Muslim social

The Muslim social is a film genre in Hindi cinema that portrays and critiques Islamic culture in India. It flourished in the 1950s and 1960s and lasted till the early 1980s. Muslim socials are divided into two categories: "classic Muslim socials" that explore nawabi culture and focus on upper class or elite Muslim families, and "new wave Muslim socials" that portray middle class Muslim families who experience economic problems, discrimination and communal violence.[1] Muslim socials often include ghazals, qawwalis, Urdu poetry and expressions, and musical forms commonly associated with Islamic culture.[2] However, lately the label has also been criticized for cultural ghettoization of minority cinema. Director M.S. Sathyu who made Garam Hava (1973), called it "a skewed way to look at cinema. When there is no Hindu social or Christian social, how can there be a Muslim social".[3]


The earliest Muslim socials were made in the 1930s after the advent of sound and continued to be popular until the 1980s. The genre's popularity was partly due to the financial success of Mehboob Khan's Najma (1943), which became the blueprint for Muslim socials that followed, which too delved on social issues around Muslim families, no matter what the setting, giving the genre its title.[4][5]

Based on the life of Mughal Emperor, Jahangir, Pukar (1939) made by Sohrab Modi, known for his historicals, is the first notable film in this genre.[6] Soon Hindi cinema based in Mumbai became the hub for Muslim socials, and it employed a large number of Muslim producers, director, screenwriters, music directors, lyricists and actors,[6] most notably Mehboob Khan, K. A. Abbas, Kamal Amrohi, Abrar Alvi, Abdul Rashid Kardar, Saadat Hassan Manto, Ismat Chugtai, Ghulam Haider, Khayyam, Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Shakeel Badayuni, Mohammed Rafi, Talat Mahmood, Shamshad Begum.[7] Numerous films were made about the Mughals, including Humayun (1945) by Mehboob Khan, Shahjehan (1946) by Abdul Rashid Kardar, Taj Mahal (1963) by M. Sadiq, and Jahan Ara (1964), however the pinnacle of this royalty theme was Mughal-e-Azam (1960) by K. Asif, about Akbar, his son Prince Salim (later known as Jahangir), and the courtesan Anarkali, who itself became the theme of other films, like Anarkali (1953).[6] Another popular theme of the period was centered on the nawabi culture, especially the culture of Awadh, present day Lucknow, it produced films marked by elaborate production, music and highlighting the sophistication of language and lifestyle, like Mirza Ghalib (1954), Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960), Mere Mehboob (1963), Dil Hi To Hai (1963) and Pakeezah (1972) by Kamal Amrohi, starring Meena Kumari, which spent over a decade in making.[7][8]

Thereafter the films in this genre shifted from regal that of fading Nawabi culture - Bahu Begum (1967). After experiencing its height in the 1970s, the genre descended to being a mere stereotypical and kitschy representation complete a kotha of a courtesan or a nawab stricken with poverty. One exception was Umrao Jaan (1981) directed by Muzaffar Ali based on 1905 historical novel Umrao Jaan Ada by Mirza Hadi Ruswa.

Musical romances were also prepared in this genre which included H. S. Rawail's Mere Mehboob (1963), Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971) and Laila Majnu (1976).[9] More over reflecting on the changing times, themes shifted regal to middle class North Indian Muslims, and from mainstream Bollywood to parallel cinema or the new wave cinema, starting with Dastak (1970), Garm Hava (1973), Bazaar (1982) and Nikaah (1982). Besides that Ali made Anjuman (1986), and Saeed Akhtar Mirza made Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989) and Naseem (1995). Gradually the genre lost both nuanced depiction of its hey days was imitated by the cinema many Muslim countries, and audiences as well, and few notable additions were made to this genre, and too sporadic.[5][6][8]

The genre resurfaced in works of the screenwriter Khalid Mohammed, Mammo (1994), Sardari Begum (1996), Fiza (2000) and Zubeidaa (2001), Mohammed directed Fiza, while the rest were directed by art film master Shyam Benegal, Benegal had previously directed, and Junoon (1978) set in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, stories with marked political content.[7]


Classic Muslim socials

New wave Muslim socials


  1. ^ Allen, Richard; Ira Bhaskar (2009). Islamicate Cultures of Bombay Cinema. Tulika Books. pp. 91–92. ISBN 978-81-89487-53-9.
  2. ^ Babb, Lawrence A.; Susan S. Wadley (1998). Media and the Transformation of Religion in South Asia. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 151. ISBN 81-208-1453-3. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  3. ^ "Back with the wind". The Hindu. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  4. ^ Dönmez-Colin, Gönül (2004). Women, Islam and cinema. London: Reaktion Books. p. 93. ISBN 1-86189-220-9. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
  5. ^ a b Nirupama Dutt (22 January 2005). "Muslim Mystique in Indian films". The Tribune. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d Ruthven, 189
  7. ^ a b c "Ghararas To Guns-From The Muslim Social To The Muslim Political". Cine Blitz. December 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Gulzar, p. 241
  9. ^ Subhash K. Jha (24 September 2004). "H.S. Rawail: Death of a faded giant". Retrieved 5 October 2013.


