ĀFĪ, ALLĀHYĀR KHAN, b. 1233/1817-18, d. 21 Ramażān 1278/22 March 1861, poet, son of Nawwāb Amīr-al-dawla, the founder of the state of Tonk. Allāhyār Khan seems not to have participated in government administration or military affairs after his education and marriage; he is never referred to in such capacities in the detailed Tārīḵ-eTōnk of Aṣḡar ʿAlī Khan Ābrū (Agra, 1901). (He must not be confused with Allāhyār Khan Fatḥ-e Jang, the Nawwāb’s son-in-law and a member of the defense council.) Āfī preferred a life of solitude and meditation and he often traveled to visit the mausoleums of Indian saints (Qāder-Baḵš Ṣāberī, Golestān-e soḵan, Lahore, 1966, p. 237). He had two daughters and a son, Moḥammad ʿAbd-al-Raʾūf Khan, who was a poet with the pen name Wāfī.
Āfī wrote Persian verse for pleasure; he was guided in his technique by the prominent poet Nāṭeq Makrānī (d. 1264/1848) and acknowledged the latter’s aid, as in his Golzār-e ḵayāl (ms. in the Panjab University Library, Āzād collection, no. AP i VI 137, fol. 27). No copy of Āfī’s dīvān is known; only two ḡazals are preserved (Ābrū, Tārīḵ, p. 51; Ṣāberī, Golestān, pp. 237-38), both of which follow the model of Ḥāfeẓ. Āfī’s surviving maṯnawī, Golzār-e ḵayāl, was written in 1258/1842. In 376 verses it relates the tale of a prince, the beggar who befriended him, and the prince’s love for a girl whose portrait he had seen; each internal section concludes with two verses of advice and wisdom in the sāqī-nāma tradition. The text displays an adeptness in descriptive verse and general competence in the art of the maṯnawī.
Bibliography : Given in the text.
Originally Published: December 15, 1984
Last Updated: July 28, 2011
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