Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency » Scholars The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:36:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hakim Naser Khusraw Balkhi Tue, 28 Sep 2010 00:20:25 +0000 Hakim Naser Khusraw Balkhi
The great and well-known lsmaili Dai (Missionary) Hakim Nasir Khusraw was the celebrated medieval erudite poet, philosopher, traveler and Hujjat of Khurasan. Nasir Khusraw was one of the most important figures of eleventh century Iran, an era which has produced such men of prominence as Omar Khayyam, Hasan bin Sabbah and Al Muayyad fid Din Read the full article...]]>
Hakim Naser Khusraw Balkhi

The great and well-known lsmaili Dai (Missionary) Hakim Nasir Khusraw was the celebrated medieval erudite poet, philosopher, traveler and Hujjat of Khurasan. Nasir Khusraw was one of the most important figures of eleventh century Iran, an era which has produced such men of prominence as Omar Khayyam, Hasan bin Sabbah and Al Muayyad fid Din Shirazi.

Nasir Khusraw, who is considered as the Real Wisdom of the East came from Qubadiyan in Balkh. The full name of this  remarkable personality of Persian Literary History was Abu Muinud Din Nasir-i Khusraw. He called himself Marwazi Qubadiyani, as Marw was the capital of Qubadiyan state.

His father was a small landowner in the vicinity of Balkh. He was born in the month of Dhulqad 394 A.H. / 1003-4 A.C. during the time of Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi. He was seeking education from his early childhood and devoted about thirty years in achieving it. He pursued every field of knowledge, intellectual, as well as traditional. He memorized the Holy Quran and became an expert in tradition and in the interpretation of the Holy Ouran. Besides Islamic literature, he also studied the new and the old testament, and books of other religions thoroughly. He studied the Al-Magest of Ptolemy, Geometry of Euclid, Alchemy, Physics, Logic, Music, Mathematics, Medicine, Astronomy, Astrology, etc. He excelled in Literature and knew Hebrew, and Sanskrit, besides Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Greek. He studied the philosophy of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the epistles of Kindi, Farabi and Ibn Sina (Avicenna).

Regarding his original religion, it is said that he was Shia. Nasir calls himself an Alawi in two of the couplets in his Diwan, from which it may be concluded that “Alawi” does not only mean, Shi’ite but there is good  reason to believe that Nasir was really a “Sayyid”. But it is difficult to prove this for he has exercised modesty in this regard.

The inhabitants of Yamgan valley, where Nasir lived during his last days and died, consider themselves as Sayyids and the descendants of Nasir Khusraw.

By birth in the family of the Government officials’ class, he followed the custom of that time and entered the Government service of Ghaznavid and Saljuq administrations. Nasir was employed as a Government Secretary and Revenue Officer.

 Taqi-zada in his book “Ham majlis wa ham piyala” of Kings has accused him of being participant of the assemblies of drunken orgies of Princes and so forth. Scrutinizing Nasir’s own statements, says lvanow, one can see that all this is based on misunderstanding. As a gifted and mentally alert youth, he undoubtedly took much real interest in many things, though this never amounted to anything like his poetry’s years — a long search for Truth. He himself has said in his Diwan, he would hardly have devoted his time to composing indecent or frivolous poetry and practising such vices, that when you remember these, your face becomes dark and mind becomes depressed. This is of course, expressed in poetry in which hyperbolism, exaggeration is often the fundamental rule. Most probably this simply means that he enjoyed his life and composed ordinary love songs, which in the strictly religious outlook of his old age appeared to him as shameful frivolity.

 The change of dynasty took place in his mother country in 429 A.H. / 1038 A.C. when he was 35 years old. Eight years later he set out on his great journey described in his famous book “Safarnama”.

 The Change in his life

 It is generally accepted that Nasir went on to the pilgrimage as an orthodox Muslim and became converted to Ismailism in Egypt through which he had to pass on his way to Mecca. He returned to his native land after some time as an lsmaili missionary of high rank, as a Hujjat.

For Nasir Khusraw obviously the truth was only Islam and it may be easily realized that the truth was the authentic interpretation of religion which can be received only from the Imam. It is quite possible, that he might have been Shi’ite, perhaps a change of dynasty, if it upset his career, the frustation of his youthful ambitions, even his probable contacts with lsmailis — all these together possibly inspired him to espouse the cause of the Fatimids whose star had never risen so high as at that particular time.

Nasir Khusraw has given two statements pertaining to his conversion in his Safarnama. One is the oft-cited story of his religious dream at the beginning of the journey and the second one is his “confession” in the form of the lengthiest of his Qasidas. About his dream, he has written in his Safarnama that on a certain night he saw in his dream someone saying to him “How long shall you go on drinking the wine that ruins the human reason? It is high time for thee to become sober”. He answered in the following words: “The wise have not invented any better means for the purpose of reducing sorrows of the world.”The addresser of the dream said, “Senselessness and unconsciousness do not bring peace of mind. One cannot be called a wise man if one leads people to unconsciousness. It is necessary to search for something that flourishes reason and increases wisdom. He asked,”Where can I find that?” The addresser replied: “Those who search will find,” and waved his hand in the direction of Qibla saying nothing more.

This was the sign indicating the Fatimid Imams who were in Cairo in Egypt. After seeing this dream he resigned from his services and set out on his great journey.

“Nasir”, says Dr. lvanow, “himself well knew the harm that he was causing to himself but obviously the speaker in the dream was some one of especial importance, the Prophet or the lmam, not named by him out of peculiar modesty. It is generally believed that the Prophet may “appear in the dream” only to deserving and pious people and would not visit others. Thus the mention of a holy visitor is equivalent to the narrator’s claim to exceptional piety and virtue. So his sincere devotion to religion of Shi’ite type caused Nasir Khusraw to be converted to Ismailism where he could recover from his chronic drunkness i.e. practising religious life without knowing its real meaning and implications. He was awakened from his intoxication, i.e. he was convinced of the lsmaili faith and later he went to Cairo for higher training and instructions.

In the autumn of the 1045 A.C.Nasir Khusraw being warned by the dream, was determined to renounce the wine and to undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca. He was about 40 years old at that time. He performed a complete ablution, repaired to the mosque of Jazjanan, where he then happened to have registered a solemn vow of repentence, and set out on his journey in 437 A.H. / 1045 A.C.

Nasir Khusraw after seeing the dream resigned from his services and set out on the great journey with his younger brother Abu-Saeed and an Indian servant. He traveled by the way of Shaburqan to Merv, then proceeded to Nishapur and visiting the tomb of Sufi Saint Bayazid of Bostam at Qums, came by way of Demghan to Samnan, where he met Ustad Ali Nisai, a pupil of Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and lecturer on Arithmetic, Geometry and Medicine. Passing onwards through Qazwin he reached Tabriz on Safar 20th, 438 A.H. / 1046 A.C. and there he made the acquaintance of the poet Qatran. to whom he explained passages in poems of Daqiqi and Maujik. Then he made his way successively to Van, Akhiat, Bittis, Arzan, Mayfaraqin, Amid, Aleppo, and Ma’arratun Nu’man, where he met great Arabic philosophical poet Abul Ala-af Ma’arri of whose character and attainment he speaks in warmest terms. Then he visited Hama, Tripoli, Beirut, Sidon, Tyre, Acre, and Haifa. He spent sometime in Syria in visiting the tombs of Prophets and other holy places, including Jerusalem and Bethlehem, he made his first pilgrimage to Mecca in 1047 A.C. From Mecca by the way of Damascus to Jerusalem, he proceeded by land to Egypt and finally arrived in Cairo on Safar 7th, 439 A.H. / 1047 A.C.

Nasir Khusraw, attracted by the fame of Al Mustansir, came from Khurasan to Egypt, where he lived seven years, performing the pilgrimage and returning to Egypt every year.

 It would be strange that if he remained a Sunni until his arrival in Cairo, he should have been converted by no less a figure than Al Muayyad himself, and at once accepted into the service.

His stay in Cairo marks an epoch in his life, for it was here he became acquainted with the splendor, justice and wise administration of the Fatimid Caliph and Imam Al Mustansir Billah and here it was that he was initiated into the esoteric doctrine of the lsmaili creed, received the commission to carry on their propaganda. During this period, the Muslims were ruled by the Ismaili Imams who were also the Caliphs of the Islamic Empire and this was the period in which Al Azhar, the world’s oldest University was founded.

Nasir Khusraw in his Safarnama has described the city of Cairo, the excellent administration of the Fatimid Imams and Caliphs, the wealth, contentment and security of their subjects. His description of Cairo, its mosques, its gardens, buildings and suburbs is admirable. The details of Fatimid administration given by him are most valuable. He was much impressed with the discipline of the army, maintenance of law, peace and order in the country. Describing the excellent administration in beautiful words, he says. “it seems that Fatimids are the only lawful authorities and the protectors of the garden of Allah.

According to Encyclopedia of Islam, Nasir Khusraw left Persia at the difficult period, when the country was being laid waste by the continued wars between the various Princes. He found the same wretched picture in all the Muslim countries which he had to traverse on his journey. Only Egypt proved a pleasing exception,where he saw prosperity, rich bazars, harmony and tranquility. As the lsmaili dynasty of Fatimids were ruling in Egypt at that time, Nasir concluded that Islam had diverged from the true path and that only lsmailism could save the true believers from inevitable ruin.

When Nasir Khusraw visited Cairo in 439 A.H., he went to the court of Fatimid Caliph, Imam Mustansir Billah. There he met Khawaja Al Muayyad Fiddin Shirazi, who was then one of the twelve ‘Hujjats’ of the lmam. He discussed with him about the allegories of the Holy Ouran and other secrets of the Shariat (religious law) and he found the righteousness of the Fatimid Caliph Imam Al Mustansir Billah and accepted him as his lmam. He says, “I searched in the world for Tawil-e Mutashabihat (The meaning of allegories of Holy Ouran) but I could not find them anywhere except with Fatimid Caliphs”.

He praised his teacher Al Muayyad in his Diwan for his superiority in knowledge.

“Kih kard az khatir-i Khwaja Muayyad Dar-i-Hikmat kushada bar tu yazdan shab-i-man rooz-i raushan kard Khwaja za burhanha-i-choon khurshid-ipakhshan.

Mara binamood hazir har do aakm ba yak ja dar tanam paida pinhan.”

“From the heart of Al Muayyad, God has opened for thee the doors of wisdom. Khwaja changed my night into a shiny day by his right arguments like the sun. He showed me both the worlds in my person, he made me behold them openly as well as secretly, in my person.”

In Noorum Mubin with reference of Rawzatus Safa, Habibus Siyar, Dabistanul Mazahib it is written that Nasir Khusraw acquired the knowledge of Philosophy at Jama Azhar. He made vast studies at Darul Hikmat, held discussions with Khawaja Al Muayyad a diplomat and Intelligent Dai ud Duwa’t, from him acquired deep knowledge of Philosophy. Later on, he was brought before the lmam Mustansir Billah by Vazir Abu Nastre Sadka lbn Yusuf, where he received the blessings of Imam. Later on he was bestowed with the title of Dai ud Duwa’t by the lmam. He was then sent to various tours prior to his departure to his native country where he was designated to carry on the work of preaching.

Thus Sayyidna Nasir Khusraw spent three or five years in the service of lmam and was appointed to the propagation of the Da’wah in Khurasan. He was given the title of Hujjat-i Khurasan and he became one of the twelve Hujjats of the court of lmam.

 Beginning of Da’wah

 In 444 A.H. when he returned to Khurasan, he had already given up all the luxuries and he began to propagate the Da’wah with great enthusiasm and ambition. He started his mission from Balkh and used to send ‘Dai’s’ and ‘Madhoons’ (missionaries and their assistants) to the provinces of the country. Besides being well versed in the different fields of knowledge he had a great ability and power of eloquence and discussions with ‘ulemas’ and praised the glory of the Fatimid Caliphs and assert their lmamat very efficiently and took pride in being a follower of the Fatimid lmams and used to call himself a Fatimi.

 This caused Abbasid minded Ulema to agitate the public to rise against him in enmity because they were the enemies of the Fatimids. Soon the Saljuqs ruled the land, became convinced that Nasir’s activity was a serious threat to them. So he was persecuted and had to flee from Balkh. He took refuge in Mazindaran. The fact that he visited Mazindaran, is alluded in some of Nasir’s poems, and is attested by his contemporary Abul Maali in Bayanil Adyan. He also tried to propagate the Da’wah but unfortunately was confronted with the same enmity as he had to face in Balkh. Once again he directed his efforts towards Balkh and entered Nishapur, where he once again tried his luck at the preaching but had to face the same bitter enemity, so he left for Badakhsan and settled in Yamgan, and started his mission vigorously. He made Yamgan his seat of Dawat, from where he used to send every year a book written by himself to the provinces, in support of his propagation besides missionaries.

 Most of his work was done at Yamgan. Professor lvanow says that the political situations of that time did not let him out of this narrow valley which proved to be his prison and from which only death released him. But then too he had some means of communication with the outer world, even with Egypt, otherwise he would not have written his Qasidas and perhaps other books. He also received Da’wat books from Egypt, where as according to local tradition of Badakhshan, Shah Sayyid was busy with converting local inhabitants and even undertook extensive journeys in the East, during which he visited India. All this is narrated in the book called Gawhar Raz written by Nasir Khusraw.

 It is due to his tireless endeavours that there are millions of lsmailis in Afghanistan, Russia, China, Chitral, Hunza, Gilgit and even in Pamir, the roof of the world. He often used to go to neighboring countries to preach.

 It is said that once he went to a place called Munjgan (Lutkoh) in Chitral where he stayed for a short time. The natives of that place today consider the place where he stayed as a Holy Shrine and claim that they possess some books written by him in Arabic which are translated into Persian and Turkish. They also claim that they have a cloak and sandals of the celebrated Hujjat.

 His Works

 “Except with the spiritual help of the descendants of the Prophet (Tayid-i Al Rasool), I would have neither had any book to my credit, nor anything to teach others. (From Diwan of Nasir Khusraw).

 Many Persians are poets by nature but the poems of Nasir Khusraw are moral, Philosophical and religious. Nasir Khusraw has written numerous works of the highest value and interest both in verse and prose. Most of the works of this great author have been the objects of very careful study by many eminent Western scholars like Bland, Dorn, Ethe, Fagnan. Noldeke, Pertsch, Riev, Ivanow, Schefer and many others. His religious and philosophical views are abundantly illustrated in his verses.

 His great works include the most important great philosophical ‘Diwan’ which was composed in the miserable years of his exile. The artistic value of his poems is not especially high, but the philosophical matter which still awaits its investigator is of very great importance for the history of Persian Literature. It is a complete encyclopedia of lsmaili teaching but of course an unsystematic one. From a linguistic stand point, the work is of extra ordinary interest. A good edition of Persian text appeared in Teheran in 1928 A.C. in which two not very long didactic poems were appended to.

 Rushanai Nama or the book of felicity which sharply criticises the aristocracy of the Kingdom and praises the peasants as “The nourisher of every living I create.”

 The best known of Nasir’s prose works is the Safarnama, a description of his pilgrimage to Mecca, which is a travelogue and a valuable source of the most varied information. In his best work Safar Nama, he describes his outlook as a country squire, always with keen eyes on matters which belonged to the usual circle of interest of his native land. He pays special attention to land, irrigation facilities, bazars (markets), trade and industry. But unfortunately this work has come down to us only in a very mutilated form and has probably been edited by a Sunni hand. The other works of Nasir are mainly Ismaili text books.

 Among them, first place should be given to Zad-al Musafrin. It is an encyclopaedia of a special character which deals with the varied questions of a metaphysical and cosmographical nature. The doctrine of Tawil or allegorical interpretation is clearly explained by him, such as paradise, hell, the Resurrection, the torment of tombs, the rising of sun from the west are all allegorically explained in his work.

 No less important is the Wajhi Din an introduction to lsmailism, which gradually initiates the reader in lsmaili belief by means of quotations form the Holy Ouran, clearly put together. A number of similar pamphlets like Umm al Kitab, which were quite recently fairly widely disseminated among lsmailis of the Pamirs are sometimes credited to our author Sayyidna Nasir Khusraw. He also wrote more than a dozen treatises expounding the doctrines of the lsmailis, among them the Jami al Hikmatain in which he attempted a harmony between theology and philosophy. His other works are, Khwanal lkhwan, Shish Fasi, Gushaish wa Rihaish, Bustanul Uqul, Daliui Mutahhareen etc. Nasir’s works were numerous but many have not survived in perfect form. Modern lsmaili researcher Nasir Hunzai, has done vast studies of his works and has also translated most of them into Urdu, says that although considerable portions of Nasir’s work are now available in good editions, one cannot yet assert that sufficient light has been thrown upon his striking personality. It would be particularly valuable if his philosophical system could be studied as it is of far-reaching importance for the history of thought in Persia and history of lsmailis. Although Hakim Nasir Khusraw was a great philosopher and poet, his main subject remained religion. He used his poetry and philosophy for the propagation of lsmaili dawat. He always took pride in spiritual elevation by Taid-i lmam (the spiritual help of Imam). To him philosophy was nothing in comparison to the spiritual elevation. He says:

“When you will behold the personals of God then you will never be pawned by philosophy. When you will proceed towards God and follow the right path your physical power and spiritual enlightenment will increase.”

 His death

 There is a controversy about the death of Hakim Nasir Khusraw. Some say that he died at the age of 140, but the modern researchers in history are of the opinion that he died between the age of 87 and 100. The great savant Taqi Zadah, in his introduction to the Safarnama holds in support to Haji Khalifa who has mentioned in his book Taqeen-ut Tawareekh that the great Hakim’s death occured in the year 481 A.H. Hakim Nasir Khusraw died at Yamgan and was buried there. His mausoleum is looked upon as a holy shrine by the natives of Badakhshan in Tajikistan.

 Nasir Khusraw was that man of wisdom whose memory would never fade out with time but would live for centuries.

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Partaw Naderi Mon, 27 Sep 2010 09:20:51 +0000 Partaw Naderi
Partaw Nadir, as a socio-political activist and poet, has more media and public visibility than any of his contemporaries in the country or abroad. To a large extent, his poetry is also a reflection of his social and political views. In the media and public arena, he is often seen as a literary authority and Read the full article...]]>
Partaw Naderi

Partaw Nadir, as a socio-political activist and poet, has more media and public visibility than any of his contemporaries in the country or abroad. To a large extent, his poetry is also a reflection of his social and political views. In the media and public arena, he is often seen as a literary authority and spokesperson of the second generation of modern Afghan poets. Perhaps more than any poet of his generation, he has used blank verse, with a strong satirical tone, to express his socio-political views and visions. He has also used fixed poetic forms, such as quatrains, couplets and odes, to express his inner feelings, but the modern blank verse remains a major medium of his poetic views and expressions.  
Like many other Afghan artists and intellectuals, he was arrested by the Communist Regime in Kabul on charges of anti-regime activities and imprisoned in the infamous Pul-i-charkhi Prison in the fall of 1984. He remained in prison until the end of 1986. In September 1997, he fled to Pakistan, where he worked for the Dari program of the BBC World Service until 2002.  His cultural reports for the Dari program of BBC Radio enjoyed popularity among the educated Afghans in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and the Gulf. Since the establishment of the Transitional government of Afghanistan, he has worked as a civic education manager for the Afghan Civil Society Forum in Kabul. Nadiri is also a leading member of the Afghan Pen Association based in Kabul
Born in 1952 in an idyllic village in Badakhshan, one of the most beautiful mountainous provinces in northeastern Afghanistan, Nadiri in his poetry expresses his deep love for nature, rural life, and simple mountain people. To escape the suffocating dust, pollution and chaos of Kabul city and perhaps to recreate his nostalgic village life, he has built his own house on the hillside of a small valley in Ghargha in the western part of Kabul, where he lives with his wife and children.  
From his early age, he loved reading literature, particularly poetry. The beautiful mountainous setting of his village inspired him to write his own lyrics. After graduating from Kabul Teacher Training School, he wished to study journalism at Kabul University, but, as a graduate of a government-funded teacher training school, he was required to study either social or natural sciences at Kabul University. Despite this restriction, he believes his study of geology and biology has enriched his poetry and sense of realism.
In addition to poetry, he has published a large number of articles on literary, political and social issues. His published collections include: An Elegy for Vine, Leaden Moments of Execution, and A Lock on the Gate of Ashes.     
Images of poverty, imprisonment, drought, Taliban-style tyranny and obscurantism, destruction and death abound in his poems.  Like many of his contemporaries, he is haunted by the Taliban’s reign of terror, whose images recur in most of his poems. In his poetry, he sees the Taliban movement as a diabolic force bent on destroying or disfiguring what is best in Afghan arts and culture. He often associates the movement in his works with what has been most decadent, chauvinistic, and barbaric in the history of Afghanistan and Islam.  On of his famous poems titled “The Other Side of Purple Waves” is an expression of his poetic rage against the savagery of the Taliban. In this and many other poems written since the rise of the Taliban movement, the poet has used images of war, obscurantism, religious ferocity, drought, famine, and destruction caused by the rabid fanatics of the Taliban movement.
Latif Nazemi, a known Afghan poet and critic, in an introduction to Nadiri’s collection of poems titled Leaden Moments of Execution writes:
            You are a kind country man, coming from a distant village to Kabul city. For several years, you had breathed the prison air, and then exile swallowed you, the way it swallowed me.
            When there was a “Lock on the Gate,” you wrote the “Elegy for the Vine” and from “The Other Side of the Purple Waves” you opened two windows before you — the window of life and the window of nature — and from behind these windows I have known you without having seen you.
In the poem “The Big Picture, the Small Mirror” you wrote the life story of a mother, like many other mothers in villages and cities – the mothers whose bitter destinies are inscribed by the … history, as you have written – women from the green tribe of nobility who speak the language of the people of paradise.

