Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 12 : 9 September 2012
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.
Assistant Managing Editor: Swarna Thirumalai, M.A.


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The Twilight of Muslims in Ahmad Aliís Twilight in Delhi

Shabnum Iftikhar, M.A. (Political Science), M.A. (English Literature, ELT)

Introduction: Father of Modern Pakistani Literature

Novelist, translator, poet and critic Ahmad Ali died on 14th January 1994, thus concluding a most important and eventual chapter of sub-continent cultural and literary history. Ahmad Ali, popularly known as Professor Ahmad Ali, was an epoch-making personality. He was the father of modern Pakistani literature. In fact, his work helped shape twentieth-century South Asian literature in both English and Urdu.

Born and brought up in Delhi in 1910 and educated at Aligarh Muslim University and Lucknow University, Ali started his writing career as a poet and playwright and soon found himself becoming a bilingual (English and Urdu) writer who wrote most of his short stories in Urdu, but his plays, poems and novels in English.

Ahmad Aliís Twilight In Delhi

Ahmad Aliís Twilight In Delhi is not just an ordinary book or a critical commentary on the decline of Muslims of India in the previous century, rather this novel is the first two decades of the twentieth century, when Muslimsí culture was taking its last breaths. This decline was a decline of a great culture as it had belonged to that nation who ruled over sub-continent for centuries. This is Aliís great artistic subtlety that he describes this gradual downfall and retrogression of his own culture and traditions without any sentimentality. This novel gives a clear impression that Aliís purpose is not to justify the decline of his culture. As a matter of fact, he narrates a simple story of a Muslim family resides in Delhi, surrounded by its rich traditional and cultural values and how these values are destructed by the advent of a new foreign culture and force. By telling a story of central character Mir Nihal, a middle-aged Muslim business man of Delhi, Ahmad Ali covers each and every aspect of Muslimsí lives of that time. Thus, Mir Nihal doesnít remain an individual character but he is a representative of a whole Muslim culture, through which Ali does focus on every nook and corner of individual as well as collective lives of Muslims.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Shabnum Iftikhar, M.A. Political Science, M.A. English Literature, ELT
Georgia, USA

Institutional Affiliation

University of the Punjab
Lahore 54590

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