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Best Techniques and Practices of Writing Urdu Ghazals

Hello poetry lovers, In this post, we’ll share with you the best techniques of writing urdu ghazals that are awesome to create the best piece of ghazal. These practices are followed by well-known and legendary poets and best to learn Urdu literature from the beginning level. 

Did you know that? Urdu ghazals are the most soulful and deep poetry form of Urdu poetry. (Sounds Surprising)

But, it’s a fact! Thanks to legend Urdu literature, they have developed the best practices and rules to write heart-touching pieces of ghazals.

So if you want to become a professional ghazal poet make sure to read this post completely, this post will help you to take effective steps in the journey of Urdu literature.

Let’s get started:

Best Practices of Writing Urdu Ghazals:

Urdu Ghazals are always being soulful, heart-touching, and deep. Because Urdu poets follow the rules and best practices that are essential to write the best piece of ghazal. The goal of the writing urdu ghazals is to talk with beloved and praise the women. 

Poets describe their untold or hidden inner feeling in their ghazals with their audiences, and they can do so as long as following the poetry writing rules that we have discussed below.

Whether you’re an expert or beginner in Urdu literature, it does not matter because techniques are easy to follow and work best to write soulful ghazals. (Even if you didn’t write a single piece of ghazal before)

1. Basic Conditions in Urdu Ghazal Preparation:

Ghazal is a genre that comes under Urdu shayari and they can be created by the use of matlaa in the first sher, at least 5 couplets should be written in a ghazal, use of radeef in the second line of each couplet and qaafiya to create a rhyme. 

The other thing is each couplet of a ghazal is independent and All the couplets must have a single beher or meter.

2. First Couplet of Ghazal Decide The Structure of Ghazal:

The first sher of Urdu ghazal is known as Matlaa. Each sher of ghazal consists of two-two lines and shers are in called band in the Urdu language. Each band is independent of an idea, which means each band can be for a different idea. The first band matla will follow the rules of Hum Kafia words and both lines should be Hum Kafia. Hum Kafia means they will follow the same sound words at the end of sher like Wafa, Saza, Ada, Khata, etc. While the rest of the ghazal’s two-two lines shers follow Hum Kafia only in their last line.

Furthermore, The first line of a sher is called Misraa-e-Oola and the last line is called Misraa-e-Saani and both these decide the course of the rest of the ghazal.

Here is the Best Example of the First Sher of Urdu Ghazal:

Har Ek Baat Pah Kehte Ho Tum Keh Tou Kya Hai?

Tumhi Kaho Keh Yeh Andaaz-e-Guftago Kya Hai (Written by Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib)

English Translation:

You say in every word what you are?

Please explain the way that you talk

3. Uses of Qaafiya:

The rhyming pattern of words or repetitions of the same sound words of the end in each couplet before the radeef is known as Qaafiya. A qaafiya is the word that rhymes with another word in another line. 

Furthermore, sometimes a ghazal might not have a radeef and in such cases, the qaafiya is the last element in it. Qaafiya is the traditional part of ghazal and is widely followed by the large community of Urdu literature in ghazal writing.

Look at the beautiful example of Qaafiya:

Tujhe Udaas Bhi Karna Tha, Khud Bhi Rona Tha

Yeh Hadsa Bhi Meri Jaan, Kabhi To Hona Tha (Written by Mohsin Naqvi)

English Translation:

You had to be sad, I had to cry as well

My Sweetheart! This accident had to happen ever

‘Rona’ and ‘Hona’ are rhyming words and working as Qaafiya words in the above poetry couplet.

You might be like: If you want to read for best shayari in urdu click here

4. Use Radeef in the Second Line of Sher:

Radeef is a word that uses in ghazal after the qaafiya and is always repeated. In a simple word, radeef is a word that is being repeated in both lines and the last line of every following sher or couplet of the ghazal. It is always the same and use frequently in every sher of ghazal.

The easiest way to understand radeef is to look at the first two verses of one of the most famous ghazals of Mir Taqi Mir:

Ab Karke Faramosh To Nashad Karo Gaye

Par Hum Jo Na Hoon Gay To Buhat Yaad Karo Gaye (Written by Mir Taqi Mir)

English Translation:

Now forget and forget

But when I will not be, you remember a lot

“Gaye” is the best example of radeef that is used in the above couplet of ghazal and always be at the end of each verse of couplet.

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5. Must have a Single Beher in Each Couplet (Meter):

Beher is the meter of asher and both two verses have to follow a strict rhythm patter to be called a beher. It is the length and tuning pattern of the ghazal and determines how a ghazal can be composed musically.

All the couplets must have a single beher. A sher of ghazal will not be considered a proper couplet if it breaks the rule of beher or rhythming patterning of a ghazal. Even it will not be called a ghazal if it has no meter. 

Each ghazal is always singable and converted into a song, but without a proper rhythm or meter ghazal cannot be sung and composed into music.

Moreover, Behar is divided and categorized into three classes or forms.

It will be Short, medium, long, and depending upon the length of the sher of the ghazal. Beher is also well known for meter, wazan, and weight. 

If you want to measure or found the mistakes beher, there are some websites and apps available that will help you to do so. Poet Perfect is one the best apps of Urdu literature in terms of measuring beher of ghazals.

Naseer Turabi Ghazal’s “Woh Humsafar Tha” is a great example of properly applying beher and ghazal is composed into the song which has sung by Quratulain Balouch:

Woh Humsafar Tha, Magar Use Hum Nawai Na Thi

Keh Dhoop Chhaon Ka Alaam Raha Judai Na Thi

English Translation:

He was a companion, but he did not agree

That the world of sunshine and shadows, but was not a divarication

5. Poet Use Takhallus in Last Sher of Ghazal:

Takhallus are the nicknames of poets that are used by the ghazal writer in his last line of sher of ghazal. In simple words, the poet uses his or her nickname at the end of ghazal and mentions himself in the last lines which are known as Takhallus. The use of Takhallus is the oldest tradition and widely followed by Urdu literature for centuries.

Here is the best example of Takhallus Sher:

Umer Jawed Ki Dua Karte 

Faiz Itne Woh Kab Hamare Thay (Written by Faiz Ahmed Faiz)

English Translation:

They Pray for longer life

Faiz, when were they so much ours?

In the above example of poetry couplet, the word Faiz is the nick or pen name of poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz and works as a Takhallus in his ghazals.

Conclusion: Practices of Writing Urdu Ghazals

These techniques are traditional and followed by the legend Urdu poets such as Mirza Ghalib, Allama Iqbal, etc to write their ghazals. If you want to be a deep and heart-touching Urdu literature, these practices can help you to accomplish your goal. 

No matter which type of ghazal you want to write. If you follow the best practices that we have mentioned below, you’ll do your best and write one of the best pieces of ghazals. 

Now it’s time to hear from you. Which is you’re favorite Urdu ghazal all time? let me know in the comment box. I’ll love to hear from you. If you have gotten some kind of value from this post, please share it with your friends and relatives to enhance their knowledge of Urdu literature as well. Thank you for being till the end.

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