Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi

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Zia Fatehabadi
ضیاء فتح آبادی
Zia Fatehabadi.jpg
1981 portrait
Background information
Birth name Mehr Lal Soni
Born 9 February 1913
Kapurthala, Punjab, India.
Origin Indian
Died 19 August 1986
Genres Qat'aa, Rubai, Ghazal, Nazm, Geet and Sonnets
Occupation(s) Reserve Bank of India (1936–1971)

Zia Fatehabadi, born Mehr Lal Soni (1913–1986), was an Urdu ghazal and nazm writer. He was a disciple [shaagird) of Syed Aashiq Hussain Siddiqui Seemab Akbarabadi (1882–1951), who was a disciple of Nawab Mirza Khan Daagh Dehlvi (1831-1905). He used the takhallus (nom de plume) of Zia meaning "Light" on the suggestion of his teacher, Ghulaam Qadir Farkh Amritsari.


Early life[edit]

Zia Fatehabadi[1] was born on 9 February 1913 at Kapurthala, Punjab. He was the eldest son of Munshi Ram Soni (1884–1968), a Civil Engineer by profession, who belonged to the Soni (Khatri) family[2] that, at some time during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, had migrated from Rajasthan to Punjab and settled at Fatehabad, Punjab near Tarn Taran.

Zia Fatehabadi’s father was an exponent of Indian Classical vocal and instrumental music, who often invited musicians and singers to his residence, was himself fond of singing and playing musical instruments, and a good player of chess.[3] It was one such evening in Jaipur when the young school-going Zia Fatehabadi was not given by the invited singer a copy of Iqbal’s ghazal that had been liked and wanted by him; this particular incident probably exasperated Zia’s urge to write and made him a poet.[4]

Even when Zia Fatehabadi was a college student his was a respected name in the Urdu world.[5] After the publication of his first book,Tullu, which had received some disheartening criticism, he had thought of giving up writing but he was dissuaded from doing so by friends and elders.[6] Zia Fatehabadi had started composing Urdu sh'ers and ghazals at an early age when he was still attending school in Jaipur.

His education began at Khalsa Middle School, Peshawar (1920 to 1922). However, he completed his schooling from Maharaja High School, Jaipur, Rajasthan (1923 to 1929), after which he obtained his B.A.(Hons) degree in Persian in 1933 and M.A. (English) degree in 1935 as a student of Forman Christian College, Lahore.[7][8] He was consistently an above average student.

As the then editor of the Urdu section of the college house magazine Folio, Zia Fatehabadi was instrumental in getting the first-ever Urdu short story "Sadhu" by Krishan Chander published in 1932. At that time, Krishan Chander was interested primarily in his English writings and edited the English section.[9]

It is also in evidence that Zia Fatehabadi was infatuated with a Bengali girl named Meera, who was also studying in the same college at the time, and addressed almost all his love-poetry to her. Her name figures unreservedly in several of his writings. In an interview, he had once disclosed that she was that very Meera Sen who had actually inspired Meeraji[10] to write superb poems and adopt her name as his takhallus.[11] Krishan Chander, Meeraji and Zia Fatehabadi were good friends.

It was during his college days that Zia Fatehabadi came into contact with Shabbir Hussain Josh Malihabadi and Samad Yar Khan Saghar Nizami. He developed a very close lifelong relationship with them, which both influenced as also helped shape his literary life.[12]

In 1936, Zia Fatehabadi joined the Reserve Bank of India, from which he retired in 1971 as Deputy Chief Officer, a senior position in the bank. In 1942, he married Raj Kumari (1919–2003), daughter of Murli Ram Berera of Lahore. Before joining the Reserve Bank of India, while seeking suitable employment, Zia Fatehabadi was interviewed for an editor's post with All India Radio, which went to Majaz.[13] However, Majaz and Zia Fatehabadi remained close friends.[14]

Literary career[edit]

Zia Fatehabadi began to write poetry in 1925 under the supervision of his mother, Shankari Devi, with the help of Maulvi Asghar Ali Haya Jaipuri, who used to teach him Urdu at home and who also imparted his own knowledge of Urdu poetry composition to him.[12] By 1929, Zia Fatehabadi had become a familiar name in Urdu literary circles.[15] In 1930, he became Seemab Akbarabadi’s disciple and remained true to his ustad until his own death, working to spread Seemab’s methods and instructions at all times. He never ever gave a moment's thought to his own name or fame and sought neither favours or honours nor public or state recognition. He categorically rejected such exercises.[16] He believed that the real worth of a poet's creativity can, ultimately, be gauged impartially only by those who look deeper into his works, in their desire or eagerness to get to know the poet better.

In 1933, at the age of 20 and while still a college student, Zia Fatehabadi succeeded in having his very first collection of Urdu poems, Tullu (Dawn), published in Meerut by Saghar Nizami. He wrote from the heart and, efficaciously, dressed his feelings, emotions, thoughts and experiences with simple, delicate, sweet-sounding, lyrical, meaningful, easily understood words and phrases – the key features in his poetry. His inimitable style set him apart from his peers and gave him a distinct identity.[17]

