Mirza Ghalib Biography – Everything about the prominent Urdu and Persian Poet

In this article, we will dive into the life of Mirza Ghalib, a well known Urdu and Persian poet whose Shayari, quotes, and poetry are well known throughout the globe.


  1. Introduction
  2. Personal Life
  3. Literary Career
  4. Mirza Ghalib Shayari
  5. Legacy



Urdu is the language of love. Urdu has the power to romanticize every part of a sentence. To profess love, to admire, to praise Urdu Shayari are the first choice. Urdu is spoken predominantly in Pakistan and some parts of India. Urdu is a historical language that has produced several classics and elegant poems. In this article, we will dive into the life of Mirza Ghalib, a well known Urdu and Persian poet of the past. 


Personal Life

Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan was an Urdu and Persian poet in Mughal Empire born in 1797. He predominantly wrote in Persian and Urdu, but he is known for his Urdu works. Ghalib is famous worldwide for his contribution to poetry. 

Mirza Ghalib was in Agra in a family of Aibak Turks who had relocated from Uzbekistan. His paternal grandfather moved to India during the reign of Ahmad Shah. His grandfather had four sons and three daughters. Ghalib’s father, Mirza Abdullah Baig, married Izzat ut Nisa Begum from Kashmir. He worked with Nawab of Lucknow and then Nizam of Hyderabad. Ghalib’s father died when Ghalib was only five years old. His uncle took him in, but his uncle succumbed to injuries from an accident. 

When Ghalib was just a teenager, he married Umrao Begum, daughter of a Nawab. He then shifted to Delhi with his younger brother, who had Schizophrenia. None of the seven kids of Mirza Ghalib survived infancy. He wrote about his marriage and life in a lot of his poems. He considered his marriage and life is a continuous struggle and prison. In one of his couplets, he described the world to be a playground, and everyone is amused by something new every day. Ghalib was considered a ladies man, and his relationship with his wife was conflicting. His wife was a conservative religious woman. One of his couplets roughly translated to how someone can be a poet if they have never tasted the wine, prison, and lovers beating. 

Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II honored Mirza Ghalib with the title “Dabir-ul-Mulk” in 1850. He was also honored with “Najm-ud-daula.” He was an essential part of the royal court; the emperor appointed him as his tutor as he was fond of poetry. He was also the royal historian of the court. He added Mirza to his name because he became part of the Mughal Nobility. He used to say that he will be loved by future generations, which turned out to be true. As the Mughal nobility decline, Mirza lost his court and status under British Raj. 

Mirza Ghalib took his last breath on 15 February 1869 in Delhi. Ghalib’s grave rests in Hazrat Nizamuddin. His house is located in Old Delhi Chandni Chowk and is known as Ghalib ki Haveli.


Literary career

Mirza Ghalib

Ghalib was a celebrated letter writer. It is said that he could make letters talk. During that time, writing letters in Urdu was considered decorative. He was the one who introduced informal Urdu, which we use now. His messages were witty, romantic, and funny, in one of his letters, he expressed that he rights a letter with an intent to make the reader happy. The letters were usually informal, and he sometimes addressed the person by name rather than their title. Ghalib was a revolutionary of Urdu literature. His letters have been translated in English by Ralph Russell. You can find them in The Oxford Ghalib.

Buy Oxford Ghalib at Amazon India –


Ghalib’s pen name or Takhallus was Asad; he sometimes used Asad Ullah Khan. He is popularly known as Ghalib, which means conqueror, superior, or excellent. Mirza Ghalib poetry is still used by our generation to profess love. 


Mirza Ghalib Shayaris

Some of the most notable Shayari and Mirza Ghalib quotes are mentioned below. His work is known to make you feel emotions; you never even knew you had. 

“ Un ke dekhe se jo aa jaati ha munh par raunaq

   Vo Samjhate hai ki Beemar ka haal acha hai”


“ Aina kyun na dun ki tamasha kahein jise

   Aisa kahan se laun ki tujh saa kahein jise”


“ Ishq par zor nhi hai ye to vo aatish ‘Ghalib’

   Ki lagae na lage aur bujhae na bane”


“ Dil e nadan tujhe hua kya hai

   Akhir is dard ki dava kya hai”


“ Hum ko unse vafa ki hai ummeed

   Jo nahin jaante vafa kya hai” 


“ Mehrban hoke bula lo mujhe chahe jis wakt 

   Main gaya wakt nhi hun ki phir aa bhi na sakun”


“ Mohabbat mein nahin hai farq jiine aur marne ka 

   Usi ko dekh kar jiite hai jis kaafir par dam nikle” 


“ Dard minnat-e-kash dava na hua

   Mai na acha hua bura na hua”


“ Ye na thi hamari kismat ki visal-e-yaar hota

   Agar aur jiite rahte to yehi intezaar hota”


The Legacy

Ghalib has many rivals in court. The stories of competition and humorous jibes of Zauq and Ghalib are famous. Although both of them had mutual respect. Ghalib’s contemporary Momin was also popular at that time. 

Along with poetry, Ghalib was also a prose writer. His work reflected the political crises during the downfall of the Mughal nobility. Sometimes Ghalib’s work was too witty and sophisticated that a few could understand them. He defended them by expressing his thoughts in a sher, which roughly translated to “Its not fame I want at the expense of meaningful sentences.” 

Mirza Ghalib - Movie Poster
Mirza Ghalib – Movie Poster

Ghalib’s work and lifestyle have inspired several plays and movies. In 1954 Mirza Ghalib, a Bollywood movie starring Bharat Bhushan and Suraiya, was released. The story revolves around Ghalib and his love interest in court chaudvin. In 1988 Mirza Ghalib Television show aired on DD National. It was produced by Gulzar and was successful. Naseeruddin Shah played the role of Ghalib, and Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh sang the music. The show earned the title of a classic and has a cult following in India. 

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