You think that poetry is a kind of crying, crying with one’s fresh and crystal words. Your voice is the imaginative voice of an affectionate villager bringing to one’s ears the fragrance of wheat, rice fields, and the songs of sparrows from the orchards of the north.

Nadir, like many other Dari poets, wrote the bulk of his poetry when the Taliban were threatening to destroy the artistic and literary heritage of the Dari-speaking people of the country. Indeed, this cultural genocide by the Taliban is a dominant theme and obsession in his poetry during and after the Taliban era, and this must not be interpreted as an anti-Pashtun trend in his works when considering the relentless tribal, ethnic and religious ferocity of the Taliban movement in the second part of the 1990s. In many of his poems translated in this selection, particularly in “The Idol-Breaker’s Calendar,” “Auction,” and “In the Frozen Streets of Eclipse,” the poet expresses a haunting preoccupation about the Taliban as an anti-culture movement threatening to destroy the literary and historical legacy of his people. In his public life, he has also defended this legacy as part of his larger continued campaign for democracy and human rights.        

Most of the poems translated in the following selection are recommended by the poet and reviewed by him for accuracy and quality. He considers “In the Frozen Streets of Eclipse” and “The Other Side of the Purple Wave” as two of his best poems. “The Big Picture, The Small Mirror,” a more popular poem celebrating the purity, devotion, love, humility, patience, forgiveness, and sanctity of mothers, depicts a patriarchal society ruled by a dominating father who symbolizes male chauvinism, dictatorship, and lack of all the virtues epitomized by the mother, but he is survived by his wife, the mother and the son, who symbolize life and freedom. In this poem, Nadiri presents a sentimental, but true, picture of the motherly side of the Afghan society often ignored in many books and studies on Afghanistan.


The Big Picture, The Small Mirror

 My mother was from the green salvation tribe

She spoke the language of the people of paradise  

She put on a silk chador of faith

Her heart was like God’s empyrean

majestic as His truth

And no one knew that I heard God’s voice

in the beatings of her heart    

And no one knew that God was in our house

And that the sun rose when she began to talk  

 My mother was from the green salvation tribe

She put on a silk chador of faith

When my mother walked to me

on each of her small footprint a small window would open

into which I could see the green gardens of paradise and

pick my fortune fruit from the top branch of an apple tree

 My mother was from the green salvation tribe

She put on a silk chador of faith

Her forehead resembled God’s loveliest song’s exordium

which I droned everyday in a lyrical tone

and then knew what a God’s poem meant

 My mother was from the green salvation tribe

She spoke the language of the people of paradise 

And waited for a white pigeon to come and wash

its lovely feathers every morning

in the paradise’s most crystal springs

And the white pigeon read His message to my mother

from a sacred sphere of the Koran

 My mother was from the green salvation tribe

She has such an extended family history

that only the sun can remember it

And the sun told me that when she was born

her father lighted a candle in a leprosy home

to mourn the decline of his tall, straight figure

And the sun told me that my mother with her sacred thumb

turned the pages of her life book

to search the meaning of the word “smile”

Unfortunately she couldn’t memorize the happy meaning

of smile until the last moments of her life

My mother was familiar with crying and could derive

a thousand derivates from “crying”

My mother in a thousand languages had kept the bitter meaning

of crying in the dark memory of her eyes

And my mother’s eyes — mirrors of God’s manifestation –

had an excellent memory

My mother was a stranger to the spring;

her life was like a trail of ants

that passed from the grand rock of misfortune

stricken every season by dark clouds of malice and insult

And everyday my mother would pick up from there 

bundles and bundles of flowers of misfortune

My mother was patient as a stone

When my father sailed his small emotion boat

on the red shore of fury

my mother would seek refuge on the beach of tolerance

and wipe her tears with the corners of her chador

            and united with God

My father was a strange man

When my father tied his turban of pride around his head

he thought the sun was a white pigeon

which flew off his high shoulders

And he thought he could ration the sunlight for my mother

And he thought the moon was a colorful worry bead 

that he could hang from his horse’ high mane

My father was a strange man

When he called me before him

I felt a disaster was looming a few steps from him

And my words were like frightened sparrows

which left my mouth’s autumn-stricken orchards

And fear was a dirty shirt, which disfigured my real complexion       

When my father called me before him

my speech blood ceased to flow

in the red vessels of my tongue

And at that time my mother’s heart was a bright crystal

flashing freely in the depth of the darkness valley

And my mother watched her destruction in the broken mirrors

of perturbation and waited for an event to occur 

My father was a strange man

When he tied his turban of pride around his head

his small empire would appear before him

within the four walls of our house

And then he would lash freedom, which was me

and life, which was my mother,

and shackled both of us

May her soul rest in peace!

She still thanked God and prayed for my father:

May God keep his shadow over our heads!  


The Red Epitaph

 This palm tree has lost all hope for the spring

This palm tree has hundreds of scars of war

the scars of a thousand tragedies of everyday

            the scars of a thousand calamities of every night

It’s a red epitaph at the crossroad of the century

Here by the river — this river of tear and blood –

the roots of this tree intertwine with

the blind roots of time

            in the chillness of the tragedy

            in the chillness of the blood

Here the sky from the red sterile clouds

has cast this bloody shroud

            on the broken lap of the coffin –

            the coffin of the rain’s mirror

This palm tree has lost all hope for rain

This palm tree has lost all hope for the spring

This palm tree has hundreds of wounds

            by scourges of the polar night winds

Oh my tree! My only tree!

Oh my spring!

Many years have passed since the blossom bird

            left your yellowing branches

How sad I feel

when butterflies are also leaving you! 



 I drank all night

I drank all night

I used so much of my freedom that I ran out of it  

Why should I worry if Afghanistan falls?

Why should I worry if one hot noon

zealots of lash and iron

with their rope of fanaticism hang my brothers?

Why should I worry if the virgin girls of the Hindo Kosh hills

are auctioned off beyond the Gulf’s salt waters

at the vicinity of Mecca –

who knows?–perhaps at Mecca itself.

Let Islam rule over my homeland;

Islam is the supreme law of Muslims

To the zealots, my father and

            your father are not Muslims

even though the poor old men pray five times a day

at the local mosque

My father and your father

            must believe in such a way

that the one-eyed Amir ul-Mumineen can see them

And Osama Bin Ladin is the last Messiah 

My father and your father must believe

Your father and my father must believe

Peshawar, July 2002


 We Are Afraid of Darkness

(To Naimat Husayn)i

My God!

My God!

I am worn-out in your land

I am worn-out in your land

In your land, there is no chance to bloom

In your land, the sun is beheaded behind my house wall

In your land, all windows of expectations

facing sunrise are closed

We are afraid of darkness

We are afraid of darkness

(Leaden Moments of Execution)

April 2001





 All I had

            was a small knapsack

            which I carried from one house to another

One day I lost it

in one of the old city streets

Kabul, 1981


 The Idol-Breaker’s Calendar

The spring is dead and a flock of black vultures

have laid on the sun’s bloody seat

a feast of stars’ bones and skull of the moon

The spring is dead and nobody measures life and light

with the sun’s breaths

And nobody knows that the sun in my land

has grown several centuries old

in three hundred sixty-five days

Spring is dead and nobody knows

who from the devil party fired the first bullet

during the execution rite of the sun

Spring is dead and the ashamed mourning multitudes

in the blue seclusion of Nirvana

heard only the sound of a blast

that blew apart the history’s millennia-old mind

The spring was dead when the “Islamic Gateway”

was auctioning pieces of our torn body

at the crossroads of conspiracy

at the crossroads of the “Idol-Breaker’s Calendar”

The centuries-old dead bodies died

several thousand times in their old graveyards

And the centuries-old dead bodies

died of shame several thousand times again

in the old graveyards

When the “Islamic Gateway” on

the broken faces of Kabul walls

inscribed in bold-faced letters:

Congratulations on the Victory

April 2001



Lantern of Apprehension

I hang the lantern of my apprehension

from the ceiling of an old cave

fearing the terror of a savage intruder 

I speak in the language of all birds, flowers, and plants

I cause to flow the spirit of the river

            in my permanent isolation’s vessels 

I make a song from the breeze’s disheveled syllables

            to rhyme with freedom

I hang the lantern of my apprehension

            from the ceilings of ancient caves

I become a bird out of freedom

            whose flight links one edge of the sky to another

And I call love by its real name

And I ask life to tell

what ID it has beyond its nickname

And with what a story

            it goes to sleep when cuddling death

I feel a tremor in my heart

            perhaps a bleeding dear is crashing

            in a desert amid some spreading fear

And why so hastily, as the breathings of the wind,

            I hang the lantern of my apprehension      

            from the ceiling of a cave

            in which death is born for the first time

March 2002



Overwhelming Grief

I beg the wind before it blows away:

Wind, oh dear wind!

From where did you bring this aroma of bread?

For in my house, bread is still an unending tale                                             

The wind is also bringing fear from deserts

where wolves are thirsting for the history’s blood

All this caravan of tulips and green thoughts

with swallows once heralding the spring

– all lost and wandering now  –

is rotting in the depth of its grief

And the ringing sound of the caravan’s bell,

with awful grief, warns:

This disaster, still small, is growing in size

The wind arrives and the orchard –

empty as the palms of an orphan—

keeps its gate closed 

for not having much to offer

Save its colorful banquet cloth, everything else is despoiled:

not a piece of bread on its table cloth

not a blade of grass on its stream’s bank

not a lantern under the canopy of its pine trees

not anything else to offer 

This house is in utter ruins, fluttering, like a disaster flag,

over the dome-tops of the tall pine trees

Bodies of green trees are fallen on the ground

like martyred bodies

as if deceitfully stabbed from behind 

Their branches bearing leaves of destruction with

every leaf from the bud turned to ashes

with their eyes searching for water

The wind is no longer humming behind the door

knowing that for years now – to the woe of the orchard!–

fire has flown from the stream’s recollection

in place of that crystal water


In the Frozen Streets of Eclipse

I passed through winters of a remote land

where an old man from a dark history street

stood everyday on the ancient Zenborak Wall*  

to curse the brilliant civilization of his tribe

Then he would roll up his sleeves

and plant the black poplar of his sermons

by the false stream

I passed through winters of a remote land

            where I saw the sun’s hands

failing to put a coin on a child’s small palm

The sun’s generous hands

were empty of any shining generous coins 

in the frozen streets of eclipse

The sun’s generous hands

was rotting in the night’s dark pockets

I passed through winters of a remote land

            where it was possible to offer bread fragrance

            as a rich perfume gift to the most beautiful city girl

And it was possible to graft the blossom of bread image

            to the perfume of illusion 

in the flower vase of the children’s minds

and look forward for rain.

I passed through winters of a remote land

            where by a bakery I saw a people

counting the coins that the king of poverty

had minted “hunger” on both side

As I returned home at night with a bundle of hunger

            my children understood from my hands’ broken lines

the meaning of geographical nothingness

And they drank water from the pot of thirstiness

And for expectation, they expected a flower bouquet 

            at the crossing point of winds

My children, knowing the culture of hunger,

speak foreign languages

translating the word “bread” from morning to evening

            from the kitchen dictionary into a thousand languages 

My children know

            that “bread has overcome

            the amazing prophetic mission.” **

My children know

            that the destruction alphabet has been written

            on the school’s blackboards with a fire-made chalk

And that the red rain of the disaster

            has flooded the school’s orchard of songs

            with the blossom of silence

My children know

that the school is a monkey unleashed

in the black jungle of guns –

            a despised exile in the island of tanks

I passed through winters of a remote land

            where I heard an old man’s voice   

            flowing in the ruptured vein of every explosion

            inviting death to watch the city

And he still shackles life

            in the lowest level of hell

And stones the spring

            in the green mirror of plants

I recognize his voice

            his voice invites the sinister crows   

            to the high branches of the orchard.

His voice sings a lullaby to the child of light

            in the cradle of dawn

            beheading wakefulness

His voice is a carnivorous plant 

            rooted in history’s stench

I passed through winters of a remote land

            where I learned that no person awake at night

            had ever heard the sun’s coughing

            from the other side of the darkness’ hills

And I know there is nothing in the land

save a swarm of the explosion’s vultures

            biting into the ripped body of the day

And the old village farmer thrashes his harvest

in a circle of nothingness

And hunger is measured by a centurial measurement

which the sun has lighted

the human rights as a golden dome

over the pavilion of its awareness

There is nothing on the earth

where nobody trusts his shadow

And the curve of every street is a passage

            linking the Seven Adventures of Rustem ***

            to the reality of history.

I have come from winters of a remote land

            where my feet recognize

the trail of misery in its every span

What should I say?

The silk skirt of my sentences is short

The “button” of my words is broken

What fabric should I design for the tall figure of my pain?

Kabul, April 1996

*An ancient wall built on the Zenborak Mountain in Kabul city

** An allusion to a line from Farogh Farrokhzad, a famous Iranian poet

*** Rustem is the central hero of Ferdowsi’s epic The Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)


The Other Side of the Purple Waves

On my back, I carry a heavy knapsack

            on perilous trails

I come from a great land, in whose streets

the sun is a common currency

And on the high towers of my land

the torch of freedom is green 

And poplars in the gardens of my land 

            touch the stars of love

I come from a great land, where I am a stranger

            and speak a strange language

I don’t know the language of the gun,

            the red bullets and the blood track

And the columns of smoke, blood and explosion

            collide with the rhythms of my poems 

The rhythms of my poems do not rhyme with

            the metallic syllables of rifles and tanks

The rhythms of my poems come from my vibrant soul

The rhythms of my poems respire

            in the growth of a flower in a pot

            in the dance of a bough in the garden

            in the song of a child in the school

            in the smile of a star in the sky

The rhythms of my poems come from

            the brightness of a light in darkness

            the murmur of a spring in a mountain

            the warbling of a bird in a forest

            the dance of a lily in a stream

I come from a great land, where newspapers

            are printed with the ink of the sun

And in the darkest ages of history, one can turn them

into a light to brighten the orchard’s mind

            to see the flowers of truth.

I come from a great land, where newspapers

            have taken over the realm of lies

Therefore, I long for a night-letter

For long I haven’t seen the great figure of truth

            in its small mirrors

For long I have seen people buying from the stands

            lies in bundles to communicate with lies

            and to drown themselves in lies

For long I have seen many poets sailing their paper boats

on the newspapers’ muddy shores

For long I have seen the guardians of the blank verse

standing on the colorful gray towers of infamous letters

measuring the summer heat of jealousy

With borrowed helmets, they have been striking their swords

at all that is lyrical and

throwing stones at the sublime steeple of couplets

And with an unclean prayer renouncing 

the permanent purity of prayer

For long I have seen one who once swelled his black throat

with the night’s strings echoes

letting his voice ring in the sacred spring of the sun

For long I have seen the city sky losing its moon coin in a mist

And the stars, the sky’s virgins, anointed their eyes

with the sunset salve

And nobody knows where the sun has gone

as if that golden boat has hit a huge black rock

at the far end of the purple waves

and dark specters have carried the coffin of its name

to the broken shore of the south.

The windows’ close-minded night

 is a stranger to the delicate passing of light

And the shy girls sitting by their lanterns

watch the fall figure of the wind

from behind the seven curtains of darkness

And the shy girls sitting by their lanterns wash

their permanent veil of modesty

in the pitch spring water

And the children hang their smile by the silk ribbon of their tresses.

I am going



And in the most inaccessible moments of freedom

I pour on my face a handful of water

from the most distant spring

that flows from the most distant mountain

And I tie my sad lyrics to the wings of white pigeons

and open the sail of my bosom 

in the direction of mountain gusts

until the settled particles of this wild civilization

go away from the thin vessels of my thought.

Here all the birds know that the fall with its yellow lash of bigotry

has silenced the green song of blooming

on the tongues of grass, bushes and trees

And the milk of life is being poisoned

in the white thought in the breast of the green moments.

And the budding babies from the lap of the tree mother

fall on the ground.

Here all the birds know that the tall Lady Spring

in the market places of the jungle

has auctioned its green garb to the fall winds

Oh wind, wind, wind!

When these wild loose horses, with their scruffy manes,

neigh in life’s green valleys

the pain of green branches

fill my troubled mind’s mirrors

The mirrors of my troubled mind

paint the hard concept of the stone.

I am going, going, going and take my life with me –

this dark space of my rented room.

And I know that none in this city

will ever say to another one: May you come back!

I am going, going, going and sailing the boat of my steps

            on the green ocean deserts.

And I give my hands to the tall branches of the garden

so that with the nocturnal prayer of the tree

I may embrace the sky

And I will talk to love in the language of the loneliest flower.

And I will take water to watch the desert and

fly the pigeons of my voice

over the rooftop of the sun’s pigeon tower.

And with the red throat of anemones

I will sing a song for martyrdom and for faith and

for the capture of the mountain, desert, valley, and river

I will saddle the white horses of memory.

I am hearing the roar of the laughter of ruthlessness

            from the wounded throat of the blind streets.

I know misery and breathe loneliness.

Misery is running through my veins,

Misery is my permanent twin brother.

Misery puts on my shoes and walks with my feet.

Misery plays chess with me and

            I have never told him: Shoo!

Misery is in my house

Misery is playing with my only child and steals its bread

Misery has given to me its blind eyes as a gift.

And I see the world with its blind eyes.

Misery is singing its poems from my throat

And writes at the end of each poem:

            “Pertaw Naderi”

I feel homesick for the sun

If perchance you see him

             ask him if someday he can enter my house

with a glowing face from light.

I will sacrifice the black sheep of expectation.

I will no longer care for the benefit of these shady flowers.

For how long should I pound my fists

on the chest of the brutality wall?

For how long should the horizons silver their mirrors

from the blood of my hands?

I feel homesick for the sun.

For a long time every day

            I have been turning the pages of

the dictionary of my life’s moments

And I see the entries have new ID cards and

 they have received permits to live in the land of

            the new meanings and odd concepts.

For example, the red apple means

            the clotting of the red blood cells.

The sun is a Rustem in a dungeon who has passed out

            by guffaws of the demon of death

Life is a repugnant leftover bulging out of the death’s mouth

Democracy rots in the gun’s barrel and it is so great

that it is measured with the expansion

            of a bullet flight.

Luck is a lock on the gate of the magic city

whose key leads one to a great misery

            in the deepest pit of vileness.

I feel homesick for the sun.

I feel homesick for the sun.

I will return to my great land.

I will return to my great land.

I will return to my great land.

Kabul, 1993


The Bloody Mouth of Freedom

I don’t drink wine

my pain is sharper than what the wine can relieve

Simple ordinary reliever

relieve the pain that is light from the start

I was raised on a mountainside whose height

the local farmers use to measure the sunlight’s length

I was raised on a mountainside and drank flasks of stars

and slept on the moon lap

And on the loving wing of the sun

I flapped like a lover across the sky

I have given my soul to the mountains whose foreheads

the moon kisses at night and the sun does at dawn

Torrent of rivers start from the mountains of my land

The mountains of my land withstand the Desert Dusty Storms

to pitch their pavilions on their sunny tops.

The mountains of my land have always conquered history

and guarded freedom

I love my mountain land

with its hungry multitudes

My mountain land is a ferocious wounded lion and

its bloody wounds resemble

the bloody mouth of freedom shouting its great life

Let the driveling fools repeat their surrender in English terms

But as always I have a room in Ferdowsi castle

On whose door is written: “Freedom”

(Peshawar, July 2002)

Biography and Translations by
Dr.Sharif Fayez

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Rabia Balkhi Mon, 27 Sep 2010 06:53:10 +0000 Rabia Balkhi
Rābi’a bint Ka’b al-Quzdārī (in Persian: رابعه قزداری), popularly known as Rābi’a Balkhī (رابعه بلخی) and Zayn al-’Arab[ (زين العرب), is a semi-legendary figure of Persian literature and was possibly the first poetess in the history of New Persian poetry. References to her can be found in the poetry of Rūdakī and ‘Attār. Her biography Read the full article...]]>
Rabia Balkhi

Rābi’a bint Ka’b al-Quzdārī (in Persian: رابعه قزداری), popularly known as Rābi’a Balkhī (رابعه بلخی) and Zayn al-’Arab[ (زين العرب), is a semi-legendary figure of Persian literature and was possibly the first poetess in the history of New Persian poetry. References to her can be found in the poetry of Rūdakī and ‘Attār. Her biography has been primarily recorded by Zāhir ud-Dīn ‘Awfī and renarrated by Nūr ad-Dīn Djāmī. The exact dates of her birth and death are unknown, but it is reported that she was a native of Balkh in Khorāsān (Afghanistan). Some evidences indicate that she lived during the same period as Rūdakī, the court poet to the Samanid Emir Naṣr II (914-943).