His writings were meant to touch one’s heart and mind simultaneously and make one feel all that he himself had felt. He was totally at ease in the use of a variety of prose and poetical formats. However, he did not succumb to the practice of uninhibited expression of ideas in open forms, which had been adopted by some of his noted contemporaries, who had introduced symbolism in Urdu Poetry.[18] In his article titled Zia Saheb, Gopichand Narang had said that he (Zia) belonged to the Seemab Akbarabadi’s circle of devoted writers; deep knowledge of the etiquette and effective use of language and expression, the immense richness of feelings and emotions meant to be conveyed, and the fine eloquence and methodology adorned his writings and he makes use of Hindi intonation in ghazal quite effectively and also quite meaningfully highlights the contemporary human pain and suffering; to appraise Zia Fatehabadi is to appraise the inherited tradition and refinement of our poetry.[19] In his compositions, that demonstrate undefiled immaculate thought and brevity[20] Zia Fatehabadi has revealed new and factual aspects of thought and insight.[21]


جُدائی، آہ یہ اِک لفظ کِتنا یاس آگئیں ہے
تصوّر اِس کا امیدوں پہ پانی پھیر دیتا ہے
ہزاروں کوس اِس سے منزلِ آرام و تسکیں ہے
جو اِس سے ہو گیا واقف وہ پھر کب چین لیتا ہے
جُدائی باغ کی رنگینیوں کو چھین لیتی ہے
شراب و رقص سے محرُوم کر دیتی ہے انساں کو
جہاں آرائیوں، خود بینیوں کو چھین لیتی ہے
چُھپا دیتی ہے مایوسی کی تاریکی میں ارماں کو
یہ سب کچھ ہے، مگر مجبُور ہے میرا دلِ محزوں
محبّت پرورش پاتی رہی ہے اِس کے دامن میں
جمال دوست سے مہجور ہے میرا دل محزوں
وہ دشمن دوست تڑپایا تھا جس نے مجھ کو ساون میں
اُنہیں ہاتھوں میں دیدی ہے عنانِ آرزو میں نے
بھروسے پر خدا کے چھوڈ دی ہے جستجو میں نے

Sonnet جدائی by Zia Fatehabadi taken from his book titled Noor e Mashriq 1937

While remaining true to the classical style, Zia Fatehabadi did not ignore changing trends, as is reflected in his rubaiaat, qat'aas, geets, ghazals, nazms and sonnets.[22] These compositions evince his mastery of and command over the Urdu language.[23][24][25][26] Zia Fatehabadi's contribution to Urdu language and literature spans over six decades and is voluminous.

Titled Noor-E-Mashriq,[27] his first major collection was published in Delhi in 1937 from which the following couplet became widely known:[28]

"Woh dekh mashriq se noor ubharaa liey huey jalwaa-e-haqiqat"
"Majaz ki tark kar ghulami ke tu to hey bandaa-e-haqiqat"
((Come hither and have a) look at the yonder light shining in the East emerging as the glowing Truth
(Now it is time that you too) cast aside your fetters temperamental for you are that very Truth.)

Though he did not identify himself with any particular group, trend or movement, Zia Fatehabadi apparently belonged, in equal measure, to all known groups and his noteworthy works reflect this. As an integral part of his literary activities, he would gladly attend poetic symposia and conferences, whenever invited to do so, and presided over many of these events.[29] A selection of his presidential addresses titled Masanad e sadarat se was published in 1985.

He did not subscribe to the theory that poetry is spontaneous. He belongs to the school of thought which maintains that poetry is an amalgam of words and thoughts and that thoughts are seldom spontaneous.[30]

Zia Fatehabadi died on 19 August 1986 after a prolonged and painful bout with illness. But then, he had once said:

" Kyaa gham agar qraar–o–sukun kii kamii rahii "
" Khush hoon ke kaamyaab merii zindagii rahii "
(I grieve not for the lack of unrest or for the lack of peace (in my life).
I am (gratefully) happy to have led (a contented and) a successful life.)

In a way, this one couplet (verse), taken from his book Gard-e-Raah (Urdu) published in 1963, succinctly sums up the personality and life of Zia Fatehabadi. He himself had led a life filled with hope and contentment, something he fervently wished others, too, would experience and enjoy. These sentiments won for him many admirers.[31][32] Amongst those who appreciated as well as influenced his poetry were Firaq Gorakhpuri[33] and Josh Malihabadi.[34] Zia Fatehabadi was survived by his wife and six sons.[35]

The following Qat'aa e taareekh composed by Sahir Hoshiarpuri in August 1986 to commemorate the demise of his old friend, Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi, was published by Khushtar Girami in the October 1986 (Vol.50.No.10.) issue of the monthly "Biswin Sadi", New Delhi:

Jo kar sako na bayaan tum baasurat e alfaaz
Fasaanaa e gham e hasti baachasham e nam keh lo
Zubaan o fikr o takhyul jo saath de na saken
To "dil" ko saath mila kar "gham e Zia sah lo"
( If you are unable to find words to express your grief then do so by shedding tears.)
( If your speech, thoughts and intellect are unable to bear that grief then bear the loss of Zia with your saddened heart.)


Zia Fatehabadi's autographed 1949 photo.

Zia Fatehabadi embarked on his literary career with Tullu first published in 1933. In all, he produced nineteen works, consisting of eleven collections of poetry, one of short-stories, two of essays, one of presidential addresses, three collections of letters and one biography. Three of these books – Noor e Mashriq, Gard e Raah and Meri Tasveer – also contain Urdu sonnets that he had composed.

Much of his work, including Naats,[36][37] scattered in various magazines and papers remains unpublished.


