Arastu Yar Jung

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Arastu Yar Jung : biography

June 10, 1858 – March 25, 1940

Nawab Arastu Yar Jung (June 10, 1858 – March 25, 1940)(Arabic: ناوب أراستو يار خونغ) was a Hyderabadi Surgeon.

He became well known during late Nizam period of Hyderabad, during the early 20th century, for being chief physician and advisor to the Nizam of the time, Mahbub Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VI, and later becoming a prominent philanthropist in what is known today as the "Old City" portion of Hyderabad.


Arastu Yar Jung encouraged all of his sons to pursue higher education, even sending some abroad to Great Britain and United States, as many noblemen also began doing at the time. Similarly, his daughters were married into families where education was also highly valued. This helped ensure that his values and good will were passed down. Like Arastu Yar Jung, his children were deeply committed to succeeding in education and contributing immensely to the local community.

Like families of many Hyderabadi noblemen, many of Arastu Yar Jung’s descendents immigrated to the United States and United Kingdom, throughout the 20th century, for the pursuit of higher education opportunities. Today his descendants are scattered around the world, many identifiable by the surname Arastu, with a majority residing in the United States, Canada, India, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates – numbering close to one thousand, and spanning six generations.

Early life and career

Arastu Yar Jung was born as Abdul Husain in the then independent state of Hyderabad. From a humble upbringing, Arastu Yar Jung completed medical school and began practicing in what is known today as the "Old City" portion of Hyderabad. Eventually he was appointed to the staff of Osmania General Hospital, where he eventually became First Superintendent. Arastu Yar Jung was soon appointed as the First Surgeon to the reigning Nizam Mahbub Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VI, the Sixth Nizam of Hyderabad. The Nizam was so pleased with the services of Arastu Yar Jung, he officially conferred him his title; thus changing from Dr. Abdul Husain to Arastu Yar Jung.

He remained a trusted adviser to the Nizam, often being given special attention, especially in regards to his own health. Alongside this, Arastu Yar Jung became well known for the many house-calls he made in local communities, even at odd hours in the night, often treating patients at no cost. Because of his good-nature and reliability in practice, Arastu Yar Jung also became a trusted physician in these local communities in the present day "Old City" portion of Hyderabad.


Parts of Southern India and most of Hyderabad were greatly affected by the Bubonic plague epidemic at the turn of the 19th century. Arastu Yar Jung helped treat many of the locals affected, and often invited their whole families to live in separate quarters of his own home – providing ample food and shelter for all who stayed.

As a member of the Bohra Muslim jamaat, Arastu Yar Jung was an active contributor to the local community through the Dawoodi Bohra organization. Alongside other active "Old City" Hyderabad Bohri community members of the time, such as his brother-in-law Sheikh Mohsini, Mullah Abdul Tyeb, and his son-in-law, of the Sk. Hasan Bhai clan, Mullah Mohammed Bhai – a respected Judge for the Hyderabad High Court (now Andhra Pradesh High Court) among others.

With Sheikh Mohsini, Arastu Yar Jung was largely responsible for the finance and construction of the Husainialam mosque, approved by the then Syedna Taher Saifuddin and completed in 1913. To honor their contribution and commitment to the community, Arastu Yar Jung and Sheikh Mohsini were both buried near the mosque. The mosque is still in use today, and has since been named the Burhani Masjid, as part of the Anjuman-E-Taheri jamaat. The original structure has been slightly modified, but remains intact, after it was declared a historic landmark in 2003.

A strong proponent of education, Arastu Yar Jung, along with many others including Mullah Mohammed Bhai, financed the education of community members – establishing educational trusts that allowed the youth to pursue higher education.

Still much of the contributions remain unknown, as he paid special attention to be discrete in providing aid, so that the particular person can save face in society – quoting the Holy Quran, "What the right hand gives, the left hand should not so much as get a hint of." This implies that the respect of the person being served, and complete confidentiality of the service being rendered is essential in the etiquette of charity.