Akbar Allahabadi, Said Husein

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Akbar Allahabadi, Said Husein


Born Oct. 16, 1846, near Allahabad; died in 1921, in Allahabad. Indian poet who wrote in Urdu.

Allahabadi was born into a poor family. He was educated as a lawyer. He participated in the musha’aras, or poets’ contests; his home was a center of the literary life of Allahabad. During the late 1880’s, he began to criticize western bourgeois culture. He ridiculed the English colonialists in allegorical, satirical verse. Much of his poetry is concerned with religious-philosophical themes, including Sufism, and epic themes. In the last years of his life, he created a long narrative poem dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, in which he supported the struggle against colonialism. However, at the author’s request, the poem was not published during his lifetime. The collected works of Akbar Allahabadi have been published in four volumes. Many of the picturesque expressions in his ghazals (lyric poems) have become Urdu proverbs.


Glebov, N., and A. Sukhochev. Literatura urdu. Moscow, 1967.
Sadiq, M. A History of Urdu Literature. London, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.