Abul Hasan Qutb Shah fondly called as Tana Shah or Tani Shah was the last ruler of Qutb Shahi dynasty that rules then Golconda kingdom from 1672 to 1687. Born as Abul Hasan, he was nicknamed as Tana Shah by his teacher, a Sufi saint called Hazrat Syed Shah Raziuddin. Hazrat Shah Raju Qattal was eighth in the lineage of the Sufi saint Hazrat Syedna Khwaja Banda Nawaz Gesu daraz of Gulbarga. Abul Hassan had a good voice and sang well. He also had certain innocence about him. Shah Raju, therefore, gave him the nickname of `Tana Shah' which means a child saint. He was also known as Tani Shah (benevolent ruler).
Tana Shah is remembered as a statesman who did not discriminate on basis of ethnicity or religion. He hired Hindus as his ministers and generals. Madanna and Akkanna, Brahmin brothers from Hanamkonda, were his most important ministers. Tana Shah also gained a place in Telugu literature due to Kancharla Gopanna, nephew of Madanna. Kancharla Gopanna is famously known as "Ramadasu".
Ramadasu lived in Nelakondapalli village in Palvancha Taluk. Tani Shah hired him as "Tehsildar" (head of the revenue department) of Palvancha Taluk. Ramadasu diverted the public funds to construct a Rama temple in Bhadrachalam and for the jewellery for the idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana. Tana Shah arrested Ramadasu who was found guilty of misappropriation of public funds. Tradition has it that he was imprisoned for about 12 years. But Tana Shah later released him due to his intense devotion towards Lord Rama and encouraged him in his pious work.
Earlier Tana Shah's father-in-law Abdullah Qutb Shah was forced by Aurangzeb to acknowledge the suzerainty of Shah Jahan. And his daughter was wed to Aurangzeb's son Sultan Muhammad. Around the year 1683, Tana Shah appears to have become irregular in payments of taxes to the Mughals and his relations with Sikandar Adil Shah also caused concern among the Mughals. He consequently refused to be a vassal of the Mughal Empire and prompted Aurangzeb to initiate a campaign to assert the rule of Mughals on Golconda.
He attacked Golconda with his able commanders Nawab Khwaja Abid Siddiqi (Qilich Khan) and Qaziuddin Khan Siddiqi, grandfather of Nizam I (Asaf Jah I). Tana Shah defended the fort for eight months, but Aurangazeb succeeded in capturing Golconda in September 1687. Tana Shah surrendered and handed over the Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond, the Hope Diamond, the Wittelsbach Diamond and the Regent Diamond, making the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb the richest monarch in the world.
Tana Shah was taken as a prisoner and was imprisoned in the Daulatabad Fort (near Aurangabad) where he died in prison after 12 years of captivity. When the Sultan died, he was not buried alongside his ancestors and other Qutub Shahi kings but in a modest grave at Khuldabad near Aurangabad. With the defeat of Tana Shah, the Qutb Shahi dynasty ended and a new Nizam dynasty began in Hyderabad under the control of the Mughal Dynasty.
After the fall of Golconda on September 22, 1687, it became a part of the six Mughal provinces in the Deccan. Mahabat Khan, who was initially the commander of the Qutb Shahi army and had switched loyalty to the Mughals, was appointed the governor of Golconda, laying the foundations for the Hyderabad State under the Nizams by Aurangzeb.
'Tana Shahi' a synonym for authoritarian rule or tyranny, which became acceptable and common as Urdu and Hindi idiom is derived from Tana Shah. It is reflective of the infamy and myths propagated by his detractors and supporters of Mughal rule against him. Tana Shah was also the first ruler of Hyderabad who initiated giving away of silk garments and pearls on the day of Sri Ramanavami.