Saturday, February 2, 2013

'Abd-al-Qadir Bedil

‘Abd-al-Qadir Bedil (b. [1642?] 1644 - d. [1720] 1721) was an Indo-Persian poet, comparable in output and influence to Rumi. Born in Azimabad (present day Patna, Bihar, India), his family was from Badakhshan (present day Afghanistan). According to some other sources, he was born in Khwaja Rawash, an area of Kabul province in today's Afghanistan.

Bedil was educated in traditional Islamic studies before coming to Delhi in 1665. In Delhi, he met an ecstatic Sufi saint who changed the course of his life. After disconsolate wanderings, Bedil married and returned to Delhi. In Delhi, he began to write the verse for which he became famous throughout central Asia.

Bedil mostly wrote ghazal and rubayee (quatrain) in Dari (Persian). He is considered to be one of the prominent poets of the Indian School of Poetry in Persian literature known for his own unique style. Both Mirza Ghalib and Iqbal-e Lahori were influenced by him. His books include Telesm-e Hairat, Toor e Ma'refat, Chahar Unsur, and Ruqa'at. Possibly as a result of being brought up in such a mixed religious environment, Bedil had considerably more tolerant views than his poetic contemporaries. He preferred free thought to accepting the established beliefs of his time, siding with the common people and rejecting the clergy who he often saw as corrupt. Bedil evolved a new, highly obtuse style of poetry, at once mystical and rational, beguiling and yet not fully comprehensible.

Upon his emergence as a poet, Bedil gained recognition throughout the Iranian cultural continent. However, after the late 18th century, his poetry gradually lost its position among Iranians, while it was much welcomed in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan. Bedil only came back to prominence in Iran in the 1980s. Literary critics Mohammad-Reza Shafiei-Kadkani and Shams Langrudi were instrumental in Bidel's re-emergence in Iran. Iran also sponsored two international conferences on Bedil.

Bedil was of Uzbek descent. He came early under the influence of the Ṣufis, refused to be attached to any court, and travelled widely throughout India during his long life. Bedil’s sixteen (16) books of poetry contain nearly 147,000 verses and include several masnavi.

Bedil was a famous Afghan poet and Sufi born to a family of Chaghatay Turkic descent. He was born in Khwaja Rawash, Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

The Indian school of Dari (Farsi) poetry and especially Bedil's poetry is criticized for its complex and implicit meanings. It is much more welcomed in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and India than in Iran. The main reason could be Bedil's style which is a bit Indian. In Afghanistan, a unique school in poetry studying is dedicated to Bedil's poetry called Bedil Shinasi (Bedil studies) and those who have studied his poetry are called Bedil Shinas (Bedil expert). His poetry plays a major role in the Indo-Persian classical music of central Asia as well.

Bedil's grave, called Bagh-e-Bedil (Garden of Bedil) is situated across Purana Qila, at Mathura Road in Delhi.

Alternative names include:

'Abd al-Qadir Bedil
'Abd-al-Qadir BedilAbdul-Qader Bedil
'Abdul Qadir Bedil
Abul Ma'ani Mirza Abdul-Qader Bedil
Bedil, 'Abd al-Qadir
Bedil, 'Abd-al-Qadir
Bedil, Abdul-Qader
Bedil, 'Abdul Qadir
Bedil, Abul Ma'ani Mirza Abdul-Qader
Bedil Dehlavi
Bedil, Mawlana Abul-Ma'ani Abdul Qader
Bedil, Mawlana Abul-Ma'ani Mirza Abdul-Qadir
Bedil, Mirza
Mawlana Abul Ma'ani Abdul Qader Bedil
Mawlana Abul-Ma'ani Mirza Abdul-Qadir Bedil
Mirza Bedil

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