The father of Urdu ghazal and Chaucer of Urdu poetry in India, Shah Muhammad Waliullah or Wali Gujarati, lies here in the city. For the last 13 years, his grave has lain partially beneath a road divider and partially beneath the adjoining road covered by a thick layer of tar. Thousands of cars pass by every day on the road covering the grave. But this is not how it always was. During the communal riots of in 2002, a frenzied mob on February 28 had razed his tomb in Shahibaugh just opposite the police stadium and poured hot tar on the spot the same night.
Wali Gujarati died in 1706 AD.No one in 300 years could have imagined that the grave of an Amdavadi poet whose Love Shayari formed the basis for stal war ts like Zauq, Sauda, Mir and Mirza Ghalib, would be vandalized in such a way .
Even today, however, a handful of rose petals can be petals can be found on the road divider--their mystic fragrance still expressing Wali's love for humanity , love for God and harmony among men and, most of all, his love for Gujarat. In his lifetime, Wali wrote 460 ghazals, and verse forms which include two masanviyas, qasidas, rubais, mukhamas, kinte and, according to one scholar, 3,225 couplets or (ashar). Wali even wrote ghazals dedicated to his four Hindu friends whom he loved very much--Govindlal, Amrutlal, Khemdas and Hiralal.
Two eminent research scholars Kazi Akhtar Junagadi and Syed Madni have strong arguments for their contention that Wali Gujarati's birth in 1667 AD took place in Ahmedabad and not in Aurangabad. City-based historian Rizwan Kadri adds: "Wali's favorite theme was love -both mystical and earthy -and his poetry's tone was cheerful and that of acceptance, rather than of melancholy ."
Wali took his formal education at home. He belonged to the family of famous Sufi saint Shah Wajiuddin in the city. For higher studies, he went to Hidayat Baksh School run by the Sufi saint Nooruddin Siddiqi. A Columbia University scholar, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, mentions in a research paper: "There was very little Urdu literature in the North India before Wali." He notes that during his visit to Delhi in the 1700s, Wali took the city by storm with his ghazals and Urdu poetry. Soon after, Delhi became the epicenter and chief seat of Urdu literature.