‘Aali, kay aik qalb sarapa kahen jisay’
(Jan 20, 1925 – Nov 23, 2015)
Jamiluddin Aali’s – Profile: The charisma, the intellect, the visionary, I could associate to through all stages of my life. My childhood inspiration draws from the lyrics of ‘Mein Chota Sa Eek Larka Hoon’. As I grow up, the melody of ‘Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan’ instigates feeling of patriotism in me. ‘Naqqar Khanay Mein’ helps me in understanding the complexities of the current affairs in my youth and later on the beautiful verses of ‘Hum Maain, Hum Behnain, Hum Baitiyan’ complement my womanhood. Certainly, Aali Jee’s silent presence in a common man’s life is vibrant, meaningful and relevant to its time.
Jamiluddin Aali’s multifaceted contribution cannot be rendered in few words as every aspect of his life requires an in-depth lifetime research. On one hand, his intellectual contribution in forms of ghazals, ‘dohas’, prose and songs fascinates many generations and on other hand his struggle to earn due recognition for Urdu as national language brings him in the line of national heroes. Establishment of ‘Urdu Dictionary Board’, ‘Pakistan’s Writers’ Guild’ and managing the office as Honorary Secretary of Anjuman-i Taraqqi-i Urdu for 62 years unveil another aspect of his life in which he devotes himself for the welfare of writers and promotion and dissemination of Urdu language. While rendering his services in the fields of literature, education and politics, he also carves a niche for himself in banking sector and attains the highest positions.
With great determination and steadiness he travelled his long journey of successes and achievements through the difficult circumstances of his time. Now, when he has embarked on another journey to the next world, his thoughts, his work and his memories are left behind for future generations to reflect upon. Jamiluddin Aali’s admirers and followers are spread all over the world. Being a widely published scholar both at national and international levels, his work and personality draws attention of academia for delve into. Paying tribute to the dignitary, Lt. General (R) Sahabzada Yaqub Khan noted that Jamiluddin Aali interpreted his own metaphysical aspects of being.
“Jamiluddin Aali had shown a great depth of understanding on consciousness, art, and on the resistance, as it is very difficult to cover such a vast field of human endeavor”. — Sahabzada Yaqub Khan
Jamiluddin Aali was a profound poet, upright columnist, scholarly analyst, renowned researcher, professional banker and a leader who possessed very fine leadership qualities. The life of Jamiluddin Aali is a synchronized combination of prose and poetry, ‘dohas’ and ‘geets’, thoughts and practice. Major segments of his life are seen as holistic efforts to create awareness for education, disseminate and promote Urdu literature and culture, instill the sense of patriotism and spiritualism and to leave a legacy for future generations. Jamiluddin Aali was a man of multiple talents who served the nation in many diversified fields. About such unique characteristics, Ameena Saiyid OBE writes and I quote: ‘Multiplicity seems to have been a characteristic of his personality. Aali jee wore many hats in his life. He was a successful banker for much of his life yet found the time to be a protector and benefactor of Urdu by working or campaigning for institutions like The Writers’ Guild, The Urdu Dictionary Board, The Anjuman-i Taraqqi-i Urdu, Urdu College, and the Pakistan Academy of Letters. He was in every way a Renaissance man and the preserver of a great tradition. ‘ — Ameena Saiyid OBE
This article sheds insightful thoughts on some very distinct characteristics of the life of Mirza Jamiluddin Aali for the interest of readers.
Aali came from…
There were approximate six hundred states in sub-continent at the time of creation of Pakistan in 1947. Few of them were even bigger than many European countries in terms of area and population. One of these states was ‘Loharu’ in present day Haryana, India. The state was founded by Nawab Ahmed Baksh Khan in 1803. Famous for soldier-ship, the flavor of literature and poetry was added to the Loharu’s ruler family when Mirza Ilahi Bakhsh, the younger brother of the first ruler of Loharu, Nawab Ahmed Bakhsh Khan shined out as a poet. Luckily the famous poet Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib got married to his younger daughter and thus the name of Loharoubecame an integral part of Urdu literature with Mirza Ghalib’s unparalleled contribution as poet.