In his book, Zia Fatehabadi - Hayat Aur Karnaame (ISBN 9789351371076), Dr. Shabbir Iqbal has listed Shānti Saroop "Kaif", Abdul Khāliq "Khāliq" Bhatti, Tālib Hussain "Tāyaq" Hamdāni, Abdul Khaliq "Khaliq" Yeolavi, Rādhakrishan "Sehgal", Om Parkash "Bajāj", Jagdish Bhatnāgar "Hayāt", Satyapal "Jānbāz", "Shāhid" Sāgari, Abdul Rehman "Tābān" Ziai, Abdul Rashid "Arshi", Muhammad Musā "Nazar" Ziai Gonganavi, Abdul Sattār "Sahar" Chishti, "Rāhi" Gonganavi, Bhod Rāj "Shād" Kamālvi and Mohamad Saddiq "Sāhir" as the disciples of Zia Fatehabadi. The method of Zia Fatehabadi’s technical instruction in poetry was similar in nature to that of his ustaad Seemab Akbarabadi. He never discussed the changes effected by him, if deemed necessary he would very briefly explain an essential change. The impact of his instruction was such that by merely replacing one word by another he would lift (the essence and rendering of) a couplet to greater heights.[38]

Biographical assessment[edit]

  • A comprehensive critical appraisal and interpretation of Zia’s literary works was published in 1977 by the Urdu scholar, critic and author of Zikr-e-Ghalib, Malik Ram. Its title is Zia Fatehabadi Shakhs Aur Shair (Zia Fatehabadi: The Person and the Poet).
  • An Urdu-language biography of Zia Fatehabadi, titled Budha Darakhat, meaning The Old Tree, written by Zarina Sani was published in 1979.
  • In 1989, under the guidance of Adam Sheikh, Chairman of the Board of Studies in Urdu, and Farid Sheikh of Anjuman-e-Islamiyaa, Mumbai, Shabbir Iqbal of Dhulia,[39] Maharashtra, obtained his PhD degree from Bombay University with an Urdu-language dissertation entitled "Anjahaani Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi – Hayaat Aur Kaarnaame" (The Late Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi: Life and Works).[40]
  • Mohammad Ameenuddin Mohammad Idris of Nagpur University wrote a thesis in Urdu titled Zia Fatehabadi: Personality, Life and Works.[41]

Other interests[edit]

Zia Fatehabadi was not a professional poet. For over thirty-five years he worked at the Reserve Bank of India. He was a keen observer of economic trends, development and change. Zia Fatehabadi was very good at Mathematics and proficient in Persian, English and Sanskrit language and grammar. He was a keen student of Hindu astrology i.e. Jyotisa,and was deeply interested in the study of the Upanishads and the Rig Veda.[42] [43][44] He subscribed to the Advaita School promoted by Adi Sankara.


List of books by Zia Fatehabadi:

Urdu Poetry:

  • Tullu (Dawn) – published by Saghar Nizami, Adabi Markaz, Meerut in 1933. Foreword by Saghar Nizami.
  • Noor-e-Mashriq (The Light of the East) – published by Jyoti Prasad Gupta, Jyoti Printing Works, Esplanade, Delhi in 1937. Introductions by Josh Malihabadi,Editor, Kaleem, Delhi, Hakim Azad Ansari (1871–1942)[1] and Manzar Siddiqui, Editor, Kanwal, Agra.
  • Zia Ke Sau Sher (A Hundred Verses of Zia) – published by Gajender Lal Soni, Mohan Building, near Lloyd's Bank, Delhi in 1938.
  • Nai Subah (The New Morn) published by Adaaraa Seemab,Daryaganj, Delhi in 1952. Forewords by Munavvar Lakhnavi (1897–1970)[1] and Prof. Mubashshir Ali Siddiqui M.A.(died 1987)[1]
  • Gard-e-Raah (The Road Dust)- published by Maktaba Shola aur Shabnam, Daryaganj, New Delhi in 1963. Foreword by Abr Ahasani Gunnauri (1898–1973)[1] and Khushtar Girami (1902–1988)[1]
  • Husn-e-Ghazal (The beauty of Ghazal)- published by Miraj Mittal, Ambala in 1964.
  • Dhoop Aur Chandni (The Sunlight and the Moonlight) – published by Radha Krishan Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21,Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1977.
  • Rang-o-Noor (The Colour and the Light) – published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1981 (prize awarded by U.P.Urdu Academy).
  • Soch ka Safar (The Journey of Thought) – published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1982.
  • Naram garam hawain (The soft Warm Air) – published posthumously by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1987 with the aid of Delhi Urdu Academy.
  • Meri Tasveer (My Portrait)- published by GBD Books,I-2/16, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi in 2011, ISBN 978-81-88951-88-8.
  • The Qat'aat o Rubaiyat of Zia Fatehabadi (Quatrains of Zia Fatehabadi, original Urdu text and English Translation by Ravinder Kumar Soni And Sushil Soni) – published by Pigeon Books, an imprint of GBD Books,I-2/16, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi in 2012 commemorating Zia Fatehabadi's Birth Centenary Year, ISBN 978-93-82025-05-4.

Urdu Prose:

  • Zaaviyaha-e-nigaah (The viewpoint) – published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1983. Foreword by Jagdish Bhatnagar Hayat – (essays) (prize awarded by U.P.Urdu Academy)
  • Suraj doob gayaa (The sun has Set)(short-stories) – published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1981.
  • Masnad-e-sadaarat se (From the Podium)(presidential addresses) – published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1985.
  • Seemab baanaam Zia (Seemab to Zia)(letters of Seemab to Zia) – published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1981.Foreword by Rashid Hasan Khan.
  • Zikr-e-Seemab (About Seemab)(Biography of Seemab) – published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1984.
  • Sher aur Shair (The Verse and the Poet)(essays) – published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1974.
  • Muzaameen-e-Zia (The Essays of Zia)[45][46]
  • Zia Fatehabadi ke Khatoot (Letters of Zia Fatehabadi).

