About Us

About the Khusrau Circle
The Khusrau Circle is an initiative to spread appreciation and understanding of poetry from the Indo-Persian and Sufi traditions by producing high-quality translations, explanations, and original works. We focus on spiritual, philosophical, and romantic poems, especially those that have been sung. This encompasses ghazals, nazms, qawwalis, and more in languages like Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Farsi (Persian), and Arabic.

“At Nizamuddin’s door, Khusrau sings the qaul qalbana”

About Ameer Khusrau
The Khusrau Circle is named in honor of Ameer Khusrau – the legendary father of qawwali, Hindustani classical music, and Urdu literature.

Ameer Khusrau (c. 1253-1325 CE) lived in northern India in a unique cultural milieu that was imbued with Indic, Persianate, and Turkic influences. He was a polymath – a historian, Sufi mystic, poet, musician, and statesman at the court of the Delhi Sultanate. As part of the Chishti tariqa (Sufi order), Khusrau was a disciple of the renowned saint Nizamuddin Auliya. According to legend, Khusrau invented the tabla and sitar, as well as the types of musical composition called tarana and khayal. Also known as “Tuti-e-Hind” (“The Parrot of India”), Khusrau produced a wide array of literary works, including poems, riddles, allegories, romances, and histories in both Persian and Hindavi (Hindi-Urdu). Only his Persian works are authenticated through preserved manuscripts, while his Hindavi works were transmitted orally and are unverified. Regardless, Khusrau is recognized as a pivotal figure in the formation of Hindustani culture, i.e. that of northern India and Pakistan. In particular, the Hindavi works attributed to him often deal with domestic and everyday themes, and they have had a universal appeal across class and religion.