From the elegant and ornate verses of Ghalib to the soul-stirring poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Urdu has produced some of the most celebrated poets in history.
Urdu poetry is known for its lyrical beauty, intricate language, and powerful emotions that have captivated hearts for centuries. In this article, we’ll explore the lives and works of some of the top Urdu poets who have left an indelible mark on the literary world.
Today, it is an important part of the cultures of South Asia. According to Naseer Turabi, there are five major poets of Urdu which are Mir Taqi Mir (d.1810), Mirza Ghalib, Mir Anees, Allama Iqbal, and Josh Malihabadi (d.1982).
The language of Urdu reached its pinnacle under the British Raj, and it received official status. All famous writers of the Urdu language including Ghalib and Iqbal were given British scholarships. Following the Partition of India in 1947, it found major poets and scholars were divided along nationalistic lines. However, Urdu poetry is cherished in both nations. Both the Muslims and Hindus from across the border continue the tradition.
It is fundamentally performative poetry and its recital, sometimes impromptu, is held in Mushairas (poetic expositions). Although its tarannum saaz (singing aspect) has undergone major changes in recent decades, its popularity among the masses remains unaltered. Mushairas are today held in metropolitan areas worldwide because of the cultural influence of the South Asian diaspora. Ghazal singing and Qawwali are also important expository forms of Urdu poetry.
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|Faiz Ahmad Faiz
|Bahadur Shah Zafar
Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan also Known Mirza Ghalib. He was popularly known by the pen name Ghalib and Asad was an Indian poet. His honorific was Dabir-ul-Mulk, Najm-ud-Daula. During his lifetime, the already declining Mughal Empire was eclipsed and displaced by the British East India Company Rule and finally deposed following the defeat of the First Indian War of Independence (Sepoy Mutiny) of 1857; these are described through his work.
He wrote in both Urdu and Persian. Although his Persian Divan (body of work) is at least five times longer than his Urdu Divan, his fame rests on his poetry in Urdu. Today, Ghalib remains popular not only in the Indian subcontinent but also among the Hindustani diaspora around the world.
Mirza Ghalib Shayaris:
pūchhte haiñ vo ki 'ġhālib' kaun hai koī batlāo ki ham batlā.eñ kyā
ishq ne 'ġhālib' nikammā kar diyā varna ham bhī aadmī the kaam ke
hazāroñ ḳhvāhisheñ aisī ki har ḳhvāhish pe dam nikle bahut nikle mire armān lekin phir bhī kam nikle
na thā kuchh to ḳhudā thā kuchh na hotā to ḳhudā hotā Duboyā mujh ko hone ne na hotā maiñ to kyā hotā
kahūñ kis se maiñ ki kyā hai shab-e-ġham burī balā hai mujhe kyā burā thā marnā agar ek baar hotā
haiñ aur bhī duniyā meñ suḳhan-var bahut achchhe kahte haiñ ki 'ġhālib' kā hai andāz-e-bayāñ aur
Faiz Ahmad Faiz:
Faiz Ahmad Faiz (13 February 1911 -20 November 1984) was a Pakistani poet and author in Urdu and Punjabi language. He was one of the most celebrated writers of the Urdu language in Pakistan. Outside literature, he has been described as “a man of wide experience” and has been a teacher, an army officer, a journalist, a trade unionist, and a broadcaster.
Faiz was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and won the Lenin Peace Prize. Born in Punjab, British India, Faiz went on to study at Government College and Oriental College. He went on to serve in the British Indian Army. After Pakistan’s independence, Faiz became a leading member of the Communist Party before being arrested in 1951 as an alleged part of a conspiracy to overthrow the Liaquat administration and replace it with a left-wing government.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz Shayaris:
aur bhī dukh haiñ zamāne meñ mohabbat ke sivā rāhateñ aur bhī haiñ vasl kī rāhat ke sivā
dil nā-umīd to nahīñ nākām hī to hai lambī hai ġham kī shaam magar shaam hī to hai
nahīñ nigāh meñ manzil to justujū hī sahī nahīñ visāl mayassar to aarzū hī sahī
ham parvarish-e-lauh-o-qalam karte raheñge jo dil pe guzartī hai raqam karte raheñge
uTh kar to aa ga.e haiñ tirī bazm se magar kuchh dil hī jāntā hai ki kis dil se aa.e haiñ
Sampooran Singh Kalra (born 18 August 1934), known professionally as Gulzar, is an Indian poet, lyricist, author, screenwriter, and film director known for his works in Hindi cinema. He started his career with music director S.D. Burman as a lyricist in the 1963 film Bandini and worked with many music directors including R. D. Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Vishal Bhardwaj, and A. R. Rahman. Gulzar also writes poetry, dialogues, and scripts. He directed films such as Aandhi and Mausam during the 1970s and the TV series Mirza Ghalib in the 1980s. He also directed Kirdaar in 1993.
