Abdul Hakim

(1620 - 1690 / Sandwip / Bangladesh)

Biography of Abdul Hakim

Abdul Hakim (Bengali: আব্দুল হাকিম)was a medieval Bengali poet.

Biography

Abdul Hakim was born in 1620 on the island of sandwip off the coast of Noakhali. He was son of Shah Razzaque.

Apart from Bangla, Abdul Hakim knew Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit and thus had access to Persian texts as well as Sanskrit classics like ramayana, mahabharata, etc. His writings include Yusuf-Zulekha, Nurnama, Durre Majlish, Lalmoti Saifulmulk and Hanifar Ladai. Yusuf Zulekha is a translation of the Persian romance Yusuf Wa Zulekha (1483 AD). Nurnama and Durre Majlish, a book of moral instructions, are also translations from the Persian.

Abdul Hakim's original writings in Bangla include Lalmoti Saifulmulk and Hanifar Ladai. Lalmoti Saifulmulk, a romance, was published towards the end of the nineteenth century and immediately gained wide popularity. The manuscript of Hanifar Ladai is, unfortunately, incomplete.

Hakim's most famous work perhaps is Nurnama (Story of Light), a depiction of the life of prophet Muhammad in lyrical Bengali. This work can be considered as an important step in creating a Bengali Muslim identity.

However, what Nurnama is arguably more well known for is Hakim's great patriotism and specially his love for the Bengali language. In medieval ages, Persian and Arabic tended to be court languages all over the South Asia and perceived by some as the language to do literary work in.

Hakim's reaction to this varies from philosophical to outright outraged:

"The Lord understands and loves all languages
... those who hate Bangla aften being born in Bengal I cannot tell who gave birth to them
... if one is not happy with his own language Why doesn't he leave Bengal and go somewhere else"

He died in 1690.

Abdul Hakim's Works:

Nurnama ( নূরনামা), Yusuf Zulekha (ইউসুফ জোলেখা), Lalmoti (লালমতি), Saifulmulk (সয়ফুলমুলুক), Shihabuddinnama (শিহাবুদ্দিননামা), Nasihatnama (নসীহতনামা), Karbala (কারবালা) and Shahornama (শহরনামা).

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