Mohammad Ali: The softhearted actor
By Anis Shakur
'Shahenshah-e-jazbaat', Mohammad Ali, popularly known as Ali bhai,was born in
1935.He started his career from Radio Pakistan Hyderabad, in the year 1954.
Loyalty, empathy, honesty and humility were his hallmarks.
Additionally, he is well known for his social services.
In 1968, he married the renowned actress of those times, Zeba.
Known in the film circle for his command as a passionate actor, he feels at ease in dramatic situations, as well.
This versatile actor has worked with almost all successful directors of the Pakistan film industry.
Ali bhai accepted the role of a villain in famous director-writer-poet, Fazal Ahmed Karim Fazli's film 'Chiragh jalta
raha', which happened to be the first film not only for Ali bhai (as a villain) but also for director Fazli, Zeba, Deeba and
It proved to be the first and the last film for an unknown person, Arif, who was the hero of this film.
'Chiragh jalta raha' was inaugurated by Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah on March 9,1962 at Nishat cinema, M.A.Jinnah Road, Karachi.
Radio Pakistan's music director-singer, Nihal Abdullah, composed its songs.
'Chiragh' brought laurels for Ali bhai and he appeared as a villain in director Munawwar Rasheed's film 'Bahadur', director
Iqbal Yusuf's film 'Daal mein kala', director Javed Hashmi's film 'Dil nay tujhay maan liya'.
In fact, late director, Rafiq Rizvi bapu's film 'Shararat' and film 'Khamosh raho' (1964) were the first two films in
which Ali bhai appeared as a hero, which led to a long, successful journey for him as the hero for innumerable super hit movies.
Moreover, he produced a lot of hit movies.
Ali bhai has served as the cultural advisor in the previous government. Apart from that he had been associated with the
construction business for quite a while.
Further, according to a newspaper report, he owed Rs. 17.00 to the Radio Pakistan Karachi's cafeteria in his initial
days. Recently he had urged the cafeteria's cashier to retain his name in their record with the same amount, and that he is
willing to pay as much money as is demanded to keep up the old records, since it reminds him of those bad times.
Zeba's daughter, Samina (from Zeba's previous marriage with actor lala Sudhir) is the center of attraction for Ali bhai,
and he has given her the name Samina Ali and loves her dearly.
Some of his famous movies are listed here below:
Director Hasan Tariq's 'Kaneez' with Zeba, 'Mera ghar meri jannat' with Shamim Ara, 'Wehshi' with Shamim Ara, 'Ik gunah
aur sahi' with Rani, ''Kaalu (makrani) with Rani, ' Ibadat' with Zeba,'Watan' (this was the re-make of director Khalil Qaiser's
memorable movie 'Shaheed' and released in 1981.
'Seeta, Maryam, Margaret' with Deeba, director Shabab Kiranvi's films 'Aurat ka pyar' with Rani, 'Aa'ena' with Deeba,
'Insaan aur Aadmi' with Zeba, 'Insaaf aur Qanoon' with Zeba, 'Afsana zindigi ka' with Zeba.
'Dil ik Aa'ena with Deeba, 'Daman aur chingari' with Zeba, 'Aa'ena aur soorat' with Shabnam, 'Bay mesaal' with Shabnam,
'Nasheman' with Babra Sharif, 'Waday ki zanjeer' with anjuman.
Director Saif uddin Saif's film 'Aag' , 'Jaisay jaantay nahi', 'Lori', 'Mohabbat rang laye gee', 'Teri soorat meri Aankhain',
'Ilzaam', 'Gumrah' 'Ik phool ik pathar', were with Zeba.
Likewise, director S.Sulaiman's film 'Bay wafa' with Shamim Ara, 'Aag aur zindigi' with Deeba, 'Manzil' with Babra, Mumtaz
and 'Teray bina kiya jeena' with Nayyar Sultana.
Director Raza Meer's film 'Aasra' with Shabnam, 'Aarzoo' with Zeba, 'Professor' and 'Dil kay daagh' with Nisho.
Director M.A.Rasheed's film 'Sarhad ki godh mein' with Firdous, 'Tum salamat raho' with Aasia, 'Milan' with Shabnam,
'Aansoo bun gaye moti' with Shamim Ara.
Director Jafar Bukhari's 'Samaj' with Nisho. (Samaj was the re-make of Jafar Bukhari's own hit film 'Bharosa,' 'Ma'ashara'
with Nisho, 'Aurat ik paheli' with Zeba.