He has won 5 Indian National Film Awards; including 2 Best Lyrics, one Best Screenplay, one Second Best Feature Film (director), and one Best Popular Film (director); 22 Filmfare Awards; one Academy Award; and one Grammy Award. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award – Hindi in 2002, the Padma Bhushan in 2004, the third-highest civilian award in India, and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2013, the highest award in Indian cinema. In April 2013, Gulzar was appointed as the Chancellor of Assam University.
aa.ina dekh kar tasallī huī ham ko is ghar meñ jāntā hai koī
shaam se aañkh meñ namī sī hai aaj phir aap kī kamī sī hai
yādoñ kī bauchhāroñ se jab palkeñ bhīgne lagtī haiñ soñdhī soñdhī lagtī hai tab maazī kī rusvā.ī bhī
chūlhe nahīñ jalā.e ki bastī hī jal ga.ī kuchh roz ho ga.e haiñ ab uThtā nahīñ dhuāñ
kabhī to chauñk ke dekhe koī hamārī taraf kisī kī aañkh meñ ham ko bhī intizār dikhe
vaqt rahtā nahīñ kahīñ Tik kar aadat is kī bhī aadmī sī hai
Javed Akhtar (born 17 January 1945) is an Indian poet, lyricist, screenwriter, and political activist. Known for his work in Hindi cinema, he has won five National Film Awards and received the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2007, two of India’s highest civilian honors.
Akhtar came to recognition in the duo Salim–Javed and earned his breakthrough as a screenwriter with 1973’s Zanjeer. He went on to write the films Deewar and Sholay, both released in 1975; they earned a cult following and had a significant impact on popular culture. He later earned praise for his work as a lyricist, winning the National Film Award for Best Lyrics five times and the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist eight times.
Akhtar notably campaigned for the Communist Party of India (CPI) and their candidate in the 2019 Indian general election and was a member of parliament in the Rajya Sabha. For his work, he received the Richard Dawkins Award in 2020.
jidhar jaate haiñ sab jaanā udhar achchhā nahīñ lagtā mujhe pāmāl rastoñ kā safar achchhā nahīñ lagtā
kabhī jo ḳhvāb thā vo pā liyā hai magar jo kho ga.ī vo chiiz kyā thī
tab ham donoñ vaqt churā kar laate the ab milte haiñ jab bhī fursat hotī hai
isī jagah isī din to huā thā ye elaan añdhere haar ga.e zindabād hindostān
in charāġhoñ meñ tel hī kam thā kyuuñ gila phir hameñ havā se rahe
zarā mausam to badlā hai magar peḌoñ kī shāḳhoñ par na.e pattoñ ke aane meñ abhī kuchh din lageñge bahut se zard chehroñ par ġhubār-e-ġham hai kam be-shak par un ko muskurāne meñ abhī kuchh din lageñge
Ada Jafarey (22 August 1924 – 12 March 2015), was a Pakistani poet who is regarded as the first major female Urdu poet to be published and has been called “The First Lady of Urdu Poetry”. She was also an author and was considered a prominent figure in contemporary Urdu literature. She received awards from the Government of Pakistan, the Pakistan Writers’ Guild, and literary societies of North America and Europe in recognition of her efforts.
