Quli Qutub Shah (The Pillar of Urdu Poetry)

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Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah is among the famous classical poets of the Urdu language. In Golconda, India, he was born on January 11, 1565. He was the sixth sultan of the Qutub Shahi dynasty of Golkonda and founded the city of Hyderabad in south-central India, as well as constructed the city’s architectural highlight, the Charminar. His reign is regarded as one of the apexes of the Qutub Shahi dynasty, since he was a capable administrator. At the age of 15, he ascended the crown in 1580 and reigned for 31 years.

He was the first king of Asia to adopt Indian attire. Golconda was at its artistic and literary zenith under his reign. He built libraries and canals. His era was a peaceful era, due to which festivals of every religion and nation were celebrated with great pomp. Sultan Quli Qutub himself would compose poetry for these occasions.

His poetry belongs to the same period as “Bhagati Kaal” writers such as Tulsi, Mirabai, and Surdas in Hindi. Additionally, Quli Qutb Shah enjoyed architecture and calligraphy. He introduced the customs, clothing, seasons, festivals, and rituals of his country, among other cultural elements. Apart from Deccani (Urdu), he has also demonstrated the essence of poetry in “Telangi,” a language with around fifty thousand poems.

Quli Qutub Shah made contributions to all areas of Urdu poetry, including Ghazal, Masnavi, Qaseedah, Marsiya, and Nazm, among others. The work of Quli Qutub Shah also contains the earliest examples of Qaseeda in Urdu. Therefore, he should be referred to as the first “Qaseeda-go” (panegyrist) in Urdu


First Poet

He is the first poet of the Urdu language whose poetry collection has been compiled as a book. During his lifetime, he produced in excess of half a million poems. Urdu was the primary language through which he communicated his ideas and sentiments. A great linguist by the name of Jameel Jalibi made the following observation about Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah’s poetry: “Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah brought the tradition of the Khawaas (high class people) in the common language of the people of the Deccan to a public level where both the people and the Khawaas were harmonised in thought and expression.”

He also wrote some poems that resembled popular poetry. Belongs to Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah’s songs are still on the lips of Hyderabad, Deccan women.”

Not only did he adopt the Persian genres of speech and poetry, but he also incorporated themes and allusions into his poetry. He had power over every genre of speech.  He had command over every form of verbal expression. In this manner, he not only experimented with literary subjects, but also composed poems on every significant and insignificant subject under the sun.

According to Jameel Jalibi, “Looking at his overalls, it can be said that he was an “imaginary architect” of that era.

Religion and love were the primary subjects he discussed. Religion endowed him with power, and love led to the acquisition of grace. As a result, there is concordance between the two themes in this instance.

If we compare the poetry of Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah’s era with the poetry of today, we will find that there is only a slight difference in the language. Other than that, the poets use the same words, the same subject matter, and the same style. Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah’s time period was four hundred years ago.



Quli Qutub Shah left the world at the young age. He died on 11 January 1612 in Hyderabad, Deccan.



Some of his famous couplets are:

Hamara sajan khush-nazar-baaz hai,

To is dil me sab ishq ka raaz hai.


Piyaari ke naina hain jaise kataare,

Na sam is ke ange koi hain do dhaare.


Piya baaj pyaala piya jaye na,

Piya baaj yak til jiya jaye na.


Mohabbat ki sultaani hai sab jagat me,

Ki is sam nahi koi gyaani-o-daani.


Karen taaqat ganwa kar aabidaa’n maikhane ku’n sajda,

Kiya zunnaar me tasbeeh dekhan roo-e-zeba raa.




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