Amir Meenai (Urdu: امیر مینا ئی ), an Urdu poet of eminence was born in 1826 at Lucknow and died in 1900 at Hyderabad. A popular poet both with the people and the aristocracy, he was held in high esteem by his contemporary poets like Ghalib and Daagh Dehalvi.
Ameer Meenayee got his early education from his father, Karm Mohammed Meenaj, who was a man of learning and piety. After the revolt of 1857, Amir Meenai migrated to Rampur, where he lived a comfortable life under the patronage of Nawab Yousaf Ali Khan, and his successor, Nawab Kalab Ali Khan. It was at Rampur that he spent a greater part of his life: and it was here that he attained the height of fame as a poet. He was also the poetic mentor of the two nawabs, both of whom were poets in their own right. It was here again that he compiled and published the two parts of his (incomplete) Urdu dictionary called, Amir-uI-Lughaat.
Amir's poetical works are collected under two heads: Maraaf-ul-Ghaib and Sanam Khanae-Ishq. After the death of Nawab Kalab Ali Khan, Ameer was persuaded to go to Hyderabad, where he was enthusiastically received by the Nizam. But he was not destined to live long in Hyderabad.
He died in 1900 after a brief, one-month illness. Amir had an inborn talent for poetry, which he had perfected under the guidance of Muzaffar Ali Asir, a veteran poet and a rigorous mentor. In Delhi and Lucknow, had become the centre of literary tivity, bringing together famous poets from both these places.
Amir Meenai's famous gazal has been sung in a film starred by Rishi Kapoor and Tina Munim. The gazal is 'sarakati jayey hai rukh se nakab ahista, ahista.