maiñ āñdhiyoñ ke paas talāsh-e-sabā meñ huun tum mujh se pūchhte ho mirā hausla hai kyā
haath kāñToñ se kar liye zaḳhmī phuul bāloñ meñ ik sajāne ko
agar sach itnā zālim hai to ham se jhuuT hī bolo hameñ aatā hai patjhaḌ ke dinoñ gul-bār ho jaanā
baḌe tābāñ baḌe raushan sitāre TuuT jaate haiñ sahar kī raah taknā tā sahar āsāñ nahīñ hotā
varna insān mar gayā hotā koī be-nām justujū hai abhī
huā yuuñ ki phir mujhe zindagī ne basar kiyā koī din the jab mujhe har nazāra hasīñ milā
bahut pahle se un qadmoñ kī aahaT jaan lete haiñ tujhe ai zindagī ham duur se pahchān lete haiñ
Raghupati Sahay (28 August 1896 – 3 March 1982), also known by his pen name Firaq Gorakhpuri, was a writer, critic, and, according to one commentator, one of the most noted contemporary Urdu poets from India. He established himself among peers including Muhammad Iqbal, Yagana Changezi, Jigar Moradabadi, and Josh Malihabadi. Firaq had shown early signs of excellence in Urdu poetry and had always shown attraction toward literature. His contemporaries included famous Urdu poets like Allama Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Kaifi Azmi, and Sahir Ludhianvi.
Yet he was able to make his mark in Urdu poetry at an early age. He was selected for the Provincial Civil Service (P.C.S.) and the Indian Civil Service (British India) (I.C.S.), but he resigned to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-cooperation movement, for which he went to jail for 18 months. Later, he joined Allahabad University as a lecturer in English literature.
It was there that he wrote most of his Urdu poetry, including his magnum opus Gul-e-Naghma which earned him the highest literary award in India, the Jnanpith Award, and also the 1960 Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu. During his life, he was given the positions of Research Professor at the University Grants Commission and Producer Emeritus by All India Radio. After a long illness, he died on 3 March 1982, in New Delhi.
koī samjhe to ek baat kahūñ ishq taufīq hai gunāh nahīñ
ġharaz ki kaaT diye zindagī ke din ai dost vo terī yaad meñ hoñ yā tujhe bhulāne meñ
shaam bhī thī dhuāñ dhuāñ husn bhī thā udaas udaas dil ko ka.ī kahāniyāñ yaad sī aa ke rah ga.iiñ
ye maanā zindagī hai chaar din kī bahut hote haiñ yaaro chaar din bhī
lahū vatan ke shahīdoñ kā rañg laayā hai uchhal rahā hai zamāne meñ nām-e-āzādī
le de ke apne paas faqat ik nazar to hai kyuuñ dekheñ zindagī ko kisī kī nazar se ham
Abdul Hayee (8 March 1921 – 25 October 1980), popularly known by his pen name (takhallus) Sahir Ludhianvi, was an Indian poet and film song lyricist who wrote primarily in Urdu in addition to Hindi.
His work influenced Indian cinema, particularly Bollywood films. Sahir won a Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist for the Taj Mahal (1963). He won a second Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist for his work in Kabhie Kabhie (1976). He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1971. On 8 March 2013, the ninety-second anniversary of Sahir’s birth, a commemorative stamp was issued in his honor.
ġham aur ḳhushī meñ farq na mahsūs ho jahāñ maiñ dil ko us maqām pe laatā chalā gayā
vo afsāna jise anjām tak laanā na ho mumkin use ik ḳhūb-sūrat moḌ de kar chhoḌnā achchhā
tañg aa chuke haiñ kashmakash-e-zindagī se ham Thukrā na deñ jahāñ ko kahīñ be-dilī se ham
kaun rotā hai kisī aur kī ḳhātir ai dost sab ko apnī hī kisī baat pe ronā aayā
aurat ne janam diyā mardoñ ko mardoñ ne use bāzār diyā jab jī chāhā maslā kuchlā jab jī chāhā dhutkār diyā
ujāle apnī yādoñ ke hamāre saath rahne do na jaane kis galī meñ zindagī kī shaam ho jaa.e
Bashir Badr (born Syed Muhammad Bashir; 15 February 1935) is an Indian poet. He was teaching Urdu at Aligarh Muslim University. He primarily writes in the Urdu language, particularly ghazals. He also wrote a couplet titled Dushmani Jam Kar Karo in 1972 during the Shimla Agreement that revolves around the partition of India. Badr’s most unpublished literary work, including uncertain poems, was lost during the 1987 Meerut communal riots, and later he moved to Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
He started writing poems at the apparent age of seven. He wrote some collections of ghazals titled Ikai, Kulliyate Bashir Badr, Aamad, Image, Aahat, and Devanagari script ghazals titled Ujale Apni Yadon Ke. During his career, he wrote two books titled Azadi Ke Bad Urdu Ghazals Ka Tanqidi Mutala (Critical study of Urdu ghazal after independence) and Biswin Sadi Mein Ghazal (Ghazals in 20th century) focused on literary criticism. He has also served at the Bihar Urdu Academy as a chairman.
