Shaukat Ali Khan Fani Badayuni (1879–1941) was noted Urdu poet. Shaukat Ali Khan was born in Islamnagar, Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, (then United Provinces). He graduated from Barreilly College in 1901, studied law at Aligarh Muslim University, earning his LL.B. degree in 1906. He practiced law in Bareilly and Lucknow but could not make much success and migrated to Hyderabad. The Nizam's Diwan Maharaja Kishan Prasad 'Shad' who himself was an Urdu lover and poet, got Fani appointed in the department of Education.
Fani started composing poetry around twenty years of age. He translated works of Shakespeare and Milton in Urdu. Fani belonged to the Ghalib's tradition of Urdu poetry. It will be more appropriate to place Fani in the category of what is known in Urdu as 'Sahib-e-gam' because he was a poet of pathos. This tradition in Urdu poetry is headed by Mir Taqi Mir; hence he belongs to Mir's tradition as well. Fani lived at Hyderabad till his death in 1941.
Fani was associated with the Junior Prince Moazzam Jah nocturnal court throughout his life in Hyderabad. With him in the court were Josh Malihabadi,Sadiq Jaisi, Maher Ul Quadri and others.
Fani was a highly emotional persoanl he loved Hyderabad and the society. He was initially offered to join as a "munsif" (Judge) since he was a Law Graduate. But Fani did not accept it since he had to move away from the city. He later accepted the post of a school head master in Hyderabad. In the day fani would go to school and in night would attend Moazzam Jah's court till early hours, this night outs did not give him enough time to continue at school as head master, he could complete sleep at the office chair. News spread and he was removed from the post.
His work and contribution added a valuable stuff to Urdu Adab and enriched the Urdu literature with some beautiful material. Some of his contribution is given below:
- First collection of poems (1917) published from Badaun by Naqib Press.
- Baqiyat-e-Fani (1926) published by Maktab-e-Agra
- Irfaniyat-e-Fani (1938), publishe by Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu.
- Fani ki nadir tahriren: Havashi, tasrihat aur tanqidi ja'ize ke sath by Shaukat Ali Khan Fani Badayuni (1968)
- Intikhab-i Fani (Silsilah-yi matbu'at) by Shaukat °Ali Khan Fani Badayuni
- Irfaniyat-i-Fani: Ya'ni Janab Shaukat Ali Khan Sahib Fani Badayuni ke qadim-o-jadid kalam ka mukammal majmu'ah (Silsilah-e-Anjuman-e
- Taraqqi Urdu) by Shaukat Ali Khan Fani Badayuni (1939)
- Kulliyat-i Fani (Silsilah-e-matbu'at) by Shaukat Ali Khan Fani Badayuni (1992)
A detailed account of Fani's personal life can be found in the book "Durbaar-e-Durbaar" by Sadq Jaisi in Urdu and in English translation of the same book by Narendera Luther "The Nocturnal Court".