Abdul Qavi Desnavi was born in a family of scholars. The famous Muslim Scholar Syed Sulaiman Nadvi who is known for his biography of the Islamic Prophet Muhammed, was his father's cousin. His father Syed Mohammed Saeed Raza was a Professor of Urdu, Arabic and Persian languages in St. Xavier's College, Mumbai.
Desnavi received his primary education in Arrah, a town in Bihar and then went on to complete his graduation and post-graduation from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai where his father was a professor.
After his post-graduation, he joined the Urdu department Saifia Post Graduate College. He is credited as having taught many scholars, poets, and teachers of today. He also worked as the Additional Principal of Saifia Post Graduate College from 1983 to 1985. He also served as the Secretary of Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy, Bhopal from 1991 to 1992.
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