dushmanī jam kar karo lekin ye gunjā.ish rahe jab kabhī ham dost ho jaa.eñ to sharminda na hoñ
sar jhukāoge to patthar devtā ho jā.egā itnā mat chāho use vo bevafā ho jā.egā
shohrat kī bulandī bhī pal bhar kā tamāshā hai jis Daal pe baiThe ho vo TuuT bhī saktī hai
saat sandūqoñ meñ bhar kar dafn kar do nafrateñ aaj insāñ ko mohabbat kī zarūrat hai bahut
gharoñ pe naam the nāmoñ ke saath ohde the bahut talāsh kiyā koī aadmī na milā
shāḳhoñ se TuuT jaa.eñ vo patte nahīñ haiñ ham āñdhī se koī kah de ki auqāt meñ rahe
Rahat Indori, born as Rahat Qureshi, (1 January 1950 – 11 August 2020) was an Indian Bollywood lyricist and Urdu poet. He was also a former professor of the Urdu language and a painter. Prior to this, he was a pedagogist of Urdu literature at DAV. Indori performed in Mushaira and Kavi Sammelan for 40 – 45 years. He traveled widely internationally to recite poetry. He attended poetic symposiums in almost all the districts of India and has traveled multiple times to the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc.
He tested positive for COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in India on 10 August 2020 and was admitted to Aurobindo Hospital in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. He died from cardiac arrest a day later on 11 August 2020.
- dostī jab kisī se kī jaa.e
dushmanoñ kī bhī raa.e lī jaa.e
- na ham-safar na kisī ham-nashīñ se niklegā
hamāre paañv kā kāñTā hamīñ se niklegā
- aañkh meñ paanī rakho hoñToñ pe chiñgārī rakho
zinda rahnā hai to tarkībeñ bahut saarī rakho
- ham se pahle bhī musāfir ka.ī guzre hoñge
kam se kam raah ke patthar to haTāte jaate
- ye zarūrī hai ki āñkhoñ kā bharam qaa.em rahe
niiñd rakkho yā na rakkho ḳhvāb meyārī rakho
koī hindū koī muslim koī īsā.ī hai sab ne insān na banñe kī qasam khaa.ī hai
Muqtida Hasan Nida Fazli, known as Nida Fazli (12 October 1938 – 8 February 2016), was a prominent Indian Hindi and Urdu poet, lyricist, and dialogue writer. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2013 by the government of India for his contribution to literature. Born in Delhi, India into a Kashmiri family, Nida Fazli grew up in Gwalior, where he attended school and subsequently studied English literature. His father was also a very well-known Urdu poet. Two of his other brothers mainly; Tasleem Fazli & Saba Fazli too were prominent names of Indo-Pak. Their contribution to literature through films/poetry and songs is still cherished today by their admirers both from India and Pakistan.
In 1965, eighteen years after the partition of India, his parents and other family members migrated to Pakistan. He however decided to stay back in India. This happened one year after Fazli had moved from Gwalior to Mumbai (in 1964) to earn a living. This departure of his parents was an epochal event in his life, the pain, and repercussions of which would remain with him all his life. Fazli was married twice. His second wife was Malti Joshi. They became the parents of a daughter, Tehreer.
- hosh vāloñ ko ḳhabar kyā be-ḳhudī kyā chiiz hai
ishq kiije phir samajhiye zindagī kyā chiiz hai
- kabhī kisī ko mukammal jahāñ nahīñ miltā
kahīñ zamīn kahīñ āsmāñ nahīñ miltā
- dhuup meñ niklo ghaTāoñ meñ nahā kar dekho
zindagī kyā hai kitāboñ ko haTā kar dekho
- koshish bhī kar umiid bhī rakh rāsta bhī chun
phir is ke ba.ad thoḌā muqaddar talāsh kar
- ham laboñ se kah na paa.e un se hāl-e-dil kabhī
aur vo samjhe nahīñ ye ḳhāmushī kyā chiiz hai
kis tarah jamā kījiye ab apne aap ko
kāġhaz bikhar rahe haiñ purānī kitāb ke
Adil Farid Mohammed Ghulam Nabi Mansuri (18 May 1936 – 6 November 2008) was an Indian poet, playwright, and calligrapher, primarily responsible for the development of modern Gujarati ghazal poetry and plays. He wrote in several languages, namely, Gujarati, Hindi, and Urdu. He completed his primary education at Premchand Raichand Training College, Ahmedabad.
