Sheikh Muhammad Ikram (Urdu: ? ; b. 10 September[a] 1908 - 17 January 1973) better known as S. M. Ikram, was a Pakistani historian, biographer, and littérateur. He was member of the Indian Civil Service (which he joined in 1931). In 1947, when Pakistan emerged from British India, Ikram opted for Pakistan and served in the Civil Service of Pakistan. On July 1, 1966, he was appointed as Director, Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore, a position he occupied until his death in 1973, at the age of sixty-four.
S. M. Ikram's parents were from Rasulnagar, a small town in the Wazirabad Sub-Division of Gujranwala District in the Punjab in present-day Pakistan. His father, Sheikh Fazal Kareem, was a Qanungo, a pre-Mughal hereditary office of revenue and judicial administration; his mother was Sardar Begum. Ikram was the eldest of five brothers and two sisters. Ikram's father wanted to name his son Abdul Qadir, after the name of the editor of the first Urdu language magazine, Makhzan, but his own father (Dasaundi Khan) prevailed to name him after his friend, the Assistant Editor of Makhzan, "Sheikh Muhammad Ikram".[b] Ikram was married on December 30, 1936 in Gujrat to the elder of two daughters (Zebunnisa and Zeenat) of Mian Mukhtar Nabi ("Mianji"), at the time Deputy Director, the Punjab Agriculture Department. Ikram's wife passed her matriculation examinations from Delhi, and obtained her B.A. in Persian, English, and History from Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore. At his death in Lahore on January 17, 1973 he was survived by his wife, Zebunnisa (1910-1999), and four children.[c]
Ikram completed his primary education in Kacha Gojra (located between Faisalabad and Toba Tek Singh); his secondary education, from Mission High School, Wazirabad; his matriculation, in 1924, from Government High School (that later became
Government Intermediate College), Lyallpur; from where he also passed the Faculty of Arts (F.A.) examinations in 1926. During these four years in Lyallpur (1922-1926) Ikram developed his taste and proficiency in the Persian language and poetry. From Lyallpur he moved to Lahore and graduated from Government College with a B.A. in Persian (cum laude), English, and Economics, in 1928; and an M.A. in English Literature in 1930.
Although a full-time civil servant, S. M. Ikram is more famous for his prolific output as a published writer.
After obtaining his M.A. (1930) Ikram appeared for the ICS examinations in January 1931 in Delhi. On selection, he was sent in September to Jesus College, Oxford for two years (1931-1933). On return from England in October Ikram was posted to various positions in the Bombay Presidency (November 1933 to September 1947). At partition, he opted for Pakistan and after attending an official farewell in Puna on September 18, 1947, he emigrated to Pakistan and took up his official position on September 29, 1947. He taught at Columbia University in New York (as a Visiting Professor in 1953-1954, and visited again in 1958-59 and 1961-62. It was here that he made the transition from literature to history and started writing in English rather than Urdu.
A major difficulty in reviewing the works of Ikram arises from the fact that he published interim works which he revised often, in the light of his new findings: correcting mistakes, adding, deleting, and rearranging sections, expanding one volume into two (changing the title of the work in the new edition and reverting to the old title in the next edition). In many cases the revisions were sufficiently major for the original and the revised to be treated as two separate works. A study of these differences is still awaited.[e]
Works in the Urdu language
In their final versions, S. M. Ikram's major works in Urdu consist of biographies of two major literary figures in Urdu, and his magnum opus, the three-volume intellectual history of Muslim India and Pakistan, comparable in scope and method to Vernon Parrington's Main Currents in American Thought (1927):
A critical biography of the classical Urdu and Persian poet, Gh?lib, in three volumes (that might be called his Ghalib trilogy):
Hay?t-e Gh?lib (The Life of Gh?lib, 5th ed. 1957): biography (tazkira)
Hak?m-e Farz?na (The Wise Philosopher, 5th ed. 1957): criticism (of prose, tabsira; consisting of two sections: Gh?lib's literary development, and general discussion)
Armagh?n-e Gh?lib (A Ghalib Offering, 3rd ed. c. 1944): critical appreciation (of poetry, intikh?b)
?b-e Kausar (The Water of Kausar), covering the Pre-Mughal (711-1526) period;
R?d-e Kausar (The River of Kausar), covering the Mughal period (1526-1800);
Mauj-e Kausar (The Wave of Kausar), covering the post-Mughal (1800-1947) era.
Works in the English language
With the birth of Pakistan, Ikram took up his official duties in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and his attentions turned toward nation-building both in his official duties and his personal commitments.
