Hasan Askari

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For the defence analyst, see Hasan Askari Rizvi.

Muhammad Hasan Askari (Urdu: محمد حسن عسکری) (1978–1919) was a scholar, critic, writer and linguist of modern Urdu.

Askari was born on 5 November 1919 in a village in Bulandshahr District, in western Uttar Pradesh, India. He joined Allahabad University as an undergraduate in 1938 and earned a Master of Arts degree in English literature in 1942. After completing his education, he joined All India Radio, Delhi. For a brief period around 1944, he also taught English literature at Delhi College (now Zakir Husain Delhi College).

After Pakistan's independence in 1947, he and his family migrated to Pakistan and finally settled in Karachi in 1950. He joined Islamia College Karachi. By 1955 Askari became increasingly engaged in the transition to and formulation of Pakistani national culture, practically abandoning his previous work that had focused on discussions of style in Urdu language and literature.

Jadidiyat is one of his premier works. He translated western literary, philosophical and metaphysical work into Urdu, especially from English, French, and Russian. He translated Lenin's State and Revolution in 1942 and Maxim Gorky's work, main ne likhna kesay sikha in 1943. He also translated Arabic mystic literature and Buddhism into Urdu. In his later part of life, he went against the Progressive Writers' Movement on account of its sole dependency on Socialism. He introduced René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon and Martin Lings to Indian and Pakistani Muslims. Beforer his death, he was working on an English translation of the Quranic tafsir Ma'ariful-Quran and finished a little more than one chapter.

He died on 18 January 1978 in Karachi.

Literary work[edit]

  • Jazeeray (collection of short stories) - 1947
  • Qeyamat hum rakaab na aay (collection of long stories) - 1947
  • Insaan aur Aadmi (critical essays) - 1953
  • Sitara ya Baadban (critical essays) - 1963
  • Waqt ki Raagni (critical essays)
  • Jadidiyat (philosophical and critical essays)

See also[edit]