He completed his secondary education at J. L. New English School, Ahmedabad, and Metropolitan Highschool, Karachi. He completed matriculation. He tried his hand at several businesses. He worked at his father’s cloth shop in Karachi and later at a business of cotton and clothes in Ahmedabad. He also worked as a journalist with English Topic and Gujarati Angana magazines. He was a copywriter for the advertising agency Shilpi in 1972. He left India and moved to the United States. He died in New Jersey, US on 6 November 2008.
- koī ḳhud-kushī kī taraf chal diyā
udāsī kī mehnat Thikāne lagī
- chup-chāp baiThe rahte haiñ kuchh bolte nahīñ
bachche bigaḌ ga.e haiñ bahut dekh-bhāl se
- aaise Dare hue haiñ zamāne kī chaal se
ghar meñ bhī paañv rakhte haiñ ham to sambhāl kar
- allāh jaane kis pe akaḌtā thā raat din
kuchh bhī nahīñ thā phir bhī baḌā bad-zabān thā
- hudūd-e-vaqt se bāhar ajab hisār meñ huuñ
maiñ ek lamha huuñ sadiyoñ ke intizār meñ huuñ
aur 'farāz' chāhiyeñ kitnī mohabbateñ tujhe maaoñ ne tere naam par bachchoñ kā naam rakh diyā
Syed Ahmad Shah better known by his pen name Ahmed Faraz, January 1931 – 25 August 2008) was a Pakistani Urdu poet, and scriptwriter and became the founding Director General (later Chairman) of the Pakistan Academy of Letters. He wrote his poetry under the pseudonym Faraz. He criticized the military role and coup d’état in the country and was displaced by the military dictators. Ahmad Faraz was first awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan and then the Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2004 by the then-President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf. He returned this award two years later in 2006 “as a means of protest against the actions of the Musharraf regime”.
On 25 August 2008, he died in Islamabad, and later Government of Pakistan conferred Hilal-e-Pakistan posthumously upon Faraz for his contribution to poetry and Urdu literature.
- ranjish hī sahī dil hī dukhāne ke liye aa
aa phir se mujhe chhoḌ ke jaane ke liye aa
- ab ke ham bichhḌe to shāyad kabhī ḳhvāboñ meñ mileñ
jis tarah sūkhe hue phuul kitāboñ meñ mileñ
- kis kis ko batā.eñge judā.ī kā sabab ham
tū mujh se ḳhafā hai to zamāne ke liye aa
- kisī ko ghar se nikalte hī mil ga.ī manzil
koī hamārī tarah umr bhar safar meñ rahā
- DhūñD ujḌe hue logoñ meñ vafā ke motī
ye ḳhazāne tujhe mumkin hai ḳharāboñ meñ mileñ
khīñcho na kamānoñ ko na talvār nikālo jab top muqābil ho to aḳhbār nikālo
Akbar Allahabadi was born in the town of Bara, eleven miles from Allahabad, to a family of Sayyids who originally came to India from Persia as soldiers. His father, Moulvi Tafazzul Hussain served as a naib tehsildar and his mother belonged to a zamindar family of Jagdishpur village from the Gaya district in Bihar.
Akbar received his early education from his father at home. In 1855, his mother moved to Allahabad and settled in Mohalla Chowk. Akbar was admitted to the Jamuna Mission School for English education in 1856, but he abandoned his school education in 1859. However, he continued to study English and read widely.
On leaving school, Akbar joined the Railway Engineering Department as a clerk. While in service, he passed the exam qualifying him as a wakeel (barrister) and subsequently worked as a tehsildar and a munsif, and ultimately, as a sessions court judge. To commemorate his work in judicial services, he was bestowed with the title, Khan Bahadur.
Akbar retired in 1903 and lived in Allahabad. He died of a fever on September 9, 1921, and was buried in the Himmatganj district of Allahabad.
