The progeny of Moulvi Sheikh Ali Ahmed

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From left to right: Nawab Qutab Yar Jung, Khan Bahadur Hakim Mehmood Ali, Nazeer Fatima, Rashid Ahmed, Atiya Bano, Masood Ali Mehvi and Hakim Azeemuddin

Nizamuddin Ahmed

The eldest son of Moulvi Sheikh Ali Ahmed Sahib Marhoom was from the lady he had married in Delhi and as Moulvi Sahib’s firstborn was doted upon by both mother and father, was thoroughly indulged by them, and brought up in great comfort and ease. He was tutored as a Quran Hafiz and as was the custom in those times, arrangements were made for his Farsi and Arabic education. However, he was not scholastically inclined and did not make much progress in that direction. When Moulvi Ali Ahmed Sahib married for the second time in Fatehpur and brought this wife back with him to Delhi, the first wife decided to go for Hajj and without informing Moulvi Sahib, taking her son Nizamuddin Ahmed with her, she set out for Bombay and having reached there notified him of her whereabouts and her intentions of proceeding for the Pilgrimage. She wrote that “I have got this far but cannot proceed further without your approval. I took this audacious step only because I knew that there was no other way for me to obtain your consent. I request your forgiveness for my transgression and your permission to proceed.” Moulvi Sahib, after reflecting on the current events and circumstances, not only forgave and consented to her request, he also sent her money for travelling expenses although he was well aware that she had in her possession five to six thousand Rupees worth of jewellery as well as ready cash on hand. After having fulfilled the exalted Haj she passed away in Mecca, and, Nizamuddin Ahmed Sahib had to continue his pilgrimage to Medina with the other Hajis from Delhi.  On completing his ziarat to Medina Munawara he returned to Bombay and after staying there for some time came back to Delhi. All this travelling back and forth lasted approximately three years; it not only disrupted his educational progress, he perforce forgot all that he had learned so far. Cognizant of his father’s displeasure he dared not appear before him for quite some time. Moulvi Sahib believed that his son still had some ready cash in his possession and was anxious to secure it since he was concerned that his son’s youth and lack of worldly experience might result in him losing it altogether. But despite his efforts, all that could be retrieved from Nizamuddin Ahmed Sahib was a hundred or a hundred and twenty-five Ashrafis. In his uneducated state, any substantial government employment was problematic; he found work at petty jobs such as at the Post Office and others. Eventually, he entered the employment of Raja Mohammad Jafar Ali Khan, the successor of Raja Baqar Ali Khan Sahib Marhoom, Rias of Pindrawal and was able to lead a comfortable life. However, a falling out between the Raja and his son resulted in his leaving the State and moving to Hyderabad. Here he started a business in trade but without much success. By and large, he was not a very sociable person, but with those that he toke to, he was very warm and affectionate. It was during his stay in Hyderabad that he fell ill, he travelled to Delhi for treatment and there he passed away. Nizamuddin Ahmed Sahib was married to Bibi Zubaida the paternal granddaughter of Maulana Moulvi Nazeer Hasab Sahib ala-al-Reham Muhaddis Dehlvi and the eldest daughter of Moulvi Sharif Hasan Sahib.  From her were two sons Mian Nasiruddin and Mian Moinuddin and a daughter Bibi Saeeda. Bibi Saeeda Marhoom was married to Hakim Imtiazuddin Hasan Sahib from a shurfa family of Bans Bareilly who was amongst the eminent physicians of Hyderabad.  Mian Moinuddin and Mian Nasiruddin also married within the shurfa families of Delhi. Mian Moinuddin’s reminder is a son Zakiuddin Ahmed and Mian Nasiruddin’s son is Fakhruddin Ahmed. Both Mian Nasiruddin and Mian Moinuddin have both passed away.

