|Biographical detail : ||Urdu poet and one of the greatest reformers of Muslim India.
On request of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan he wrote the famous Mussadas that was published in 1879. Halis' Mussadas was about the rise and fall of the Muslims. Hali reviled “the rich for their selfishness, the aristocracy for their degeneracy, religious leaders for their bigoted ignorance, poets for their foolish triviality.” Mussadas took Muslim India by storm. Its extracts are still being taught in Muslim schools and recited in religious and educational functions. It created a wide spread awakening amongst the Muslims of India.
Apart from his poetic achievements, Hali was a pioneer in Urdu literature. Hali was the first major poet to put forward “the theory that literature should be harnessed into the service of the community, and made to advance the cause of social welfare and betterment.” His poems brought back to life the society of their time far better than any scholarly construction could.
Hali was for a new start in politics and society as much as in literature. He believed in the irreversible movement of modern civilisation, arguing that only by contact with the West could life and vigour flow back into India. His simple and deeply moving poetry inspired millions and awakened a decadent people to revive their lost glory and look to the future with renewed hope.
Hali’s construction of Islam, his understanding of himself as a Muslim, and as an Indian living in British India, are crucial in tracing the historical development of Islam in South Asia. He shared a political heritage and language, which helped reconstruct Muslim identity in the 19th century.
Hali also authored Muqaddama Sher wa Shairi, Divan e Hali, Heyat e Saadi, Heyat e Javed and Yadgar e Ghalib.
Altaf Hussain Hali was born in Panipat.