- hayā se sar jhukā lenā adā se muskurā denā
hasīnoñ ko bhī kitnā sahl hai bijlī girā denā
- paidā huā vakīl to shaitān ne kahā
lo aaj ham bhī sāhib-e-aulād ho ga.e
- maz.habī bahs maiñ ne kī hī nahīñ
fāltū aql mujh meñ thī hī nahīñ
- log kahte haiñ badaltā hai zamāna sab ko
mard vo haiñ jo zamāne ko badal dete haiñ
- jab maiñ kahtā huuñ ki yā allāh merā haal dekh
hukm hotā hai ki apnā nāma-e-āmāl dekh
ai tā.ir-e-lāhautī us rizq se maut achchhī jis rizq se aatī ho parvāz meñ kotāhī
Muhammad Iqbal (9 November 1877 – 21 April 1938) was a South Asian Muslim writer and is the National Poet of Pakistan. Iqbal was a philosopher, and politician, whose poetry in the Urdu language is considered among the greatest of the twentieth century, and whose vision of a cultural and political ideal for the Muslims of British-ruled India was to animate the impulse for Pakistan. He is commonly referred to by the honorific Allama.
Iqbal was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilisation across the world, but in particular in South Asia; a series of lectures he delivered to this effect were published as The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. Iqbal was elected to the Punjab Legislative Council in 1927 and held a number of positions in the All India Muslim League. In his 1930 presidential address at the League’s annual meeting in Allahabad, he formulated a political framework for Muslims in British-ruled India. Iqbal died in 1938. After the creation of Pakistan in 1947, he was named the national poet there. He is also known as the “Hakeem-ul-Ummat” (“The Sage of the Ummah”) and the “Mufakkir-e-Pakistan” (“The Thinker of Pakistan”). The anniversary of his birth (Yom-e Welādat-e Muḥammad Iqbāl), 9 November, used to be a public holiday in Pakistan until 2018. Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi wrote Glory of Iqbal to introduce him to the Arab world.
- ḳhudī ko kar buland itnā ki har taqdīr se pahle
ḳhudā bande se ḳhud pūchhe batā terī razā kyā hai
- tū shāhīñ hai parvāz hai kaam terā
tire sāmne āsmāñ aur bhī haiñ
- duniyā kī mahfiloñ se uktā gayā huuñ yā rab
kyā lutf anjuman kā jab dil hī bujh gayā ho
- achchhā hai dil ke saath rahe pāsbān-e-aql
lekin kabhī kabhī ise tanhā bhī chhoḌ de
- nahīñ terā nasheman qasr-e-sultānī ke gumbad par
tū shāhīñ hai baserā kar pahāḌoñ kī chaTānoñ meñ
ḳhanjar chale kisī pe taḌapte haiñ ham 'amīr' saare jahāñ kā dard hamāre jigar meñ hai
Ameer Minai or Amir Meenai a 19th-century Indian poet. He was respected by several contemporary poets including Ghalib and Daagh Dehalvi and by Muhammad Iqbal. He wrote in Urdu, Persian, and Arabic.
In the British attack on Lucknow in 1856 and the subsequent First war of independence in 1857, the family’s homes were all destroyed and Meenai was forced to flee with his family, first to the nearby town of Kakori where he found refuge with the poet Mohsin Kakorvi, and eventually to the state of Rampur, where he found favor at the court of the ruler, Nawab of Rampur Yusef Ali Khan Bahadur.
He served in the judiciary, was appointed head of Rampur’s magnificent library, and became the official poetic mentor (ustad) of the ruler, succeeding the great Urdu poet, Ghalib, in this position. Meenai lived in Rampur until 1900 when he decided to go to Hyderabad Deccan to seek financial support for the publication of his Urdu dictionary, “Ameer-ul-Lughaat” – but that was not to be, and he died there on 13 October 1900, barely a month after his arrival. He is buried in Hyderabad, India.
- kashtiyāñ sab kī kināre pe pahuñch jaatī haiñ
nāḳhudā jin kā nahīñ un kā ḳhudā hotā hai
- gaahe gaahe kī mulāqāt hī achchhī hai ‘amīr’
qadr kho detā hai har roz kā aanā jaanā
- vasl kā din aur itnā muḳhtasar
din gine jaate the is din ke liye
- hue nāmvar be-nishāñ kaise kaise
zamīñ khā ga.ī āsmāñ kaise kaise
- jo chāhiye so māñgiye allāh se ‘amīr’
us dar pe aabrū nahīñ jaatī savāl se
Bahadur Shah Zafar:
kitnā hai bad-nasīb 'zafar' dafn ke liye do gaz zamīn bhī na milī kū-e-yār meñ
Bahadur Shah II, usually referred to by his poetic title Bahadur Shah Zafar was born Mirza Abu Zafar Siraj-ud-din Muhammad (24 October 1775 – 7 November 1862) and was the twentieth and last Mughal Emperor of India as well as an Urdu poet. He was the second son and the successor to his father, Akbar II, who died on 28 September 1837. He was a titular Emperor, as the Mughal Empire existed in name only, and his authority was limited only to the walled city of Old Delhi (Shahjahanbad). Following his involvement in the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the British exiled him to Rangoon in British-controlled Burma in 1858, after convicting him on several charges.
