Nawab Mirza Jafar Ali Khan “Asar Lakhnawi” was born in a locality of Lucknow known as Katra Abu Turab Khan in an opulent family on 11.07.1885.


Name of his father was Hakeem Nawab Fazle Husain Khan and his Begum's name was Nawab Fatima Begum. He had six daughters. His literally works were pursued further by his son-on-law Syed Ali Irshad Naqvi, who was ex-principal Shia Degree College.

A poet, critic, commentator and lexicographer, he was disciple of Hazrat Azeez Lakhnawi and was also known as Meer-e-Sani (The Second Meer Taqi Meer) in the literary circles.

He was fifth in line of descendants of Khan e Allamah, Allamah Tafazzul Husain Khan, the famous Wazir and ambassador to British in the period of Nawab Asaf ud Daulah and Nawab Saadat Ali Khan of Awadh.

Like his ancestor Allamah Tafazzul Husain Khan, Mirza Jafar Ali Khan was a polyglot and apart from Arabic and Persian which was taught to him privately in his home, he was well versed in English, Hindi and Sanskrit.


He started his studies from the Jubilee College, Lucknow, passed High School in 1902 and then moved to the famous Canning College, Lucknow, passed Intermediate examination in 1904 from where and graduated in 1906.


He started his career in the year 1909 as Deputy Collector in Sitapur, served in Hardoi, Sultanur, Kanpur and Allahabad districts. In 1935 he was confirmed as Collector and retired as Collector from Allahabad in 1940, but was re-appointed as Additional Commissioner Allahabad division. After retirement from his services he was appointed as Minister at the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir and served as Prime Minister for around six months as well.


He was awarded with the title of Khan Bahadur on 01/01/1936 by the British for his distinguished services and was bestowed with the Ghalib Award by the State of Uttar Pradesh.
He was awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in the year 1962.

Literary Works

Mazameen: A sellection from six diwans of Mir Taqi ‘Mir’.

Asar ke Tunqeedi mazameen: A collection of his articles on literary criticism.

Chaan-been: A collection of his critical essays.

Anis kee marsiya niga’ree: Critical study of Mir ‘Anis’ in marsiya compositions.

Mutala e Ghalib: A critical study of some prominent aspects of Ghalib’s poetry.

Furhung e Asar: A dictionary of Urdu usage based on a critical survey of Nur al Lughaat in two volumes.

His works in poetry are:

Asaristaan: A collection of ghazals.

Zungaree Begum:  Translation of a humorous French drama in Urdu verse.

Rungbustt: Translation of various classical verses selected from Asian and European languages.

Laala o Gul: A collection of rubaiyaat and qataats.

Nughma e Javed: A translation from explanations of the Gita into Urdu verse.

Hulaak e Furaeb: A translation of a Polish drama in Urdu verse.

Siyaah chushmaan e Kashmiri: His compositions on Kashmir landscape & human beauty.


After a brief illness, he died at his Kashmiri Mohalla residence on 6.6.1967 and was buried in the Karbala Mir Khuda Baksh Lucknow.

Ibrahim Ali khan Asif.