• Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī

  • Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020), or Ferdowsi

  • Abu Abdollah Jafar ibn Mohammad Rudaki[1] (Persian: ابوعبدالله جعفر ابن محمد رودکی

  • Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī

  • IAbū Ḥamīd bin Abū Bakr Ibrāhīm

  • Kamal-ol-Molk (کمال‌المُلک)

Background Image

Iran The land Of Literature, Art and Spirituality


by A.KH — Posted in Inspiration on Act 1, 2016



Persian literature is considered to be one of the great literatures of mankind. Some of the renowned Persian poets are listed below.

Rudaki (9th century)

was a Persian poet who is widely regarded as the father of Persian poetry. Of the 100,000 couplets attributed to him, fewer than 1000 have survived. His poems are written in a simple style, characterized by optimism and charm. Rudaki was the first poet to introduce the concept of Divan, or the complete collection of a poet’s lyrical compositions.

Abu Abdollah Jafar ibn Mohammad Rudaki[1] (Persian: ابوعبدالله جعفر ابن محمد رودکی‎‎, Tajik: Абӯабдуллоҳ Ҷаъфар Ибни Муҳаммад, entitled آدم الشعرا Ādam ul-Shoara or Adam of Poets), also written as Rudagi (858 - c. 941), was a Persian poet, and is regarded as the first great literary genius of the Modern Persian, who composed poems in the "New Persian" alphabet. Rudaki is considered a founder of Persian classical literature. His poetry contains many of the oldest genres of Persian poetry including the quatrain.[2] Only a small percentage of his extensive poetry has survived.Overview[edit] Rudaki was born in 858 in Rudak (Panjrud), a village located in the Samanid Empire which is now Panjakent, located in modern-day Tajikistan but was part of Iran at that time. Even though most of his biographers assert that he was completely blind, some early biographers are silent about this or do not mention him as being born blind. His accurate knowledge and description of colors, as evident in his poetry, renders this assertion very doubtful. He was the court poet to the Samanid ruler Nasr II (914–943) in Bukhara, although he eventually fell out of favour; his life ended in poverty.

At the Samanid court[edit] Early in his life, the fame of his accomplishments reached the ear of the Samanid Nasr II ibn Ahmad, the ruler of Khorasan and Transoxiana, who invited the poet to his court. Rudaki became his daily companion, amassed great wealth, and become highly honored. It is claimed that he well deserves the title of the father of Persian literature, or the Adam or the Sultan of poets even though he had various predecessors, because he was the first who impressed upon every form of epic, lyric and didactic poetry its peculiar stamp and its individual character. He is also said to have been the founder of the diwan, or the typical form of the complete collection of a poet's lyrical compositions in a more or less alphabetical order, which all Persian writers use even today. He was also very adept singer and instrumentalist (Harp).[3]

Rudaki's blindness

The common opinion was that Rudaki was born blind or was blind from his childhood. However, some of early biographies, like Samani and Nezami Aruzi do not emphasis his blindness as natural-born. Ferdowsi just mentions in his Shahnameh that they recited Kelileh o Demneh to him and he rendered it into poem. Also using some of his poems we can see that he had sight: پوپک دیدم به حوالی سرخس بانگک بر بُرده به ابر اندرا چادرکی رنگین دیدم بر او رنگ بسی گونه بر آن چادرا‎ I saw a bird near the city of Sarakhs It had raised its song to the clouds I saw a colorful chador on it So many colors on its chador The contemporary Iranian scholar, Said Nafisi, has a book about Rudaki called Biography, Environment and Time of Rudaki. In pages 394-404, he refers to historical events and references in Persian books and poems, as well as the forensic findings of Russians in early 20th century including Mikhail Gerasimov (who reconstructed Rudaki's face based on his bones found in his tomb, see above picture), concludes that Rudaki and Amir Nasr Samani were Ismailis and there was a revolt against Ismalis around 940, a few years before Rudaki's death. This revolt led to the overthrow of the Samanid king and Rudaki, as his close companion, was tortured and blinded and his back was broken while they were blinding him. After this, Rudaki went back to the small town where he was born and died shortly after that. He was buried there.