Select Reading:

List of books in Urdu on the life and works of Zia Fatehabadi:

  • Budha Darakhat (The Old Tree) – Biography of Zia Fatehabadi written by Zarina Sani, Nagpur, foreword by Unwan Chishti, and published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1979.
  • Zia Fatehabadi – Shakhs aur Shair (Zia Fatehabadi – The Person and the Poet) – Critical appraisal of Zia Fatehabadi's life and works conducted by Malik Ram and published by Ilmi Majlis, 1429, Chhata Nawab Sahib, Farashkhana, Delhi, in 1977.
  • Editorial write up on Zia Fatehabadi's life and works in the Feb.1985 issue of Aaj Kal Vol.43 no.7 published by the Govt. of India,Publication Division Urdu,Patiala House, New Delhi.
  • Zia Fatehabadi Number Oct.1986 issue of " Hamaari Zabaan " Vol.45 no.37 published by Anjuman-e-Taraqi Urdu Hind (Delhi),Rouse Avenue, New Delhi, it contains articles and views of noted Urdu writers on the life and works of Zia Fatehabadi.
  • Zia-e-Urdu – Special issue of Nov.1985 by Saphia Siddiqui on behalf of Adara-e-Adab, London (U.K.) it contains articles and views of noted Urdu writers of U.K.
  • Editorial write up in the Oct.1986. issue of the Monthly Biswin Sadi Vol.50 No.10, published by Biswin Sadi Publication (P) Ltd., Daryaganj, Delhi.
  • Anjahaani Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi – Hayaat aur Karnaame 1989 Doctoral Dissertation on the life and works of Zia Fatehabadi presented by Shabbir Iqbal of Bombay University.
  • Zia Fatehabadi Number Special commemorative December 2015 issue of Urdu Monthly-The “Shair” Monthly, Mumbai, Vol.86 No.12, published by Maktaba Qasr-ul-adab, Girgaon, Mumbai-400004; it contains 17 articles as well as views and opinions of old and contemporary noted Urdu writers and poets on the life and works of Zia Fatehabadi.
  • Zia e Urdu - Zia Fatehabadi (ISBN 81-88912-84-0) – Collection of twenty-three articles written by Prof. Ali Ahmed Fatami, formerly HOD Urdu Dept. St. John College, Agra, India; Dr. Shahida Dilawar Shah of Forman Christian College, Lahore; and other prominent Urdu academicians and litterateurs on the life and works of Zia Fatehabadi, edited by Saliha Siddiqui and published in 2016 by Book Corporation, Delhi-110006.
  • Special Number Banaam Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi October 2016 Special Issue of Monthly ‘Asbaque’, Pune (India), Vol. 35 No.10, commemorating the memory of Zia Fatehabadi – contains 33 articles by eminent authors and literary critics on the life and works of Zia Fatehabadi, edited by Nazeer Fatehpuri.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Urdu Authors:Date list as on May 31, 2006. National Council for Promotion of Urdu, Govt. of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Zarina Sani (1979). Budha Darakhat. New Delhi: Bazm – e – Seemab. p. 14. :“zia fatehabadi, soni (khatri) khaandaan se ta-aluq rakhte hain… haridwaar ke panditon ke paas jo record mahfooz hai us se pata chaltaa hai ki lala badal das soni ka pota lala tansukh rai 1773 mein fatehabad se haridwaar teerathyatraa kii gharaz se aayaa.”  :(Zia Fatehabadi belongs to Soni (Khatri) family.. it becomes known from the records with pundits of Haridwar that Lala Tansukh Rai Soni, grandson of Lala Badal Das Soni had come from Fatehabad to Haridwar in 1773 on a pilgrimage trip.”) 
  3. ^ Zarina Sani (1979). Budha Darakhat. New Delhi: Bazm – e – Seemab. p. 18. “lala munshi ram soni ilam mosiiqii ke dildaadah aur classical gaanon par fida the unke yahaan aksar mosiiqii kii mehfilen jamtiin unko khud bhi gaane bajaane ka behad shauq thaa alaawaaaziin woh shatranj ke maahir khilaadii the.”  :( Munshi Ram Soni was an exponent of Indian Classical vocal and instrumental music; he was fond of singing and playing musical instruments, many a musical evenings were organised at his residence; he was also a good player of Chess.) 
  4. ^ Zarina Sani (1979). Budha Darakhat. New Delhi: Bazm – e – Seemab. p. 25. “zia ke walid e mahtram ko mosiiqii se fitratii lagaao thaa unke yahaan mosiiqii kii mehfilen jamtiin aur pakke gaanon ke saath saath ghazalen bhi gaaii jaatiin.. ek mosiiqaar ne doctor iqbal kii mashhoor ghazal – kabhi ae haqiqat e muntazir nazar aa libaas e majaaz mein – gaakar sunaaii zia behad mutaasir hue aur us ghazal kii naqal chaahii magar gaanewaale ne inkaar kar diya na jaane kyun.. ho saktaa hai ki zia kii aatish e shauq ko tez karne kaa intizaam qudrat kii taraf se huaa ho”  :(Zia’s father was very fond of music and often invited to his house musicians who rendered classical Raags and also sang Ghazals. One day a singer sang the famous ghazal of Iqbal – kabhi ae haqiqat e muntazir nazar aa libaas e majaaz mein – but for some unknown reason did not give to Zia its copy that had been asked…possibly it was this divine intervention that had rapidly incensed within Zia the urge to write.) 
