Jaun Elia

Syed Hussain Jaun Asghar Naqvi,[1] commonly known as Jaun Elia (Urdu: جون ایلیا‎, 14 December 1931 – 8 November 2002), was an Indo-Pak Urdu poet, philosopher, biographer, and scholar. He was the brother of Rais Amrohvi and Syed Muhammad Taqi, who were journalists and psychoanalysts. He was fluent in Urdu, Arabic, English, Persian, Sanskrit and Hebrew.[citation needed] One of the most prominent modern Urdu poets, popular for his unconventional ways, he "acquired knowledge of philosophy, logic, Islamic history, the Muslim Sufi tradition, Muslim religious sciences, Western literature, and Kabbala."[2]

Jaun Elia
Native name
جون ایلیا
Born(1931-12-14)14 December 1931
Amroha, United Provinces, British India
Died8 November 2002(2002-11-08) (aged 70)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
OccupationUrdu Poet, scholar philosopher
NationalityColonial Indian (1931–1947)
Indian (1947–1957)
Pakistani (1957–2002)
EducationPhilosopher, biographer, and scholar
GenreGhazal poetry
Notable worksShayad, Yani, Lekin, Gumman, Goya, Farnod
(m. 1970; div. 1992)

Early lifeEdit

Jaun Elia was born as Syed Sibt-e-Ashgar Naqvi[3] on 14 December 1931 in Amroha, British India.[4] His father, Shafiq Elia, was a scholar of literature and astronomy well-versed in the Arabic, English, Persian, Hebrew and Sanskrit languages, and who corresponded with leading intellectuals like Bertrand Russell.[5] He was the youngest of his siblings. Rais Amrohvi was his elder brother. Indian film director Kamal Amrohi was his first cousin.[6]

Described as a child prodigy, he was initially educated at the Syed-ul-Madaris in Amroha, a madrassah associated with the Darul Uloom Deoband, despite his family being Shia.[7]

Being a communist, Elia opposed the partition of India.[8] Elia said that the formation of Pakistan was a prank played on the people by elites from Aligarh.[9][10] However, he migrated to Pakistan in 1957, and decided to live in Karachi. Poet Pirzada Qasim said:

Jaun was very particular about language. While his diction is rooted in the classical tradition, he touches on new subjects. He remained in quest of an ideal all his life. Unable to find the ideal eventually, he became angry and frustrated. He felt, perhaps with reason, that he had squandered his talent.[11]

He began writing poetry at the age of 8 but published his first collection, Shayad, when he was 60.[12]

He married writer Zahida Hina in 1970[13] and they separated in 1992.[14]


Poetry collectionsEdit

  • Sukhan Meri Udasee Hai
  • Zakham-e-Umeed – زخمِ امید
  • Mubada
  • Tumharey Aur Mere Darmiyan
  • Daricha Haye Kheyal
  • Qitaat
  • Jaun Elia Ki Tamam Ghazlain (parts I-III)
  • Inshaye aur Mazaameen
  • Farnood
  • Is Rang Ke Tufaan اس رنگ کے طوفاں

Prose work (mainly translations)Edit

Elia was not just a poet but was also an editor and a translator, especially of old Sufi, Mutazili and Ismaili treatises.

Above are some of his translations from Arabic and Persian. Not only did he translate these books but also introduced several new words in Urdu language.[15]


His poetry is known for love and the unending pain of separation. He expressed the pain and sorrow in a distinct way that anyone could get influenced by his poetry. We get the flow of pain that his counterparts are lacking. Jaun Elia was nihilist and anarchist as well he had a distinguished philosophy of love in his poetry. According to him, the highest level of love is in actual the Beginning of separation from lover. As he says : {You are coming very close to me, Have you decided to leave?} بہت نزدیک آتی جا رہی ہو ۔۔بچھڑنے کا ارادہ کرلیا کیا؟ And also : {What did you say? Love is eternal! کیا کہا محبت جاودانی ہے؟آخری بار مل رہی ہو کیا؟ Is this last meeting of us? } He also wrote poetry about love, philosophy of love life, but he is well known as a poet of pain.[citation needed]


Jaun Elia was a communist who, in his poems, supported communism in Pakistan.[16] References to class consciousness are also seen in his poems.

In mediaEdit

In 2020, Punjabi rapper Kay Kap's album "Rough Rhymes for Tough Times" featured a song entitled Bulaava which had couplets from the poem 'Pehnaayi Ka Makaan' written & recited by Jaun Elia.[17]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Jaun Eliya – Profile & Biography".
  2. ^ "Urdu poet Jaun Elia remembered on 10th death anniversary". The Express Tribune. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  3. ^ Iftikhar Alam (9 November 2016), "Jani! kya aaj meri barsi hai–Yani kya aaj mar gya tha main?", Dawn News. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  4. ^ "In search of Jaun Elia". The Tribune , India.
  5. ^ Salman Altaf (5 November 2017), "ESSAY: THE ELIA PARADOX", Dawn News. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  6. ^ Manzoor Kureshi (4 April 2014). "In the name of father". Dawn. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  7. ^ "KARACHI: Jon knew how to enthral audience", Dawn News. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  8. ^ Jalil, Xari (5 November 2011). "Master of loneliness and frenzy". Pakistan Today.
  9. ^ "Life and politics in South Asia (Part 1)". Jamhoor. 3 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Ghazals of Jaun Eliya | Rekhta". Rekhta. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  11. ^ Samiuddin, Abida (2007). Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Urdu Literature (2 Vols. Set). Global Vision Publishing. p. 201. ISBN 9788182201910.
  12. ^ Staff Reporter (15 December 2018), "Jaun Elia remembered", The Nation. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  13. ^ Gitanjali Dang and Khanabadosh, "Inhabiting Urdu with Jaun Elia and Khwaab Tanha", FirstPost. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  14. ^ "KARACHI: Jon knew how to enthral audience", Dawn News. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Jaun Elia – An anarchist, a nihilist and a poet – Pakistan – Dunya News". Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  16. ^ Salim, Saquib (29 June 2018). "Jaun Elia: A Communist Poet Who Found Religion and Marxism Compatible". The Wire. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  17. ^ "https://genius.com/Kay-kap-bulaava-lyrics". Retrieved 20 December 2020.

External linksEdit