Masood-ul Hasan

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Professor Masood-ul Hasan: A Doyen of English Studies in India

By Prof. A.R. Kidwai
Dept. of English, AMU Aligarh

Biographical Sketch:

Born on 8 July 1928 in Moradabad (UP) and Died on 09 March 2019 in Aligarh (UP), Professor Masood-ul Hasan had his university education at the historic seat of learning – the Aligarh Muslim University. He earned his BA and MA degrees in English in 1945 and 1947 respectively at the AMU. At a remarkably young age of only 19 years he was appointed Lecturer in English at Hamidiya Degree College, Bhopal and had a brief stint there from 1947 to 1949. It was in 1949 that he joined as faculty at Aligarh Muslim University and served this great institution with distinction until his superannuation in 1988.

His luminous teaching career and pivotal role in AMU’s corporate life:

From 1949 to 1963 he worked as Lecturer and was later elevated as Reader and Professor in 1963 and 1970 respectively at the Department of English. For almost two decades he had been Professor of English and served also as Chairman, Dept. of English and Dean, Faculty of Arts. Apart from teaching at the Department, Professor Hasan contributed immensely to the corporate life of the Aligarh Muslim University in various capacities. For years he had been the Manager of AMU Schools and infused the spirit of academic excellence into the minds and hearts of both the students and teachers of University Schools. He was the pioneer in sensitizing the AMU community to the National Policy on Education and other developments in the School education by way of organizing workshops and seminars in collaboration with NCERT. At various platforms he spoke fervently about Indian Muslims’ education and human rights. Furthermore, he was the Proctor of the University in 1970s, entrusted with the unenviable task of ensuring discipline on the campus. With his remarkable tact and sagacity, however, he was successful in discharging this onerous duty as well.

Professor Hasan is widely acclaimed as a highly competent teacher, gifted with an exceptional ability to elucidate literary texts for the benefit of his students. His wit and humour made his lectures all the more memorable. Almost every student of the Department of English between 1950 and 1990 cherishes the fond memories of his highly engaging and perceptive lectures. He was a mentor in the true sense of the term as he guided many of his students and research scholars to their bright career. Little wonder then that many of his students, benefiting from his patronage and guidance, rose to important positions in both public life and academic institutions.

His Indispensable Reference Works:

Professor Hasan’s major contribution consists in facilitating research in English literary studies, as he brought out several helpful bibliographies, which are mines of otherwise inaccessible information. Mention must be made of his following substantial works:

1. Rare English Books in India: A Select Locational Bibliography, T.M. Publications, Aligarh, 1970

The title of this self explanatory work guides researchers to the location of the generally little known works on English studies available in India. The bibliography provides an extensive list of 110 major literary periodicals of 18th to 20th century available in the leading libraries of the country. Prior to internet age such vital information was hard to track down and such a bibliography was very precious for researchers desperately looking for primary source material. Those drawing upon this bibliography still feel beholden to Professor Hasan for having facilitated their research studies. It is not therefore, surprising that this work of his was warmly welcomed by distinguished scholars in India:

a. Professor S.C. Deb (Allahabad): “You have by bringing out this volume made the teachers and research workers aware of the extent of problem and the variety of aspects that remain to be explored.”

b. Professor V.K. Gokak (CIEFL, Hyderabad): “You have obliged all scholars of English literature greatly.”
c. Professor A. Bose (Calcutta): “It is a notable and novel contribution to Indian bibliography and should be useful to countless researchers.”

d. B.S. Kesvan (Hony. Library Adviser to the Govt. of India, and former Director, National Library, Calcutta): “ … a landmark bibliography … clearly a labour of love undertaken and executed against odds.”

e. Professor S. Bashiruddin (Veteran Librarian): “It is a research tool of high value”.

f. Professor Naharanjan Ray (Director, IIAS, Simla): “You have been able to work your project out as an expert bibliographer. For more than one reason it would serve as a very dependable guide…”

2. His other reference work of immense bibliographical value is Nineteenth-Century English Literary Works: A Locational Bibliography of Rare Books Available in India, (Delhi, B.K. Publishers, 1978).