  5. ^ Zarina Sani (1979). Budha Darakhat. New Delhi: Bazm – e – Seemab. p. 140. :"is waqt teen shair hain. ek ahsan danish,doosra saghar nizami, teesra zia fatehabadi.saghar,danish aur zia jadeed daur ke darakhshan sitare mein zia ko kaii baaton mein tawafuq aur maqbooliyat haasil hai." :(Presently there are three poets.One- Ahsan Danish, second- Saghar Nizami and third- Zia Fatehabadi. Saghar, Danish and Zia are the three bright stars of the modern era; amongst them for many reasons Zia commands more attention and renown.- Yusuf Hussain, Editor, Nairang-e-Khayal, Lahore, August 1937 issue. – Acknowledgement of early acceptance of Zia Fatehabadi as a poet of note 
  6. ^ Malik Ram (1977). Zia Fatehabadi – Shakhs Aur Shair (in Urdu). Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. p. 114. :" gharaz unhon ne mere zauq-e-shayari ko majrooh karne ki paiham koshishen kiin. us maahol kaa mere naukhez zahan par bahut asar hua aur mujhe apnii shayari par shak hone lagaa.chunanche maine seemab saheb ke bade saahebzaade manzar siddiqui ko khat likhaa ki main shergoyi tark karnaa chaahataa hoon. unhone shiddat se meri mukhaalafat kii aur mujhe shergoyi jaarii rakhne kii talqqeen kii."- :(They (the critics) tried hard to undermine my poetic urge and talent. This had an adverse effect on my young mind and I began to doubt my abilities. Therefore, in a letter to Manzar Siddiqui, the eldest son of Seemab saheb,I expressed my intention to give up writing which intention was strongly opposed and I was asked to continue writing as before.)- A part of an interview. – Zia Fatehabadi's reaction to criticism and the result of dissuation) 
  7. ^ Hamari Zabaan – Zia Fatehabadi Number – Obituary special issue Vol.45 no.37. New Delhi: Anjuman-e-Taraqi Urdu Hind (Delhi). 1986. p. 9. :“unhon ne ibtadaaii taaleem Rajasthan mein paii. F.A. Hindu Sabha College, Amritsar, se kiyaa, B.A. aur M.A. Forman Christian College, Lahore, se kiyaa. 1936 mein apni taaleem ki takmeel ke baad woh Reserve Bank mein bataur clerk mulaazim hue.” :(He obtained his initial education in Rajasthan. Did his F.A. from Hindu Sabha College, Amritsar, B.A. and M.A. from Forman Christian College, Lahore. In 1936 after completing his education he found employment in Reserve Bank of India as a clerk.) – from an article by Om Prakash Bajaj 
  8. ^ایف-سی-کالج Urdu Times dated 2011-09-13 accessdate 2012-08-13quote=
    “…Dr. Anwar Naseem, scholar Iqbal Ahmed, Sisal Choudhary, Krishan Chander aur Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi jaisii qadaawar ilamii o adabii shakhsiyaat kaa shumaar F.C.College ke honhaar students mein hotaa hai jo apne aap ek taareekh kaa darjaa rakhte hain.”
    ((that the likes of)…Dr. Anwar Naseem, scholar Iqbal Ahmed, Sisal Choudhary, Krishan Chander and Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi, these great educationists and literary figures were amongst the students of F.C.College is by itself a historic fact.
  9. ^ Malik Ram (1977). Zia Fatehabadi – Shakhs Aur Shair (in Urdu). Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. pp. 116–117. :"hamaare mushhoor afsaanaa nigaar krishan chander marhoom bhii isii college mein padhte the. mujh se senior the aur ghaaliban college magazine ke angrezi hisse ke editor the.un kaa ek afsaanaa maine apne urdu hisse mein chaapaa. ye ghaaliban 1932 kii baat hai. us afsaane kaa unwaan sadhu thaa. merii daanist mein yahii unkaa awaleen afsaanaa thaa."- :(Our famous short-story writer Late Krishan Chander was also studying in the same college, he was probably my senior and edited the English section. In those days he wrote mainly in English. In 1932 I got his Urdu short-story titled "Sadhu" published in the Urdu section. So far as I recollect this was his first Urdu short-story.) A part of an interview.) 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Malik Ram (1977). Zia Fatehabadi – Shakhs Aur Shair (in Urdu). Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. p. 116. :"chalte chalte ek dilchasp baat suniye – hamaare college mein meera naam kii ek bangali ladkii padhtii thii. uske husn aur ghamzon kaa bahut shuhraa thaa.hamaare mushhoor taraqii-pasand shair meeraji ne usii ke naam par apnaa sherii naam rakhaa."- :(By the by, pay heed to this one fact. There was a Bengali girl named Meera studying in our college who was very beautiful and attractive. Our famous progressive poet Meeraji had adopted her name as his nom de plume. -A part of an interview.) – First-hand confirmation of the fact much discussed in Urdu literary circles 
  12. ^ a b Zia Fatehabadi (2011). Meri Tasveer. New Delhi: GBD Books. 
