. Cite error: Invalid
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- "Bio". Web profile. 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "Sir Syed awards". Sir Syed Foundation. 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- "Azarmi Dukht Safavi". Zoom info. 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
- "Tariq Hasan" (PDF). AMU. 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
- "AKSA". AKSA. 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.