Wali Nazir (1740—1830), the author of Non-attachment, was born at Delhi of prosperous parents who educated him well in Persian. As a young man he is said to have led a licentious life, but he later became a convert to the Sufi doctrines.

He married in Agra where he maintained himself as a private tutor. Nazir wrote poems in Urdu which are to-day classed with the greatest in that language, although in his own day they were little admired. This was because he did not show off his learning in Persian but preferred to rely on his powers of observation to depict the life of the people as a basis for moral reflection.

Although a Muslim, he often depicted Hindu festivals and wrote a poem on the boyhood of Shri Krishna. His funeral was attended by flocks of Muslims and Hindus, both of whom regarded him as a great spiritual teacher. His eleven Muslim poems are known and quoted by every faqir to this day.

The two key-notes of his teaching seem to be the futility of sectarianism and the need to turn away from the life of the senses to a higher life of self-sacrifice and spirituality.

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