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Ḥālī

(3,810 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Ḥālī is the pen name of Alṭāf Ḥusayn (b. c.1837, d. 1914), an Urdu poet, literary critic, essayist, biographer, educational and social reformer, and translator. Most of what we know about his life, especially early on, comes from an autobiographical sketch that he wrote in 1901, titled Tarjuma-yi Ḥālī (Biographical entry for Ḥālī). The piece was later published in Maqālāt 1:261–70. 1. Life Ḥālī was born in the town of Panipat, about eighty kilometres north of Delhi. By his own claim, his paternal ancestor Malik ʿAlī immigrated to India in the seventh/thirteenth century and was given a jāgīr…
Date: 2021-07-19

Debate literature, Urdu

(2,389 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Debate literature in Urdu encompasses a wide range of disputative practices across a similarly wide range of discursive contexts. The word munāẓara (debate) has three relevant senses: public debates amongst religious and sectarian groups and the polemical literatures associated with them; debate as a branch of the rational sciences; and a literary motif used primarily in Urdu poetry involving an imaginary dialogue. Other Urdu words used to designate debate, including mubāḥatha, are introduced as well. 1. The semantics of munāẓara Munāẓara (also pronounced munāẓira, munāẓra; pl.…
Date: 2021-07-19

Amīr Mīnāʾī

(2,583 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Amīr Aḥmad Amīr Mīnāʾī (1829–1900) was a poet, teacher, lexicographer, biographer, publisher, Islamic scholar, critical editor, and court official at Lucknow and Rāmpūr. He is remembered best for his Urdu ghazals (lyrical poems) and naʿts (poems in praise of the prophet Muḥammad), his biographical dictionary of poets at Rāmpūr, and an incomplete Urdu dictionary. 1. Life Amīr Mīnāʾī was born in Lucknow to a family of mystics and scholars who traced its lineage through the mystic Shāh Mīnā (d. 869/1465 in Lucknow, where his shrine is located)—whence th…
Date: 2021-07-19