Her name and biography appear in ‘Awfī’s lubābu ‘l-albāb, ‘Attār’s manawīyat, and Djāmī’s nafahātu ‘l-uns. She is said to have been descended from a royal family, her father Ka’b al-Quzdārī, a chieftain at the Samanid court, reportedly descended from Arab immigrants who had settled in eastern Persia during the time of Abu Muslim.

She was one of the first poets who wrote in modern Persian, and she is, along with Mahsatī Dabīra Ganja’ī, among a very few female writers of medieval Persia to be recorded in history by name. When her father died, his son Hāres, brother of Rābi’a, inherited his position. According to legend, Hāres had a Turkic slave named Baktāsh, with whom his sister was secretly in love. At a court party, Hāres heard Rābi’a’s secret. He imprisoned Baktāsh in a well, cut the jugular vein of Rābi’a and imprisoned her in a bathroom. She wrote her final poems with her blood on the wall of the bathroom until she died. Baktāsh escaped the well, and as soon as got the news about Rābi’a, he went to the governor’s office and assassinated Hāres. He then committed suicide.

Her love affair with the slave Baktāsh inspired Qājār poet Rezā Qulī-Khān Ḥedāyat to compose his Baktāshnāma.

Source: Wikipedia

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Raziq Faani Sun, 26 Sep 2010 05:41:12 +0000 Raziq Faani
Raziq Faani (Persian: رازق فانی) was a renowned Persian poet and novelist from Kabul. He published more than ten volumes of poetry and novels in Persian. Work Raziq Faani was one of Afghanistan’s most celebrated contemporary poets, whose work is described as mystical, compassionate, and patriotic. His poems describe the suffering of the his people Read the full article...]]>
Raziq Faani

Raziq Faani (Persian: رازق فانی) was a renowned Persian poet and novelist from Kabul. He published more than ten volumes of poetry and novels in Persian.


Raziq Faani was one of Afghanistan’s most celebrated contemporary poets, whose work is described as mystical, compassionate, and patriotic. His poems describe the suffering of the his people through decades of war, destruction, and exile.

Career and family

Faani received his primary and secondary education in Afghanistan, and earned a Master’s degree in political economy in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1967. He had already published his first book of poetry, “Armaghan-e Jawani”, in 1966. Returning to Afghanistan, it was only following the Soviet invasion that he returned to literary work. His second work, the novel “Baaraana” was published in Kabul in 1983. In 1987, with the situation in Kabul worsening, he published a selection of political satire entitled “Ameer e Ba Salaheyat” (Competent director). He left Afghanistan in 1988, and lived with his family in San Diego, California. His nephew is the Afghan singer Ahmad Shah Hassan. He died on 22 April 2007 at age 63, in California.


Works by Raziq Fani


  • ARMAGHAN-E-JAWAANEE (Collection of poems) Kabul Afghanistan 1966.
  • PAYAAMBER-E-BAARAN (The Messenger of rain: a selection of poetry). Kabul, Government Printing Press, 1986.
  • ABER-WA-AFTAAB (Collection of poems) California 1994.
  • SHEKAST-E-SHAB (Collection of poems) California 1997.


  • BAARAANA (Novel). Kabul, Government Printing Press, 1983.
  • AMER-E-BA SALAHEYAT (Competent director: a collection of satire). Writers’ Association of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan 1987

Source: Wikipedia

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Khalilullah Khalili Sun, 26 Sep 2010 07:01:37 +0000 Khalilullah Khalili
Khalilullah Khalili (1907–1987; Persian: خلیل‌الله خلیلی – Ḫalīlallāḥ Ḫalīlī; alternative spellings: Khalilollah, Khalil Ullah) was Afghanistan‘s foremost 20th century poet as well as a noted historian, university professor, diplomat and royal confidant. He was the last of the great classical Persian poets and among the first to introduce modern Persian poetry and Nimai style to Read the full article...]]>
Khalilullah Khalili

Khalilullah Khalili (1907–1987; Persian: خلیل‌الله خلیلی – alīlallā alīlī; alternative spellings: Khalilollah, Khalil Ullah) was Afghanistan‘s foremost 20th century poet as well as a noted historian, university professor, diplomat and royal confidant. He was the last of the great classical Persian poets and among the first to introduce modern Persian poetry and Nimai style to Afghanistan. He had also expertise in Khorasani style and was a follower of Farrukhi Sistani. Almost alone among Afghanistan’s poets, he enjoyed a following in Iran where his selected poems have been published. His works have been praised by renowned Iranian literary figures and intellectuals. Many see him as the greatest contemporary poet of the Persian language in Afghanistan. He is also known for his major work “Hero of Khorasan”, a controversial biography of Habībullāh Kalakānī, Emir of Afghanistan in 1929.


Khalili was born in Kabul Province, and came from the same village as Habibullah Kalakani. He wrote exclusively in Persian and is sometimes associated with Tajik nationalist ideology. He belonged to the Persian-speaking Safi clan of Kohistan (modern Parwan). His father, Mirzā Muhammad Hussein Khān, was King Habibullah Khan‘s finance minister and owned mansions in Kabul and Jalalabad, but was later dismissed and hanged by Habibullah Khan’s son and successor, Amanullah Khan.[1] His mother was the daughter of Abdul Qādir Khān, a regional Safi tribal leader. She died when Khalili was seven.

Khalili lived and attended school in Kabul until he was 11, when Shāh Habibullāh Khān, king of Afghanistan, was assassinated, purportedly at the behest of his reformist son Amānullāh Khān, who quickly arrested and executed Khalili’s father among others associated with the previous regime. Orphaned and unwanted in Kabul, he spent the turbulent years of Amānullāh’s reign in the Shamālī Plain north of Kabul where he studied classical literature and other traditional sciences with leading scholars and began writing poetry. In 1929, when Habībullāh Kalakānī – a local Tajik from Kalakan – deposed Amānullāh Khān, Khalili joined his uncle Abdul Rahim Khan Safi, the new governor of Herat, where he remained for more than 10 years.

In the early 1940s, he followed his uncle Abdul Rahim Khan Safi, who had been appointed a deputy prime minister, to Kabul. His stay in Kabul was cut short when, in 1945, some elders of the Safi-Clan rebelled and both uncle and nephew were imprisoned. After a year in prison, Khalili was released and exiled to Kandahar where he flourished as a poet and writer.

In the 1950s, Khalili was allowed to return to Kabul where he was appointed as minister of culture and information and began teaching at Kabul University. He became a confident to King Zahir Shah whom he often joined on hunting expeditions.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Khalili, who was fluent in Arabic, served as Afghanistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He was a member of the 1964 Constitutional Assembly and a representative from Jabal al-Siraj.

Following the April 1978 Communist coup, Khalili sought asylum first in Germany and then in the United States where he wrote much of his most powerful poetry about the war in his native land. In the late 1980s, he moved to Islamabad, Pakistan, where he spent his final years. He was buried in Peshawar next to the tomb of the Pashto poet Rahman Baba.


Khalili was a prolific writer, producing over the course of his career an eclectic repertoire ranging from poetry to fiction to history to biography. He published 35 volumes of poetry, including his celebrated works “Aškhā wa ūnhā” (“Tears And Blood”), composed during the Soviet occupation, and “Ayyār-e az orāsān” (“Hero of Khorasan). With the exception of a selection of his quatrains and the recent An Assembly of Moths, his poetry remains largely unknown to English-speaking readers.
Source: Wikipedia

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Qahar Asi “the Legend of Poetry” in 21 Century Sat, 25 Sep 2010 02:47:00 +0000 Qahar Asi “the Legend of Poetry” in 21 Century
Qahar Asi is a talented writer, artist and poet in Afghanistan history. He built an amazing place in every Afghan citizen heart and soul .Our people, history and humanity will never forget his bravery and gallantry. He is living immortally in our hearts and we deeply missing him and commemorating his legendary! Qahar Asi was Read the full article...]]>
Qahar Asi “the Legend of Poetry” in 21 Century

Qahar Asi is a talented writer, artist and poet in Afghanistan history. He built an amazing place in every Afghan citizen heart and soul .Our people, history and humanity will never forget his bravery and gallantry. He is living immortally in our hearts and we deeply missing him and commemorating his legendary!

Qahar Asi was born in 12, April, 1965 in a village which is called Malema, Panjshir Province .He completed his primary and secondary school in Kabul, than attended Kabul University in faculty of agriculture, and he completed his studies in botany (branch of biology dealing with plant life) .The legend of poetry, Qahar Asi passed away in Kabul Afghanistan on 28th September, 1994 by a skyrocket of Gulbuddin Hakmatyar.

There are many collection of Asi’s poems in different aspect of life .He was a patriotic poet, who worshiped his country, people and humanity. He was writing his poems with his blood under flames of war and chamber of smoke!
Farhad Darya relationship with Qahar Asi:
Farhad Darya was spiritually revealed, emototionally loved and globally recognized and known by the Qahar Asi’s poems. “On TV he (Farhad Darya) initially starts with Classical and semi classical music, Ghazal. Then he gradually moves towards folklore. In Kabul University he gets acquainted with the aroma of “resistance poems”, Qahar Asi. They become two arms to conquer and construct. Darya’s music and Asi’s poem combined, similar to water to wetness, creates tunes of resistance. “Baran” or Rain descends with sincerity from sky and blows life to soil and ash sprouting to flower and plant. Baran’s reputation spreads beyond boundaries increasing thirsty fans of its genuine chants” (*)

Baran reaches at the peak of its career at a crucial time of Afghanistan history i.e. government of communist regime. More vocalists get established through Baran and Darya’s compositions exposed to public. Darya was performed so many songs of Asi’s poems. Daryaha proudly commemorates Asi’s martyrdom anniversary on 28th of September almost every year. “Qahar Asi’s Commemoration Seven years ago, on September 28th, the legendary Afghan poet Qahar Asi lost his life. He was the victim of a skyrocket in Kabul. Usually on this date Darya gets together with some of Asi’s followers and celebrates the eternal life of this nobleman. As some of Darya and Qahar Asi’s fans may recall, on September 28th 2000 Darya performed in Canada to commemorate Asi’s life and raised money in order to publish one of his books. But this year instead on the 28th of September Darya was in his studio working on one of the songs from his new CD “GulAroos”. The title of this song translated in English is “We Are All Brothers”. This particular song has a very significant message to mankind, a message that Asi shared” (*) “Let me songs sing”, fleet the voice from the radio, as means against “the agonies of my homeless around-moving people”. Not only in this song Farhad Daryas had singing forms the words for homesickness of its compatriots scattered over the whole globe. “Can you undertake a journey in loved Kabul?” a text from the feather/spring of the famous Afghan poet asks Qahar Asi, which fell 1994 in Kabul a missile attack to the victim. Darya, which composed the music in addition, took up the song to Paris. It was the first year of its exile” (*)
As the other eloquent wise professor, poet and writer Mr.Wasif Bakhtari described Qahar Asi as a true version of patriotic poet, he was born exactly as a poet. When Qahar Asi born and brought up in the political atmosphere and most of poets, cultural and educational people were flattering, praising and glorifying, none-national figures and politicians. But Mr. Asi, had a natural villager pure talented perception, did not praise who, did not deserve parsing, he always ‘putting the saddle on the right horse’ therefore, no one, can ever deny his revolutionary vision and resistence, and everlasting legacy and legendary! Asi possesses certain (matchless) qualities and supernatural talented in human history.

If we look or exam Asi’s poetry vision and legendary from other group of the poets, it will give us the same explanation and interpretation that, Asi was an independent poet. He was born free and lived freely; he was not colonized or impressed by any ideology, idea or school. The poets in Asi’s era (time) whom appeared on the “market of poems” on the middle of sixteen, they were not under influences of any party, organization and the regime itself .In other word, they were not tools in the hand of the regime .They were (selective and special) (*) With the coming of the Soviets in 1979, many writers were forced to leave as their writings were not supportive of the regime and its modern ideas. In contrast, many Afghans who would never have considered themselves poets began to write poems as a form of resistance to the Soviet occupation and in support of Islam and freedom. Writers in refugee camps along the borders promoted their own groups of revolutionaries or tried to continue the craft in difficult conditions. They included Khalili, Abdul Ghafur Arezo (the director of the Cultural Association in Iran), Kazim E Kazimi, Fazl Allah Godsi and Sami Hamed. Inside Afghanistan at this time, writers included Wasef Bakhtari, Ghahhar Asi, Parto Naderi, Haidery Woojudi and Rahnavard Zaryab. Latif Nazemi. Afsar Rahin.Shabgeer Poladeeyan. Sabor Sya Sang. Who were living independently with dignity and purity..!!

In Mr.Kazim Kazimi, a poet, writer and critique believe, “We must acknowledge and legitimize Qahar Asi as a representative of a generation” and he was greater than the greatest poet.
Source: Wikipedia

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Abdul Rahman Jami Fri, 24 Sep 2010 06:00:50 +0000 Abdul Rahman Jami
Nur ad-Din Abd ar-Rahman Jami (Persian: نورالدین عبدالرحمن جامی) (August 18, 1414 – November 19, 1492) was one of the greatest Persian poets in the 15th century and one of the last great Sufi poets. Biography Jami was born in a village near Jam, then Khorasan, now located in Ghor Province of Afghanistan, but a Read the full article...]]>
Abdul Rahman Jami

Nur ad-Din Abd ar-Rahman Jami (Persian: نورالدین عبدالرحمن جامی) (August 18, 1414 – November 19, 1492) was one of the greatest Persian poets in the 15th century and one of the last great Sufi poets.


Jami was born in a village near Jam, then Khorasan, now located in Ghor Province of Afghanistan, but a few years after his birth, his family migrated to the cultural city of Herat where he was able to study Peripateticism, mathematics, Arabic literature, natural sciences, and Islamic philosophy at the Nizamiyyah University of Herat.

Because his father was from Dasht, Jami’s early pen name was Dashti but later, he chose to use Jami because of the two reasons which he mentioned in a poem:

مولدم جام و رشحهء قلمم
جرعهء جام شیخ الاسلامی است
لاجرم در جریدهء اشعار
به دو معنی تخلصم جامی است

My birthplace is Jam, and my pen

Has drunk from (knowledge of) Sheikh-ul-Islam (Ahmad) Jam

Hence in the books of poetry

My pen name is Jami for these two reasons.

Afterwards he went to Samarkand, the most important center of scientific studies in the Muslim world and completed his studies there. He was a famous Sufi, and a follower of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order. At the end of his life he was living in Herat. His epitaph reads “When your face is hidden from me, like the moon hidden on a dark night, I shed stars of tears and yet my night remains dark in spite of all those shining stars.” [1]

Jami had a brother called Molana Mohammad, who was, apparently a learned man and a master in music, and Jami has a poem lamenting his death. Jami fathered four sons, but three of them died before reaching their first year. The surviving son was called Zia-ol-din Yusef and Jami wrote his Baharestan for this son.

Youth seeking his father’s advice on love
From the Haft Awrang of Jami, in the story “A Father Advises his Son About Love”. See Nazar ill’al-murd Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.


In his role as Sufi shaykh, Jami expounded a number of teachings regarding following the Sufi path. In his view, love for the Prophet Mohammad was the fundamental stepping stone for starting on the spiritual journey. To a student who asked to be his pupil and claimed never to have loved anyone, he said, “Go and love first, then come to me and I will show you the way.”[2]


Jami wrote approximately eighty-seven books and letters, some of which have been translated into English. His works range from prose to poetry, and from the mundane to the religious. He has also written works of history. His poetry has been inspired by the ghazals of Hafez, and his Haft Awrang is, by his own admission, influenced by the works of Nezami.

Divan of Jami

Among his works are:

  • Baharestan (Abode of Spring) Modeled upon the Gulestan of Saadi
  • Nafahat al-Uns (Breaths of Fellowship) Biographies of the Sufi saints
  • Haft Awrang (Seven Thrones) His major poetical work. The fifth of the seven stories is his acclaimed “Yusuf and Zulaykha” which tells the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife based on the Quran.
  • Lawa’ih A treatise on Sufism
  • Diwanha-ye Sehganeh (Triplet Divans)
  • Tajnīs ’al-luġāt (Homonymy/Punning of Languages) A lexicographical work containing homonymous Persian and Arabic lemmata.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Ahmed, Rashid (2001). Taliban, p. 40. Yale University Press.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Shīrānī, 6.


  • E.G. Browne. Literary History of Persia. (Four volumes, 2,256 pages, and twenty-five years in the writing). 1998. ISBN 0-7007-0406-X
  • Jan Rypka, History of Iranian Literature. Reidel Publishing Company. 1968 OCLC 460598 ISBN 90-277-0143-1
  • Ḥāfiż Mahmūd Shīrānī. “Dībācha-ye awwal [First Preface].” In ifż ul-Lisān [a.k.a. hāliq Bārī], edited by Ḥāfiż Mahmūd Shīrānī. Delhi: Anjumman-e Taraqqi-e Urdū, 1944.
  • Aftandil Erkinov. “Manuscripts of the works by classical Persian authors (Hāfiz, Jāmī, Bīdil): Quantitative Analysis of 17th-19th c. Central Asian Copies”. Iran: Questions et connaissances. Actes du IVe Congrès Européen des études iraniennes organisé par la Societas Iranologica Europaea, Paris, 6-10 Septembre 1999. vol. II: Périodes médiévale et moderne. [Cahiers de Studia Iranica. 26], M.Szuppe (ed.). Assocation pour l`avancement des études iraniennes-Peeters Press. Paris-Leiden, 2002, pp.213-228.

Source: Wikipedia

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Parvin Etisami Fri, 24 Sep 2010 07:11:52 +0000 Parvin Etisami
Parvin E’tesami (Persian: پروین اعتصامی, March 16, 1907– April 5, 1941), also Parvin Etesami was a 20th century Persian poet of Iran[1][2]. According to Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, her given name was Rakhshanda(Persian: رخشنده). Life Parvin E’tesami was born in 1907 in Tabriz to Mirza Yusuf Etesami Ashtiani (E’tesam-al-Molk), who in turn was the son of Read the full article...]]>
Parvin Etisami

Parvin E’tesami (Persian: پروین اعتصامی, March 16, 1907– April 5, 1941), also Parvin Etesami was a 20th century Persian poet of Iran[1][2]. According to Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, her given name was Rakhshanda(Persian: رخشنده).


Parvin E’tesami was born in 1907 in Tabriz to Mirza Yusuf Etesami Ashtiani (E’tesam-al-Molk), who in turn was the son of Mirza Ebrahim Khan Mostawfi Etesam-al-Molk[3][4]. Mirza Ebrahim Khan Mostawfi Etesam-al-Molk was originally from Ashtiyan[5], but moved to Tabriz and was appointed financial controller of the province of Azerbaijan by the Qajar administration. Parvin had four brothers and her mother died in 1973.

Her family moved to Tehran early in her life, and in addition to the formal schooling, she obtained a solid understanding of Arabic and classical Persian literature from her father.

She studied at the American Girls College in Tehran, graduated in 1924 from the Iran Bethel, an American high school for girls. Afterwards, she taught for a while at that school. In 1926, she received an invitation to become the tutor of the queen of the new Pahlavi court, but she refused.

In 1934, she was married to a cousin of her father and moved to the city of Kermanshah. But the marriage only lasted for ten weeks and she returned back to Tehran.

In 1938-39 she worked for several months at the library of the Teacher Training College (Danesh-saraayeh ‘Ali). Her father’s death in 1938 bereft Parvin of his loving support and virtually severed her contact with the outside world. Her sudden death only three years after her father shocked the country and was mourned in many elegies. She was buried near her father in Qom.


Parvin was around seven or eight years old when her poetic was revealed. Through her fathers encouragement, she versified some literary pieces which were translated from western sources by her father. In 1921-22, some of her earliest known poems were published in the Persian magazine Bahar (Spring). The first edition of her Diwan (book of poetry) compromised 156 poems and appeared in 1935. The famous poet and scholar Mohammad Taqi Bahar wrote an introduction to her work. The second edition of her book, edited by her brother Abu’l Fatha Etesami, appeared shortly after her death in 1941. It consisted of 209 different compositions in Mathnawi, Qasadia, Ghazal, and Qeta, and stanzaic forms. It totaled 5606 distiches.

In her short life, she managed to achieve great fame amongst Iranians. Parvin’s poetry follows the classical Persian tradition its form and substance. She remained unaffected or perhaps ignored the modernistic trends in Persian poetry. In the arrangement of her poetry book, there are approximately 42 untitled Qasidas (a form of Persian poetry) and Qet’as (another form of Persian poetry). These works follower a didactic and philosophical styles of Sanai and Naser Khusraw. Several other Qasidas, particularly in the description of nature show influences from the poet Manuchehri. There are also some Ghazals in her Diwan.

According to Professor Heshmat Moayyad, her Safar-e ashk (Journey of a tear) counts among the finest lyrics ever written in Persian.

Another form of poetry, the monazara (debate) claim the largest portions of Parvin’s Divan. She composed approximately sixty-five poems in the style of monazara and seventy-five anecdotes, fables, and allegories. According to Professor Heshmat Moayyad: “Parvin wrote about men and women of different social backgrounds, a wide-ranging array of animals, birds, flowers, trees, cosmic and natural elements, objects of daily life, abstract concepts, all personified and symbolizing her wealth of ideas. Through these figures she holds up a mirror to others showing them the abuses of society and their failure in moral commitment. Likewise, in these debates she eloquently expresses her basic thoughts about life and death, social justice, ethics, education, and the supreme importance of knowledge“.


