Dr Saleem Wahid Saleem was a poet par excellence. He was born in Teheran, Iran to Khalifa Abdul Wahid Dar of Lahore (Now in Pakistan) and Bibi Fakhr-us-Sadat, a qajari princess of Iran. In fact, the Khalifa family had moved to Lahore from Kashmir in the 19th century. After the age of 11, his parents shifted back to India along with their two daughters Akhtar and Shamsi.
Dr. Saleem was educated in Aligarh Muslim University Tibbiya College, Aligarh and later in London, where he also worked as announcer with BBC Persian Service. In Aligarh, he stayed with his close relative Dr. Ataullah Butt, of famous Butt Kada of Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui. Dr. Butt had founded Aligarh Tibbiya College.
Throughout his life, Dr Saleem continued to write both prose and poetry in Urdu, Persian and English. In the 50’s and 60’s, his ghazals were published in many prestigious Urdu periodicals including Nuqoosh, Funoon, Adab-e-Latif, Adabi Duniya and other contemporary periodicals.
The most remarkable work of Dr. Saleem Wahid Saleem is ‘Khayyam-e-Nau’, which is poetic translation of Umar Khayyam’s ruba’is. The collection has been published by Sanjh Publications, Temple Road, Lahore.
The book Khayyam-e-Nau can be bought online from emarkaz.com
During his last days, Doctor Sahib had become financially unstable and was greatly helped by his sister Mrs Akhtar Nazeer and her husband the late Malik Nazeer Ahmad. Dr. Saleem breathed his last in 1981.
Dr. Saleem wrote poetry in Urdu and Persian. Some of his works are in English as well.
Dr. Saleem Wahid Saleem was married to Begum Umm-e-Habiba, who was granddaughter of Syed Abdul Baqi, who was among first five students of Mohammadan Anglo-Oriental College (which later became Aligarh Muslim University) and had imbibed education directly from Sir Syed. He was later appointed as bursar (accountant-cum-registrar) of the university.
Tabenda Batool has completed her master’s thesis on Dr. Saleem in 1987 from Punjab University Lahore and then her M. Phil in 1995 from Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad. Other collections of his poems and ghazals are also in the pipeline.
Dr. Saleem Wahid Saleem was a great man and a good poet, one blog is not enough to introduce him and his work. His work and he himself need a big website which would pay attention to provide knowledge about him.
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