Akhtar Shairani (also spelled 'Sheerani', 'Sherani', 'Shirani', 'Shairani') (Urdu: اختر شیرانی) is considered one of the most prolific romantic poets of Urdu.
Akhtar Shairani was born as Muhammad Dawood Khan in Afghan breed of Shirani tribe who had come to India with Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi and had stayed back in Tonk. He was a son of Hafiz Mahmood Shairani, a scholar and teacher of high repute, who had started teaching at Islamia College, Lahore in 1921. In 1928 he moved to Oriental College, Lahore. Young Dawood moved to Lahore at a very young age and lived there throughout his life. He did his Munshi Fazil منشی فاضل in 1921 and Adeeb Fazil ادیب فاضل in 1922 (degrees in Arabic and Persian) from Oriental College, Lahore.
Despite the efforts of his father, he could not continue his education and became a full time poet. His teacher in poetry (ustad) was Maulana Tajwar Najibabadi, a well-respected personality in literary circles of Lahore who used to publish literary magazines.
As to his skill, Akhtar was quite innovative and introduced new modes in Urdu poetry. At such a green age, he wrote mature and inspiring poetry. He was called شاعرِ رومان (the poet of romance). His best known collections of poetry include Akhtaristan, Subh-e bahaar, and Shahnaz. He had been editor for the literary magazines Intikhab, Bahaaristan, Khyaalistan, and Romaan from 1923 to 1939. He also wrote columns for dailies Hamdard and Zamindar of Maulana..