Naseem Hijazi

November 25, 2017

Naseem HijaziSharif Hussain (Urdu: شریف حسین‎), who used the pseudonym Nasīm Hijāzī (Urdu: نسیم حجازی‎, commonly transliterated as Naseem Hijazi or Nasim Hijazi) (c. 1914–2 March 1996), was an Urdu novelist. He was born in an Arain family in the village of Sujaanpur near the town of Dhariwal, in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab, before the independence of Pakistan; his family settled in Lahore in 1947. He lived most of his life in Pakistan and died on 2 March 1996.

Naseem Hijazi bases most of his work on Islamic history. In dealing with this history, he shows both the rise and fall of the Islamic Empire. His novels Muhammad Bin Qasim, Aakhri Ma’raka, Qaisar-o Kisra and Qafla-i Hijaz describe the era of Islam’s rise to political, militaristic, economic, and educational power. While Yusuf Bin Tashfain, Shaheen, Kaleesa Aur Aag, and Andheri Raat Ke Musafir describe the period of Spanish Reconquista. In one of these novels (Kaleesa Aur Aag), he has painfully, yet truthfully, depicted the infamous Spanish Inquisition that began by targeting the Spanish Jews and ended also with the conversion or expulsion of the Moriscos or crypto-Muslims outwardly converted to Christianity.

In Akhri Chataan, he describes the Central Asian conquests of Genghis Khan and his destruction of the Khwarizm Sultanate. The novel shows the brutal conquests of the Mongols, the military genius of Genghis Khan, the undying willpower of Sultan Jalal ud-Din Khwarizm Shah, and the unworthy condition of the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad.

He wrote two sequential novels on British conquest of India, and described the shortcomings of many nations within India after the collapse of Mughal Empire. The novel Mu’azzam Ali starts a little before the Battle of Plassey. The lead character, Muazzam Ali, joins the fight against the British with the army of Siraj-ud-Daula. The story moves forward as the character moves from one place in India to another in search of the lost glory and freedom. He takes part in the third battle of Panipat and finally settles in Srirangapattana, which was growing in power under the towering personality of Haider Ali. The book ends almost around the death of Ali. The second book on the battles in the same area, Aur Talwar Toot Gayee (And the Sword is Broken) is more about Haider’s son Sultan Tipu, where the same character is finding his dreams being fulfilled in Tipu’s valiant endeavors against the British East India Company. The book culminates in Sultan Tipu’s sad and untimely martyrdom.

He also wrote a novel Khaak aur Khoon on the violence that resulted in tremendous bloodshed in 1947, caused by the religious tensions being flared up among Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus alike, at the time of the partition of British India and the Independence of Pakistan.

“Since the early period of Urdu literature, writers have used historic settings as background for their novels. Naseem Hijazi is rightfully considered the greatest novelist in the genre of historic novel. Naseem Hijazi was a master of bringing a historical setting to life and make it seem like a mirror image of reality. He was a truly gifted storyteller.”

Novels by Naseem Hijazi:


Title(Roman) Title(Eng) Genre Historical Period/events
Kaleesa Aur Aag

Kaleesa Aur Aag

Church and Fire Novel Spanish Reconquista, Spanish Inquisition, expulsion of the Moriscos-(continued from the end of Andheri Raat Ke Musafir.)
Pouras Ke Hathi Poras’s Elephants Drama Indo-Pak war of 1965
Sufaid Jazeera The White Island Novel, Humor
Aakhari Maarka The Last Battle Novel Invasions of India by Mahmud of Ghazni
Akhari Chattan The Last Rock Novel Siege of Jerusalem (1187) – Saladin captures Jerusalem from the Crusaders, Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia and Eastern Iran, Fall of Baghdad (End of Abbasid Caliphate)
Andheri Raat Ke Musafir Travelers of the Dark Night Novel Spanish Reconquista, Fall of Granada
Aur Talwar Toot Gai And the Sword Broke Novel Anglo-Mysore Wars (Tipu Sultan’s Era_ Continued from end of ‘Muazam Ali’)
Daastaan-e-Mujahid A Soldier’s Tale Novel Arab Ummayad Caliphate-Muslim Conquest of Al-Andalus, Sindh, Central Asia and Maghreb.
Gumshuda Qaafley The Lost Caravans Novel British Indian Empire, Partition of India, Creation of Pakistan-(continued from the end of Pardesi Darakht.)
Insaan Aur Devta Man and God Novel Ancient India–brutality of upper casts people towards people of lower cast in the Hindu religion
Khaak aur Khoon Dirt and Blood Novel British Indian Empire, Partition of India in 1947, Creation of Pakistan
Muazzam Ali Muazzam Ali Novel British Indian Empire, Battle of Plassey, Third Battle of Panipat, Anglo-Mysore Wars (Hyder Ali’s Era)
Muhammad Bin Qasim Muhammad Bin Qasim Novel Muslim Conquest of Sindh
Pakistan Se Diyare Haram Tak From Pakistan to Sacred Land Travelogue
Pardesi Darakht The Foreign Tree Novel British Indian Empire, A few years before partition of British India
Qafla-e-Hijaz The Caravan of Hijaz Novel Rashidun Caliphate, Muslim conquest of Persia
Qaisar-o-Kisra Caesar and Cyrus Novel Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, Rise of Islam in Arabian Peninsula
Saqafat Ki Talaash In Search of Culture Drama, Humor
Sau Saal Baad 100 Years Later Novel, Humor
Shaheen The Falcon Novel Spanish Reconquista, Fall of Granada.
Yousuf bin Tashfin Yousuf Son of Tashfin Novel Al-Andalus, First Taifas period, Almoravid Empire, Spanish Reconquista

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