Muhammad Abdul-Hayy Siddiqui (Urdu/Arabic: محمّد عبدالحي صدیقی), writing under the pen-name Bekhud Badayuni (Urdu/Persian: بےخود بدایونی), was one of the leading Urdu poets of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It is customary for Urdu poets to assume a pen-name (takhallus) that can be employed as a pun in the final couplet of every ghazal, often combined with a second name that denotes the poet's place of origin. In this case, "Bekhud", the pen-name means beside oneself (with joy or grief), out of one's mind; in ecstasy, transported, enraptured, intoxicated; senseless, delirious, commonly used in the context of spiritual ecstasy, and is paired with "Badayuni", which indicates ties to the city of Badayun.
Bekhud Badayuni's most recent biographer was the late Dr. Asad Ahmad of Aligarh Muslim University's Urdu Department. Most of the biographical details in this article draw on Dr. Ahmad's work, which in turn was informed by the work of prior biographers including the great Hasrat Mohani.
Bekhud Badayuni was born on September 17, 1857 into Badayun's prominent Siddiqui family, known for its leadership in the areas of Islamic scholarship, mysticism (tasawwuf or "Sufism"), and literary pursuits. He was a descendant of the first Caliph, Abu Bakr; an intermediate ancestor, Hameeduddin Mukhlis, immigrated to Delhi from Iran in the late 13th century during the reign of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban, and was the brother of Shaikh Saadi Shirazi, one of the seminal and most-quoted poets of Persian literature. Balban appointed Hameeduddin qadi-ul-quddat (literally "judge-of-judges", or Chief Justice) and granted him an extensive landholding in Badayun, at the time one of the key cities of the Delhi Sultanate. It is also reported that Hameeduddin presented Saadi's two major works, Golistan and Bostan, as a gift to Prince Muhammad Shaheed (Balban's favorite son, and patron - along with Balban - of the great poet, musician, and mystic Amir Khusro).
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