Well-known historian, archivist Dawood Ashraf passes away

Hyderabad: Dr Syed Dawood Ashraf, an authority on archival history of the Deccan, including the formerly Princely State of Hyderabad, passed away early this morning.  He was 85. He left behind wife, a daughter and two sons. His first son had died at a young age about 19 years ago.

The volume of works in Urdu and English left behind by Dr Ashraf is stupendous and reveal the little known dimensions of the Deccan.

According to family sources Dr Ashraf had been unwell for the last few days. In fact, three years ago he had fallen sick and was admitted to a corporate hospital in the City.  After recouping from the previous ailment, he had become weak but continued his writing quietly.  “I have much more to write.  There is so much of material I am going through but because of personal issues, I have not been able to give as much attention to my work as I could,” he had told siasat.com some time back.

Born to a well known journalist Syed Ali Ashraf in Hyderabad he had education up to 11th class at Gosha Mahal High School.

Dr Ashraf has worked with the TS (earlier AP) Archives and Research Institute for 29 years.  He was a regular contributor to Siasat Urdu Daily on subjects to Hyderabad’s history, culture and administration. He carried out pioneering work on Mughal Records from the reigns of Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan.  Dr Ashraf also worked on Asaf Jahi period extensively.

His Ph D thesis from Pune University was on Mughal Administration of Deccan during the Period of Aurangzeb’s period is considered a valuable addition to the literature on Mughal period in India.

Dr Dawood had also written a research paper on Maqdoom Mohiuddin, the revolutionary Urdu poet. He wrote about five books in English and more than a dozen in Urdu on various dimensions of the Deccan.

He was laid to rest in the afternoon.