Amīr Ḫusraw Dihlavī d. 725/1325


One of the greatest poets writing in Persian in medieval India, Amīr Ḫusraw Dihlawī was born in 651/1253 at Paṭiyālī in the district of Etah, Uttar Pradesh, India. He spent the duration of his life in the service of different sultans and rulers, having attached himself to no less than a half dozen different patrons, the longest service to any one being that of ʿAlā al-Dīn Ḫaljī, under whose reign (695/1295 to 715/1315) Amīr Ḫusraw was his most prolific. In addition to the political patronage he sought out and received, Amīr Ḫusraw was a disciple of the Čištī saint Niẓām al-Dīn Awliyā of Ğiyāthpūr, at whose feet the great poet was buried a few months following his death in 725/1325.

Amīr Ḫusraw’s varied style and splendid rhetorical ability led to a great few contributions in the development of Persian poetry in India as well as unmatched depictions of the Indo-Muslim culture in medieval times. He maintained an immense talent for philology and his knowledge of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hindi, allowed him to produce “exotic puns, wordplays, and stunning literary tricks”. The ease with which he wrote and his versatility of style is displayed in that he not only helped in developing the ğazal, until then little used in India, but also in developing the historical epic as a new genre of poetry. While he was not a historian, his poems “provide the fullest single expression extant of medieval Indo-Muslim civilization” and reveal “the religious, ethical, cultural and aesthetic ideas of courtly, educated and wealthy Indian Muslims of the 8th/14th and 9th/15th centuries”. Certain traditions also cite Amīr Ḫusraw as having made original contributions to music in India and others count him as a saint.


Bāğ va bahār     The Garden and the Spring

Completed 1217/1802.

ʿAšīqa     Lover

Completed 715/1315-16.

ʿAšīqa is the love story between, ʿAlā al-Dīn Ḫaljī’s son, Ḫażir Ḫān, and a Rajput princess.

Ḫazāʾin al-futūḥ     The Treasuries of Conquests (The History of ʿAlā)

Completed 711/1311-12.

Ḫazāʾin al-futūḥ is a prose account of the victories of ʿAlā al-Dīn Ḫaljī.

Miftāḥ al-futūḥ     The Key to Conquests

Completed 690/1291.

Miftāḥ al-futūḥ is a “masnavī on the four victories of Jalāl al-Dīn Fīroz Ḫalji”.

Nuh sipihr     The Nine Heavens

Completed 718/1318. Nuh sipihr is a masnavī on Sulṭān Quṭb al-Dīn Mubārak and his court and an excellent source for the study of medieval India with its many descriptions of Indian culture, customs, languages, and festivals.

Qirān al-saʿdayn     The Meeting of the Two Favored by Heaven

Completed 688/1289.

Qirān al-saʿdayn is a “masnavī on the meeting between Sulṭān Muʾizz al-Dīn Kai-Qubād and his father Nāsir al-Dīn Buğrā Ḫān in 688/1289 on the banks of the Sarju in Oudh.”