Aqsa Ijaz: The Influence of Nizāmī Ganjavi’s Khusrau u Shīrīn in Hindustan

/ University of Toronto Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies


Aqsa Ijaz


January 27, 2023

Dr. Aqsa Ijaz is a specialist in classical Persian poetry and studies its reception in medieval and early modern India. As an essayist and translator, she has written for various international publications such as The World Literature Today and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Ijaz currently teaches Urdu at the University of Toronto Mississauga and is the co-manager of the Global Past Research Initiative there.

Nizāmī Ganjavi’s Persian love poem, Khusrau u Shīrīn is one of the most widely circulated romances in the Islamic world. Yet, modern scholars have surprisingly ignored its wide reception in premodern North India. So why did this particular romance persist through the ages? What makes Nizāmī’s story still relevant, such that it exists in the most revered spaces of material culture on the Indian subcontinent? This talk examines the poetic principles that Nizāmī employed to generate a timeless resonance on the theme of love and the ways he radically challenged the medieval Islamic articulations of passionate love (‘ishq).