Shahryar is the pseudonym used by the Urdu poet and academician Akhlaq Mohammed Khan. He was born on June 16, 1936, in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh into a Muslim Rajput family. After his primary education in Bulandshahar, he went on to complete his PhD. in Urdu from Aligarh Muslim University. Later he joined Aligarh Muslim University as an Urdu lecturer, became a professor in 1986 and retired as the chairman of the Urdu Department in 1996. He then went on to co-edit the literary magazine Sher-o-Hikmat.
Starting with “Ism-e-Azam” in 1965, Shahryar has published several award-winning books of Urdu poetry (ghazals and nazms). He also wrote lyrics for some very popular Hindi film songs. His best known work in Hindi films, include his lyrics in the films “Gaman” (1978), “Umrao Jaan” (1981) and “Anjuman” (1986).
Shahryar won the Sahitya Academy Award in 1987 for his Urdu poetry collection “Khwab Ka Dar Band Hai” and became the fourth Jnanapith winner in Urdu in 2008.
He passed away on Feb 13, 2012 after battling with lung cancer. He was survived by three children Humayun, Saima and Faridoon Shahryar, the last of whom is a film critic and Bollywood journalist.