It enumerates 286 periodicals and serials in the above important area of English literary history. Needless to add, such helpful reference works contributed significantly to the production of quality research by numerous students and scholars. English literary studies in India owe much to such works of Professor Hasan.

3. Another work of the same category is his Miltoniana in India: A Select Bibliography (Aligarh, Shalig Ram and Sons Publications, 1986).

While the focus of this bibliography is on the great English poet, John Milton, its significance consists chiefly in giving a fair idea of Milton scholarship in various world languages, with special attention to Indian languages. It contains valuable details about Milton’s works, their translations and Milton criticism in 10 major Indian languages and in 34 other languages of the world. It is an epitome of dedicated scholarship, as it unravels a wealth of information which is not generally available with a single volume.

His contribution to English critical studies:

4. Professor Hasan’s original and insightful contribution to English literary studies is reflected sharply in his ground-breaking work, Donne’s Imagery (Aligarh, Aligarh Muslim University, 1958).
John Donne, a seventeenth century British Metaphysical poet is acclaimed for his intellectual toughness. With his enviable critical faculty Professor Hasan has been remarkably successful in deciphering the astounding range of imagery in Donne’s poetry. It is worth-reiterating that Donne’s imagery extends to such diverse fields as medicine, law, horticulture, optics, alchemy, geography and physics. Professor Hasan has nonetheless risen to the occasion in identifying and elucidating the complex and intractable imagery in Donne’s poetry. His exposition is read with much profit by students of Donne to this day. This seminal work of his drew applause from eminent critics of which the following extracts should give some idea:

a. “This scholarly and perceptive study is a useful contribution to work on Donne … with such clear understanding of a poet who is, even among his compatriots, generally found so difficult and elusive.” (Dr R.T.H. Redpath, Trinity College, Cambridge).

b. “… a well-written and scholarly work which shows a genuine understanding of a poet difficult even to English readers” (Professor Kenneth Muir, Liverpool University).

5. His other major work of literary criticism is the revised and updated version of his doctoral dissertation for which he was awarded Ph.D. in English by the University of Liverpool, UK in 1964: Francis Quarles: A Critical Study of his Poetry (Aligarh, Aligarh Muslim University, 1966)

This critical work is a testament to Professor Hasan’s painstaking commitment to English literature in that it embodies the fruits of his scholarship about a little known yet significant 17th century writer, Francis Quarles. Like his other critical works, it was much appreciated by leading critics thus:

a. Professor Geoffrey Bullough (London University): “a valuable study … Not the least valuable parts of the study are your tracing of Quarles’s predecessors and also of his possible imitators … throws much needed light on many of the forms of poetry fashionable in the seventeenth century.”

b. Professor Kenneth Muir: “Solid and valuable work of scholarships.”

c. Professor G.K. Hunter (of Warwick University, Coventry): “Your comments on the rhetoric of … works will be especially helpful to readers … the book is a major addition to the criticism of the religious poetry of the period; and I know of no work I would sooner recommend as a sane and balanced introduction to the subject.”

d. Gorden S. Haight (Professor at Yale University): “… its lucid style and thorough research … I know of nothing that you have overlooked, and I should think your work might well become the final word on Quarles.”

e. Douglas Bush (of Camb. Mass): “… obviously the most thorough study of Quarles there is … your easy command of English is hardly less remarkable than your scholarly command of all the materials … substantial achievement.”

f. K.R. Srinivas Iyengar (Watair): “Quite a meritorious piece of research and criticism.”

6. However, Professor Hasan’s magnum opus is his Sufism and English Literature: Chaucer to the Present Age: Echoes and Image, New Delhi, Adam Publishers, 2007.

This analytical survey of the entire English literary history is the first, refreshingly original study of the Sufi strand in the works of English men of letters from 14th to 21st century, including the fairly recent noble laureate, Doris Lessing. This work is illustrative of Professor Hasan’s thorough familiarity with both English literary and Sufi traditions. Gifted with an insightful critical mind Professor Hasan has established the affinity between the two major traditions. This work of his will inspire many more studies and familiarize students of English literature with a new field of study.