Among editions of her diwan the following may may be mentioned: ed. H. Moayyad, Costa Mesa, Calif., 1987 (includes a new introduction, a letter by Abu’l-Fathá Etesami, dated 20 April 1986, and a bibliography); ed. M. Mozaffariann, Tehran, 1364/1985; ed. A. Karimi, with an introduction by S. Behbahani, Tehran, 1369 ˆ./1990.

A partial English translation may be found in: H. Moayyad and M. A. Madelung, tr. A Nightingale’s Lament, Lexington, Ky, 1985 (tr. of eighty-two of Parvin’s poems).
Source: Wikipedia

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Faiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara Wed, 08 Sep 2010 06:03:33 +0000 Faiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara
Historian, writer and intellectual, Faiz Mohammed “Hazara” was among the renown group of Afghans seeking social and political changes in the country, at the beginning of the 20th century. He was a member of what became known as Junbish-i Mashrutiyat or The Constitutionalist Movement. He is the son of Sa’eed Mohammed Hazara of Ghazni province Read the full article...]]>
Faiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara

Faiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara

Historian, writer and intellectual, Faiz Mohammed “Hazara” was among the renown group of Afghans seeking social and political changes in the country, at the beginning of the 20th century. He was a member of what became known as Junbish-i Mashrutiyat or The Constitutionalist Movement.

He is the son of Sa’eed Mohammed Hazara of Ghazni province of Afghanistan. Born in Qarabaq, Ghazni in 1279 Lunar year, Mullah Feiz Mohammad Kateb passed away in 1349 Lunar year in Kabul. 24th of September, 2007 (2nd of Mizan 1386 LHY) was contemporary with 78th anniversary of Mullah Feiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara’s death, the immortal and permanent teacher in the history of Afghanistan. Being a religious undertaking figure, he lived for about seventy years, and wrote many precious works. His unpublished works written by his nice Naste-aligh handwriting are present inside and outside Afghanistan. Faiz Mohammed is, perhaps best known for his history book of Afghanistan called “Sarajul Tawarikh”, which provides one of the best references on the 19th century Afghanistan history.

The book was written by the encouragement of the court of Amir Habibullah Khan. He was a court clerk, initially, thus the title of Kateb (clerk) in his name. Faiz Mohammed was also the biographer of the Amir. Amir Habibullah Khan imprisoned him in Sherpur for his political activities and his role in the Constitutionalists Movement. But was soon released by the Amir due to their personal friendship and for having labored to author the famous ‘Sirajul Tawarikh’. Beside Sirajul Tawarikh (5 volumes), he worte the following books:

1-Tuhfatul Habib: Afghan History (1747-1880), in two volumes. (The original script, hand-written by Faiz Mohammed, exists in the National Archive in Kabul)

2- Faiz-i az Fayoozat

3- Tazkeratul Enqilaab: accounts of the days of Habibullah, Bacha-e Saqaw

4- History of Ancient Prophets/Rulers, from Adam to Jesus (in Dari)

Kateb Hazara proceeded writing history as ordered by an Emir. Mullah Feiz Mohammad Kateb was a person who has described the situations of his time elaborately, particularly he has expressed the depth of oppression, religious and tribal discriminations which were applied by sectarian rulers, it means he has not limited his writing to description of Emirs and Khans around him, this is why he was criticized and mistreated by sectarians, influential and monarchy system, Amanullah Khan, accused of treason. Probably, he was aware that principle historians and Eastern-legists will choose his works as credible source. Competent figures such as Qulam Mohammad Qubar, Ludwick Adamc, Baslui Dupri have frequently benefited the sources.

In 1929, Habibullah, Bacha-e Saqaw, issued a decree on the names of the renown Shi’ites of Kabul such as Mohammed Ali Jauntier Chandawali, Qazi Shuhaab, Khalifa Mohmmed Hussein, Ustad Gholam Hassan, and Faiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara. They were asked to travel to Dai-Zangi and obtain the support of the Hazara populace in that area. But the Hazara people refused to do so, and the Shi’ite leaders of Kabul city returned without any success.

The disappointed Amir Habibullah then order them to be punished for failing in their mission. In the result of the brutal beating, Mulla Faiz Mohammad Kateb Hazara got sick for a few days, but later died on Wednesday, 4th-Ramadhan.

Mullah Feiz Mohammad Kateb is considered the father of modern Afghanistan history-writers, and subsequent historians have often used his writings. Additionally, he was one of the pioneers of The Constitutionalist Movement in the country, Afghanistan liberalists are in debts for his efforts. Feiz Mohammad Kateb has with his writing ability, recorded significant points which have had prominent effects in political and national fate our country. This is how he has done his duty and mission as a historian, and probably the historians in his time were not able to do so.

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Maulana Jaluddin Mohammad Balkhi Fri, 03 Sep 2010 05:09:33 +0000 Maulana Jaluddin Mohammad Balkhi
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), and popularly known as Mowlānā (Persian: مولانا) but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi[3] (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian[1][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] muslim poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic.[11] Rūmī is a Read the full article...]]>
Maulana Jaluddin Mohammad Balkhi

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muammad Balkhī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muammad Rūmī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), and popularly known as Mowlānā (Persian: مولانا) but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi[3] (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian[1][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] muslim poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic.[11] Rūmī is a descriptive name meaning “the Roman” since he lived most of his life in an area called Rūm because it was once ruled by the Eastern Roman Empire.[12]

He was likely born in the village of Wakhsh,[13] a small town located at the river Wakhsh in what is now Tajikistan. Wakhsh belonged to the larger province of Balkh, and in the year Rumi was born, his father was an appointed scholar there.[13] Both these cities were at the time included in the greater Persian cultural sphere of Khorasan, the easternmost province of Persia,[1] and were part of the Khwarezmian Empire.

His birthplace[1] and native language[14] both indicate a Persian heritage. His father decided to migrate westwards due to quarrels between different dynasties in Khorasan, opposition to the Khwarizmid Shahs who were considered devious by Bahā ud-Dīn Walad (Rumi’s father),[15] or fear of the impending Mongol cataclysm.[16] Rumi’s family traveled west, first performing the Hajj and eventually settling in the Anatolian city Konya (capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, in present-day Turkey). This was where he lived most of his life, and here he composed one of the crowning glories of Persian literature which profoundly affected the culture of the area.[17]

He lived most of his life under the Sultanate of Rum, where he produced his works[18] and died in 1273 AD. He was buried in Konya and his shrine became a place of pilgrimage.[19] Following his death, his followers and his son Sultan Walad founded the Mawlawīyah Sufi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for its Sufi dance known as the samāʿ ceremony.

Rumi’s works are written in the New Persian language. A Persian literary renaissance (in the 8th/9th century) started in regions of Sistan, Khorāsān and Transoxiana[20] and by the 10th/11th century, it reinforced the Persian language as the preferred literary and cultural language in the Persian Islamic world. Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His original works are widely read in their original language across the Persian-speaking world. Translations of his works are very popular in other countries. His poetry has influenced Persian literature as well as Urdu, Punjabi and other Pakistani languages written in Perso/Arabic script e.g. Pashto and Sindhi. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. In 2007, he was described as the “most popular poet in America.”[21]


Rumi was born on 30 September 1207 in Balkh (Modern-day Balkh Province, Afghanistan). He died on 17 December 1273 in Konya in present day Turkey (then Seljuqids of Rum). He was laid to rest beside his father, and over his remains a splendid shrine was erected. The 13th century Mevlana Mausoleum, with its mosque, dance hall, dervish living quarters, school and tombs of some leaders of the Mevlevi Order, continues to this day to draw pilgrims from all parts of the Muslim and non-Muslim world. Jalal al-Din who is also known as Rumi, was a philosopher and mystic of Islam. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. To him and to his disciples all religions are more or less truth. Looking with the same eye on Muslim, Jew and Christian alike, his peaceful and tolerant teaching has appealed to people of all sects and creeds. A hagiographical account of him is described in Shams ud-Din Ahmad Aflāki’s Manāqib ul-Ārifīn (written between 1318 and 1353). Rumi’s father was Bahā ud-Dīn Walad, a theologian, jurist and a mystic from Wakhsh, who was also known by the followers of Rumi as Sultan al-Ulama or “Sultan of the Scholars”. The popular hagiographer assertions that have claimed the family’s descent from the Caliph Abu Bakr does not hold on closer examination and is rejected by modern scholars[22][23][24]. The claim of maternal descent from the Khwarazmshah for Rumi or his father is also seen as a non-historical hagiographical tradition designed to connect the family with royalty, but this claim is rejected for chronological and historical reasons[22][23][24]. The most complete genealogy offered for the family stretches back to six or seven generations to famous Hanafi Jurists[22][23][24]. We do not learn the name of Baha al-Din’s mother in the sources, but only that he referred to her as “Mama” (Mami)[25] (colloquial Persian for Mother), she was a simple woman and that she lives in 13th century. The mother of Rumi was Mu’mina Khātūn. The profession of the family for several generations was that of Islamic preachers of the liberal Hanafi rite and this family tradition was continued by Rumi (see his Fihi Ma Fih and Seven Sermons) and Sultan Walad (see Ma’rif Waladi for examples of his everyday sermons and lectures).

When the Mongols invaded Central Asia sometime between 1215 and 1220, Baha ud-Din Walad, with his whole family and a group of disciples, set out westwards. On the road to Anatolia, Rumi encountered one of the most famous mystic Persian poets, ‘Attar, in the Iranian city of Nishapur, located in the province of Khorāsān. ‘Attar immediately recognized Rumi’s spiritual eminence. He saw the father walking ahead of the son and said, “Here comes a sea followed by an ocean.” He gave the boy his Asrārnāma, a book about the entanglement of the soul in the material world. This meeting had a deep impact on the eighteen-year-old Rumi and later on became the inspiration for his works.

From Nishapur, Walad and his entourage set out for Baghdad, meeting many of the scholars and Sufis of the city.[26] From there they went to Baghdad, and Hejaz and performed the pilgrimage at Mecca. The migrating caravan then passed through Damascus, Malatya, Erzincan, Sivas, Kayseri and Nigde. They finally settled in Karaman for seven years; Rumi’s mother and brother both died there. In 1225, Rumi married Gowhar Khatun in Karaman. They had two sons: Sultan Walad and Ala-eddin Chalabi. When his wife died, Rumi married again and had a son, Amir Alim Chalabi, and a daughter, Malakeh Khatun.

On 1 May 1228, most likely as a result of the insistent invitation of ‘Alā’ ud-Dīn Key-Qobād, ruler of Anatolia, Baha’ ud-Din came and finally settled in Konya in Anatolia within the westernmost territories of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm.

Baha’ ud-Din became the head of a madrassa (religious school) and when he died, Rumi, aged twenty-five, inherited his position. One of Baha’ ud-Din’s students, Sayyed Burhan ud-Din Muhaqqiq Termazi, continued to train Rumi in the religious and mystical doctrines of Rumi’s father. For nine years, Rumi practiced Sufism as a disciple of Burhan ud-Din until the latter died in 1240 or 1241. Rumi’s public life then began: he became a teacher who preached in the mosques of Konya and taught his adherents in the madrassa.

During this period, Rumi also traveled to Damascus and is said to have spent four years there.

It was his meeting with the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi on 15 November 1244 that completely changed Rumi’s life. Shams had traveled throughout the Middle East searching and praying for someone who could “endure my company”. A voice said to him, “What will you give in return?” Shams replied, “My head!” The voice then said, “The one you seek is Jalal ud-Din of Konya.” On the night of 5 December 1248, as Rumi and Shams were talking, Shams was called to the back door. He went out, never to be seen again. It is rumored that Shams was murdered with the connivance of Rumi’s son, ‘Ala’ ud-Din; if so, Shams indeed gave his head for the privilege of mystical friendship.[27]

Rumi’s love for, and his bereavement at the death of, Shams found their expression in an outpouring of music, dance, and lyric poems, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. He himself went out searching for Shams and journeyed again to Damascus. There, he realized:

Why should I seek? I am the same as
He. His essence speaks through me.
I have been looking for myself![28]

Mawlana had been spontaneously composing ghazals (Persian poems), and these had been collected in the Divan-i Kabir or Diwan Shams Tabrizi. Rumi found another companion in Salaḥ ud-Din-e Zarkub, a goldsmith. After Salah ud-Din’s death, Rumi’s scribe and favorite student, Hussam-e Chalabi, assumed the role of Rumi’s companion. One day, the two of them were wandering through the Meram vineyards outside Konya when Hussam described to Rumi an idea he had had: “If you were to write a book like the Ilāhīnāma of Sanai or the Mantiq ut-Tayr of ‘Attar, it would become the companion of many troubadours. They would fill their hearts from your work and compose music to accompany it.” Rumi smiled and took out a piece of paper on which were written the opening eighteen lines of his Masnavi, beginning with:

Listen to the reed and the tale it tells,
How it sings of separation…[29]

Hussam implored Rumi to write more. Rumi spent the next twelve years of his life in Anatolia dictating the six volumes of this masterwork, the Masnavi, to Hussam.

In December 1273, Rumi fell ill; he predicted his own death and composed the well-known ghazal, which begins with the verse:

How doest thou know what sort of king I have within me as companion?
Do not cast thy glance upon my golden face, for I have iron legs.[30]

Rumi died on 17 December 1273 in Konya; his body was interred beside that of his father, and a splendid shrine, the Yeşil Türbe (Green Tomb, قبه الخضراء; today the Mevlana Museum), was erected over his place of burial. His epitaph reads:

When we are dead, seek not our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men.[31]


The general theme of Rumi’s thought, like that of other mystic and Sufi poets of Persian literature, is essentially that of the concept of tawhīd – union with his beloved (the primal root) from which/whom he has been cut off and become aloof – and his longing and desire to restore it.[citation needed]

The Masnavi weaves fables, scenes from everyday life, Qur’anic revelations and exegesis, and metaphysics into a vast and intricate tapestry.[citation needed] Rumi is considered[by whom?] an example of Insan-e Kamil — Perfect Man, the perfected or completed human being. In the East, it is said[weasel words] of him that he was “not a prophet — but surely, he has brought a scripture”.

Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry, and dance as a path for reaching God. For Rumi, music helped devotees to focus their whole being on the divine, and to do this so intensely that the soul was both destroyed and resurrected. It was from these ideas that the practice of “whirling” dervishes developed into a ritual form. His teachings became the base for the order of the Mawlawi which his son Sultan Walad organized. Rumi encouraged samāʿ, listening to music and turning or doing the sacred dance. In the Mevlevi tradition, samāʿ represents a mystical journey of spiritual ascent through mind and love to the Perfect One. In this journey, the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth, and arrives at the Perfect. The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to beliefs, races, classes, and nations[citation needed].

In other verses in the Masnavi, Rumi describes in detail the universal message of love:

Lover’s nationality is separate from all other religions,
The lover’s religion and nationality is the Beloved (God).

The lover’s cause is separate from all other causes
Love is the astrolabe of God’s mysteries.[32]

Major works

Rumi’s poetry is often divided into various categories: the quatrains (rubayāt) and odes (ghazal) of the Divan, the six books of the Masnavi. The prose works are divided into The Discourses, The Letters, and the Seven Sermons.

Poetic works

  • Rumi’s major work is the Manawīye Ma’nawī (Spiritual Couplets; مثنوی معنوی), a six-volume poem regarded by some Sufis[33] as the Persian-language Qur’an. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest works of mystical poetry[34]. It contains approximately 27000 lines of Persian poetry[35].

Further information: Masnavi

  • Rumi’s other major work is the Dīwān-e Kabīr (Great Work) or Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi|Dīwān-e Shams-e Tabrīzī (The Works of Shams of Tabriz; دیوان شمس تبریزی named in honor of Rumi’s master Shams. Besides approximately 35000 Persian couplets and 2000 Persian quatrains[36], the Divan contains 90 Ghazals and 19 quatrains in Arabic[37], a couple of dozen or so couplets in Turkish (mainly macaronic poems of mixed Persian and Turkish)[38][39] and 14 couplets in Greek(all of them in three macaronic poems of Greek-Persian)[40][41].

Further information: Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Prose works

  • Fihi Ma Fihi (In It What’s in It, Persian: فیه ما فیه) provides a record of seventy-one talks and lectures given by Rumi on various occasions to his disciples. It was compiled from the notes of his various disciples, so Rumi did not author the work directly.[42] An English translation from the Persian was first published by A.J. Arberry as Discourses of Rumi(New York: Samuel Weiser, 1972), and a translation of the second book by Wheeler Thackston, Sign of the Unseen(Putney, VT: Threshold Books, 1994).
  • Majāles-e Sab’a (Seven Sessions, Persian: مجالس سبعه) contains seven Persian sermons (as the name implies) or lectures given in seven different assemblies. The sermons themselves give a commentary on the deeper meaning of Qur’an and Hadeeth. The sermons also include quotations from poems of Sana’i, ‘Attar, and other poets, including Rumi himself. As Aflakī relates, after Shams-e Tabrīzī, Rumi gave sermons at the request of notables, especially Salāh al-Dīn Zarkūb.[43]
  • Makatib (The Letters, Persian: مکاتیب) is the book containing Rumi’s letters in Persian to his disciples, family members, and men of state and of influence. The letters testify that Rumi kept very busy helping family members and administering a community of disciples that had grown up around them.

Philosophical outlook

See also: Spiritual evolution

Rumi was an evolutionary thinker in the sense that he believed that the spirit after devolution from the divine Ego undergoes an evolutionary process by which it comes nearer and nearer to the same divine Ego.[44] All matter in the universe obeys this law and this movement is due to an inbuilt urge (which Rumi calls “love”) to evolve and seek enjoinment with the divinity from which it has emerged. Evolution into a human being from an animal is only one stage in this process. The doctrine of the Fall of Adam is reinterpreted as the devolution of the Ego from the universal ground of divinity and is a universal, cosmic phenomenon.[45] The French philosopher Henri Bergson‘s idea of life being creative and evolutionary is similar, though unlike Bergson, Rumi believes that there is a specific goal to the process: the attainment of God. For Rumi, God is the ground as well as the goal of all existence.

However Rumi need not be considered a biological evolutionary creationist. In view of the fact that Rumi lived hundreds of years before Darwin, and was least interested in scientific theories, it is probable to conclude that he does not deal with biological evolution at all. Rather he is concerned with the spiritual evolution of a human being: Man not conscious of God is akin to an animal and true consciousness makes him divine. Nicholson has seen this as a Neo-Platonic doctrine: the universal soul working through the various spheres of being, a doctrine introduced into Islam by Muslim philosophers like Al Farabi and being related at the same time to Ibn Sina‘s idea of love as the magnetically working power by which life is driven into an upward trend.[46]

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was Man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as Man, to soar
With angels bless’d; but even from angelhood
I must pass on: all except God doth perish.
When I have sacrificed my angel-soul,
I shall become what no mind e’er conceived.
Oh, let me not exist! for Non-existence
Proclaims in organ tones,
To Him we shall return.

از جمادی مُردم و نامی شدم — وز نما مُردم به‌حیوان سرزدم

مُردم از حیوانی و آدم شدم — پس چه ترسم؟ کی ز مردن کم شدم؟

حمله دیگر بمیرم از بشر — تا برآرم از ملائک بال و پر

وز ملک هم بایدم جستن ز جو — کل شیء هالک الا وجهه

بار دیگر از ملک پران شوم — آنچه اندر وهم ناید آن شوم

پس عدم گردم عدم چو ارغنون — گویدم کانا الیه راجعون


It is often said that the teachings of Rumi are ecumenical in nature.[47] For Rumi, religion was mostly a personal experience and not limited to logical arguments or perceptions of the senses.[48] Creative love, or the urge to rejoin the spirit to divinity, was the goal towards which every thing moves.[48] The dignity of life, in particular human life (which is conscious of its divine origin and goal), was important.[48]


However, despite the aforementioned ecumenical attitude, and contrary to his contemporary portrayal in the West as a proponent of non-denominational spirituality, a select number of Rumi poems suggest the importance of outward religious observance, the primacy of the Qur’an and the superiority of Islam.[49]

Flee to God’s Qur’an, take refuge in it
there with the spirits of the prophets merge.
The Book conveys the prophets’ circumstances
those fish of the pure sea of Majesty.[50]

Rumi’s approach to Islam is further clarified in this quatrain:

Man banda-ye qur’ānam, agar jān dāram
man khāk-e rah-e muhammad-e mukhtāram
gar naql konad joz īn kas az goftāram
bēzāram azō waz-īn sokhan bēzāram.

