Prof. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad `Arzoo

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Prof. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad `Arzoo


By Afzal Usmani

Born: 14th November 1924 in Patna Bihar
Died: 30th June 2010 at Aligarh and buried at Muslim University graveyard "Mintoee"
Fathers Name: Maulana Zafaruddin Qadri Rizvi (Resident of Azimabad (Patna) and a disciple of Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan Bareilvi)

1958: D.Phil. Oxford University (Under the able guidance of Prof. Hamilton A.R. Gibb)
1953: Ph.D. AMU-Aligarh (Under the able guidance of Maulana Abdul Aziz Meman)
M.A. (Arabic)-1949 AMU Aligarh

Lecturer, Department of Arabic AMU Aligarh: 1953, Reader:Islamic studies and Deputy Director of Institute of Islamic Studies: 1958
Professor and Chairman in Department of Arabic: 1968, Dean, Faculty of Arts: 1975

Editor: Journal of Islamic Studies, MAJALLAT AL-MAJMA AL-ILMI AL-HINDI, Ghalib Number of Aligarh Magazine

Member Editorial Board: Ma’arif: Monthly Journal of Darul Musannefin Shibli Academy

Awards : Certificate of Honor from President of India
Ghalib Award: 1983
Sir Syed Life Time Achievement Award: Aligarh Alumni Association of New York US: 2007

Founder Vice-Chancellor of Maulana Mazharul Haq Arabic & Farsi University, Patna: 1988

Books: Karbal Katha, Khutoot-e-Akbar, Saire-Dehli, Tazkarah Azurdah, Tazkarah Gulshan-e- Hind, Tazkarah Shoara-e-Farrukhabad, Diwaan-e-Huzoor, Ahwaal-e-Ghalib and Naqad-e-Ghalib. Edited: Zakir Sahib Ke Khat, Vol. III.

Prof. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad `Arzoo were born in a religious family of Maulana Zafaruddn Qadri Rizvi of Patna (also known as Azimabad in the past). He completed his primary education from Jamia Islamia Shamsul-Huda, Patna. He successfully completed the course of Maulvi and Alimiat from Madarsah examination board and secured distinction in Fazilat examination. He completed his matriculation from University of Patna in 1943 and joined Aligarh Muslim University for higher education. He completed M.A. in Arabic in 1949 and joined Ph.D. under the guidance of Maulana Abdul Aziz Memon, a word renowned Arabic scholar, Professor and Chairman Department of Arabic, AMU Aligarh and disciple of Deputy Nazir Ahmad. He became renowned after Editing the famous Ghalib Number of Aligarh Magazine. After completing his Ph.D. he joined Department of Arabic as Lecturer in 1953. In the same year he received Rock Fuller fellowship for research in Middle-East and England. He traveled to Germany, France, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq for educational purposes. He also stayed in Holland for couple of months and worked in Leiden University Library. He wrote the thesis under the guidance of Prof. Hamilton A.R. Gibb in Oxford University to receive his D.Phil. In 1958, he became Reader in Islamic studies and Deputy Director of Institute of Islamic Studies at AMU Aligarh. He started journal of Islamic Studies and was its Editor for 12 years. In 1968 he became Professor and Chairman in Department of Arabic. He became Dean, faculty of Arts in 1975. He was Editor for AJALLAT AL-MAJMA AL-ILMI AL-HINDI for number of years. For his contributions to Arabic and Farsi research work, he received Ghalib Award in 1983. After retirement he is staying in Aligarh and busy in his research. Well known critic and Urdu write Intizar Hussain said: “And how can I forget those two distinguished scholars, Dr Mukhtaruddin Aarzoo and Prof Asloob Ahmad Ansari, who after retirement have chosen to lead a secluded life focusing on research and study”.

On 10th April, 1998, Prof. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad Arzoo was appointed as Founding Vice-Chancellor of Maulana Mazharul Haq Arabic & Persian University in Patna.

Prof. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad Arzoo died on 30th June 2010 at his residence in Aligarh and buried at Muslim University graveyard "Mintoee". A large number of his colleagues, friends, students, well wishers and family members attend ed the Janazah. I was fortunate enough to be in town and attend the Janazah of Prof.Mukhtaruddin Ahmad Arzoo.

