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 26 July 2011



KARACHI: Today marks 83rd birth anniversary of a great and unique mystery writer Ibne Safi. He is best known for his stories of Imran Series. His creation ĎImraní an extremely intelligent but comic agent is still popular among readers of all ages. Ibne safiís witty stories capture full concentration of the reader and they enjoy every word of the story fully. The readers cannot stop reading Ibne Safiís stories till the conclusion.

Ibne Safi was born on July 26, 1928, in the village of Nara in Allahabad District, U.P., India. His parents, Safiullah and Nuzaira Bibi, named him Asrar Ahmed at birth. It was much later that he came to be known as Ibne Safi.

Ibne Safiís parents both came from a family of landlords and learned men. His grandfather, Maulvi Abdul Fattah, was a schoolteacher in Ujjain, India before the partition of the Indian Subcontinent.

Ibne Safi had several siblings, including his brother Isar Ahmed and sister Ghufairah Khatoon, who died young. He only had one surviving sister Azra Rehana (Balaghat Khatoon), who was married to Lateef Ahmed Siddiqi and passed away 1n 2005.

Ibne Safi obtained his primary schooling in the village school at Nara. When he was only eight years old, he got an opportunity to read first volume of Talism-e-Hoshruba. Although he could not understand the language entirely, the story made a great impact on his creative mind. He then read all seven volumes several times.

Ibne Safi started writing at a young age. When he was in seventh grade, his first story appeared in the weekly Shahid, which was edited by Aadil Rasheed. Ibne Safi also started writing poetry in eighth grade.

During the independence movement and afterwards, he was also branded a progressive for his ideas, and warrants were issued in India for his arrest.

Ibne Safi completed Intermediate (High School Certificate) from Eving Christian College in Allahabad, India. This was a co-education college and his poetry flourished greatly in that environment

In 1947, Ibne Safi enrolled in Allahabad University, where Dr. Syed Ejaz Hussainís lectures further contributed to his literary and mental growth.

In 1948, Abbas Hussaini founded Nakhat Publications. Ibne Saeed was the Editor of the prose section, and Ibne Safi became Editor of poetry.

At this time, Ibne Safi started experimenting with different literary genres on a regular basis, including short stories, humor, and satire. He used pseudonyms such as Sanki Soldier and Tughral Farghan.

His first story for The Nakhat was Farar (The Escape), which was published in June 1948. Ibne Safi, however, was not satisfied with his work. .

With the advice of Ibne Safi, Abbas Hussaini made arrangements for publishing monthly detective novels. The name of the series was Jasoosi Duniya (The World of Espionage), and it was the first time Ibne Safi started writing with the infamous pen name of Ibne Safi.

Containing his original characters, Inspector Faridi and Sergeant Hameed, the first novel Dilaer Mujrim (The Brave Criminal) was published in March 1952. The plot of the novel was adopted by Victor Gunn's novel Ironsides' Lone Hand (Title1 Title2).

At this time (1949-1952), Ibne Safi was by profession a secondary school teacher at Islamia School Allahabad, and later at Yaadgaar-e-Hussaini School. He maintained the school jobs, and studied part time to finish his education.

Very few people know that Ibne Safi was also very fond of music and drawing. He had a good voice for singing, and used to draw sketches on his novel drafts.

After finishing his education, Ibne Safi migrated to Pakistan with his mother and sister in August 1952. They joined his father in Karachi, who had emigrated there in 1947. Ibne Safiís first residence was in a locality called C-1 area, Lalukhet (now known as Liaqatabad).

Ibne Safi then founded Asrar Publications and started publishing Jasoosi Duniya simultaneously from Pakistan and India. The political border between the two countries did not divide the relationship he had formed with his readers.

In 1955, Ibne Safi created a new character, Imran, and started publishing the Imran Series. The first novel of this series KHaufnaak Imarat (The Frightening Building) was published in August 1955 in Pakistan whereas the Indian edition was published in November 1955.

In October 1957 Ibne Safi founded Asrar Publications, Karachi (at Lalukhet) and published first Jasoosi Duniya novel THanDee Aag (The cold Fire) from Pakistan. The same novel was published simultaneously in India by Jasoosi Duniya, Allahabad.

In 1958, Ibne Safi moved to newly constructed house in Nazimabad No.2, which remained the family abode during the remainder of his life.

By June 1960, Ibne Safi had written the eighty-eighth novel of Jasoosi Duniya (Prince Vehshee) and the forty-first novel of Imran Series (Bay-Awaaz Sayyarah).

Ibne Safi suffered from schizophrenia during 1960 and 1963, not writing a single word in those three years. With the prayers of his family, friends, and fans, Ibne Safi finally recovered from the illness in 1963 under the treatment of Hakim Iqbal Hussain of Karachi.

The author made a great comeback on November 25, 1963 with the bestseller Imran Series novel Dairh Matwaalay, which inaugurated in India by the Ex Interior Minister (later Prime Minister of India) Lal Bahadur Shastri.

The demand for this novel was so high that within a week a second edition was published in India. This edition was inaugurated by the then Provincial Law Minister Ali Zaheer. .

During the mid-seventies, Inter Services Intelligence of Pakistan informally utilized his services for lecturing new recruits on the methods of detection.

In 1975, a film producer, Muhammad Hussain Talpur (aka Maulana Hippie), experimented with a film Dhamaka based on the Imran Series novel Baibaakon Ki Talaash.

In September 1979, Ibne Safi suffered from abdominal pains. By December of that year, it was confirmed these were a result of cancer at the head of pancreas.

On Saturday July 26, 1980 Ibne Safi passed away. His incomplete Imran Series novel Aakhri Aadmi was by his bedside.

Ibne Safi left behind four sons and three daughters.



Copyright © 2005 Mohammad Hanif