Hai Justuju ki khub se hai khub tar kaha
Ab theherti hai dekhiye ja kar nazar kaha
Outstanding pre-modern poet, Khwaja Altaf Husain Hali, was born in 1873 at Panipat, where he also received his early education. He learnt Arabic and Persian and received patronage from two major poets, Ghalib and Shefta.
Hali started writing as a poet of the traditional Urdu ghazal. Later, he initiated a more serious phase of his literary career which also marked the beginning of modernism in Urdu literature.
He composes his epic poem, the Musaddas e-Madd o-Jazr e-Islam ("An elegiac poem on the Ebb and Tide of Islam"), at the request of Syed Ahmed Khan, under the new pseudonym of Hali ("The Contemporary”). Hali also wrote one of the earliest works of literary criticism in Urdu, Muqaddamah-i Shayr-o-Shairi. He gave a new and purposeful trend to Urdu poetry and led the way to literary criticism in Urdu literature.
Hali wrote sober and scientific prose, plain and persuasive poetry, broadly representing the case of art for life’s sake. Hali‘s biographies of Sir Syed, Ghalib, and Persian poet Sadi remain authentic sources till this day.
To commemorate this great poet, Pakistan Postal department has issued 8 Rupee postage stamps in 2014.
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