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Naṣr Allāh b. Muḥammad

(179 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
b. ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd Abu ’l-Maʿālī of S̲h̲īrāz, a Persian author and statesman, vizier of the G̲h̲aznawid Ḵh̲usraw Malik (1160—1186) by whose orders he was arrested and executed. Naṣr was the first Persian to succeed in giving a satisfactory Persian version of the celebrated Ḵh̲alīla u-Dimna. His version is based on the Arabic of ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḳaffaʿ and was completed about 538—539 (1144), i. e. in the time of Bahrāms̲h̲āh (1118— 1152). For a long time his translation was regarded as a model of elegant Persian style which could not be surpa…

Niʿmat K̲h̲ān ʿĀlī

(493 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, Mīrzā Nūr al-Dīn Muḥammad, son of Ḥakīm Fatḥ al-Dīn S̲h̲īrazī, a Persian author, was born in India and came of a family several of whom had been distinguished physicians in their ancestral home in S̲h̲īrāz. He entered the service of the state under S̲h̲āh-Ḏj̲ahān (1628—1659) and was appointed keeper of the crown jewels with the title of dārūg̲h̲a-yi d̲j̲awāhirk̲h̲āna. He attained his highest honours under Awrangzēb (1659—1707) who gave him the title of Niʿmat Ḵh̲ān (1104 = 1692-1693), which was later changed to Muḳarrab Ḵh̲ān and then to Dānis̲h̲mand Ḵh̲ān. He died at Dehli on the 1st Rab…


(1,431 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, Nihẓām al-Dīn Abu Muḥammad Ilyās b. Yūsuf, one of the greatest poets of Persia. He was born in Gand̲j̲a, the later Elisavetpol in 535 (1140—1141). His parents died while he was still quite young so that the education of the boy and of his brother had to be undertaken by his uncle. From Niẓāmī’s poems, it is apparent that his uncle very soon followed his parents to the grave. Nevertheless the two boys succeeded in getting an excellent education, for Niẓāmī’s brother, who wrote under the pen-name of Ḳiwāmī Muṭarrizī, attained a very high skill as a writer of ḳaṣīdas (an ingenious ḳaṣīda by him is…

Nāṣir-i K̲h̲usraw

(1,061 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
whose full name was Abū Muʿīn Nāṣir b. Ḵh̲usraw b. Ḥārit̲h̲., one of the most important Persian poets of the xith century. Life. Nāṣir was born in 394 (1003) in Ḳubādiyān in the district of Balk̲h̲, The Persian historians usually call him ʿAlawī which in this case can hardly mean descent from the caliph ʿAlī but simply indicates his adherence to the S̲h̲īʿa. His father was probably a small landowner in the vicinity of Balk̲h̲. Nāṣir received a good education and was early acquainted with almost all branches of the learning of his day. In the forties of the xith century we find him as an offic…

Muʿīn al-Miskīn

(283 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, whose full name was Muʿīn al-Dīn Muḥammad Amīn b. Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Muḥammad al-Farāhī al-Harawī and whose tak̲h̲alluṣ was Muʿīnī (d. 907/1501-2), a celebrated traditionist. He studied ḥadīt̲h̲ for 31 years, and throughout this period preached every Friday in the great mosque of Harāt. He was for one year ḳāḍī of Harāt, but gave up the post by his own request. In 866/1461-2, at the request of a friend, he began to write a little book on the life of the Prophet Muḥammad. Out of this little book, there grew in time the great biographical work, exceedingly popular in the East, called Maʿārid̲j̲ , al-nub…


(310 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, Muḥammad Riḍā of Ḵh̲abūs̲h̲ān in the vicinity of Mas̲h̲had, a Persian poet. The son of a merchant, in his youth he spent some time in Kās̲h̲ān where he studied under the Mawlānā Muḥtas̲h̲am. Moving to Marw, he became intimate with the Ḥākim Nūr Muḥammad Ḵh̲ān there. Like the majority of Persian poets of the xvith century, however, he was attracted by the brilliant court of the Mog̲h̲uls and went to India where at first he found a patron in the person of Mīrzā Yūsuf Ḵh̲ān Mas̲h̲hadī but soon afterwards entered the service of Ḵh̲ānk̲h̲ānān Mīrzā ʿAb…

Muʿīn al-Miskīn

(275 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
whose full name was Muʿīn al-Dīn Muḥammad Amīn b. Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Muḥammad al-Farāhī al-Harawī and whose tak̲h̲alluṣ was Muʿīnī (d. 907=1501—1502), a celebiated traditionist. He studied Ḥadīt̲h̲ for 31 years and throughout this period preached every Friday in the great mosque of Herāt. He was for year ḳāḍī of Herāt but gave up the post by his own request. In 866 (1461—1462) at the request of a friend, he began to write a little book on the life of the Prophet Muḥammad. Out of this little book there grew in time the great biographical work, exceedingly popular in the East, called Maʿārid̲j̲ al-Nubu…

