Music, Poetry, Literature, Culture
Music, Poetry, Literature, Culture

Hakim Ahmad Shuja

Hakim Ahmad Shuja (also sometimes written as ‘Hakeem Ahmed Shujah’) (born 1893-died January 1969), MBE, was a famous Urdu and Persian poet, playwright, writer, scholar and mystic, from former British India, later Pakistan.


Hakim Ahmad Shuja belonged to an old and prominent family of mystics and Islamic religious scholars,

how had migrated from Arabia and Turkey to India, between the 10th-11th centuries AD. During the times of the Sultans of Delhi, the family came to prominence as religious divines and Hakims i.e. practitioners of the traditional Hikmat (the Unani, or Greek system of medicine) and by the time of the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great (c.1542-1605) they were established as Court Physicians at Lahore, in the Bhati Gate area of the Old City. Later, family members served as Chief Qazis (or Qadis) at Lahore and Kashmir under Afghan (Durrani) rule, and a branch were ministers during Ranjit Singh’s Sikh rule.Ahmad Shuja’s father, Hakim Shuja-ed-din, was a Sufi mystic of the Chishtiya Order and one of the early pioneers of the Urdu literary press in Lahore, bringing out the famous Shor-i-Mahshar journal and participating actively in the work of the Anjuman-i-Himayat-i-Islam and Anjuman i Punjab associations.

Early life and career

Hakim Ahmad Shuja was the only son of his parents, who both died when he was still a minor and he was brought up largely by an elder cousin, Hakim Amin-ed-din, Barrister. After a basic education in Arabic and Quranic studies at home, and initial Sufic training under various notable mystics, he was then admitted for ‘English education’ to the old Central Model School, Lahore and later sent to the famous Aligarh University, from where he graduated with honours. For some time, Hakim Ahmad Shuja then worked as a lecturer at the Osmania University in Hyderabad state (Deccan) but was not happy and returned to Lahore to seek employment there. After several journalistic and academic ventures,[7] he eventually settled down to regular service in the secretariat of the Punjab Legislative Assembly, finally retiring as Secretary to the Punjab Assembly in the 1950s.