Mohammad Ali was a legendry film actor in Pakistan. He will be remembered as the best ever Urdu film hero and a great personality in the showbiz world. He died on March 19, 2006 and on his first anniversary, Pakistan Film Magazine proudly presents an unique and comprehensive website on this great actor.
Born in a religious family
Mohammad Ali was born into a religious family in Rampure, India on April 19, 1931. He was called as Munna at home. His mother died in his childhood. He passed his childhood in Rampur and Patiala. His grand parents belongs to Hazrat Majaddad Alif Sani and their home land was Ghazni. They migrated from Ghazni (A city in Afghanistan) to Rampure (Uttar Pardesh, India) by the order of Hazarat Majaddad Alif Sani.
Mohammad Ali’s father Maulana Syed Murshid Ali was a big scholar of Islam, so there was no rule of getting knowledge about English in his family. Mohammad Ali got knowledge of Urdu, Arabic and Persian languages for 14 years. His family was moved from Rampure to Rohtak (Haryana, India) after his birth. He was youngest among two brothers and two sisters.
His family migrated soon after partition from India to Hyderabad (Sindh, Pakistan). After some days, they moved to Multan. He joined school here in 7th class, then soon in 9th class due to his intelligence. He passed Matric from Millat High School Multan and moved back to Hyderabad. His house was in a street near Firdous Cinema, Hyderabad. He passed B.A. from City College Hyderabad. He got many prizez for best speaker.
As a Broadcaster
His older brother Irshad Ali was doing service as a broadcaster in Radio Pakistan Hyderabad, so Mohammad Ali also joined Radio Hyderabad as a broadcaster in 1956. Here he worked in Radio dramas and recorded many programmes for children. In those times Mustafa Qureshi, Robina Qureshi, Qurban Jailani, Badar Hashmi, Hamayat Ali, Irshad Ali etc. were working for Radio. He got 10 rupees for each drama here. He was called as Bhoray Mian by his friends. He also worked hard as an actor for the progress of stage in Hyderabad. After this he worked as a broadcaster in Radio Bhawalpur and finally moved to Radio Pakistan Karachi. He met here with Z.A. Bukhari, who was the director of Radio Pakistan.
Mohammad Ali respected Z.A. Bukhari like his own father, who introduced him in film line. Fazal Ahmad Karim Fazli was making his first film as a producer after his retirement from Govt. service. He introduced all new stars in his film Shakir. Fazal Ahmad Karim Fazli was not only a CID officer, also a famous poet and friend of Z.A. Bukhari. Bukhari introduced Mohammad Ali to Fazal Ahmad as a hero, but Mohammad Ali himself take the role of villain because the villain role was more powerful. This was the only Pakistani film in which Indian singer Talat Mehmood worked as a singer.
Film Shakir was completed with the name of Chiragh jalta raha (1962). This was a Karachi made film and was graced inauguration by Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah. This film went Islamabad for censor and was seen especially by President General Ayub Khan. Chiragh jalta raha celebrated silver jubilee in Karachi but was not released in the rest of the country.
Mohammad Ali worked as a villain in his first 3 films. His first film as hero was Shararat (1963). His first film as hero in Lahore was Khandan (1964). Later he moved to Lahore. He bought a flat in Gulberg then he built his own bungalow. He got breakthrough from film Khamosh raho (1964).
In real life he was engaged with actress Shamim Ara but marriage could not be held, then he was involved with Irani actress Shehpara. When Ali went Iran, he was known that Shehpara was already married. When director Iqbal Yousuf take his unit to Karachi for the shooting of film Tum mile pyar mila, Mohammad Ali married Zeba, this was Zeba’s third marriage. Zeba had a daughter Samina from first husband Abdul-Smad. Mohammad Ali loved Samina like his real daughter and gave her name Samina Ali, because he had no child. Zeba’s second marriage was with actor Sudhir. Mohammad Ali married Zeba at 3:00 PM on September 29, 1966 in the house of actor Azad inNazimabad. Qazi was Syed Ihtisham and Haq Mehar was 37500 rupees. Ali-Zeb reached studio at 5:00 PM. Iqbal Yousuf take only one shot that day. A party was given in Inter Continental Hotel. There was no relative of Ali-Zeb in this party. Ali-Zeb reached Lahore from Karachi at 8:00 PM. Next day newspapers published the news of marriage of Mohammad Ali and Zeba and performed Hajj and Umra also.
