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Daag Dehlvi profile

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Nawab Mirza Khan (1831–1905), commonly known as Daagh Dehlvi was an outstanding Mughal poet famous for his Urdu ghazals and belonged to the Delhi school of Urdu poetry. He wrote poems and ghazals under the takhallus Daagh Dehlvi (the meanings of Daagh, an Urdu noun, include stain, grief and taint while Dehlvi means belonging to or from Delhi).


He lost his father at the age of six and was brought up by his stepfather, Mirza Muhammad Fakhroo, who was heir to Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor. On Fakhroo's death in 1865, Daagh left Delhi for Rampur where he went into government service and lived comfortably for 24 years. There followed a period of wandering and discomfort which ended when he was invited to Hyderabad in 1891. There he won his fame as an Urdu poet and lived a life of luxury. Hyderabad was a cradle to many poets of that period following the decline of Mughals in Delhi. He died in 1905 at the age of 74 in Hyderabad, India.


Daagh started reciting poetry at the age of ten and his forte was the ghazal. His work comprises four volumes consisting of 16,000 couplets.

Daagh mostly wrote ghazals which are sets of two-line couplets. Some of his couplets are highly quotable. For example, Tu hai harjai to apnaa bhi yehi taur sahi, tu nahin aur sahi, aur nahin, aur sahi

Having remained under patronage of highly established poet like Zauq, Daagh had numerous disciples including the poet of the East Allama Iqbal, Jigar Moradabadi, Seemab Akbarabadi and Ahasan Marharavi, though a widely quoted anecdote relates that when asked to designate his successor as the leading Urdu poet of his age, he replied Bekhudain [the two Bekhuds], referring to Bekhud Badayuni and Bekhud Dehlvi.

His ghazals have been sung by noted ghazal singers including Noor Jahan, Ghulam Ali, Malika Pukhraj, Mehdi Hassan, and Abida Parveen.


  • Saaz Ya Keena Saaz Kya Jany English Translation by Qazi Muhammad Ahkam

His poetry is also sung by Pankaj Udhas. Pakistani ghazal singer Farida Khanum (also called Ghazal Queen in South Asia) has sung the following ghazals of Daagh: Naa ravaa kehiyay naa sazaa kehiyay; Saaz yeh keena saaz kyaa jaanein; 'uzr aanay mein bhi hay aur bulaatay bhi naheen; Mairay qaabu mein na pehron dil-e naa-shaad aayaa; Khaatir se yaa leHaaz se main maan to gayaa; Ghazab kiyaa tairay wa'day pe aitebaar kiyaa

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