Abdul-Qādir Bedil

Mawlānā Abul-Ma'ānī Mīrzā Abdul-Qādir Bēdil (Persian: مولانا ابوالمعانی میرزا عبدالقادر بیدل, or Bīdel, بیدل), also known as Bedil Dehlavī (بیدل دهلوی; 1642–1720), was an Indian Sufi, and the greatest Indo-Persian poet, next to Amir Khusrau, who lived most of his life during the reign of Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal emperor.[1] He was the foremost representative of the later phase of the "Indian style" (sabk-e hendī) of Persian poetry, and the most difficult and challenging poet of that school. He is considered the most difficult and challenging poet of Safavid-Mughal poetry.[2]

Miniature painting of tomb of Abdul-Qādir Bedil


Bedil was born in Azimabad (present-day Patna) in India. He was the son of the Mirza Abd al-Khaliq (d. 1648), a former Turkic soldier who belonged to the Arlas tribe of the Chaghatay.[2][3][4] The descendants of the family had originally lived in the city of Bukhara in Transoxiana, before moving to India.[4] Bedil's native language was Bengali, but he also spoke Urdu (then known as rikhta), Sanskrit and Turkic, as well as Persian and Arabic, which he learned in elementary school.[2]

Bīdel mostly wrote Ghazal and Rubayee (quatrain) in Persian, the language of the Royal Court, which he had learned since childhood.[2] He is the author of 16 books of poetry, which contain nearly 147,000 verses and include several masnavi) in that language. He is considered 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-i Lahori were influenced by him. His books include Tilism-i Hairat (طلسم حيرت), Tur i Ma'rifat (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.

Bīdel is 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.[5]

The Indian school of Persian poetry, 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.[6] 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, Ustad Nashanas 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.[7]


  • Bıdil, ‘Abd al-Qadir. Avaz-hayi Bidil: Nasri adabi (Ruq‘at - Nukat – Isharat – Chahar - ‘Unsur). Edited by Akbar Bihdarvand. Tihran: Nigah, 1386 [2007].
  • Bıdil, ‘Abd al-Qadir. Kullıyat. Lakhnahu: Naval Kishor, 1287 [1870 or 1871].
  • Bıdil, ‘Abd al-Qadir. Ghazaliyati Bidil Dihlavi. Edited by Akbar Bihdavand. Shiraz: Navid-i Shiraz, 1387 [2008 or 2009].



  • Erkinov A. "Manuscripts of the works by classical Persian authors (Hāfiz, Jāmī, Bīdil): Quantitative Analysis of 17th-19th c. Central Asian Copies". Iran: Questions et connaissances. Actes du IVe Congrès Européen des études iraniennes organisé par la Societas Iranologica Europaea, Paris, 6-10 Septembre 1999. vol. II: Périodes médiévale et moderne. [Cahiers de Studia Iranica. 26], M.Szuppe (ed.). Association pour l'avancement des études iraniennes-Peeters Press. Paris-Leiden, 2002, pp. 213–228.
  • Gould R. "Bīdel," Encyclopedia of Indian Religions. Ed. Arvind Sharma.. New York: Springer, 2013.
  • R. M. Chopra, "Great Poets of Classical Persian", Sparrow Publication, Kolkata, 2014, (ISBN 978-81-89140-75-5)


  1. ^ Kovacs, Hajnalka. "‘The Tavern of the Manifestation of Realities’: The ‘Masnavi Muhit-i azam’by Mirza Abd al-Qadir Bedil (1644–1720)." PhD diss., University of Chicago (2013).}. p.2
  2. ^ a b c d M. Sidiqqi: Abdul-Qādir Bīdel. Encyclopaedia Iranica. 1989. Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, pp. 244-246
  3. ^ Feuillebois 2015.
  4. ^ a b Pandari, Hirtenstein & Negahban 2013.
  5. ^ International Seminar on Mirza Bedil, March 2003, Tehran, LINK Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Mehrnews.com, Reasons for Bedil's unfamiliarity in Iran, Tehran 1385, LINK
  7. ^ "In the lanes of Zauq and Ghalib". Indian Express. 15 March 2009. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012.


  • Ahmad, Mohamad Bohari Haji. "The Ideas of Wahdat Al-Wujud in the Poetry of'Abd Al-Qadir Bidil (Persian), Ibrahim Hakki Erzurumlu (Ottoman Turkish), and Hamzah Fansuri (Malay)." PhD diss., 1990.
  • Faruqi, Shamsur Rahman. "A stranger in the city: The poetics of Sabk-i Hindi." Annual of Urdu Studies 19, no. 1 (2004): 93.
  • Fekrat, Nasim. "Esoteric Keys of Mirza Abd al-Qadir Bidel." MA Thesis., University of Georgia, 2018.
  • Ghani, Abdul. Life and Works of Abdul Qadir Bedil. Lahore: Publishers United, 1960.
  • Iqbal, Allama Muhammad. Bedil in the light of Bergson. Edited by Tehsin Firaqi. Lahore: Universal Boks/Iqbal Academy Pakistan, 1988.
  • Keshavmurthy, Prashant. Persian Authorship and Canonicity in Late Mughal Delhi: Building an Ark. Routledge, 2016.
  • Kovacs, Hajnalka. "‘The Tavern of the Manifestation of Realities’: The ‘Masnavi Muhit-i azam’by Mirza Abd al-Qadir Bedil (1644–1720)." PhD diss., University of Chicago (2013).}
  • Siddiqi, Mohammed Moazzam. An Examination of the Indo-Persian Mystical Poet Mīrzā ʻAbdul Qādir Bēdil with Particular Reference to His Chief Work ʻIrfān. University of California, 1975.}
  • Zipoli, Riccardo. "A computer-assisted analysis of Bidel's' Tur-e Ma ‘refat'." Annali di Ca'Foscari: Rivista della Facoltà di Lingue e Letterature straniere dell'Università di Ca'Foscari, 2005, vol. 44 (3), pp. 123-138 (2005).
  • Zipoli, Riccardo. Riflessi di Persia-Reflections of Persia. Venezia: Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, 2013.
  • Feuillebois, Ève (2015). "Bīdil, ʿAbd al-Qādir". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Brill Online. ISSN 1873-9830.
  • Pandari, Yadollah Jalali; Hirtenstein, Stephen; Negahban, Farzin (2013). "Bīdil (Bedil)". In Madelung, Wilferd; Daftary, Farhad (eds.). Encyclopaedia Islamica Online. Brill Online. ISSN 1875-9831.

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