Mīr ʿAbd al-ʿĀl Nad̲j̲āt

(396 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, a Persian poet, born about 1046 (1636—1637), the son of a Ḥusainī Saiyid Mīr Muḥammad Muʾmin of Iṣfahān. Little is known of his life. Only this much is certain, that he, like many other Persian poets of this time, worked in the offices of different Persian dignitaries. For example he was a mustawfī [q. v.] with Ṣadr Mīrzā Ḥabīb Allāh, later occupied the same office in Astarābād and ended his career in 1126 (1714) after being for many years muns̲h̲ī with the Ṣafawid princes S̲h̲āh Sulaimān (1667— 1694) andS̲h̲āh Sulṭān Ḥusain (1694—1722). He owes his fame mainly to alongpoem Gulu-Kus̲h̲tī (“W…

NāẒim Farruk̲h̲ Ḥusain

(284 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, a Persian poet. Mullā Nāẓim, son of S̲h̲āh Riḍā Sabzawārī, was born in Herāt about 1016 (1607) and spent the greater part of his life there. Little is known of his career, except that he made a journey to India and, after spending several years in Ḏj̲ahāngīrnagar, returned to his native town where he died in 1081 (1670—1671). He was court poet of the Beglerbegīs of Herāt and his greatest work, the Yūsuf u-Zulaik̲h̲ā begun in 1058 (1648) and finished in 1072 (1661—1662), was dedicated to one of these governors, ʿAbbās Ḳūlī Ḵh̲ān S̲h̲āmlū. This, a poem of considerable…

Nāṣir ʿAlī

(227 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
of Sarhind (d. in Dihlī on the 6th Ramaḍān 1108 = March 29, 1697), one of the best of the Persian poets of India, who were by this time very numerous; their productions however are for the most part of little artistic value. Of his life we know only that he travelled a great deal but finally settled in Sarhind were he enjoyed the favour of the governor Saif Ḵh̲ān Badak̲h̲s̲h̲ī and of the Āmir al-Umarāʾ Ḏh̲u ’l-Fiḳār Ḵh̲ān. His principal work is a version of the love story of Madhumalat and Manūhar in P…


(297 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
Mīrzā ʿAbd al-Wahhāb of Iṣfahān, one of the best Persian poets and stylists of the period of the early Ḳād̲j̲ārs. He was a physician in S̲h̲īrāz and in his native city, devoting his leisure hours to poetry in which he displayed a great facility. He wrote verse in Arabic, Persian and Turkish and was further celebrated for his great skill in s̲h̲ikasta. Rumours of his poetical gifts induced the Kād̲j̲ār Fatḥ ʿAlī S̲h̲āh (1797—1834) to invite him to Ṭeherān as court poet. There Nas̲h̲āṭ soon rose to great honour and in 1809 was appointed Muns̲h̲ī al-Mamālik …

Mawlānā Yūsufī

(358 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, muns̲h̲iʾ of the Great Moghul Humāyūn (1530—1556), probably identical with Yūsuf b. Muḥammad Yūsufī Harawī, the celebrated physician of Bābur and Humāyūn. He acquired a place in Indian literature with his well-known letter-writer Badāʾiʿ al-Ins̲h̲āʾ, which he composed in 940 (1533—1534) for his son Rafīʿ al-Dīn Ḥusain and several other ṭullāb. The book begins with a muḳaddima on the different ¶ kinds of modes of address which must be regulated by the relation of the correspondents to one another in rank; Yūsufī then divides the different kinds of correspondence ( muḥāwarāt) into thr…

Ras̲h̲īd al-Dīn Ṭabīb

(1,394 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, one of the greatest historians of Persia. Faḍl Allāh Ras̲h̲īd al-Dīn b. ʿImād al-Dawla Abu ’l-Ḵh̲air was born in Hamad̲h̲ān about 1247. He began his career in the reign of the Mongol ruler Abāg̲h̲ā Ḵh̲ān (1265—1282) as a practising physician. But as in addition to a remarkable knowledge of medicine he was an exceedingly talented and farseeing statesman, he rose under G̲h̲āzān Ḵh̲ān (1295—1304) from his earlier position to the rank of a ṣadr (and also court historian) which was given him after the execution of Ṣadr-i Ḏj̲ihān Ṣadr al-Dīn Zand̲j̲ānī (May 4, 1298). In 1…

Mustad̲j̲āb-K̲h̲ān Bahādur (Nawāb)

(212 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, thirteenth son of the celebrated Rohilla leader Ḥāfiẓ al-Mulk Ḥāfiẓ Raḥmat-Ḵh̲ān (1707-1774) and author of a biography of his father, which he wrote in Persian under the title Gulistān-i Raḥmat. Ḥāfiẓ Raḥmat-Ḵh̲ān, who was an Afg̲h̲ān of the tribe of Yūsuf-zāi by descent, had been since 1748 a chief in Rohilk̲h̲and (Katehr) and throughout his life waged a bitter warfare with the Mahrātās. He fell in 1774 in a fight at Mīrānpūr Katra where he was fighting against the combined forces of the Nawāb of Oudh S̲h̲ud̲j̲āʿ al-Mulk …

