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Agha Ali Ibrahim Akram (Urdu: آغا ابراہیم اکرم), (1923-1989) better known as A. I. Akram was a Lieutenant-General in the Pakistan Army and a historian. He wrote books about early Muslim conquests. His most famous book The Sword of Allah is a biography on the Muslim general, Khalid ibn al-Walid. He retired from the Pakistan Army as Lieutenant-General in 1978. He also served as Pakistan's Ambassador to Spain. He founded the Institute of Regional Studies in 1982 and remained its president till his death in 1989.[1]

A. I. Akram
آغا ابراہیم اکرم
Agha Ibrahim Akram.jpg
BornAgha Ali Ibrahim Akram
22 September 1923
Ludhiana, Punjab, British India
Died1989
Pakistan
OccupationArmy Officer and writer
NationalityPakistani
GenreMilitary history
Notable worksThe Sword of Allah Khalid Bin Waleed, The Muslim Conquest of Persia, The Muslim Conquest of Egypt and North Africa

BiographyEdit

A. I. Akram was born in Ludhiana, now in India, on 22 September 1923 to an Indian Police Officer.[2] He graduated from Government College Lahore in 1942 and joined the British Indian Army, being commissioned a second lieutenant in the 13th Frontier Force Rifles on 26 November 1942. By October 1945 he held the rank of temporary Captain, a promotion he received on 1 January 1945.[2] He served in Burma in World War II, and first three Indo-Pakistan Wars.[3][4]

With Partition in 1947, he chose to join the Pakistan Army.

He taught military history as Colonel and Chief Instructor at Command and Staff College, Quetta from September 1960 to November 1965,[5] during which he acutely felt the lack of detailed, clear and objective literature on Muslim military history. It was at this time when he decided to fill the void himself.

His first book, The Sword of Allah, on the life and campaigns of Khalid ibn al-Walid, was published in 1970 after a five years effort, including visits to battle-fields in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. It has two English editions, and has been translated into Urdu, Arabic, German and Bahasa. For several years it was compulsory reading in the Pakistan Army for entrance to the Staff College and has been on the leadership syllabus in the Malaysian Army. His second book The Muslim Conquest of Persia was published after four years, after visiting the battlefields in Iran and discussions with Iranian scholars. The Muslim Conquest of Egypt and North Africa was his third book, which also took four years of preparations and visits to Egypt and Tunisia. His last book was The Rise of Cordoba, which was published in 1986. To research for writing all these books he learned Arabic, Persian and Spanish and collected an impressive library of historical works.[6]

In 1978, he retired from Pakistan Army as a Lieutenant-General after being superseded by General Zia-ul Haq.[7] After that he served as Pakistan's Ambassador to Spain for two and a half years. He founded the Institute of Regional Studies in 1982 and remained its president till his death in 1989.[1]

WorksEdit

  1. The Sword of Allah[8]
  2. The Muslim Conquest of Persia[9]
  3. The Muslim Conquest of Egypt and North Africa[10]
  4. The Muslim Conquest of Spain[11]
  5. The Falcon of the Quraish
  6. The Rise of Cordoba

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Tikekar, Maneesha (2004). Across the Wagah: An Indian's Sojourn in Pakistan. Promilla. p. 34. ISBN 978-81-85002-34-7.
  2. ^ a b October 1945 Indian Army List
  3. ^ Agha, Ibrahim Akram. The Muslim Conquest of Spain. Pakistan: Oxford University Press, Pakistan. p. 265. ISBN 978-0-19-597715-8.
  4. ^ "Interview with General A.I. Akram, 1987". Pakistan's rivalry and conflicts with India. WGBH Educational Foundation. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 March 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Agha, Ibrahim Akram (2006) [1970]. The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin al-Waleed, His Life and Campaigns (3rd ed.). Islamabad: Mr. Books. p. back cover. OCLC 191257949.
  7. ^ Arif, Khalid Mahmud (1995). Working with Zia: Pakistan Power Politics, 1977–1988. USA: Oxford University Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-19-577570-9.
  8. ^ Agha, Ibrahim Akram. The Sword of Allah: Khalid Bin Al-Waleed, His Life and Campaigns. Adam Publishers & Distributors, India. ISBN 978-81-7435-467-9.
  9. ^ Agha, Ibrahim Akram. The Muslim Conquest of Persia. Pakistan: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-597713-4.
  10. ^ Agha, Ibrahim Akram (1977). The Muslim Conquest of Egypt and North Africa. Pakistan: Ferozsons Ltd ,Pakistan. ISBN 978-969-0-00224-2.
  11. ^ Agha, Ibrahim Akram. The Muslim Conquest of Spain. Pakistan: Oxford University Press, Pakistan. ISBN 978-0-19-597715-8.