BĪTĀB, ʿABD-AL-ḤAQQ b. Mollā ʿAbd-al-Aḥmad ʿAṭṭār, scholar and poet laureate (malek al-šoʿarāʾ) of Afghanistan, b. Kabul 1262 Š./1883, d. there 1347 Š./1968. He was a pious, retiring, and modest man, whose home became a center for poets and scholars seeking the benefit of his erudition.
ʿAbd-al-Ḥaqq spent most of his life in teaching and research. He began his career teaching Persian and Arabic in Kabul secondary schools and worked his way up to become professor of literature at the University of Kabul. He was well versed in Persian and Arabic literature and such other traditional disciplines as Islamic jurisprudence, traditions, and Koran exegesis, as well as astronomy. A devout Sufi, he was a ḵelāfa of the Naqšbandī order.
As a poet he modeled himself on the poet laureate ʿAbd-Allāh Khan Qārī (1288-1362 [1322 Š.]/1871-1943). In 1331 Š./1952, ʿAbd-al-Ḥaqq himself succeeded to this honor. He characterized his own poetry as a mixture of styles typical of Khorasan and India, adding humorously that this combination reflected the position of Kabul—halfway between the two.
His published works include Dīvān-e Bītāb, 1330 Š./1951; four books on prosody and rhetoric (Goftār-e ravān dar ʿelm-e bayān, Kabul, 1334 Š./1955; ʿElm-e badīʿ, Kabul, 1330 Š./1951; Meftāḥ al-ḡomūż dar ʿelm-e qāfīa wa ʿarūż, Kabul, 1330 Š./1951; ʿElm-e maʿānī, Kabul, 1347 Š./1968); and a number of translations, including al-Šāfīa and al-Kāfīa by Jamāl-al-Dīn Abū ʿOmar ʿOṯmān b. Ḥājeb (570-646/1174-1249), on grammar (Kabul, n.d.), and Manāzel al-sāʾerīn by ʿAbd-Allāh Anṣārī (published in Adab 10/3, 1341 Š./1962, pp. 31-90). One of ʿAbd-al-Ḥaqq’s poems was printed in Rāhnamā-ye ketāb 7/2, 1347 Š./1968-69, pp. 247-49.
Ārīānā dāʾerat al-maʿāref V, Kabul, 1970.
M.-Ḥ. Žobal, Negāh-ī be adabīyāt-e moʿāṣer dar Afḡānestān, Kabul, 1958.
M. S. Mawlāʾī, “Dargoḏašt-e do-čehra-ye adab-e fārsī,” Soḵan 18, 1347 Š./1968-69, pp. 1175-76.
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
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Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, pp. 308-309