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Ab’ul Hasan Yamīn ud-Dīn Khusrau (1253–1325 CE) better known as Amīr Khusrow was a Sufi musician, poet and scholar. He was an iconic figure in the cultural history of the Indian subcontinent. He was a mystic and a spiritual disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi. Amīr Khusrau is reputed to have invented certain musical instruments like the sitar and tabla. He wrote poetry primarily in Persian, but also in Hindavi. A vocabulary in verse, the Ḳhāliq Bārī, containing Arabic, Persian, and Hindavi terms is often attributed to him.

Amīr Khusrou was born in Patiyali in Etah, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Amīr Saif-ud-Dīn Mahmūd, was a Turkic officer and a member of the Lachin tribe of Transoxania,Central Asia, themselves belonging to the Kara-Khitais. At the invasion of Genghis Khan, Saifuddin migrated from his hometown Kesh, near Samarkand, to Balkh. Saifuddin was then the chieftain of the Hazara. Shamsuddin Iltutmish, the Sultan of Delhi, welcomed them to Delhi. He provided shelter to the exiled princes, artisans, scholars and rich nobles. In 1230, he was granted a fief in the district of Patiyali.

Amir Saifuddin married Bibi Daulatnaz, who was the daughter of Rawat Arz, the famous war minister of Balban, and belonged to the Rajput tribes of Uttar Pradesh. They had four children, three sons and a daughter. Amir Khusro was one among them born in the year 1252-53 CE in Patiyali. His father Saifuddin died in 1260 CE.

After Khusrau’s grandfather’s demise, he joined as a soldier in the Army of Malik Chajju, a nephew of Sultan Balban. This brought his poetry to the attention of the Assembly of the Royal Court where he was honored.

When he was forty seven years old, his mother and brother died.

Amir Khusrau was the author of a Khamsa which emulated that of the earlier poet of Persian epics Nizami Ganjavi. His work was considered to be one of the great classics of Persian poetry during later centuries.

He wrote primarily in Persian and Hindustani. He also wrote a war ballad in Punjabi. In addition, he spoke Arabic and Sanskrit. His poetry is still sung today at Sufi shrines throughout Pakistan and India.

Khusrau is credited for the invention of the musical instruments tabla. The term tabla is derived from an Arabic word, tabl, which means “drum”.

The development of the Tabla originated from the need to have a drum that could be played from the top in the sitting position to enable more complex rhythm structure’s that were required for the new Indian Sufi vocal style of singing/chanting and Zikr. At the same time to complement the complex early Sitar melodies that Khusrau was composing. The Tabla uses a “complex finger tip and hand percussive” technique played from the top, unlike the Pakhawaj and mridangam which mainly use the full palm and are sideways in motion and are more limited in terms of sound complexity.