| Indian subcontinent|
Mas’hafi was the takhallus (nom de plume) of Shaikh Ghulam Hamdani (1751–1844) who is considered to be one of the masters of classical Urdu ghazal. He was born in Akbarpur in Amroha district in the year 1750. He studied in Delhi where he began his poetry but later on migrated to Lucknow in 1783 having gained the patronage of Mirza Sulaiman Shikoh. He died in Lucknow. Before his time Urdu was known as Hindu, Hindoi, Dakni or Rekhta, Mashafi was the first person to simply call this language Urdu. He migrated to Lucknow during the reign of Asaf-ud-Daula; he was a prolific writer whose ghazals are full of pathos.
There are ten collections of his poems extant today but it is believed that he used to allow others for a consideration to publish his poems under their own authorship. His personal life lacked discipline; his poetry reflects a level of sensuality. He excelled in lyrics but also composed odes and romances.