Seemab Akbarabadi

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Seemab Akbarabadi
Birth nameAashiq Hussain Siddiqui
Born5 June 1882 (1882-06-05)
Agra, British India
Died31 January 1951 (1951-02-01) (aged 68)
Karachi, Sind, Dominion of Pakistan
GenresQat'aa, Rubai, Ghazal, Nazm, Noha, Salaam[disambiguation needed], essays. short stories, novels, biographies and translations.
Occupation(s)Poet, writer, publisher

Seemab Akbarabadi (Urdu: سیماب اکبرآبادی‎) born Aashiq Hussain Siddiqui (Urdu: عاشق حسین صدیقی‎, 5 June 1882 – 31 January 1951) was an acclaimed Urdu poet from Pakistan.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Seemab Akbarabadi, (born Aashiq Hussain Siddiqui)[3][4] a descendant of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (R.A), the first Caliph of Islam,[5] was born in Imliwale makaan of Kakoo Gali, Nai Mandi, Agra, as the eldest son of Mohammad Hussain Siddiqui, who was himself a Urdu poet, author of several books, a disciple of Hakim Amiruddin Attaar Akbarabadi, and an employee of the Times of India Press, Ajmer. Seemab had said that his forefather had migrated from Bukhara sometime during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir and made Agra his home, however, according to Mohan Lal[6] his great-grandfather had migrated from Bukhara during Aurangzeb's reign. Seemab learnt Persian, Arabic and logic from Jamaluddin Sarhadi and Maulavi Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. The death of his father in 1897 forced Seemab to give up his studies and seek a livelihood first in Agra and then in Kanpur before joining the railways service at Ajmer, from which he resigned in 1922 and returned to Agra. In 1923 he founded the publishing imprint, Qasr-ul-adab. He had four sons and two daughters and the youngest son, Mazhar Siddiqui, continued his work in Karachi and published many of his father's manuscripts. He belonged to the Daagh School. He hailed from Agra where his family had lived for nearly three hundred years.

Literary career[edit]

Seemab began ghazal writing in 1892 and in 1898 became a disciple of Nawab Mirza Khan Daagh Dehlawi (1831–1905) to whom he was personally introduced by Munshi Nazar Hussain Sakhaa Dehlawi at the Kanpur Railway Station.[4]

After founding "Qasr-ul-adab" in 1923 with Saghar Nizami as its editor, he started publishing the Monthly "Paimana". In 1929, he started the Weekly "Taj" and in 1930 the Monthly Shair. The publication of "Paimana" ceased in 1932 when Saghar Nizami separated from Seemab and moved to Meerut. Shair continued to be published long after Seemab’s death, managed and edited (since 1935) by his son, Aijaz Siddiqi, and "Wahi-e-manzoom" published by his son Mazhar Siddiqui from Karachi was graced with a Hijra Award on 27 Ramzan by the President of Pakistan, General Zia-Ul-Haq.

Seemab never enjoyed a comfortable financial position, yet he always appeared immaculately dressed in a neat sherwani and white wide pajama with a Turkish topi covering his head. He did not have a beard. Seemab wrote in all literary formats and on various social and political topics. In 1948, he went to Lahore and then to Karachi in an unsuccessful search for a publisher for his monumental work, "Wahi-e-Manzoom", an Urdu translation in verse form of the Quran. Seemab did not return to Agra. In 1949 he suffered a massive paralytic stroke from which he never recovered and he died on 31 January 1951.[4]


Beginning with the publication of his first collection of poems," Naistaan" in 1923, Akbarabadi published seventy-five books throughout his life. These included twenty-two books of poetry, not including "Loh-e-mahfooz" (1979), "Wahi-e-manzoom" (1981) and "Saaz-e-hijaz" (1982), all published long after his death. He is best known for his ghazals particularly by those sung by Kundan Lal Saigal.[7] He also wrote short stories, novels, dramas, biographies and critical appraisals and was widely considered to be a great scholar of Urdu, Persian and Arabic language and grammar.[2][8]


Works on Akbarabadi's life and literary contributions include:

  • "Dastan-e-chand" written by Raaz Chandpuri
  • "Islah-ul-islah" by Abr Ahasani Gunnauri
  • "Khumkhana-e-Javed " Vol 4 by Lala Sri Ram
  • "Zikr-e-Seemab" and "Seemab banaam Zia", both by Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi
  • "Seemab Akbarabadi " by Manohar Sahai Anwar
  • "Rooh-e-Mukatib" by Saghar Nizami
  • "Seemab Ki Nazmiya" Shayari by Zarina Sani
  • "Seemab aur Dabistan-e-Seemab " by Iftikhar Ahmed Fakhar

Among the writers and poets that he influenced were Raaz Chandpuri, Saghar Nizami and Mohsin Bhopali.[1]

Partial bibliography[edit]

He wrote "about 200 works of prose and poetry",[9] which include:

  • Naistan (1923)[2]
  • Ilhaam-e-manzoom (1928)
  • Kaar-e-imroz (1934)[2][4]
  • Kaleem-e-ajam (1936)
  • Dastur-ul-islah (1940)[2]
  • Saaz-o-aahang (1941)[4]
  • Krishna Gita (1942)
  • Aalam Aashool (1943)
  • Sadrah almantaha (1946)[2]
  • Sher-e-inqlaab ( 1947)
  • Loh-e-mahfooz (1979)[2]
  • Wahi-e-manzoom (1981)[2]


  1. ^ a b Profile of Seemab Akbarabadi on website Retrieved 28 May 2019
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Profile of Seemab Akbarabadi, a Renowned Urdu Poet Urdu Adab website, Published 18 August 2010, Retrieved 27 May 2019
  3. ^ 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. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Profile of Seemab Akbarabadi on website Retrieved 28 May 2019
  5. ^ Encyclopedic Dictionary of Urdu literature by Abida Samiuddin 2008 p.26 ISBN 978-81-8220-191-0 [1]
  6. ^ Mohan Lal 2006 The Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature Vol.5 p.3900 [2]
  7. ^ "Kundan Lal Saigal by singing the ghazals of Seemab Akbarabadi, made the poet immortal." [3] Academy of the Punjab in North America (APNA) website, Retrieved 27 May 2019
  8. ^ Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan 'The Karachi of the past' The News International (newspaper), Published 13 August 2018, Retrieved 28 May 2019
  9. ^ R.G., "SEEMAB, ASHIQ HUSSAIN AKBARABADI (Urdu; b.1880, d.1951)", Mohan Lal (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: Sasay to Zorgot, Sahitya Akademi (1992), p. 3900