Syed Azhar Shah Qaiser (1920-1985) was an Indian Islamic scholar, journalist and writer. He penned many articles and books in Urdu. He was elder son of the widely known Indian hadith scholar, Anwar Shah Kashmiri.
Birth and education
Azhar Shah Qaiser was born in December 1920 at Deoband. His father Anwar Shah Kashmiri was world-known hadith scholar of his time. Qaiser was enrolled in the Darul Uloom Deoband. When his father resigned from the Darul Uloom Deoband in 1927, and moved to Jamia Islamia Talimuddin, Dabhel, Qaiser too went with him to Dabhel and continued his studies there. Qaiser was about 12 years old when his father Anwar Shah Kashmiri died in 1933. Facing consequences, Qaiser was not able to complete his studies.
When his father passed away, people visited him to offer condolences from all across the country. Zafar Ali Khan, famous Urdu author and journalist was one among them. A condolence ceremony was organised at Jama Masjid in Deoband and the welcome address was prepared by 12 year old Qaiser. Despite his young age, Qaiser presented a copy of this address to Zafar Ali Khan and it was also read in the congregation loudly. Zafar Ali Khan liked this laudatory address so much that he published it on the front page of his Zamindar. This was the starting point of Qaiser's literary life. Qaiser's articles featured firstly in Monthly Guncha which was published from Bijnor and Monthly Payam-e-Taleem of the Jamia Millia Islamia. Weekly Sadaqat, Saharanpur was released in 1936 and Syed Azhar Shah Qaiser became its permanent writer and a member of its editorial board. Maulana Qaiser started a weekly journal Isteqlal along with Maulana Sultan-ul-Haq Qasmi Bijnori. It is difficult to state when it was firstly released although its famous Eid Number edition appeared in December 1937. In 1939, when Qaiser was 19, a collection of 16 selected articles of Qaiser were published in Sadaqat. In 1940, Qaiser released Bi-monthly al-Anwar from Deoband, and its first edition appeared on 1 November 1940. The journal focused on the life and works of Anwar Shah Kashmiri. Before 1940, in 1939 Qaiser worked for Zamindar honorarily. Besides Sadaqat Saharanpur and al-Anwar, Deoband, Qaiser took the editorial responsibilities of Haadi, Deoband. First edition of Haadi appeared in May 1949. The names of Syed Azhar Shah Qaiser, Muhammad Salim Qasmi and Syed Mehboob Rizwi are found up to editions of April 1950. Azhar Shah Qaiser wrote about 87 articles from 1936 to 1942. Short stories and tales like Tuta Huwa A'ina (Broken Mirror), Inqelab, Sharabi Shayar and Azaadi are some notable ones. In 1951, Qaiser got the editorship of Darul Uloom, the monthly journal of Darul Uloom Deoband. Qaiser was editor of this journal till 1982 for about 31 years. Qaiser also took the editorial responsibilities of Bi-monthly Ijtemah, Saharanpur, Monthly Khalid, Deoband (under supervision of Izaz Ali Amrohi), Monthly Tayyib, Deoband (1983-1985), Bi-monthly Isha'at-e-Haq, Deoband (1975-1985).
Notable works of Azhar Shah Qaiser are:
- Yadgaar-e-Zamana Hain Ye Log
- Seerat Abu Bakr Siddiq
- Zara Umr-e-rafta Ko Awaaz Dena
- Safeena-e-Watan ke Na Khuda
Death and legacy
Maulana Azhar Shah Qaiser died on 27 November 1985 coinciding Islamic date 13 Rabi' al-awwal 1406. He was buried next to the grave of his father Anwar Shah Kashmiri in Mazar-e-Anwari, Deoband. His son Naseem Akhtar Shah Qaiser is well known author and writer of Urdu and a professor at Darul Uloom Waqf, Deoband. He has written a concise biography of his father Azhar Shah Qaiser and uncle Anzar Shah Kashmiri in his book Do Gohar Aabdaar. He has also written Syed Muhammad Azhar Shah Qaiser Ek Adeeb, Ek Sahafi (English: Syed Muhammad Azhar Shah Qaiser: A writer and journalist) about his father Azhar Shah Qaiser.