I am the servant of the Qur’an as long as I have life.
I am the dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen One.
If anyone quotes anything except this from my sayings,
I am quit of him and outraged by these words.[51]

Seyyed Hossein Nasr states:

One of the greatest living authorities on Rûmî in Persia today, Hâdî Hâ’irî, has shown in an unpublished work that some 6,000 verses of the Dîwân and the Mathnawî are practically direct translations of Qur’ânic verses into Persian poetry.[52]

Rumi states in his Dīwān:

The Sufi is hanging on to Muhammad, like Abu Bakr.[53]


Rumi’s poetry forms the basis of much classical Iranian and Afghan music (Eastern-Persian, Tajik-Hazara music).[citation needed] Contemporary classical interpretations of his poetry are made by Muhammad Reza Shajarian, Shahram Nazeri, Davood Azad (the three from Iran) and Ustad Mohammad Hashem Cheshti (Afghanistan). Today, Rumi’s legacy is expanding in the West as well through the work of translators and performers such as Shahram Shiva, who has been presenting bilingual Persian/English Rumi events in the US since 1993. To many modern Westerners, his teachings are one of the best introductions to the philosophy and practice of Sufism. Pakistan’s National Poet, Muhammad Iqbal, was also inspired by Rumi’s works and considered him to be his spiritual leader, addressing him as “Pir Rumi” in his poems (the honorific Pir literally means “old man”, but in the sufi/mystic context it means founder, master, or guide).[54]

“Rumi deals with the human condition and that is always relevant,” says Shahram Shiva. “Rumi is able to verbalize the highly personal and often confusing world of personal growth and development in a very clear and direct fashion. He does not offend anyone, and he includes everyone. The world of Rumi is neither exclusively the world of a Sufi, nor the world of a Hindu, nor a Jew, nor a Christian; it is a state of an evolved human. A human who is not bound by cultural limitations; a one who touches every one of us. Today Rumi’s poems can be heard in churches, synagogues, Zen monasteries, as well as in the downtown New York art/performance/music scene.” According to Professor Majid M. Naini [55], “Rumi’s life and transformation provide true testimony and proof that people of all religions and backgrounds can live together in peace and harmony. Rumi’s visions, words, and life teach us how to reach inner peace and happiness so we can finally stop the continual stream of hostility and hatred and achieve true global peace and harmony.”

Rumi’s work has been translated into many of the world’s languages, including Russian, German, Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, Bengali, French, Italian, and Spanish, and is being presented in a growing number of formats, including concerts, workshops, readings, dance performances, and other artistic creations [56]. The English interpretations of Rumi’s poetry by Coleman Barks have sold more than half a million copies worldwide,[57] and Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in the United States.[58]

Recordings of Rumi poems have made it to Billboard’s Top 20 list. A selection of Deepak Chopra‘s editing of the translations by Fereydoun Kia of Rumi’s love poems has been performed by Hollywood personalities such as Madonna, Goldie Hawn, Philip Glass and Demi Moore. Shahram Shiva‘s CD, Rumi: Lovedrunk, has been very popular in the Internet’s music communities, such as MySpace and Facebook.

There is a famous landmark in Northern India, known as Rumi Gate, situated in Lucknow (the capital of Uttar Pradesh) named after Rumi.

Rumi and his mausoleum were depicted on the reverse of the 5000 Turkish lira banknotes of 1981-1994.[59]

Iranian world

پارسی گو گرچه تازی خوشتر است — عشق را خود صد زبان دیگر است

Say all in Persian even if Arabic is better – Love will find its way through all languages on its own.

These cultural, historical and linguistic ties between Rumi and the Iran have made Rumi an iconic Iranian poet, and some of the most important Rumi scholars including Foruzanfar, Naini, Sabzewari, etc., have come from modern Iran[60]. Rumi’s poetry is displayed on the walls of many cities across Iran, sung in Persian music[60], and read in school books[61].

Mawlawī Sufi Order

Main articles: Mawlawi Order and Sema

The Mawlawī Sufi order (Mawlawīyah or Mevlevi, as it is known in Turkey) was founded in 1273 by Rumi’s followers after his death.[62] His first successor in the rectorship of the order was Husam Chalabi himself , after whose death in 1284 Rumi’s younger and only surviving son, Sultan Walad (died 1312), favorably known as author of the mystical Manawī Rabābnāma, or the Book of the Rabab, was installed as grand master of the order.[63] The leadership of the order has been kept within Rumi’s family in Konya uninterruptedly since then.[64] The Mawlawī Sufis, also known as Whirling Dervishes, believe in performing their dhikr in the form of samāʿ. During the time of Rumi (as attested in the Manāqib ul-Ārefīn of Aflākī), his followers gathered for musical and “turning” practices.

Rumi was himself a notable musician who played the robāb, although his favorite instrument was the ney or reed flute.[65] The music accompanying the samāʿ consists of settings of poems from the Manawī and Dīwān-e Kabīr, or of Sultan Walad’s poems.[65] The Mawlawīyah was a well-established Sufi order in the Ottoman Empire, and many of the members of the order served in various official positions of the Caliphate. The center for the Mawlawiyyah was in Konya. There is also a Mawlawī monastery (درگاه, dargāh) in Istanbul near the Galata Tower in which the samāʿ is performed and accessible to the public. The Mawlawī order issues an invitation to people of all backgrounds:

During Ottoman times, the Mawlawīyah produced a number of notable poets and musicians, including Sheikh Ghalib, Ismail Rusuhi Dede of Ankara, Esrar Dede, Halet Efendi, and Gavsi Dede, who are all buried at the Galata Mawlawī Khāna (Turkish: Mevlevi-Hane) in Istanbul.[67] Music, especially that of the ney, plays an important part in the Mawlawiyyah.

With the foundation of the modern, secular Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk removed religion from the sphere of public policy and restricted it exclusively to that of personal morals, behavior and faith. On 13 December 1925, a law was passed closing all the tekkes (or tekeyh) (dervish lodges) and zāwiyas (chief dervish lodges), and the centers of veneration to which pilgrimages (ziyārat) were made. Istanbul alone had more than 250 tekkes as well as small centers for gatherings of various fraternities; this law dissolved the Sufi Orders, prohibited the use of mystical names, titles and costumes pertaining to their titles, impounded the Orders’ assets, and banned their ceremonies and meetings. The law also provided penalties for those who tried to re-establish the Orders. Two years later, in 1927, the Mausoleum of Mevlana in Konya was allowed to reopen as a Museum.[68]

In the 1950s, the Turkish government began allowing the Whirling Dervishes to perform once a year in Konya. The Mawlānā festival is held over two weeks in December; its culmination is on 17 December, the Urs of Mawlānā (anniversary of Rumi’s death), called Šabe Arūs (شب عروس) (Persian meaning “nuptial night”), the night of Rumi’s union with God.[69] In 1974, the Whirling Dervishes were permitted to travel to the West for the first time.

Religious denomination

According to Edward G. Browne, the three most prominent mystical Persian poets Rumi, Sana’i and Attar were all Sunni Muslims and their poetry abounds with praise for the first two caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattāb[70]. According to Annemarie Schimmel, the tendency among Shia authors to include leading mystical poets such as Rumi and Attar among their own ranks, became stronger after the introduction of Twelver Shia as the state religion in the Safavid Empire in 1501[71].

Eight hundredth anniversary celebrations

In Afghanistan, Rumi is known as “Mawlana” and in Iran as “Mowlavi”.

At the proposal of the Permanent Delegations of Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey, and as approved by its Executive Board and General Conference in conformity with its mission of “constructing in the minds of men the defences of peace”, UNESCO was associated with the celebration, in 2007, of the eight hundredth anniversary of Rumi’s birth.[72] The commemoration at UNESCO itself took place on 6 September 2007;[73] UNESCO issued a medal in Rumi’s name in the hope that it would prove an encouragement to those who are engaged in research on and dissemination of Rumi’s ideas and ideals, which would, in turn, enhance the diffusion of the ideals of UNESCO.[74][75]

The Afghan Ministry of Culture and Youth established a national committee which organized an international seminar to celebrate the birth and life of the great ethical philosopher and world-renowned poet. This grand gathering of the intellectuals, diplomats, and followers of Maulana was held in Kabul and in Balkh, the Maulana’s place of birth.[76]

On 30 September 2007, Iranian school bells were rung throughout the country in honor of Mowlana.[77] Also in that year, Iran held a Rumi Week from 26 October to 2 November. An international ceremony and conference were held in Tehran; the event was opened by the Iranian president and the chairman of the Iranian parliament. Scholars from twenty-nine countries attended the events, and 450 articles were presented at the conference.[78] Iranian musician Shahram Nazeri was awarded the Légion d’honneur and Iran’s House of Music Award in 2007 for his renowned works on Rumi masterpieces.[79] 2007 was declared as the “International Rumi Year” by UNESCO.[80].[81]

Also on 30 September 2007, Turkey celebrated Rumi’s eight-hundredth birthday with a giant Whirling Dervish ritual performance of the samāʿ, which was televised using forty-eight cameras and broadcast live in eight countries. Ertugrul Gunay, of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, stated, “Three hundred dervishes are scheduled to take part in this ritual, making it the largest performance of sama in history.”[82]

Mawlana Rumi Review

The Centre for Persian and Iranian Studies in University of Exeter in collaboration with The Rumi Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus, have started to publish the first volume of the Mawlana Rumi Review in 2010. According to the principal editor of the journal, Leonard Lewisohn: “Although a number of major Islamic poets easily rival the likes of Dante, Shakespeare and Milton in importance and output, they still enjoy only a marginal literary fame in the West because the works of Arabic and Persian thinkers, writers and poets are considered as negligible, frivolous, tawdry sideshows beside the grand narrative of the ‘Western Canon’. It is the aim of the Mawlana Rumi Review to redress this carelessly inattentive approach to world literature, which is something far more serious than a minor faux pas committed by the Western literary imagination.”[83]



  1. ^ a b c d Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000.

How is it that a Persian boy born almost eight hundred years ago in Khorasan, the northeastern province of greater Iran, in a region that we identify today as Central Asia, but was considered in those days as part of the Greater Persian cultural sphere, wound up in Central Anatolia on the receding edge of the Byzantine cultural sphere, in which is now Turkey, some 1500 miles to the west? (p. 9)

  1. ^ John Renard,”Historical dictionary of Sufism”, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. pg 155: “Perhaps the most famous Sufi who is known to many Muslims even today by his title alone is the seventh/13th century Persian mystic Rumi”
  2. ^ NOTE: Transliteration of the Arabic alphabet into English varies. One common transliteration is Mowlana Jalaluddin Rumi; the usual brief reference to him is simply Rumi or Balkhi. His given name, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad, literally means “Majesty of Religion”
  3. ^ Annemarie Schimmel, “The Mystery of Numbers”, Oxford University Press,1993. Pg 49: “A beautiful symbol of the duality that appears through creation was invented by the great Persian mystical poet Jalal al-Din Rumi, who compares God’s creative word kun (written in Arabic KN) with a twisted rope of 2 threads (which in English twine, in German Zwirn¸ both words derived from the root “two”)”.
  4. ^ Ritter, H.; Bausani, A. “J̲alāl al- Dīn Rūmī b. Bahāʾ al-Dīn Sulān al-ʿulamāʾ Walad b. usayn b. Amad h̲aībī .” Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007. Brill Online. Excerpt: “known by the sobriquet Mawlānā (Mevlânâ), Persian poet and founder of the Mawlawiyya order of dervishes”
  5. ^ Julia Scott Meisami, Forward to Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition)
  6. ^ John Renard,”Historical dictionary of Sufism”, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. pg 155: “Perhaps the most famous Sufi who is known to many Muslims even today by his title alone is the seventh/13th century Persian mystic Rumi”
  7. ^ Frederick Hadland Davis , “The Persian Mystics. Jalálu’d-Dín Rúmí”, Adamant Media Corporation (November 30, 2005) , ISBN 1402157681.
  8. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000. “Sultan Valad (Rumi’s son) elsewhere admits that he has little knowledge of Turkish”(pg 239) “Sultan Valad (Rumi’s son) did not feel confident about his command of Turkish”(pg 240)
  9. ^ In Persian poetry, the words “Rumi”(Greek), Turk, Hindu and Zangi (Black) take symbolic meaning and this has led to some confusions for those that are not familiar with Persian poetry. See for example: Annemarie Schimmel. “Turk and Hindu; a literary symbol”. Acta Iranica, 1, III, 1974, pp.243-248 Annemarie Schimmel. “A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry”, the imagery of Persian poetry. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. (pg 137-144). J.T.P. de Brujin, Hindi in Encyclopedia Iranica “In such imagery the link to ethnic characteristics is hardly relevant” [1] Cemal Kafadar, “A rome of one’s own: reflection on cultural geography and identity in the lands of Rum” in Sibel Bozdogan (Editor), Gulru Necipoglu (Editor), Julia Bailey (Editor) , “History and Ideology: Architectural Heritage of the “Lands of Rum” (Muqarnas), Brill Academic Publishers (November 1, 2007. p23: “Golpiranli rightly insists that ethnonym were deployed allegorically and metaphortically in classical Islamic literatures, which operated on the basis of a staple set of images and their well recognized contextual associations by readers; there, “turk” had both a negativeand positive connocation. In fact, the two dimensions could be blended: the “Turk” was “cruel” and hence, at the same time, the “beautiful beloved”. As an example, Rumi compares himself to a Hindu, Turk, Greek and etc. A) تو ماه ِ ترکي و من اگر ترک نيستم، دانم من اين قَدَر که به ترکي است، آب سُو “You are a Turkish moon, and I, although I am not a Turk, know this much, that in Turkish the word for water is su”(Schimmel, Triumphal Sun, 196) B) “Everyone in whose heart is the love for Tabriz Becomes – even though he be a Hindu – a rose-cheeked inhabitant of Taraz (i.e. a Turk)”(Schimmel, Triumphal Sun, 196) C) گه ترکم و گه هندو گه رومی و گه زنگی از نقش تو است ای جان اقرارم و انکارم “I am sometimes Turk and sometimes Hindu, sometimes Rumi and sometimes Negro” O soul, from your image in my approval and my denial” (Schimmel, Triumphal Sun, 196) For the general meaning of the usage of these terms see: Annemarie Schimmel. “Turk and Hindu; a literary symbol”. Acta Iranica, 1, III, 1974, pp.243-248 Annemarie Schimmel. “A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry”, the imagery of Persian poetry.
  10. ^ “Islamica Magazine: Mawlana Rumi and Islamic Spirituality”. Archived from the original on 2007-11-14. . Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  11. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (May 14, 2007) “The Balkin Front.” Weekly Standard.
  12. ^ a b Annemarie Schimmel, “I Am Wind, You Are Fire,” p. 11. She refers to a 1989 article by the German scholar, Fritz Meier:

Tajiks and Persian admirers still prefer to call Jalaluddin ‘Balkhi’ because his family lived in Balkh, current day in Afghanistan before migrating westward. However, their home was not in the actual city of Balkh, since the mid-eighth century a center of Muslim culture in (Greater) Khorasan (Iran and Central Asia). Rather, as the Swiss scholar Fritz Meier has shown, it was in the small town of Wakhsh north of the Oxus that Baha’uddin Walad, Jalaluddin’s father, lived and worked as a jurist and preacher with mystical inclinations. Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teachings, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, 2000, pp. 47–49.

Professor Lewis has devoted two pages of his book to the topic of Wakhsh, which he states has been identified with the medieval town of Lêwkand (or Lâvakand) or Sangtude, which is about 65 kilometers southeast of Dushanbe, the capital of present-day Tajikistan. He says it is on the east bank of the Vakhshâb river, a major tributary that joins the Amu Daryâ river (also called Jayhun, and named the Oxus by the Greeks). He further states: “Bahâ al-Din may have been born in Balkh, but at least between June 1204 and 1210 (Shavvâl 600 and 607), during which time Rumi was born, Bahâ al-Din resided in a house in Vakhsh (Bah 2:143 [= Bahâ' uddîn Walad's] book, “Ma`ârif.”). Vakhsh, rather than Balkh was the permanent base of Bahâ al-Din and his family until Rumi was around five years old (mei 16-35) [= from a book in German by the scholar Fritz Meier--note inserted here]. At that time, in about the year 1212 (A.H. 608–609), the Valads moved to Samarqand (Fih 333; Mei 29–30, 36) [= reference to Rumi's "Discourses" and to Fritz Meier's book--note inserted here], leaving behind Baâ al-Din’s mother, who must have been at least seventy-five years old.”

  1. ^ Annemarie Schimmel, The Triumphal Sun: A Study of the Works of Jalaloddin Rumi, SUNY Press, 1993, p. 193: “Rumi’s mother tongue was Persian, but he had learned during his stay in Konya, enough Turkish and Greek to use it, now and then, in his verse”
  2. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000. Chap1
  3. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica, “Baha Al-Din Mohammad Walad” [2], H. Algar.
  4. ^ C.E. Bosworth, “Turkish Expansion towards the west” in UNESCO HISTORY OF HUMANITY, Volume IV, titled “From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century”, UNESCO Publishing / Routledge, 2000. p. 391: “While the Arabic language retained its primacy in such spheres as law, theology and science, the culture of the Seljuk court and secular literature within the sultanate became largely Persianized; this is seen in the early adoption of Persian epic names by the Seljuq Rulers (Qubad, Kay Khusraw and so on) and in the use of Persian as a literary language (Turkish must have been essentially a vehicle for everyday speech at this time). The process of Persianization accelerated in the thirteenth century with the presence in Konya of two of the most distinguished refugees fleeing before the Mongols, Baha al-din Walad and his son Mawlana Jalal al-din Balkhi Rumi, whose Mathnawi, composed in Konya, constitutes one of the crowning glories of classical Persian literature.”
  5. ^ Barks, Coleman, Rumi: The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing, HarperCollins, 2005, p. xxv, ISBN 0-06-075050-2
  6. ^ Note: Rumi’s shrine is now known as the Mevlana Museum in Turkey
  7. ^ Lazard, Gilbert “The Rise of the New Persian Language”, in Frye, R. N., The Cambridge History of Iran, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, Vol. 4, pp. 595–632. (Lapidus, Ira, 2002, A Brief History of Islamic Societies, “Under Arab rule, Arabic became the principal language for administration and religion. The substitution of Arabic for Middle Persian was facilitated by the translation of Persian classics into Arabic. Arabic became the main vehicle of Persian high culture, and remained such will into the eleventh century. Parsi declined and was kept alive mainly by the Zoroastrian priesthood in western Iran. The Arab conquests however, helped make Persian rather than Arabic the most common spoken language in Khurasan and the lands beyond the Oxus River. Paradoxically, Arab and Islamic domination created a Persian cultural region in areas never before unified by Persian speech. A new Persian evolved out of this complex linguistic situation. In the ninth century the Tahirid governors of Khurasan began to have the old Persian language written in Arabic script rather than in pahlavi characters. At the same time, eastern lords in the small principalities began to patronize a local court poetry in an elevated form of Persian. The new poetry was inspired by Arabic verse forms, so that Iranian patrons who did not understand Arabic could comprehend and enjoy the presentation of an elevated and dignified poetry in the manner of Baghdad. This new poetry flourished in regions where the influence of Abbasid Arabic culture was attenuated and where it had no competition from the surviving tradition of Middle Persian literary classics cultivated for religious purposes as in Western Iran.” “In the western regions, including Iraq, Syria and Egypt, and the lands of the far Islamic west including North Africa and Spain, Arabic became the predominant language of both high literary culture and spoken discourse.” pp. 125–132, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.)
  8. ^ Charles Haviland (2007-09-30). “The roar of Rumi – 800 years on”. BBC News. . Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  9. ^ a b c Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). pp 90-92:”Baha al-Din’s disciples also traced his family lineage to the first caliph, Abu Bakr (Sep 9; Af 7; JNO 457; Dow 213). This probably stems from willful confusion over his paternal great grandmother, who was the daughter of Abu Bakr of Sarakhs, a noted jurist (d. 1090). The most complete genealogy offered for family stretches back only six or seven generations and cannot possibly reach to Abu Bakr, the companion and first caliph of the Prophet, who died two years after the Prophet, in A.D. 634 (FB 5-6 n.3).”
  10. ^ a b c H. Algar, “BAHĀʾ-AL-DĪN MOAMMAD WALAD “ , Encyclopedia Iranica. There is no reference to such descent in the works of Bahāʾ-e Walad and Mawlānā Jalāl-al-Dīn or in the inscriptions on their sarcophagi. The attribution may have arisen from confusion between the caliph and another Abū Bakr, Šams-al-Aʾemma Abū Bakr Sarasī (d. 483/1090), the well-known Hanafite jurist, whose daughter, Ferdows ātūn, was the mother of Amad aīb, Bahāʾ-e Walad’s grandfather (see Forūzānfar, Resāla, p. 6). Tradition also links Bahāʾ-e Walad’s lineage to the ᵛārazmšāh dynasty. His mother is said to have been the daughter of ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Moammad ārazmšāh (d. 596/1200), but this appears to be excluded for chronological reasons (Forūzānfar, Resāla, p. 7) [3]
  11. ^ a b c (Ritter, H.; Bausani, A. “Jalāl al- Dīn Rūmī b. Bahāʾ al-Dīn Sulān al-ʿulamāʾ Walad b. usayn b. Amad haībī .” Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2009. Brill Online. Excerpt: “known by the sobriquet Mawlānā (Mevlânâ), Persian poet and founder of the Mawlawiyya order of dervishes”):”The assertions that his family tree goes back to Abū Bakr, and that his mother was a daughter of the hwārizmshāh ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Muammad (Aflākī, i, 8-9) do not hold on closer examination (B. Furūzānfarr, Mawlānā jalāl Dīn , Tehrān 1315, 7; ʿAlīnaī Sharīʿatmadārī, Nad-i matn-i mathnawī, in Yaghmā , xii (1338), 164; Amad Aflākī, Ariflerin menkibeleri, trans. Tahsin Yazıcı, Ankara 1953, i, Önsöz, 44).”)
  12. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). pp 44:“Baha al-Din’s father, Hosayn, had been a religious scholar with a bent for asceticism, occupied like his own father before him, Ahmad, with the family profession of preacher (khatib). Of the four canonical schools of Sunni Islam, the family adhered to the relatively liberal Hanafi rite. Hosayn-e Khatibi enjoyed such renown in his youth – so says Aflaki with characteristic exaggeration – that Razi al-Din Nayshapuri and other famous scholars came to study with him (Af 9; for the legend about Baha al-Din, see below, “The Mythical Baha al-Din”). Another report indicates that Baha al-Din’s grandfather, Ahmad al-Khatibi, was born to Ferdows Khatun, a daughter of the reputed Hanafite jurist and author Shams al-A’emma Abu Bakr of Sarakhs, who died circa 1088 (Af 75; FB 6 n.4; Mei 74 n. 17). This is far from implausible and, if true, would tend to suggest that Ahmad al-Khatabi had studied under Shams al-A’emma. Prior to that the family could supposedly trace its roots back to Isfahan. We do not learn the name of Baha al-Din’s mother in the sources, only that he referred to her as “Mama” (Mami), and that she lived to the 1200s.”(pg 44)
  13. ^ Ahmed, Nazeer, Islam in Global History: From the Death of Prophet Muhammed to the First World War, p.58, Xlibris Corporation (2000), ISBN 0-7388-5962-1
  14. ^ Hz. Mawlana and Shams by Sefik Can
  15. ^ The Essential Rumi. Translations by Coleman Barks, p. xx.
  16. ^ Helminski, Camille. “Introduction to Rumi: Daylight”. . Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  17. ^ Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (1987). Islamic Art and Spirituality. SUNY Press. pp. 120. ISBN 0887061745.
  18. ^ Mevlana Jalal al-din Rumi
  19. ^ Naini, Majid. The Mysteries of the Universe and Rumi’s Discoveries on the Majestic Path of Love. 
  20. ^ Abdul Rahman Jami notes:

من چه گویم وصف آن عالی‌جناب — نیست پیغمبر ولی دارد کتاب

مثنوی معنوی مولوی — هست قرآن در زبان پهلوی

What can I say in praise of that great one?
He is not a Prophet but has come with a book;
The Spiritual Masnavi of Mowlavi
Is the Qur’an in the language of Pahlavi (Persian).