The result were two books in English that were adapted from Mauj-e Kausar:
Makers of Pakistan and Modern Muslim India, 1950
Modern Muslim India and the Birth of Pakistan (1858-1951), 1965
In August 1953 Ikram took leave for one yearto take up the position of Visiting Professor at Columbia University, New York, which he visited again in 1958-59, and 1961-62. At Columbia he encountered an entirely different (non-Muslim, English-speaking) audience and was introduced to professional historians and their methods which, with his sympathy with Islam, facility in the Persian language, familiarity with original sources, and learning acquired over years of reading, writing, and reflecting, he found deficient:
In 1953-54, when I undertook a year's teaching assignment at Columbia University, the need for a book in English, dealing with all aspects of Indo-Muslim history, was forcefully brought home to me. I felt this need particularly with regard to American students who, in the absence of anything better, had to fall back upon Vincent Smith's Oxford History of India or similar compilations.[g]
Ikram's lectures at Columbia were the basis for three books:
History of Muslim Civilization in India and Pakistan (711-1858 A.D.), 1962;
A shorter American summary: Muslim Civilization in India, 1964, edited by Professor Embree;[h] and
An expanded national version: Muslim Rule in India and Pakistan (711-1858 A.D.), 1966
At the time of his death, Ikram had been working on the draft of two books: one, a candid history written after he had retired and could write freely, entitled A History of Pakistan, 1947-1971, was finished and was to have been published by June 1973; the other, A Biography of Quaid-e-Azam, in which he wished to remedy the gap between the scholarship on Gandhi in India and that on Jinnah in Pakistan, was at an advanced stage of preparation.[i] Unfortunately in the disarray surrounding his death both manuscripts were lost.[j]
MRCAS (London): On the title page of Ghalibnama (1936) the author is listed as "Sheikh Muhammad Ikram, MA, MRCAS (London), ICS, Sub-Divisional Officer, Surat, Bombay Area.[k]
In January 1964, the Punjab University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters (D. Litt. or Litterarum doctor) degree.
In 1965, he was also awarded the Sitara-e Imtiaz, a civil award for especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of Pakistan, world peace, cultural or other significant public endeavors.
Shortly thereafter, the government of Iran awarded him Nishan-i Sipas (Order of Merit) for his service to literature.
In 1971, the government of Pakistan awarded him a Pride of Performance medal, a civil award given to Pakistani citizens in recognition of distinguished merit, for his writings in the field of literature.
List of publications
The following list is based largely on Moazzamuddin (1994, and 1990).
Works in Urdu
Ikram, S. M. (1936). Gh?libn?ma (A History of Ghalib) (1st ed.). Lahore: Taj Company. This consisted of three sections: tazkira (Remembrance), tabsira (Criticism), intikh?b (Selections).
Ikram, S. M. (1939). Gh?libn?ma (The Ghalib Epistle) (rev. 2nd ed.). Lahore: Taj Company.
Ikram, S. M. (1944). Gh?libn?mas?r-e Gh?lib (The Ghalib Epistle: The Annals of Ghalib--Prose: Remembrance and Criticism); final edition) (rev. 3rd ed.). Lahore: Taj Company.
Ikram, S. M. (1944). Gh?libn?ma: Armagh?n-e Gh?lib (The Ghalib Epistle: An Offering of Ghalib--Poetry: Selections; final edition) (rev. 3rd ed.). Lahore: Taj Company.
Ikram, S. M. (1946-1947). Gh?libn?ma: Hay?t-e Gh?lib (The Life of Ghalib; first half of ?s?r-e Gh?lib--Remembrance) (rev. 4th ed.). Lahore: Taj Company.
Ikram, S. M. (1946-1947). Gh?libnum? (An Offering of Ghalib; second half of ?s?r-e Gh?lib--Criticism) (rev. 4th ed.). Lahore: Taj Company.
Ikram, S. M. (1957). Gh?libn?ma: Hay?t-e Gh?lib (The Life of Ghalib; first half of ?s?r-e Gh?lib--Remembrance) (rev. 5th ed.). Lahore: Taj Company.
Ikram, S. M. (1957). Hak?m-e Farz?na (The Wise Philosopher; revised title of Gh?libnum?--Criticism) (rev. 5th ed.). Lahore: Taj Company. Revised ed. 1977, published posthumously with preface by Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, Lahore: Id?ra-e Saq?fat-e Isl?miya (Institute of Islamic Culture).
Ikram, S. M. (1940). Vol. 1: ?b-e Kausar (The Water of Kausar); Vol. 2: Mauj-e Kausar (The Wave of Kausar) (1st ed.). Lahore: Mercantile Press.