Ferdowsi(10th century)

Ferdowsi is a highly revered Persian poet. He was the author of the Shahnameh, an epic poem of over 50,000 rhyming couplets (about three times the size of Homer’s Iliad). Ferdowsi spent over three decades (from 977 to 1010) working on the Shahnameh, going to great lengths to avoid any words drawn from the Arabic language that had increasingly infiltrated the Persian language following the Arab invasion of Persia. The Shahnameh is a literary masterpiece that is considered by many to be the most important piece of work in Persian literature. Ferdowsi’s tomb, which has become the equivalent of a national shrine, is located in the city of Tus in northeastern Iran.

Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020), or Ferdowsi,[1] was a Persian poet and the author of Shahnameh ("Book of Kings"), which is the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet, and the national epic of Iran and the Greater Iran. Having drafted the Shahnameh under patronage of the Samanid and the Ghaznavid courts of Iran, Ferdowsi is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature. He is widely regarded as the greatest poet in the Persian language. He was called "The Lord of the Word" and "The Savior of Persian Language".[2]


Name[edit] Except for his kunya (ابوالقاسم - Abu'l-Qāsim) and his laqab (فردوسی - Ferdowsī, meaning "paradisic" in Persian), nothing is known with any certainty about his full name. From an early period on, he has been referred to by different additional names and titles, the most common one being حکیم / Ḥakīm ("philosopher").[3] Based on this, his full name is given in Persian sources as حکیم ابوالقاسم فردوسی توسی / Ḥakīm Abu'l-Qāsim Firdowsī Țusī. Due to the non-standardized transliteration from Persian into English, different spellings of his name are used in English works, including Firdawsi, Firdusi, Firdosi, Firdausi, etc. The Encyclopaedia of Islam uses the spelling Firdawsī, based on the standardized transliteration method of the German Oriental Society.[1] The Encyclopædia Iranica, which uses a modified version of the same method (with a stronger emphasis on Persian intonations), gives the spelling Ferdowsī.[3] In both cases, the -ow and -aw are to be pronounced as a diphthong ([aʊ̯]), reflecting the original Arabic and the early New Persian pronunciation of the name. Life[edit] Family[edit] Ferdowsi was born into a family of Iranian landowners (dehqans) in 940 in the village of Paj, near the city of Tus, in the Khorasan region of the Samanid Empire, which is located in the present-day Razavi Khorasan Province of northeastern Iran.[4] Little is known about Ferdowsi's early life. The poet had a wife, who was probably literate and came from the same dehqan class. He had a son, who died aged 37, and was mourned by the poet in an elegy which he inserted into the Shahnameh.[3] Background[edit] Statue of Ferdowsi in Ferdowsi Square in Tehran, by Sadighi Ferdowsi belonged to the class of dehqans. These were landowning Iranian aristocrats who had flourished under the Sassanid dynasty (the last pre-Islamic dynasty to rule Iran) and whose power, though diminished, had survived into the Islamic era which followed the Arab conquests of the 7th century. The dehqans were intensely patriotic (so much so that dehqan is sometimes used as a synonym for "Iranian" in the Shahnameh) and saw it as their task to preserve the cultural traditions of Iran, including the legendary tales about its kings.[3][4] The Muslim conquests of the 7th century had been a watershed in Iranian history, bringing the new religion of Islam, submitting Iranians to the rule of the Arab caliphate and promoting Arabic culture and language at the expense of Persian. By the late 9th century, the power of the caliphate had weakened and local Iranian dynasties emerged.[4] Ferdowsi grew up in Tus, a city under the control of one of these dynasties, the Samanids, who claimed descent from the Sassanid general Bahram Chobin (whose story Ferdowsi recounts in one of the later sections of the Shahnameh).[5] The Samanid bureaucracy used the New Persian language rather than Arabic and the Samanid elite had a great interest in pre-Islamic Iran and its traditions and commissioned translations of Pahlavi (Middle Persian) texts into New Persian. Abu Mansur Muhammad, a dehqan and governor of Tus, had ordered his minister Abu Mansur Mamari to invite several local scholars to compile a prose Shahnameh ("Book of Kings"), which was completed in 1010CE.[6] Although it no longer survives, Ferdowsi used it as one of the sources of his epic. Samanid rulers were patrons of such important Persian poets as Rudaki and Daqiqi. Ferdowsi followed in the footsteps of these writers.[7] Details about Ferdowsi's education are lacking. Judging by the Shahnameh, there is no evidence he knew either Arabic or Pahlavi.[3] Although New Persian was permeated by Arabic vocabulary by Ferdowsi's time, there are relatively few Arabic loan words in the Shahnameh. This may have been a deliberate strategy by the poet.[8]

