|Timeline for Urdu and Hindi languages and their recognition|
|Urdu replaces Persian||1837 under British rule|
|Hindi and Urdu granted equal status||1900|
|Urdu declared sole national language in Pakistan||1948|
|Hindi granted separate status and official precedence over Urdu and all other languages in the Republic of India||1950|
Urdu poetry (Urdu: اُردُو شاعرى Urdū S̱ẖāʿirī) is a rich tradition of poetry and has many different forms. Its basically an outcome of superimposition of Persian language poetry on Khari Boli with Sanskrit as its substratum. Many of the poetic forms and structures are of Arabic origin. Today, it is an important part of the cultures of South Asia. Meer, Dard, Ghalib, Anees, Dabeer, Iqbal, Zauq, Josh, Jigar, Faiz, Firaq, Shakeb Jalali, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, Shair, Mohsin, Faraz and Faizi are among the greatest poets of Urdu. The language of Urdu got its pinnacle under the British Raj when British perceived Persian language as the threat and replaced its official status with the Urdu and English languages. All famous writers of 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 the nationalistic lines. However, Urdu poetry is cherished in both the nations. Both the Muslims and Hindus from across the border continue the tradition.
Its fundamentally a 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 cultural influence of South Asian diaspora. Ghazal singing and Qawwali are also important expository forms of Urdu poetry. Bollywood movies have a major part in popularising Urdu poetry with younger generations.
Forms of Urdu poetry
The principal forms of Urdu poetry are:
- Ghazal, is a set of two liner couplets, which strictly should end with the same rhyme and should be within one of the predefined meters of Ghazals.There has to be minimum of five couplets to form a Ghazal. Couplets may or may not have same thought. It is one of the most difficult forms of poetry as there are many strict parameters that one needs to abide by while writing Ghazal.
- Hamd is a poem in praise of Allah. The word "hamd" is derived from the Qur'an, its English translation is "Praise".
- Marsiya is an elegy typically composed about the death of Hasan, Husain, or their relatives. Each stanza has six lines, with the rhyme scheme aaaabb. The famous marsia writers who inherited the tradition of Mir Anis among his successive generations are Mir Nawab Ali 'Munis', Dulaha Sahab 'Uruj', Syed Mohammed Mohsin (Jaunpuri), Mustafa Meerza urf Piyare Sahab 'Rasheed', Syed Muhammad Mirza Uns, Ali Nawab 'Qadeem', Syed Sajjad Hussain "Shadeed" Lucknavi, Allama, Dr.Syed Ali Imam Zaidi, "Gauher" Luckhnavi the great grandson of Mir Babber Ali Anis.
- Masnavi is written in couplets in bacchic tetrameter with an iambus for last foot.The topic is often romance.[ [Mir]] and Sauda wrote some of this kind. The Religious masnavi History of Islam (Tarikh-e-Islam Az Quran) written by Dr. Syed Ali Imam Zaidi Gauher Lucknavi.
- Nazm Urdu nazm is a major part of Urdu poetry. From Nazeer Akarabadi, Iqbal, Josh, Firaq, Akhtarul Iman to down the line Noon Meem Rashid, Faiz, Ali Sardar Jafri and Kaifi Azmi. They have covered common life, philosophical thinking, national issues and the precarious predecament of individual human being.As a distinct form of Nazm many Urdu poets influenced by English and other European poets took to writing sonnets in Urdu language. Azmatullah Khan (1887-1923) is believed to have introduced this format to Urdu Literature. The other renowned Urdu poets who wrote sonnets were Akhtar Junagarhi, Akhtar Sheerani, Noon Meem Rashid, Zia Fatehabadi, Salaam Machhalishahari and Wazir Agha.
- Qasida, usually an ode to a benefactor, a satire, or an account of an event. It uses the same rhyme system as the ghazal, but is usually longer.
- Qawwali, is a form of Urdu poetry read along with devotional music, A Qawwali is almost always dedicated to particular Sufi.
- Shayari, a beautiful musical form of Urdu poetry allows a person to express the deepest feelings through words. It lets you explain sentiments in all their forms through rhythmic words. Like: Kabhi Kisi Ko Mukkamal Jahan Nahi Milta, Kahi Jameen To Kahi Aasmaan Nahi Milta.
