Ibn-e-Safi / ابن صفی
Introduction / تعارف
Ibn-e-Safi (also spelled as Ibne Safee) (Urdu: ابنِ صفی) was the pen name of Asrar Ahmad (Urdu: اسرار احمد), a best-selling and prolific fiction writer, novelist and poet of Urdu from Pakistan. The word Ibn-e-Safi is an Arabian expression which literally means Son of Safi, where the word Safi means chaste or righteous. He wrote from the 1940s in India, and later Pakistan after the independence of British India in 1947.
His main works were the 125-book series Jasoosi Dunya (The Spy World) and the 120-book Imran Series, with a small canon of satirical works and poetry. His novels were characterised by a blend of mystery, adventure, suspense, violence, romance and comedy, achieving massive popularity across a broad readership in South Asia.
Ibne Safi was born on 26 July 1928 in the town ‘Nara’ of district Allahabad, India. His father’s name was Safiullah and mother’s name was Naziran Bibi.
He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Agra University. In 1948, he started his first job at ‘Nikhat Publications’ as an Editor in the poetry department. His initial works date back to the early 1940s, when he wrote from India. After the independence of Indian and Pakistan in 1947, he began writing novels in the early 1950s while working as a secondary school teacher and continuing part-time studies.
After completing the latter, having attracted official attention as being subversive in the independence and post-independence period, he migrated to Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan in August 1952. Started his own company by the name ‘Israr Publications’.
He married to Ume Salma Khatoon in 1953. Between 1960 – 1963 he suffered an episode of severe depression, but recovered, and returned with a best-selling Imran Series novel, Dairrh Matwaalay (One and a half amused). In fact, he wrote 36 novels of ‘Jasoosi Duniya‘ and 79 novels of ‘Imran Series‘ after his recovery from depression. In the 1970s, he informally advised the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan on methods of detection. He died of Pancreatic cancer on 26 July 1980 in Karachi, which was coincidentally his 52nd birthday.
At the time of his demise, Ibn-e-Safi had left four sons and three daughters. Dr. Isar Ahmed Safi (son) – Doctor of Medicine an Ophthalmologist who died on 3 July 2005 after suffering from a high grade fever, Abrar Ahmad Safi (son) – Mechanical Engineer with a marine engineering background, lives in US, Dr. Ahmad Safi (son) – Mechanical Engineer holding a PhD. Lives in Karachi, Pakistan, Iftikhar Ahmed Safi (son) – Electrical Engineer lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Whereas Nuzhat Afroz, Sarwat Asrar and Mohsina Safi are the three daughters.
All these sons and daughters belong to his first marriage that was held in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 1954. Later, he also married a young woman named Farhat Ara who lived in North Nazimabad. Karachi. She remained under consistent oblivion till her death in 2011.