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Na'at (Urdu: نعت, translit. na‘t) refers to poetry in praise of Allah and his Prophet Muhammad. The practice is popular in South Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan and India), commonly in Pashto, Bengali, Urdu or Punjabi language. People who recite naat are known as naat khawan or sana'a-khua'an. Exclusive "praise to Allah" and Allah alone is called Hamd, not to be confused with 'Naat', which contains "praise to the prophet Muhammad". In Arab countries, lyrics and praises said for the Islamic prophet Muhammad are called Nasheeds.
It is difficult to trace the history of na'at khawani since no authenticated record of when it was initiated can be found. One early author, Hassan, was known as Shair-e-Darbaar-e-Risalat. Even before accepting Islam he was a poet, but after embracing Islam he gave a new turn to his poetry and started writing Na'ats in honor of Muhammad. He was famous for his poetry that defended Muhammad in response to rival poets that attacked him and his religion. Therefore, Hassan is known as the first sana-khawaan (naat reciter) of that time. After that many a poet followed this trend and totally dedicated themselves to writing naats.
Commonly the term naat-shareef (exalted poetry) is reserved and used for poetry in the praise of Muhammad written in Pashto, Bengali, Urdu, English, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, Punjabi and Sindhi Language.
- http://sufisaints.com/forumss/index.php?topic=642.0, Definition or meaning of Naat on sufisaints.com website, Retrieved 10 Jan 2017
- 'URDU ZABAN MEIN NA’T GŪ’Ī KA FUN' (Literary Criticism) Book in URDU by Syed Waheed Ashraf
- ""Islam and Islamic History in Arabia and the Middle East""., islamicity.com website, Retrieved 10 Jan 2017