Jamiluddin Aali was born to Sir Ameeruddin Ahmed Khan, the great grandson of Nawab Ahmed Bakhsh Khan and to Syeda Jamila Baigum, the direct descendant of Khwaja Mir Dard. Jamiluddin Aali’s pen name is also derived from the word ‘Aalai’, pen name of one of his forefathers.
A brief biography
Jamiluddin Aali earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics from Anglo Arabic College, Delhi in 1944 and married to Tayyaba Bano with her, he had five children; two daughters and three sons (Humaira Mustafa, Zul Qarnain (Raju) Jamil, Mirza Naseeruddin, Rabia Shadab and Architect Murad Jamil). In 1947 after the partition of India, he migrated to Pakistan with his family and chose Karachi as his destination. He started his career as an Assistant in the Ministry of Commerce. Upon passing CSS examination in 1951, he joined Pakistan Taxation Service. He was also Officer on Special Duty at President House from 1959 to 1963. In 1967, Jamiluddin Aali joined the National Bank of Pakistan where he held various positions up to Senior Executive Vice President. He also rose to the rank of Member Executive Board of both NBP and Pakistan Banking Council. He remained with NBP until his retirement in 1988. In 1971 he obtained an FEL and LLB degrees from the University of Karachi. He was also elected as the member of the Senate for a six-year term. He authored many books, poetry, ‘dohas’, songs and columns.
As a poet…
In poetry, Jamiluddin Aali is well known for the revival of the classic form of ‘doha’ (a ghazal couplet containing a complete theme in two lines) which he adapted it into Urdu imparting a distinct South Asian Muslim cultural essence. Besides ‘doha’ he also wrote ghazals, poems, ‘geets’ (lyrical ballads) and national songs. His long poems reflect a unique discourse on great scientific and philosophical themes, blended with aesthetics. His penchant of work has kept him for doing full justice to his primary talent, being poetry. While he has published about ten books in prose, his poetry collections remain comparatively small. His ‘dohas’ and poetry paint a true picture of our society facing numerous challenges of illiteracy, inequality and disparity.
Simultaneously love and spirituality also conquers the heart and soul of his ‘dohas’ and poetry readers.
Aali is regarded by most critics as a poet of considerable and notable talent. His poetry also embraces the spirit of social democracy and describes the injustice in the society in a profound manner.
His poetry presents a very optimistic view of life where human being appears to realize the true meaning of his being in an enlightened world.
It would be unfair if his poem ‘Insan’ is not mentioned here which contains 7,500 lines and some 2,500 lines were censored out. It is said that people would take years to understand the worthiness of Aali’s work in form of ‘Insan’.
As a writer and columnist…
As an intellectual, his weekly column, ‘Naqqar Khanay Mein’ in Urdu daily “Jang” Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Quetta and London reflected his hypersensitivity to the society. Aali’s columns focused on socio-economical and integrity interests of Pakistan. It covered a wide range of subjects such as philosophy, economics, statistics, logics, patriotism etc…
He was a great critic of current affairs and politics. In case of any tragedy, he used to objectively review the incident and presented his analysis without any fear or favor. Through the windows of his columns, the readers were able see the works of international expertise in the fields of literature, art and economics. It was through his column that a common man could find the interpretation of his dreams, take instructions for a better future, and seek guidance for his daily chores. Through his column Aali jee motivated his readers for an advanced and more civilized society. In 2015 he completed 55 years of weekly column writing and became the senior most columnist of any language in Pakistan.
In prose, Jamiluddin Aali is famous for his keen interest in penning down his travel experiences in form of travelogues with a flavor of patriotism in a very subtle manner. He persuaded through prose, his mission of searching and dissemination of knowledge.
As an analyst …
As an anchor person and analyst, Jamiluddin Aali also appeared on Pakistan Television. One of his programs on Pakistan Television by the name of ‘Dunya Pakistan’ carried a comprehensive content on social and economic issues of Pakistan. It focused on the fact that Pakistan is a resourceful country and is unparalleled in many ways.
Jamiluddin Aali used to extrapolate statistically the quotes of Quaid-e-Azam about the natural resources of the country. Those extrapolations and analysis still hold true.
