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Hind Islami Tahjeeb Ke Rang : Aqeedat Ke Rang


The Tradition of Arabic Devotional Poetry in India with Special Reference to Qazi Abdul Muqtadir of Delhi


It is an indisputable fact of history that there flourished in India a good number of internationally renowned scholars of Arabic and Islamic Studies. They not only preserved and carried on the traditions of Arabic and Islamic learning in this country, but also enriched the Indo-Arab literature in almost all branches of Arabic and Islamic learning which cannot be ignored while making an assessment of Arabic-Islamic literature of the world.

Although a great deal of Arabic literature produced in India was lost into oblivion because of the negligence on the part of the Indian biographers, yet the remnants of it preserved in published and unpublished forms are sufficient enough to acquaint the readers with their spectacular literary achievements. They wrote volumes of books on both religious and secular subjects such as Hadith, Jurisprudence, Tafsir, History and Philological subjects. The names of Shah Wali-Allah of Delhi, Sayyid Murtaza al-Bilgrami, Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan of Bhopal, Prof. Abdul Aziz Maiman of Aligarh Muslim University, Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadawi, to mention only a few who are popularly known and honoured all over the world.

In the field of Arabic poetry too our country is proud of having produced some eminent poets such as Shaikh Nasiruddin Chirag Dehlavi, Qazi Abdul Muqtadir, Shaikh Ahmad of Thaneswar, Sayyid Ghulam Ali Azad, Maulana Baqir Agha, Mufti Sadruddin of Delhi and others whose compositions earned them fame and reputation not only in India, but also in the Arab world.

Of the above mentioned poets Qazi Abdul Muqtadir of Delhi (d. 1389 AD) was one of the most distinguished Arabic poets produced by India. His political genius is best illustrated by his famous eulogy (Qasidah) on the Prophet Mohammad (P.B.O.H) known as Lamiyyat al-Hind which he composed in imitation of the universally celebrated ode Lamiyyat al-Ajam composed by al-Tughra’I of Isfahan in 1111 AD. This Qasidah by the Qazi is highly remarkable for its imagery, novel ideas and beauty of expression.
An attempt has been made in this paper to elucidate the point that this poem by the Qazi is a sufficient proof of his genius and eloquence as an Arabic na’tia poet. Far from being a mere skilful imitation of ancient odes, it has the touch of originality. The new, interesting imagery, ideas, expressions and similes used by him add to the beauty of the poem. This Qasidah may also be taken as a sufficiently illustrative specimen of the Arabic na’tia kalam produced in India which the Prophet himself is reported to have complimented, saying that he smelt Divine fragrance proceeding from the side of the country. Allama Iqbal, the poet-philosopher of modern Islam, has alluded to the same point in the following lines:

Meer-e Arab ko aye thandee hawa jahanse
Mera watan wahi hai, mera watan wahi hai

The land from where came cool breeze to the Chief of the Arabs, That very land is my country, that very land is my country.

Abdul Ali, has been the Professor, Chairman and Director, Department and Institute of Islamic Studies, Aligarh Muslim university, Aligarh. His area of interest has been scientific and intellectual heritage of Islam. At present he is working on a major UGC research project on Indian Origins of the Arab-Islamic Scientific and Literary Heritage.

AB-81, Medical Colony
Aligarh Muslim University

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