Prof. Hajini: A Literary giant of Kashmir

Prof. Ghulam Mohiuddin Hajini was born on 21st June, 1917 in north Kashmir’s Hajin village. The village is known for great scholars, and poets and he is one among them. Prof. Hajini started his studies from Sopore School and then completed his Bachelor’s from S.P College, one of the prestigious colleges of Kashmir valley.

This college  has produced many literary icons and other luminaries of the Kashmir region. After completion of college studies, Hajini went to Aligarh Muslim University for further studies and there he completed his master’s degree in Arabic. It is being said that Hajini also completed his LLB and diploma in journalism from the same University located in the state of Uttar Pradesh of Aligarh district.

The days in Aligarh proved more fruitful and productive for Prof. Hajini, helped him to write perfectly, evaluate and comprehend things critically. He is known as one of the great scholars, intellectuals, translators and a person of profound thoughts and of vast knowledge about science, Islam and the society. The Kashmiri language and literature lost a great mind on January 21st in 1993 at the age of 76. Prof. Hajini’s grave is located in his home compound at the entrance of the Hajin village.

Prof. Hajini was a legendary personality who lived through his writings even after his death. It is because of him the Kashmiri language and literature is known worldwide and his immense thoughts and contributions gave new heights to Kashmiri language and literature.

Undoubtedly, his pen was blessed with a fertile ink and would scan and write on each subject. Besides, Kashmiri literature, Hajini composed his works in Urdu and English as well but Kashmiri was his absolute taste.

Whenever I introduce my village anywhere be it in seminars or among my friends and teachers, I am complimented as being the one who belongs to the fertile village of a great scholar Prof. Hajini. I vividly remember when my teacher during my days of post-graduation at Islamic University of Science and Technology, while delivering a lecture on Dogra rule, highlighted the valuable contribution of Prof. Hajini in freeing the state from the clutches of Dogra autocracy.

His Contribution

Prof. Hajini immensely wrote against the regime of the times, on Kashmir culture and his research papers on science and Islam, the history of Kashmir language and thoughts on education system including the role of a teacher; these writings continue to inspire scholars across the region. It is true that the writings of Hajini enlightened the soul and mind and awakened the people of Kashmir politically.

Reading the research papers of Prof. Hajini compiled by Prof. Ameen Fayaz, it can be rightly said that he was a great lover of rationalism and a man of intellectual honesty.

He was one among those iconic personalities of Kashmir who truly served the Kashmir art, language and literature and also enhanced the cultural values in people which is deeply present in his writings.

He authored many books like Grees Sund Ghar, Koshur Reader, Tarjama Musadas Hali, Gaman Manz Pheri Pheri, Maqualat –i- Hajini, Nasrun Kitab and the research papers like “The Quran and the fundamentals of science: A concordance”, “Medieval legacy to modern inorganic chemistry”, “Historical background of Kashmiri language” and many others.

Besides, he translated Alif Laila into Kashmiri and compiled Dewaan-i-Wahaab who is known as Firdous-i-Kashmir. Without a grain of doubt, his work in Kashmir literature and art is unmatched and unparalleled

Pertinent to say, Prof. Hajini’s contribution for Kashmiri language and literature was highly praised by a galaxy of literary icons and scholars of Kashmir valley like Prof. Rahman Rahi, Ghulam Nabi Khayaal, Muhammad Ahsan Ahsan, Margoob Banhali, Dr. Javaid Iqbal, Zareef Ahmad Zareef and many other prolific writers and intellectuals. Prof. Hajini is also one of the co-founders of literary organisations like Halqae-Adab-Hajin Sonawari and Adbi Markaz Kamraz.

He  won the prestigious Sahatiya Academy award in 1970 for his Maqalati Hajini.

A Fearless Soul

In present times we have a number of scholars and intellectuals who fear to write and criticise openly, but Prof. Hajini despite being a government employee was a fearless scholar and a great writer who had no regards for the powers of his time.

The open criticism of Prof. Hajini to authority and his participation in practical politics during his school days led him to jail two times. A renowned Kashmiri poet Zareef Ahmad Zareef in one of his interviews said that “Hajini never knocked the doors of ministers of his time but used to visit Mujhaid Manzil till plebiscite movement was on”.

It is being said that Prof. Hajini was a vocal and outspoken critic of Sheikh Mohammad Abdulah for his political decisions. The intellectual honesty of Prof. Hajini vindicates that he was not only a great scholar but a lionhearted writer who supported truth.

It is true that Prof. Hajini worked hard for the Kashmiri language and literature but it is sad to say that his contribution were limited to poetry and drama; in reality his research papers tell us that he was a voracious reader of science and other contemporary studies which is present in his research paper like Quran and the fundamentals of science: A Concordance, Religion in world thought, Philosophy and education: A review, etc.

In his research papers the noted and popular names like Plato -a great political scientist, Aristotle-father of political science, Khalid-ibn-Yazid, a Muslim alchemist, Jabir-ibn-Hayyan, a court alchemist for Harun al-Rashid, Thabit-ibn-Qurra, a sabian translator and many other western and Muslim personalities are present, (Discourses of Hajini, ed. 2013). Keeping in view the selection of readings of Prof. Hajini, it can be rightly said that he was a true student of science, Islam, philosophy and politics and interlinked all these subjects with each other in his research papers. Let’s read Prof. Hajini beyond dramas and poetry.

His fascinating thoughts on Islam & science, Idealism and education are a must read. Let me thank Prof. Ameen Fayaz Sahib who had done a tremendous job to compile and translate different researcher papers of Prof. Hajini and shape them in a book named “Discourses of Prof. Mohi-ud-Din Hajini”. It is because of him that youngsters like me are able to read thought provoking and fascinating papers and other writings of Hajini.

Rest in Peace, Professor.

Javeed Bin Nabi is a  Post-Graduate in International Relations (Peace and Conflict Studies) from  IUST, Awantipora.