His achievements in Urdu

In addition to his sterling contribution to English literary studies and corporate life of the Aligarh Muslim University, Professor Hasan has made mark also as a writer in Urdu. His pieces in chaste, idiomatic Urdu, interspersed with scintillating humour and wit and occasional bites of irony and sarcasm are a delight to read. His critical writings in Urdu have offered many fresh ideas and perspectives to the students of Urdu literature. His oratory of both Urdu and English often casts a spell on the audience both in and outside classroom. As to his genuine and abiding interest in scholarship, it may be gauged in the light of the fact that at the ripe age of 81 years he is a regular visitor to the Maulana Azad Library, drawing upon the latest advances in various fields of knowledge. Truly he is a doyen of scholarship.

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Prof. Masood ul Hasan releasing Prof. Iftikhar alam Khan's Book Sir Syed Daroon-e-khana

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Prof. Masood ul Hasan releasing Prof. Iftikhar Alam's Book "Sir syed Daroon-e-Khana"


Professor Masood’ul Hassan releasing Amin Kamil's latest collection of poems Yim Myane Sokhan at a National Seminar in AMU Aligarh on 11-12th March 2009

Felicitation of Prof. Abul Kalam Qasmi. L to R - Pof. VK Abdul Jaleel, AMU Registrar, Prof. Abul kalam Qasmi, AMU VC, Prof. Masoodul Hasan, Prof. Parvaiz Mustajab, Controller Exams

Felicitation of Prof. Abul Kalam Qasmi. L to R - Pof. VK Abdul Jaleel, AMU Registrar, Prof. Abul kalam Qasmi, AMU VC, Prof. Masoodul Hasan, Prof. Parvaiz Mustajab, Controller Exams

Shaheer Khan and Masoodul Hasan

Prof. Masood ul Hasan with Dr. Shaheer Khan


Prof. Masood ul Hasan with Nawab Ibne Saeed Ahmad Khan Chattari and Afzal Usmani

Masoodul Hasan

Prof. Masood ul Hasan at his residence

Prof Masoodul Hasan passes away

Prof Masoodul Hasan passes away

Aligarh, March 9: Renowned Academician and eminent critic, Prof Masoodul Hasan (1928-2019) passed away this morning at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) after a cardiac arrest. He was admitted to the JNMCH.

Before joining AMU in 1949, he had taught at Hamidiya College, Bhopal during 1947-1949.

He served AMU in various capacities other than teaching. He was Proctor, Secretary, AMU Teachers' Association, Member, Academic and Executive Councils. Born in Moradabad, he passed high school in 1941 from the Hewett High School (now a college), Moradabad.

In July 1943, he joined BA in AMU. Then, F. J. Fielden was the Head of the Department of English, AMU. He passed out BA in 1945 and MA English in 1947. He obtained his PhD from Liverpool in 1964.

He wrote several books, some of these in last few years, including "Sufism and English Literature, from Chaucer to the Modern Age: Echoes and Images". He has also worked on less attended themes, such as, Marriage Poems, Elegies, Spouse Eligies, "Na'at" Literature in English, Ghazal in English, etc. At least three books were in advanced stage and were soon to come, including his collection of essays, mostly on English and Urdu literature.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor expressed his condolence to the members of the family by visiting his residence in Sir Syed Nagar. "Prof Masoodul Hasan was a quintessential academician and his work will continue to shape our consciousness. It is a great loss for AMU and the academic community all over the country.. In this hour of grief, my sympathies are with his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace," he said.

Prof Masood's wife, Late Hamida Masood, and daughter, Late Seema Masood had also taught in AMU.

He is survived by his son, Naved Masood (IAS 1978 batch, now retired; former Secretary, Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs), and three grandsons, viz., Dr. Shad Naved (Academic), Sarim Naved (Lawyer), Hamid Naved (studying in a National Law University).

