Khwaja Haidar Ali Aatish

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Khwaja Haider Ali Aatish (Urdu: خواجہ حَیدر علی آتِش ‎), (1764–1846) of Lucknow was an Urdu poet. Khwaja Haider Ali Aatish Lakhnawi is one of the giants of Urdu Literature. Aatish and Imam Baksh Nasikh were contemporary poets whose rivalry is well known. Both had hundreds of disciples. The era of Aatish-Nasikh was a golden era for Urdu poetry in Lucknow. Aatish is mostly known for his Ghazals, and for his amazing and different style of poetry۔

Early life[edit]

Aatish was born in 1764. His family is believed to have migrated from Delhi to Lucknow. He lived an independent life without any employment or state patronage. Retaining independent approach and concern for the dignity of man and interest in the expression of subjective experience in poetry, he, along with Imam Baksh Nasikh, who emphasized the form and diction, correctness of idiom and strict observance of the rules of prosody, demarcated the main feature of the poetic identity of his period. He did not adopt self-pity nor melancholy as the keynote of his poetry nor did he opt for sensuousness as its corner stone. His ghazals ring true of his challenging tone which makes him the most prominent ghazal writer of protest poetry in a feudal age.[1]

It is also said that Aatish belonged to Faizabad, his father had died early during his childhood, but his deep instinctive taste of poetry gave Aatish easy access to the court of Nawab Mohammed Taqi Khan Taraqqi who took him to Lucknow. In Lucknow he became a disciple of Mushafi, an important poet of the Lucknow school. Soon after the death of Nasikh, Aatish stopped writing poetry. Some critics rank him after Mir and Ghalib.[2]

Pandit Dayashankar Nasim, the renowned author of Gulzar – e – Nasim, was a disciple of Aatish.[3]


  • Kulliyat-e-Khwaja Haider Ali Atish [1]
  • Deewan-e-Aatish


  1. ^ Amresh Datta. The Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature Vol.1. Sahitya Akademi. p. 262.
  2. ^ Urdu Ghazals: An Anthology. Sterling Publishers. p. 108.
  3. ^ Ali Sardar Jafri. Bharatiya Jnanpith. p. 155.

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