Ikram, S. M. (n.d. c. 1944). Vol. 1: Chashma'-e Kausar (The Spring of Kausar; first half of ?b-e Kausar, 1st ed.); Vol. 2: R?d-e Kausar (The River of Kausar; second half of ?b-e Kausar, 1st ed.); Vol. 3: Mauj-e Kausar (The Wave of Kausar) (2nd ed.). Lahore: Istaql?l Press. Check date values in: |date= (help)
Ikram, S. M. (1952). Vol. 1: ?b-e Kausar: Isl?m? Hind-o-P?kist?n k? Mazhab? aur 'Ilm? T?r?kh, 'Ahd-e Mughalia s? Pahl? (The Water of Kausar: Islamic Indo-Pakistan's Religious and Intellectual History, Before the Mughal Era); Vol. 2: R?d-e Kausar: Isl?m? Hind-o-P?kist?n k? Mazhab? aur 'Ilm? T?r?kh, 'Ahd-e Mughalia (The River of Kausar: Islamic Indo-Pakistan's Religious and Intellectual History, The Mughal Era); Vol. 3: Mauj-e Kausar: Isl?m? Hind-o-P?kist?n k? Mazhab? aur 'Ilm? T?r?kh k? Daur-e-Jad?d, Un?sw?n Sad? k? ?gh?z s? Zam?na-e-H?l Tak (Wave of the Heavenly Spring: A Religious and Intellectual History of Islamic India and Pakistan, The Modern Period, from the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present Times) (3rd ed.). Lahore: Ferozsons. 4th ed. 1958.
Ikram, S. M. (1964). Vol. 1: ?b-e Kausar: Isl?m? Hind-o-P?kist?n k? Mazhab? aur 'Ilm? T?r?kh, 'Ahd-e Mughalia s? Pahl? (The Water of Kausar: Islamic Indo-Pakistan's Religious and Intellectual History, Before the Mughal Era); Vol. 2: R?d-e Kausar: Isl?m? Hind-o-P?kist?n k? Mazhab? aur 'Ilm? T?r?kh, 'Ahd-e Mughalia (The River of Kausar: Islamic Indo-Pakistan's Religious and Intellectual History, The Mughal Era); Vol. 3: Mauj-e Kausar: Isl?m? Hind-o-P?kist?n k? Mazhab? aur 'Ilm? T?r?kh k? Daur-e-Jad?d, Un?sw?n Sad? k? ?gh?z s? Zam?na-e-H?l Tak (Wave of the Heavenly Spring: A Religious and Intellectual History of Islamic India and Pakistan, The Modern Period, from the Early Nineteenth Century to the Present Times) (5th & final ed.). Lahore: Ferozsons.
Ikram, S. M. (n.d. c. 1946). Shiblin?ma: Aik funk?r ki d?st?n-e hay?t (A History of Shibli: The Tale of an Artist's Life) (1st ed.). Bombay: Taj Office. Check date values in: |date= (help)
Ikram, S. M. (1971). Y?dg?r-e Shibl?: Aik funk?r k? d?st?n-e hay?t (A History of Shibli: The Tale of an Artist's Life) (2nd & final ed.). Lahore: Id?ra-e Saq?fat-e Isl?miya (Institute of Islamic Culture).
Ikram, S. M. (1951). Naw?'-? P?k (A Voice of Pakistan) (1st ed.). Karachi: Idara-e matbu`at Pakistan.
["Iqbal, S. M."] (1952). Jam?`at-e Isl?m? par aik Nazar (A Look at Jama`at-e Islami) (1st ed.). Pseudonymous.
Ikram, S. M. (c. 1957). Saq?fat-e P?kist?n (The Culture of Pakistan) (1st ed.). Karachi: Idara-e Matbu`at Pakistan. 2nd ed. 1967.
Works in Persian
Ikram, S. M. (c. 1950). Armagh?n-e P?k: Isl?m? Hind-o-P?kist?n ki F?rs? Sh?'er? k? Intikh?b (A Pure/Pakistani Offering: A Selection of Persian Poetry of India and Pakistan) (1st ed.). Karachi: Idara-e Matbu`at Pakistan. 2nd ed. 1953; Tehran: Nashir Kanun Ma`arafat, 3rd ed. 1954, and Lahore: Combine Printers, Bilal Ganj, 3rd ed. c. 1971; Karachi: Id?ra-e Matb?`?t Pakistan, 4th ed. 1959.
[Qureshi, with Dr. Waheed] (1961). Darb?r-e Mill? (The National Court) (1st ed.). Lahore: Majlis-e Taraqq?-e Adab. Urdu tr. Khwaja Abdul Hameed Yazdani, Lahore: Majlis-e Taraqq?-e Adab, 1966.