Azerbaijan Democratic Republic

The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR; Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Demokratik Respublikası), also known as Azerbaijan People's Republic (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Xalq Cümhuriyyəti) or Caucasus Azerbaijan in diplomatic documents, was the third democratic republic in the Turkic world and Muslim world, after the Crimean People's Republic and Idel-Ural Republic. The ADR was founded by the Azerbaijani National Council in Tiflis on 28 May 1918 after the collapse of the Russian Empire. Its established borders were with Russia to the north, the Democratic Republic of Georgia to the north-west, the First Republic of Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. It had a population of 2.86 million. Ganja was the temporary capital of the Republic as Baku was under Bolshevik control. The name of "Azerbaijan" which the leading Musavat party adopted, for political reasons, was, prior to the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918, exclusively used to identify the adjacent region of contemporary northwestern Iran.Under the ADR, a government system was developed in which a Parliament elected on the basis of universal, free, and proportionate representation was the supreme organ of state authority; the Council of Ministers was held responsible before it. Fatali Khan Khoyski became its first prime minister. Besides the Musavat majority, Ahrar, Ittihad, Muslim Social Democrats as well as representatives of Armenian (21 out of 120 seats), Russian, Polish, Jewish and German minorities gained seats in the parliament. Some members supported Pan-Islamist and Pan-Turkist ideas.Among the important accomplishments of the Parliament was the extension of suffrage to women, making Azerbaijan one of the first countries in the world, and the very first majority-Muslim nation, to grant women equal political rights with men. Another important accomplishment of the ADR was the establishment of Baku State University, which was the first modern-type university founded in Azerbaijan.

Caste system among South Asian Muslims

Although Islam does not recognize any castes, Muslim communities in South Asia apply a system of social stratification. It developed as a result of ethnic segregation between the foreign conquerors (Ashraf) and the local converts (Ajlaf).

Chandni Chowk (film)

Chandni Chowk is a 1954 classic Muslim social drama film directed by B. R. Chopra. The music was composed by Roshan with lyrics written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, Saifuddin Saif, Kamil Rashid, Shailendra and Raja Mehdi Ali Khan. Story was by D. P. Berry with screenplay by I. S. Johar and dialogue written by Kamil Rashid. Produced by Prince Hira Sinh of Baria and Goverdhandas Aggarwal under the banner of Hira Films. The director of photography was Keki Mistry. The film starred Meena Kumari, Shekhar, Kumar, Jeevan, Smriti Biswas and Achala Sachdev. The main hero Shekhar was one of the less appreciated lead actors of the 1940s and 1950s but has been cited as a "master of realistic portrayals" usually cast in "mid-budget films".The story involves a Nawab belonging to the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi in the early 1920s, who gets "tricked into marrying his daughter to the gardener's son".

Dard (1947 film)

Dard (Pain) is a 1947 Bollywood drama film directed by Abdul Rashid Kardar. The film was produced by Kardar Productions. It was a surprise "musical hit" at the box office as it had an ordinary (for then) star cast. Suraiya played the second lead, with Munawwar Sultana as the main heroine. The film was Suraiya's first "big hit", becoming a popular singing star following the success of the film. The hero of the film was Kardar's brother Nusrat (Kardar), who shifted to Pakistan following Partition in 1947, where he acted in a few films.The music director was Naushad who composed the "hit" songs for the film, which continue to remain popular. The lyricist was Shakeel Badayuni, an "accomplished Urdu poet" who had arrived in Mumbai in 1946, to write songs for Hindi films. He was signed by Naushad and Kardar to write the lyrics for Dard. His "Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon" (I Am Writing A Tale) sung by Uma Devi went on to become successful as did the other songs from the film.Dard was a Muslim social romantic melodrama which involved a love triangle in the form of two girls, Munnawwar Sultana and Suraiya, both in love with a doctor played by Nusrat.

Elaan (1947 film)

Elaan (Hindi: ऐलान) is a 1947 Indian Bollywood Muslim social melodrama film. It was the sixth highest grossing Indian film of 1947.

Gazal (1964 film)

Gazal is a 1964 Urdu-Hindi romance musical film directed by Ved-Madan, starring Meena Kumari, Sunil Dutt and Prithviraj Kapoor. The muslim social film is about the right of young generation to the marriage of their choice. It had music by Madan Mohan with lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi, featuring notable filmi-ghazals such as "Rang Aur Noor Ki Baraat", performed by Mohammed Rafi and "Naghma O Sher Ki Saugaat", performed by Lata Mangeshkar.

