JAUN ELIA, an Anarchist, a Nihilist and a Poet – A Biography

jaun elia Picture and poetry

Jaun Elia was born on 14 December 1931 and passed away on November 8, 2002. He was born in a family of intellectual persons like Rais Amrohvi, Syed Muhammad Taqi and Shafiq Hasan Elia, he was a unique and wonderful poet that the Urdu language has ever had. He was married to Zahida Hina, She was a column writer. His brother Rais Amrohvi was a journalist and psychoanalyst. His other brother, Syed Muhammad Taqi, was also a journalist person. His father Shafiq Hasan Elia was also a poet and a skilful person in several languages. He taught his sons his articulation and his three sons who proved totally worthy of their father’s teaching.

The poetry of Jaun Elia seemed to have emerged from his inner introvert personality. He was born in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh in India. Amroha is a city of literary masters like Raees Amrohvi and Kamal Amrohvi. As Qamar Ali Abbasi puts it in his travel story ‘Dilli Dour Hai’ that “a newborn in Amroha doesn’t forget the rule of row and rhyme while crying”, the city was known for the geniuses it produced in the Urdu language. Jaun was also known to Arabic, English, Persian, Sanskrit and Hebrew along with Urdu.

In his columns, he repeatedly said that he was not a supporter of Pakistan idea but when the country of Pakistan came into existence, Jaun Elia came to Pakistan and settled in Karachi in 1957. His poetry inspired youth at that time and continue to inspire the though he died in 2002, aged 71 When he was young. His inner soul, though, was still youthful. As poet Pirzada Qasim says, “Jaun was very particular about language. While his diction is rooted in the classical tradition, he touches on new subjects”.

Elia’s poetry is very simple, deep and easier to understand, still, it touches the latest topics and that is the reason why youth can relate to his poetry. Nowadays many poets are copying jaun Elia’s Style. Raja Asghar was once said in a published article on Jaun Elia’s death in a newspaper, “it appeared that a lifetime of active participation in the literary and cultural life of the City had made Jaun Elia an icon – a symbol of our literary legacy”


An anarchist in the true sense of the word and a nihilist to the core, Jaun Elia was a poet who took the concept of death broadly in his poetry. He was known as a depressed poet and a person who was full of grieves. His poetry fluently discusses the tough life he had to live. This was probably because of the long fight he had to face against Tuberculosis. He remained a constant patient of TB from the 1950s till his death in 2002.

Many people don’t know that Jaun Elia was not just a poet but was an editor and a translator also. Masih-i-Baghdad Hallaj, Jometria, Tawasin, Isaghoji, Rahaish-o-Kushaish, Farnod, Tajrid, Masail-i-Tajrid, Rasail Ikhwan-us-Safa were some of his translation material from Arabic and Persian Languages. Not only did he translate these books but he also introduced several new words in Urdu language.

His all work has not been published yet but Yaani, Lekin and Farnood have sold thousands of copies so far and are still being published worldwide.

✔ His famous poetry collections are :

  • Sukhan Meri Udasi Hai
  • Zakham e Umeed
  • Mubada
  • Tumharey Aur Mere Darmiyan
  • Daricha Haye Kheyal
  • Qitaat
  • Jaun Elia Ki Tamam Ghazlain(parts I-III)
  • Inshaye aur Mazaameen
  • Farnood

He was lonely and alone almost throughout his life. His marriage to Zahida Hina was a failure and though he tried to loo happy after separation from his wife, he certainly was lonelier than ever during this period. As Azra Abbas wrote about one of her meetings with Jaun Elia after his separation with Zahida in her column, “This Jaun seemed happy but he wasn’t. And that Jaun seemed sad but he wasn’t”. His delusion with loneliness and depression is visible in his poetry also.

Jaun Elia died on 8 November 2002.  After living a controversial life in Karachi. He is not present today but he left a legacy and his name to be remembered forever. A couple of lines from his famous poetry, which is also written on his tomb is:

Main bhī bahut ajiib huuñ itna ajiib huuñ ki bas

ḳhud ko tabāh kar liyā aur malāl bhī nahīñ

✔ Read Biography of Sir Francis Bacon – Former Lord Chancellor


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5 Thoughts to “JAUN ELIA, an Anarchist, a Nihilist and a Poet – A Biography”

  1. Nasir

    Good To See Review on Such a Classic and Precious Book. Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai is Real Inspirational Personality For All Of Us. WellDone.. You Have Written a Decent Article.

  2. U said That his Poetry is To Understand BuT According To my View THe poetry OF Syed Joun alia is noT easy To undestand Because Many young peoples Used His Poetry on Facebook.,whats app But Can’t understand The Meaning oF his poetry His Poetry NoT Totally Straight farword .He was also Scholar .biographer ,and philosopher Also .His Real name was sibt e asghar naqvi He is MosT popular in Young Genertaion Thats wjy he is most prominent unconventional ways .He acquired knowledge oF philosophy ,logic ,Islamic History ,western literature .Iam Also a BiG Fan OF syed Jounali His Is my ideal in Poetry .

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