Bahadur Shah Zafar’s father, Akbar II, had been imprisoned by the British and he was not his father’s preferred choice as his successor. One of Akbar Shah’s queens pressured him to declare her son, Mirza Jahangir, as his successor. However, The East India Company exiled Jahangir after he attacked their residence in the Red Fort, paving the way for Bahadur Shah to assume the throne.
- in hasratoñ se kah do kahīñ aur jā baseñ
itnī jagah kahāñ hai dil-e-dāġh-dār meñ
- koī kyuuñ kisī kā lubhā.e dil koī kyā kisī se lagā.e dil
vo jo bechte the davā-e-dil vo dukān apnī baḌhā ga.e
- na thī haal kī jab hameñ apne ḳhabar rahe dekhte auroñ ke aib o hunar
paḌī apnī burā.iyoñ par jo nazar to nigāh meñ koī burā na rahā
- lagtā nahīñ hai dil mirā ujḌe dayār meñ
kis kī banī hai ālam-e-nā-pā.edār meñ
- bulbul ko bāġhbāñ se na sayyād se gila
qismat meñ qaid likkhī thī fasl-e-bahār meñ
munavvar maañ ke aage yuuñ kabhī khul kar nahīñ ronā jahāñ buniyād ho itnī namī achchhī nahīñ hotī
Munawwar Rana was born in Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh in 1952, but spent most of his life in Kolkata, West Bengal. He uses Hindi and Awadhi words and avoids Persian and Arabic. This makes his poetry accessible to Indian audiences and explains his popularity in the poetic meets held in non-Urdu areas. Munawwar has published several ghazals. He has a distinct style of writing. Most of his shers (couplets) have Mother as the center point of his love. His Urdu ghazals have been translated into English by Tapan Kumar Pradhan. Sahitya Akademi Award for Urdu Literature (2014). He returned the award about one year later. He vowed to never again accept a government award due to rising intolerance in the country leading to state-sponsored communalism. In 2012 he was awarded Maati Ratan Samman by Shaheed Shodha Sansthan for his services to Urdu literature.
- chaltī phirtī huī ā.ankhoñ se azaañ dekhī hai
maiñ ne jannat to nahīñ dekhī hai maañ dekhī hai
- abhī zinda hai maañ merī mujhe kuchh bhī nahīñ hogā
maiñ ghar se jab nikaltā huuñ duā bhī saath chaltī hai
- kisī ko ghar milā hisse meñ yā koī dukāñ aa.ī
maiñ ghar meñ sab se chhoTā thā mire hisse meñ maañ aa.ī
- jab bhī kashtī mirī sailāb meñ aa jaatī hai
maañ duā kartī huī ḳhvāb meñ aa jaatī hai
- apne-āp ko dekhā thā maañ kī āñkhoñ meñ
kal ye ā.īna hameñ būḌhā nahīñ batātā hai
maiñ 'shād' tanhā ik taraf aur duniyā kī duniyā ik taraf saarā samundar ik taraf aañsū kā qatra ik taraf
Bismil Azimabadi (1901 – 20 June 1978) was an Indian freedom fighter, landlord, and an Urdu poet from Patna, Bihar. Bismil Azimabadi’s real name was Syed Shah Muhammad Hasan, he was born in 1901 in Azimabad, Patna, Bihar. His family belonged to the zamidars and they were initially based at Khusrupur, Nawada but were settled at Patna City.
Syed Shah Aale Hasan a barrister was his father, he died at an early age of Bismil. His maternal Grandfather Shah Mubarak Kakvi Azimabadi and his maternal uncle, Khan Bahadur Syed Shah Afzal khan alias Shah Kamal both were poets and were disciple of famous poet of Allahabad Allahabadi. Bismil died on 20 June 1978 in Azimabad, Patna and was buried at village Kurtha, Bihar, and was survived by five sons and three daughters.
