Abdullah Mohammed Hafiz was a great playwright in Urdu language. This scholarly figure was born in a landowning family in Fatehpur district, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Abdullah, Mohammed Hafiz was well-versed in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, and a poet, he began his theatrical career as an actor. In the years of 1881-1882, he founded his own Indian Imperial Theatrical Company patronized by Maharaja Nihal Singh of Dhaulpur. He published more than fifty plays, 'operas', and sketches, usually deriving his plots from traditional tales or, sometimes, from other dramatists.
Life in Theatre for Abdullah Mohammed Hafiz
Abdullah, Mohammed Hafiz has largely written during the 1880s, Abdullah's plays continued to be reissued until the late 1920s, the more popular ones reprinted in thousands. He followed the dominant practice of professional Urdu theatre in using words, music, and songs in profusion. Some of his more successful works were the verse operas Shakimtala in the year 1885 and Zulm-e-Azlam i.e. "Azlam's Oppression" in 1886. Abdullah inherited a fiercely nationalistic approach to colonial rule from his proud and patriotic father. In 1889, in Allahabad, he invited the wrath of the local British Superintendent of Police, who had his theatre burnt down. Despite heavy losses, he got the company together again in a very short time and wrote a play, simply called Police Drama, satirizing police high-handedness. In social and moral terms, Abdullah was a conservative person. He often interpolated into his plays and their prefaces strictures against contemporary trends towards reform. As for example, in the preface to Ishq-e-Laila Majmin i.e. "Love of Laila and Majnun" in the year 1889, he claimed to have included an indictment against coeducation and the practice of women giving up purdah. Abdullah, Mohammed Hafiz's sermonizing tendency is also evident in morality plays like Fareb-e-fitan i.e. "Deceitful Mischief" in 1885. In that play the characters personify virtues and vices, and the entire action revolves around the conflict between good and evil.
This individual, among the popular personalities in India theatre, named Abdullah, Mohammed Hafiz died in the year of 1922.
(Last Updated on : 17-05-2012)