The News International
Published Date: Dec 24, 2019
Hindko Academy reprints rare books on history, culture
PESHAWAR: The Gandhara Hindko Academy, Peshawar, has reprinted 13 rare books on history, culture and archaeology penned by late scholar Sardar Muhammad Jaffar who was popularly known as SM Jaffar.
A distinguished Peshawar-based Hindko language writer and poet, Muhammad Ziauddin, and an eminent research scholar from Islamabad, Ahmad Salim, joined hands to accomplish the task with the joint-supervision of the process. Ahmad Salim in the foreword to the reprinted books has spotlighted well the life and work of the late author who had to his credit over 100 books and several manuscripts.
He lamented that little information was available on SM Jaffar although he had made immense contributions to the study of the history of this part of the region.
Muhammad Ziauddin, who is also the Chief of the Executive Committee of Gandhara Hindko Academy, pointed out these landmark publications by SM Jaffar were published a long time ago and had gone out of print with time.
“I felt the dire need to reprint the work of this legendary scholar to shift this treasure-trove to the young generation and even posterities. The Hindko Academy is highly indebted to the great intellectual, Ahmad Salim sahib, and family members of late SM Jaffar sahib for the help they extended in carrying out this assignment,” said Ziauddin who specialises in the documentation and is Deputy Director at the Documentation Wing of the Cabinet Division, Islamabad.
He said the books of SM Jaffar reprinted by the Hindko Academy include History of history, The Mughal Empire – From Babar To Aurangzeb, Some cultural aspects of Muslim rule in India, Medieval India under Muslim kings, The rise and fall of The Ghaznavids, Peshawar Past and Present, Education in Muslim India, Indian historical records, The classification of records – Pakistani system, Historical wealth of North-West Frontier Province (Pakistan), Kashmir sold and resold, Views and Reviews on the Peshawar Museum, An introduction to the Peshawar Museum” and Islamic culture its ideological basis.
It may be mentioned here that affectionately called Jaffar Lala, Sardar Mohammad Jaffar is considered one of the most prominent names of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa historical and archaeological literature.
His father Sardar Mohammad Sadiq, a businessman, hailed from the Qizilbash clan that had migrated from Persia. The family later chose Peshawar as its abode after having been to other parts of the subcontinent. SM Jaffar was born in 1910. He received early education from Sanatan Dharam High School, near Qissa Khwani in Peshawar and graduated from Edwardes College Peshawar in 1931.
After completing studies, he joined government service and worked in various capacities before and after the Independence. SM Jaffar remained associated with the Judicial Commissioner Office of the then North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) in the 1930s and 40s. He taught history subject at the Islamia College Peshawar as well.
One of his great contributions to Peshawar was the establishment of the Central Records Office in Peshawar. Due to his sincere efforts, the department later came to be known as the Peshawar Archives and he was named its first director. He later served as director of the Peshawar Museum and Library from 1964 to 1970.
SM Jaffar was a prolific author and had had a passion for research and writing. He authored first book, “The Mughal Empire” while he was completing his graduate studies. Among his most scholarly works are Peshawar Past and Present, Some cultural aspects of Muslim rule in India, Arab Administration in Sindh and Muslim rule in India. According to the family members, SM Jaffar was working on several other research-based publications and had prepared the manuscripts as well but all that was left half-way when he passed away in 1979 in Islamabad.