(Khawaja Abdul Hamid Irfani, “The Sayings of Rumi and Iqbal”, Bazm-e-Rumi, 1976.)

  1. ^ J.T.P. de Bruijn, “Comparative Notes on Sanai and ‘Attar” , The Heritage of Sufism, L. Lewisohn, ed., pp. 361: “It is common place to mention Hakim Sana’i (d. 525/1131) and Farid al-Din ‘Attar (1221) together as early highlights in a tradition of Persian mystical poetry which reached its culmination in the work of Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi and those who belonged to the early Mawlawi circle. There is abundant evidence available to prove that the founders of the Mawlawwiya in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries regarded these two poets as their most important predecessors”
  2. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2008 (revised edition). pg 306: “The manuscripts versions differ greatly in the size of the text and orthography. Nicholson’s text has 25,577 lines though the average medieval and early modern manuscripts contained around 27,000 lines, meaning the scribes added two thousand lines or about eight percent more to the poem composed by Rumi. Some manuscripts give as many as 32000!”
  3. ^ Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teaching, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, rev. ed. (2008). pg 314: “The Foruzanfar’s edition of the Divan-e Shams compromises 3229 ghazals and qasidas making a total of almost 35000 lines, not including several hundred lines of stanzaic poems and nearly two thousand quatrains attributed to him”
  4. ^ Dar al-Masnavi Website, accessed December 2009: According to the Dar al-Masnavi website: “In Forûzânfar’s edition of Rumi’s Divan, there are 90 ghazals (Vol. 1, 29;Vol. 2, 1; Vol. 3, 6; Vol. 4, 8; Vol. 5, 19, Vol. 6, 0; Vol. 7, 27) and 19 quatrains entirely in Arabic. In addition, there are ghazals which are all Arabic except for the final line; many have one or two lines in Arabic within the body of the poem; some have as many as 9-13 consecutive lines in Arabic, with Persian verses preceding and following; some have alternating lines in Persian, then Arabic; some have the first half of the verse in Persian, the second half in Arabic.”
  5. ^ Mecdut MensurOghlu: “The Divan of Jalal al-Din Rumi contains 35 couplets in Turkish and Turkish-Persian which have recently been published me” (Celal al-Din Rumi’s turkische Verse: UJb. XXIV (1952), pp 106-115)
  6. ^ Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teaching, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, rev. ed. (2008):”“a couple of dozen at most of the 35,000 lines of the Divan-I Shams are in Turkish, and almost all of these lines occur in poems that are predominantly in Persian””
  7. ^ Dedes, D. 1993. Ποίηματα του Μαυλανά Ρουμή [Poems by Rumi]. Ta Istorika 10.18-19: 3-22. see also [4]
  8. ^ Franklin D. Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West: The Life, Teaching, and Poetry of Jalâl al-Din Rumi, rev. ed. (2008):”Three poems have bits of demotic Greek; these have been identified and translated into French, along with some Greek verses of Sultan Valad. Golpinarli (GM 416-417) indicates according to Vladimir Mir Mirughli, the Greek used in some of Rumi’s macaronic poems reflects the demotic Greek of the inhabitants of Anatolia. Golpinarli then argues that Rumi knew classical Persian and Arabic with precision, but typically composes poems in a more popular or colloquial Persian and Arabic.”.
  9. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West – The Life, Teachings, and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi, Oneworld Publications, 2000, Chapter 7.
  10. ^ Franklin Lewis, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West – The Life, Teachings, and Poetry of Jalal al-Din Rumi, Oneworld Publications, 2000.
  11. ^ M.M. Sharif, A History of Muslim Philosophy, Vol II, p. 827.
  12. ^ M.M. Sharif, A History of Muslim Philosophy, Vol II, p. 828.
  13. ^ The triumphal sun By Annemarie Schimmel. Pg 328
  14. ^ Various Scholars such as Khalifah Abdul Hakim (Jalal al-Din Rumi), Afzal Iqbal (The Life and Thought of Rumi), and others have expressed this opinion; for a direct secondary source, see citation below.
  15. ^ a b c Khalifah Abdul Hakim, “Jalal al-Din Rumi” in M.M. Sharif, ed., A History of Muslim Philosophy, Vol II.
  16. ^ Lewis 2000, pp. 407–408
  17. ^ Lewis 2000, p. 408
  18. ^ Quatrain No. 1173, translated by Ibrahim Gamard and Ravan Farhadi in “The Quatrains of Rumi”, an unpublished manuscript
  19. ^ Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “Rumi and the Sufi Tradition,” in Chelkowski (ed.), The Scholar and the Saint, p. 183
  20. ^ Quoted in Ibrahim Gamard, Rumi and Islam: Selections from His Stories, Poems, and Discourses — Annotated and Explained, p. 171.
  21. ^ Said, Farida. “REVIEWS: The Rumi craze”. . Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  22. ^ From Dr. Naini’s programs
  23. ^ From Rumi Network
  24. ^ The Diploma of Honorary Doctorate of the University of Tehran in the field of Persian Language and Literature will be granted to Professor Coleman Barks
  25. ^ Curiel,Jonathan, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer, Islamic verses: The influence of Muslim literature in the United States has grown stronger since the Sept. 11 attacks (February 6, 2005), Available online (Retrieved Aug 2006)
  26. ^ Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Banknote Museum: 7. Emission Group – Five Thousand Turkish Lira – I. Series, II. Series & III. Series. – Retrieved on 20 April 2009.
  27. ^ a b Franklin Lewis, Rumi Past and Present, East and West, Oneworld Publications, 2000.
  28. ^ See for example 4th grade Iranian school book where the story of the Parrot and Merchant from the Mathnawi is taught to students
  29. ^ Sufism
  30. ^ ISCA – The Islamic Supreme Council of America[dead link]
  31. ^ “Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi”. . Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  32. ^ a b About the Mevlevi Order of America
  33. ^ Hanut, Eryk (2000). Rumi: The Card and Book Pack : Meditation, Inspiration, Self-discovery. The Rumi Card Book. Tuttle Publishing. xiii. ISBN 1885203950.
  34. ^ Web Page Under Construction
  35. ^ Mango, Andrew, Atatürk: The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey, (2002), ISBN 1585670111.
  36. ^ Kloosterman Genealogy, Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
  37. ^ Edward G. Browne, A Literary History of Persia from the Earliest Times Until Firdawsh, 543 pp., Adamant Media Corporation, 2002, ISBN 1402160453, 9781402160455 (see p.437)
  38. ^ Annemarie Schimmel, Deciphering the Signs of God, 302 pp., SUNY Press, 1994, ISBN 0791419827, 9780791419823 (see p.210)
  39. ^ Today’S Zaman
  40. ^ UNESCO: 800th Anniversary of the Birth of Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi. – Retrieved on 22 April 2009.
  41. ^ UNESCO. Executive Board; 175th; UNESCO Medal in honour of Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi; 2006
  42. ^
  43. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs Afghanistan – Rumi’s 800 Anniversary
  44. ^ همشهری آنلاین
  45. ^ Int’l congress on Molana opens in Tehran
  46. ^ Iran Daily – Arts & Culture – 10/03/06
  47. ^ CHN | News
  48. ^ Podcast Interview with Coleman Barks on Rumi
  49. ^, 300 dervishes whirl for Rumi in Turkey
  50. ^ Leonard Lewisohn, Editor’s Note to Mawlana Rumi Review.
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Allama Mohammad Iqbal Thu, 02 Sep 2010 08:19:13 +0000 Allama Mohammad Iqbal
Allama Muhammad Iqbal (علامہ محمد اقبال / ʿAlāma Muḥammad Iqbāl; November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938), commonly referred to as ʿAlāma Iqbāl (علامہ اقبال‎, ʿAlāma meaning “scholar”), was a poet, philosopher and Islamist politician in British India. He wrote his works in Persian and Urdu. After studying in Cambridge, Munich and Heidelberg, Iqbal established Read the full article...]]>
Allama Mohammad Iqbal

Allama Muhammad Iqbal (علامہ محمد اقبال / ʿAlāma Muammad Iqbāl; November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938), commonly referred to as ʿAlāma Iqbāl (علامہ اقبال‎, ʿAlāma meaning “scholar”), was a poet, philosopher and Islamist politician in British India. He wrote his works in Persian and Urdu.

After studying in Cambridge, Munich and Heidelberg, Iqbal established a law practice, but concentrated primarily on writing scholarly works on politics, economics, ishi history, philosophy and religion. He is best known for his poetic works, including Asrar-e-Khudi—for which he was knightedRumuz-e-Bekhudi, and the Bang-e-Dara, with its enduring patriotic song Tarana-e-Hind. In India, he is widely regarded for the patriotic song, Saare Jahan Se Achcha. In Afghanistan and Iran, where he is known as Eghbāl-e-Lāhoorī (اقبال لاہوری‎ Iqbal of Lahore), he is highly regarded for his Persian works.

Iqbal was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilisation across the world, but specifically in South Asia; a series of famous lectures he delivered to this effect were published as The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. One of the most prominent leaders of the All India Muslim League, Iqbal encouraged the creation of a “state in northwestern India for Muslims” in his 1930 presidential address. Iqbal encouraged and worked closely with Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and he is known as Muffakir-e-Pakistan (“The Thinker of Pakistan”), Shair-e-Mashriq (“The Poet of the East”), and Hakeem-ul-Ummat (“The Sage of Ummah“). He is officially recognized as the national poet of Pakistan. The anniversary of his birth (یوم ولادت محمد اقبال‎ – Yōm-e Welādat-e Muammad Iqbāl) is on November 9, and is a national holiday in Pakistan.

Early life

Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born in 9 november in 1877 in Sialkot, Punjab, British India (now part of Pakistan) ; the eldest of five siblings in a Kashmiri family. Iqbal’s father Shaikh Nur Muhammad was a prosperous tailor, well-known for his devotion to Islam, and the family raised their children with deep religious grounding.

Iqbal was educated initially by tutors in languages and writing, history, poetry and religion. His potential as a poet and writer was recognized by one of his tutors, Syed Mir Hassan, and Iqbal would continue to study under him at the Scotch Mission College in Sialkot, now known as Murray College. The student became proficient in several languages and the skill of writing prose and poetry, and graduated in 1892. Following custom, at the age of 15 Iqbal’s family arranged for him to be married to Karim Bibi, the daughter of an affluent Gujrati physician. The couple had two children: a daughter, Mi’raj Begam (born 1895) and a son, Aftab (born 1899). Iqbal’s third son died soon after birth. The husband and wife were unhappy in their marriage and eventually divorced in 1916.

Iqbal entered the Government College in Lahore where he studied philosophy, English literature and Arabic and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating cum laude. He won a gold medal for topping his examination in philosophy. While studying for his masters’ degree, Iqbal came under the wing of Sir Thomas Arnold, a scholar of Islam and modern philosophy at the college. Arnold exposed the young man to Western culture and ideas, and served as a bridge for Iqbal between the ideas of East and West. Iqbal was appointed to a readership in Arabic at the Oriental College in Lahore, and he published his first book in Urdu, The Knowledge of Economics in 1903. In 1905 Iqbal published the patriotic song, Tarana-e-Hind (Song of India).

At Sir Thomas’s encouragement, Iqbal travelled to and spent many years studying in Europe. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College at Cambridge in 1907, while simultaneously studying law at Lincoln’s Inn, from where he qualified as a barrister in 1908. Iqbal also met a Muslim student, Atiyah Faizi in 1907, and had a close relationship with her. In Europe, he started writing his poetry in Persian as well. Throughout his life, Iqbal would prefer writing in Persian as he believed it allowed him to fully express philosophical concepts, and it gave him a wider audience. It was while in England that he first participated in politics. Following the formation of the All-India Muslim League in 1906, Iqbal was elected to the executive committee of its British chapter in 1908. Together with two other politicians, Syed Hassan Bilgrami and Syed Ameer Ali, Iqbal sat on the subcommittee which drafted the constitution of the League. Working under the supervision of Friedrich Hommel, Iqbal published a thesis titled: The Development of Metaphysics in Persia.[

Literary career

Upon his return to India in 1908, Iqbal took up assistant professorship at the Government College in Lahore, but for financial reasons he relinquished it within a year to practice law. During this period, Iqbal's personal life was in turmoil. He divorced Karim Bibi in 1916, but provided financial support to her and their children for the rest of his life.

While maintaining his legal practice, Iqbal began concentrating on spiritual and religious subjects, and publishing poetry and literary works. He became active in the Anjuman-e-Himayat-e-Islam, a congress of Muslim intellectuals, writers and poets as well as politicians, and in 1919 became the general secretary of the organisation. Iqbal's thoughts in his work primarily focused on the spiritual direction and development of human society, centred around experiences from his travel and stay in Western Europe and the Middle East. He was profoundly influenced by Western philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson and Goethe, and soon became a strong critic of Western society's separation of religion from state and what he perceived as its obsession with materialist pursuits.

The poetry and philosophy of Mawlana Rumi bore the deepest influence on Iqbal's mind. Deeply grounded in religion since childhood, Iqbal would begin intensely concentrating on the study of Islam, the culture and history of Islamic civilization and its political future, and embrace Rumi as "his guide." Iqbal would feature Rumi in the role of a guide in many of his poems, and his works focused on reminding his readers of the past glories of Islamic civilization, and delivering a message of a pure, spiritual focus on Islam as a source for socio-political liberation and greatness. Iqbal denounced political divisions within and amongst Muslim nations, and frequently alluded to and spoke in terms of the global Muslim community, or the Ummah. It is said once great Bengali writer Tagore commented that a comparison between him and Iqbal is irrelevant because he does not write in his own mother tongue Punjabi."His language is fully developed while mine is not," replied Iqbal but Tagore said "My language was not developed, I have developed it"

Works in Persian

Iqbal's poetic works are written mostly in Persian rather than Urdu. Among his 12,000 verses of poem, about 7,000 verses are in Persian. In 1915, he published his first collection of poetry, the Asrar-e-Khudi (Secrets of the Self) in Persian. The poems emphasise the spirit and self from a religious, spiritual perspective. Many critics have called this Iqbal's finest poetic work  In Asrar-e-Khudi, Iqbal has explained his philosophy of "Khudi," or "Self." Iqbal' s use of term "Khudi" is synonymous with the word of "Rooh" as mentioned in the Quran. "Rooh" is that divine spark which is present in every human being and was present in Adam for which God ordered all of the angels to prostrate in front of Adam. But one has to make a great journey of transformation to realize that divine spark which Iqbal calls "Khudi". A similitude of this journey could be understood by the relationship of fragrance and seed. Every seed has the potential for fragrance with in it. But to reach its fragrance the seed must go through all the different changes and stages. First breaking out of its shell. Then breaking the ground to come into the light developing roots at the same time. Then fighting against the elements to develop leaves and flowers. Finally reaching its pinnacle by attaining the fragrance that was hidden with in it. Same way to reach one's khudi or rooh one needs to go through multiple stages which Iqbal himself went through and encourages other to travel this spiritual path. Like not all seeds reach the level of fragrance, many die along the way incomplete. Same way only few people could climb this mount Everest of spirituality, most get consumed along the way by materialism. The same concept was used by Farid ud Din Attar in his "Mantaq-ul-Tair". He proves by various means that the whole universe obeys the will of the "Self." Iqbal condemns self-destruction. For him the aim of life is self-realization and self-knowledge. He charts the stages through which the "Self" has to pass before finally arriving at its point of perfection, enabling the knower of the "Self" to become the viceregent of God.

In his Rumuz-e-Bekhudi (Hints of Selflessness), Iqbal seeks to prove that Islamic way of life is the best code of conduct for a nation's viability. A person must keep his individual characteristics intact but once this is achieved he should sacrifice his personal ambitions for the needs of the nation. Man cannot realise the "Self" out of society. Also in Persian and published in 1917, this group of poems has as its main themes the ideal community, Islamic ethical and social principles and the relationship between the individual and society. Although he is true throughout to Islam, Iqbal recognises also the positive analogous aspects of other religions. The Rumuz-e-Bekhudi complements the emphasis on the self in the Asrar-e-Khudi and the two collections are often put in the same volume under the title Asrar-e-Rumuz (Hinting Secrets), and it is addressed to the world's Muslims. Iqbal sees the individual and his community as reflections of each other. The individual needs to be strengthened before he can be integrated into the community, whose development in turn depends on the preservation of the communal ego. It is through contact with others that an ego learns to accept the limitations of its own freedom and the meaning of love. Muslim communities must ensure order in life and must therefore preserve their communal tradition. It is in this context that Iqbal sees the vital role of women, who as mothers are directly responsible for inculcating values in their children.

Iqbal's 1924 publication, the Payam-e-Mashriq (The Message of the East) is closely connected to the West-östlicher Diwan by the famous German poet Goethe. Goethe bemoaned that the West had become too materialistic in outlook and expected that the East would provide a message of hope that would resuscitate spiritual values. Iqbal styles his work as a reminder to the West of the importance of morality, religion and civilization by underlining the need for cultivating feeling, ardour and dynamism. He explains that an individual could never aspire for higher dimensions unless he learns of the nature of spirituality. In his first visit to Afghanistan, he presented his book "Payam-e Mashreq" to King Amanullah Khan in which he admired the liberal movements of Afghanistan against the British Empire. In 1933, he was officially invited to Afghanistan to join the meetings regarding the establishment of Kabul University.

The Zabur-e-Ajam (Persian Psalms), published in 1927, includes the poems Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadeed (Garden of New Secrets) and Bandagi Nama (Book of Slavery). In Gulshan-e-Raz-e-Jadeed, Iqbal first poses questions, then answers them with the help of ancient and modern insight and shows how it effects and concerns the world of action. Bandagi Nama denounces slavery by attempting to explain the spirit behind the fine arts of enslaved societies. Here as in other books, Iqbal insists on remembering the past, doing well in the present and preparing for the future, emphasising love, enthusiasm and energy to fill the ideal life. Iqbal's 1932 work, the Javed Nama (Book of Javed) is named after and in a manner addressed to his son, who is featured in the poems, and follows the examples of the works of Ibn Arabi and Dante's The Divine Comedy, through mystical and exaggerated depiction across time. Iqbal depicts himself as Zinda Rud ("A stream full of life") guided by Rumi, "the master," through various heavens and spheres, and has the honour of approaching divinity and coming in contact with divine illuminations. In a passage re-living a historical period, Iqbal condemns the Muslim traitors who were instrumental in the defeat and death of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula of Bengal and Tipu Sultan of Mysore respectively by betraying them for the benefit of the British colonists, and thus delivering their country to the shackles of slavery. At the end, by addressing his son Javid, he speaks to the young people at large, and provides guidance to the "new generation."