Hamid Dalwai

Hamid Umar Dalwai (20 September 1932 – 3 May 1977) was a Muslim social reformer, thinker, activist and Marathi language writer in Maharashtra, India.

Mammed Said Ordubadi

Mammad Said Ordubadi (Azerbaijani: Məmməd Səid Ordubadi; 24 March 1872, Ordubad - 1 May 1950, Baku) was Azerbaijani writer, poet, playwright and journalist.

Ordubadi, started his career as a poet. His articles and poetry were published in many of the megazines in Azerbaijani language at that time. During the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, Ordubadi joined Muslim Social Democratic Party (Hummet). He then published Bloody Years about the clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani populations in 1905. In 1918, he joined to Communist Party and his articles have published in the official newspaper of Hummet organization. He, along with XI Red Army, goes to Dagestan and publishes Red Dagestan magazine there. After the Sovietization of Azerbaijan he returns to Baku.

Today, Ordubadi is remembered as one of the most important intellectuals of Azerbaijan during Soviet era. He served twice as a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR, the highest legislative institution in the country. His novels include Sword and the Pen, about the personality of Nizami Ganjavi, Foggy Tabriz about the Iranian constitutional revolution, also Mysterious Baku and Fighting City which both are about the revolutionary activities of Bolsheviks and 26 Baku Commissars. He also published articles about Narimanovism about the activity of national communism symbol in Azerbaijan, Nariman Narimanov.

Mere Mehboob

Mere Mehboob ("My Lover") is a 1963 Indian film directed by Harnam Singh Rawail and starring Rajendra Kumar, Sadhana, Ashok Kumar, Nimmi, Pran, Johnny Walker and Ameeta. The film became a big hit and took the number one position at the box office in 1963. A Muslim social film, it drew a background from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh and traditional Lucknow. The famous song "Mere Mehboob Tujhe Mere" was shot in the University Hall and in a couple of places, one gets to see the University. The opening scene of the movie shows the famous residential hall and the associated clock tower; "Victoria Gate".

Meshadi Azizbekov

Meshadi Aziz-bey oghlu Azizbekov, also spelled Azizbeyov (Azerbaijani: Məşədi Əziz bəy oğlu Əzizbəyov; Russian: Мешади Азиз-бек оглы Азизбеков; January 6, 1876 - September 20, 1918) was a Soviet revolutionary of Azerbaijani origin, leader of the revolutionary movement in Azerbaijan, one of the first Azeri Marxists, Provincial Commissioner and Deputy People's Commissar of Internal Affairs, gubernial commissar for Baku. He was one of the 26 Baku Commissars.

Azizbekov became the member of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and one of the leaders of Muslim Social Democratic Party. After the October Revolution he joined to Baku Comissars. As the Baku Commune was voted out of power in July 1918, Azizbekov and rest of the Commissars abandoned Baku and fled across the Caspian Sea. However they were captured by anti-Soviet forces. On the night of September 20, Azizbekov was executed by a firing squad in a remote location between the stations of Pereval and Akhcha-Kuyma on the Trans-Caspian railway.

Currently the views on Azizbekov are mixed. Azerbaijani nationalism, the ruling New Azerbaijan Party as well as the main opposition parties Musavat and APFP doesn't see Azizbekov as a positive figure. Though Azerbaijan Communist Party and many other local left-wing politicians and the people sees Azizbekov as an important, notable and positive figure in the history of Azerbaijan.

Muslim Social Democratic Party

The Muslim Social Democratic Party, usually referred to as Hummet (Azerbaijani: Hümmət) ("Endeavor"), was a political party in South Caucasus. In 1920, it merged with "Adalat" (Azerbaijani: Ədalət) ("Justice") communist cell in Baku, forming the first Communist Party of Azerbaijan.

Opera film

An opera film is a recording of an opera on film.

Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz

Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz (Urdu: پسماندہ مسلم محاذ ‎) ("Marginalised Muslim Front") is an Indian Muslim social reform organization dedicated to the emancipation of the Dalit Muslims belonging to the "Arzal" class in the class system among Muslims. It was founded by Ali Anwar in Patna, Bihar. Anwar himself is an OBC Muslim.

Pukar (1939 film)

Pukar (Urdu: پُکار, Hindi: पुकार) is a 1939 Urdu film produced and directed by Sohrab Modi at the production house, Minerva Movietone. The film is about Mughal emperor Jehangir's legendary justice and his inner conflict when his wife kills an innocent citizen by mistake.

The movie is a typical Sohrab Modi production (which always seemed to be historical) with heavy and lengthy Urdu dialogues said in a loud and dramatic style. Story and lyrics are by Kamal Amrohi. Pukar is considered to be the earliest Muslim social film.

