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REHATSEK, EDWARD

(7,048 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
REHATSEK, EDWARD (b. Ilok, 3 July 1819; d. Bombay, 11 December 1891), Hungarian-born Orientalist and translator of a number of Persian and Arabic works.i. Life Edward Rehatsek, the son of a forest inspector, was born in Ilok (now in Croatia). As a child, he was sent to study Magyar in Pécs (Hungary), where he also studied Slavic and German and privately learned French and design. He eventually attended the university in Budapest (now the Budapest University of Technology), where he trained as an engineer and a surveyor…
Date: 2021-06-17

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

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

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

RAFʿAT (REFʿAT)

(1,444 words)

Author(s): Gregory Maxwell Bruce
(d. 1819), pen name of ḠOLĀM JILĀNI, scholar of Arabic and Persian literature, teacher at Rampur, and author of Dorr-e ma nẓum. RAFʿAT (REFʿAT), pen name ( taḵalloṣ) of ḠOLĀM JILĀNI (d. 27 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1234/17 October 1819), scholar of Arabic and Persian literature, teacher at Rampur, and author of a versified Persian “battlelogue” ( jang-nāma ) titled Dorr-e manẓum. Estimations of Ḡolām Jilāni’s date of birth range from ca. 1720 (Aḥmad-ʿAli Šawq, p. 284) to ca. 1742 (Mināʾi, p. 152). Qodrat-Allāh Šawq (p. 502), writing around 1774, describes him as a youth ( javān) and novice ( naw-mašq). Th…
Date: 2017-04-10

ḠIĀṮ-AL-DIN RĀMPURI

(1,678 words)

Author(s): Gregory Maxwell Bruce
(1785-1852), MOḤAMMAD, Persian lexicographer, literary scholar, philologist, poet, and teacher. ḠIĀṮ-AL-DIN ʿEZZAT RĀMPURI, MOḤAMMAD, Persian lexicographer, literary scholar, philologist, poet, and teacher (b. ca. 1199/1785; d. Rampur, 22 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1268/7 October 1852). Life. Ḡiāṯ-al-Din was born in Rampur to a family of scholars. His education began at home with his father, Jalāl-al-Din (pen-name Jalāl; b. ca. 1739; d. 1808), a learned scholar, respected teacher, and Persian poet (Mināʾi, pp. 104-5). Ḡiāṯ-al-Din also studied…
Date: 2017-04-12

ʿAbd al-Salām Nadwī

(2,666 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
ʿAbd al-Salām Nadwī (1883–1956) was an Urdu-language biographer, historian, scholar of Islamic studies, journalist, literary critic, and translator. 1. Life He was born on 16 February 1883 in the rural village of Alauddin Patti, Azamgarh district, British India, to a family of landowners. Having studied Persian literature at home, he married, at a young age, the daughter of a respected scholar with ties to Farangī Maḥall, moved into his wife’s home, and completed his study of Persian with his father-in-law, ʿAbdall…
Date: 2021-07-19

Josh Malīḥābādī

(1,625 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Shabbīr Ḥasan Khān Josh Malīḥābādī (d. 22 February 1982) was an Urdu writer remembered for his tell-all autobiography as well as for his anticlerical, anti-imperial, nationalist, revolutionary, and romantic poetry. 1. Life Josh was born on 5 December 1894, 1896, or 1898 (the sources differ) at Malīḥābād, British India into a wealthy family of landowners whose ancestors had come from near Kabul to India in the twelfth/eighteenth century to join the army of Ṣafdar Jang (nawab of Awadh, r. 1152–67/1739–54). His paternal great-gra…
Date: 2021-07-19

Farḥat Allāh Beg

(1,244 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Mirzā Farḥat Allāh Beg (b. c.1886, d. 1947) was an Urdu humorist, biographer, historian, literary critic, critical editor, and official in Hyderabad. 1. Life Much of what is known about Farḥat Allāh’s life comes from his own writings, including a lengthy autobiography, Merī dāstān (“My story,” published posthumously), and from accounts by those who knew him (see Yazdānī). He was the descendant of a family of immigrants from Badakhshān who came to India during the time of the Mughal emperor Shāh ʿĀlam II (r. 1173–1202/1759–88 and 1203–21/…
Date: 2021-07-19

Ḥasan, Mīr Ghulām

(2,228 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Mīr Ghulām Ḥasan, known by his pen name Ḥasan (Mīr Ḥasan, d. 1200/1786) was a biographer, critic, and poet remembered chiefly for a romantic Urdu mathnavī later named Siḥr al-bayān (“The enchantment of speech”). 1. Life The details of Mīr Ḥasan’s life come to us mainly from his own writings ( Gulzār-i Iram and Tadhkira-yi shuʿarā). Estimates of the year of his birth range from 1140/1727–8 to 1155/1742 (Qurayshī, Mīr Ḥasan, 179–89). He was born in the Sayyidwāŕa area of Delhi to a family that, as his name Mīr (Pers., from. Ar. amīr, lit., prince, chief, used as an equivalent of Ar. sayyid) sugges…
Date: 2021-07-19

Amjad Ḥaydarābādī

(1,429 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Sayyid Aḥmad Ḥusayn Amjad Ḥaydarābādī (d. 29 March 1961) was an Urdu poet celebrated for his mystical rubāʿīs (quatrains). 1. Life The best estimate of his birthdate is 10 or 11 April 1886. Most of what we know about Amjad’s early life comes from his autobiographical writing. Amjad’s father, a Ṣūfī and the imām of a local mosque, died when Amjad was an infant. Amjad was raised as a girl by his mother and may not have begun dressing as a male until he reached maturity. He studied Arabic and Persian at home and then at a local school. In 1906, he passed the munshī-i fāḍil honours examination in Persi…
Date: 2021-07-19

