“Qāniʿ” Tattavī, ʿAlī Šīr, Mīr d. 1203/1788
Poet and Historian
Mīr ʿAlī Šīr “Qāniʿ” Tattavī was born in Tatta, Sind in 1140/1727-8. It has been said that he composed his first verses of poetry while still a boy. Qāniʿ received an education from local scholars and soon thereafter began a career as a poet and historian. He went on to produce a great number of works (in both prose and verse) on a variety of topics, including: a love story in the manavī form, a compendium of the lives of saints and Sufis from the times of Muḥammad until the late 12th/18th century, an account of the martyrs of Karbala, and a work of general history. Qāni died in Tatta in 1203/1788.
Gift of the Generous
is a general history comprising three volumes. The first two volumes are concerned with general history. The third volume is of particular interest as it is one of the fuller accounts of the history of Sind. It includes “descriptions of its cities and villages, histories of its rulers, and memoirs of its great, learned, and distinguished men”.