Niyaz Muhammad Khan, or Niaz Fatehpuri as the individual is more popularly known, was an Urdu poet and writer. Niaz Fatehpuri is widely considered by many as among the most influential figures in Urdu literature. He is among the few individuals that had been awarded by. both governments of India and Pakistan for his contribution to the world of literature and education. In fact, Niaz Fatehpuri was awarded Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian awards, in 1962 by then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. In addition, he was also conferred the Nishan-e-Sipaas in Pakistan when he migrated to the neighboring country.
Niyaz Mohammad Khan was born in the Barabanki district in 1884, during the British Raj. Niaz Fatehpuri’s father was a police officer, and because of this, the family had to move from one place to another during Niaz Fatehpuri’s childhood. However, this also provided the opportunity for Niaz Fatehpuri to talk to people with an intellectual bent, something he admitted later in his life as the source of his musings and writings. Niaz Fatehpuri followed his father’s footsteps and began his training as a Sub-inspector at the Moradabad station. But this was not something that was ever close to his heart, and in just a couple of years, Niaz Fatehpuri left his posting and took up the role of Headmaster at the Madrasa Islamia, his alumni. It was in 1922 when he published the journal Nigar and took the pen name Niaz Fatehpuri. The journal was at the time one of the most-read Urdu publications.
It was in 1962 when Niaz Fatehpuri decided to migrate to Pakistan and spend his last living years in the country. He breathed his last on May 24, 1966, but his legacy has lived on and serves as a source of inspiration to many inspiring poets. He has written over 50 books on a variety of subjects. Some of his more popular and highly coveted writings include Mazzahib-e-Alam Ka Taqqbuli Mutaleaa, Jamilstan, Mala Wama Alaih, Inteqadiyaat, and Shair ka Anjaam. The contribution made by Niaz Fatehpuri is in many fields, including history, culture, religion, journalism, and philosophy. His distinctive writing style certainly set him apart from the writers of his era. His intellectual mastery and knowledge of many disciplines can be easily spotted in many of his writings. Niaz Fatehpuri is accurately counted among the individuals that have influenced the trajectory of Urdu literature, and his influence will be felt by many future generations. Anyone who is interested in Urdu literature, or even the beauty of this language, would be well advised to start their journey with the books written by Niaz Fatehpuri.