 

Qutabuddin Ahmed  (1874-1932/1351H)

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Qutabuddin Ahmed, Nawab Qutab Yar Jung

Moulvi Ali Ahmed’s eldest son from his second wife, the one from the family. Since he was born ten to twelve years after the birth of his older sister he was much cherished and loved by his mother, father and in fact by the extended family as well. His early education was at home; when Moulvi Ali Ahmed Sahib took up residence in Aligarh as an employee of Raja Baqar Ali Khan Sahib Marhoom, Rias Pindrawal, he was admitted at the Madrasah Aligarh as a day scholar and while Moulvi Sahib employment and residence remained in Aligarh that situation continued. When Moulvi Sahib’s assignment with Pindrawal ended and he returned to Dujana, Qutabuddin Ahmed was admitted to the boarding house. I too was at the boarding house at that time and for a long period hence we shared accommodations. He graduated after I had left for Hyderabad. At the Madrasah he was considered a quick-witted and intelligent but disinterested student. At one time a prize for Urdu poetry was introduced at the Madrasah, many students entered but Qutubuddin Ahmed’s poem was judged to be the best and he won First Prize. From an early age, he was enthusiastic about horse-riding and shikar and indications of this interest were evident during the Madrasah days when he began keeping dogs. Mr Morris who was a prominent professor and an outstanding sportsman greatly encouraged and supported him in these activities and the other British professors including Mr Beck, Principal Aligarh College, also took an interest in his pursuits. As was to be expected, he was considered the finest horse-rider and best sportsman amongst his peers and he regularly won prizes in horse-racing and other sports.

Upon graduation, his name was forwarded by Mr Morris for a tehsildari post in the United Provinces. It was around this time that the Commander-in-Chief of the combined Military of Sarkar-e Alee, i.e  Hyderabad sent in a request to Mr Morris, who had succeeded Mr Beck (Marhoom), as the Principal of the Madrasah for a few smart graduates to enlist in the Hyderabad State Imperial Service Troops. Qutubuddin Ahmed was one of the young men Morris sought out for this proposal and since by this time both I and Bhai Sahib, Moulvi Hakeem Mehmood Ali Sahib were already in Hyderabad, the thought of all of us brothers being in the same place made him chose this prospect over the British Government position and thus he came to Hyderabad and enlisted in the First Lancers of the Hyderabad Imperial Service Troops. He rose rapidly from Subedar to Sub Lieutenant to Adjutant. During Raja-i-Rajagan Sir Maharaja Kishan Prasad Yamin-ul-Sultanat’s Prime Ministership it was stipulated that instead of the Prime Minister having his personally employed aide-de-camp, ranking officers from the State would fulfil that post. Two officers were selected for this task and one them was Qutabuddin Ahmed, and hence for the next two to three years he served as the Maharaja’s ADC. When Ale-Janab Sir Maharaja Bahadur decided to travel to Ajmer Sharif and some other places in northern Hindustan with the objective of performing ziarat, the major portion of the task of organising the travel arrangements was entrusted to Qutabuddin Ahmed. This he accomplished meticulously with the utmost finesse which pleased Sir Maharaja Bahadur immensely.

During his Prime Ministership, Sir Maharaja Bahadur would regularly inspect and review the offices of the District Administration, Revenue Assessment, the Courts and other departments and as was customary the ADC’s would accompany him. On one occasion when Sir Maharaja Bahadur was conducting an inquiry at the Revenue Assessment office he instructed Qutubuddin Ahmed to keep taking notes on the necessary issues that would help in the compilation of the inquiry report. During this investigation Mr RA Dunlop, who at that time headed the Revenue Assessment Department was also accompanying Sir Maharaja Bahadur and taking down his own notes for the preparation of the report. After the investigation was completed, later that evening at dinner the subject of the notes came up; Mr Dunlop expressed his wish to view the notes Qutabuddin Ahmed had made, and with Sir Maharaja Bahadur permission the notes were duly shown to him. Mr Dunlop was a highly experienced and competent Secretary of the British Revenue Assessment Office and was considered the Godfather of the Revenue Assessors in the State of Hyderabad. After reviewing the notes, he asked Qutubuddin Ahmed if he had any prior experience in Revenue Assessment, he was surprised when he was told by the young man he had not, and remarked: “It appears that you have a natural talent for this work, if you would like to join this department, I am prepared to take you on as my assistant.” Qutubuddin Ahmed expressed his willingness to do so and accordingly,  upon obtaining the necessary injunction from the Prime Minister, Mr Dunlop proceeded to initiate the transfer proceedings.  When the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Sir Colonel Afsar-ul-Mulk Bahadur, found out about these he objected strongly and wrote in protest that “For an officer of the Military who has been specially selected and who has undergone the local army education, and, moreover has been sent to places like Meerut and others for instructional training in target shooting, military cartography, signalling and other martial skills and on whose military education thousands of Rupees have been spent, to be plucked out of the Army in this manner cannot be deemed correct and acceptable.” The dispute between the department of Revenue Assessment and the Army continued for quite some time, however, since Sir Maharajah Bahadur had already given his consent, the order could not be changed and Qutubuddin Ahmed was released from the Army. Within the Revenue Assessment Secretariat, Mr Dunlop handed over all the important department of Revenue Grants to Qutubuddin Ahmed. He remained there for some time and then progressed to Secondary Taluqdar and then became a Senior Taluqdar (District Collector). As Senior Taluqdar his posting was in Adilabad which is considered the finest Tiger hunting area in the country. His natural inclinations combined with his military marksmanship proved immensely advantageous and within a short time, he won acclaim and fame as a remarkable shikari. From the shooting platform and from the ground he shot approximately seventy tigers. Some of his shikari anecdotes are indeed fascinating, but there is no room for them in this book. Adilabad is a vast but sparsely populated district, much of the land is covered with dense forests and shrubs which makes it the ideal habitat for tigers and other animals. Touring and governing this vast and spread-out territory is only possible if the gentleman in charge is a competent horseman and a worthy and keen hunter. Since Qutubuddin Ahmed incidentally possessed all these skills his efficient performance there was highly thought of and held in high esteem. His superiors, particularly the British, who firmly believe that along with intellectual scholarship and refinement, physical training and proficiency is indispensable for attaining the pinnacle of human perfection viewed him with great respect and admired him.

