Aligarh Alumni Association PO Box 1877, Ellicott City MD 21041


February 2018

AAA Newsletter – February 2018
Trustees: Abdullah Abdullah, Tariq Farooqi, Fazal Khan, Razi Raziuddin, Aisha Khan
Exec.Council: Mohammed Akbar (President), Arati Raziuddin (Treasurer), Nasreen Sikander (Secretary)
Book-Launching Ceremony: The Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington DC (AAA), will hold a special event to celebrate the release of two Urdu and two English books authored by Dr. Salman Akhtar, eminent poet, author and a famed psychoanalyst. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 18, 2018, 2-5 pm, at the Turkish-American Community Center, Lanham, MD. A CD of Salman Akhtar’s Ghazal, Saaf Keh Do, composed and sung by Nasser Harvani will also be released. Harvani who is a noted vocalist from Delhi will sing selected Ghazals from the CD. Admission to the event is free. It promises to be a literary feast for those interested in poetry and literature.
General Body Meeting and Annual Elections: The AAA has announced that it will hold its general body meeting and elections on Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm, at Montgomery County Office Bldg., Rockville, MD. Dr. Syed Amir has been appointed the election officer to conduct the elections. Nominations are being sought to fill three positions on the executive council and one on the board of trustees. All friends and well-wishers of the Association are welcome to attend the meeting; however, only members will have the voting privileges.

AAA Committee Meeting: The Association held one of its periodic meetings at the residence of Drs. Arati and Razi Raziuddin on Saturday, January 27, 2018, with Dr. Mohammed Akbar in the chair. The members reviewed the success of the most recent program, the International Mushaira, and noted that unlike previous years, this time the AAA did not lose money. The fall in the number of attendees has become a recurring feature and was attributed to the changing demographic in the area and plethora of competing literary and social functions. The committee also considered various strategies to enhance collection of funds for its scholarship program and explored various options for the safe investment of the scholarship funds.

Community News

Haji Syed Sharafat Husain passed away on December 29, 2017, after a brief illness atShikohabad, UP. He was the father of Dr. Syed Rafat Husain, the incoming president and a very active member of the AAA. Haji Saheb was a devout Muslim and had performed Hajj at the early age of 18. He is survived by his wife, four sons and a daughter. The AAA and Rafat Husain’s many friends in the community pray for God’s blessings and infinite mercy on the soul of his father.
Maulana Hali’s Hayat-i-Javad
Maulana Altaf Husain Hali spent nearly six years in researching and writing Sir Syed’s biography, Hayat-i- Javad, of which he was very proud. The task was backbreaking, and, while working on the manuscript, he had to deal with his personal problems as well. In a letter addressed to Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Khan Sherwani in October 1900, he expressed some of his frustrations. He wrote: “Sir Syed’s Life history is nearly complete, and I would like it to be published by December. I have been through several personal tragedies during the past two months. My wife recently passed away, suffering from cholera. The pandemic has taken many lives in our town, and now the malaria is rampant.”
When Hayat-i-Javad was ultimately published, Maulana Hali found some of the reviews unflattering and hurtful. Even Maulana Shibli was only lukewarm in his praise and characterized the biography as Sir Syed’s uncritical paean. Maulana Hali felt that his hard work and painstaking research in writing the book had not been appropriately appreciated. He believed that he had not done full justice to highlighting the life achievements of a remarkable person. Ironically, since his death, Hayat-i-Javad has come to be recognized as the most authoritative and seminal work on Sir Syed’s life. 
In one of his personal letters, Maulana Hali related the story that when he completed the first edition of his Mussaddas, he sent a copy to Sir Syed. Without me even asking, he inquired, “How many printed copies of the book do you have?” On receiving my response, he sent me a list of all his friends and asked me to send a copy to each one of them. Then, he wrote them an individual letter, requesting that the price of the book should be remitted directly to me. The result was that in one-and-half months, all copies of the book were sold out and a second edition had to be brought out promptly. 
Maulana Hali ruefully remarked that even if all the copies of Hayat-i-Javad were sold, he would not be able to recover his cost, let alone make any profit

(Translated and adapted from an article by Zubair Alam, Ma’arif, November 2017, Darul Musannefin, Shibli, Academy)
Syed Amir (Editor)                                                                                             Khurshid Usmani (Web)

Mohammed Akbar (President)                                                                              Fazal Khan (Chairman)

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