Majrooh Sultanpuri was born in Sultanpur on October 1, 1919. He is an Urdu poet and Hindi lyricist and songwriter. His birth name is Asrar Ul Hassan Khan. He was born in Uttar Pradesh and belongs to Tarin Pashtun family. His father was a policeman. As his father was not able to afford expensive schools, he did not receive English education. So, he went for ‘Madarsa Education.’ He completed Dars- e-Nizami in both Persian and Arabic. It was a seven course, and he went on to be an Alim. He then went to Takmeen-Ut-Tib College of Unani in Lucknow.
In 1938 he graduated and struggled to become an Hakim. The Ghazal he recited in Sultanpur became famous and got appreciated by everyone. That was when he took poetry passionately. He chanted at different mushairas and earned popularity. At the time, he became a friend of Jigar Moradabadi. Majrooh considered Jigar as his mentor.
Majrooh went to Saboo Siddique Institute in Bombay for a mushaira in 1945. The audience appreciated his ghazals. A.R. Kardar was one of the audiences. Majrooh was not interested in working for films, and he refused to work for it. But Jigar convinced him that films would earn him money and help him take care of his family. Kardar took him to Naushad, music composer. Naushad tested Mahrooj with a tune. Naushad got impressed with impressed and signed him for Shah Jehan as the lyricist. The songs became a great hit. In a few days, he fell ill. So, he went back to his hometown due to severe Bombay weather. He then worked for the films Andaaz and Aarzoo.
He rooted himself as a songwriter and lyricist. But his revolutionary leanings led him to trouble. So, he was jailed in 1949 by the government. He refused to apologize and was sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment. His family faced many economic difficulties while he was in prison. In 1956 he wrote songs for well-known Hindi films.
Majrooh and Faiz Ahmed Faiz were distinguished ghazal writers. For "Chahunga Mein Tujhe Saanj Savere" he won the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist. It was from the film Dosti. In 1993 he received Dadasaheb Phalke Award. He was the first lyricist to win that prestigious award. His other awards include the Film Writers Association Award, Iqbal Samman, Film Journalist Award. He also received Hindu- Urdu Sahitya Award and Maharashtra State Urdu Academy Award. Majrooh died on May 24, 2000 in Bombay due to Pneumonia.