Ameer Ahmad Meenai was born in 1829 in Lucknow to Karam Mohammed, who belonged to a noble family of religious scholars. Ameer was educated at Firangi Mahal, a famous religious educational institute of Lucknow. He joined the royal court of Awadh, but after the 1857 war of independence he was invited to join the Royal Court of Rampur where he lived for the rest of his life. At Rampur, he got the patronage of of Nawab Yousuf Ali Khan and his successor Nawab Kalab Ali Khan. It was at Rampur that he spent a greater part of his life and it was here that he attained the height of fame as a poet. He was also the poetic mentor of the two Nawabs, both of whom were poets in their own right. He compiled and published the two parts of his (incomplete) Amir-uI-ghaat (Urdu dictionary). After the death of Nawab Kalab Ali Khan Ameer was persuaded to go to Hyderabad, to seek some help for the publication of the remaining volumes of “Ameer-ul-Lughaat”, where he was enthusiastically received by the Nizam. But he was not destined to live long in Hyderabad. He died on 13th October 1900 after a brief one-month illness.

Ameer Meenai was a great poet of Urdu and Persian .He is also known as a lexicographer, Sufi scholar, editor, prose writer, translator, and connoisseur of language and had a knack for different branches of knowledge. He had studied logic, law, geography, mathematics, medicine, history, religion, music philosophy and wrote some 50 books in Urdu and Persian. He is also known as having a master of astrology `Ramal` and `Jafar` and wrote two books on them. However many of his books are yet to be published. Ameer helped popularise the “Naat” in Urdu poetry and the popularity of his Naats proved to be a trend-setter among other poets.

“Maratul Ghaib” is the first collection of poetry by the poet. “Meenai Sukhan” is another Deewan. Among all his creation the greatest was `Ameer-ul-Lughaat`, a comprehensive Urdu-Urdu dictionary that he intended to compile in eight volumes. Unfortunately it had never been completed and only two volumes came out in 1891 and 1892 respectively. Due to his ill health and a fire that devoured his invaluable library and manuscripts, he was not able to finish all volumes. It is never concluded exactly how many volumes exist and only the third volume manuscript was found and is treasured by Ameer Meenai`s grandson, Israil Meenai who intends to get it published.

Israil Ahmed Meenai, who had published a few years ago `Miraat-ul-ghaib` and `Sanam khana-e-ishq`, the two collections of Ameer`s poetry. Now he has come up with two important books of Ameer`s published in one volume. One is an account of Hazrat Mohammad’s (SAW) early life titled `Khayaban-e-Aafrinish`written in prose. It beautifully describes the Holy Prophet`s life in an easy but flowing prose and is based on authentic sources. The other is `Mahaamid-e-Khatamun-Nabiyeen` the famous collection of Ameer`s Naats.

Post a Comment