Syed Amin Ashraf
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|Syed Amin Ashraf|
|Born||10 July 1930|
|Notable work(s)||Urdu Ghazal, 'Urdu Literary Criticism'|
Syed Amin Ashraf was a preeminent Urdu Ghazal poet and critic. He earned his PhD in English Literature from Aligarh Muslim University and later served the same Department. He produced three poetic collections and a critical compendium of essays in the form of a book. Several academic awards were conferred on his poetic anthologies, and numerous critical articles and books praised his poetic artistry. He died on 7 February 2013 (25th Rabiul Awwal 1434H) in Aligarh of a cardiac arrest, and was buried beside his father's grave near the shrine of Hazrat Ashraf Jahangir Semnani at Kichaucha Sharif.
Syed Amin Ashraf traces his lineage to a family of 'Syeds' of Kichauchha Sharif, a small town in the district of Ambedkar Nagar, East Uttar Pradesh, North India. He was born on 10 July 1930 in Kichaucha Sharif, the eldest child and son of his parents. His father was Hazrat Syed Habeeb Ashraf. He worked as a librarian in the village's library. He passed most of his time in learning and meditation. He could not complete his formal education at Firangi Mahal, a madrasa in Lucknow, where he was enrolled, due to the early demise of his father – whereupon the responsibility of earning livelihood for his family fell upon him and he had to return home to take care of his mother and younger siblings. But he mastered many subjects on his own, as he had the opportunity of referring books during his service as a librarian. He could compose poetry as well as solve problems of inheritance.
Syed Habeeb Ashraf was an expert on Ilmul Jafar and Ilmul Ramal (Islamic geomancy). He posted a letter to his eldest son Syed Amin Ashraf stationed at Aligarh, six months before his demise, in which he asked his son to be at home on a particular date (3 February 1972) for his burial. But Habeeb Ashraf felt aggrieved as Thursday and Friday are considered more auspicious days in Islam and the day of his demise emerged as Wednesday from his calculations. Syed Habeeb Ashraf was a devotee of his ancestor Hazrat Makhdoom Syed Ashraf Jahangir Semnani. He died on Thursday. His amulets were believed to be effective. He made only one or two disciples in his life. When few persons of his clan tried to usurp the right of the share holders in the offerings of the shrine, Habeeb Ashraf fought legally on behalf of them and won. This lawsuit is known by the name of Khanqah.
Syed Habeeb Ashraf was married to Syeda Saeeda, the daughter of a Unani doctor of the same village. Before her marriage she used to assist her father in the preparation of drugs in his dispensary and thereby acquired great expertise in Unani medicine, particularly of diseases of women and children; she dispensed prescriptions without charge. She also used to teach the reading of the Quran to children soon after the Fajr prayers at her home.
The couple had four sons and three daughters. The sons were named 'Syed Amin Ashraf', Syed Hameed Ashraf, Syed Waheed Ashraf and 'Syed Ashraf'. Their three daughters were 'Syeda Mahmooda', 'Syeda Masooda' and 'Syeda Raheen'. The second son 'Syed Hameed Ashraf', who died in a road accident in 1993, was a graduate in Shariah from Deoband and also studied at Aligarh Muslim University earning B.A., M.A. and M.Phil degrees in Arabic literature from the University. He taught at many Islamic madrasas in India. The other younger brother, Syed Waheed Ashraf, earned his doctorate degree in Persian and went on to become a professor of Persian at University of Madras. The youngest son, Syed Ashraf, studied Mechanical Engineering from Aligarh Muslim University and retired from Uttar Pradesh Irrigation department.
Syed Amin Ashraf had his primary schooling from the Village Madrasa itself. Syed Amin Ashraf took his B.A., M.A.,and PhD in English literature from Aligarh Muslim University and later taught at the same department. The topic of his PhD dissertation was Major themes and imagery in Sarojini Naidu's poetry. He wrote three poetic collections titled, 'Jadae Shab', 'Bahare Ijaad' and 'Qafase Rang', and there is a collection of his critical papers in the form of a book named 'Bargo Bar'. He received awards from Ghalib Academy, New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy, Lucknow. Several critical essays on his poetry have been published.