His love to Persian language is evident in his works and poetry. He says in one of his poems:

گرچہ اردو در عذوبت شکر است

garche Urdū dar uzūbat shakar ast

لیک پارسی ام ز هندی شیرینتر است

lék Pārsī-am ze Hindī shīrīntar ast


Even though in sweetness Urdu* is sugar - (but) My Persian is sweeter than Urdu

Iqbal's first testing work published in Urdu, the Bang-e-Dara (The Call of the Marching Bell) of 1924, was a collection of poetry written by him in three distinct phases of his life. The poems he wrote up to 1905, the year Iqbal left for England imbibe patriotism and imagery of landscape, and includes the Tarana-e-Hind (The Song of India), popularly known as Saare Jahan Se Achcha and another poem Tarana-e-Milli (Anthem of the (Muslim) Community), which was composed in the same metre and rhyme scheme as Saare Jahan Se Achcha. The second set of poems date from between 1905 and 1908 when Iqbal studied in Europe and dwell upon the nature of European society, which he emphasized had lost spiritual and religious values. This inspired Iqbal to write poems on the historical and cultural heritage of Islamic culture and Muslim people, not from an Indian but a global perspective. Iqbal urges the global community of Muslims, addressed as the Ummah to define personal, social and political existence by the values and teachings of Islam. Poems such as Tulu'i Islam (Dawn of Islam) and Khizr-e-Rah (Guide of the Path) are especially acclaimed.

Iqbal preferred to work mainly in Persian for a predominant period of his career, but after 1930, his works were mainly in Urdu. The works of this period were often specifically directed at the Muslim masses of India, with an even stronger emphasis on Islam, and Muslim spiritual and political reawakening. Published in 1935, the Bal-e-Jibril (Wings of Gabriel) is considered by many critics as the finest of Iqbal's Urdu poetry, and was inspired by his visit to Spain, where he visited the monuments and legacy of the kingdom of the Moors. It consists of ghazals, poems, quatrains, epigrams and carries a strong sense religious passion.

The Pas Cheh Bayed Kard ai Aqwam-e-Sharq (What are we to do, O Nations of the East?) includes the poem Musafir (Traveller). Again, Iqbal depicts Rumi as a character and an exposition of the mysteries of Islamic laws and Sufi perceptions is given. Iqbal laments the dissension and disunity among the Indian Muslims as well as Muslim nations. Musafir is an account of one of Iqbal's journeys to Afghanistan, in which the Pashtun people are counseled to learn the "secret of Islam" and to "build up the self" within themselves. Iqbal's final work was the Armughan-e-Hijaz (The Gift of Hijaz), published posthumously in 1938. The first part contains quatrains in Persian, and the second part contains some poems and epigrams in Urdu. The Persian quatrains convey the impression as though the poet is travelling through the Hijaz in his imagination. Profundity of ideas and intensity of passion are the salient features of these short poems. The Urdu portion of the book contains some categorical criticism of the intellectual movements and social and political revolutions of the modern age.b

Political career

While dividing his time between law and poetry, Iqbal had remained active in the Muslim League. He supported Indian involvement in World War I, as well as the Khilafat movement and remained in close touch with Muslim political leaders such as Maulana Mohammad Ali and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He was a critic of the mainstream Indian National Congress, which he regarded as dominated by Hindus and was disappointed with the League when during the 1920s, it was absorbed in factional divides between the pro-British group led by Sir Muhammad Shafi and the centrist group led by Jinnah.

In November 1926, with the encouragement of friends and supporters, Iqbal contested for a seat in the Punjab Legislative Assembly from the Muslim district of Lahore, and defeated his opponent by a margin of 3,177 votes. He supported the constitutional proposals presented by Jinnah with the aim of guaranteeing Muslim political rights and influence in a coalition with the Congress, and worked with the Aga Khan and other Muslim leaders to mend the factional divisions and achieve unity in the Muslim League.

Revival of Islamic polity

Iqbal's second book in English, the Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, is a collection of his six lectures which he delivered at Madras, Hyderabad and Aligarh; first published as a collection in Lahore, in 1930. These lectures dwell on the role of Islam as a religion as well as a political and legal philosophy in the modern age. In these lectures Iqbal firmly rejects the political attitudes and conduct of Muslim politicians, whom he saw as morally misguided, attached to power and without any standing with Muslim masses. Iqbal expressed fears that not only would secularism weaken the spiritual foundations of Islam and Muslim society, but that India's Hindu-majority population would crowd out Muslim heritage, culture and political influence. In his travels to Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, he promoted ideas of greater Islamic political co-operation and unity, calling for the shedding of nationalist differences. He also speculated on different political arrangements to guarantee Muslim political power; in a dialogue with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Iqbal expressed his desire to see Indian provinces as autonomous units under the direct control of the British government and with no central Indian government. He envisaged autonomous Muslim provinces in India. Under one Indian union he feared for Muslims, who would suffer in many respects especially with regard to their existentially separate entity as Muslims. Sir Muhammad Iqbal was elected president of the Muslim League in 1930 at its session in Allahabad, in the United Provinces as well as for the session in Lahore in 1932. In his presidential address on December 29, 1930, Iqbal outlined a vision of an independent state for Muslim-majority provinces in northwestern India:

"I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British Empire, the formation of a consolidated Northwest Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims, at least of Northwest India."

In his speech, Iqbal emphasised that unlike Christianity, Islam came with "legal concepts" with "civic significance," with its "religious ideals" considered as inseparable from social order: "therefore, the construction of a policy on national lines, if it means a displacement of the Islamic principle of solidarity, is simply unthinkable to a Muslim." Iqbal thus stressed not only the need for the political unity of Muslim communities, but the undesirability of blending the Muslim population into a wider society not based on Islamic principles. He thus became the first politician to articulate what would become known as the Two-Nation Theory — that Muslims are a distinct nation and thus deserve political independence from other regions and communities of India. However, he would not elucidate or specify if his ideal Islamic state would construe a theocracy, even as he rejected secularism and nationalism. The latter part of Iqbal's life was concentrated on political activity. He would travel across Europe and West Asia to garner political and financial support for the League, and he reiterated his ideas in his 1932 address, and during the Third Round-Table Conference, he opposed the Congress and proposals for transfer of power without considerable autonomy or independence for Muslim provinces. He would serve as president of the Punjab Muslim League, and would deliver speeches and publish articles in an attempt to rally Muslims across India as a single political entity. Iqbal consistently criticised feudal classes in Punjab as well as Muslim politicians averse to the League.

Evaluating the contribution of Iqbal to the creation of Pakistan and modernization of Islam writes Sailen Debnath, “The concept of Islamic nationalism was theorized by Mohammad Iqbal. A philosopher and poet, Iqbal blended Islamic philosophy with the classical and modern philosophy of the West. He brought Islam at the door of modernism even retaining its catholicity and purity and worked out an ideological paradigm of pan-Islamism and Islamic nationalism in India. Since 1905 till his death, Iqbal built the philosophical bedrock for the establishment of Pakistan on the subtlety of argument, romanticism and dynamism. He met with no serious challenge of the kind from the Congress. He had no peers in the Muslim League; therefore, all its leaders followed his theory and philosophy without any contradiction. Thus Muslim communalism got a philosophy and secularism was engraved. On the basis of humanity and equality, Iqbal took Islam to be the best religion of the world. He supported Islamic state, culture and nationalism inevitably complementary to one another for the growth of pan-Islamism or Islamic internationalism. For greater and broader unity and brother- hood among the Muslims in pursuance of the Quran, Iqbal rejected blood-relationship as the basis of human unity. He asserted Islam as the inner force of Islamic brotherhood. Thus his theory brought together the majority of the Muslims from Bengal to the North Western frontier provinces, and this made the Indian Muslims to feel their identity with … Islam …and this in course of time paved the path to the creation of Pakistan”. ) (Ref. Sailen Debnath, Secularism: Western and Indian, ISBN 9788126913664, Atlantic Publishers, New Delhi.

Patron of The Journal Tolu-e-Islam

He was also the first patron of the historical, political, religious, cultural journal of Muslims of British India and Pakistan. This journal played an important part in the Pakistan movement. The name of this journal is The Journal Tolu-e-Islam. In 1935, according to his instructions, Syed Nazeer Niazi initiated and edited, a journal Tolu-e-Islam  named after the famous poem of Sir Muhammad Iqbal, Tulu'i Islam. He also dedicated the first edition of this journal to Sir Muhammad Iqbal. For a long time Sir Muhammad Iqbal wanted a journal to propagate his ideas and the aims and objective of Muslim league. It was Syed Nazeer Niazi, a close friend of him and a regular visitor to him during his last two years, who started this journal. He also made Urdu translation of The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, by Sir Muhammad Iqbal.

In the first monthly journal of Oct. 1935, an article "Millat Islamia Hind" The Muslim nation of India was published. In this article Syed Nazeer Niazi described the political conditions of British India and the aims and objective of Muslim community. He also discussed the basic principles of Islam which were aims and objective of Sir Muhammad Iqbal' concept of an Islamic State.

The early contributors to this journal were eminent Muslim scholars like Maulana Aslam Jairajpuri, Ghulam Ahmed Pervez, Dr. Zakir Hussain Khan, Syed Naseer Ahmed, Raja Hassan Akhtar, Maulvi Ghulam Yezdani, Ragheb Ahsan, Sheikh Suraj ul Haq, Rafee ud din Peer, Prof. fazal ud din Qureshi, Agha Muhammad Safdar, Asad Multani, Dr. Tasadaq Hussain, Prof. Yusuf Saleem Chisti.

Afterward, this journal was continued  by Ghulam Ahmed Pervez,who had already contributed many articles in the early editions of this journal. After the emergence of Pakistan, the mission of the journal Tolu-e-Islam was to propagate the implementation of the principle which had inspired the demand for separate Muslim State according to the Quran. This journal is still published by Idara Tolu-e-Islam, Lahore.

Relationship with Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Ideologically separated from Congress Muslim leaders, Iqbal had also been disillusioned with the politicians of the Muslim League owing to the factional conflict that plagued the League in the 1920s. Discontent with factional leaders like Sir Muhammad Shafi and Sir Fazl-ur-Rahman, Iqbal came to believe that only Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a political leader capable of preserving this unity and fulfilling the League's objectives on Muslim political empowerment. Building a strong, personal correspondence with Jinnah, Iqbal was an influential force on convincing Jinnah to end his self-imposed exile in London, return to India and take charge of the League. Iqbal firmly believed that Jinnah was the only leader capable of drawing Indian Muslims to the League and maintaining party unity before the British and the Congress:

"I know you are a busy man but I do hope you won't mind my writing to you often, as you are the only Muslim in India today to whom the community has right to look up for safe guidance through the storm which is coming to North-West India and, perhaps, to the whole of India."

There were significant differences between the two men — while Iqbal believed that Islam was the source of government and society, Jinnah was a believer in secular government and had laid out a secular vision for Pakistan where religion would have "nothing to do with the business of the state." Iqbal had backed the Khilafat struggle; Jinnah had dismissed it as "religious frenzy." And while Iqbal espoused the idea of Muslim-majority provinces in 1930, Jinnah would continue to hold talks with the Congress through the decade and only officially embraced the goal of Pakistan in 1940. Some historians postulate that Jinnah always remained hopeful for an agreement with the Congress and never fully desired the independence of India. Iqbal's close correspondence with Jinnah is speculated by some historians as having been responsible for Jinnah's embrace of the idea of Pakistan. Iqbal elucidated to Jinnah his vision of a separate Muslim state in a letter sent on June 21, 1937:

"A separate federation of Muslim Provinces, reformed on the lines I have suggested above, is the only course by which we can secure a peaceful India and save Muslims from the domination of Non-Muslims. Why should not the Muslims of North-West India and Bengal be considered as nations entitled to self-determination just as other nations in India and outside India are."

Iqbal, serving as president of the Punjab Muslim League, criticised Jinnah's political actions, including a political agreement with Punjabi leader Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan, whom Iqbal saw as a representative of feudal classes and not committed to Islam as the core political philosophy. Nevertheless, Iqbal worked constantly to encourage Muslim leaders and masses to support Jinnah and the League. Speaking about the political future of Muslims in India, Iqbal said:

"There is only one way out. Muslims should strengthen Jinnah's hands. They should join the Muslim League. Indian question, as is now being solved, can be countered by our united front against both the Hindus and the English. Without it, our demands are not going to be accepted. People say our demands smack of communalism. This is sheer propaganda. These demands relate to the defense of our national existence.... The united front can be formed under the leadership of the Muslim League. And the Muslim League can succeed only on account of Jinnah. Now none but Jinnah is capable of leading the Muslims."

Final years & death

In 1933, after returning from a trip to Spain and Afghanistan, Iqbal began suffering from a mysterious throat illness. He spent his final years helping Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan establish the Dar ul Islam Trust Institute at the latter's Jamalpur estate near Pathankot, an institution where studies in classical Islam and contemporary social science would be subsidised, and advocating the demand for an independent Muslim state. Iqbal ceased practising law in 1934 and he was granted pension by the Nawab of Bhopal. After suffering for months from his illness, Iqbal died in Lahore in 1938. His tomb is located in Hazuri Bagh, the enclosed garden between the entrance of the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort, and official guards are maintained there by the Government of Pakistan.

Iqbal is commemorated widely in Pakistan, where he is regarded as the ideological founder of the state. His Tarana-e-Hind is a song that is widely used in India as a patriotic song speaking of communal harmony. His birthday is annually commemorated in Pakistan as Iqbal Day, a national holiday. Iqbal is the namesake of many public institutions, including the Allama Iqbal Medical College, Allama Iqbal Open University, the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, and Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town in Karachi. Government and public organizations have sponsored the establishment of colleges and schools dedicated to Iqbal, and have established the Iqbal Academy to research, teach and preserve the works, literature and philosophy of Iqbal. His son Javid Iqbal has served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Influence and legacy

{{quote|If we are resolved to describe Islam as a system of superior values, we are obliged, first of all, to acknowledge that we are not the true representatives of Islam.|Muhammad Iqbal Allama Iqbal's poetry has also been translated into several European languages where his works were famous during the early part of the 20th century. Iqbal’s Asrar-i-Khudi and Javed Nama were translated into English by R A Nicholson and A J Arberry respectively.

Legacy in India

Iqbal's poem Saare Jahan Se Achcha has remained popular in India for over a century. Mahatma Gandhi is said to have sung it over a hundred times when he was imprisoned at Yerawada Jail in Pune in the 1930s. The poem was set to music in the 1950s by sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and recorded by singer Lata Mangeshkar. Stanzas (1), (3), (4), and (6) of the song became an unofficial national anthem in India, and were also turned into the official quick march of the Indian Armed Forces.[25][dead link] Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian cosmonaut, employed the first line of the song “sāre jahāñ se acchā hindostāñ hamārā” that means “Better than the entire world, is our Hindustan (Indian subcontinent) ” in 1984 to describe to then prime minister Indira Gandhi how India appeared from outer space. Current prime minister, Manmohan Singh, quoted the poem at his first press conference.

Source: Wikipedia

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Abul Qasim Ferdawsi Thu, 02 Sep 2010 07:24:32 +0000 Abul Qasim Ferdawsi
Hakīm Abu’l-Qāsim Firdawsī (Persian: ابوالقاسم فردوسی), more commonly transliterated as Ferdowsi (or Firdausi), (940–1020) is a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shāhnāmeh, the national epic of Persian people and of the Iranian World. Life Ferdowsi, the son of a wealthy land owner, was born in 940 in a small village Read the full article...]]>
Abul Qasim Ferdawsi

Hakīm Abu’l-Qāsim Firdawsī (Persian: ابوالقاسم فردوسی), more commonly transliterated as Ferdowsi (or Firdausi), (940–1020) is a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shāhnāmeh, the national epic of Persian people and of the Iranian World.


Ferdowsi, the son of a wealthy land owner, was born in 940 in a small village named Paj near Tus in Khorasanin North East of Iran.

Ferdowsi was a Shi’ite Muslim, which is apparent from the Shahnameh itself  and also confirmed by early accounts.

His great epic, the Shāhnāmeh (“The Great Book”: in Persian, Shah means king, monarch or dynast, but when it is used as a prefix, it means “Big”, “Great” or “Major”.), to which he devoted more than 35 years, was originally composed for presentation to the Samanid princes of Khorasan, who were the chief instigators of the revival of Iranian cultural traditions after the Arab conquest of the seventh century.

When he was just 23-years old, he found a “Shāhnāmeh” written by Abu-Mansour Almoammari; it was not, however, in poetic form. It consisted of older versions ordered by Abu-Mansour ibn Abdol-razzagh. The discovery would be a fateful moment in the life of the poet. Ferdowsi started his composition of the Shahnameh in the Samanid era in 977 A.D[3]. During Ferdowsi’s lifetime the Samanid dynasty was conquered by the Ghaznavid Empire.

After 30 years of hard work, he finished the book and two or three years after that, Ferdowsi went to Ghazni, the Ghaznavid capital, to present it to the king. There are various stories in medieval texts describing the lack of interest shown by the new king, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, in Ferdowsi and his lifework. According to historians, Mahmud had promised Ferdowsi a dinar for every distich written in the Shahnameh (60,000 dinars), but later retracted and presented him with dirhams (20,000 dirhams), which were at that time much less valuable than dinars (every 100 dirhams worth 1 dinar). Some think it was the jealousy of other poets working at the king’s court that led to this treachery; the incident encouraged Ferdowsi’s enemies in the court. Ferdowsi rejected the money and, by some accounts, he gave it to a poor man who sold wine. Wandering for a time in Sistan and Mazandaran, he eventually returned to Tus, heartbroken and enraged.

He had left behind a poem for the King, stuck to the wall of the room he had worked in for all those years. It was a long and angry poem, more like a curse, and ended with the words:

“Heaven’s vengeance will not forget. Shrink tyrant from my words of fire, and tremble at a poet’s ire.”

Ferdowsi is said to have died around 1020 in poverty at the age of 85, embittered by royal neglect, though fully confident of his work’s ultimate success and fame (clearly seen, especially in the last verses of his book). One tradition claims Mahmud re-sent the amount promised to Ferdowsi’s village, but when the messengers reached his house, he had died a few hours earlier. The gift was then given to his daughter, since his son had died before his father at the age of 37. However, his daughter refused to receive the sum, thus making Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh immortal.

Later the king ordered the money be used for repairing an inn in the way from Merv to Tus, named “Robat Chaheh” so that it may remain in remembrance of the poet. This inn now lies in ruins, but still exists.

Some say that Ferdowsi’s daughter inherited her father’s hard earned money, and she built a new and strong bridge with a beautiful stone caravanserai nearby for travellers to rest and trade and tell stories.

Ferdowsi was buried at the yard of his own home, where his mausoleum now lies. It was not until Reza Shah Pahlavi’s rule, in 1925, that a mausoleum was built for the great poet.


Phoenix, mythical bird of the Shahnameh Illustrations, especially those of Mahmoud Farshchian, are historical and use the different themes for the stories.

His masterpiece, the Shāhnāmeh, is the most popular and influential national epic belonging to the Iranian people that at one time made up the greater Persian Empire, named in Prophet Zarathustra’s Gatha as Airyanem Vaejah, in Shahnameh as Iran, and in Greek as Persian Empire. In this context we use “Persians” to denote what the Greeks viewed as the people of Airyanem Vaejah and the word Persia for all its territories. Thus the greatest achievement of Ferdowsi is to have all of the named fragments of the former Persian Empire, once again recite together “if there is no Iran, may my body be vanquished, and in this land and nation no one remain alive, if everyone of us dies one by one, it is better than giving our country to the enemy.”} If there is a single document in the Persian literature that can reunite Persia and all of its nations, it is this document.[original research?][citation needed]

The Shāhnāmeh (Book of Kings), or “The Great Book” consists of the translation of an even older Middle Persian work titled the Book of Lords. It has remained exceptionally popular among Persians for over a thousand years. It tells the history of old Persia before the Arab conquest of the region. This tale, all written in poetic form and in Darī Persian, starts 7,000 years ago, narrating the story of Persian kings, knights, system of laws, Religion, victories and tragedies. The main source of Ferdowsi for historical and some of the mythological events was “Khodaynama”, a book which was gathered and written during the Sassanid era.

Ferdowsi was commissioned by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni to write a book about his valour and conquests. However, the poet, though dedicating the book to the King for an agreed fee of 30 horses loaded with gold coins, decided to tell the story of the Kings that had made the land of Persia into an Empire throughout the ages. This task was to take the poet some thirty years or more, during which he included the verse:

Upon the presentation of the Shāhnāmeh, Sultan Mahmud was furious for not being the subject of the book and finally betrayed the agreement by offering Ferdowsi thirty camels loaded with Silver; the offer was refused by the poet. Heartbroken and poor the poet returned to his home town of Tus, the Sultan eventually realising his error and the true value of the Shāhnāmeh sent the agreed fee to the poet yet, upon the arrival of the camels the Ferdowsi’s coffin was being carried out through the exit gate of Tus to his grave. “Knowledge is power”. توانا بود هر که دانا بود


oFerdowsi is one of the undisputed giants of Persian literature. After Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh a number of other works similar in nature surfaced over the centuries within the cultural sphere of the Persian language. Without exception, all such works were based in style and method on Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh, but none of them could quite achieve the same degree of fame and popularity as Ferdowsi’s masterpiece.

Ferdowsi has a unique place in Persian history because of the strides he made in reviving and regenerating the Persian language and cultural traditions. His works are cited as a crucial component in the persistence of the Persian language, as those works allowed much of the tongue to remain codified and intact. In this respect, Ferdowsi surpasses Nezami, Khayyam, Asadi Tusi, and other seminal Persian literary figures in his impact on Persian culture and language. Many modern Iranians see him as the father of the modern Persian language.