Farāhī, Ḥamīd al-Dīn

(2,101 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Ḥamīd al-Dīn Farāhī (1863–1930) was an Indian scholar of Arabic best known for his writings on the niẓām (broad structural and thematic order) of the Qurʾān. 1. Life He was born at Pharīhā, near Azamgarh, India to a family of zamīndārs (landowners, but, before British rule, specifically landholders responsible for revenue collection) and vakīls (attorneys) who were also scholars of Arabic and Persian. He claimed to have memorised the Qurʾān at the age of ten and studied Arabic, Persian, and the Islamic sciences at home and at nearby Azamgarh with his patern…
Date: 2021-07-19

Luṭfallāh, Muḥammad

(735 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Muḥammad Luṭfallāh (b. 1828–9, d. 1916) was a teacher of ʿulamāʾ (scholars of the Arabic language and Islam) in India and muftī (a Muslim jurist who issues expert legal opinions in response to questions or writes legal opinions on subjects he considers significant) at the High Court in Hyderabad. He was born at Pilakhna near Jalali, east of Aligarh. His father was a wakīl (one who has the trust or mandate of another person and is allowed or requested to act in his or her place) who knew Persian and appreciated Urdu poetry. His mother was from a family of sayyids (people claiming descent from t…
Date: 2021-07-19

Bilgrāmī brothers

(2,956 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
The Bilgrāmī brothers were Indian statesmen, educators, social reformers, and intellectuals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The genealogical literature records five brothers; this article focuses on the most famous three. The Bilgrāmī brothers were born into a Shīʿa family of scholars and statesmen that traced its lineage to the family of the Prophet through migrants from Wāsiṭ who came to India with Muḥammad b. Sām of Ghūr in 614/1217 (according to the Persian chronogram khudādād, lit. God-given, the letters in which, by the numerical abjad system, amount to…
Date: 2021-07-19

Ḥaydar Ḥasan Mirzā, Āghā

(778 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Āghā Ḥaydar Ḥasan Mirzā (d. 1976) was an Indian scholar of Deccani Urdu and culture and the author of Urdu prose written in the language of upper-class women of Delhi known as begamātī zabān (lit., lady’s language). He was born at Delhi in 1892 (Rudawlavī, 29), 1893 (Rafīʿ, 1), or 1898 (Sahitya Akademi, 5). The family tree records ties to the niece of and Bahādur Shāh Ẓafar (the last Mughal emperor, r. 1837–58) (Mirzā, Nudrat, 16) and his influential wife Zīnat Maḥall (d. 1886). His paternal grandfather, Mohan Lāl (Āghā Ḥasan Jān, d. 1877), was from a family of Kashmi…
Date: 2021-07-19

Ḥaqqānī, ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq

(1,583 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq (b. 1849 or 1851, d. 1917), later known as ʿAbd al-Ḥaqq Ḥaqqānī, was an Indian theologian and the author of an influential Urdu tafsīr (commentary on the Qurʾān). He came from a long line of religious scholars who served at the Mughal court. His grandfather moved the family from Delhi to the regional principality of Kaythal (Kaithal), where he, and later Ḥaqqānī’s father, served as advisers. Around the time that the British took control of the region, Ḥaqqānī’s father was granted the revenues of …
Date: 2021-07-19

Jigar Murādābādī

(1,067 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
ʿAlī Sikandar Jigar Murādābādī (b. c. 1890, d. 9 September 1960) was a popular Urdu poet beloved for his ghazal poetry and his melodious style of recitation. He was born (at Benares or Muradabad) in British India to a family of poets and civil servants that traced its lineage to scholars at the Mughal court. He studied the Islamic sciences, Persian, and Urdu at home. He attended English school up to the ninth grade but then dropped out and began work as an eyeglasses salesman. He wrote poetry in Persian and Urdu f…
Date: 2021-07-19

Jurʾat

(2,528 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Qalandar Bakhsh (lit., gift of the qalandar, wandering mystic), supplicated for intercession towards God to have a son) (b. c.1162/1749, d. 1809–10), whose pen name was Jurʾat (lit., courage), was an Urdu poet renowned for his sensual ghazal poetry and his satires. His birth name is given variously as Yaḥyā Mān and Yaḥyā Amān. One scholar argues that the former is correct and is shared by other members of the family and that the name Amān was given to him by authors of biographical dictionaries (Naqvī, 10). Another notes that both names were used by members of the family (Ḥasan, 17–8). 1. Life Ju…
Date: 2023-08-14

Murādābādī, Faḍl-i Raḥmān Ganj

(989 words)

Author(s): Bruce, Gregory Maxwell
Faḍl-i Raḥmān Ganj Murādābādī (b. 1793–4, d. 12 September 1895) was a Ṣūfī and spiritual preceptor whose students included some of the most influential Islamic scholars and educators in British India. He was born in the village of Mallānavān (also Mallavan) in Awadh (later the United Provinces and Uttar Pradesh) and was educated in the Arabic sciences. In his youth, he travelled to Delhi, where he studied ḥadīth with ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Dihlavī (d. 1824), son of the major reformer and ḥadīth scholar Shāh Valī Allāh (d. 1176/1762–3); Ghulām ʿAlī (b. 1743–4; d. 1824), a leading fig…
Date: 2023-08-14