Niaz Fatehpuri was born at Fatehpur Hasva in Uttar Pradesh in 1882 and died in 1966. Niaz Fatehpuriâs real name was Maulana Niyaz Muhammad Khan. He was educated at Madrasa Islamia, Fatehpur, Madrasa Alia, Rampur, and Nadwatul Ulema, Lucknow. He resigned his post in 1902 as a police Sub-Inspector after working in this capacity for a couple of years. Thereafter he worked in different posts till 1921. He started editing and publishing his famous monthly journal Nigar, which served as a mirror to the literary scene in Uttar Pradesh till his migration to Pakistan in the early sixties.
His fiction consists of seven collections, besides many short stories published in the Nigar. Although at a later stage he wrote a few stories attacking religious hypocrisy and fanaticism and there is evidence to show how his desire grew to reform the society through short stories, his literary romanticism was too frank to permit him to tread the paths of reality freely.
His important publications are: Man-O-Yazdan (religion), Shahvaniyat (Sociology); Maktubat (letters); Intiqadiyat (criticism); Jamalistan: Nigaristan (both short-stories) 1939; Shaair ka Anjam, 1913; Jazhabat-e-bhasha (An appreciation of Hindi poetry), 2nd edn., 1926; Gahvara-i-tamaddun (Account of the role of women in the ovulation of culture) 1932; Hindi Shaeri, 1936; Targhibat-i-jinsi ya sahvaniyat (development of sex knowledge) 1941; Husn ki aiyariyan aur dusre afsane (short stories), 1943; Jhansi ki Rani, 1946; Mukhtarat-i-Niyazi 1947; Naqab uth jane ke bad, 1942; Chand ghante hukmae qadim ki ruhon ke sath aur mazamin (three essays); Muttaleat-i-Niyaz (literary and historical essays), 1947; edited Taammulat-i-Niyaz, (collection of articles), 1951; 3 Vols. (letters), 1948-51; Muzakirat-e-Niyaz (some pages of diary), 1932; Mijmuah istifsar va javab (collection of questions and answers by the author on different topics), 1938; Sahabiyat (some lady followers of Prophet Muhammad), 1932.
Since the publication of his first story, âEk Parsi dosheeza ko dekh karâ (Having seen a Parsi girl) in 1910, most of his stories have revealed an imaginative preoccupation with things unworldly. Such writings can perhaps be regarded more as pieces of poetic prose than as short stories which are normally pregnant with happenings. Whenever he chooses to bring in events, as in âCupid aur Psycheâ (Cupid and Psyche), abstract ideas make their sneaky appearance and over-crowd the events, with the result that they are prevented from proceeding further.
By the early forties, Niaz Fatehpuri had already switched over to philosophy and criticism, for the true features of the short story having been identified with those of Premchand by now, he could not but feel the futility of his wanderings in imaginative wilderness.
He was the editor of the famous Urdu literary magazine Nigar, some of whose issues are considered permanent additions to the Urdu literature; later, was interested in Islamic history, especially the literary and political aspects of it. He was awarded Padma Bhushan for his services to Urdu in 1962.