Prof. Kabeer Ahmad Jaisi

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Prof. Kabeer Ahmad Jaisi

By Afzal Usmani*

Writings of a writer are their best introduction to the readers. While reading “Dhoondho Gay Inhain” I realized the beauty of “Khaka Nigaari” of Prof. Kabeer Ahmad Jaisi, former Editor of Tahzeebul Akhlaq, monthly Urdu journal from Aligarh Muslim University which was started by Sir Syed in 1870 and revived by Syed Hamid in 1981. Even though I did not knew Prof. Jaisi for his Khaka Nigaari but his accounts of his seniors, mentors and contemporaries in his book “Dhoondho Gay Inhain” introduced him well at least to me. I never saw Mr. Naseem Quraishi as he died in 1985, way before even I joined AMU, but when I read Prof. Jaisi’s accounts about Mr. Quraishi, I started feeling like I have personally met Mr. Quraishi. Hope someone can write Prof. Jaisi’s account in the same fashion so our next generation can know him and feel him.

My first encounter with Prof. Jaisi’s name was on Tahzeebul Akhlaq cover page as Joint Editor sometime in 1988 when I joined AMU Aligarh in class XI. At that time Prof. Israr Ahmad was Editor of Tahzeebul Akhlaq. When Prof. Israr Ahmad relinquished his responsibility from Tahzeebul Akhlaq, Prof. Jaisi got appointed as Editor in 1991. During my student days at Aligarh, I did not met him in person but definitely knew him by face. I first met him in October 2006 at Tahzibul Akhlaq office and then never got a chance till 2001. During my visit to Aligarh in 2011, I paid a visit to his home in New Sir Syed Nagar and had a brief interaction with him. He was going for Hajj so mostly talked about his forthcoming Hajj trip. I asked him for his personal photo album and he shared with me and I borrowed few pictures to scan for This was my last meeting with him. Prof. Zafar ul Islam Islahi’s email delivered the sad news of his death. He died on 7th January 2013 in Aligarh. His Namaz-i- Janazah was performed on 8th January near the University Graveyard and in this Graveyard he was buried. AMU fraternity lost one more luminary from very short lists of luminaries who are still in among our midst.

Prof. Kabeer Ahmad was born on 16th November 1936 in Jais, district Rai Barely of Utter Pradesh, India, the town of Sufi saint poet, Malik Mohammad Jaisi who wrote in “Awadhi” dialect of Hindi in 15th century. He added his hometown’s name to his name and became Kabeer Ahmad Jaisi. His father Zaheer Ahmad was a Overseer with District Board in Azamgarh so young Kabeer Ahmad spend his early life in Azamgarh and completed his primary education from Madarsah Islamiya in Azamgarh, High School and Intermediate from Shibli Inter College Azamgarh. In pursuit of higher education, he joined Aligarh Muslim University in August 1961 in B.A. and completed his B.A. in 1963 with University Gold Medal for standing first in B.A. In 1963.He did his M.A. Persian 1965 and Ph.D. in 1973. He did his Ph.D. under the supervision of the eminent Persian scholar and noted researcher Prof. Nazir Ahamd. He was a resident member of Kashmir House in Sulaiman Hall. Even before joining AMU, he was known to the literary circle of Urdu and Persian and immediately after joing AMU in 1961, he was appointed as Joint Editor of monthly journal, Adeeb published from Jamia Urdu Aligarh. At that time Dr. Ibn-e-Fareed was Editor of Adeeb. He served it in this capacity till 1964. The value of his academic works may be realized by the fact that even his published works of student life was appreciated by many eminent scholars and distinguished authors including Maulvi Abdul Haq, Baba-i- Urdu, Prof. Rasheed Ahmad Siddiqi, Maulana Amin Ahsan Islahi,Dr. Khalilur Rahman Azami, Dr. Ibn-e-Fareed, Maulana Ziauddin Islahi Prof, Sayyed Ihtisham Husain.

