This article is about the poetry stanza. For river with same name, see Matla River. For the island and country, see Malta.
The Matla (Arabic/Urdu: مطلع) is the first sher, or couplet, of a ghazal, a collection of poems in Urdu or Persian poetry.It is possible, although extremely rare, for there to be more than one matla in a ghazal; in this case the second is referred to as matla-e-sani, literally the second matla. It is important part because it establishes the overall form and mood of the entire ghazal.
The defining feature of the matla is that both verses of the couplet rhyme, or expressed in technical terminology, both verses end with the qaafiyaa and radif of the ghazal. In fact, the purpose of the matla is to define the qaafiya and radif for the rest of the ghazal.
Contemporary Persian and Classical Persian are the same language, but writers since 1900 are classified as contemporary. At one time, Persian was a common cultural language of much of the non-Arabic Islamic world. Today it is the official language of Iran, Tajikistan and one of the two official languages of Afghanistan.