Shakeel Badayuni was born on August 3, 1916, in Badayun (U.P). His father Mohammed Jamaal Ahmad Sokhta 'Qadiri' wanted him to study hard to have a nice career, thus he arranged Arabic, Urdu, Persian and Hindi tuitions for him at home. His inclination towards poetry was not hereditary like other 'shayars'. One of his distant relatives Zia-ul-Qadiri Badayuni was a religous shayar and Shakeel was influenced by him and contemporary environment of Badayun let him to sher-o-shayari.
When he joined Aligarh Muslim University, in 1936, he started participating in inter-college, inter-university 'mushayras' and won frequently. Worthwhile, in 1940 he married Salma who was a distant relative and they had been living in a common household since childhood, although the 'pardah' system was in vogue in their family and they were not close. After completing his B.A. he went to Delhi as a Supply officer, but continued participating in mushayras, earning fame nation-wide. Those were the days of shayars who wrote about the downtrodden sections of society, their upliftment and betterment of society and all. But Shakeel has an altogether different taste - his poetry was more often than not romantic and close to heart. He used to say about this:
"Main Shakeel Dil Ka Hoon Tajurma, Ki Mohabbaton Ka Hoon Raazdan,
Mujhe Fakr Hai Meri Shayari Zindagi Se Juda Nahin."
Shakeel came to Bombay in 1944 to write songs for films. He met producer Kardar Saab and Naushad, who asked him to sum up his poetic skills in one line. Shakeel wrote "Hum Dil Ka Afsana Duniya Ko Suna Denge, Har Dil Me Mohabbat Ki Ek Aag Laga Denge..". Naushad immediately signed him up for Kardar's Dard (1947). The songs of Dard proved very successful especially Uma Devi's 'Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon..'. Only few are so lucky that they get success right in the first film, but Shakeel no doubt deserved success which started with Dard and continued with Mela (1948), Anokhi Ada (1948), Babul (1950), Baiju Baawra (1952), Udan Khatola (1952), Ambar (1952), Amar (1954), Mughal-e-Azam (1960), to name a few. Shakeel wrote for approximately 89 films and 99 per cent of his films had music by Naushad rest had Ravi and Hemant Kumar.
Apart from film songs, Shakeel composed many all time great ghazals which are still given voice by singers like Pankaj Udhaas and others. Shakeel shared a close friendship with Naushad, Ravi and Ghulam Mohammad, with whom he enjoyed his life to fullest. Unlike other shaayars he was not an alcoholic. He died at an early age of 54, on April 20, 1970, leaving behind his wife, a son and a daughter. His friends Naushad, Ahmad Zakaria and Rangoonwala formed a trust "Yaad-e-Shakeel" after his death and this trust is a source of some income to his bereaved family.
* 1961 Filmfare Best Lyricist Award for the song Chaudvin ka chand ho tumin the film Chaudhvin Ka Chand
* 1962 Filmfare Best Lyricist Award for the song husnwale tera jawab nahin in the film Gharana
* 1963 Filmfare Best Lyricist Award for the song kahin deep jale kahin dil in the film Bees Saal Baad
With Naushad as composer and Mohammad Rafi giving vocals, Shakeel penned the greatest bhajan of Hindi films O Duniya Ke Rakhwale and other songs of Baiju Bawra. He won two Film Fare awards, but retained a low - profile inspite of his literary and cinematic stature as a poet.
According to late Sahir Ludhianvi, another of his legendary compatriots, 'Shakeel should be credited for selecting the genre of ghazals after the greats like Jigar and Firaaq in which he showed his charismatic abilities making beautiful ghazals. His ghazals adhere to the traditional spirit while highlighting contemporary values. His ghazals have reflected the ideas related to the transformations in literature and the changes of values of life giving it new meanings, colours and directions.'
His ghazals were sung by most of the prominent artistes outside the cinematic gamut while his lyrics used extensively in the films.
The Best of Shakeel Badayuni
Song & Movie
Door Ke Musafir Hamko Bhee Saath Le Le -- Udan Khatola
Aaj Purani Rahon Se -- Aadmi
Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil -- Bees Saal Baad
Suhaani Raat Dhal Chuki -- Dulaari
Pyaar kiya tho darna kya -- Mughal -E-Azam
Dhoondo Dhoondo Re Saajna -- Ganga Jamuna
Duniya Ke Rakhwale -- Baiju Bawra
Aaj Mere Man Me Sakhi Baansuri Bajaaye Koi -- Aan
Ye Zindagi Ke Mele Duniya Kam Na Honge -- Mela
Chhod Babul Kaa Ghar Mohe Pee Kaa Nagar -- Babul
Kaahe Jiya Dole Ho Kaha Nahi Jaaye -- Anokhi Adaa
Jogan Ban Jaungi Saiyan Tere Kaaran -- Shabaab
Chandan Kaa Palnaa Resham Ki Dori -- Shabaab
Zindagi Dene Waale Sun -- Dil - E - Nadan