Swat History

Professor Ashraf Altaf Husain

From the very inception , Jahanzeb College had the best teaching staff.  The first Principal Sir Hafiz Usman was a known Mathmatecian. Most of the Staff were outsiders, meaning Non Local. But they were very devoted ,motivated and exciting to impart knowledge to the students of a remote corner of the main land. With the passage of time it was recognized as Aligarh of the region and not only boys from the then NWFP, but from Punjab also flocked to quench their thirst for knowledge. When I joined the College in the second half of the year 1958, there were 2 energetic English teachers for our class. Prof. Abdul Salam and Abdul Haleem Saddique were very kind and loving teachers. After a while, Salam sahib got some lucrative job in the Administration and left the College. Now as is evident, Wali Sahib was very keen to select the best teachers , an energetic and handsome young man was inducted in the staff as lecturer English. He was a charming ,soft spoken and extremely civilized person from UP, and a true image of that Muslim culture of ‘Lakhnao’. The students were immediately attached to him emotionally. His name was Ashraf Altaf Hussain. He was bachelor and lived alone in a spacious bungalow of the College Colony. Due to his zeal and devotion to his profession, the student shown great improvement .As for me ,I was his star student and stood first in English in all the internal exams. He was my tutor also. In those days mixed tutorial groups were arranged. Each group containing students from first year to 4th year. They sat together for one period of 45 minutes and exchanged views etc. under the supervision of the group Tutor. Then Ashraf Sahib came after summer vacations, he was not alone. His new bride and mother accompanied him. His wife was a charming lady. She looked and walked like a fairy from the far off lands. In the evening, they both strolled in the peaceful street roads of the Colony. Some time they dined in the Swat Hotel. They were the most ideal couple one can imagine. In the mean while he wrote a book “CORRECT YOUR ENGLISH”, which was a great help to the students. The President of Pakistan awarded him a cash prize and appreciation letter. He received a Scholarship for study in England and he applied for permission to the Ruler. We requested him to let us arrange a party for him but he refused politely and invited our group members for tea in his residence. Delivering his farewell speech, he got emotional and wept convulsively. His begum came out from the inner house and putting her hand on her back, said that her husband is emotional like a child took him inside the house. He returned after a while and embraced each of us. But strangely, he could not leave at that time and came to the class that the Ruler entreated him to stay for a while for the sack of the Students. He said the Ruler told him he loved him and would be pleased to see him in Swat. Most importantly Prof. Ashraf Altaf Husain translated the autobiography of Miangul Abdul Wadud (Bacha Sahib) into english with the title “the story of Swat as told by its founder: Miangul Abdul Wadud Bacha Sahib To Muhammad Asif Khan” and which was published in 1962. Anyhow , sometime later he flew to London for higher Study. Beyond that I heard nothing of him. Where ever he is ,alive or not, may Allah keep him in His Eternal blessings.

(Special Thanks To Prof. Khwaja Usman Ali Sahib For Providing Photo of Prof. Ashraf Altaf Hussain)


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