Attar(12th century)

was a Persian poet, theoretician of Sufism, and one of the most famous mystic poets of Iran. His works later served as inspiration for Rumi. Attar’s tomb is located in the city of Nishapur in northeastern Iran.

Abū Ḥamīd bin Abū Bakr Ibrāhīm (c. 1145 – c. 1221; Persian: ابو حامد بن ابوبکر ابراهیم‎‎), better known by his pen-names Farīd ud-Dīn (فرید الدین) and ʿAṭṭār (عطار, Attar means pharmacist not perfumer "the perfumer"), was a Persian[2][3][4] Muslim poet, theoretician of Sufism, and hagiographer from Nishapur who had an immense and lasting influence on Persian poetry and Sufism.


contemporaries, `Awfi and Tusi. However, all sources confirm that he was from Nishapur, a major city of medieval Khorasan (now located in the northeast of Iran), and according to `Awfi, he was a poet of the Seljuq period. According to Reinert: It seems that he was not well known as a poet in his own lifetime, except at his home town, and his greatness as a mystic, a poet, and a master of narrative was not discovered until the 15th century.[3] At the same time, the mystic Persian poet Rumi has mentioned: "Attar was the spirit, Sanai his eyes twain, And in time thereafter, Came we in their train"[5] and mentions in another poem: "Attar has traversed the seven cities of Love, We are still at the turn of one street".[6] `Attar was probably the son of a prosperous chemist, receiving an excellent education in various fields. While his works say little else about his life, they tell us that he practiced the profession of pharmacy and personally attended to a very large number of customers.[3] The people he helped in the pharmacy used to confide their troubles in `Attar and this affected him deeply. Eventually, he abandoned his pharmacy store and traveled widely - to Baghdad, Basra, Kufa, Mecca, Medina, Damascus, Khwarizm, Turkistan, and India, meeting with Sufi Shaykhs - and returned promoting Sufi ideas.[7] `Attar's initiation into Sufi practices is subject to much speculation. Of all the famous Sufi Shaykhs supposed to have been his teachers, only one - Majd ud-Din Baghdadi a disciple of Najmuddin Kubra- comes within the bounds of possibility. The only certainty in this regard is `Attar's own statement that he once met him.[8] In any case it can be taken for granted that from childhood onward `Attar, encouraged by his father, was interested in the Sufis and their sayings and way of life, and regarded their saints as his spiritual guides.[9] At the age of 78, Attar died a violent death in the massacre which the Mongols inflicted on Nishapur in April 1221.[3] Today, his mausoleum is located in Nishapur. It was built by Ali-Shir Nava'i in the 16th century and later on underwent a total renovation during Reza Shah the great in 1940.

Rumi (13th century) was a

Persian poet and Sufi mystic. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages. In 2007, he was described as the "most popular poet in America".

Sa'di (13th century

) was a Persian lyric poet. He is recognized worldwide for the quality of his writings, and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts. Saadi's best known works are the Bustan (Persian for Garden), composed entirely in verse, and the Gulistan (Persian for Rose Garden), in both prose and verse. His works were first translated and introduced to the west in 1634. Sa'di's tomb is in the city of Shiraz in southern, Iran.

Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī[2] (Persian: ابومحمد مصلح‌الدین بن عبدالله شیرازی‎‎), better known by his pen-name Saadi (سعدی Saʿdī(About this sound Saadi (help·info))), also known as Saadi of Shiraz (سعدی شیرازی Saadi Shirazi), was one of the major Persian poets and literary men of the medieval period. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but has been quoted in western sources as well. He is recognized for the quality of his writings and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts. Saadi is widely recognized as one of the greatest poets of the classical literary tradition.[1]


Born in Shiraz, Iran, c. 1210, his father died when he was a child. He narrates memories of going out with his father as a child during festivities. In his youth, Saadi experienced poverty and hardship and left his native town for Baghdad to pursue a better education. As a young man he enrolled at the Nizamiyya University, where he studied in Islamic sciences, law, governance, history, Arabic literature, and Islamic theology.

