Mirza Muhammad Rafi Sauda

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Mirza Rafi Sauda's Painting of year 1760.
Cover of the 1872 translation of the works of Mirza Muhammad Rafi Sauda

Mirza Muhammad Rafi 'Sauda' (1713–1781) (Urdu: مرزا محمد رفیع سودا ) was one of the best known poets of Urdu language in Delhi, India. He is known for his Ghazals and Urdu Qasidas.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born on 1713 and died on 1781.[2] He was born and brought up in Delhi.[3] Sauda, was a shia in personal life.[4]

He inhabited Shahjahanabad (i.e. Old Delhi), during the reign of Muhammad Shah, 1150 A.H. i.e. 1739 A.D.[5]

Ustads and shagirds[edit]

Sulaimān Qulī Ḳhān 'Vidād'[6] was his first Ustad (teacher of Urdu poetry) and Shāh Ḥātim too, in the introduction to his volume in which he provides a list of his pupils has recorded Mirzā's name.[2][7] King Shah Alam was Shagird (student of Urdu poetry) of 'Sauda' and gave him his poetry for correction.[2]

He was a contemporary of Dard and Mir.[5]

Movement from Delhi[edit]

At the age of sixty or sixty six, he left Delhi and came to Farrukhabad (with Nawab Bangash),[2] and lived there from 1757 to about 1770[3][8] In A.H. 1185 [1771–72] he moved to court of Nawab of Awadh (then in Faizabad) and remained there till his death.[3] When Lucknow became state capital, he came there with Nawab Shujauddaula.[5] He was also Ustad of Shujauddaulla. Nawab Āṣif ud-Daulah gave him tiltle of Malkushshu'ara and annual pension of Rupees Six Thounsand.[2]

He died in at the age of almost 70 years,[9] in A.H. 1195 [1780–81],[3] in Lucknow.[2]


He is recognised as a great qasidah poet, perhaps the greatest in Urdu. He was a major ghazal poet too. The soundest rock on which Sauda's reputation rests today are his satires.[4]

At first he always used to compose verses in Persian then on his ustad Ḳhān-e Ārzū's advice he started composing in Urdu.[2] Kulliyat of Sauda was compiled by Ḥakīm Sayyid Aṣlaḥ ud-Dīn Ḳhān he wrote an introduction for it.[2] Later in 1872 it was literally translated by Major Henry Court, Captain, Bengal Cavalry[10] List of Sauda's work from his Kulliyat are:[11]

  1. Masnavi dar hajv-e hakim ghaus,
  2. Masnavi dar hajv-e amir-a daulatmand bakhil,
  3. Masnavi dar ta'rif-e shikar,
  4. Masnavi dar hajv-e pil rajah nripat singh,
  5. Masnavi dar hajv-e sidi faulad khan kotval-e shahjahanabad,
  6. Masnavi dar hajv-e fidvi mutavatan-e panjab kih darasal baqal bachchah bud,
  7. Masnavi dar hajv-e chipak mirza faizu,
  8. Qissah-e darvesh kih iradah-e ziyarat-e ka'bah kardah bud,
  9. Mukhammas-e shahr ashob,
  10. Qasidah dar madh-e navab vazir imad ul-mulk

Some famous ashaar (more than one sher) of 'Sauda'[edit]















  1. ^ "A Shahr-ashob of Sauda, translated by Mark Pegors" (PDF). Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Aab-e hayaat (1880) on Sauda". Dsal.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Chapter 2 of Three Mughal Poets: Mir Sauda, Mir Hasan*, by Ralph Russell and Khurshidul Islam (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968)" (PDF). Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "The Satires of Sauda (1706–1781) (Sept. 2010), by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi" (PDF). Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Frances Pritchett. "Introduction of Selections from the Kulliyat of Sauda, by Major Henry Court, 1872". Columbia.edu. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Mirzā Muḥammad Zamān was known as Sulaimān Qulī Ḳhān; his grandfather came of Isfahani stock. He himself was born in Delhi. He led an honored life in the employ of Navab Mūsavī Ḳhān; he received three hundred rupees a month and pleased himself by reciting verses. See Muṣḥafī's anthology of Persian poets.
  7. ^ "Azad, Muhammad Husain Ab-i hayat: yani mashahir shura-yi Urdu ke savanih umri aur zaban-i mazkur ki ahd ba ahd ki taraqqiyon aur islahon ka bayan. Lahor: Naval Kishor 1907". Dsal.uchicago.edu. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  8. ^ To be more precise, some time between A.H. 1183 (A.D. 1769–1770) and A.H. 1185 (A.D. 1771–1772). Cf. Shaikh Cand, pp. 55–56
  9. ^ An Urdu chronogram by Faḳhr ud-Dīn; Persian chronograms by Muṣḥafī and Mīr Qamar ud-Dīn 'Minnat'.
  10. ^ Frances Pritchett. "Selections from the Kulliyat of Sauda, by Major Henry Court, 1872". Columbia.edu. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Frances Pritchett. "Introduction by FWP, Selections from the Kulliyat of Sauda, by Major Henry Court, 1872". Columbia.edu. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 59°41′15″N 6°26′14″E / 59.68750°N 6.43722°E / 59.68750; 6.43722