I am deeply saddened to the news of demise of Prof. Ahmad Safi Ansari in the morning July 3, 2023, he was 77. Dr Safi was born to a renowned family in the Village Jaigahan District Jaunpur situated in Eastern UP. His grandfather Mr Lateef Ansari was a zamindar had three daughters and four sons.

The eldest son Mr Abdul Ghani Ansari was ICS, Mr Abdul Ali Ansari, Mr Abdul Wali Ansari and the youngest Mr Abdul Qawi Ansari. After appointment as a teacher of Persian and English in Shibli College Safi Saheb’s father Mr Abdul Qawi Ansari shifted to Azamgarh.

The great Islamic scholar and poet Allama Iqbal Ahmad Khan “Suhail” was his maternal Grandfather and Maulana Waheeduddin Khan was also his maternal grandfather. Dr Safi is Survived by his wife Mrs Naveed Ansari two daughters Dr Maryem Ansari ( Gold medalist ) Pathologist, son in law Dr Mohammad Abid Shamshad Ophthalmic surgeon ( he is my nephew ), two grandsons Zayan and Abaan and the younger daughter Nida Ansari currently staying in US for higher studies.

After completing school education from Wesley Inter College Azamgarh Safi Saheb went to Aligarh Muslim University for higher studies. He did his MSc and PhD in Chemistry from AMU. In 1968 joined Shibli College as lecturer in Chemistry dept. In 1982 he went to Libya on an assignment of lecturer in Garyounis University, Science faculty, University of Benghazi. He served there upto 1990. On coming back from Libya joined Shibli College again and remained there till his superannuation in 2006.

In 2000, Mr Shakil Ahmad Khan an NRI businessman in Gulf and nephew of Maulana Waheeduddin Khan decided to establish a school in the village Badharia 27 kms from Azamgarh distt headquarter. He approached Mr Yaminul Islam Khan son of Maulana Iqbal Ahmad Khan who owned most of the chunk of the land in that area.

Yaminul Islam saheb readily agreed to donate his land. Many of the other descendants of Ziauddin Khan saheb the third great grandfather of Safi saheb generously donated their ancestral lands in this noble cause. Same year Ziauddin Khan Memorial Educational and Welfare Trust was formed and in August 2000 “Ziauddin Khan Memorial School ( ZKM School ) was established as an English medium school.

Other members of the extended family came forward and donated their lands for a grand educational institution and it was Mr Shakil Ahmad Khan who had given the funds for the requirement of infrastructure etc. Subsequently he contacted Prof Safi Ahmed Ansari requesting him to accept the responsibility of managing the school and offered him a consolidated amount equivalent to salary for the left over period of his service.

However the offer was politely refused by Prof Safi but not without assuring that during spare time he will look after the day to day issues of the school. He till his last breath never took any pecuniary benefits from the school’s exchequer, neither collected money in the name of charity. All expenses whether routine, revenue or the capital expenditures those are met from school’s income itself.

As part of extra curricular activities number of programs, specially on the occasion of annual functions, organised in the campus where the students have the opportunity to show their talents by way of their performances ranging from karate and health education sports and cultural programs.

A large number of villagers gather on the occasion of annual functions. They come not only from the adjacent villages, the city of Azamgarh or cities within state of UP but from far of places like Delhi, Mumbai and even people settled abroad. In the sleepy Village Bhadaria people can’t speak Hindi but the students of ZKM speak and write fairly good English as well as Urdu.

In the capacity of Manager and under the leadership of Prof Ahmed Safi the school is witnessing sustainable growth. Today, Ziauddin Khan Memorial is a Senior Secondary school having students strength of 1100. With its imposing building and ambience it attracts the sight of every visitor. The school is equipped with modern infrastructure and state of the art class rooms and laboratories.

Let us see what Dr Safi has to say about his school :

“By the grace of God, this English medium school has become a symbol of standard and a model for other schools. What’s more, this phenomenon has elicited a positive response from parents across the district. In fact, some families have migrated back to their village from the Gulf and Middle-East countries with the confidence that their wards will acquire quality education up to the senior secondary level”.

“Education provides us an understanding of the world around us and offers an opportunity to apply that knowledge wisely. Pushing aside the differences in race, creed, and gender, education enables the learner to stand out as an equal to all people from across walks of life”.

“We have been consistently applauded by several political leaders, renowned educationists, eminent scholars, and scientists, who have complimented our management and school administration for their sincere and visionary services”.

An erudite suave a wonderful person calm quite soft spoken and a compassionate human being is none other but Prof Ahmad Safi. I don’t remember to have ever seen him without an infectious smile on his face.

A man of words and actions never heard of manifesting high temper anger or speaking loudly on the contrary his crisis management ability was impeccable thus could douse a fire diligently without making a noise and that is the beauti of his persona.

Deeply concerned a man he was for the betterment upliftment growth and development of the society particularly the poor and neglected sections of the society. He had an outlook to set forth the agenda with a firm intent percolating to the bottom and delivering to the farthest one eventually.

Safi Saheb’s exuberant efforts are not only a guiding force for the youth but also illuminates the darkened right path marching resiliently notwithstanding the expected rate of success is remote, try to reach out to the lowest in the desire to fulfill his social responsibility.

It is far better if someone takes a call and play his/ her role howsoever little that might be, instead of cursing the community every now and then lecturing others making tall claims giving speeches organising meetings seminars etc, without any delivery whatsoever.

In this hour of grief we the members of his extended family stand firm with the bereaved family friends and well wishers. May God bless them with the strength to overcome the current phase of the tragedy. May Allah bless his soul, finds a good place in Jannah.


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