  13. ^ Zarina Sani (1979). Budha Darakhat. New Delhi: Bazm-e-Seemab. p. 45. :"unhiin dinon Fielden London se Hindustan aaye the aur All India Radio Broadcasting ke liye munaasib aur naujawan imle kii talaash men the-ek ishtihaar jis men mukhtalif aasaamiyon ke liye jaga khaalii thii unhon ne radio program ke urdu parche ke editor kii aasaami ke liye darkhwaast dii – zia kii tabeeyat ke lihaz se yahii kaam munaasib o mauzoon bhii thaa lekin jab woh interview ke liye Delhi pahunche to maaloom huaa ki “Awara” kaa mashhoor o muaroof shair Asrar ul Haq Majaz bhi us post kaa ummeedwaar hai- Zia ke paas sifaarishaat nadaarad – nateeja zaahir thaa – interview men un ko editor kii jaga programme assistant kii peshkash kii gaii-jise Zia ne thukraa diyaa aur editor kii post Majaz ke haath lagi – afsos ki woh der tak us post par na rah paae." :(In those days Fielden had come to India to recruit young educated persons for All India Radio Broadcasting and had advertised inviting applications for filling up the vacant posts. Zia applied for the post of editor and appeared in the interview for the said post and for which he qualified and came to Delhi where he learnt that the renowned author of “Awara” Majaz too had applied for the same post. Zia did not carry any recommendations, the outcome was obvious, Majaz was selected and Zia was offered the post of Programme Assistant which he declined.) 
  14. ^ Zarina Sani (1979). Budha Darakhat. New Delhi: Bazm – e – Seemab. p. 55. :"bank men mulaazim hone kii vajaa se Zia ko kaafii shairon aur adeebon se roshnaas hone kaa mauqaa milaa- Akhtar Sheerani aur Niaz Fatehpuri se yahin mile- Majaz se dosti yahiin badhii aur betakallufii ke zeene yahiin tey hue-…. Bank ke baazoo men thode faasile par ek baar thii- maye ke shedaaii yahaan zaroor aate- Majaz aur Meeraji aksar vahaan aate the aur usii bahaane bank men Zia se bhii mil lete the-"  :(Service in the bank gave Zia ample opportunity to come into contact with many poets and writers. Here he met Akhtar Sheerani and Niaz Fatehpuri. His friendship and intimacy with Majaz developed here itself….adjoining the bank there was a bar frequented by those habituated to consumption of alcohol, Majaz and Meeraji were regular customers and whenever they came they used to call on Zia at the bank.) 
  15. ^ Malik Ram (1977). Zia Fatehabadi – Shakhs Aur Shair (in Urdu). Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. p. 79. :"zia fatehabadi kaa naam 1929 mein hii ubharne lagaa thaa..."- :(... Zia Fatehabadi's name had come into prominence in the year 1929 itself...) – From an article by Aijaz Siddiqi, Editor, Monthly Shair, Mumbai.- An acknowledgment of Zia Fatehabadi's early renown. 
  16. ^ Malik Ram (1977). Zia Fatehabadi – Shakhs Aur Shair (in Urdu). Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. pp. 113&115. :"khaamosh tabeh aur tanhaii pasand hone ke sabab main aksar alag thalag rahtaa thaa. khushaamad karne kii salaahiyat ya aadat mujh mein kabhii paidaa naa ho sakii...main naa to kisii giroh mein shaamil huaa naa kabhii coffee-house ke hangaamon mein shareek huaa...ek khuddaarii sar par sawaar rahii aur merii zindagii mein kabhii mulaaqaaton kaa sailaab bhii nahin aayaa."- :(By nature preferring quietude and solitude I often stayed aloof. I could not adopt sycophantic means nor ever form such a habit. I never joined any group nor did ever become a part of coffee-house gatherings...A strange kind of ego kept me captive and in my life there never was any overflow of visits and meetings. – A part of an interview.- Confirmation of Zia Fatehabadi's general attitude) 
  17. ^ Hamari Zabaan – Zia Fatehabadi Number – Obituary special issue Vol.45 no.37. New Delhi: Anjuman-e-Taraqi Urdu Hind (Delhi). 1986. p. 8. :"zia ne bhii zubaan kii saadgii ko apnii shayari kaa zevar banaayaa.apne jazbaat-o-ahsaasaat-o-tassavur aur tajurbaat ko purasar andaaz mein alfaaz kaa jaamaa bakshaa." :((like his ustad Seemab) Zia too has embellished his poetry with simplicity while expressing...he has dressed his feelings ,emotions,thoughts and experiences in an effective manner with very meaningful words.)- From an article by Dr. Shaarab Radolvi M.A.PhD- An observation regarding Zia Fatehabadi's writings 
  18. ^ Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi (1977). Dhoop Aur Chandani. New Delhi: Bazm e Seemab. Zia Fatehabadi's couplet here cited to tell about his support of the traditional methods of writing.-  :" Ghataa badhaa ke bhii dekhaa magar na baat banii " :" Ghazal kaa roop rivaayat pasand hai yaro " :(In vain have thus far been all kinds of modifications attempted, :(But)the format preferred by the ghazal (here meant all forms of poetry), my friend, is the traditional one.) 
  19. ^ Hamari Zabaan – Zia Fatehabadi Number – Obituary special issue Vol.45 no.37. New Delhi: Anjuman-e-Taraqi Urdu Hind (Delhi). 1986. p. 2. :“woh seemab akbarabadi ke halqa e iradat mein shreek the. zabaan o bayaan ke aadaab o ramooz se gahari waaqfiyat, jazbaa o ahsaas ki tihaarat aur ghanaaiyat aur khush mazaaqi aur khush saleeqagii un ke kalaam ke johar ban gaye ghazal mein hindi lahaje ko bhi woh khoobii se baratate hain aur ahad e haazir ke dukh dard ki taraf bhi muaanikhez ishaare kar jaate hain. zia fatehabadi ki qadr afzaaii darasal apni sheri rivaayat aur tahzeebi warse ki qadr afzaaii hai.” :(He (Zia) belonged to the Seemab Akbarabadi’s circle of devoted writers. Deep knowledge of the etiquette and effective use of language and expression, the immense richness of feelings and emotions meant to be conveyed, and the fine eloquence and methodology adorned his writings. He makes use of Hindi intonation in ghazal quite effectively and also quite meaningfully highlights the contemporary human pain and suffering. To appraise Zia Fatehabadi is to appraise the inherited tradition and refinement of our poetry.) – Gopichand Narang in his article titled “Zia Saheb” 
