A tribute to Allama I-I-Kazi

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad-based writers and Intellectuals Thursday paid glowing tributes to a great scholar and founder of University of Sindh, Jamshoro, (the late ) Allama I.I. Kazi on his 40th death anniversary commemorated under the auspices of Pakistan Intellectual Forum ( PIF), Islamabad chapter.

Aftab Soomro said that Allama I. I. Kazi was an original genius of apex standard. Hence, there is no any other genius like him in this contemporary world of ours. “He was one of the most innovative and influential scholars and jurists of his time who gave Sindh both great scholars and jurists such as the Late G.M. Sayed, late A.K. Brohi and many such others” he maintained.

Hashim Abro of PIF said: “Beloved by students, respected by scholars and readers, and indelibly remembered by those who were fortunate enough to know him, Allama I.I. Kazi has bestowed an immense legacy on all who care about literature, culture, and humanistic thought.” Abro pointed out that in an effort to earn his livelihood or rizq-e-halaal, Allama Sahib experimented with a poultry farm and a dairy farm but both failed. The British Government meanwhile entrusted to his care wards from jagirdar or major land-owning families such as Nawab Akbar Bugti and Mir Sunder Khan Sunderani who had the good fortune of receiving schooling and training directly from Allama Sahib.

On the occasion Asadullah Mungrani read out a paper on the profile and contribution of late Imam Ali Imdad Ali Kazi ( Allama I. I. Kazi) he said that Allama I. I. Kazi was born at Hyderabad and died in 1968 and therefore people of my generation have had little or no direct contact with him but all of us feel proud to be known as spiritual children of Allama Sahib, out of respect people of Sindh call her German wife as “Mother Elsa”, who pioneered the University of Sindh to educate and enlighten the children of downtrodden people.

Imdad Ali Imam Ali Kazi was the second son of the second wife of Kazi Imam Ali. Under the tutorship of Akhund Abdul Aziz, he mastered Persian, Arabic, Sindhi and Urdu, in addition to study of the Holy Quran. Furthermore, he was fascinated by sanyasis who renounced the world and lived in quest of the truth, at a tender age affecting his future life a great deal. He also joined the London School of Economics and studied Psychology, Sociology, Physics, Biology, German, English Literature and Arabic; some of these courses were taken privately. Throughout this period, he also studied the Holy Quran in depth. In England, Mr. I. I. Kazi was a contemporary of the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal. After being called to the Bar in 1911, Allama Sahib returned home with his bride to a royal welcome by his parents. Subsequently they left for London the next year and remained there until World War I was over. Returning to in India in 1919, Allama Sahib had to cope with the death of his father and searched for a suitable appointment. The British offered the young Barrister the post of Civil Judge Tando Mohammad Khan. He was later sent as District and Sessions Judge Khairpur. He was appointed Home Member of the State also, but not happy with the British policy towards the States, he left Khairpur and took up the post of Public Prosecutor Tharparkar. He proceeded on leave and resigned that post too from London in 1931.

Allama Sahib regularly delivered Friday prayer sermons at Sir Leslie Wilson Muslim Hostel, now known as Jinnah Courts opposite the Dayaram Jethmal (DJ) Science College Karachi. Amongst his listeners were students who later rose to be government ministers, judges of the superior judiciary, renowned scholars and civil servants. Incidentally, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad also attended some of his sermons.

Allama Sahib left for England in 1947 but returned to take up the job of Vice Chancellor of the Sindh University in 1951. Till that time the university, which had been in existence since April 1947 was serving as an examining body only? Upon the appointment of Prof. A B A Haleem as Vice Chancellor of the Karachi University, Allama Sahib was requested to take over the Sindh University. He accepted the position more in his keenness to disseminate education in Sindh, and went about his work with great zeal. As Vice-Chancellor of Sindh University, Allama Sahib took only that much salary that sufficed for his necessary expenses, and after retirement he affected further economy in his day-to-day expenses.

Quoting one memorable even Asad said: Once Mrs. A. K. Brohi presented MOTHER Elsa Kazi with a jewelry set on the occasion of her daughters wedding. Mother Elsa, as she was popularly called, went red in the face and expressed that she had never worn such jewelry, and told Mrs. Brohi that even after years of association she had failed to understand her. At this point, Allama Sahib asked her to accept the gift without further argument. The next day Mr. (later Justice) Hamza Khan M. Kureshi visited Mr. Brohi and returned the jewelry set to him with a message from Allama Sahib:
“Do you want that after our death any gold or jewelry should be found in our belongings? Can we bear such a thing to happen? Mother Elsa Kazi passed away on 28 May 1967 after a brief but painful fight against a kidney problem. Left all alone, Allama Sahib was completely heart-broken and joined her within the year.

Mr. Mungrani noted that the then President of India Dr Zakir Hussain was a great admirer of Allama Sahib. “Before President Ayub Khan’s condolence message could be broadcast on Radio Pakistan, in which he directed the Commissioner Hyderabad to convey his condolences to the bereaved family, All India Radio broke the news with condolences from President Zakir Hussain. It was only left for the people across both sides of the border to mourn the great loss” he concluded the research paper. On the occasion, Mir Ghous Bux, M.D, Kandk Kot Sajee House, paid homage to Allama Sahib by singing a WAI of Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai which kept spell bound all and sundry in the session.

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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