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Born 1253 in Patiali (now Uttar Pradesh); died 1325 in Delhi. Indian poet, scholar, and musician. Turkish by descent; wrote in Persian, Urdu, and Hindi; popular also among the Persians and Tadzhiks. Court poet of India.
Amir Khusrau’s intimacy with the Sufi dervish order Chishti is reflected in his work: in his poetry he eulogized Nizamaddina Aulia, the head of the order, calling him a spiritual mentor. Amir Khusrau left many works of poetry, literary criticism, and history. His lyrics were collected in five divans: The Gift of Youth (written 1272), The Middle of Life (1284), The Plenitude of Perfection (1293), The Elected Remainder (1316), and The Summit of Perfection (1325). Romantic poems are prominent among his work—an example is Dawalrani Khizrkhan, based on themes from court life. He created a five-part work on the model and themes of the poems of Nizami: The Ascent of the Luminaries (1298), Shirin and Khosrov (1298), Medjun and Leila (1298), The Mirror of Iskander (1299), and Eight Heavenly Gardens (1301). Amir Khusrau made use of Indian folk tales; however, he made many vital modifications in their plots. Anthologies of poems, riddles, and sayings attributed to Amir Khusrau and written in Hindi have survived. Kkhalibari, a dictionary of synonyms containing Arabic, Persian, and Hindi words, has also been attributed to him. He composed many tesnifs (folk romances) in Urdu, which are performed by Indian singers.
WORKSMesnevi khasht bekhesht. Aligarh, 1336 A.H. (A.D. 1957).
REFERENCESBertel’s, E. E. Roman ob Aleksandre i ego glavnye versii na Vostoke. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Storey, C. A. Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, section 2, fasc. 3. London, 1939.
Muhammad Wahid Mirza. The Life and Works of Amir Khusrau. Calcutta, 1935.
Arberry, A. J. Classical Persian Literature. London, .