Friday, 6 May 2011

Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar (1873-1954)

He was born in Lahore, India in 1873. Lahore is now in Pakistan. His father was a tailor. He had four siblings - all are brothers. He recited Quran from age three and went to school at age five. By age eleven, he became a hafiz (a person who is able to recite the Quran).

He studied Humanities and Arts in the Government College of Lahore and graduated in 1893. He completed a Masters in Arts at the University of Punjab in 1894. At 21, he studied Philology, Mathematics, and Science (known as Mathematical Tripos) at the St John's College in Cambridge University and completed it in 1896. He studied Advanced Arabic at the Imperial Institute of Modern Languages (1896-1900).

In 1896, after completing his studies at Cambridge University, he was offered two choices - to either serve the British Indian government service in India or the British Colonial Civil Service of the Straits Settlements in Southeast Asia. He chose the latter. In 1896 he was appointed a Cadet of the Malayan Civil Service.

He held several posts in Malaya between 1900 and 1928. Among them were:

Magistrate, Penang Supreme Court
Mufti, Penang
Third Magistrate, Singapore (1920 onward)
Acting Sheriff and Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court and Assistant Official Assignee, Penang
Acting District Judge, Penang
Acting Censor, Singapore
Acting Registrar of Companies, Penang
Civil District Judge, Singapore (1923 - 30 December 1928)

Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar wrote many books on Islam. He was the first person to translate Quran into English at Oxford University. I have two of his books (photos below). He wrote the following books between 1923 and 1954:

The Word of God and the Wonders of Science (1923-25)
The Translation of the Holy Qur'an (1928)
Philosophy of the Qur'an (1938)
Mohammad the Holy Prophet (1937)

Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar knew many languages including these below:
Qur'anic Arabic
Modern Arabic

Source: Wazir Jahan Karim. Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar (1873-1954). A Biographical Review. Straits G.T. Intersocietal and Scientific (INAS), George Town, Penang. 2008.

Wazir Jahan Karim. Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar (1873-1954). A Biographical Review. 2008
Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar. Life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). 2010. ISBN 978-983-44034-2-3
Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar. On God, Creation and Evolution. 2009. ISBN 978-983-44034-1-6

Newspaper reports of Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar (H. G. Sarwar):