Syed Ameen Ashraf is married to Syeda Ummehani Ashraf who belongs to the same clan. Ummehani Ashraf is currently Professor of Urdu at Aligarh Muslim University.
- 'Jadae Shab', Educational Book House, Aligarh, (2000)
- 'Bahare Ijaad', Educational Book House, Aligarh,(2007)
- 'Qafase Rang', Educational Book House, Aligarh,(2011)
- 'Bargo Bar' Educational Book House, Aligarh,(2012)
Selected English Prose by Syed Amin Ashraf, Sir Syed Book Depot, Jamia Urdu, Aligarh
Awards and Honours received
- U.P. Urdu Academy Award on the book 'Bahare Ijaad', Lucknow(2007).
- U.P. Urdu Academy Award for contribution to Urdu Poetry,Lucknow (2010).
- Maikash Award from Maikash Academy, Aligarh (2010).
- Ghalib Award from Ghalib Academy, NewDelhi (2011).
- 19 Nov 2012 – 68. Sheri Nashist at the UGC ASC in honour of Dr. Syed Amin. Ashraf
- 'Meezan-e-Harf' by Hakim Syed Zillur Rahman, Ibn Sina Academy, Aligarh, India (2012)
- 'Maarfate Shere Nau' by Shamshur Rahman Faruque, Shabe Khun Publication, Allahabad (2010)
- 'Ghazal Tanqeed' by Asloob Ahmad Ansari, Educational Book House, Aligarh (2003)
- 'Andaaze' by Asloob Ahmad Ansari, Educational Book House, Aligarh (2003)
- 'Raushan Qalam' by Aleem Saba Navedi, Educational Book House , Delhi (2008)
- 'Tanqeedo Tafheem' by Qazi Abdur Rahman Hashmi, Kitabi Duniya, Delhi (2011)
- 'Naqoosho Afkaro Nazariyaat' by Mohammad Yaseen, Educational Book House, Aligarh (2010)
- 'Dr. Syed Amin Ashraf Ek Ta'aruf' by Prof. Iffat Aara in Kitab Numa, New Delhi (March 2013)
- 'Syed Amin Ashraf Ki Ek Mas'hoor Kardene Wali Ghazal' by Shameem Tarique in Aiwaane Urdu, Delhi ( March 2012)
- Shajar Saaya Daar: Syed Amin Ashraf' by Rahsid Anwar Rashid in Aaj Kal, NewDelhi (April 2013)
- 'Qaumi Khabrein', Page 1, Urdu Daily (8 February 2013), Lucknow
- 'Inquilab', Page 15, Urdu Daily (8 February 2013), Lucknow
- 'Rashtriya Sahara', Page 3, Urdu Daily (10 February 2013), Patna/Ranchi
- 'Rashtriya Sahara' Page 9', Urdu Daily (14 February 2013), Patna/Ranchi
- 'Akhbare Mashriq' , Page 2, Urdu Daily (9 February 2013), Ranchi
- 'Azad Hind', Page 5, Urdu Daily (9 February 2013), Patna
- 'Farooqui Tanzeem', Page 3, Urdu Daily (9 February 2013), Ranchi
- 'Azad Hind', Page 5, Urdu Daily (13 February 2013), Patna
- 'Rashtriya Sahara',Page 10, Urdu Daily (10 February 2013), Patna/Ranchi
- 'Farooqui Tanzeem', Urdu Daily (13 February 2013), Ranchi
- 'Dainik Jaagran', Page 9, Hindi Daily (13 February 2013),Dhanbad
(19 Nov 2012 – 68. Sheri Nashist at the UGC ASC in honour of Dr. Syed Amin. Ashraf)
- Syed Amin Ashraf (2012), Jaadae Shab (Reprint ed.), Educational Book House, Shamshad Market, Aligarh, U.P., India: Syed Amin Ashraf
- Syed Amin Ashraf (2007), Bahaare Ijaad, Educational Book House, Shamshad Market, Aligarh, India: Syed Amin Ashraf
- Syed Amin Ashraf (2011), Qafase Rang, Educational book House, Shamshad Market, Aligarh, India: Syed Amin Ashraf
- Syed Amin Ashraf (2012), Bargo Baar, Educational Book House, Shamshad Market, Aligarh, U.P., India: Syed Amin Ashraf