Public Relations Office

Aligarh Muslim University

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajeoon.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajeoon.

May Allah SWT grant him maghfirah and Jannat Ul Firdous.

He set an exemplary standard of competence, discipline and integrity, which inspired so many who had the good fortune to know him.

Hasan Ghias
B.Sc. ( Hons) 1970
Allen, TX, U.S.A.

[AMUNetwork] Prof. Masoodul-Ul Hasan - Inna lillahi wa inna ilay

Dear Friends, Assalam-O-Alaikum

With a heavy heart, we are informing you that Prof. Masoodul-Ul Hasan Sahab, former Professor and Chairman of English department, AMU, passed away early morning today (March 9th).

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ)

His Tadfeen will take place after Salatul Zohar in Aligarh. More details will be posted as soon as they become available.

Let us all pray for his Maghfirat.


AMU Network

Prof Masoodul Hasan sb passed away ..Inna Lillahe wa Inna Alaihe

Prof Masoodul Hasan sb passed away ..Inna Lillahe wa Inna Alaihe Rajeoon

It gives me intense pain to write that Prof Masoodul Hasan sahib passed away early this morning
With lean and thin physique,most often, wearing sherwani and cap,his voice pleasing to the ears of students,engaged and inspired them and also colleagues.

Many remember him as a mentor who taught not only English, speech and manners but also discipline and greater life lessons that guided them to success.

I being one of them.I saw him in july,1955 as student of 1st year of Old Intermediate in the Lecture theater facing new Astro turf.
It appears as if it was yesterday.
That's the impression he left on students.

He changed lives, and he gave students confidence that normally would have been just pushed aside. The impact that he had was legendary.

A man of tradions,highly cultured and manners,will be missed by Traditionalist and lovers of AMU’s culture.

He joined AMU as student in 1940’s and became lecturer in English dept in 1945.

Every meeting with him was pleasure which left undeniable impression upon listeners.

ALIGARH Muslim University PRO wrote about him in 2016 :

Professor Masoodul Hasan, the doyen of English studies and formerly Chairman, Department of English, Aligarh Muslim University, has published ?Anthology of English Spousal Elegies?, which contains the spousal elegies culled from not only English literature but also from Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Hindi literary corpus.

The Anthology is the first of its kind, reflecting the articulation of personal emotion, especially of marital love and bonding and of mourning and grief in the world literary tradition.

Professor Hasan has assiduously collected material from a range of largely inaccessible sources. This spectacle of sterling scholarship will be a source of inspiration for young scholars.

Professor Hasan, a prolific author and a brilliant teacher, has authored several valuable books which includes his selection, ?English Poems on Prophet Muhammad

He is survived by son Naved Masood IAS.

The worldofaligs moderators extremely are grieved and share this grief with his son Naved Masood and the circle of friends

Dr Mohsin Raza
Senior Consultant General Surgeon
Moderator -"Worldofaligs"
Moderator -"Abdomen & Chest Trauma" ,
& Facilitator - "Breast Cancer awareness among Indian women"
cell 0091 8126039175

A new Book by Professor Masoodul Hasan

ALIGARH July 22: Professor Masoodul Hasan, formerly Chairman, Department of English and Dean, Faculty of Arts, Aligarh Muslim University has brought out a remarkable literary work “Epithalamiums: An Anthology of Marriage Poems from Chaucer to the Modern Age” published by the Primus Books, New Delhi 2013.
Prof. Hasan said that the book stands out as a comprehensive collection of marriage poems, which will be of immense benefit for the students of English literary studies across the world. Furthermore, it would contribute to cross cultural understanding and better appreciation of the British socio-cultural life. The volume is co-edited by the late Professor Naqi Hussain Jafri, an old boy of the AMU and Professor of English at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
Professor Hasan has to his credit a number of valuable publications, including the last one tracing out the Sufi element in the history of English literature.

(Zeeshan Ahmad)
Assistant Public Relations Officer

Sir Syed Bi-Centenary


Hamiduddin Farahi



Masood-ul Hasan

ZH Chowdhury