Niẓām al-Dīn

(530 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
Aḥmad b. Muḥammad Muḳīm al-Harawī, a Persian historian, author of the celebrated Ṭabaḳāt-i Akbars̲h̲āhī. He was a descendant of the famous s̲h̲aik̲h̲ of Harāt, ʿAbd Allāh Anṣārī. His father Ḵh̲ōd̲j̲a Muḳīm Harawī was major-domo to Sulṭān Bäbur(1526—1530) and later vizier to the governor of Gud̲j̲arāt Mīrzā ʿAskarī. Niẓām al-Dīn himself held several high military offices under the Great Mog̲h̲ul Akbar and became in 1585 Bak̲h̲s̲h̲ī of Gud̲j̲arāt and in 1593 even Bak̲h̲s̲h̲ī of the whole empire. According to Badāʾūnī (ii. 397), he died on the 23rd Ṣafar 1003 (Oct. 18, 1594) aged 4…

Niʿmat Allāh b. Ḥabīb Allāh Harawī

(250 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, a Persian historian. His father was for 35 years in the service of the Great Mug̲h̲al Akbar (1556—1605) where he was a k̲h̲āliṣa inspector. Niʿmat Allāh himself was for 11 years historian to Ḏj̲ahāngīr (1605—1628), then entered the service of Ḵh̲ān-Ḏj̲ahān whom he accompanied in 1018 (1609—1610) on the campaign against the Dekkan. Soon afterwards he became acquainted with Miyān-Haibat-Ḵh̲ān b. Salīm-Ḵh̲ān Kākar of Sāmāna who persuaded him to write a history of the reign of Ḵh̲ān-Ḏj̲ahān. Niʿma…


(315 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, Ḥasan, a Persian historian whose full name was Ṣādr al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Ḥasan. Born in Nīs̲h̲āpūr, he went on the advice of his s̲h̲aik̲h̲ Muḥammad Kūfī to G̲h̲aznī to give an opportunity to his remarkable talents as a stylist. A severe illness forced him to leave G̲h̲aznī, and he went to Dihli were he obtained an appointment as court historian to the Pathān Sulṭāns and began in 602 (1206) his great historical work Tād̲j̲ al-Maʾāt̲h̲ir fī Taʾrīk̲h̲, which brought him great fame. It deals with the history of the first three Paṭhān Sulṭāns of Dehli — Muḥammad b. Sām (588—…


(796 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, S̲h̲aik̲h̲ Ḍiyāʾ al-Dīn (d. 751 = 1350), a famous Persian author (not to be confused with the famous Ṣūfī S̲h̲aik̲h̲ Abū Turāb Nak̲h̲s̲h̲abī, d. 245 = 860). Very little is known of his career. His nisba suggests that he came from Nak̲h̲s̲h̲ab [q. v.] but he went to India where he became a murīd of S̲h̲aik̲h̲ Farīd, a descendant of the celebrated S̲h̲aik̲h̲ Ḥamīd al-Dīn Nāgūrī. The Ak̲h̲bār al-Ak̲h̲yār of ʿAbd al-Ḥaḳḳ Dihlawī (Dihlī 1309, p. 104—107) says that he died in Badāʾūn after a long and contemplative life and that his tomb is there. Nak̲h̲s̲h̲abī was a …


(309 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, Bark̲h̲wurdār b. Maḥmūd Turkmān Farāhī, a Persian writer, a contemporary of the Ṣafawid Sulṭān Ḥusain (1694—1722). At an early age he left his native town of Farāh ¶ and went to Marw where he entered the service of the governor Aṣlān-Ḵh̲ān. After two years however, he left this post and became muns̲h̲ī with Ḥasan Ḳūlī Ḵh̲ān S̲h̲āmlū Ḳūrči-bās̲h̲ī in Iṣfahān. At a banquet there at his master’s house he heard a story which attracted him exceedingly. He wrote it down and it became the foundation of a great collection, Maḥfilārā, which contained about 400 stories and consisted of a muḳaddama, ei…


(30,195 words)

Author(s): Kramers, J. H. | Bailey, H. W. | Berthels, E.
I. Historical and Ethnographical Survey. (J. H. Kramers) II. Language and Dialects. (H. W. Bailey) III. Modern Persian Literature. (E. Berthels) I. Historical and Ethnographical Survey. Name. The name Persia is of Western origin and probably only in the Middle Ages began to be used for the countries occupying the Iranian plateau (in Plautus Persia is found once instead of Persis). It is derived from the Greek-Roman appellation “Persae” for the Achæmenids, an appellation that goes back to the name of the region of Persis …
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