Ghalib, Mirza Asad Allah Khan

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ghalib, Mirza Asad Allah Khan


Born Dec. 27, 1797, in Agra; died Feb. 15, 1869, in Delhi. Indian poet.

Ghalib came from the aristocratic Muslim clan of the Aybaks. He wrote in Persian and Urdu, and his first qasidas and ghazels were written in Persian. Ghalib’s creative work was influenced by the Sufi poets, but he was able to transcend their mysticism. His poems link classical with modern poetry. The essence of Ghalib’s poetry was high humanism and an intolerance of the clergy, fanaticism, and superstitions. The revolt of 1857-59, with which he sympathized, made an impression on his work. Ghalib sensed the awakening of India and the beating of the pulse of a new life. He was the author of philological and historical works (Dasatanbu, Qatia Birhan, and Durafshi Kawiani), and the treatise The Five Sections. He was also a recognized commentator on the Koran. Ghalib’s works prepared for the development of modern Urdu prose and poetry. They also influenced poets of subsequent generations (for example, M. Iqbal).


Divane Ghalib. Delhi, 1957.
In Russian translation:
Lirika. Moscow, 1969.


Said, Ekhtisham Khusein. Istoriia literatury urdu. Moscow, 1961.
Puladova, Sh. “Nekotorye voprosy epistoliarnogo stilia Mirzy Galiba.” Izv. AN Tadzh. SSR, 1962, no. 2 (29).
Aliev, G. Iu. Persoiazychnaia literatura Indii. Moscow, 1968.
Glebov, N., and A. Sukhochev. Literatura urdu. Moscow, 1967.
Suhrawardy, Sh. A. B. A Critical Survey of the Development of the Urdu Novel and Short Story. London-New York-Toronto [1945].
Adab latif, 1969, nos. 11-12. (A special issue devoted to Ghalib.)
Nuqush, February 1969. (A special issue devoted to Ghalib.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.