In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


Syed Muhammad Hussain Nainar

RESEARCHER           PROFESSOR           PUBLISHER           PRINTER           TRAVELLER           FAMILY MAN

Hello there, thanks for dropping by! This is a website devoted to my paternal grandfather Dr. Syed Muhammad Hussain Nainar (1899-1963), who was a researcher, professor, publisher, printer, polyglot and a devoted family man.

It has taken us over two years to sort through Dr. Nainar’s papers and create this digital showcase, and we hope to keep you engaged in one man’s effort to understand the world before mobile telephony, the internet and artificial intelligence.

May 25, 2024 marks Dr. Hussain Nainar’s 125th birth anniversary, which is one of the main reasons for this website going online.

Nahla Nainar
Content Curator

Learning is its own exceeding great reward -- William Hazlitt
Listen to a brief biography of Dr. Syed Muhammad Hussain Nainar
கற்றோருக்குச் சென்ற இடமெல்லாம் சிறப்பு
டாக்டர் சையது முஹம்மது ஹுசைன் நைனாரின் சுருக்கமான வாழ்க்கை வரலாற்றை இங்கே கேளுங்கள்


Considering the breadth of Dr. Hussain Nainar’s work experience, it is quite impossible to summarise it in a page or two. Our hunt for accurate facts about his career was made easier by the chance discovery of his complete curriculum vitae (CV) possibly typed out by him when he was between jobs after his Indonesia assignment, in the early 1960s.Click here to read it.

Download CV


From the mid-1920s, Dr. Hussain Nainar worked as an editor, writer, translator and general compiler of over 20 monographs and anthologies for the Madras University alone. He also founded the Nuri Press Limited with his elder brother S.Kadir Mohamed Nainar and some prominent Muslim businessmen of the time to promote literacy in the community. Click here to read more.

Publication List


As a man who moved with the intelligentsia and common man with ease, Dr. Nainar had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. His academic texts, whether on south Indian antiquity or the links between India and Indonesia, earned appreciation from far and wide. Click here to see contemporary reviews of his work and views about his own academic progress.

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About Hussain Nainar

Dr. Hussain Nainar was the younger son of N. Syed Bawa Rowther and Shekka Ammal. Though six daughters and three sons were born to the couple, only five survived. Dr. Hussain’s siblings included his elder brother Syed Kadir Mohamed Nainar (former District Judge and Public Prosecutor) and three sisters, Fatima, Peerammal and Rasool. Hussain Nainar married Ayesha Bibi of Vathalakundu, and the couple had five children (three daughters and two sons). My father, Dr. S.M. Munawwar Nainar (87), retired academic and Arabic translator, is their only surviving heir. He is their fourth child. Their other children (in order of seniority): Sultana Abdullah, Rayhana Dawood, Anwar Nainar and (the youngest) Shekha Farhana Tabriz.

Members of the Nainar family were known to have worked as ‘munsiff’ (local magistrates), besides being ‘mirasdars’ (land owners) in Palni. The Nainars were given the regional monopoly by the East India Company to sell palmyra leaves (Olai) which were used for writing.

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