- Ruba'i, is a poetry style, the Arabic term for "quatrain". The plural form of the word, rubāʿiyāt, often anglicised rubaiyat, is used to describe a collection of such quatrains.
Collection forms of Urdu poetry
The principal collection forms of Urdu poetry are:
Urdu poetry forms itself with following basic ingredients:
- Bait (بیت)
- Bait-ul-Ghazal (بیت الغزل)
- Beher (بحر)
- Diwan (دیوان)
- Husn-E-Matla (حسنِ مطلع)
- Kalam (کلام)
- Kulyat (کلیات)
- Maqta (مقطع)
- Matla (مطلع)
- Mavra (ماوراء)
- Misra (مصرع)
- Mushaira (مشاعرہ)
- Qaafiyaa (قافیہ)
- Radif (ردیف)
- Sher (شعر)
- Shayar (شاعر)
- Shayari (شاعری)
- Tah-Tul-Lafz (تحت اللفظ)
- Takhallus (تخلص)
- Tarannum (ترنم)
- Triveni (تریوینی)
The major genres of poetry found in Urdu are:
- Doha (دوہا)
- Fard (فرد)
- Geet (گیت)
- Ghazal (غزل), as practiced by many poets in the Arab tradition. Mir, Ghalib, Dagh are well-known composers of ghazal.
- Hamd (حمد)
- Hazal (ہزل)
- Hijv (ہجو)
- Kafi (کافی)
- Madah (مدح)
- Manqabat (منقبت)
- Marsia (مرثیہ)
- Masnavi (مثنوی)
- Munajat (مناجات)
- Musaddas (مسدس)
- Mukhammas (مخمس)
- Naat (نعت)
- Nazm (نظم)
- Noha (نوحہ)
- Qasida (قصیدہ)
- Qat'ã (قطعہ)
- Qawwali (قوالی)
- Rubai (رباعی) (a.k.a. Rubayyat or Rubaiyat) (رباعیات)
- Salam (سلام)
- Sehra (سہرا)
- Shehr a'ashob (شہر آشوب)
- Soz (سوز)
- Wasokht (وسوخت)
Pen names (Takhallus)
In the Urdu poetic tradition, most poets use a pen name called the Takhallus (تخلص) . This can be either a part of a poet's given name or something else adopted as an identity. The traditional convention in identifying Urdu poets is to mention the takhallus at the end of the name. The word takhallus is derived from Arabic, meaning "ending". This is because in the ghazal form, the poet would usually incorporate his or her pen name into the final couplet (maqta) of each poem.
Scripts used in poetry
In Pakistan and Deccan region of India, Urdu poetry is written in the standard Nasta'liq calligraphy style of the Perso-Arabic script. However, in north India, where Urdu poetry is very popular, the Perso-Arabic is often found transliterated into the Devanāgarī script, as an aid for those Hindī-speakers, who can comprehend Urdu, but cannot read the Perso-Arabic script. With the dawn of the internet and globalisation, this poetry is often found written in Roman Urdu today.
- Tum na aana waqt k darya main beh kar is taraf.
- Main to machli ki tarah uljha huwa hun jaal main
- Don't come towards this side in the river of time!
- I am captured in the net like a fish.
- Bait Bazi, a game using Urdu poetry
- Chaar bayt a folk art of singing.
- Maulvi Abdul Haq - father of Modern Urdu
- Rafiq Hussain was the first scholar in undivided India to obtain a Ph.D in Urdu Poetry of Allama Iqbal in 1943.
- List of Urdu poets
- Persian and Urdu
- Progressive Writers' Movement
- Urdu Informatics
- Language, religion and politics in North India. Lincoln, NE: IUniverse. 2005. ISBN 978-0-595-34394-2.
- Bailey, Thomas Grahame (1932 & 2008). A History of urdu literature (PDF). Association press (Y.M.C.A.). ISBN 978-0-19-547518-0. Retrieved 15 July 2012. Check date values in:
- Encyclopedic dictionary of Urdu literature p.565 http://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=8182201918
- The Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature (Volume Five) p.4146 http://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=8126012218
- Shayari Network
- A Brief History of Persian Literature, by the Iran Chamber Society.