Ghazals are probably the richest and best aspects of Urdu Poetry. These are the oceans of emotions—love, hate, fun, pain etc.
Then what is a ghazal? In short ghazal is a collection of shers—the two line poems. A sher is a poem itself. It does not need in support to convey the message.
Ghazal and nazam are different things. Ghazal is a kind of poem in Urdu language. But, to be a ghazal a poem need to follow certain rules. To be precise, Ghazal is a collection of independent two-line poems, the shers, in which there is at least one ‘Matla’, one ‘Maqta’ and all the Sher’s are of same ‘Beher’ and have the same ‘Kaafiyaa’ and ‘Radif’.
The ghazal is just a form, irrespective of language. It is independent of language, for example, in Nepali, there are many good ghazals. Though rarely, in some cases, Urdu poetsloosely write ghazals without ‘Radif’. Such ghazals are called ‘gair-muraddaf’ Ghazal. It is also possible that all the shers are on the same theme, though generally every sher is an independent two-line poem.
However, in modern Urdu poetry, these rules are not strictly followed. There are many Ghazals which don’t follow the condition of same ‘Beher’ on both the lines of shayari. Similarly the restriction of ‘Maqta’ is also very loose. Many of Modern Urdu ghazal’s don’t have any ‘Maqta’.