Abdul-Qādir Bīdel

Portrayal of Bedil

Mawlānā Abul-Ma'ānī Mīrzā Abdul-Qādir Bēdil (or Bīdel) (Persian: مولانا ابوالمعانی عبدالقادر بیدل, Uzbek: 'Mirza Abdulqodir Bedil'), also known as Bīdel Dehlavī (16421720), was a famous representative of Persian poetry and Sufism in India. He is considered the most difficult and challenging poet of Safavid-Mughal poetry.[1]

Even though he is known as a master of Persian poetry, Bīdel was actually of Central Asian Turko-Mongol descent, his family originally belonging to the Arlās tribe of the Chaghatay,[1] regarded by some as part of the Uzbek people.[2][3][4][5] His mother tongue, however, was neither Turkic nor Persian, but Bengali.[1] He was born in Azīmābād, present-day Patna in India.

Bīdel mostly wrote Ghazal and Rubayee (quatrain) in Dari-Persian, the language of the Royal Court, which he had learned since childhood.[1] He is the author of 16 books of poetry, which contain nearly 147,000 verses and include several masnavi) in that language.[6] He is considered as one of the prominent poets of Indian School of Poetry in Persian literature, and owns his unique Style in it. Both Mirza Ghalib and Iqbal-e Lahori were influenced by him. His books include Telesm-e Hairat (طلسم حيرت), Toor e Ma'refat (طور معرفت), Chahār Unsur (چهار عنصر) and Ruqa'āt (رقعات).

Possibly as a result of being brought up in such a mixed religious environment, Bīdel had considerably more tolerant views than his poetic contemporaries. He preferred freethought to accepting the established beliefs of his time, siding with the common people and rejecting the clergy who he often saw as corrupt.

Upon his emergence as a poet, Bīdel gained recognition throughout the Iranian cultural continent. Since late 18th century his poetry gradually lost its position among Iranians while it has been much welcomed in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. Bīdel came back to prominence in Iran in 1980s. Literary critics Mohammad-Reza Shafiei-Kadkani and Shams Langrudi were instrumental in Bīdel's re-emergence in Iran. Iran also sponsored two international conferences on Bīdel.[7]

The Indian school of Dari-Persian poetry and especially Bīdel's poetry is criticized for its complex and implicit meanings, however, it is much welcomed in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and India than in Iran.[8] The main reason could be his style which is kept a bit Indian. In Afghanistan, a unique school in poetry studying is dedicated to Bīdel's poetry called Bīdelšināsī (Bīdel studies) and those who have studied his poetry are called Bīdelšinās (Bīdel expert). His poetry plays a major role in Indo-Persian classical music of central Asia as well. Many Afghan classical musicians, e.g. Mohammad Hussain Sarahang, have sung plenty of Bīdel's ghazals.

His grave, called Bāġ-e Bīdel (Garden of Bīdel) is situated across Purana Qila, at Mathura Road next to the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium gates and the pedestrian bridge over Mathura Road in Delhi.[9]


  1. 1 2 3 4 M. Sidiqqi: Abdul-Qādir Bīdel. Encyclopaedia Iranica. 1989. Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, pp. 244-246
  2. Бедиль Мирза Абдулкадир
  3. Allworth Edward, The modern Uzbeks from the fourteenth century to the present: a cultural history, Hoover Press, 1990, p.74. "His family in Putna (Azimabad) was descended from Uzbeks who had evidently migrated to Hindustan much earlier."
  4. Enzyclopedia Britannica: South Asian arts. "The greatest poet of the Indian style, however, was ʿAbdul Qādir Bēdil, born in 1644 in Patna, of Uzbek descent."
  5. Mirza Abdul-Qader Bedil biography and peoetry Archived December 26, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. "Arts, South Asian." Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica 2007 Ultimate Reference Suite. (2008).
  7. International Seminar on Mirza Bedil, March 2003, Tehran, LINK Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. Mehrnews.com, Reasons for Bedil's unfamiliarity in Iran, Tehran 1385, LINK
  9. "In the lanes of Zauq and Ghalib". Indian Express. Mar 15, 2009.


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