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Momin Khan (1800-1851) (Urdu: مومن خان) was an Indian poet famous for his Urdu ghazals and used "Momin" as his takhallus (the Urdu word for nom de plume). He was born in Delhi. He was also called "Hakeem Khan" because he was a physician also. Hakeem is an Urdu word for physician.

Momin is known for his particular Persianized style and the beautiful use of his takhllus. According to legend, Mirza Ghalib (his contemporary and also a rival) offered Momin his entire diwan (collection of poetry) in exchange for a particular verse of Momin. The couplet in question was:

"Tum mere paas hote ho goya / Jab koi doosra nahi hota" which translates to:
You are close to me [as if] / when no one else is. This couplet's beauty is in its succintness and multiple layers of meaning, which are impossible to convey in any English translation (not least because of the difficulty of translating the word "goya"). And if we just interpret the couplet there is another meaning can be derive from it that"When I am surrounded by people you(lover)always on my mind but when I am alone I feel like having you in front of me"

One of his very famous ghazals starts with the following matla (the first line of the opening couplet of a ghazal).

Woh jo hum mein tum mein qaraar tha, tumheiN yaad ho ke na yaad hoo
Vohee yaani va'ada nibah ka, tumhaiN yaad ho ke na yaad ho
That understanding which we had between us... whether you remember it or not...
That promise of trust and faithfulness...whether you remember it or not...

He is also famed in Pakistan for the saying:

Umar sari toh kati ishq-e-butaN mein Momin/
Aakhri waqt mein kya khak MusalmaN hoNgay?
All your life you spent in love for idols o Momin [Believer] / In the last moment, how can you become a Muslim?
NOTE: The meaning of the first line is perceived to be: "All your life you lived in non-Muslim ways"

and the second line would mean: "in your last times, how will you prove Yourself as a Muslim" Ishq means love/faith & ButaN (plural for "but" that means statue), however, the term ISHQ-E-BUTAN suggests love/faith in statues of God (which is considered sin in Islam), though the literal translation of ISHQ-E-BUTAN is "love for statues or idols".

Example of Momin's work

Momin Khan Momin's poem "voh jo hum mein tum mein qaraar tha" which is shown below, is one of the most famous poems of Urdu literature.


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