Hashim Amir Ali
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He was brought up in the palace of Salar Jung. He received his early education in his native land at Madrasa-i-Aliya which was affiliated with Hyderabad School (Noble School) to form Nizam College and had a degree from University of Bombay, followed by study at the University of Chicago in Education and Sociology at graduate level (1927–28) and mainly at Cornell University, where he received his Ph.D. in Rural Sociology (1929), his thesis being: "Social change in the Hyderabad state in India as affected by the influence of Western culture."
In 1938 Ali came under the influence of Mirza Abul Fazl, who aroused his interest in and reverence for the Qur'an. He was a scholar of wide erudition and clear vision, and was gifted with special insight into the Qur'an. He devoted more than thirty years to translating the Qur'an into poetic English to recapture its beauty and rhythm. He was aware of the significance of the chronological order of the Qur'anic revelation and arranged it according to chronological order. His translation came out in 1974 with the title, The Message of the Qur'an: Presented in Perspective.
Ali was an educator and an active advocate of calendar reform for about ten years. He was a leading Muslem authority on calendar matters. He initiated in Hyderabad a movement to synchronize the dates of the Fasli months with the Gregorian calendar, and finally succeeded, in 1946, in persuading the Nizam to authorize the proposed reform. His success in this far-reaching revision emboldened him, as a liberal Muslem, to analyze the problem of introducing effectively The World Calendar in the realm of the Crescent. He returned to America in 1953 under a fellowship from the Fulbright and Ford Foundation.
Ali led a varied and distinguished career in academia and government, including three years of association with Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. He was Director at Rural Institute, Jamia Millia Islamia (1960–65). He was Private Secretary to the Chief minister of Hyderabad, Rt. Hon'ble Sir Akbar Hydari, and he served as Trustee of some of H.E.H. the Nizam's Private and Religious Trusts (1967) established by the last hereditary ruler of Hyderabad. He was dean of agriculture at Osmania University, Hyderabad, Deccan, India. Between 1926 and 1969, he travelled U.S.A. Australia, Egypt, Tehran, Baghdad, Beirut, Istanbul and Japan.
He wrote on sociological and Islamic subjects. Throughout his life he challenged many long-held false beliefs either concocted by medieval orthodoxy or which someway crept into the Islamic Faith.
His wife Soghra A. Ali (b. May 3, 1911) strongly supported his activities.
Ali died in 1987 at Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, survived by one daughter and two sons.
- The Student's Quran : An Introduction. (1961)
- The Environs of Tagore - Then and Now. (1961)
- Facts and Fancies - A book of essays. (1947)
- The Meos of Mewat; old neighbours of New Delhi. (1970)
- The Message of the Qur'an : Presented in Perspective. (1974)
- Upstream Downstream : Reconstruction of Islamic Chronology (1978)
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