Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Amir Khusrau: Sufi Mystic and Poet


Yaminuddin Abul Hasan Ameer Khusro or Amir Khusrau, as he is popularly known in the Indian sub-continent, was a great name in literature and music. Born in 1252 in a Turkish family at Patiyali in the Etah district of Uttar Pradesh, Amir Khusrau was a man of culture who was witness to the reigns of Six Sultans of Delhi Sultanate spanning different dynasties: Slave, Khilji and Tughlaq.  

Amir Khusrau mixed spiritual and mundane with ease. One the one hand, he has a liking for mystuicsm and became a disciple of the famous Sufi Chisti saint Nizamuddin Auliya, on the other he used to accompany the Sultanate army in their military expeditions. He was captured by the Mongols during the fight which claimed the life of Prince Muhammad, son of Slave Sultan Balban, in 1286. However, he managed to escape.  

An academic genius, Amir Khusrau was a prolific writer. 

Composed in 1289, Qiran-us-sadin is the first historical masnavi of Amir Khusrau. Written in verse, it describes the meeting between Kaiqubad, the Sultan of Delhi, and his father Bughra Khan, the governor of Bengal and son of Balban. 

His Khazain ul Futuh, also known as Tarikh-i-Alai, deals with the first fifteen years of the reign of 'Ala-ud-din Khalji.
Nuh Siphr (the nine skies), another historical  masnavi described the reign of Mubarak Khilji.

In 1291 Amir Khusrau wrote Miftah-ul-Futh where he deals with the military campaigns of Jalaluddin khilji, the founder of the Khilji dynasty. It contains the account of the suppression of the rebellion by Malik Chajju.

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