Zafar Ali Khan
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|Zafar Ali Khan|
Kot Meerath, Sialkot District, Punjab
Zafar Ali Khan (1873–1956) (Urdu: ظفرؔ علی خان – Ẓafar ʿAlī Xān), also known as Maulana Zafar Ali Khan was a writer, poet, translator and journalist who played an important role in the Pakistan Movement against the British Raj.
Zafar was born from a Janjua family at Kot Meerath, a small village in Sialkot District, which at the time was part of British India. He received his early education in Mission High School, Wazirabad, Gujranwala District. He received his early education in Wazirabad and matriculated from Patiala and then passed his intemediate from the then, Aligarh College. Next, he worked in the postal department of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the same place where his father worked, but resigned over a row with his seniors. He rejoined Aligarh College and gained his BA.
After graduation, Khan was appointed secretary to Mohsin-ul-Mulk, then in Bombay. Then he worked for some time as a translator in Hyderabad, Deccan, rising to the post of Secretary, Home Department. He returned from Hyderabad and launched his daily Zamindar from Lahore which was founded by his father Maulvi Sirajuddin Ahmad.
Maulana Zafar Ali Khan's maternal uncle Maulana Muhammad Abdullah Khan (d. 26 April 1935) was a scholar of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Jamaat. This uncle's two sons, Maulana Mustafa Hasan Khan and Maulana Murtaza Hasan Khan were prominent Lahore Ahmadiyya missionaries and writers. Maulana Zafar Ali Khan himself supported the Ahmadiyya movement in Islam and Mirza Ghulam Ahmad its founder and wrote many article in apreciation, however in the 1930s he turned against the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam and waged a campaign against it in his daily Zamindar.
Khan's interest in poetry began in his childhood. His poems have religious and political sentiment. He was specially versed in impromptu compositions. His poetical output includes Baharistan, Nigaristan, and Chamanistan. His other works are Marka-e-Mazhab-o-Science, Ghalba-e-Rum, Sayr-e-Zulmet and an opera Jang-e-Roos-o-Japan.
Memorials and Legacy
He served the Pakistan Movement and is acknowledged as the father of Urdu journalism. It has been said of him: "he was the father of Urdu journalism, … The Zamindar newspaper, when Zafar Ali Khan was the proprietor and editor, was the Urdu paper for the Muslims."
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- Maulana Zafar Ali Khan [1873–1956]
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