The unsettled conditions following the Mongol invasion of Khwarezm and Iran led him to wander for thirty years abroad through Anatolia (where he visited the Port of Adana and near Konya met ghazi landlords), Syria (where he mentions the famine in Damascus), Egypt (where he describes its music, bazaars, clerics and elites), and Iraq (where he visits the port of Basra and the Tigris river). In his writings he mentions the qadis, muftis of Al-Azhar, the grand bazaar, music and art. At Halab, Saadi joins a group of Sufis who had fought arduous battles against the Crusaders. Saadi was captured by Crusaders at Acre where he spent seven years as a slave digging trenches outside its fortress. He was later released after the Mamluks paid ransom for Muslim prisoners being held in Crusader dungeons.

Saadi visited Jerusalem and then set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.[3] It is believed that he may have also visited Oman and other lands in the south of the Arabian Peninsula.

Because of the Mongol invasions he was forced to live in desolate areas and met caravans fearing for their lives on once-lively silk trade routes. Saadi lived in isolated refugee camps where he met bandits, Imams, men who formerly owned great wealth or commanded armies, intellectuals, and ordinary people. While Mongol and European sources (such as Marco Polo) gravitated to the potentates and courtly life of Ilkhanate rule, Saadi mingled with the ordinary survivors of the war-torn region. He sat in remote tea houses late into the night and exchanged views with merchants, farmers, preachers, wayfarers, thieves, and Sufi mendicants. For twenty years or more, he continued the same schedule of preaching, advising, and learning, honing his sermons to reflect the wisdom and foibles of his people. Saadi's works reflect upon the lives of ordinary Iranians suffering displacement, agony and conflict during the turbulent times of the Mongol invasion.

HafezHafez (14th century)

was a Persian lyric poet. His collected works, called Divan, have been translated in all major languages. Themes of his poems are the beloved, faith, and exposing hypocrisy. His tomb is in the city of Shiraz in southern Iran.

Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī (Persian: خواجه شمس‌‌الدین محمد حافظ شیرازی‎‎), known by his pen name Hafez (حافظ Ḥāfeẓ; 1325/26–1389/90),[1] was a Persian poet who "lauded the joys of love and wine but also targeted religious hypocrisy."[2] His collected works are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature and are to be found in the homes of most people in Iran, who learn his poems by heart and still use them as proverbs and sayings. His life and poems have been the subject of much analysis, commentary and interpretation, influencing post-14th century Persian writing more than any other author.[3][4]

Hafez, who was a 14th-century poet in Iran, is best known for his poems that can be described as “antinomian”[5] and with the medieval use of the term “theosophical”; this term theosophy in the 13th and 14th centuries was used to indicate mystical work by “authors only inspired by the holy books” (as distinguished from theology). Hafez primarily wrote in the literary genre of lyric poetry that is the ideal style for expressing the ecstasy of divine inspiration in the mystical form of love poems.

Themes of his ghazals are the beloved, faith, and exposing hypocrisy. In his ghazals, he deals with love, wine and tavern, all presenting the ecstasy and freedom from restraint, whether

in actual worldly release or in the voice of the lover[6] speaking of divine love.[7] His influence in the lives of Persian speakers can be found in "Hafez readings" (fāl-e hāfez, Persian: فال حافظ‎‎) and the frequent use of his poems in Persian traditional music, visual art, and Persian calligraphy. His tomb is visited often. Adaptations, imitations and translations of his poems exist in all major languages.

