The Collected Works of Mullah Rahmat Badakhshani


Divan-i Mullah Rahmat Badakhshani (The collected works of Mullah Rahmat Badakhshani) is a divan of Khwaja Rahmat Ullah Badakhshani, a late-19th-century poet from Badakhshan, Afghanistan. The book’s main section includes several forms of ghazal (lyric) poetry. They include ghazal-e char dar char (ghazals in four by four), ghazal-e ka tama-e huruf ash hech nuqta nadara (ghazal poems where the words have no diacritical marks), and ghazal-e laf-o nashr-e muratab (a form in which the subject of the poem appears in the first lines and is then described in detail in the rest of the poem). Some other forms appear in the supplementary section, pages 103−11, such as musalas ghazals (with three-line rhythms), mutazad ghazal (where the verses can take opposite meanings), and rubai (quatrain) poems. The author’s pen name, Rahmat, often appears at the end of each stanza. The section also includes some prose, in which the author talks about an imaginary garden, gardening, and different flowers that “look like paradise.” Rahmat explains that this special garden does not exist in known places. The last few pages contain information about the poet and his family. His father Mirza Ismail appears to have been a state official and the family was khwaja’zada (descended from Muhammad). Rahmat seems to have been a literary servant or courtier of the local rulers in Qaţaghan, the political center of northeast Afghanistan, but the biographical section is incomplete; the last two pages are missing from this copy. These pages would have clarified for readers that Emir Abdur Rahman Khan, the ruler of Afghanistan, had ordered Crown Prince Sardar Habibullah Khan to collect and publish the works of Rahmat. Matba-e dar al-Sultanah-e Kabul, the Royal Printing Press of Kabul, published the book by lithography in 1894. The pages are numbered, and on page 112 a red-colored hand-written verse by an anonymous author reads: “I provide/write this book for three reasons; do not politicize, misuse, or hide it.”

Last updated: September 30, 2016