In Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Shayari, or poetry, essentially comprises of couplet, or Sher. The plural for Sher is Ashaar. The form ghazal is a collection of mulitiple ashaar – each of which should convey a complete thought without any reference to other shayari of the same ghazal. In fact, though belonging to the same ghazal, the different ashaar therein can have completely different meaning and tone relative to one another.
Essential Shaayree vocabulary: Ashar (Couplet). It consists of two lines (MISRA); first line is called ‘MISRA-E-OOLA’ and the second is called ‘MISRA-E-SANI’. Each verse embodies a single thought or subject (sing) SHER, Shero, Shayari, Shyari, Shayri.
Bait Another term for SHER, Shero, Shayari, Shyari, Shayri.
Bait-Ul-Ghazal The best SHER, Shero, Shayari, Shyari, Shayri in a GHAZAL
Ghazal (Ode). The literary meaning of the word ‘GHAZAL’ is to converse with beloved. Etymologically, it come from the Arabic word Ghizaal, meaning gazelle. It is a poem containing a minimum of 5 verses and maximum 25. The opening Verse of the GHAZAL is called MATLA and both hemistiches rhyme with one another. The last verse of the GHAZAL is called MAQTA which usually contains the penname of the poet. Most of Persian and Urdu writers have earned fame as GHAZAL writers. GHAZAL is the soul of Urdu literature and most popular form of Urdu poetry.
The following is an example of sher, composed by Mirza Ghalib:
nahii.n ki mujhako qayaamat kaa etiqaad nahii.n
shab-e-firaaq se roz-e-jazaa ziyaad nahii.n
It is not that I do not have faith in (the pains of) the day of judgement
But the night of separation is not less than the day of judgement.
What the poet is trying to say is that he trusts that the day of judgement would be very painful, as it has been described in Qur’an and Hadith; however, this night of separation from his beloved is not less painful than the day of judgement.
Fard Composition of only a single SHER, Shero, Shayari, Shyari, Shayri is called FARD.
Hamd Poem written in praise of God.
Hazal Poem with humorous subject.
Hijv (Satire). A poem written to condemn or to abuse a person. This form of poetry is considered of low type and which is usually avoided by reputed poets. The exact opposite of HIJV is MADAH which is a poem written in praise of Kings and Patrons.
Husn-E-Matla Rhyming of the first two lines of a GHAZAL is called HUSN-E-MATLA.
Madah Poem written in praise of Kings and Patrons.
Manqabat Poem written in praise of Ahle-E-Bait (the members of the family of Holy Prophet).
Maqata The last line of a GHAZAL or a poem which generally contains the poet’s pen-name.
Marsiya A poem written to commemorate the exploits of great men of Islam; usually to describe the battle fought on the plains of Karbala in Iraq by Hazarat Imam Husain and his supporters against the army of Yazid. It is usually a poem of mourning. The famous MARSIYA writers in Urdu are Mir Baberali Anis and Salamatali Dabir. Even a short poem written to mourn the death of a friend can be called MARSIYA. Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem ‘In Memoriam’ can rightly be called MARSIYA. The sub-parts of MARSIYA are called NOHA and SOZ which means lamentation and burning of (heart) respectively.
Masnawi A long epic poem describing the battles fought long ago and past events. It may also contain philosophical or ethical themes. The most famous MASNAWIS are Shah-Namah of Firdosi, Masnavi-E-Roomi in Persian language and Zehar-E-Ishq in Urdu.
Matla The opening SHER, Shero, Shayari, Shyari, Shayri of a GHAZAL or a poem.
Misra’ One line of a couplet, or verse.
Munajat A lyrical poem as prayer to God.
Musaddas Each unit consists of 6 lines (Misra). Most famous writer of this type of poem is Maulana Altaf Husain Hali.
Naat Verses written in praise of the Holy Prophet.
Nazm The literary meaning of Nazm is Poetry (cf. Nasr, or Prose) A poem fully dealing with a single subject or thought.
Qafia Rhyming of the last words of a poem.
Qasida (Ballad). It is a long poem in Urdu, Persian or Arabic which usually describes battles or written in praise of kings; princes or the poet’s patron. There is no limit of verses; it may even go beyond hundred lines.
Qata/Qita (Fragments). It has two Ashaar and has a one complete subject. Plural Qita’at.
Radeef (End rhyme). Each SHER, Shero, Shayari, Shyari, Shayri of GHAZAL in addition to QAFIA may also have RADEEF which is rhyming of more than the last two or three words.
Rubai’ee Contains only 4 lines, the third one being different from the other three as it should not have QAFIA and RADEEF. RUBAI’EE deals with social, philosophical and romantic subjects. In Persian language Umar Khayyam is supposed to be a great poet of RUBAIYY A T whereas in Urdu Yagana, Firaq and Josh are leading poets of this time and Anis, an old time poet.
Salam (Literal meaning Salutation) It is a kind of poem in which the incidents of Karbala i.e. hardships of Hazarat Imam Husain and his followers are described It is also written in Praise of Holy Prophet, and is recited by standing up.
Sehra A song sung at the time of tying Sehra during wedding ceremony, praising the bride or the bridegroom and their relatives.
Sher Ashob Poem describing a ruined city.
Tah-Tul-Lafz The manner of reciting a poem; like rhythmic prose i.e. without singing; word for word.
Takhallus A name adopted by a poet, by which he is known in the literary world.
Tarannum The manner of reciting a poem in the form of a song.
Wasokht Literal meaning ‘displeasure’ or ‘disgust’. A kind of poem in which the displeasure and carelessness of a lover is narrated; while relinquishing the beloved.
Geet Song or hymn.
Mushaira A symposium of poets; a poet’s gathering.
Qawwali Devotional song expressing the love and oneness with God sung by a group of people to the accompaniment of musical instruments. Now-a-days, it has taken popular form covering subjects of romance, liquor, etc.