Persian Manuscripts : Bayāz̤

Various authors, Bandah ʿAlī Khān BāsiṭīShīr-Afgan Jang

Persian Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This neatly copied, albeit incomplete <i>Bayāz̤</i> anthology of older poems compiled by Shīr Afgan Jang Bandah ʿAlī Khān Bāsiṭī, contains a brief biographical account appended at the end dated of 1162 AH (1748–49 CE), hence during the author's lifetime. Born into a prominent family in Shāhjahānābād (Delhi), the author attended the court of the Mughal ruler Emperor Muḥammad Shāh (b. 1702, r. 1719–1748), whom awarded him the title Shīr Afgan Khān (Tiger-seizer) previously held by his grandfather. He initially studied poetry under Muḥammad Afz̤al-Dīn S̱ābit Allāhābādī, during which time he employed the nom-de-plume Sabqat, but after he moved to Awadh (Oude) in 1160 AH (1748 CE) he continued under another named ‘Abd al-Bāsiṭ, from whom he ultimately derived his pen name. According to several accounts, when he visited the preeminent poet Muḥammad ʻAlī Ḥazīn in Benares (Varanasi) and asked for a critique, the latter replied that he should wash all of its pages of his dīvān from start to finish and urged him to only write quatrains, advice that he thereafter followed. He ultimately passed away in Lucknow in 1199 AH (1784–85 CE).</p>

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