The Eloquent and Fluent Poems of Sardār Ghulām Muḥammad Khān, Known as the Dīwān of Ṭarzī Ṣāḥib Afghān


This work is a compendium of the compositions (primarily in verse) of Ghulām Muḥammad Khān (1830–1900), a prominent Pashto Afghan intellectual of the 19th century. Known by his pen name Ṭarzī (the Stylist), Ghulām Muḥammad Khān was a member of the important Bārakzay tribe of Kandahār. The dībācha (introduction) of this work includes an account of Ghulām Muḥammad Khān and his family’s exile from Afghanistan in 1882, which was ordered by Amir ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān (reigned 1880−1901). The important and detailed account of the family’s life outside Afghanistan, dated June 15, 1892, was written by Ghulām Muḥammad Khān’s son, Maḥmud Ṭarzī (1868−1935), a famous intellectual and author in his own right who is generally referred to as the father of journalism in Afghanistan. It describes his family’s stay in Karachi and subsequent immigration to Syria, where Ghulām Muḥammad Khān received the protection and sponsorship of the Ottoman ruler Abdülhamid II (reigned 1876−1909). The bulk of Ṭarzī’s dīwān (divan or collection) consists of his ghazals (lyric poems), which are grouped alphabetically according to the last letter of the radīf (rhyme). In Persian literature the ghazal generally denotes a metered and rhymed poem expressing the beauty and pain of love. The ghazal was derived from the qaṣīda (ode); and it matches the rhyme scheme of the qasida, although it is shorter, generally consisting of 12 verses or less. Many of Ṭarzī’s ghazals are response poems, referring to earlier poets in the Persian and Indo-Persian tradition. In this regard, the poems of ʻAbd al-Qādir Bīdil (1644 or 1645–1720 or 1721) and of Ṣā’ib Tabrīzī (1601 or 1602−77) figure prominently. In addition to poems in the ghazal form, Ṭarzī’s divan includes his rubāʻīyāt (quatrains) and other poetic forms, such as the tarjīʻ band and the tarkīb band (strophic forms, with a series of isolated verses marking the end of each strophe). This edition is dated August 10, 1893. The work was published by Sardār Muḥammad Anwar Khān and printed at the press of Fayḍ Muḥammadī in Karachi. The calligrapher is Muḥammad Zamān. The cover of this copy contains a handwritten note indicating Asmā’ Ṭarzī, wife of Maḥmūd Ṭarzī, as the owner, and containing the date 11 Sha’ban, 1336 AH (May 22, 1918). Upon his accession to the throne, the Afghan ruler Amir Ḥabībullāh (reigned 1901−18) gave amnesty to Ghulām Muḥammad Khān’s family, allowing its members to return to Afghanistan. A measure of the family’s improving fortune is that Asmā’ and Maḥmūd Ṭarzī’s daughter, Soraya, married Amir Ḥabīballāh’s son and was queen of Afghanistan from 1913 to 1929.

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Publication Information

Fayḍ Muḥammadī Press, Karachi, Pakistan


Title in Original Language

اشعار بلاغت عنوان فصاحت توأمان جناب سردار غلام محمد خان المسمی بدیوان جناب طرزی صاحب افغان

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Physical Description

708 pages ; 28 centimeters

Last updated: September 30, 2016