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By Anis Ahmed Shakur



Noted composer, Muslehuddin Ahmed, was born and raised in formerly called East Pakistan in 1938. Pre partition India at the time. He migrated to the then named West Pakistan (Punjab) in his youth.


He did not possess musical background. Hence, he did not inherit musical talents from any one.


On the contrary, he was a self-made musician.


His absolute dedication to music took him irresistibly to the Pakistani cinema. That was the secret of his success.


He was educated, an impressive human and a talented composer of the highest grade.


As a composer, he debuted in the film ‘Aadmi’, in 1958, at twenty years of age. (‘Aadmi’, story writer, late Sarwar Ayub, brother of Dilip Kumar, director- producer, Luqman, cast, Habib, in double role, Yasmin, Nayyar Sultana, Diljeet Mirza, Talish, Alauddin.


‘Aadmi’ revolves around the lives of coal miners.


Muslehuddin composed this masterpiece song in ‘Aadmi’ ‘Jaag taqdeer ko jaga loon gee’, singer, Nahid Niazi.


Also this tragic number, ‘Zamana pyar ka itna he kum hai, ye na socha tha’, singer, Nahid Niazi.


Muslehuddin, whose very presence charmed and soothed people, fostered a sense of harmony in the music community.


He was a composer, wrapped up in the beauty of rhythm and rhapsody. He also composed songs for the following two movies:


The film ‘Shikari’, director, Jafar Malik, cast included, Shamim Ara  and Darpan.

The film ‘Doctor’, directed by Shaukat Hashmi.


The real Muslehuddin had the innocent perspective of a child and the creative genius of an adult.


His superfluous composition for the romantic lyrics in the film ‘Rahguzar’ was remarkable enough to add thousands of new listeners:


‘Magar aye haseena-e- nazneen, mujhay tujh say koi gila nahi’, singer, Saleem Raza, song writer- director, Zia Sarhadi.


Muslehuddin also conducted music programs for children, which used to be telecast on Pakistan television. Thus, he passed on his optimism and faith to the next generation. During those days he influenced scores of students.


After his marriage to Nahid Niazi, both of them settled in Canada in the early 1970s.


In mainstream music arena and even more so in popular entertainment, he came out number one.


Moreover, he was equally adept in making happy tunes and fast numbers. Below is one example:


‘Tujh ko bhi banaya Allah nay, mujh ko bhi banaya Allah nay’, singer, Ahmed Rushdi,, film, ‘Josh’.


Intelligent, charming and driven—he had an extraordinary gift of injecting pathos through his tragic notes:


‘Zindigi mein aik pal bhi chayn Aa ye na, is jahan mein kaash koi dil laga ye na’. (The film, ‘Humsafar’, singer, Saleem Raza, director, Shaukat Hashmi, stars included Yasmeen, Aslam Pervez.


Incidentally, ‘Humsafar’ was the first and the last film in which the late Indian singer, Hemant Kumar, also recorded a song: ‘Raat Milan ki hai, khoya khoya chand hai, meri qasam hai tujh ko, ik baar muskuraday’.


Muslehuddin’s adorers are stunned by the influence of his music that has been unleashed on them. They have an even greater appreciation for the man behind music.


His romantic compositions made the following two songs leap to life:


‘Raat saloni Aaye, baat Anokhi laaye, jo hum kisi say na kahain gey, chup rahain gey hum’. (film  ‘Zamana kya kahay ga’, singer, Nahid Niazi, director, Iqbal Yusuf).


‘Raat ho gaye jawan’ (film ‘Dil nay tujhay maan liya’ duet, Nahid Niazi – Ahmed Rushdi)


Muslehuddin’s music had a touch of ingenuity. Hence, it sounds different from the prevalent music.


He is that one composer, who excels in all aspects of music composition.


Below are three tragic compositions of Muslehuddin:


‘Samajh na Aaye dil ko kahan lay jaaon sanam’ (film ‘Daal mein kala’, singer, Nahid Niazi, director, Iqbal Yusuf).


‘Mujh ko apni duniya mein wapas bula lay’ (film ‘Diwana’, director, Zahoor Raja).


‘Dukh deye ja sanam’(film ‘Yahudi ki larki’, singer, Ahmed Rushdi, director, Chawla).


Muslehuddin was more than just a musician to us—he was the embodiment of soul and passion in music.


Below are two songs which boasts all the right music at precisely the right time:


‘Jan sud Aaram’ (film, ‘Jaan pehchaan’, first film of Fareed Ahmed as film director, producer, Mohsin Shirazi, cast included Mohammad Ali and Iranian actress Sheh Para).


‘Pyar mein hum nay khaye hai thokar’ (film ‘Jokar’, singer, Ahmed Rushdi, director, Iqbal Yusuf)


Love and admiration which fans lavished on Muslehuddin is astounding. Below are three examples of his breath taking art of composition:


‘Tan mun dhan teray naam’ (film ‘Awara’, singer, Noor Jehan).


‘Husn bhi mauj mein hai’ (film ‘Mujhay jeenay do’,singer, Nahid Niazi).


Elahi koi hawa ka jhonka’ (film ‘Nehlay pay dehla’, singer, Ahmed Rushdi).


Muslehuddin won the Nigar Award in 1960, for best composer in the film ‘Humsafar’.


Muslehuddin, who delighted music buffs for so many years, succumbed to cardiac arrest on Thursday, August 7, 2003, in London. He was 65 years of age. He is survived by his wife, Nahid Niazi, and daughter, Narmeen.


Hearts heavy, his fans round the globe lamented his death. A wave of emotion rose up from ones core as one listens to Muslehuddin’s marvelous music.


In the stillness of dawn, the other day, I listened to the highly tragic score, composed by Muslehuddin: ‘Zindigi mein aik pal bhi chayn Aa ye na’.


It reminded me of what Muslehuddin’s devoted admirers confided in me, soon after his sad demise:


‘We were glad to have a part in his life. Today he has definitely touched ours’.












Anis Shakur works for the Downstate Medical Center and V.A. Hospital, N.Y.