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Published in the 1-15 Apr 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Urdu novelist, Hajra Nazli is no more

Hajra Nazli, Urdu novelist and short-story writer, passed away in Aligarh, She was the elder daughter of Maulana Qari Mohammed Tayyab sahab , former rector of Darul Uloom Waqf Deoband. She was 84.

A popular fiction writer, she wrote 18 novels and more than a hundred short stories. Women in South Asian society was her subject. These novels were written against the backdrop of Muslim Asian culture depicting life with all its trials, travails and happiness of the family-woman. Her novels are very popular among homely women who find a reflection of their own persona in Nazliís characters. Her novels were especially liked by girls who got through them a sight of married life, which lay ahead of them when glimpsed they would join a new family as a loved and respected member, leaving their fatherís house. Hajira Nazliís stories are woven around this transition in the life of conventional Asian women and its aftermath.

Her first novel was Sabiha, published in 1952 from Bombay. Other publications include bestsellers like Naghma (1953), Naye Qadam (1959), Gham-e Dauran (1962), Gham-e Jaanaan (1962), Do Roop (1965), Khudsar, Shab-e Arzoo, Dil Ke Kanwal (1968) Nishat-e-Gham (1969), Babool Ke Saey (1972). Some of her masterpieces have been reprinted several times. Nishat-e Gham, Do Roop and Gham-e Dauran are three of her bestselling novels. She had been writing since an early age. About a dozen of Hajira Nazliís novels are catalogued in the US Library of Congress.

She hailed from a family of Islamic scholars, and received education at home. She observed hijab which was not a hindrance to her writing career extending over six decades. She was married to Maulana Hamidul Ansari Ghazi, one of Indiaís freedom-fighters and a renowned journalist. She has left behind five sons, a daughter and 27 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Her funeral prayers were offered on Wednesday morning at the Aligarh Muslim University Graveyard and was later in the day buried there. The funeral prayers were led by Maulana Muhammad Salim Qasmi, her younger brother and present rector of the Waqf Darul Uloom, Deoband. Mr Naseem Ahmed Vice Chancelor and Mr. Nafees, proctor and many faculty memebers, scholars of AMU were present at the funeral. §

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