Sharif Hussain, who used the pseudonym Naseem Hijazi (c. 1914–2 March 1996), was an eminent Urdu novelist. He was born in an Arain family in the village of Sujaanpur near the town of Dhariwal, in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab province, before the creation of Pakistan; his family settled in Lahore in the year of 1947. He lived most of his life in Pakistan and passed away on 2 March 1996.
Novels of Naseem Hijazi
Naseem Hijazi bases most of his work on Islamic history. In dealing with this history, he indicates both the rise and fall of the Islamic Empire. His novels Muhammad Bin Qasim, Aakhri Ma’raka, Qaisar-o Kisra and Qafla-i Hijaz explain the era of Islam’s rise to political, militaristic, economic, and educational power. While Yusuf Bin Tashfain, Shaheen, Kaleesa Aur Aag, and Andheri Raat Ke Musafir elaborate the period of Spanish Reconquista. In one of these novels (Kaleesa Aur Aag), he has painfully, yet truthfully, reflected the infamous Spanish Inquisition that started by targeting the Spanish Jews and ended also with the conversion or expulsion of the Moriscos or crypto-Muslims outwardly converted to Christianity.
In Akhri Chataan, he explains the Central Asian conquests of Genghis Khan and his destruction of the Khwarizm Sultanate. The novel indicates the brutal conquests of the Mongols, the military genius of Genghis Khan, the undying willpower of Sultan Jalal ud-Din Khwarizm Shah, and the unworthy condition of the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad.
He wrote 2 sequential novels on British conquest of India, and explained the shortcomings of many nations within India after the collapse of Mughal Empire. The novel Mu’azzam Ali initiates a little before the Battle of Plassey. The lead character, Muazzam Ali, joins the fight against the British with the army of Siraj-ud-Daula. The story moves forward as the character moves from one place in India to another in search of the lost glory and freedom. He takes part in the third battle of Panipat and finally settles in Srirangapattana, which was rising in power under the towering personality of Haider Ali. The book ends almost around the death of Ali. The 2nd book on the battles in the same area, Aur Talwar Toot Gayee (And the Sword is Broken) is more about Haider’s son Sultan Tipu, where the similar character is finding his dreams being fulfilled in Tipu’s valiant endeavors against the British East India Company. The book culminates in Sultan Tipu’s sad and untimely martyrdom.
He also wrote a novel Khaak aur Khoon on the violence that resulted in tremendous bloodshed in the year of 1947, caused by the religious tensions being flared up among Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus alike, at the time of the partition of British India and the creation of Pakistan.