KARACHI: Distinguished Urdu scholar, poet, researcher and writer Dr Aslam Farrukhi passed away after a prolonged illness here on Wednesday. He was 89. His wife and two sons survive him.

Dr Farrukhi was born on Oct 23, 1926 in Lucknow (as confirmed by family sources). His family hailed from Fatehgarh, Farrukhabad district, UP. His grandfather and father were eminent poets. His brother Anwar Ahsan Siddiqui was also a writer and scholar of great merit. After partition, Dr Farrukhi’s family migrated to Karachi.

He completed his education from the Federal Government Urdu College and the University of Karachi after which he joined Radio Pakistan as a scriptwriter. He wrote features, plays and speeches for the radio. Apart from that, he taught Urdu at the S.M. College, Central Government College and the University of Karachi. He worked at the university in different capacities, including that of its registrar and as a professor at the Urdu Department.

Dr Farrukhi wrote many books and his skills as a biographical sketch writer (khaka nigar) were considered unmatched. One example of it is his last published book, Raunaq-i-Bazm-i-Jahan. A couple of his other books in the same genre are Angan mein sitare and Guldasta-i-ahbaab. The marked feature of these compilations is lucid prose. Dr sahib’s Urdu bristled with delectable phrases and well-constructed sentences, complemented by sparkling expressions used in the Urdu language.

Dr Farrukhi’s PhD thesis was on the writer Mohammad Husain Azad, which was awarded the Adamji literary prize in 1965. His book Mohammad Husain Azad –– hayat-o-tasneef is regarded as one the most important works of research on the writer. Some of the other published works of Dr Farrukhi are Tazkara-i-gulshan-i-hamaisha bahar, Urdu ki pehli kitab, Farmaya Sultanji ne, Farid-o-fard-i-farid and Dabistan-i-Nizam.

Dr Farrukhi was extremely fond of Sufis, especially of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, on whom he penned three books. He also wrote books on children. One of Dr sahib’s sons, Asif Farrukhi, is a renowned writer and the co-founder of the Karachi Literature Festival.

Dr Aslam Farrukhi’s namaz-i-janaza will be held after Zuhr prayers at Madani Masjid, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Block 5. He will be laid to rest in the Karachi University graveyard.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2016

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