Momin Khan Momin is one of the greats of Urdu poetry. A contemporary of Ghalib it is said that Ghalib offered his entire diwan ( collection of poems) in exchange for one verse
- “Tum mērē pās hōtē hō gōyā
- Jab kō’ī dūsrā nahīⁿˡ hotā”
- You are close to me [as if]
- When no one else is.
He was born into a family of Hakeems ( physicians) and he himself was a practicing Hakeem. He also took much interest in astrology.
A religious man he was buried in the compound of the Sufi saint, Shah Waliullah (1703–1762 ) He was an Islamic scholar, reformer and founder of modern Islamic thought who attempted to reassess Islamic theology in the light of modern changes. The area where Shah Waliullah is buried was called Mehdian and this was the Qabristan e Mehdian. When I went there there were some people praying there.
Qabristan e Mehdian was once a huge area with the graves of many saints and ordinary people. Today much of it has been taken over and what is left of it is used as a dhobi ghat in the 60s when Delhi was expanding there was a move to bulldoze this area and build flats or bungalows here. A great lover of Momin, Ali Mohammad, Sher e Mewat heard of this and came from Mewat (Haryana) to save them. It is said that he lay on the road in front of Teen Murti House and did not get up even when Pandit Nehru was being driven out in his car. Eventually Nehruji got down from his car to enquire and upon hearing the plight of the graves of Shah Waliullah and Momin Khan Momin he got the demolition immediately halted. Ali Mohammad, Sher e Mewat got the mazars repaired and enclosed in a boundary wall.
It is said Ali Mohammed also lay before the bulldozers earlier and suffered a fractured leg.
His name is given as Sher Ali Mewati on the net and in a book I read but Dr S Y Quraishi, corrected me as his ancestors are buried there and he knew about the incident.
Once again some one like him is needed Momin Khan Momin’s grave is outside the room which houses the graves of Shah Waliullah and his familyWoh jo hum mein tum mein qaraar tha,
Though the front is neat and one can make out the words , the back is fading and it here that the main description of the poet is given.
There are a number of well kept and looked after graves here, including of BJP member Sikander Bakht
wo har ek baat pe ruthna