After Adilabad he was posted to the district of Osmanabad and then B. It was during his posting in B that he developed a weakness in his sight, thereupon he relinquished his post and retired from government employment. In appreciation and recognition of his services, Ala Hazrat Bandiga na-Aali muta-Aali-maad-Salla-Aali Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Awamala-al kibla al-Sultanat bestowed the title of Nawab Qutub Yar Jung Bahadur on him. Soon after receiving this honour the condition of his eyes worsened and the affliction from his cataracts increased to such an extent that he lost vision in both eyes. For a man habituated to hunting and riding, an active and energetic individual to be so constrained and immobilised (no matter what the ailment) obviously had a tremendous impact on his health. to make matters worse his diabetes also flared up. For several days he was compelled to remain in this hapless state and when the cataracts were ready for removal he sent for the renowned Doctor Narayan Rao from Bangalore (at the cost of Rupees one thousand per day) and had his eyes operated on, and thus his vision was restored. During this period, he wrote a book titled “Shikar”; a monograph so comprehensive and delightful that it is impossible to find a comparable book on this subject even in English let alone Urdu.  A genuine zeal, personal experiences, and such locales where every kind of hunt was available were elements that have made this book incomparable and superlative. It is regrettable though that it was not published in his lifetime. After his death, his eldest son Sirajuddin Ahmed has had it printed. It is a book of approximately five hundred pages and is replete with information about all possible aspects of the hunt.

As mentioned above, his health was deteriorating day by day due to his diabetic condition, nor was there anyone to give him the attention and care he needed. He constantly suffered from fever; one day the temperature was so high that his middle son Wahajuddin and his wife admitted him to Doctor Naidu Nursing Home for treatment. I was informed the next day and by the time I reached he was totally unconscious. I stayed with him for a long time and he passed away in front of me.  The sorrow and grief of this unexpected event that was felt by not only me but the entire family is beyond description. Qutubuddin Ahmed was charming, good-natured, and loved by everyone; children, young people and the elders all loved him and he cherished them all. His and my association spanned a period of over sixty years[1] and over this great length of time, our affection continued to increase and grow day by day. Unequivocally his death was an immense and immeasurable loss to the family.

Qutubuddin Ahmed was married twice. His first marriage in Lucknow was to Bibi Bashira daughter of Luqman-ul Haq Firangi Mahali. From her, he had three sons and four daughters who are all alive and well. The eldest son is Sirajuddin Ahmed who is apt at English, Urdu and Persian and is competent in reading and writing but has not passed any formal examination. He has also started suffering from the ailment of diabetes. Prior to this he was, like a father, an excellent shikari and had killed many lions. He has also inherited his father’s interest in dogs; for a long time, the Wali Shaan Nawab Azam Jah Bahadur, the heir apparent left his exotic and valuable dogs in his care and supervision. It is indeed regrettable that his diabetes has prevented him from securing a sustainable government job. He has married into a Hyderabadi Shurfa family and has been blessed with children.

