Nazir Ahmad

Nazir Ahmad – Urdu Novelist and a Social Reformer

Popularly known as Deputy Nazir Ahmad (1831-1912) was a urdu writer, social and religious reformer. He was a pioneer for urdu novels. At a time when the muslim society was going through a turbulent period, he stood up for the cause of justice for women. He strongly believed that women should be given equal rights and be educated. Women were deprived of education during those days in India.

He was known for his popular novels, through his novels he made people aware of the various social problems that the society was going though at that time. He studied under the guidance of his father who used to give private tuitions to students, as their financial conditons were not good. He went to Delhi to study in a small Madrasah and later completed his higher education from Delhi University.

He started teaching and became a Deputy inspector of school. In Allahabad he also studied English language and joined a team of professionals, who were translating the Indian penal code from English to Urdu language. After this stage in his life, he became a tehsildar and later rose to a positon of tax collector.

He had a daughter named Sakinah. Nazir Ahmad was not very impressed with the course material of her school and he developed a personalised syllabus for her. He wanted to make the syllabus more interesting to read and useful. Slowly all girls in the area started to follow it and it became very popular. So Nazir came with a training guide for young girls called “Mirat-ul-urus”. It was released in 1869 and was the first urdu bestseller novel. Within some years it had appeared in many editions totalling 100,000 copies. It was translated into many languages like Bengali, Braj, Punjabi, Kashmiri and Gujrati.

Nazir Ahmad
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In 1903 an English translation was published in London by G.E Ward named “The Brides Mirror”. It is the first urdu novel to be translated into English. Even after a century the brides mirror is in print, shows the love of readers for the book.

As a social reformer Nazir Ahmed was determined to eradicate social evils like illiteracy, poverty and corruption. He made people aware of these issues through his literature and instilled confidence in people to overcome the problems.

Nazir Ahmed was a brilliant orator and was a close associate of Sir Syed Ahmed. He also took part in the Aligarh movement along with his mentor Sir Syed Ahmed.

Maulvi Nasir strongly advocated the unity of hindus and muslims. His belief that the western history taught in school to children was the primary cause of spreading communalism. So he suggested to re-write the history book to the education department and to include more topics on communal harmony.

He used to spread the message of unity, peace and harmony for all Indians. His famous works are Mirat-ul-urus, taubat-un-nasuh that laid the foundation for future works and novel composition in Urdu language.





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