Qudrat Ullah Shahab (RA)
About Qudrat Ullah Shahab (Qudratullah Shahab; 1917– July 24 1986)
His Life:-Qudrat Ullah Shahab was a well known bureaucrat of Pakistan. He was from Jammu Kashmir and initially got into civil service by passing the Indian civil service exam some years prior to the independence of Pakistan. He served on several high offices including being Ambassador of Pakistan to Netherlands. He got well known to people after his book Shahab Nama got published, which portrays his life experiences.
His early childhood was full of adventures, some of which are mentioned in his book Shahab Nama. The book has become a cult favourite in Pakistan.
His personality reflected mysticism, something which he describes as a gift from an out-of-world personality which he named as ‘Ninety’ in his book SHAHAB NAMA, this mysticism belongs to Owaisiah chain of Sufism.
Mumtaz Mufti and Ashfaq Ahmed, both well known writers of Pakistan, were close friends of Q.U.Shahab and were deeply inspired by him.
After his death in 1986, Q.U.Shahab is resting in a grave in Islamabad Graveyard
Early years:- He was born in Gilgit, in an Arain family where his father Abdullah Sahib was Governor during Dogra rule. Most of his schooling was in Kashmir, and there he excelled both in Urdu and English languages. Without telling anyone he wrote an essay and won the world competition by Reader's Digest, a rare achievement for any Indian Muslim in those days. Then he came to Government College Lahore for his college education.
Indian Civil Service:- He was selected for Indian Civil Service and later volunteered to serve in Bengal during the famine of 1943 where he served as magistrate at Nandigram. He came under heavy fire from the authorities when he distributed part of the strategic rice reserves to starving local community.
Pakistan and his career:- After coming to Pakistan he was first posted in the ministry of commerce a as a Deputy Secretary then to Azad Kashmir at Muzaffarabad as chief secretary of the new state. From there he came to Jhang, Punjab, as Deputy Commissioner. He then served as Director of Industries of Punjab and had to deal mostly with settlement issues concerning migration. He was first appointed by Ghulam Muhammad as his Principal Secretary. He remained there during Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan’s time. He later went to Holand as ambassador and also served as Secretary Information and Secretary Education.
Writing Shahab Nama:- His masterpiece, Shahab Nama, was finished but not yet unpublished at the time of his death in 1986. The book immediately made him a household name in Pakistan. Its idea came when he was visiting his friend Ibn-e-Insha in England and they were talking about the philosophy of life. He then started writing chapters and read them in reading circles. Some were published in newspapers and magazines.
Family:- Abdullah Sahib: His father was a graduate of Aligarh, and Governor of Gilgit
Mother: Karima Bibi (Shahab wrote Maan Ji on his mother)
Iffat Shahab: Wife (A doctor by profession) died in England in early 70s
Saqib Shahab: Only son who is a Medical doctor
Literary Circle:-His circle of friends included writers like Ashfaq Ahmed, Bano Qudsia, Mumtaz Mufti, and Ibn-e-Insha.