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Born in June 16, 1936 / Died in February 13, 2012 / India / Urdu


Akhlaq Mohammed Khan (Hindi: ??????? ??????? ???? ''), who wrote under the pen name Shahryar (??????), was an Indian academician, and a doyen of Urdu poetry in India. As a Hindi film lyricist, he is best known for his lyrics in Gaman (1978), Umrao Jaan (1981) and Anjuman (1986), by Muzaffar Ali. In 2008 he won the Jnanpith Award, which is the highest literary award in India.

Early Life

Khan was born at tehsil Aonla, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. His father was in police force. In his childhood days, Khan wanted to become an athlete but his father wanted him to join the police force. It is then that he ran away from home and was guided by Khalil-ur-Rahman. To earn a living, he started teaching Urdu fiction at Aligarh Muslim University where he later studied and got his PhD. He received his early education at Bulandshahr and later studied at Aligarh Muslim University.

Shahryar Sahab is survived by three children, Humayun Shahryar, Saima Shahryar and Faridoon Shahryar.


Khan started his career as a literary assistant at Anjuman Tarraqqi-e-Urdu, thereafter he joined Aligarh Muslim University as a lecturer in Urdu, he was appointed professor in 1986, and in 1996, he retired as chairman of the Urdu Department. He has co-edited the literary magazine Sher-o-Hikmat (Poetry and Philosophy). Shahryar wrote lyrics for select films. His two ghazals Seene Mein Jalan Ankhon Mein Toofan Sa Kyun Hai and Ajeeb Saneha Mujhpar Guzar Gaya Yaaron in Muzaffar Ali's Gaman are still considered classic. All his Ghazals from Umrao Jaan, be it Dil Cheez Kya Hai, In Ankhon Ki Masti Ke, Justuju Jiski Thi, Ye Zameen Chaand Se Behtar Nazar Aati Hai Hamein and Ye Kya Jagah Hai Doston are part of some of the finest lyrical works in Bollywood ever. Besides penning the songs, Shahryar also contributed to the film through several dialogues as well. Shahryar also wrote for Yash Chopra's Faasle and Muzaffar Ali's Anjuman. He also wrote for Ali's Zooni and Daaman which were never completed.


He was awarded the 1987 Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu for his poetry collection, Khwab Ka Dar Band Hai (1987).

In 2008, He became the fourth Urdu writer to win the Jnanpith Award. He has also been the recipient of prestigious honours like Firaaq Samman and Bahadur Shah Zafar Award. Four thesis have been written on Shahryar's works. He has been widely acknowledged as the finest exponent of Modern Urdu Poetry.


His first poetry collection Ism-e-azam was published in 1965, the second collection, Satvan dar (Satva yet in English), came in 1969, the third collection titled Hijr ke mausam was released in 1978, his most celebrated work, Khwab Ke dar band hain, came in 1987, and also won him the Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu for the year. He has also published five collections of his poetry in Devanagari script.


Khan died on February 13, 2012 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. He was suffering from Lung Cancer. ..