The ghazal, a poetic form consisting of five to 15 rhyming couplets, originated in Arabic-speaking areas in the 6th century.

The poems have been written in a number of languages — Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Malay, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu — with the primary language being Urdu.

The themes of love and loss and separation are frequently seen in ghazal poems. The poet’s name is traditionally featured in the last verse of the poem.

German poet, novelist, artist, and politician Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) became interested in the ghazal, which caused the poetic form to be very popular in Germany in the 19th century.

Poet Agha Shahid Ali (1949 New Delhi, India-2001 Amherst, Massachusetts) wrote ghazal in English and a number of languages originating in the Indian Sub-Continent.