HYDERABAD — India’s renowned Urdu poet Muztar Majaz passed away at the age of 83 here on Friday. He was widely regarded as an expert on the legendary poet Allama Iqbal and was the only one in the Urdu world to have translated his entire Persian poetry of into Urdu in poetic form.
Majaz also has several poetic collections to his credit, including Mausam e Sang, Ek Sukhan and Tilism-e-Majaz. A frequent visitor to UAE and Saudi Arabia where two of his sons are based, Majaz was known for his rare insights into Urdu and Persian poetry and was considered the last of ghazal greats in Hyderabad and India.
His work on Iqbal had come in for rich praise from the late Annemarie Schimmel, the influential German Orientalist, and scholar who wrote extensively on Islam, Sufism and Iqbal.
Majaz had been a widely respected translator, critic, and poet, often a regular feature of mushairas (poetry reading sessions) in Hyderabad and elsewhere in the country. Besides Iqbal, he had also translated Persian poetry of Ghalib into Urdu. After retirement from government service, he had been working as the Literary Editor of Munsif Urdu daily.
His funeral prayer was offered at Ujaal-e-Shah mosque here on Saturday.
Majaz is survived by wife, four sons, and a daughter.
He was a self-taught poet. Having graduated from Osmania University in 1955 as a Commerce graduate, his heart was always in literature and poetry so he developed a penchant for reading classical poetry from Mir Taqi Mir to Faani Badayun. “I was in government service and I used to travel a lot. On each of my travels, I would pen down whatever would come to my mind. I have to move to write. Once I retired, I took a sabbatical from writing and started translating the works of Allama Iqbal and Mirza Ghalib from Persian to Urdu,” he revealed in a 2010 interview with Khaleej Times published from Dubai.
His poems, he said, were “a fine balance between the hollowness of optimism found in Iqbal and an intensity of pessimism found in Badayun.” It’s mostly ghazals and nazms (rhymed verse) that he penned.