Dr Zakir Hussain, the last among a few of less than a handful of scholars left in India with an expertise to read Persian old manuscript Khat-e-shikasta, passed away in his Okhla house on Sunday, according to senior journalist Ali. Hussain, 66, was laid to rest in Shaheen Bagh graveyard after Isha prayer on Monday.
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An alumnus of the Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University, from where he obtained his higher education, training in shikasta script and archival research, he authored several books.
Also, he contributed several research papers, based on the hitherto unknown Sultanate and Mughal official documents. During his lifetime, he edited several Catalogues of the Oriental Records and Acquired Documents at the National Archives of India.
He also published (in collaboration with Iran Culture House, New Delhi) critical editions of Shigurfnama-i Velayet, Razmnamah, Ilaju-ut Tuyur and Selections from Inayat Jang Collection.
He retired in 2017 as Assistant Director (Oriental Records), National Archives of India, said his uncle Ashraf Mewati.
The reason behind his sudden death is not know, but Ali said: “He had suffered heart attack years ago. We don’t know how he died,” he said
After offering Isha prayer at Jamaat-e-Islami Hind mosque on Sunday, he talked with people for a few minutes and left for his house in Abul Fazal Encalve, said another journalist who knew him for years, adding that he didn’t get up from his sleep on Monday.
“He was a Persian expert and was able to read Khat-e-shikasta, an old manuscript. He was among a few in India who was able to read it and hence after his death the entire line of learning is gone. Now one or two persons are left in Delhi,” said Syed Ubaidur Rahman author of several books, his latest being: “Ulema’s Role in India’s Freedom Movement: With Focus on the Silk Letter Movement (Reshmi Rumal Tehrik).”
Originally from Mewat his family, father, had shifted to Batla House years ago and more than 10 years ago the family built their own house in Abul Fazal Enclave, said another resident.
Ali said he was a member of Jamaat.
He is survived with 2 sons and one daughter.