  20. ^
    “in ke kalaam mein pakizah khayaali aur shustaa bayaani kaa parto jaabajaa miltaa hai. Zia sahib nazm o ghazal donon ke shair hain.”
    ( In his writings there is to be found undefiled immaculate thought and brevity; Zia sahib is the poet of both, nazm and ghazals) – Makhmoor Saedi in his article published in the June 1964 issue of Tahreek, Delhi.
  21. ^
    “zia fatehabadi ne fikr o khayaal ke naye aur haqiiqii zaaviye nikaale hain.” (Zia Fatehabadi has revealed new and factual aspects of thought and insight.) – Ghazal: Pas Manzir o pesh e manzir
  22. ^ for sampling Zia Fatehabadi's nazms and ghazals but in Hindi script
  23. ^ Hamari Zabaan – Zia Fatehabadi Number – Obituary special issue Vol.45 no.37. New Delhi: by Anjuman-e-Taraqi Urdu Hind (Delhi). 1986. p. 2. :“Zia Saheb ki kuhnamashq aur qaadirulkalaamii kaa khulaa saboot ye hai unhen tamaam isnaaf e shairi par yaksaan qadurat haasil hai” :(Open proof of Zia Saheb’s high level of thought and expression is that he has equal mastery over all formats of poetry) – Gopichand Narang 
  24. ^ – Herein use and meaning of the Urdu word Qand has been explained by citing Zia Fatehabadi's couplet.
  25. ^ Herein use and meaning of the Urdu words Biim and Rajaa has been explained by citing Zia Fatehabadi's couplet
  26. ^ Malik Ram (1977). Zia Fatehabadi – Shakhs Aur Shair (in Urdu). Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. p. 138. :"zia kii shayari mein woh tamaam ruhjaanaat aur mailaanaat jo mulk mein jaarii aur saarii rahe paae jaate hain. un kii nazmon mein jadeed leheren karvat badaltii hain magar rivaayat ke ahtraam ke saath. un ke kalaam mein baghaawat kii chingaarian hain magar takhriibii ravish se hat kar aur jiddat aur taazgii liye hue." :(The poetry of Zia reflects all trends and changes that the nation had then experienced. His poems depict the modern changes but in line with the traditional ways. His works do exhibit sparks of rebellion but without the display of usual open ferocity, instead his works are tinged with a welcome freshness and sincerity.) – From an article by Zarina Sani- An observation regarding Zia Fatehabadi's writings 
  27. ^ Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi (1937). Noor e Mashriq. Delhi: Jyoti Printing Works. 
  28. ^ "Zia Fatehabadi (Real name Mehr Lal Soni)". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  29. ^ Link: Indian newsmagazine Vol.23 of 1981 reporting one such conference that was inaugurated by the Urdu poet and jurist Anand Narain Mulla and presided by Zia Fatehabadi. LINK:Indian newsmagazine. 
  30. ^ Nilanjan Mukhopadhayay " Zia Fatehabadi's Thoughts " article on P.3 of the Sunday 17 August 1986 issue of The Statesman, Delhi.-
    " But he (Zia) does not believe in the theory that poetry is spontaneous, (he says) How can it be ? Poetry is not words,it is also thought.And thoughts are seldom spontaneous."
  31. ^ e.g.Zia-e-Urdu-special issue published in Urdu by Saphia Siddiqui on behalf of Adara-e-Adab, London, Halqa Ahal-e-sukhan and India International Club, UK and released on 28 November 1981 in a function held in Swedenborg Hall, London WC1, to commemorate Zia Fatehabadi's visit.
  32. ^ Hamari Zabaan – Zia Fatehabadi Number – Obituary Special issue Vol. 45 no.37. New Delhi: Anjuman Taraqqi i Urdu Hind (Delhi). 1986. :"mujhe unkii shayari mein ek aisii gahraaii aur vusat mahsoos hotii hai jo sirf samundaron aur aasmaanon mein hii mil saktii hai." :(I have felt in his (Zia Fatehabadi's) poetry the depth and the flight which is to be found only in the oceans and in the (vast) sky.) – Ram Lal(1923–1996), renowned short-story writer and literary critic. (An admiration).  :" aap kii adabii kaavishon kaa main sirf qaayal hii nahin rahaa,unkii roshanii mein apnaa adabii safar tey kartaa rahaa hoon." – :(I have not only admired his (Zia Fatehabadi's) literary works,I have been traversing my own literary journey in the very light of their brightness. )- Nida Fazli, renowned lyricist and Urdu poet. (Another admiration). 
  33. ^ Souvenir " Jashn – e – Zia Fatehabadi " (Urdu) 1978 P.20 published by the event organising committee and released on 27 Feb 1978 by Arif Beg, the then Minister of Commerce, Govt. of India.
    "keii muqaamaat par mufakkiraanaa aur shairaanaa andaaz ke imtizaaj ne bahut lutf diiyaa. aap kii shairii mein khaloos hai aur kahin rangeen saadgii hai.kahin saadaah aur dilkash rangeenii hai aur ek hasaas salaamat ravii is kii khaas sifaten hain."
    (At many places his (Zia's) poetic flight of imagination has given me immense pleasure. In his poetry there is affection and colourful simplicity, there is simple delightful brightness, music and flow,and there is controlled expression of his feelings as its distinct qualities.)- Firaq Gorakhpuri in an undated article
  34. ^ Urdu Quarterly Tahareer Vol.11 no.3 1977 issue P.5 published by Ilmi Majlis, Delhi.
