ENGR MUHAMMAD ZAKIR ALI KHAN (Late)
It is not necessary to do the things with great magnitude, but the important factor is that each and every one should contribute something of value to the society. Every individual needs to follow his passion and his dreams and to keep Aligarh Spirit alive. This was the motto of Late Muhammad Zakir Ali Khan who truly represented Aligarh culture and ethos throughout his life. He was a potent force and pioneer to establish Aligarh Institute of Technology followed by Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology, to build a new cadre of technical professionals, who proved to be instrumental to accelerate the growth in the digital era.
Late Muhammad Zakir Ali Khan was a multidimensional personality and an illustrious name in the field of Urdu literature. Engr. Muhammad Zakir Ali Khan was an ardent and passionate writer who wrote remarkable books like Miyan Ki Atariya Taley, Hadith-e-Haram, Rakhte-Safar, Marhaba Alhaaj, Qalam Rau, Deewan-e-Aam, Rawayat-e-Aligarh, Baraa-e-Naam, Mai-Baap and Yaadon Ka Dastarkhawan. His books are deeply personal essays that weave together the history, traditions, biographies and the cultural and literary life of Aligarh into a fascinating kaleidoscope.
In recognition of his outstanding literary works for promoting the vision and mission of Sir Syed through his engagements in the field of education, Aligarh Muslim University bestowed him with the first Sir Syed Ahmed Khan International Award for Literature in September 2008.
Engr. Muhammad Zakir Ali Khan also played a vital role in establishing Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys’ Association, Karachi (AMUOBA). Late Muhammad Zakir Ali Khan was very dedicated to his cause and the Association and he kept all Aligs united through his writings and high morals.
Late Muhammad Zakir Ali Khan was born on 8th July 1926 at Rampur, UP and lived on his own terms. He did BSc in Civil Engineering in 1948 from Aligarh Muslim University. Mr. Khan served Karachi Water and Sewage Board (KWSB) as Chief Engineer and later as Managing Director of KWSB. He also served as Managing Director of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation. Mr. Zakir Ali Khan was a sportsperson from his student life in Aligarh Muslim University and had represented his Alma Mater as a member of the Hockey Team. His passion for sports did not died in his professional life and he was actively engaged in the promotion of sports and games and represented Pakistan in half a dozen international sports events and also went as team manager to numerous countries. He worked hard to promote tennis and served as Secretary of Division Lawn Tennis Association, Karachi. He was involved in the strategic planning and construction of K. M. C. Football Stadium and Sports Complex in Karachi.
In addition to his vision, leadership, and organizational abilities, Mr. Zakir Ali Khan held a prominent place in the field of Urdu literature. He wrote profusely and dedicated this talent to the service of the Association. He authored about eleven books each of which achieved multi-edition status in the print media: no mean feat in a nation-society with such low levels of literacy and virtually no book-reading habits. These books promoted awareness of his ALMA MATER all over the world and brought the achievements of AMU’s students into ime light. This unparalleled contribution and his overall service to the causes of the Association-was recognized and Aligarh Alumni Association of New York and Aligarh Muslim University bestowed upon him very unique awards.
One of his book, “Rawayat-e-Aligarh” has reached 18 editions in print and is included in the curriculum of Sir Syed University. His role in the formation of SSUET is extremely significant and pivotal. Zakir Sahab was an orator of a very high caliber and could hold large audiences spell brand with his speeches.
The large number of Aligarians came together under his stewardship and became a unified and active force. Mr. Zakir was a very kind man, a person always eager to help others, never turning away a soul who had approached him for help and support. He definitely was the most respected and popular person of his time amongst Aligarians.
It can be claimed with no fear of dissent that he played the key role in shaping the Association. Zakir Sahab has left undeliable in the memories who those knew him in whatever capacity.
May Allah bless him (Aameen).
Engr. Muhammad Zakir Ali Khan breathed his last in 8th February 2012.