Momin Khan Momin, a great Urdu Poet of 19th century, was born in respectable Delhi family of physicians in the year 1801. He used "Momin" as his takhallus. It is the Urdu of 'nom de plume'. His elementary and higher education was completed in various Madarsas in Delhi, where he studied Arabic and Persian. Momin Khan Momin was gifted with a multifaceted personality. Not many people know that Momin Khan was also called "Hakeem Momin Khan" because he was a physician. It should be noted that 'Hakeem' is an Urdu word for physician. Apart from being a renowned physician, Momin Khan Momin was also well versed in music, astronomy and astrology. It is also mentioned in some of the contemporary documents that Momin Khan Momin was an outstanding chess player. To know more about Momin, continue to read this insightful biography on him.
Momin belonged to an affluent family since his father, Hakim Ghulam Nabi Khan, was a court doctor. His father bought him every comfort in life and also paid a lot towards educating him. He has been very well educated in different fields of study, which is much apparent from his writing. He was systematically and well educated in subjects like astronomy, mathematics, medicine, history, music, etc. He was also offered a professorship in Delhi College but he refused it because he thought that his salary was not up to his credentials. He was also a very religious man, a trend set in his household by his father who was an ardent follower of Shah Abdul Azis, son of the Shah Waliullah of Delhi. This influence of religious practices in his household led him to become a devout of Sayed Ahmad of Rai Bareily. He also got married to a woman who was closely related to the family of Khwaja Mir Dard, a sufi saint from Delhi city, also the first ever mystical poet of Urdu language.
When we analyze Momin's poetry, it comes as a welcome relief that unlike most of the composition of that era they are free of allusions to mystical love and philosophical thoughts. It is steeped in praise of love and beauty. Momin is known for his particular Persian-lashed style and the beautiful use of his takhallus (nom de plume). He used Persian words without making his work cumbersome and difficult to understand.
It is said that Momin led a life of a Casanova since the age of only 9 years. He was known to be a playboy amongst his company. He was easily infatuated towards beauty and led a life of lust and desire for a very long time. He was of an indulgent nature and spent time in sexual explorations. His most known affair, for which he was pretty infamous as well, was with a woman of disregard known as Saheb Ji from Lucknow who had come to stay in Delhi. She was a self proclaimed poet who called herself a poet of mediocre merit.
A contemporary of Mirza Ghalib and Zauq, Momin Khan Momin was successful in creating his own niche. His rivalry with Mirza Ghalib is much celebrated and talked about. There is a famous exchange between the two stalwart where Mirza Ghalib supposedly said he would exchange his entire 'Dewan' (collection) for one of Momin' s Shayeri. His particular favoruite Nazam from Momin is said to be:
Tume mere pass hote ho goya
Jab koi dusra nahi hota
Which means: It seems like you are very much with me when there is no one around me.
Example Of Momin's Work: Vo Jo Humme Tumme Qaraar Tha
Vo jo humme tumme qaraar tha, tumhein yaad ho ki naa ho,
Vahi yaani vada nibhaa ka tumhein yaad ho ke naa ho,
Koi baat aisi agar hui ke tumhare ji ko buri lagi,
Toh bayan se pehle hi bhoolna tumhein yaah ho ke naa ho,
Suno zikr hai ke saal ka koi vaada mujh se tha aap ka,
Vo nibhaane ka to zikr kya tumhein yaad ho ke na yaad ho,
Vo naye gilahe vo shiqaayatein vo naze-naze ki hiqaayatein,
Vo har ek baat pe rothana tumhein yaad ho ke naa yaad ho,
Kabhi hum mein tum mein bhi chaah thi kabhi hum se tum se bhi raah thi,
Kabhi hum bhi tum bhi the aashna tumhein yaad ho ke naa yaad ho,
Hue ittefaaq se gar baham vo vafaa jataane ko dum-ba-dum,
Gila-e-malaamat-e-akrabaa tumein yaad ho ke naa yaad ho,
Vo jo luft mujhe pe the beshtar vo qaram ke tha mere haal par,
Mujhe sab hai yaad zara-zara tumnein yaad ho ke naa yaad ho,
Kabhi baithe sab mein jo rubaaru to isharaton hi se guftagu,
Vo bayaan shauq ka baramalaa tumhein yaad ho ke naa yaad ho,
Ki baat meine vo kothe ki mere dil se saaf utar gayi,
Toh kaha ke jaane meri bala tumhein yaad ho ke naa yaad ho,
Vo bigadana vasl ki raat ka von a maanana kisi baat ka,
Vo nahin nahin ki har aan adaa tumhein yaad ho ken a yaad ho,
Jisa aap kente the baavafaa jise aap ginte the aashna
Main vahi hun Momin-e-mubtalaa tumhein yaad ho ke naa yaad ho.