    "hazrat zia mere qadeem ahbaab mein se hain.un kii shairii mein sanjeedgii hai.un ke tarz – e – bayaan mein ras aur ghulaavat paii jaati hai. "
    (Mr.Zia is one of my very old acquaintances. I have always been impressed by his personal qualities and poetry. There is to be found in his poetry a distinct earnestness and maturity as also a rhythmic flow and sweetness in the manner of his expression.) – Josh Malihabadi in an article dated 24 May 1965
  35. ^
  36. ^ One naat reproduced in urdu at S.No. 70 in a selection of Naats written by non-muslim Urdu poets
  37. ^ Hamare Rasool ISBN 9789644394669 published in 2011 by Centre for Persian Research, Office of Cultural Counselor, Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran, New Delhi, two naats written by Zia Fatehabadi on page 466
  38. ^ Shabbir Iqbal. Zia Fatehabadi – Hayaat Aur Kaarnaame. Zia Foundation. pp. 92–122. zia fatehabadi kaa tariiqa – e – islaah un ke ustaad allama seemab akbarabadi jaisaa hi thaa- tavajiya islaah na likhte the, agar bahut zaroori huaa to kam se kam alfaaz mein vaja bayaan kar dete the- un ki islaah ki yeh khoobi thi ki aik lafz ki tabdeelii kar ke sher ko darjya kamal tak pahunchaa dete the. (The method of Zia Fatehabadi’s technical instruction in poetry was similar in nature to that of his ustaad Seemab Akbarabadi. He never discussed the changes effected by him, if deemed necessary he would very briefly explain an essential change. The impact of his instruction was such that by merely replacing one word by another he would lift the couplet to greater heights.) 
  39. ^ Notes:- Shabbir Iqbal, son of Iftikhar Ahmed Fakhar (see Seemab Akbarabadi),was born on 31 May 1948 at Dhulia. He obtained his M.A.Degree from Pune University and thereafter joined National High School and Junior College, Dhulia,where he taught Urdu Literature.Beside his research work on Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi he has also penned the Literary History of Khandesh which work titled " Muntashar Khake " was published by Nazma Publications, Dhulia,in the year 1984.He is a regular contributor to News Papers and periodicals,and also associated with many educational and social organisations.
  40. ^ Front page news – Urdu newspaper – Maiyaar e qaum, Dhulia, issue dated 11.06.1990 –
    “…naamwar shair o adeeb Dr. Iftikhaar Ahmed Fakhr…ke khalf e akbar Shabbir Iqbal…jo guzishta teen saal se Punjab ke mashhoor o muaaroof shair o adeeb “Anjahaani Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi – hayaat aur kaarnaame” ke unwaan par Bombay University se….Dr. Adam Sheikh zernigraani apna muqaalaa e tahqeeq supurd e qalam kar rahe the…jis par haal hi mein Bombay University ne unhen Ph.D. ki degree tazweez ki hai.”
    (…Shabbir Iqbal, the eldest son of Dr. Iftikhaar Ahmed Fakhr, who was for the past three years engaged preparing his doctoral dissertation on Punjab’s renowned poet and writer titled – “Late Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi – hayaat aur kaarnaame (life and works)” under guidance of Dr. Adam Sheikh has been lately awarded the Ph.D. degree by the Bombay University.)
  41. ^ National register of doctoral dissertions Vol.3. 1979. 
  42. ^ Zarina Sani (1979). Budha Darakhat. New Delhi: Bazm – e – Seemab. p. 67. :"Zia ko palmistry aur ilam najoom kaa shauq bachpan se rahaa. Unhen maafauq ulfitrat anaasir ke vajood par bhii aitmaad hai aur un ke kalaam mein is kii jhalkiyaan bhii hain." :(Zia has been interested in Palmistry and Astrology since childhood. He also has faith in the supernatural factors and occurrences which fact is reflected in his compositions.)*Pages 68 &69 describe three astrological predictions made by Zia Fatehabadi 
  43. ^ Ravinder Kumar Soni (2005). In search of True Happiness. Delhi: Soni Parivaar. p. 110. :"My father taught to me astrology with a purpose. He wanted to enable my mind to penetrate the darkest recesses of the unknown, enable it to look far deep in time and space and go beyond the three states of time and consciousness." – Cited to tell about Zia Fatehabadi's expertise in Hindu Astrology 
  44. ^ Ravinder Kumar Soni (2008). The Illumination of Knowledge. Delhi: M/S GBD Books. p. 295. :"The place about which Rishi Kashyapa speaks thus and prays to occupy, know that to be the place where we all actually always belong; we have only to recognise it by the marks we seem to have forgotten."-Zia Fatehabadi’s statement to his son in respect of Sukta 9.113 of the Rig Veda cited to tell about former's deep study of the Rig Veda 
  45. ^ Aaj Kal Vol. 43 no.7. the Govt.of India Publication Division Urdu. 1985. Detailed write up on Mehr Lal Zia Fatehabadi's life and works 
  46. ^ The Encyclopedia of Indian Literature, Volume Two, by Amresh Datta, Mohan Lal P. 1444 (2006 Edition). Name of Zia Fatehabadi cited as a contributor to the collection of articles, titled – Gopal Mittal (1906–1993) – Shakhsiyat aur Funn, edited by Kumar Pashi (1935–1992)

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