As a leader…
Anjuman-i Taraqqi-i Urdu is an institute which publishes books, journals and periodicals and promotes literature and culture in the society. It has a worth treasure of researches and critics. Jamiluddin Aali remained very instrumental in the publication by the Anjuman of around 300 books and manuscripts to which he has contributed learned introductions.
He also held the position of the Chairman of Urdu Dictionary Board. After Maulvi Abdul Haq, Jamiluddin Aali took the reins of Anjuman Taraqqi-e-Urdu Pakistan and completed 62 years of service as Honorary Secretary of Anujuman till 2014 which celebrated its 111th anniversary. After that he remained lifetime honorary advisor to the Anjuman. Under the aegis of this very Anjuman he was associated as Honorary Secretary for 12 years and Honorary Administrator for three years with the Urdu College and expanded the College into Federal Government University and remained the Deputy Chair of its Senate for 3 years.
There was a time when College went into crisis and had no money to pay the salaries. Jamiluddin Aali mortgaged his personal property in the bank and acquired loan to pay the salary to the staff of the college. He substantially contributed honorary, to the establishment of Federal Urdu University with two campuses already in Karachi and a third in Islamabad with more than 1500 students in sciences. This service was widely acclaimed at the national and International levels. In lieu of his age-long voluntary services in academia, the President of Pakistan, who is also the Chancellor of the Federal Urdu University, appointed him the Honorary Deputy Chair of its Senate in April 2002 . He presided over this Senate in the Chancellor’s absence for several years.
Jamiluddin Aali also entered the field of practical social science and rendered his services as a Senator from Sindh in the upper house of parliament. Being an elected member of Senate of Pakistan, he rose to the position of Chairman of Standing Committee for Education, Science and Technology. He presented 16 resolutions on education in the Senate and all were accepted. This platform provided him an opportunity to motivate various departments dealing with literacy and science in the country.
As a patron…
It is said that creative people are not normal but they are hypersensitive. A man of larger than life, Jamiluddin Aali’s personal traits were full of kindheartedness, sensitivity and compassion. As he moved on with his life, his sensitivity towards humanity kept increasing. He offered his income from his literary activities and royalty from songs for the betterment of under-privileged families. He established various funds in his personal capacity to support widows and other needy people he came across.
Pakistan Writers’ Guild was the brain child of Jamiluddin Aali who was joined by a group of intellectual minds including Qudratullah Shahab, Ibn-e-Inshaa, Abbas Ahmed Abbasi, Shahid Ahmed Dehlvi and many more. At a time when military government used to claim reforms in various sectors, these intellects realized that the field of literature was ignored and no measures were taken to promote literature in the society. So the focus group called a meeting of writers from both wings of Pakistan and developed consensus for what to do. Writers’ Guild was conceived as a platform to safeguard the interests of writers against any undemocratic actions by the government. The strong networking of Jamiluddin Aali helped in raising the money for the Guild which now has a membership comprising men of the letters of all Pakistani languages. Mr. Aali had been constantly devoted his services for the welfare of indigent Pakistani Writers and the bereaved families of those who are no more.
As a Pakistani…
His love for Pakistan grew even before Pakistan came into being. On an occasion when one of his friends asked him whether he would go Pakistan if Delhi had been Pakistan’s capital and he said ‘Yes’ without any hesitation. In 1947, he arrived in Pakistan with his family leaving behind his beloved relatives, ancestral properties and job. Jamiluddin Aali’s love for Islam and Pakistan reflects in his work. Numerous songs like ‘Hum Mustafavi’, ‘Jeeway Jeeway Pakistan’, ‘Aye Watan Ke Sajeeley Jawano’, ‘Mera Paigham Pakistan’, ‘Itney Bare Jeewan Sagar Mein Tu Ne Pakistan Diya’ and ‘Jo Naam Wohee Pehchan’, echoed so frequently that most of the audience remember them by heart.
Once a writer visited Jamiluddin Aali at his residence and invited him to preside over the launching ceremony of one of her books. Jamiluddin Aali consented to grace the occasion and handed over his visiting card. When the writer looked at the card, it had no address but a single word ‘Pakistan’. It shows his love for the country and his position which requires no other introduction. He always carried the flag of Pakistan in the world and urged Pakistanis to pay back to the country as he himself always contributed for the betterment of Pakistan.
