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I.I. Kazi remembered

April 13, 2016

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ALLAMA Imdad Ali Imam Ali Kazi, an eminent philosopher and scholar and Vice Chancellor of Sindh University, died in 1968.

He was born on April 19, 1886 in Hyderabad. After completing primary education and memorising the Holy Quran, he went to Britain for studies in zoology and economics and later to Germany, where he married a German girl, Elsa. Like her husband, Elsa was well-versed in literature and later translated the verses of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai into English and wrote many other books. Allama Kazi received the degree of Bar-at-Law in 1911, after which he returned home.

In 1932, he studied Arabic in Cairo and in 1933 pursued the same subject at the London School of Oriental Studies. After 1910, he stayed mostly in Hyderabad but visited England every year for scholarly pursuits.

He wrote a book on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai’s poetry, and assumed the office of President of the Sindhi Department at the School of Oriental Languages in London. Among South Asian and European scholars who were deeply impressed by his writings were Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Allama Iqbal, Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi, George Bernard Shaw and many other renowned scholars.

In 1951, Allama Kazi became Vice-Chancellor of Sindh University, which office he held till 1958.

During his tenure as Vice Chancellor of the University of Sindh, he served the cause of education with dedication.

Today’s youth should learn lessons from his life and achievements. In his address to the convocation of the University in 1966, he said: “Man boasts that his purpose is to know his higher, greater self, but alas, our dear students of today did not furnish the slightest proof of this assumption. The purpose seems to be the same – to obtain food and to be secure from fear.”

He was heart-broken because of the death of his beloved Elsa and passed away at age 82 on April 13, 1968, in Hyderabad. He was laid to rest at the new campus of Sindh University at Jamshoro.

Jawed Inayatullah Mughal

Karachi

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2016