SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Syed, Muhammad Hafiz (1932) Qazi Mahmud Bahri: A mystic poet of the 12th century A. H. His times, life and poetical works. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Download (17MB)


The theory that Vali was the first Urdu poet was disproved some years ago by the discovery of a number of MSS. three and four hundred years old. Only a few articles have been published hitherto giving a general view of the existence and nature of these MSS.; but so far no serious attempt has been made by any scholar to decipher and interpret any one of them. This thesis is the first attempt to discuss in detail the history, life and the poetical works of Bahri which up till now were buried in oblivion; the text and translation of sixty ghazals which have been deciphered for the first time are also included. The first chapter deals with the history of Bahri's times and gives a short account of the decline of the Adil Shahs and the condition of society in Aurangzib's time, when Bahri wrote his Man-Lagan. The second chapter consists of a survey of Bahri's contemporaries and some specimens of their poetry to enable readers to form a comparative estimate of the value of Bahrl's poems. The third chapter is devoted to Bahrl's life mostly based on internal evidence drawn from his Masnavi Man-Lagan and supported by quotations. Very little is known of him from external evidence. The fourth chapter is divided into five sections:- (1) a discussion of some variant readings of the three copies of Man-Lagan, with a full account of the main theme and its mystical bearings; (2) the general literary characteristic of the Ghazaliyat; (3) a few Marsiyas; (4) two Qasidas; (5) the leading ideas of the twelve Jams of the Bangnama. The fifth chapter contains the text of 60 ghazals deciphered from the original MS. in the candidate's possession. The sixth chapter contains literal translation into English of these ghazals. The seventh chapter comprises (1) a short account of some of the peculiarities of the script employed in the MS.; (2) some striking lines from the Masnavi; (3) glossary of archaic words, and (4) some grammatical characterisations of Bahrl's ghazals.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:06

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item