Neelam Sanjiva Redy

Prof. Arzoo receiving President of India award from President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy

Gyani Zail Singh

Prof. Arzoo receiving Ghalib Award from President of India, Giani Zail Singh

SD Sharma

Prof. Arzoo with President of India Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma

King Hussain of Jordan

Prof. Arzoo with King Hussain of Jordan

AR Kidwai

Prof. Arzoo with Prof. A.R. Kidwai, former Chancellor of AMU Aligarh and Governer of Bihar

KR Azmi RR Khan Sherwani

Prof. Arzoo with his friends Dr. Khalilur Rahman Azmi, Dr. R.R.K. Sherwani (both standing)


Prof. Arzoo with his wife


Prof. Arzoo with Mr. Zoha Usmani at his residence in Aligarh

Bihar Govt. approves 52 posts at Mazharul Haque University

The dream of Founding Vice-Chancellor and eminent Arabic Scholar and Aligarian (Late) Prof. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad "Arzu" comes to a reality an The University of which he was appointed as Founding Vice-Chancellor is going to become a real University of Arabic and Persian. To know more about Prof. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad Arzu, please visit;

Dr. Mukhtaruddin Amad Arzoo

June 30, 2010

Janab Hussain Imam Sahab,

As the nephew who really understood/adored him from academic perspective, it is really hard on you to face this haqeeqat. He was a giant in his field and one of greatest assets of Muslim Umma of Indo-Pak tract. It is really a great loss indeed. Who else has a Ph D from Aligarh and from Oxford in Arabic Literature? Perhaps none.

I feel privileged to have met him and feel proud that he had seen my work and had an appreciation for it. (Urdu/Hindi: An Artificial Divide — African Heritage, Mesopotamian Roots, Indian Culture & British Colonialism by Abdul Jamil Khan, Algora Publishing, New York - 2006).

May Allah bless his soul with grant him highest place in Jannat-ul- firdaus. Aameen.

You indeed are privileged to be one of his own kith/kin, May Allah help you and his family to bear this great loss.

Dr. Abdul Jamil Khan, M.D.
New York, USA

Prof. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad "Arzoo - Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Alaihe Ra

On behalf of the Aligarh Alumni Assoiciation, New York Tri-state area and on my own behalf, I offer my sincere condolences over the demise of Professor Mukhtar Ahmed Sahab. He was a giant among giants and a great scholar of renown. Our association awarded him the 'Sir Syed Day Lifetime Achievement Award' in 2007 for his outstanding academic contributions. Even at that time his health was failing which could not allow him to undertake a journey to New York. Therefore, the award program at which the VC was also present was organized at the AMU campus through the tireless efforts of Dr. Wajid Ali Naqvi and Priofessor Ather Siddiqi among others. My own recollection of his writing was a very enjoyable article entitled 'Phool khilay hain gulshan gulshan' which appeared in the Aligarh Magazine of one of the years in the fifties in which he described his experiences during his stay in Europe. The description of the activities of some of his friends was light hearted and humorous but at least one such person was not amused and almost broke relations with him.

May God rest his soul in eternal peace in the heavens.

Masood Haider
M.Sc (1959)
Ph.D Univ.Calif.Med.Center, SF
New Jersey

Prof. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad "Arzoo - Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Alaihe Ra

Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Alaihe Rajeoon

With faith in death, whole humility and acceptance of Allah Almighty will, we got the sad news of demise of Legendary Scholar Professor (Dr.) Mukhtaruddin Ahmad. It is a great loss to the community as well as to Arabic and Urdu language as Dr. Sahib was a noted scholar and authority on Arabic and Urdu literature both.

On my behalf and behalf of AMUOBA Riyadh, we extend our sincere condolences to his family, as we all pray to Allah Tala for his Maghferat. May Allah rest the departed soul in peace and grant highest position in Jannat-ul-Firdaus. May the Grace of Almighty God and Infinite mercy be with all of us.

To Allah we belong and to him is our return.

Mohammad Zaigham Khan,


AMU Old Boys’ Association, Riyadh

Saudi Arabia.

Prof Mukhtaruddin Ahmad "Arzoo"


Last night around 11:30 PM, my nephew, Rashid Imam called from Jaipur to break the sad news that Mamoojan, Dr. Mukhtaruddin Ahmad, has passed away in Aligarh. Inna Lillah-e-wa Inna Alaihe Rajewoon. May Allah SWT Bless his soul forgives his sins, grant him Maghfirah and place him in Jannatul Firdaus and bestow upon his family members and survivors with patience and grant them all with Sab-re-Jameel. Aameen Thumma Aameen.

May Allah accept him among the righteous. O' Allah forgive him and raise his rank among the guided and care for his loved ones whom he left behind. May Allah gather us with him along with those upon whom Allah Subhanahu wa ta'ala bestowed His Grace of Nabiyyeen (prophets), Siddiqeen (truthful), Shuhadaa' (martyrs) and saliheen (righteous).

