Mohammad Yunus Saleem

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Mohammad Yunus Saleem
Mohammad Yunus Saleem in 1990, as Governor of Bihar
Member of Parliament
In office
Preceded byRam Narayan Reddi
Succeeded byK. Ramkrishna Reddy
Personal details
Political partyIndian National Congress
As of 26 September, 2006

Mohammad Yunus Saleem (1912 – 15 January 2004) was an Indian politician, scholar and lawyer. He was born in Mahona, near Lucknow. He was known for his simplicity and integrity. He was also active in both religious and political fields..The Mohammad Yunus Saleem Memorial Education Trust had been established in his honor by his son Junaid Abdul Rehman to promote the study of the Quran. He was also a poet who struggled to make Urdu the second official language. He was also a devouted Muslim, who regularly observed Namaz and never missed Roza.


Born in 1912 in Lucknow, Saleem studied at the Christian Mission College in Lucknow then did his BA and LLB at Osmania University in Hyderabad. As a politician, he was an active senior Indian National Congress member who represented Lok Sabha and served as cabinet member in different ministries. When the Congress Party split in the late 1970s he was a member of the Parliamentary Board of Congress (Urs) and as the party localized to Maharashtra under Sharad Pawar, he joined Choudhary Charan Singh's Lok Dal. He was the Vice President of Lok Dal and also a member of its parliamentary board. During the Congress Party's expulsion of V. P. Singh in 1987 and the formation of Jan Morcha, he joined the newly formed party. He played an active role in bringing all parties together and in the formation of Janata Dal. As a lawyer during his early career, he worked as an assistant to Advocate Mohammed Wasi at Hyderabad High Court. He lived in a house in Urdu Galli, now behind the Ram Krishna theatre, Hyderabad.

Before moving to Hyderabad, he lived in Lucknow with his father, in a mosque. He was quite ambitious and a bright student. When the Nizam of Hyderabad Asaf Jah VII (Osman Ali Khan Bahadur who ruled Hyderabad between 1911 and 1948) was in Lucknow on a state visit to see Sir William Malcolm Hailey, home member of the Executive Council of the Governor-General of India, Yunus went to meet the Nizam and offered him a very rare manuscript of the Quran. The Nizam was very impressed with this selfless gesture and asked his Prime Minister Mir Yousuf Ali Khan, Salar Jung III to nominate him for a scholarship so that he could continue his studies. When Yunus didn't receive the scholarship even after a long wait, he went to Hyderabad. Despite continuously following up, he never ended up receiving a single rupee that the Nizam had awarded. Mohammad Yunus decided to remain in Hyderabad and take on students as a source of his livelihood and enrolled himself at the University. He was keenly interested in Urdu and from a very young age wrote poems. It was once he settled in Hyderabad that he added his pen name Saleem in his name, and henceforth was known as Mohammad Yunus Saleem.

He died on 14 January 2004, following a brief illness, in his residence in Delhi. He is survived by his two daughters Zeba and Shehla, and his son Junaid Abdul Rehman, who lives in the United States.


High School and Intermediate from Church Mission School at Lucknow. B.A. and L.L.B. from Osmania University, Hyderabad.

Scholarly contributions[edit]

  • Allah Noorus Samawaat wal Ard "God is the light of the Heavens and the Earth" is a collection and explanation of all verses of the Quran relating to Allah. Allah Noorus Samawat provides an insight into Islam’s concept of God, His functions and His attributes. His preface to the book is semi-autobiographical and can be read here.
  • Noor ul mubeen is his second book, a collection and explanation of all the verses of the Quran which explains what the Quran says about itself.
  • He served as the founding member, Trustee and General Secretary of the Aiwan-e-Ghalib Society. He was the Founding member and President of the All India Khusro Society
  • He has authored a book on Ghalib, titled Lughat-e-Ghalib is a referential thesaurus on the Diwan-e-Ghalib wherein uncommon and difficult words, idioms and phrases have been explained accompanied by illustrations of how the same words have been used by other poets. It has been published by the Khuda Baksh Library, Patna, Bihar.[1]

His wife, Sajida Begum has also published a collection of Urdu Ghazals titled "shu'la o shabnam - spark and dew"

Political career[edit]

Positions held as expert of Law[edit]

He practiced at Andhra Pradesh High Court and also in the Supreme Court, as a lawyer, Minister of Law, Justice, and Waqf.


  1. ^ "Mohammad Yunus Saleem, The Milli Gazette, Vol.5 No.04, MG98 (16-29 Feb04)".

External links[edit]