- kaun sī baat na.ī ai dil-e-nākām huī
shaam se sub.h huī sub.h se phir shaam huī
- ye bazm-e-mai hai yaañ kotāh-dastī meñ hai mahrūmī
jo baḌh kar ḳhud uThā le haath meñ miinā usī kā hai
- sun chuke jab haal merā le ke añgḌā.ī kahā
kis ġhazab kā dard zālim tere afsāne meñ thā
- parvānoñ kā to hashr jo honā thā ho chukā
guzrī hai raat sham.a pe kyā dekhte chaleñ
- kahāñ se lā.ūñ sabr-e-hazrat-e-ayyūb ai saaqī
ḳhum aa.egā surāhī aa.egī tab jaam aa.egā
Mir Taqi Mir:
ab to jaate haiñ but-kade se 'mīr' phir mileñge agar ḳhudā laayā
Mir Muhammad Taqi (February 1723 – 20 September 1810), known as Mir Taqi Mir (also spelled Meer Taqi Meer), was an Urdu poet of the 18th century Mughal India and one of the pioneers who gave shape to the Urdu language itself. His father’s name was Meer Muttaqi. After his father’s death, his step-Brothers took control over his property.
His step-uncle took care of him after he was orphaned and after the death of his step-uncle(paternal) his maternal step-uncle took care of him. The part of his poetry is the grief he expresses. He has expressed a lot of grief over the downfall of his city, Delhi. He was one of the principal poets of the Delhi School of the Urdu ghazal and is often remembered as one of the best poets of the Urdu language. His pen name (takhallus) was Mir. He spent the latter part of his life in the court of Asaf-ud-Daulah in Lucknow.
- nāzukī us ke lab kī kyā kahiye
pañkhuḌī ik gulāb kī sī hai
- ham hue tum hue ki ‘mīr’ hue
us kī zulfoñ ke sab asiir hue
- phuul gul shams o qamar saare hī the
par hameñ un meñ tumhīñ bhaa.e bahut
- baare duniyā meñ raho ġham-zada yā shaad raho
aisā kuchh kar ke chalo yaañ ki bahut yaad raho
- kyā kahūñ tum se maiñ ki kyā hai ishq
jaan kā rog hai balā hai ishq
maiñ bhī bahut ajiib huuñ itnā ajiib huuñ ki bas ḳhud ko tabāh kar liyā aur malāl bhī nahīñ
Syed Hussain Jaun Asghar Naqvi, commonly known as Jaun Elia was an Urdu poet, philosopher, biographer, and scholar from South Asia who migrated from India to Pakistan. One of the most prominent modern Urdu poets, popular for his unconventional ways, he “acquired knowledge of philosophy, logic, Islamic history, the Muslim Sufi tradition, Muslim religious sciences, Western literature, and Kabbala.”
Jaun Elia was born as Syed Sibt-e-Asghar Naqvi on 14 December 1931 in Amroha, British India. His father, Shafiq Elia, was a scholar of literature and astronomy well-versed in the Arabic, English, Persian, Hebrew, and Sanskrit languages, and who corresponded with leading intellectuals like Bertrand Russell. He was the youngest of his siblings. Rais Amrohvi was his elder brother. Indian film director Kamal Amrohi was his first cousin.
Described as a child prodigy, he was initially educated at the Syed-ul-Madaris in Amroha. Being a communist, Elia opposed the partition of India. Elia once remarked on the creation of Pakistan that “this was the mischief of boys from Aligarh”. However, he eventually migrated to Pakistan in 1957 and decided to live in Karachi.
He began writing poetry at the age of 8 but published his first collection, Shayad, when he was 60. He married writer Zahida Hina in 1970. They separated in 1992.
jo guzārī na jā sakī ham se ham ne vo zindagī guzārī hai
zindagī kis tarah basar hogī dil nahīñ lag rahā mohabbat meñ
kis liye dekhtī ho ā.īna tum to ḳhud se bhī ḳhūbsūrat ho
aur to kyā thā bechne ke liye apnī āñkhoñ ke ḳhvāb beche haiñ
zindagī ek fan hai lamhoñ ko apne andāz se gañvāne kā
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Who is the father of Urdu poetry?
Amir Khusro is known as the father of Urdu Poetry.
Who are famous Urdu poets?
Some of the most famous names among Urdu poets are Allama Iqbal, Rumi, Faiz Ahmad, Jaun Eliya, Mir Taqi, Ahmad Faraz, Bashir Badr, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Ameer Minai, Ada Jafri, and many others.