They produced films Aag (1967) and Jaise jante nahin (1969).
At the height of his carrier in 1969 he worked in a Radio Pakistan Lahore’s one hour drama Chand nahin nikla.
He had strong relations with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, he was also jailed for 5 months in the Govt. of Zia-ul-Haq due to these relations. His films were boycotted in Karachi in 1976 for 10 months, the reason was that he favored Pakistan Peoples Party in a meeting, who was held against this party.
A great personality
He was not only a star in films, but also a big personality and a very sympathetic as a human being. He served much of Pakistan Army men after their release from India after 1971 war. He put up black dress in international Moscow film festival against India for 93.000 POW after 1971 war. He worked to collect funds for the Palestine Mujahids. He had strong relations with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, he was also jailed for 5 months in the Govt. of Zia-ul-Haqdue to these relations. His films were boycotted in Karachi in 1976 for 10 months, the reason was that he favored Pakistan Peoples Party in a meeting, who was held against this party. When Islamic conference held place in Lahore in Bhutto’s period, the King Faisal of Saudi Arabia stayed in his bungalow. Film Yeh aman of Riaz Shahid was under censor board, Mohammad Ali worked hard to free up this film from censor board. He helped actress Firdous, when she has a problem for paying of heavy tax to Government. He worked without payment inGohar Ali’s film Maang meri bhar do because he had already promised with him.
He was serious ill in 1977. He faced a serious problem of kidney in 1980, so one kidney was come out after operation. When he was recovered, he fell in Sugar (a disease).
After the release of film Doorian, Agha G.A. Gul went London and gave Dilip Kumar a gift of video of film Doorian. When Mohammad Ali went India for Urdu conference, Younis Ahmad (a member of National Assembly) gave him shawl as a gift. He went Bangladesh for Pakistani filmJaney Anjaney, President General Irshad gave him Holy Quran as a gift. He was also awardedNoshad Award of India.
A highly humane and thoughtful person, in the 1990s Mohammad Ali founded the Ali-Zeb foundation to help the terminally ill, especially those suffering from cancer. Mohammad Ali made hospitals in Sargodha and Faisalabad with the name of Ali-Zeb foundation.
He also served as Cultural Adviser to the government of Nawaz Sharif and was involved in the construction business for quite a while. He worked in last 3 episodes of TV drama serial Zarooratin 1994. Sabiha Khanum and Talish also worked in this drama. He left films in 1995. After his retirement from films from films he was asked in a TV show about his dissociation from the films he said, the atmosphere in which I was accustomed to work for films and the way films were made have entirely changed, hence I called it quit. He faced a serious heart-attack in 1998, so he was by-passed in a hospital of USA. He came back Pakistan after this operation. Nawaz Sharifvisited his house of sick.
He was called as a legend star in a function, no one got this reward before him. He got National award for biggest actor of Pakistan in Dubai. He remained very famous in England, USA, Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, China and India. He got all about awards given in Pakistan. He is the only actor in Pakistan, who got Tamgha-e-Imtiaz.
Last moments of his life..
On Sunday March 19, 2006, at 11.00 a.m., he got up from his bed to go to the bathroom. But he dropped down on the bedroom floor. Zeba summoned their servant, Abbas, who rested Mohammad Ali on the chair. According to eyewitness account, Mohammad Ali uttered Kalima-e-shahadat before he breathed his last at 1.30 p.m. Zeba’s daughter, Samina, rushed to Pakistan from U.S. Soon after Samina’s arrival, Mohammad Ali’s namaz-e-janaza was performed on the ground opposite Gulberg, Lahore on Tuesday at 2.00 p.m. He was buried in the threshold of Mazar of Hazrat Mian Mir sahib (reh), Lahore.
Mohammad Ali was seventy-five years of age. Millions of Mohammad Ali's devoted fans all over the world paid tributes to their favorite actor.