Mir Baber Ali Anees was a renowned Urdu poet. He was born in 1803 in Faizabad, Oudh now in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and died in 1874 in Lucknow, North-Western Provinces.
Mir Babar Ali, 'Anis' was born in 1802 CE at Faizabad. He belonged to an family of famous poets. His grandfather, Mir Hasan, composed the monumental Masnavi Sehrul Bayan, which has immortalized his name, his father, Mir Mustahsan Khaleeq was also a poet. He grew up to be known as Homer, Virgil and Valmiki, of Urdu poetry. Mir anis surpassed all his predecessors and contemporaries, and is still unrivalled in the realm of elegy (marsia).Mir Anis was invited to Lucknow where he reached the zenith of his reputation. Mir Anis did not like to move out of Lucknow apprehending that his art would not he appreciated elsewhere. Yet, after the annexation of Oudh by the British, he was persuaded to visit Azimabad (Patna), Dulhipur (Varanasi), Hyderabad and Allahabad.
In 1870 Nawab Tahwar Jung invited Anis to Hyderabad where he declined to be presented at the court of Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, the then Nizam of Hyderabad State, the Nizam himself went to the Majlis where the poet was to recite. While returning from Hyderabad, he sojourned at Allahabad in 1871 and recited his marsia in the Imambara of late Lala Beni Prasad Srivastava, Vakil, who was a devotee of Imam Husain He died in 1874 CE and is buried at his own residence in Lucknow.
Work and contribution
Mir Anis composed salāms, elegies, nauhas, quatrains. While the length of elegy initially had no more than forty or fifty stanzas, it now was beyond one hundred fifty or even longer than two hundred stanzas or bunds, as each unit of marsia in musaddas format is known. According to Muhammad Hussain Azad "The late Mīr Sahib must certainly have composed at least ten thousand elegies, and salāms beyond count. He composed as easily and casually as he spoke.".Shamsur Rahman Faruqi in How to read Iqbal? on comparing Iqbal with Nazeer Akbarabadi says that "Iqbal was placed better because he had, among others, Bedil (1644–1720) in Persian and Mir Anis (1802–1874) in Urdu." He further asserts that, "The mention of Mir Anis may surprise some of us until we realize it that Mir Anis’s marsiyas are the best premodern model in Urdu of narrative-historical, narrative-lyrical, and oral-dramatic poetry, and Iqbal’s poetry extends and exploits the possibilities created by Anis."
The Majlis of 25 Rajab, is historically important Mmjlis of marsiya in Lucknow, in this majlis Mir Anis used to recite Marsiya. After Mir Anis, well known marsiya writers of Mir Anis's family as Dulaha Sahab Uruj, Mustafa Meerza urf Piyare Sahab Rasheed, Ali Nawab Qadeem and Syed Sajjad Hussain Shadeed inherited the legacy of reciting marsiya. Nowadays[when?] Dr. Syed Ali Imam Zaidi Gauhar Lakhnavi great grand son of Mir Baber Ali Anees recites self composed marsiya in this majlis at Imam Bara Nazim saheb, Lucknow.The famous marsia writers who inherited the tradition of Mir Anis among his successive generations are Mir Nawab Ali Munis, Dulaha Sahab Uruj, Mustafa Meerza urf Piyare Sahab Rasheed, Syed Muhammad Mirza Uns, Ali Nawab Qadeem, Syed Sajjad Hussain Shadeed and Dr.Syed Ali Imam Zaidi Gauhar lakhnavi great grand son of Mir Baber Ali Anees..