Akhtar ul-Iman was born in 1915 in Uttar Pradesh, India. After earning his MA from Aligarh University, he wrote screenplays and became a film director. Though he was a member of the Progressive Writers' Association, his verse resists any ideological regimentation and is individualistic in its portrayal of character and its original treatment of human experience, using colloquial language. He was a pioneer of modernism in Urdu and a close friend of the modernist poet Miraji. His collected poems were published as Sar-o-Saman in 1983. He died in 1996.