ḠANĪ (article 1)


ḠANĪ, pen name of Mollā MOḤAMMAD-ṬĀHER KAŠMĪRĪ (1630-69), one of the most celebrated poets of Kashmir who wrote in the Indian Style (sabk-e hendī). He was a pupil of another famous poet from Kashmir, Shaikh Moḥammad-Moḥsen Fānī (q.v.; d. 1081/1670-71), through whom he met many other poets including Ṣāʾeb and Kalīm. Although he is frequently mentioned in the biographical sketches of poetical anthologies (for a list of these see Ḵayyāmpūr, II, p. 673), little is known about his life apart from a couple of frequently repeated anecdotes illustrating the poet’s unworldly outlook and disdain for court patronage (NasÂrābādī, p. 445; Tikku, 1971, pp. 106-7). Ḡanī’s dīvān was collected by his disciple Moḥammad-ʿAlī Māher (d. 1678), himself a poet of some distinction, and Lāla Malek Šahīd, another Kashmiri poet. It is said that in the process of editing the dīvān, about four-fifths of the extant poetry was discarded as being too difficult, producing a selection of 20,000 verses out of over 100,000 verses (Lōdī, p. 163). This severe pruning for the sake of clarity has meant that in some cases only a single verse survives from an entire ghazal. The dīvān includes ḡazals, robāʿīs, chronograms, and a few maṯnawīs, including one in the manner of a šahrašūb (a usually homoerotic poem describing a youthful artisan) about a young barber and bloodletter.



al-Ḏarīʿa IX, p. 793.

Mollā Moḥammad-Ṭāher Ḡanī Kašmīrī, Dīvān, Lucknow, 1845, repr., 1869.

Idem, Dīvān-e Ḡanī ba-tartīb-e jadīd-e Moḥammad-Amīn Dārāb Kašmīrī, ed. ʿA. J. Zaydī, Srinagar, Kashmir, 1964.

Idem, Dīvān-e Ḡanī Kašmīrī, ed. A. Karamī, Tehran 1362 Š./1983 (no critical aparatus).

ʿA.-R. Ḵayyāmpūr, Farhang-e soḵanvaran, new ed., 2 vols, Tehran, 1368-1372 Š./1979-94.

Amir Šīr-ʿAlī Khan Lōdī, Merʾāt al-ḵayāl, lithographed ed., Bombay 1324/1906.

Monzawī, Nosḵahā III, pp. 2454-56.

Idem, Fehrest-e moštarek-e nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭī-e fārsī-e Pākestān VII/1, Islamabad, 1365 Š./1986, pp. 897-901.

Mošār, Moʾallefīn III, p. 587. Mīrzā Moḥammad-Ṭāher Naṣrābādī, Taḏkera-ye Naṣrābādī, ed. Ḥ. Waḥīd Dastgerdī, 3rd printing, Tehran, 1361 Š./1983.

S. Negānī, “Mollā Ḡanī Kašmīrī,” Waḥīd 13/8, 1354 Š./1975, pp. 780-82, 854.

Ṣafā, Adabīyāt V/2, pp. 1255-60.

G. L. Tikku, “Muḥammad Ṭāhīr Ghanī: An Indian Allegorist of the Persian Language,” Studies in Islam (New Delhi) 3/4, 1966, pp. 185-200.

Idem, Persian Poetry in Kashmir, 1339-1846: An Introduction, Berkeley and Los Angeles, l971, pp. 105-17.

ʿA. J. Zaydī, “Nāma,” Waḥīd 13/10, 1354 Š./1976, pp. 947-51 (corrections to Negānī, see above).

(G. L. Tikku and EIr)

Originally Published: December 15, 2000

Last Updated: February 2, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. X, Fasc. 3, pp. 276-278