Actually, his academic life is extended over about 57 years. He started to contribute articles and compile books during his student life in Shibli College. His first article (Tamiri Afsane) was published in the Shibli College Magazine of 1955.His first book ( Nuqush-i-Fani) was printed from Idarah Farogh-i-Urdu, Lucknow in 1958.His poetic collection (Sehra Sehra) appeared in 1969. In his poetry, he used his pen name “Saba Jaisi”. From his student life at AMU Aligarh he was involved in Teaching and research. One of his mentors in Aligarh, Mr. Naseem Quraishi who served as a faculty in Dept of Urdu in AMU, assigned him few classes in Jamia Urdu. In 1969, he applied for a faculty position in Dept of Persian at AMU Aligarh but could not make it. At this juncture his teacher Prof Ale Ahmad Suroor provided him an opportunity to work with him in Anujuan Taraqqi Urdu (Hind). He Worked as Literary Assistant of Prof. Aale Ahmad Suroor for a while and then worked as Publication Incharge on Anjuman till he joined Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi as a faculty in 1973. During this time from 1969 to 1973, he wrote many articles for “Urdu Adab” and Fikro-Nazar. For a while he also served as Editor of monthly journal “Conference Gazette, Aligarh” which is a mouth-peace of All India Muslim Educational Conference founded by Sir Syed in 1886 at Aligarh. He edited the Conference Gazette from February 1973 till he was appointed as a Lecturer in September 1974 in Department of Persian, Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi. He served in Jamia Millia Islami from 20th October 1974 to 30th October 1980. In 1980, he was appointed as Reader at “Iqbal Institute” of Kashmir University Srinagar. His teacher and Mentor, Prof. Ale Ahmad Suroor was Director of Iqbal Institute since its inception. Prof. Suroor was retired from AMU in 1973. From 1974 to 1979, Prof. Suroor served as “Iqbal Chair” Professor and from 1979 to 1985 as Founding Director of Iqbal Institute. Dr. Kabeer Ahmad Jaisi served there till 1983 and then joined as his Alma Mater as Reader, Iranian Studies Department of Islamic Studies. In 1988, he was promoted as a Professor. He served as Chairman of Department of Islamic Studies and Director, Institute of Islamic Studies from 1989 to 1992. Being as a Chairman, he also served as Editor Majalla-i- Islamiya (1989-1992), Editor Bulletin of the Institute of Islamic Studies (1989-1992) and Member A.M.U. Court Aligarh (1991-1992). He was a Member Editorial Board Fikr-O-Nazar Aligarh from 1989 to Nov 1996 and Member Editorial Board “Bayaz” Delhi from 1992 till his last breath. He was retired from University services in 1996 and was living in Aligarh.

Prof. Jaisi has to his credit 26 books and more than 200 articles. His books are Naqoosh e Fani, Sahra Sahra, Bazgasht, Tarikhi wa Ilmi Maqaley(Translation), Tarikh-e Adabiyat-e-Tajikistan, Azri, Mohammad Iqbal, Allama Iqbal Musleh-e- Qurn-e-Akhir, Zabiullah Safa (Life and Works), Ineaks, Sovieti-Tajiki Adabiyat ke bani, Jadid Tajiki Shora, Chand Iran Shanas, Irani Tasawwuf, Maulana Abdus Salam Nadvi Ki Yad men, Maulana Abdus Salam Nadvi, Makateeb wa Ashar-e-Maulana Abdus Salam Nadvi, Darse Farsi(Edt.), Masnavi Naheed-o-Akhtar(in Persian), Iran ki chand Aham Tafsirain Vol.1., Iran ki chand Aham Tafsirain Vol.2, Hafiz –Shakhs Aur Shaair, Dhoondho Gay Inhain, Shams-e-Kabir(Edt.), Jawedan Mizrab and Hind-Irani Adabiyat.
His book Dhoondho Gay Inhain includes “Khakey” on Maulvi Chiraagh Ali, Nawab Ishaq Khan, Pandit Habibur Rahman Shashtri, Prof. Khalilur Rahman Azmi, Naseem Quraishi, Prof. Mushirul Haq, Maulana Mohammad Taqi Ameeni, Dr Mumtaz Ali Khan, Prof. Ale Ahmad Suroor, Prof. Nazir Ahmad, Prof. Masood Hussain Khan and Dr Moin Ahsan Jazbi. He also included some of the letters of Prof. Rasheed Ahmad Siddiqi which the later wrote to him. Prof. Jaisi also gave the accounts of undivided Sulaiman Hall.

