Muhammad Abdullah Chughtai

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Muhammad Abdullah Chughtai
Muhammad Abdullah Chughtai.jpeg
Born23rd November 1896
Lahore, Pakistan
DiedDecember 19, 1984(1984-12-19) (aged 88)
Alma materMayo school of Arts
  • Scholar
  • Researcher of Islamic art
  • Historian
  • Archeologist
  • Architect

Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Chughtai (23rd November 1896-19th December 1984) was a scholar and a researcher of Islamic art, historian, archeologist and architect. He was born in Lahore, Pakistan. A man of many talents, was known to many as a man who was authority in architecture and who knew hidden secrets of historical buildings.

Education and Career

At a young age Chughtai started working as a carpenter and then took a diploma in this trade from Mayo school of Arts, Lahore. As he completed his education, in 1914 he started his career as a teacher in the technical school of Anjuman-i-Hymayat in Lahore, Pakistan. Later he became a Headmaster of D.B. Technical school in Ludhiana, India from 1916-1924. In 1924 he chose the job of lecturer in a College in Lahore.

His dream was bigger and wanted to gain more knowledge. His wife was his biggest supporter, who encouraged him to get higher education. She sold her personal belongings to help him afford the study abroad. This is sad that she did not live long to see him succeed.

He took admission in the University of Paris, France in 1936. There he was awarded a doctorate with honors in 1938. His thesis was on architectural history of Taj Mahal. The research was phenomenal and he gave the greatest architectural facts about the monument. Dr. Chaghatai served as reader of research and mediaeval India at the Deccan college & post graduate research institute , Poona India from 1938 to 1947.He was a member of the Indian historical records commission. He also served as a part time lecturer in the university of Punjab and as reader in architecture in University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore.

Dr. Chaghatai was a close friend to Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal" The great poet of the east "for three decades . He accompanied Dr. Iqbal during the visits to the sub continent , Germany, France, Qartaba, (Spain) and at the round table conference held in London for independence of the sub continent. They remained close and loyal friends till the end. He always spoke highly of him. In pursuit of his interest and urged for research and original contribution to Art and Architecture, he made frequent visits to the monuments, universities, libraries and museums as well as attending international conferences of Art and Architecture in the sub continent, Middle east, Turkey, Europe and America. His writings also include the life and works of many Calligraphers , artists and craftsmen. His researches are innumerable and spread over hundreds of articles and books. His works received National & international recognition and awards. He was fluent in many languages, including, Urdu, English, French, Arabic, Persian and Turkish. Dr. Chughtai became more quiet and reserved after his wife's death. She did not just leave emptiness in his life but also young kids to take care of. He was a loving father who lived for his kids. As one of his sons used to say that after our mother left this world, our father became both our mother and our father. He died in Lahore on 19th December 1984. His elder brother A. Rehman chughtai was the great well recognized artist of the sub continent, whose paintings have earned him the international title "Artist of the east". He was a great supporter of his brother's work and stayed with him every step of the way.

Awards and recognition

1. Tamgha e Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan.

2. Aleena Javed did her P.H.D thesis on Dr. Chughtai and wrote on the museum site "Dr. Abdullah Chughtai was a man of honor, dignity, patience and as a research scholar as much as I read about him, I came to know much more. With the help of sir Arif Rahman Chughtai I completed my thesis on Dr. Abdullah Chughtai. The personalities like Dr. Chughtai are assets and they should be remembered, it may help us to uplift our knowledge.

3. In the journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Professor .K.A.C. Creswell, an internationally renowned European scholar recognizes Dr. Chaghatai as a great research scholar and paid tributes to his works on Islamic architecture, paintings and epigraphy. He also wrote the foreword of Dr. Chaghtai book "THE TAJ MAHAL AGRA".


He wrote numerous books and his work is still found in Punjab library Pakistan, a section dedicated to his work.

1. 'ahmad Mi'mar Lahori aur us ka Khandan, Muhammad 'abdullah Chughtai, Lahore, 1957

2. 'ilm Parwari wa Hunar Shinasi, Muhammad 'abdullah Chughtai, Lahore, 1957

3. Badshahi Masjid, Muhammad 'abdullah Chughtai, Lahore, 1977

4. Biyanah, Muhammad 'abdullah Chughtai, Lahore, 1973

5. Khatu, Muhammad 'abdullah Chughtai, Lahore, 1968

6. Kamal ud-din Bihzad-i-Musawwir, Muhammad 'abdullah Chughtai, Lahore, 1981

7. Islami Khattati, Muhammad 'abdullah Chughtai, Lahore, s.d.

8. Islami Fann-i Ta'mir par Iran wa Turan ka ithar, Muhammad 'abdullah Chughtai, Lahore, 1973.

9. Lahor ki Kahani Athar ki Zabani, Muhammad 'abdullah Chughtai, Lahore, 1958.

10. Lahor Sikhon ke 'ahd men, Muhammad 'abdullah Chughtai, Lahore, 1963.

11. Riwayat e Iqbal


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