Takhallus Meaning [तख़ल्लुस,تخلّس]

Taqhallus or Takhallus is something like a pen name, or nom de plume, though it's not exactly what pen name is, in the sense that it is very common to use the takhallus with the poet's actual name as well.

Let me explain. Mirza Asadullah Beg had Ghalib as his Takhallus, and he's popularly known as Mirza Ghalib, but his name is also written as Mirza Asadullah Beg 'Ghalib'.

However, there is also a tradition where people let go of their surname in favor of their takhallus, and use the latter only with their first names, e.g. Indradev Sharma 'Bharti' gets popular as Indradev Bharti, and Mukesh Verma Nadan simply becomes Mukesh Nadan.

Also, there are poets who use their Takhallus and the name of their city, and completely let go of their given name, for example, Sahir Ludhianvi's given name was Abdul Hayee, but he took Sahir as his Takhallus, and became Sahir Ludhiyanvi as he was from Ludhiana.

Another interesting thing about Takhallus is that you can mostly see a poet's takhallus somewhere towards the end of a ghazal written by him/her. Poets write their takhallus in individual shers as well, but when it comes to an entire ghazal, it gets very common, with mostly last or next to last shers having the takhallus of the poet, most times at the beginning or end of a line of sher.

For example,

ishq ne Ghalib nikamma kar diya
varnaa hum bhi aadmi the kaam ke..

Here, Ghalib doesn't go with the meaning of the sher, but is used only as a Takhallus, like a signature.


  1. Thanks; that's quite helpful

  2. Thanks; that's quite helpful

  3. I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but i think you’ve nailed it! Would you mind updating your blog with more information? Allama Iqbal Poetry