Painting ART

Kamal-ol-Molk (کمال‌المُلک)


Mohammad Ghaffari, better known as Kamal-ol-Molk, born in Kashan in 1848,[1] to a family with a strong artistic tradition, tracing their origins back to notable painters during the reign of Nader Shah.[1] Kamal's uncle, Mirza Abolhassan Khan Ghaffari, known as Sanee-ol-Molk, a 19th-century celebrated painter, was highly notable for his watercolor portraiture. His father, Mirza Bozorg Ghaffari Kashani, was the founder of Iran's painting school and a famous artist as well. His brother, Abutorab Ghaffari, was also a distinguished painter of his time. Mohammad developed an interest in calligraphy and painting at a young age. In his childhood eagerness, he drew charcoal sketches on the walls of his room.

Upon completion of his primary education, Mohammad moved to Tehran. To further his studies, he registered in Dar-ul-Funun School, a modern institute of higher learning in Persia, where he studied painting with Mozayyen-od-Doleh, a well-known painter who had visited Europe and studied Western art. He studied there for a period of three years. In his school days, the young Ghaffari was given the name Mirza Mohammad Kashi. During his education he began to attract public attention as a talented artist.

In his visits to Dar-ul-Funun, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar came to know Mohammad Ghaffari and invited him to the court. Mohammad further improved his technique, and Nasereddin Shah gave him the title "Kamal-ol-Milk" (Perfection on Land).

During the years he stayed at Nasereddin Shah Qajar's court, Kamal-ol-Molk created some of his most significant works. The paintings he did in this period, which lasted up until the assassination of Nasereddin Shah, were portraits of important people, landscapes, paintings of royal camps and hunting grounds, and various parts of royal palaces.

In this busiest period of Kamal-ol-Molk's artistic life, he created over 170 paintings. However, most of these paintings have either been destroyed or taken abroad.[citation needed] The works he created in this period indicate his desire to develop his oil painting technique. He advanced so much that he even acquired laws of perspective by himself and applied them to his works. His mastery in the delicate use of a brush was as well as bright and lively colors distinguished him from his contemporaries.

Hand-knotted Persian silk/wool rug:

Carpet-weaving is one of the most distinguished manifestations of Persian culture and art, and dates back to ancient Persia (e.g. 2500-year-old Pazyryk carpet). In 2008, Iran’s export of hand-woven carpets amounted to $420 million, accounting for 30% of the world market

Blue TileBlue tile work:

The color “Persian blue” is named after the blue color of tiles used on mosques and palaces in Iran. The best known blue tile work masterpiece in Iran is the Shah Mosque in Isfahan, dating back to the Safavid dynasty (17th century).


The ancient Persian miniature dates back to the 3rd century when Mani (a professional artist) made considerable use of images in his sacred book. Since then, illustrated books have represented a major art form in Iran. Famous Persian miniature artists include Behzad (15th century) and Abbasi (17th century). One of the most famous illustrated books is the Shahnameh commissioned by the Safavid Shah Ismail for his son Shah Tahmasp (16th centrury), which has a collection of 250 miniatures.


Iran’s economy is based mainly on the oil and gas industry. Tourism and export of agricultural products like saffron and pistachio, as well as non-petroleum products such as carpets, are also an important part of the Iranian economy.



(both Freestyle and Greco-Roman) is regarded as Iran’s national sport. An early version of wrestling in Iran was called “Varzesh-e Bastani” (Persian for ancient sport). The athlete with the highest rank in this sport was called Pahlavan. Some of the renowned Pahlavans are Rostam, the legendary hero of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, Babak Khorramdin (8th century), Mahmoud Khwarazmi more commonly known as Pourya-ye Vali (13th century), and Gholamreza Takhti (Olympic medalist in 1952, 1956, and 1960). Iran has had several Olympic gold medalists in wrestling, and is ranked 5th in the world in the all-time medal count at the World Wrestling Championships.

Ali Daei

Soccer is the most popular sport in Iran. Iran has been the Asian Champion three times, and has two appearances in the world cup. The most famous Iranian soccer player is Ali Daei, who is the world's all-time leading goal scorer in international matches.


Weight lifting is a popular sport in Iran. There are several Iranian world and Olympic champions, including Mohammad Nassiri and Hossein Rezazadeh, who is the current world record holder in the super heavyweight class.

Polo originated in Iran, and dates back to the Achaemenid Empire (5th century BC). Polo was at first a training game for cavalry units, usually the king's guard or other elite troops.

Excerpt from: Iraniani Student Assocation by A. H. KHOSHDAST