Ghazal is a widely known form of music in India and Pakistan. It is coined as an Urdu song whose emphasis is given to the lyrics. Its roots are found in Arabic poetry. It was developed in the 10th century AD in Persia from ‘qasida’, the Arabic verse form. brought by Mughal invasion in India, it is now being practiced in India, Iran, and Pakistan. In both, Pakistan and India, the tradition of Ghazal arrested listeners in its charm. It has even set music in movies as well as in recordings.
The poetic arrangement of Ghazal is based upon a series of couplets, also known as Sher/Sheyr, which are woven together by a rhyming formation. The first couplet of the Ghazal is called “matla“ and the last couplet is called “maqta”. The “maqta” generally embraces the pen name of the poet. The maqta is normally distinct from rest of the Ghazals as it is a personal statement. The Ghazals are laced with unreciprocated love, insanity, mystical reflection and the most important theme is unrequited love. The traditional Ghazals are similar to the Hindustani classical music forms such as “Dadra” and “Thumri”. Then there are some Ghazals that resembles Qawwali. The foremost contributor to Ghazal music as the famous poet Amir Khusro along with Mirza Ghalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Nazir Kazmi, Momin Khan Momin, Muhammed Iqbal, Qateel Shifai, and Kaifi Azmi. India has given us extraordinary talents in the field of Ghazal singing like Ghulam Ali, Mehdi Hassan, Begum Akhtar, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Abida Parveen, Farida Khanum, and Ahmed and Mohammed Hussain.