In recognition of his academic works of high standard, several awards was conferred on him and these included U.P. Urdu Academy Award for his books Sahra Sahra (1972), Baz Gasht (1975), Tarikh-e Adabiyat-e-Tajikistan(1977), Allama Iqbal Musleh-e- Qurn-e-Akhir (1982) and Chand Iran Shinas(1993), Naqoosh (Lahore) Award (1986), Soviet Land Nehru Award (1989), Mir Award (1993), Certificate of Merit (By President of India in1994), Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad Ghalib Award(For Persian Research and criticism in 2004) and Iranian Government SADI Award in 2008. One of his disciple, Dr. Shababuddin Azami (Head, Dept. of Urdu, Shibli National College, Azamgarh) compiled 2 books, Kabir Ahmad Jaisi ki Ilmi wa Adbi Khidmat & Kabir Ahmad Jaisi- Shibli College ka yek Mayah-i- Naz Farzand. Dr. Azmi developed his academic activities under the able guidance of Prof.Jaisi.

In the last part of his life, he has been mainly working on the Persian commentaries of the Holy Quran. His last book is the third volume of Iran ki Chand Aham Farsi Tafsirain, published from Qirtas, Karachi in 2010. His last article( Mithaq-i- Tur: Tafasir aur Tafsir-i- Sir Sayyed ke Tanazur mein) appeared in the October,2012 Special issue of Tahzibul Akhlaq on Sir Sayyed.

Abdus Salam Nadvi - Jaisi
Abdus Salam Nadvi - Jaisi
Abdus Salam Nadvi - Jaisi
Abdus Salam Nadvi - Jaisi
Abdus Salam Nadvi - Jaisi
Abdus Salam Nadvi - Jaisi
Abdus Salam Nadvi - Jaisi
Abdus Salam Nadvi - Jaisi

Prof. Jaisi with Prof. M.N. Farouqui, VC, AMU Aligarh

Prof Jaisi addressing a Seminar on Maulana Abdul Salam Nadvi in Bombay

Prof Jaisi addressing a Seminar in AMU Aligarh.

L-R: Dr Abu Sufyan Islahi, Prof. M. Rashid Nadvi, Prof. R.R.K. Sherwani, Prof. Masoodul Hasan, Mr. Ibne Said Ahmad Khan Chattari and Prof. Shamim Jairajpuri

Prof Jaisi receiving an award from Dr Zakir Hussain Foundation

Prof Jaisi with noted Persian Scholar Prof. Nazir Ahmad

Prof Jaisi with Prof Khursheedul Islam and Dr Shababuddin

Prof Jaisi with Afzal Usmani

Re: Prof. Kabeer Ahmad Jaisi - Dhoondho Gay Inhain

Prof. Kabeer Ahmad Jaisi was indeed a great scholar and a fine human being. I came to know him more intricately while I was residing near his house in Iqra Colony for about two years during 2003-2005. Although by then he had retired, he was very active all through. I used to accompany him to the Mosque for Asar prayer and on return often sat with him for a few minutes and was always offered a cup of tea. There was a common interest of 'birds identification and their behavior observation' that brought us close quickly. He used to feed and observe local birds very enjoyably and often discussed their interesting activities with me. In fact he was one of the persons who inspired me for writing articles in Urdu and I often used to show him my initial essays before sending to Tahzeebul Akhlaque for publication. He was very pleased to read my articles on natural history and birds in Urdu published in Urdu magazines that culminated in publication of my four books Jahan -e-Deegar, Hindustani Prinde: Khassosiyat, Afadiyat aur Shanakht, Islami Tanzur main Wildlife Tahaffus Ki Ahmiyat and Hindustan Ke Tahffuzati Maqamat aur Hayatyati Tanuwo.
As explained by Afzal Usmani sahib his personality and works are a landmark for coming generations. I found him a very simple person, not at all bothered for fame and showbiz. He was a great Sabir too. Once his house got over flodded and he was confined to his house for about a week Twice or thrice I waded through to reach his house and inquire his welfare and found him as jolly as ever. Once he slipped and broke his ankle and was again confined to his rooms but never made any complain; kept always smiling and cheerful. Alas such great personalities are leaving us one by one making our community poorer!
I am also sadden that being out of the country presently, I could not attend his Janazah and Tadfeen.
I earnestly pray to Almighty Allah to provide him Jannatul Firdaus, Amen.

Prof. H. S. A. Yahya
Dept. of Wildlife Sciences
AMU AligarhI

(Late) Prof. Kabeer Ahmad Jaisi

Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Elaihe Rajeoon,

Prof. Kabir Ahmad Jaisi Sb. a retired professor from Dept of Islamic studeis AMU Aligarh and former Editor of Tahzibul Akhlaq passed away today about 6-30 (IST) pm.Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Ilaihe Rajiun.