On the occasion of second Islamic Summit Conference in 1974 hosted by Pakistan at Lahore, Aali Sahab’s bilingual poetic renditions of ‘Hum Mustafavi, Mustafavi, Mustafavi Hain’ touched the souls of Muslims all over the world and became the spirit of Islamic unity. Thereafter, it was also declared as the official anthem of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
Journey to the next world…
Jamiluddin Aali’s inclination towards ‘doha’ began at a tender age when he fell in love passionately with a girl elder to him and the family circumstances were not in his favor. Fortunately his persistent love removed all barriers and Tayyaba became his life-partner. Through his poems, the warmth of this lovely companionship of 69 years can be well imagined.
When Tayyaba’s soul returned to her Creator Almighty Allah in September 2013, Aali jee could not find any more reason to live on. Shortly the time stopped ticking for him and he also left this worldly abode to meet his soul mate in heaven on November 23, 2015.
* Aye Watan Ke Sajelay Jawanoo
* Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan
* Hum Mustafavi Mustafavi Hain
* Mein Chota Sa Ek Ladka Hoon
* Mera Paigham Pakistan
* Ab Yeh Andaz-e-Anjuman Hoga
* Hum Maain, Hum Behnain, Hum Baitiyan
* Jo Naam Wahi Pehchan, Pakistan Pakistan
* Aye Des Ki Hawaao, Kushboo wMein Bas Ke Jao
* Itne Bade Jewan Sagar Mein, Tu wNe Pakistan Diya
* Yeh Kavita Pakistani Hai
* Insaan; Long Play in which he started writing in 1949, published in 2007
* Buss ikk gousha-e-bisaat; A collection of life sketches of people like; Late Makhdoom Talibul Moula, Late Jamil Nishtar, Late Mumtaz Hasan, Late Hameed Kashmiri etc. and some essays in classical style (2004)
* Wafa Kar Chalay; Selection from his columns (2001)
* Calm under Whirlpool; An English, Roman, Hindi and Urdu translation of his Doha by Dr. Baidar Bakht and Ann Marie Erki
* A Dictionary of Selected Economic Idioms; Explanation and History (2001)
* Aye Mere Dasht-e-Sukhan Ghazlain Dohay Geet (six editions)
* Jeeway Jeeway Pakistan (five editions)
* La Hasil (three editions)
* Nai Kiran
* Dohay (three editions in Urdu and one in Devnagari)
* Duniya Mere Aagye
* Tamasha Mere Aagye
* Iceland- the first Urdu Travelogue of the Country (2002)
* Hurfay Chand (Four Books)
* Translation assistance of ‘Asian Drama’ by Nobel Laurete Gunar Myrdal into Urdu.
Three presentation volumes have been published on Aali’s life and work, including one in India (by late Habib Khan of Anjuman-i Taraqqi-i Urdu in 1998, one by Pakistan Writer’s Cooperative Society (Coopera), Lahore in 1996 and the third one by “Dunya-e-Adab” Karachi.
Awards and Honors:
* Hilal-e-Imtiaz, 2004
* Special Award by all Rotary Clubs of Pakistan
* President of Pakistan’s “Pride of Performance” Gold Medal (Literature)
* Recipient of “Sant Kabeer” Award at World Urdu Conference- Delhi
* International Award (Urdu Language and Literature) by the Canadian Academy
* Sant Kabeer Award – Urdu Conference Delhi
* Canadian Urdu Academy Award
* Habib Bank Literary Award
* United Bank Literary Award
* Dawood Literary Award
* Adamjee Award (for Creative Literature
* Doctor of Literature (Honoria Causa) by the Syndicate of the University of Karachi
* Dawood Award (for Research and History)
* NBP Award (for Economics and Sciences)
* UBL Award (for Children’s Literature)
* HBL Award (for Inter-lingual Literature)
* ARY Gold Award (for an author of above 70 years of age)
* Academy of Letters prestigious Govt. Award “Kamal-e-Funn”