Born to parents of aristocratic Turkish ancestry in Akbarabad, India (the present-day city of Agra). His father, Agdullah Beg Khan, and his uncle, Nasrullah Beg Khan, are high-ranking Indian army officers.
Mirza Khan is orphaned and spends his early childhood with his mother's family. He is a precocious, independent young man, who hopes for a comfortable means of livelihood when he grows up. Although there is little record of his formal education, Khan becomes knowledgeable in many areas, including philosophy, ethics, theology, classical literature, grammar, and history.
Marries the daughter of Moghul nobleman Hahi Bassh Maaroof and moves to Delhi. He never treats his marriage very seriously. After mastering Farsi, he concentrates his time and efforts on writing poetry. Although he received annuities from the Moghul court and lived rather comfortably, he was never very rich.
A large portion of his most important works are already completed.
Drifts away from Urdu poetry and returns to writing Farsi poetry. Occasionally, he will publish new editions of his previously written Urdu poetry.
Travels to Calcutta, where he is highly impressed with the prosperity and cleanliness generated by the Western influence of the British.
Gains access to the Moghul court, concentrates on Urdu poetry.
Appointed by the Moghul court to write an official history of the Moghul empire. He only completes one of the two proposed volumes due to the Indian Revolt of 1857 against the British occupation of India.
Dies in Delhi on February 15.
Oh, Lord, it is not the sins I have committed that I regret,
but those which I have had no opportunity to commit