Dr. Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui was born on 8 January 1908 in Hyderabad, Deccan, India. He was one of the students, who attended the newly established Osmania University. He completed his matriculation from Osmania University in 1921, and earned the BA degree in Mathematics with distinction in 1925. He was one of the graduates of the first batch of Osmania University, in 1925.
Raziuddin was then awarded a scholarship from the Government of State of Hyderabad to pursue higher studies in United Kingdom where he completed his MA in Mathematics, under Paul Dirac from the University of Cambridge in 1928. Then, he proceeded further to work for his PhD at the University of Leipzig in Germany (Weimar Republic).
He studied Mathematics and Quantum mechanics under Albert Einstein in Berlin and Heisenberg at Leipzig. He completed his PhD in Theoretical Physics, writing a brief research thesis on the Theory of relativity and the Nuclear energy. He did his post-doctoral work at the University of Paris, France.
While in Europe, when Dr. Raziuddin Siddique was working on his post-doctoral research at the Paris University, he had the opportunity to meet with the members of ‘The Paris Group’ where he had led the discussions on unsolved problems in physics and in mathematics. During his stay in Great Britain, he studied Quantum mechanics and published scientific papers at the Cavendish Laboratory.
In 1931, Raziuddin Siddiqui returned to Hyderabad, British Indian Empire, and joined Osmania University, Hyderabad, as an Associate Professor of Mathematics. During 1948–49, he served as Vice-Chancellor of Osmania University, appointed by the Governor.
In 1950, at the request of the Government of Pakistan, Dr. Raziuddin Siddiqui, along with his family migrated to Karachi. In Karachi, he joined the Karachi University's teaching faculty and taught as Professor of Applied Mathematics. In 1953, he was simultaneously appointed to the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sindh and the University of Peshawar. Dr. Siddiqui founded the first mathematical society in Pakistan in 1952 by the name of ‘All Pakistan Mathematics Association’ (now known as Pakistan Mathematical Society), and remained its President until 1972. In 1956, Siddiqui helped establish the nuclear power and its expansion in the country by first joining the newly established Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and then establishing the first science directorate on Mathematical physics.
In 1964, he moved to Islamabad where he joined Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. There he began his academic research in theoretical physics. In 1965, with the establishment of Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), Dr. Siddiqui was appointed as its first Vice-Chancellor by the then Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He was one of the first professors of Physics at the Quaid-e-Azam University where he also served as the Chairman of the Physics Department. He continued his tenure until 1972, when he re-joined the PAEC at the request of Prime Minister Bhutto.
During the 1960s, he helped convince President Field Marshal Ayub Khan to make a proposed university a research institution. He, at first, established ‘Institute of Physics’ at the QAU, and invited Professor Riazuddin to be its first director and the Dean of the Faculty. Then, Professor Riazuddin, with the help of his mentor Dr. Abdus Salam, convinced the then PAEC chairman Dr. Ishrat Hussain Usmani to send all the theoreticians to Institute of Physics to form a physics group. This established the ‘Theoretical Physics Group’ (TPG), which later designed the nuclear weapons for the country.
With the establishment of TPG, Raziuddin Siddiqui began to work with Dr. Abdus Salam, and on his advice began the research in Theoretical Physics at the PAEC. In 1970, he established the Mathematical Physics Group at the PAEC, where he led academic research in advanced mathematics. He also delegated mathematicians to PAEC to specialise in their fields at the MPG Division of PAEC.
After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Dr. Raziuddin Siddiqui joined the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) at the request of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Dr. Siddiqui was the first full-time Technical Member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and was responsible for the preparation of its charter.
During the 1970s, Dr. Siddiqui worked on problems in theoretical physics with Pakistani theoretical physicists in the integrated atomic bomb project. Previously, he had worked in Europe, including carrying out nuclear research in the British nuclear program, and the French atomic program. At the PAEC, he became a mentor of some of the country's academic scientists. At PAEC, he was the director of the Mathematical Physics Group (MPG) and was tasked with performing mathematical calculations involved in fission and supercomputing. While both MPG and Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) had reported directly to Abdus Salam, Siddiqui co-ordinated each meeting with the scientists of TPG and mathematicians of the MPG. At the PAEC, he directed the mathematical research directly involving the general relativity, and helped establish the quantum computers laboratories at the PAEC.
Since theoretical physics plays a major role in identifying the parameters of nuclear physics, Dr. Siddiqui started the work on special relativity's complex applications, the ‘Relativity of simultaneity’. His Mathematical Physics Group undertook the research and performed calculations on ‘Relativity of simultaneity’ during the process of weapon detonation, where multiple explosive energy rays are bound to release in the same isolate and close medium at the same time interval.
After his work at the PAEC, Dr. Raziuddin Siddiqui again joined Quaid-e-Azam University's Physics Faculty. As professor of Physics, he continued his research at the Institute of Physics, QAU. He helped develop the higher education sector, and placed mainframe policies in the institution. Dr. Raziuddin Siddiqui Memorial Library is named after Dr. Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui at the Quaid-i-Azam University.
Dr. Siddiqui remained in Islamabad, and had associated himself with Quaid-e-Azam University. In 1990, he was made Professor Emeritus of Physics and Mathematics there. He died on 8 January 1998, at the age of 90. His biography was written by scientists who had worked with him. In 1960, due to his efforts to expand education, he was awarded the third-highest civilian award of Pakistan, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, from the then-President of Pakistan, Field Marshal Ayub Khan.
In 1981, he was awarded the second highest civilian award, Hilal-i-Imtiaz, from President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq due to his efforts in Pakistan's atomic programme, and popularising science in Pakistan. In May 1998, the Government of Pakistan awarded him the highest civilian award, Nishan-i-Imtiaz posthumously by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when Pakistan conducted its first successful nuclear tests. Dr. Raziuddin Siddiqui Memorial Library is named after Dr. Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui at the Quaid-i-Azam University.
His eldest daughter, Dr. Shirin Tahir-Kheli, is a former Special Assistant to the President of the United States of America, and Senior Adviser for women's empowerment.