The second son is Wahajuddin Ahmed. Like his older brother, he taught at Aligarh College for a considerable length of time. Intelligent, capable, sociable and charming, he is currently employed in the Department of Excise and Taxation.  He is married to his Chacha Fareeduddin Ahmed Marhoom’s daughter Bibi Maryam (the author’s granddaughter through his daughter Bibi Razia). At this time there are no living children.

The third son is Hameeduddin Ahmed; he grew up under the benevolent care of his Phupi Bibi Ruqiya and Hakim Mehmood Ali and received his early schooling in Warangal and a BSC from Nizam College. He then sat for the Hyderabad Civil Service Exam and passed with merit. He is extraordinarily bright, intelligent and hardworking, and is considered one of the most outstanding and diligent officials in the State Department of Revenue Assessment.  He has been selected for the senior Taluqdari post in Kalkari District but due to the War, he is currently in charge of the arrangements being made for the ARP and rationing. He is married to Bibi Atiya, daughter of Ahmed Saeed (the author’s paternal granddaughter) and has several children.

Qutubuddin Ahmed had four daughters; Bibi Habiba was married to Mohammad Ahsan son of Azizi Mohammad Yusuf, sadly both passed away issueless.

The second daughter Bibi Ayesha is married to Mehmood Ahmed son of Moulvi Latif Ahmed Sahib Akhtar Minai (Nawab Akhtar Yar Jung Bahadur) son of Maulana Moulvi Ameer Ahmed Sahib Minai (Marhoom) and Mashallah has offspring.

The third daughter Bibi Soobia is married to Sheikh Abdul Majeed BA  s/o Sheikh Abdul Karim Sahib Dehlvi retired Nazim of the Court. Sheikh Abdul Karim Sahib was actually a native of Delhi, his father came here and made Hyderabad his home; this family has produced many learned intellectuals and religious scholars.

The youngest daughter Bibi Hameeda is married to my youngest son Habib Ahmed and is blessed with children.

After the demise of his first wife, Qutubuddin married Namdurunnissa Begum d/o Moulvi Shamsuddin Sahib (Marhoom) aka Shamsoo Mian and the paternal granddaughter of Nawab Asman Yar Jung Bahadur (Marhoom). This is one of Hyderabad’s premier families and is connected and related to all the elite shurfa and aristocratic families of Hyderabad. There are no children from this marriage.

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Fareeduddin Ahmed (Died 1942/1360 H)

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Fareeduddin Ahmed

Fareeduddin Ahmed was Moulvi Ali Ahmed Sahib’s youngest son. His early schooling was in Delhi, and when Moulvi Sahib employment with Pindrawal made Aligarh the family residence Fareeduddin Ahmed was admitted to the Madrasah Uloom Aligarh where he studied for a considerable duration. He stayed in Hyderabad with me for a short time but did not find it to his liking and returned to Aligarh where he continued his studies until he obtained an FA degree. He was bright and intelligent and was a man of excellent taste and manners in household management matters. Since he did not show much inclination in academic learning suitable employment was promptly found for him. His initial employment was in the Department of Postal Services where he rose to the Inspector level after that had himself transferred to the office dealing with matters of the Law Enforcement within the Police Department. He worked there for a long period after which, during Mr Hydari’s Prime Ministership, he was transferred at the same level to Internal Affairs within the Police Department where he rose to the level of District Superintendent Police and retired with an outstanding record of service.

He was married to my eldest daughter Bibi Razia (Marhooma) in Hyderabad who passed early away leaving behind four daughters and a son. Fareeduddin was at an age where he could easily have married a second time, and several relatives and well-wishers pressed him to do so, but he would never agree to this and dedicated himself to the raising of his children with such love, devotion and ardent earnestness that perhaps even the most affectionate of mothers could not equal. He was extremely proficient in the nurturing of his children and domestic, household affairs. And in each and every government department he worked, he was recognised for his efficiency and finesse in management.  His eldest daughter Bibi Rabia is married to Mohammad Sami aka Piaray Mian s/o Haji Mohammad Rafi (Marhoom) and has been blessed with offsprings. The second daughter Bibi Maryam, who is the most educated amongst her sisters, is married to Wahajuddin Ahmed the second son of Azizi Qutabuddin. The third daughter Bibi Aziz Bano is married to Mehdi Ali s/o Haji Mohammad Rafi (Marhoom) and is also blessed with children. The youngest daughter is Bibi Nazeer Fatima has only recently been married to Sheikh Mohammad Yahya s/o Sheikh Abdul Hai. Fareeduddin Ahmed’s son is Sharfuddin Ahmed, who like his father, Nana, Chacha and Mamo also studied at Aligarh. After graduating from there he sat for the Hyderabad Civil Service exam and passed with Honours. He currently holds the post of Munsif in the Department of Law. In terms of appearance and personality, he is considered exceptional and outstanding amongst his peers and colleagues. Like his father, he excels in nurturing his children and managing and running his household. He is married to Bibi Zakia the eldest daughter of Ahmed Saeed, this writer’s son and is blessed with children.

