5 November 1905|
|Died||11 September 1973
Alma Ata, Kazakhstan, then USSR
|Occupation||Urdu poet, writer, dramatist, Marxist|
|Nationality||Indian, Pakistani (brief while)|
|Genre||Ghazal, Nazm, Drama|
|Literary movement||Progressive Writers' Movement|
|Notable works||Angaray, London Ki Ek Raat, Pighla Neelam|
|Spouse||Razia Sajjad Zaheer|
|Children||Najma Zaheer Baquer, Naseem Zaheer Bhatia, Nadira Zaheer Babbar, Noor Zaheer|
Famously known as Bannay Mian, Zaheer was born in Lucknow, in the former state of Oudh, British India on 5 November 1905. He was one of the four sons of Sir Syed Wazir Hasan, former Chief Justice of the Oudh Chief Court. Following in his father's footsteps he studied law at Oxford and became a barrister. His brother Syed Ali Zaheer was India's Ambassador to Iran. His nephew Professor Saiyid Nurul Hasan was the Union Minister of State (with Independent Charges) of Education, Social Welfare and Culture, Government of India and the Governor of West Bengal and Orissa. He was one of the founding members of the Communist Party of India and later in 1948, the Communist Party of Pakistan, along with Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Both were later jailed in Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case along with Mohammad Husain Ata, Zafarullah Poshni and others. Major General Akbar Khan was allegedly the main conspirator. Sajjad Zaheer was extradited to India in 1954 by the Government of Pakistan, and revived his activities in India through Progressive Writers' Association, Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) and Afro-Asian Writers' Association. Sajjad Zaheer was also a founder and leading figure of the three associations. 2005 was observed as his birth centenary year.
A collection of short stories, Angaaray, which had stories by Sajjad Zaheer, Ahmed Ali, Rashid Jahan and Mahmud-uz-Zafar was published in 1932 and was immediately banned in India by the British Government in 1933, "for hurting the religious susceptibilities of a section of the community." This gave rise to the All-India Progressive Writers' Movement & Association of which both Sajjad Zaheer and Ahmed Ali were co-founders. The first official conference of the Association was held in Lucknow in 1936 which was presided over by Munshi Premchand.
His wife Razia Sajjad Zaheer, was an Urdu short story writer and novelist and they had four daughters. The eldest daughter, Najma Zaheer is a Professor Emiretus of Biochemistry at JNU and is an expert in Diabetes. His second daughter, Naseem Bhatia, is an academic. His third daughter, Nadira Zaheer is a leading theatre artist in India and is married to the Bollywood star-turned politician Raj Babbar. Arya Babbar and Juhi Babbar are his two grandchildren from Nadira Zaheer. The youngest daughter, Noor Zaheer is a trained Kathak dancer and author of the best seller My God is a Woman. His grandchildren from her are Sanjog Gupta, Pankhuri Dasgupta, Anuran Dasgupta and Surdhani Dasgupta.
- London Ki Ek Raat- a novel.
- Roshnai, a collection of essays on progressive writing and the progressive writers movement.
- Zikre Hafiz, his research based book on Persian poet Hafez.
- Pighla Nilam, his last book,a collection of his poetry.
- Zaheer, Sajjad (2006). The Light: The History of the Movement for Progressive Literature in the Indo-Pakistan Sub Continent. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-547155-5.
- Naresh Nadeem, 'Sajjad Zaheer: A Life of Struggle & Creativity', People's Democracy 29:51 (18 December 2005)
- Bose, Hiren K. Sajjad Zahir: The Voice of the Common Man in Chowk
- http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/feb2007-weekly/books&people-01-02-2007/ Mughanni-I-Aatish Nafas: Sajjad Zaheer
-  6 jan-1953- New york times Sajjad Zaheer is secretary of the Communist party in Pakistan
-  29 Apr 1951-New York Times, Pakistani Red Chief Seized
- Angaaray (Penguin Books, 2014)
- Archived May 15, 2007 at the Wayback Machine Urdu & secularism by A.G. Noorani Frontline Volume 23 – Issue 17 :: 26 Aug. – 8 Sep 2006
- Madhu Singh's article about Sajjad Zaheer's novel A Night in London / London ki Ek Raat