Asghar Husain ‘Asghar Gondvi’ was born in 1884 at Gonda (U.P.). His father, Taffazul Hussain, was a clerk, a man of modest means who couldn't provide higher education to his son in a good school or college. Asghar studied up to the 8th class only, but through self-effort he attained a complete mastery of Urdu, Persian and Arabic, besides achieving proficiency in English. Asghar was under the influence of ‘Sayed Abdul Ghani Kazmi’, a religious saint and mystic, and led a life of piety and self-control. He had a great love of literature, religion and philosophy, more specially, the philosophy of the Sufi saints. To earn his living Asghar for some time did trading of optical items, then worked in the railway engineering department, and then he worked at the India Press at Allahabad. When Jigar Moradabadi came in contact with him he became very close to him and guided him in his poetry. Jigar Moradabadi was married to a sister of Asghar’s wife.
He died of a paralytic stroke in 1936.
Asgha’r poetic works are available under two volumes: ‘Nishat-e-Rooh’(Bliss of the Soul) and ‘Sarud-e-Zindagi’(Song of Life). The central theme of his poetry is love, not earthly and material, but mystic and transcendental. He expresses his feelings with consummate artistry, using the imagery of romantic poetry, so that he can be enjoyed at both the secular and spiritual levels. According to him life is a perpetual quest, an eternal search for the fount of love and beauty, and all objects of this earth are engaged in the pursuit of this one aim. Reason and analytical probing cannot take us to the source of light and love. What we need is a spirit of self-surrender and a sense of humility. Then alone can we rise above the apparent confusion of creeds and realise that one Truth for which the whole creation is striving.
Asghar Gondvi lent a new charm based on philosophy and spiritualism to the poetic landscape of Urdu and Persian poetry. While his work is miniature as compared with the works of other Classical poets such as Ghalib and Mir Taqi Mir who have thousands of verses, the superiority of Aghar's work makes it out. Asghar seems to have been influenced by Ghalib, while in his emphasis on the greatness of man, and the value of struggle, he reminds us of Iqbal, who too, gives utmost importance to the virtues of love, faith and action.