Who wrote the first ghazals in India? This popular form of poetry appears so timeless that one rarely wonders where it came from. Yet someone did popularise it, and in the Indian subcontinent, that person was the poet Amir Hasan Sijzi Dehlavi (ca. 1254 – 1337), credited as the originator of the Indo-Persian ghazal. Sadly, Hasan’s name has been forgotten by all but the connoisseurs.
A key reason he has been forgotten is that the language he wielded with such skill, Persian, has faded from public use in India. It hasn’t helped that the study of India’s Islamic history has faced institutional and bureaucratic challenges.
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