Director K.Khursheed's films 'Gharana' , 'Banu Rani', 'Nanha farishta', 'Daagh', were all with shabnam.
However, in K.Khursheed's earlier movie 'Dil diya , dard liya' was with Zeba.
Director Luqman's film 'Mehel', 'Duniya na manay' and 'Parchayein' were with Zeba.
Director Pervez Malik's film 'Dushman' with Mumtaz, 'Intikhaab' with Shabnam 'Meherbani' with Babra Sharif, 'Zanjeer'
with Mumtaz, 'Meray humsafar' with Shabnam.
Late director Anwar Kamal Pasha's film 'Safaid Khoon' with Rani, Meena Shori, 'Border build' with Babra Sharif.
Late director Iqbal Yusuf's film 'Tum milay pyar mila' with Zeba 'Soorat aur Seerat, 'Jeenay ki rah' with Aasia, 'Takrao'
Film 'Josh' (new version, because director Iqbal Yusuf had directed two movies by the same name), 'Budnaam' with Rani.,
'Gun man' with Babra, Mumtaz, 'Sangram' with Mumtaz, 'Gherao' with Shabnam, 'Aag ka samandar' and 'Andata' with Mumtaz.
Late director S.A. Hafiz's film 'Shabnam, 'Sajda', 'Nadia kay paar', 'Baarat', 'Raja', were with Deeba, Zeba, and Shabnam.
Director Hasan Askari's films, 'Sallakhein', Aag', 'Kinara' 'Ik doojay kay liye', 'Dooriyaan', were with Babra, Aasia,
Rani, and Shabnam.
Director Iqbal Akhtar's film 'Phool meray gulshan ka', 'Mohabbat zindigi hai' 'Jab, jab phool khiley', 'Apnay huay paraye',
'Naqsh-e- Qadam', 'Zameer', 'Aaj ki Raat', and 'Achhay mian' were with Zeba, Mumtaz, Rani, Deeba, Roohi Banu, Shabnam.
Director Fareed Ahmed's film 'Jaan Pehchan' with Irani actress Sheh para)
Late director, Nazeer Ajmeri's film 'Dil kay tukray' with Shamim Ara, late director Riaz Ahmed's 'Khandaan' with Bahar.
Late director Qamar Zaidi's film 'Paalki' with Zeba.
Ali bhai performed in the following punjabi films: 'Sheir di bacchi', 'Wadda Khan', 'and 'Wo hati.'
In director Iqbal Shehzad's first color film 'Baazi, Ali bhai worked with Nadeem for the first time.Moreover, 'Baazi'
happened to be the first film for actress Nisho.
Ali bhai won the Nigar award for the following films:
In 1964, director Jameel Akhtar's film 'Khamosh raho' for best supporting actor.
In 1965, director Hasan Tariq's film 'Kaneez' for best actor.
1n 1966, director Humayun Mirza's film 'Aag ka darya' for best actor.
In 1968, director Laeeq Akhtar's film 'Saiqa' for best actor.
In 1971, director Hasan Tariq's film 'Wehshi' for best actor.
In 1973, director Ali Sufyan Aafaqi's film 'Aas' for best actor.
In 1974, director Shabab Kiranvi's film 'Aaena' aur soorat' for best actor.
In 1975, director Shabab Kiranvi's film 'Insaan aur Aadmi' for best actor.
In 1978, director Masood Pervez's film 'Haidar Ali' for best actor.
IN 1984, director Hasan Askari's film 'Dooriyan' (special award)
Once , Ali bhai was asked in a television talk show about his dissociation from the films.
'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' was his reply.
Ali bhai used to reside in his impressive house, Zeb Mehel, 26-G, Gulberg 111, Lahore.
After his retirement from the films, Mohammad Ali had not been feeling well
due to heart ailment.
Moreover, Mohammad Ali was suffering from kidney dysfunction since 2001. On Saturday, March 18, 2006, he went for his dialysis
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
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.
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. He was laid to rest at Firdous Market graveyard, Lahore.
Mohammad Ali was seventy-one years of age.
Pakistan mourns. Millions of Mohammad Ali's devoted fans all over the world paid tributes to their favorite actor.
Few of us can compose a farewell statement so eloquent, but then we don't have
to. All we need do is to speak honestly and sincerely from our hearts. That is the real secret of good good-byes.