Azizi Fareeduddin lived only for a few years after retiring from work. His overall health was quite good when all of a sudden a few boils appeared in his mouth which caused him considerable pain. Medical treatment commenced but the pain gradually worsened. He underwent extensive treatments in Hyderabad and Bangalore but to no avail, and this ailment led to his death. I have, with these eyes, witnessed the demise of many close relatives and friends but I doubt I have ever cried as much as I cried at this funeral. Other than the love I bore him, our relationship and close kinship, what contributed to my condition was that just after we had lowered the body into the grave, Abdul Sami’s son Mohammad Abid who had been brought up the deceased arrived from Warangal and stood by me; his palpable distress, the manner in which he wailed and cried, the words with which he remembered the deceased, his desire to view the deceased’s face one last time, the intensity of his love and grief was so heart-rending and painful that my own strength, resolution and self-control were totally undermined and I cried like a child along with him.

Sharfuddin Ahmed

 

Bibi Ruqiya (Died 1923/1342 H)

Mohammadi Begum and others
Bibi Rasool Bandi, Mohammadi Begum, Razia Bano Begum, Bibi Ruqaiya Begum

Moulvi Ali Ahmed’s eldest daughter was from his second wife. Moulvi Ahmed Ali engaged a ustani to teach her the Quran Sharif and instructed her in Urdu and the explanation of the Kalam Pak himself. During the period they were resident in Delhi her marriage was solemnised with Moulvi Hakim Mehmood Ali Sahib the author’s older brother. There was no issue from this marriage. During our stay in Dujana and Aligarh, when I was separated from my mother, she took care of me like a full-blood, devoted older sister would. When my children Razia and Saeed Ahmed were left bereft by the death of their mother she took them into her warm and loving embrace and showered them so much love and affection that they were able to overcome the sorrow of their loss. Indeed, these two children of mine grew up entirely in her motherly nurturing care. When Qutabuddin Ahmed’s first wife passed away Bibi Ruqiya was not of an age to take on the task caring for an infant, but her compassionate warm-heart would not allow for her brother’s cherished progeny to be dependent on the goodwill of others and be left to the mercy of strangers. Mustering up her spirit and resolution she brought Hameeduddin Ahmed up in the way that a most caring of mothers would nurture her own natural-born child. In a manner of speaking it would not be amiss to say that Marhooma was a benevolent mother to all the motherless children in the family. Sadly, this venerable presence has now departed from our family.

 

Bibi Kulsoom (Died  1942/1361H)

Moulvi Sheikh Ali Ahmed’s youngest daughter and last offspring. A lady of extreme sensibility, fortitude and a calm disposition she was also extremely accomplished and proficient in skilful home management. She was married to Hakim Azeemuddin Sahib s/o Moulvi Hakeem Fazlullah Sahib and was the mother of three daughters. Hakim Azeemuddin Sahib was a Makhdoomzada from his mother’s side and a Kazizada from his father’s. This well-known family has been long established in Fatehpur and by way of marriages and kinship has become a part of the Makhdoomzadagan-e-Fatehpur. Bibi Kulsoom had come to visit us in Hyderabad and was staying with her eldest daughter Bibi Sughra (w/o Ahmed Saeed) when she fell ill and passed away.

 

[1] Qutubuddin Ahmed’s date of birth according to the Hijri Calendar is 1291 which corresponds to 1874 in the Gregorian Calendar, and his death occurred in 1351 Hijri which corresponds with 1932. Thus according to the Hijri Calendar, he lived to the age of 60 which calculated on the Gregorian Calendar would be 58 years.

2 thoughts on “The progeny of Moulvi Sheikh Ali Ahmed

    1. Zaheer Ahmed, I hope you have read all that has been posted so far, I think that should tell you a lot about the family. You do say you are the grandson of my nana Rashid Ahmed’s older brother Ahmed Saeed, but whose son are you?

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