Dr. Ahmad was sick from last couple of weeks. Four weeks ago, he was brought from Aligarh to Delhi for treatment. After two weeks when his conditioned improved he was sent back to Aligarh, where he was under medical treatment. Last week his condition worsened and he was admitted to the Hospital in Aligarh. Finally, his time arrived he left the World peacefully around 9:00 AM Aligarh time on June 30, 2010. He was 85 years old.

He is survived by his wife, his two sons, Tariq Mukhtar and Parvez Mukhtar and two daughters, Yasmeen Mukhtar and Farida Mukhtar, son-in-law Dr. Tariq Chattari and daughter-in-laws, Farzana and Afsana and a number of grand-children, close relatives, a sister, a number of nephews, nieces and their children and grand-children.

Last December, when I went to India, I visited Aligarh and stayed there for a week. Though he looked weak, but I was quite amazed by his daily working routine, his disciplined life, punctuality, working ethics, on-going literary research and writing engagements on the top of his busy social and other literary engagements. May Allah SWT Bless his soul. Ameen Thumma Aameen.

Mohammad Hussain Imam

Professor Mukhtaruddin Ahmad Aarzoo sb is no more.

Dear Afzal,
I have just received a phone call from Farida, daughter of Mukhtar Sahib. He is no more. He has been sick for some time and today after an illness of a few weeks he breathed his last this morning (30 June). I am not in a frame of mind to write to AMUNetwork about this. He was very dear to me and would not be able to write an obituary. The sad part is that I am not even in aligarh today. Anyway, let us pray that God grant him a place in heaven and give peace to his family.
Ather Siddiqi

Prof. Arzoo

Inna Lillahe Wa Inna Elaihe Rajeoon. It’s a sad news! Aligarh has lost another prominent scholar of eminence. I have many profound memories with him personally. He was very close to all my family members – an affectionate, and sincere elderly friend.

With grief,

Syed Ziaur Rahman, MD

MBBS 1990 Batch

Sydney, Australia

Prof Mukhtaruddin Ahmad "Arzoo"

Dear All,

Janab Afzal Usmani Sahib has given the sad news of the passing away earlier today of the noted scholar, Prof Mukhtaruddin Ahmad "Arzoo".
Arzoo Saheb was born near Patna in 1924 and had his education in the Madrasa Shamsul Huda of in that city. He came to Aligarh primarily to derive intellectual benefit from Prof. "Alllama" Abdul Aziz al-Maiman, the then Professor of Arabic at Aligarh - Allama, though a Kacchi Memon was considered the greatest scholar of Arabic language and literature (anywhere in the world) of his time. Arzoo Sahib could secure a scholarship to the University of Oxford in 1951 from where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil) in 1953. He was certainly the first Muslim from anywhere in the world who came from the traditional Mdrasas system and obtained the highest academic honour that Oxford could offer.
I understand Arzoo Sahib has made sterling, original contributions to Arabic literature particularly its history. Unschooled, however, as I am in that branch, I will not be in a position to shed light on the subject. In the field of Urdu literature Arzoo sahib wrote extensively on diverse poets and scholars and unearthed a number of unknown manuscripts of the earlier phases of the development of language. Indeed, there would be hardly any person who had such detailed 'micro' knowledge of what all various libraries and even personal collections in oddest of the places contained.
Above all, the forte of Arzoo Sahib was his lucid, and cogent style of prose even when writing on most abstruse or technical topics. In that sphere I will make bold to say he had no equal even in his younger days when so many titans abounded. This added to the substance of the material which invariably carried an imprint of his deep learning and attention to detail. This can be examplified by one simple illustration. Sometime in the early 1990s when the Urdu department of AMU brought out a multi-volume publication containing biographical essays on Aligarh stalwarts of all ages under the title " Namwaran-i-Aligarh". It is generally agreed that the best article of all in the several thousand pages was the one penned by Arzoo sahib on an a person who during his student days was an old man of seventy plus and in his youth had served with Sir Syed! Of course, it is a different matter that it attested to the poor scholarship of Aligarh 'scholars' that they could write nothing really insightful and original on even towering personalities like Mohsinul Mulk, Viqarul Mulk, Syed Mahmud and "Deputy" Nazir Ahmed etc etc.
Though of late, he had not written anything original on account of failing health, yet, he was publishing letters of various luminaries who corresponded with him on academic and literary the last six decades in the Conference Gazette and also perhaps Tehzibul Akhlaq. This itself is a treasure trove of knowledge and intellectual enrichment.
Muslims of India and those of Indian origins will do well to mourn the passing away of a man who was sui generis or yakta for someone like him is not likely to be seen for a long long while.

Naved Masood
New Delhi

Sir Syed Bi-Centenary


Hamiduddin Farahi


ZH Chowdhury

Satish Chandra