Professor of Urdu (1966-1971)
Prof. Inayat Ali Khan
|By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif
Prof. Inayat Ali Khan joined Cadet College Petaro in 1966 to teach Urdu and left in 1971.
He was born on 13 April 1935 at the princely state of Tonk in United India, and married Mrs. Fatima on 1 September 1965 in Hyderabad Sindh. They had 5 children – (late) Mazhar Ali Khan, Arshad Ali Khan, Ayesha, Athar Ali Khan and Khadija.
Amongst all my teachers, the one who had a deep impact on my thought process was none other than Prof. Inayat Ali Khan.
His father was a Customs inspector in Tonk and his grandfather was a police inspector. Soon after the partition of India and Pakistan in August 1947, the Nawab of Tonk opted to accede to the Union of India, and the state of Tonk was integrated into the Rajasthan State.
Inayat Sahib’s father then took a decision to move to Pakistan, and a year later the family moved, coming by train via Rajasthan to Munabao and then crossing over to Pakistan. It was the day of Eid ul Adha, i.e. 13 October 1948. They settled down in Hyderabad Sindh.
The years prior to their moving to Pakistan, the situation was rather disturbed, and the young Inayat Ali Khan could not get an opportunity to have formal education. It was only after their move to Hyderabad that he was admitted to a formal school. Initially he studied for a few months at Jami’ah Arabiya, which then made it possible for him to get admission to the Govt. High School Hyderabad in Class 6. He passed his Matric (Arts) examination from there in 1955.
Soon after passing his Matric, he started to work and also joined City College Hyderabad taking evening classes. He passed his Intermediate in 1957 and B.A. in 1959. He then sat privately for B.Ed. and M.A. Urdu examinations while he continued to work. Despite his heavy work schedule, he obtained first position in M.A. Urdu in 1961.
With his degrees in hand, he finally got his first job with the Govt. of West Pakistan in the Education Dept in 1963. He was first posted to Khairpur and then transferred to Hyderabad for a short while. In 1965 his job was confirmed and he was posted out to Gujjar Khan in the Punjab area. A year later, Prof. A.A. Faruqui coaxed him into joining Cadet College Petaro, which he did in 1966.
While he was at Petaro, he was also one of the coaches for cricket in addition to being one of the popular Urdu teachers. His students remember him with great fondness for his teaching style and humbleness.
His stay at Petaro was relatively short. He worked full time until 1969, and then took leave to join Tameer-e-Nau School in Sukkur at the request of Jamaat-e-Islami. Likewise, he contested a seat during the 1970 national elections on Jamaat-e-Islami ticket, but he could not win it.
In 1971, he formally left Petaro and became the Principal of Ghazali College Hyderabad. Unfortunately, in 1972 all educational institutions were nationalized by the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and Ghazali College was one of them. This brought an end to his career with this college towards the end of 1972.
In early 1973, he then joined Muslim College Hyderabad as professor of Urdu and worked there for nearly 25 years when he took retirement in 1997.
While he was still at Muslim College Hyderabad, he had the opportunity to teach at Islamia English School in Abu Dhabi for 3 months. He also taught CSS classes at Sindh University.
Inayat Sahib was my Urdu teacher. I was very weak in Urdu language, and was therefore relegated to the “salees Urdu” class. It was our fortune that Inayat Sahib was assigned the task of bringing us up to speed.
The point I would like to make here is that it was Inayat Sahib’s thought process, his behaviour, his attitude, and his simplicity that had a tremendous lasting impression on me. He was the epitome of humbleness, and he was a true reflection of the characteristics demanded of a Muslim.
I continued to correspond with Inayat Sahib even after I left Petaro while I was in Turkey and the USA. During the summer of 1973, I was visiting Pakistan from Boston. By then, I had become deeply involved with Muslim community activities at MIT. I traveled from Karachi to Hyderabad especially to meet Inayat Sahib. Hafeez (kit no. 542) accompanied me. And we sat at Inayat Sahib’s house for probably more than 6 hours trying to solve the problems of the world. Those were the days of idealism. And Inayat Sahib was also relatively young and full of vigor.
The next I met him was more than 28 years later at the great reunion of my batch mates in 2001. What a man! He had not changed at all. The same simplicity, the same demeanor, the same humbleness! All of this despite the fact that over the years he has gained fame as a satirist and a poet of national stature. His books and poems are worth reading. He has been in great demand on TV shows, seminars, mushairas, and other gatherings. He charges up his audiences with his poetry.
His poetry has multifarious facets. He is a master of satire which is aimed at the problems of our society and our attitudes. He addresses issues of social behaviour and realities of life that have brought deterioration in the life of the common man in Pakistan. At the same time, he also tries to point towards solutions from within the ambit of Muslim thought and education. He has also written poems of Hamd (praise of Allah) and Naat (praise of the Prophet). His ghazals are also quite popular. Most of his poetry is in very simple Urdu that goes directly to the heart of the common man.
His involvement with public life goes back to the 1960s. He started doing programs on Radio Pakistan since 1965. These included children’s programs, music programs, and religious programs. Since 1975, he has been a star on mushairas (poetry reading sessions) on Pakistan TV, which continues to this day.
His popularity for his poetic skills went beyond Pakistan. He has been invited and sponsored several times by Pakistanis abroad to visit them and recite his poetry. This took him to Oslo (Norway), India, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Doha and many other places.
Inayat Sahib’s admirers have created a website where one can read his poems and also download the recitations of these poems in his own voice. The website is www.inayaat.com.
He has published five collections of his poems – “Az raah-e-Inayat”, “Inaayaat”, “Inayat Nama”, “Inayaten kya laayen” and “Kulliyat-e-Inayat”. The last book is the combination of the first four works.
Inayat Sahib has also been one of the key writers of text books on Urdu, History and Islamiyat which were published by the Sindh Textbook Board. He has authored over a dozen titles.
During the Golden Jubilee celebrations of CCP, Inayat Sahib was a star when he delivered his speech in prose and poetry on 24 February 2007. Please click on the following links to see his presentation:
May Allah grant Inayat Sahib a long life with health!