His Namaz Janazah and Tadfin shall take place In Sha Allah Taala tomorrow (8-01-2013) at 2-30 pm in the University Qabrastan.

Afzal Usmani
Asak. May Allah SWT grant him Jannatul firdaus. Aameen.
Prof. Javaid Akhter
Professor of Business Administration


Grieved to lean about the passing away of Prof Kabir Ahmad Jaisi .I have had the pleasure of knowing MrJaisi from student daysHe was a few years senior to me .Later on we became colleagues in Kashmir university in 80's I join the Alig fraternity in mourning his demise and pray for his maghfirat

Saleem Kidwai
JNU, New Delhi

Jaisi saheb, Nazeer Hasan khan of Law department and myself , we were living in Kashmir hostel in Room # 16, 17 and 18 from the begining of the Kashmir hostel....

He was a very good and gracious person... I met him again in Aligarh some 6 years back.... I have lot and lots of memories of Jaisi saheb...
May Allah grant him jannatulfirdos...

Afzal Yousufzai
Msc (Alig) Ph.D (delft)
Very sad and grieve to lean about the passing away of Prof Kabir Ahmad Jaisi .I have
had the pleasure of knowing MrJaisi from student days in late 80's and use to go to his house very often.He was very loving and kind human being and very learned academician.
I join the Alig fraternity in mourning his demise and pray for his maghfirat.

Afzal Khan
Post Box 476



ALIGARH January 15: On the sad demise of Prof. Kabir Ahmad Jaisi, former Chairman, Department of Islamic Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, a condolence meeting was held in the Department of Islamic Studies under the chairmanship of Prof. Mohd. Nejatullah Siddiqi, former Director, Institute of Islamic Studies. Prof. Abdul Bari, former Chairman, Department of Arabic was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Paying rich tributes to the departed soul, Prof. Zafarul Islam, Acting Chairman, Department of Islamic Studies stated that Prof. Jaisi did his Ph.D. under the supervision of the eminent scholar and noted researcher Prof. Nazir Ahamd.
Highlighting Prof. Jaisi’s academic achievements, Prof. Zaraul Islam said that he had to his credit 26 books and more than 200 articles. Actually, his academic life is extended over about 57 years. He started to contribute articles and compile books during his student life in Shibli College.
Prof. Zafarul Islam further stressed the point that Prof. Jaisi started his career in practical life as Assistant Editor of the monthly Adeeb (published by Jamia Urdu, Aligarh) on the monthly allowance of 30 rupees and rose to the position of Professor in 1988 Chairman, Dept. of Islamic Studies, A.M.U. in 1989 by the dint of his merit, hard work and significant academic contributions.
Several eminent personalities expressed their observations about Prof. Jaisi in the condolence meeting including Prof. Muhammad Nejatullah Siddiqi, Prof. Abdul Bari, Prof. Muhammad Yasin Mazhar Siddiqi, Prof. Abdul Ali, Dr. Shariq Aqil, Janab Abdul Matin, Prof. Abdul Qayyum and Dr. Mufti Zahid Ali Khan. The speakers focused on the academic achievements of Prof. Jaisi and remembered him for his simplicity, modesty, patience, gentleness, generosity and encouraging behavior with his students and young scholars.
Maulana Mahbur Rahman, Nazim-e-Deeniyat, AMU conducted a prayer for eternal peace to the departed soul.

(Dr. Rahat Abrar)
Public Relations Officer


Azamgarh, Jan 10: Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy of Azamgarh has condoled the death of Prof. Kabir Ahmad Jaisi, former professor of Aligarh Muslim University. Prof. Jaisi passed away on 7th January 2013. He was 75.

At the condolence meeting held at Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy, Azamgarh on 8th January, Maulana Umairus Siddique Nadwi Daryabadi said Prof. Kabir Ahmed Jaisi's death is a great loss for Urdu language and literature and academic world. He grew up literally and academically in Azamgarh. He was counted among the brilliant students of Shibli College. The condolence meeting was chaired by Dr. Fakhrul Islam Islahi, member, executive committee, Darul Musannefin.

Prof. Kabir Ahmad Jaisi was a retired professor from Dept. of Islamic Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, and former Editor of Tahzibul Akhlaq magazine.

His funeral prayer was offered at the university mosque and buried at the University Qabrastan on 8th Jan.


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