Works in English
["Albiruni, A. H."] (1950). Makers of Pakistan and Modern Muslim India (Based on Mauj-e Kausar) (1st ed.). Pseudonymous.
Ikram, S. M. (1965). Modern Muslim India and the Birth of Pakistan (1858-1951) (Rev. ed. of Makers of Pakistan) (1st ed.). An unauthorized reprint of this work enjoys wide circulation with the title Indian Muslims and Partition of India (New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 1992); available on Google Books.
Ikram, S. M. (1962). History of Muslim Civilization in India and Pakistan (711-1858 A.D.) (1st ed.).
[Embree, with A. T.] (1964). Muslim Civilization in India (Abridged American Summary of History of Muslim Civilization) (1st ed.).
Ikram, S. M. (1966). Muslim Rule in India and Pakistan (711-1858 A.D.) (Revised and expanded version of Muslim Civilization) (1st ed.).
[Spear, with Percival, eds.] (1955). The Cultural Heritage of Pakistan (1st ed.). Karachi: Oxford University Press.
^This is the date on his passport. According to Moazzamuddin (1994, hereafter Life), who interviewed close family members for his biography of Ikram, there is a minor dispute over his exact day of birth: according to Ikram's sister Surayya, it is September 2; while another report has it as August 21 or 22.
^Muazzamuddin, Life, 14, who relates this from Mrs. S. M. Ikram. In the opinion of one of Ikram's lifelong friend, it indicative of the father's expectations of the son: Professor Hameed Ahmad Khan (1973, cf. Muazzamuddin, Life, 16); Khan relates this from Ikram's brother, S. M. Iqbal.
^For more on S. M. Ikram's family members see Khaled Ahmed, S. M. Ikram: Saga of a family of extraordinary distinction, Friday Times, April 20-26, 2007.
^This photograph appears as the frontispiece in Ikram's first book, Ghalibn?ma, which is dedicated to (tr.) "The interpreter of reality, Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal, May we live long under his shadow (mudda zilluh?--lit. may his shadow be extended, traditional expression of respect for revered elders)" and also in his anthology of Persian verse by poets of Indo-Pakistan origin, Armagh?n-e-P?k, from the 5th century Hijri (12th century CE) to Iqbal, first published c. 1950.
^Maul?n? Sayyid Sulaim?n Nadv?, Hay?t-e Shibl? (Azamgarh, D?rul Musannif?n, n.d. c. 1943). In 1909, Shibl? had demurred when Maulv? Naz?r Ahmad's biographer, Maulv? Iftikh?r `?lam M?rharv?, had asked his permission to write his biography. In 1914, Shibl? wrote to Sulaim?n Nadv?: "Some time, when you are done with all the other works of the world, you write it." (Mak?t?b-e Shibl?, vol. 2, 1966, 264-265, and vol. 1, 1971, 107).
^Preface to S. M. Ikram, Muslim Rule (2nd ed. 1966).
^The book is not, as a distinguished American historian has been misled to believe: "a one-volume version of Shaikh Muhammad Ikram's three-volume Urdu [Kausar] trilogy."Barbara D. Metcalf (2005). This may have been an echo of Abbott (1968, 233): "A. T. Embree has prepared an English edition of much of S.M. Ikram's three-volume Urdu study, ?b-i-Kauthar (Lahore, 1952), Mawj-i-Kauthar (Karachi, 1958), and R?d-i-Kauthar (Karachi, n.d.), titled Muslim Civilization in India (New York, 1964)." Frances W. Pritchett (n.d.) states the correct position: "Muslim Civilization in India was edited by Ainslie T. Embree, ... He created it out of the author's 712-page History of Muslim Civilization in India and Pakistan (Lahore: Institute of Islamic Culture, 1993 ), by removing most of the notes and many specialized passages, leaving a kind of bare-bones account."
^The outlines of this can be seen in the chapter on Jinnah in Ikram's Modern Muslim India (2nd ed. 1977, pp. 354-471, written in June 1965).
Baloch, N. A. (1974). Historical Writings on Pakistan: Tradition and Progress, in A. H. Dani, ed., Historical Writings on Pakistan (Methodology and Interpretation), Vol. II: Special Seminar Papers. Islamabad: University of Islamabad Press. pp. 124-153.
Far?d, Ibn-e (Jul-Dec 2014). "Shibl? ch?ñ ba khalvat m? ravad (When Shibli Goes into Solitude)". Sahifa (Shibli Number). 218-219: 101-140.