FANĪ, pen name of Shaikh MOḤAMMAD-MOḤSEN b. Ḥasan KAŠMĪRĪ (d. 1081/1670-71), Indo-Persian scholar and poet, to whom the Dabestān-e-maḏāheb (q.v.) has wrongly been attributed (ʿAskarī, p. 85). He studied under Mulla Yaʿqūb Ṣarfī (d. 1013/1605) and Mulla Wāṣeb, a Persian poet from Kashmir (Ḥasan Khan, p. 308). The poets Mulla Ṭāher Ḡanī (d. 1079/1688) and Moḥammad Aslam Sālem (d. 1119/1707 or 1130/1717-18), both from Kashmir, studied with him at Madrasa-ye Qoṭbīya in Srinagar, Kashmir (Ḵošgū, p. 348; Lodī, p. 161; Ḥasan Khan, p. 308). Fānī was attached to the courts of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahān (r. 1037-68/1628-57), who appointed him as the chief judge (ṣadr) of Allahabad province (Eḵlāṣ, p. 184), and that of the heir apparent Dārā Šokūh (1024-69/1615-59, q.v.). At Allahabad he joined the circle of the celebrated Češtī Shaikh Moḥebb-Allāh Allāhābādī (d. 1058/1648), from whom he received the Sufi robe (ḵerqa; Fānī, Mey-ḵāna, p. 201; Qodrat-Allāh, p. 541). He was, however, dismissed from the royal service when, following the conquest of Balḵ, a copy of his dīvān containing panegyrics in praise of Nāder Moḥammad Khan, the Ozbek ruler of Balḵ, turned up among the spoils of war (Ṣāleḥ, p. 370). He was granted a stipend and settled down in Kashmir, where he devoted his time to teaching and his residence (ḥawż-ḵāna) became a gathering place for both men of letters and ranking officials, including the governor of Kashmir (Lodī, p. 167). Fānī’s dīvān consists of ḡazals, qaṣīdas, quatrains, and four maṯnawīs: Nāz o nīāz, a love story in 1,928 couplets (comp. 1062/1652) of Sayyed Mūsā of Kālpī and the wife of a Hindu goldsmith, also narrated by Badāʾūnī (Montaḵab II, pp. 109-18; tr. II, pp. 113-22); Mey-ḵāna, on the topography of Kashmir in 1,273 couplets, composed at an advanced age; Maṣdar al-āṯār, a religious maṯnawī in 1,607 couplets, completed in 1067/1656-57 after the model of Neẓāmī Ganjavī’s Maḵzan al-asrār; Haft aḵtar (comp. 1068/1657-58), the love-story of a young Persian king and Ḵoršīd, a Chinese princes. Fānī’s use of Hindi words adds Indian color to his poetry. Fānī is also the author of two prose works Šarḥ ʿayn al-ʿelm and Najāt al-moʾmenīn (Ṣafā, Adabīyāt III, pp. 1285-88).
Bibliography (for cited works not given in detail, see “Short References”):
S. H. ʿAskarī, “Dabistān-i Madhāhib and Dīwān-i Mubed,” Indo-Iranian StudiesPresented for the Golden Jubilee of the Pahlavi Dynasty of Iran, ed. F. Mujtabai, New Delhi, 1977, pp. 85-104.
Wazīr-ʿAlī ʿEbratī ʿAẓīmābādī, Rīāż al-afkār,MS. Bankipore, Oriental public Library, no. 1784, fol. 49.
Kešan Čand Eḵlāṣ, Hamīša bahār, ed. W. Qorayšī, Karachi, 1973, pp. 183-85.
Moḥsen Fānī, Dīvān-e Moḥsen Fānī, ed. G. L. Tīkū, Tehran, 1342 Š./1963.
Idem, Maṯnawīyāt-e Fānī, ed. S. A. H. ʿĀbedī, Srinagar, 1964, pp. 146, 178, 192, 201, 352.
ʿAlī Ḥasan Khan Ṣobḥ-e golšan, Bhopal, 1293, p. 308.
Bendrāban Dās Ḵošgū, Safīna-ye Ḵošgū, ed. A. Kakawy, Patna, 1958, p. 348.
Amīr Šīr-ʿAlī Khan Lodī, Merʾāt al-ḵayāl, Bombay, 1324/1906, pp. 166-67.
Mo ḥammad-Ẓafar Khan, “Moḥsen Kašmīrī,” Helāl, no. 27, 1337 Š./1958, pp. 39-46.
Moḥammad Qodrat-Allāh Gōpāmavī, Natāyej al-afkār, Bombay, 1336/1918, pp. 541-42.
Moḥammad Ṣāleḥ, ʿAmal-e Ṣālehá III, Lahore, 1960, pp. 360, 416.
(Sharif Husain Qasemi)
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 24, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. IX, Fasc. 2, p. 207