Reyaz Khairabadi

Reyaz Khairabadi-Biography

Reyaz Ahmad ‘Reyaz’ was born in Khairabad, district Sitapur in 1853. Khairabad is a small town but known for its culture and well known personalities of Urdu literature like Allama Fazle Haque Khirabadi, Muztar Khairabadi and celebrities in his coming generations like Jaan Nisar Akhtar, Javed Akhtar, Salman Akhtar. His father Sayyed Tufail Ahmad was a police Inspector and renowned person. His two brothers were also in police department. His sister was married to Waseem Khairabadi. Reyaz got his early education from his father who himself was an scholar of urdu, Farsi and Arabic. For some time he studied at Gorakhpur and then came back to Khaiarabd and joined ‘Madrasa Arabia’. After leaving Madrasa he became inclined towards poetry and became people of ‘Aseer’. He started publishing ‘Reyaz ul Akhbaar’. He also published ‘Taar Burqi’ and ‘Gulkada e Reyaz’ daily. When ‘Aseer” became old he approached Ameer Minai who was top urdu shayar at that time in Lucknow and became of Meenai. He continued to get his poetry reviewed from him till latter’s death.
In 1870 he started living in Gorakhpur where his father was posted. Reyaz joined police service here as Inspector. He expanded his literary circle and was popular there. He published daily ‘Reyazul Akhbar’ and weekly ‘Fitna wa Itre Fitna’. His magazines ‘Gulkada e Reyaz’ and ‘Gulcheen’ also became popular in Gorakhpur. Besides magazines, he translated Ronald’s ‘Loves of Harrum’ as ‘Haram Sara’ in urdu and ‘Miss Ellen Percy’ as ‘Nazaara’.
He lived his most of the life in Gorakhpur and his main literary work was during his stay there. Due to financial constraints and health problem he wanted to leave Gorakhpur. On the invitation of Raja Mehmoodabad he moved to Lucknow in 1907. While travelling from Gorakhpur to Lucknow his suite case was stolen and he lost his deewan comprising about 40 years of his work. His stay at Lucknow was short. He had to face problems from one of his wife which caused financial problems. In 1910 he went to his native place Khairabad and settled there. He spent his rest of life peacefully without much activity. He died on 28th July 1934.
Reyaz Khirabadi is considered to be the best poet after ‘Omar Khayyam’ to write poetry about tavern (maikhana), wine-flask (meena), wine-cup (saaghar) and wine-provider (Saaqi) in Urdu ghazals. It is however said that he never touched wine himself in his whole life. He was impressed by Ameer Minai who was a simple and pious personality although being a romantic poet. Reyaz’s poetry stands for the intoxicatedness that confronts and neutralizes the distractions generated by too much of rationality.
Reayaz’s romantic shayari seems to be influenced by Lucknow ‘s culture of that time. He is straight forward and at times a bit sensual towards depiction of his beloved. He also excels in his humor satire in his poetry. Reyaz has written Qasida, Masnavi, Naat and other forms of poetry but his fame is because of his ghazals. His only collection is "Reyaz-e-Rizwan".

Books related to Reyaz Khairabadi :-
Kalam-e-Reyaz Khairabadi by Anwar Jama Husaini
Qulqul-e-Meena by Khalilullah Khan
Rind-e-Parsa by Rais Ahmad Jafri

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