Samad aga Agamalioglu

Samad aga Agamalioglu (Azerbaijani: Səməd ağa Ağamalıoğlu; Russian: Самед ага Агамалыоглы; 27 December 1867 – 6 October 1930) was a Soviet statesman and socialist revolutionary, and a participant in the Russian Revolution of 1905 in the Caucasus.Agamalioglu (real name Samad Hasan oglu Aliyev) was born in the village of Kyrah Kesemen of Qazakh district, Elisabethpol Governorate to peasant parents. He graduated from Vladikavkaz military school, trained as a surveyor. In 1887 he entered the military service of Ganja, and later he started to read about Marxism and became a socialist revolutionary and active member of Muslim Social Democratic Party. After the February Revolution of 1917, he became a member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in Ganja, actively participating in the Hummet activities. Beginning at the end of 1918, he worked in Baku. He was chosen as a deputy to the Muslim Socialist Bloc in the Azerbaijani National Council of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. Soon after the overthrow of Musavat rule, Agamalioglu became a member of the People's Commissariat of Azerbaijan SSR and in 1922-29, he served as the CEC Chairman and as one of the chairmen of the CEC of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic. At the 1st Congress of Soviets of the USSR (1922), he was elected a member of the CEC of the USSR, then a member of the Presidium of the USSR Central Executive Committee. He led the introduction of romanized alphabet to the republics of the Soviet East. Agamalioglu is also author of several works on the revolutionary movement, the Cultural Revolution in the eastern parts of the Soviet Union. He was also the first preparer and the publisher of the famous Kamaluddovle Mektublari by the celebrated Azerbaijani playwright Mirza Fatali Akhundov. The cultural icon of the era, Maxim Gorky, called Agamalioglu a "marvelous man" and highly appreciated his works on the newly reformed alphabet. He died in Moscow in 1930.

There are streets named after him in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The villages of Ağamalıoğlu in Goranboy region and (until 2011) Ağamalı in Gadabay region were named in his honour.

Sulayman S. Nyang

Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang (1944 - 12 November 2018) was a professor and former chairman of the African Studies Department at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He was a co-principal investigator of the Project MAPS and also a former deputy ambassador and head of chancery of the Gambia Embassy in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Nyang has served as consultant to several national and international agencies and on the boards of the African Studies Association, the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, America's Islamic Heritage Museum, and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists. He has written extensively on Islamic, African and Middle Eastern affairs. He holds a master's degree in public administration and a Ph.D. in government from the University of Virginia. Nyang was an advising scholar for the award-winning, PBS-broadcast documentaries Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet (2002) and Prince Among Slaves (2007), produced by Unity Productions Foundation.

Thanichalla Njan

Thanichalla Njan is a 2012 Malayalam language film that was directed by Babu Thiruvalla. It is based on the true story of Chellamma Antharjanam, a suicidal woman that was rescued by a Muslim social worker, Razia Beevi. The movie performed well at the 60th National Film Awards, where it won the award for Best Feature Film on National Integration. Actress Kalpana also received the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Razia Beevi. Kalpana later remarked that she had not initially wanted to take on the role of Razia, as it was so different from what she had done up to that point in her career, and had urged Thiruvalla to hire Urvashi in her stead.Filming for Thanichalla Njan took place in Kidangara and Thiruvalla during early 2012. That same year writer K. S. Noushad filed a complaint against Thiruvalla, claiming that he had written the film's screenplay and that the director had refused to give him credit.

Umma (1960 film)

Umma (English: Mother) is a 1960 Malayalam social drama film directed and produced by Kunchacko. It was the first directorial venture of Kunchacko. Its screenplay is written by Vimal while the dialogues are by P. K. Sarangapani, who was on his debut. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Moidu Padiyath. It was the first Muslim social film in Malayalam. The story of the film revolves around marital evils that prevailed in the Muslim community, particularly in the Malabar region.The film became a huge box office success as well as gained critical praise. The famous song "Kadalivaazhakayyilirunnu" is from this film.

Zeenat (1945 film)

Zeenat is a 1945 Indian Muslim social melodrama film directed by Syed Shaukat Hussain Rizvi and starring Noor Jehan, Yakub, Majid, Himalayawala, and Karan Dewan. It was produced by Shirazali Hakim and Ramzanali S. Lakhani. The film’s story and dialogue was written by Wajahat Mirza Changezi. The music was composed by Meer Saheb and Hafiz Khan while the background music was provided by Rafique Ghaznavi.

It is the story of a young girl who loses her husband a few days after her wedding as a result of a fall from a horse but not before they have spent a night together unbeknownst to others, leaving her pregnant. Her travails following the death of her husband and the music of the film made it the highest grossing Indian film of 1945.

Zeenat became the highest grossing movie of the year 1945 and is known for its famous Quawwsli " Aahen na Bhari shikwe na Kiye "

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