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica:The Persians regard Ferdowsi as the greatest of their poets. For nearly a thousand years they have continued to read and to listen to recitations from his masterwork, the Shah-nameh, in which the Persian national epic found its final and enduring form. Though written about 1,000 years ago, this work is as intelligible to the average, modern Iranian as the King James version of the Bible is to a modern English-speaker. The language, based as the poem is on a Dari original, is pure Persian with only the slightest admixture of Arabic

Source: Wikipedia

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Khwaja Abdullah Ansari Tue, 03 Aug 2010 05:48:58 +0000 Khwaja Abdullah Ansari
Shaikh al Islam `Abdullah e Ansari was born on 4 May 1006 in Heart, a province in western Afghanistan.   He grew up amongst such scholars as Abu Ayyubs, of ansar a holy poet and a philosopher he enjoyed a reputation of a wise man until many centuries beyond his death. Khwaja Abdullah belongs to Read the full article...]]>
Khwaja Abdullah Ansari

Shaikh al Islam `Abdullah e Ansari was born on 4 May 1006 in Heart, a province in western Afghanistan.  

He grew up amongst such scholars as Abu Ayyubs, of ansar a holy poet and a philosopher he enjoyed a reputation of a wise man until many centuries beyond his death.

Khwaja Abdullah belongs to a short list of the most excellent poets of the sufi realm,   Khwaja Abdullah’s literatury works is described by Nasr Musajja as strangely enough the most important  works to our society. As the author of the first Risales, treatise ” in gereimter Prosa” reports that in this century no comparable scholar was found to the caliber of Ansari.  

His poems are the thoughts of an intimate dialog of the soul with God in form of Monologs.  

Ansari loosely tightens animation and added theoretical views in his lectures with inserts of legends and parabolas of that era, which only alternates with each of the verses.

Ansari late in his life was somewhat an unconsidered author, his memory weakened but he had already cleared the way for many disciples to follow in his footsteps. The translation of Tabaqatu s Sufiyya procured or, biographies of holy sufis the from the Arab origins is the major work of him that is currently available..

According to, Abd AR Rahman Sulamis 1021 in a hand written memoir preserved the works of Khwaja Abdullah from its original (Dari) and from its contents Jamis Nafahatu l developed for generations to come.

Khwaja Abdullah lived in privacy, from 1476 on.   In connection with Jami we discover that Ansari was first that noted the story of Yusuf and Zulaikha in Persian.

Khwaja Abdullah Ansari died in Herat the year 1088, and is burial place in Herat is still today a place of pilgrimage for thousands of Sufis and fans.

I Came

By Khwaja Abdullah Ansari

From the un-manifest I came,
And pitched my tent, in the Forest of Material existence.
I passed through mineral and vegetable kingdoms,
Then my mental equipment carried me into the animal kingdom;
Having reached there I crossed beyond it;
Then in the crystal clear shell of human heart
I nursed the drop of self in a Pearl,
And in association with good men
Wandered round the Prayer House,
And having experienced that, crossed beyond it;
Then I took the road that leads to Him,
And became a slave at His gate;
Then the duality disappeared
And I became absorbed in Him.

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Abdul Qader Bedil Mon, 03 May 2010 05:17:34 +0000 Abdul Qader Bedil
Mawlānā Abul-Ma’āni Mirzā Abdul-Qādir Bēdil (Persian: مولانا ابوالمعانی عبدالقادر بیدل), also known as Bīdel Dehlavī (1642–1720), was a famous Persian poet and Sufi born in Azimabad (present day Patna, India); to a family of Chaghatay Turkic descent. According to some other sources, he was born in Khwaja Rawash, an area of Kabul province in today’s Read the full article...]]>
Abdul Qader Bedil

Mawlānā Abul-Ma’āni Mirzā Abdul-Qādir Bēdil (Persian: مولانا ابوالمعانی عبدالقادر بیدل), also known as Bīdel Dehlavī (1642–1720), was a famous Persian poet and Sufi born in Azimabad (present day Patna, India); to a family of Chaghatay Turkic descent. According to some other sources, he was born in Khwaja Rawash, an area of Kabul province in today’s Afghanistan.

He mostly wrote Ghazal and Rubayee (quatrain) in Persian and is the author of 16 books of poetry (contain nearly 147,000 verses and include several masnavi) . He is considered as one of the prominent poets of Indian School of Poetry in Persian literature, and owns his unique Style in it. Both Mirza Ghalib and Iqbal-e Lahori were influenced by him. His books include Telesm-e Hairat (طلسم حيرت), Toor e Ma’refat (طور معرفت), Chahār Unsur (چهار عنصر) and Ruqa’āt (رقعات).

Possibly as a result of being brought up in such a mixed religious environment, Bedil had considerably more tolerant views than his poetic contemporaries. He preferred free thought to accepting the established beliefs of his time, siding with the common people and rejecting the clergy who he often saw as corrupt.

Upon his emergence as a poet, Bedil gained recognition throughout the Iranian cultural continent. Since late 18th century his poetry gradually lost its position among Iranians while it has been much welcomed in Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. Bedil came back to prominence in Iran in 1980s. Literary critics Mohammad-Reza Shafiei-Kadkani and Shams Langrudi were instrumental in Bidel’s re-emergence in Iran. Iran also sponsored two international conferences on Bedil.

The Indian school of Persian poetry and especially Bedil’s poetry is criticized for its complex and implicit meanings, however, it is much welcomed in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and India than in Iran. The main reason could be his style which is kept a bit Indian. In Afghanistan, a unique school in poetry studying is dedicated to Bedil’s poetry called Bedil Shināsī (Bedil studies) and those who have studied his poetry are called Bedil Shinās (Bedil expert). His poetry plays a major role in Indo-Persian classical music of central Asia as well. Many Afghan classical musicians, i.e. Mohammad Hussain Sarahang, have sung plenty of Bedil’s ghazals.

His grave, called Bagh-e-Bedil (Garden of Bedil) is situated at Mathura Road in Delhi. Ustaad Sayed Mohammad Daoud Al’Hossaini, an Afghan Bedil expert, arguably showed that seven months after his funeral, Bedil’s body was brought back by friends and relatives from Delhi to Khwaja Rawash in Kabul, where the relatives of Barlas-e Tshaghatai lived. The grave is also called Bagh-e-Bedil (Garden of Bedil). Sallahouddin-e Saljouqi proves this thesis on p. 87 of his book “Naqd-e Bedil”, that Bedil’s grave does not exist in Delhi, but in Khwaja Rawash.
Source: Wikipedia, Free Encyclopedia

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Hafez Shirazi Wed, 03 Mar 2010 05:25:48 +0000 Hafez Shirazi
Khwāja Šamsu d-Dīn Muḥammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī (Persian: خواجه شمس‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی), known by his pen name Hāfez (1325/26–1389/90)[1] was a Persian lyric poet. His collected works (Divan) are to be found in the homes of most Iranians, who learn his poems by heart and use them as proverbs and sayings to this day. His Read the full article...]]>
Hafez Shirazi

Khwāja Šamsu d-Dīn Muammad Hāfez-e Šīrāzī (Persian: خواجه شمس‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی), known by his pen name Hāfez (1325/26–1389/90)[1] was a Persian lyric poet. His collected works (Divan) are to be found in the homes of most Iranians, who learn his poems by heart and use them as proverbs and sayings to this day. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, and have influenced post-Fourteenth Century Persian writing more than anything else has.[2][3]

The major themes of his ghazals are love, the celebration of wine and intoxication, keeping the sincere faith and exposing the hypocrisy of the religious leaders.

His presence in the lives of Iranians can be felt through Hafez-reading (fāl-e hāfez, Persian: فال حافظ), frequent use of his poems in Persian traditional music, visual art and Persian calligraphy. His tomb in Shiraz is a masterpiece of Iranian architecture and visited often. Adaptations, imitations and translations of Hafez’ poems exist in all major languages.


Despite his profound effect on Persian life and culture and his enduring popularity and influence, few details of his life are known, and particularly about his early life there is a great deal of more or less mythical anecdote. Some of the early tazkeras (biographical sketches) mentioning Hafez are generally considered unreliable.[4] One early document discussing Hafez’ life is the preface of his Divān, which was written by an unknown contemporary of Hafez whose name may have been Moḥammad Golandām.[5] Two of the most highly regarded modern editions of Hafez’s Divān are compiled by Moḥammad Qazvini and Qāsem Ḡani (495 ghazals) and by Parviz Natil Khanlari (486 ghazals).[6][7]

Modern scholars generally agree that Hafez was born either in 1315 or 1317, and following an account by Jami, consider 1390 as the year in which he died.[5][8] Supported by patronage from the area’s rulers, from Shah Abu Ishaq, who came to power while Hafez was in his teens, until the rule of Timur Lang (Tamerlane) at the end of his life, he even managed to write under the strict ruler Shah Mubariz ud-Din Muhammad (Mubariz Muzaffar), though his work flourished most under the twenty-seven year reign of Jalal ud-Din Shah Shuja (Shah Shuja).[9] Although no historical evidence of this is available, one source claims that Hāfez briefly fell out of favor with Shah Shuja for mocking inferior poets (Shah Shuja wrote poetry himself and may have taken the comments personally), forcing Hāfez to flee from Shiraz to Isfahan and Yazd.[9] His mausoleum, Hāfezieh, is located in the Musalla Gardens of Shiraz

Legends of Hafez

Many semi-miraculous mythical tales were woven around Hāfez after his death.

  • It is said that, by listening to his father’s recitations, Hāfez had accomplished the task of learning the Qur’an by heart, at an early age (that is in fact the meaning of the word Hafez). At the same time Hāfez is said to have known by heart, the works of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, Saadi, Farid ud-Din and Nezami.
  • According to one tradition, before meeting Hajji Zayn al-Attar, Hāfez had been working in a local bakery. Hāfez delivered bread to a wealthy quarter of the town where he saw Shakh-e Nabat, allegedly a woman of great beauty, to whom some of his poems are addressed. In the knowledge that his love for her would not be requited and ravished by her beauty, he allegedly had his first mystic vigil in his desire to realize this union, whereupon, overcome by a being of a surpassing beauty (who identifies himself as an angel), he begins his mystic path of realization, in pursuit of spiritual union with the divine. The obvious Western parallel is that of Dante and Beatrice.
  • At age 60 he is said to have begun a Chilla-nashini, a 40-day-and-night vigil by sitting in a circle which he had drawn for himself. On the 40th day, he once again met with Zayn al-Attar on what is known to be their fortieth anniversary and was offered a cup of wine. It was there where he is said to have attained “Cosmic Consciousness”. Hāfez hints at this episode in one of his verses where he advises the reader to attain “clarity of wine” by letting it “sit for 40 days”.
  • Although Hafez did not live in Tamerlane’s time and almost never traveled out of Shiraz; In one famous tale, the famed conqueror Tamerlane angrily summoned Hāfez to him to give him an explanation for one of his verses

اگر آن ترک شیرازی بدست‌آرد دل مارا

به خال هندویش بخشم سمرقند و بخارا را

If that Shirazi Turk would take my heart in hand

I would remit Samarkand and Bukhārā for his/her Hindu mole

With Samarkand being Timur‘s capital and Bokhara his kingdom’s finest city. “With the blows of my lustrous sword,” Timur complained, “I have subjugated most of the habitable globe… to embellish Samarkand and Bokhara, the seats of my government; and you, would sell them for the black mole of some boy in Shiraz!” Hāfez, so the tale goes, bowed deeply and replied “Alas, O Prince, it is this prodigality which is the cause of the misery in which you find me”.

So surprised and pleased was Timur with this response that he dismissed Hafez with handsome gifts.[9]

Works and influence

Hafez was well acclaimed throughout the Islamic world during his lifetime, with other Persian poets imitating his work, and offers of patronage from Baghdad and India.[9] Today, he is the most popular poet in Iran; even libraries without the Qur’an contain his Diwan.[6]

Much later, the work of Hāfez would leave a mark on such Western writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Goethe. His work was first translated into English in 1771 by William Jones.

Most recently, The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master, a collection of poems by Daniel Ladinsky (1999) has been both commercially successful and a source of controversy. Ladinsky claims to speak Persian, though not fluently. In the introduction to the book, he states his work is a “unique portrait is derived from the study of thousands of pages of poems and text attributed to this fourteenth-century master [...] working with hundred-year-old English renderings and translations”.[10] The texts he purports to have used include H. Wilberforce Clark’s 1891 rendering. He said that he found the Persian originals “remarkably demanding” to translate.[11] Critics such as Murat Nemet-Nejat, a poet, essayist and translator of modern Turkish poetry, have asserted that his translations are in fact Ladinsky’s own inventions.[12] The fact that Ladinsky’s poems are not a literal representation of Hafez’ work was a source of embarrassment for Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario, when it was discovered that the poem McGuinty had recited from Ladinsky’s book at a Nowruz celebration in Toronto in 2009 had no corresponding Persian original.[citation needed] Parvin Loloi has said of Ladinsky’s work that “it is hard to see that it has done much for the memory of the Persian poet.” [10]

There is no definitive version of his collected works (or Dīvān); editions vary from 573 to 994 poems. In Iran, his collected works have come to be used as an aid to popular divination. Only since the 1940s has a sustained scholarly attempt – by Mas’ud Farzad, Qasim Ghani and others in Iran – been made to authenticate his work, and remove errors introduced by later copyists and censors. However, the reliability of such work has been questioned,[13] and in the words of Hāfez scholar Iraj Bashiri…. “there remains little hope from there (i.e.: Iran) for an authenticated diwan”.

Though Hāfez’s poetry is influenced by Islam, he is widely respected by Hindus, Christians and others. The Indian sage of Iranian descent Meher Baba, who syncretized elements of Sufism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Christian mysticism, recited Hāfez’s poetry until his dying day.[14] October 12 is celebrated as Hafez Day in Iran.[15]


The question of whether his work is to be interpreted literally, mystically or both, has been a source of concern and contention to western scholars[16]. On the one hand, some of his early readers such as William Jones saw in him a conventional lyricist similar to European love poets such as Petrarch[17]. Others such as Wilberforce Clarke saw him as purely a poet of didactic, ecstatic mysticism in the manner of Rumi, a view which modern scholarship has come to reject [18]. This confusion stems from the fact that, early in Persian literary history, the poetic vocabulary was usurped by mystics who believed that the ineffable could be better expressed in poetry than in prose. In composing poems of mystic content, they imbued every word and image with mystical undertones, thereby causing mysticism and lyricism to essentially converge into a single tradition. As a result, no fourteenth century Persian poet could write a lyrical poem without having a flavor of mysticism forced on it by the poetic vocabulary itself.[19][20]. While some poets, such as Ubayd Zakani, attempted to distance themselves from this fused mystical-lyrical tradition by writing satires, Hafiz embraced the fusion and thrived on it. W.M. Thackston has said of this that Hafiz “sang a rare blend of human and mystic love so balanced…that it is impossible to separate one from the other.”[21]

For this reason among others, the history of the translation of Hāfez has been a complicated one, and few translations into western languages have been wholly successful.

One of the figurative gestures for which he is most famous (and which is among the most difficult to translate) is īhām or artful punning. Thus a word such as gowhar which could mean both “essence, truth” and “pearl” would take on both meanings at once as in a phrase such as “a pearl/essential truth which was outside the shell of superficial existence”.

Hafez often took advantage of the aforementioned lack of distinction between lyrical, mystical and panegyric writing by using highly intellectualized, elaborate metaphors and images so as to suggest multiple possible meanings. This may be illustrated via a couplet from the beginning of one of Hafez’ poems.

Last night, from the cypress branch, the nightingale sang,
In Old Persian tones, the lesson of spiritual stations.

The cypress tree is a symbol both of the beloved and of a regal presence. The nightingale and birdsong evoke the traditional setting for human love. The “lessons of spiritual stations” suggest, obviously, a mystical undertone as well. (Though the word for “spiritual” could also be translated as “intrinsically meaningful.”) Therefore, the words could signify at once a prince addressing his devoted followers, a lover courting a beloved and the reception of spiritual wisdom[22].

The Tomb of Hafez

Twenty years after his death, a tomb (the Hafezieh) was erected to honor Hafez in the Musalla Gardens in Shiraz. The current Mausolem was designed by André Godard, French archeologist and architect, in the late 1930s. Inside, Hafez’s alabaster tombstone bore one of his poems inscribed upon it.



  • Peter Avery, The Collected Lyrics of Hafiz of Shiraz, 603 p. (Archetype, Cambridge, UK, 2007). ISBN 1901383091
    Note: This translation is based on Divān-e Hāfez, Volume 1, The Lyrics (Ghazals), edited by Parviz Natel-Khanlari (Tehran, Iran, 1362 AH/1983-4).
  • E.G. Browne. Literary History of Persia. (Four volumes, 2,256 pages, and twenty-five years in the writing). 1998. ISBN 0-7007-0406-X
  • Will Durant, The Reformation. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1957
  • Erkinov A. “Manuscripts of the works by classical Persian authors (Hāfiz, Jāmī, Bīdil): Quantitative Analysis of 17th-19th c. Central Asian Copies”. Iran: Questions et connaissances. Actes du IVe Congrès Européen des études iraniennes organisé par la Societas Iranologica Europaea, Paris, 6-10 Septembre 1999. vol. II: Périodes médiévale et moderne. [Cahiers de Studia Iranica. 26], M.Szuppe (ed.). Association pour l`avancement des études iraniennes-Peeters Press. Paris-Leiden, 2002, pp. 213–228.
  • Hafez. The Green Sea of Heaven: Fifty ghazals from the Diwan of Hafiz. Trans. Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. White Cloud Press, 1995 ISBN 1-883991-06-4
  • Hafez. The Angels Knocking on the Tavern Door: Thirty Poems of Hafez. Trans. Robert Bly and Leonard Lewisohn. HarperCollins, 2008, p. 69. ISBN 978-0-06-113883-6 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              0-06-113883-6      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
  • Hafiz, Dikter, translated by Ashk Dahlén, Umeå, 2006. 91-85503-04-5 / 978-91-85503-04-9 (Swedish)
  • Hafiz, Divan-i-Hafiz, translated by Henry Wiberforce-Clarke, Ibex Publishers, Inc., 2007. ISBN 0-936347-80-5
  • Khorramshahi, Bahaʾ-al-Din (2002). “Hafez II: Life and Times”. . Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  • Yarshater, Ehsan (2002). “Hafez I: An Overview”. . Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  • Jan Rypka, History of Iranian Literature. Reidel Publishing Company. 1968 OCLC 460598. ISBN 90-277-0143-1


  1. ^
  2. ^ Yarshater. Accessed 25 July 2010.
  3. ^ Hafiz and the Place of Iranian Culture in the World by Aga Khan III, November 9, 1936 London.
  4. ^ Lit. Hist. Persia III, pp. 271-73
  5. ^ a b Khorramshahi. Accessed 25 July 2010
  6. ^ a b Lewisohn, p. 69.
  7. ^ Gray, pp. 11-12. Gray notes that Qazvini’s and Gani’s compilation in 1941 relied on the earliest known texts at that time, and that they remarked that none of the four texts they used were related to each other. Since then, she adds, more than fourteen earlier texts have been found, but their relationships to each other have not been studied.
  8. ^ Lewisohn, p. 67
  9. ^ a b c d Gray, pp. 2-4.
  10. ^ a b Loloi, Parvin (2003) Hâfiz, master of Persian poetry: a critical bibliography I B Tauris p58-9 ISBN 1860649238
  11. ^ Ladinsky, Daniel The Gift: Poems by Hafez the Great Sufi Master. Penguin p3-4 ISBN 0140195815
  12. ^ The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master.
  13. ^ Michael Hillmann in Rahnema-ye Ketab, 13 (1971), “Kusheshha-ye Jadid dar Shenakht-e Divan-e Sahih-e Hafez”
  14. ^ Kalchuri, Bhau: “Meher Prabhu: Lord Meher, The Biography of the Avatar of the Age, Meher Baba”, Manifestation, Inc. 1986. p. 6712
  15. ^ Hafez’s incomparable position in Iranian culture:October 12 is Hafez Day in Iran By Hossein Kaji, Mehrnews.Tehran Times Opinion Column, Oct. 12, 2006.
  16. ^ Schroeder, Eric “The Wild Deer Mathnavi” in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 11, No. 2, Special Issue on Oriental Art and Aesthetics (Dec., 1952), p.118
  17. ^ Jones, William (1772) “Preface” in Poems, Consisting Chiefly of Translations from the Asiatick Tongues p. iv
  18. ^ Davis, Dick: Iranian Studies, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Autumn, 1999), p.587
  19. ^ Thackston, Wheeler: “A Millennium of Classical Persian Poetry,” Ibex Publishers Inc. 1994, p. ix in “Introduction”
  20. ^ Davis, Dick: “On Not Translating Hafez” in The New England Review 25:1-2 [2004]: 310-18
  21. ^ Thackston, Wheeler: “A Millennium of Classical Persian Poetry,” Ibex Publishers Inc. 1994, p.64
  22. ^ Meisami, Julie Scott (May, 1985). “Allegorical Gardens in the Persian Poetic Tradition: Nezami, Rumi, Hafez.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 17(2), 229-260
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