Sharif 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:
|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|