ʿĀQ[Q]-E WĀLEDAYN, Ar.: “[the son] disobedient to [his] parents,” a theme in popular Shiʿite literature. ʿĀq (popular form of ʿāqq, derived from Arabic ʿāqqa) means “disobedient or rebellious,” implying “toward father or mother;” the word is used this way in Persian literature on ethics (see Dehḵodā, s.v. ʿāq). The phrase is further explained by such expressions as ʿāq-e wāledayn šod (“his parents declared him disobedient and cursed him;” S. Haïm, The One-Volume Persian-English Dictionary, Tehran, 1975, p. 550). ʿĀq-nāma means “deed of disinheritance” (Persian expression existing in Urdu; see J. T. Platts, A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English, London, 1930, p. 757).

In Ketāb-e ʿāq-e wāledayn (fifteen-page lithographed text with illustrations; place and date of publication unknown) a versified story of the disobedient son runs as follows: Salmān-e Fārsī sees a tomb on fire at the Bāqī cemetery in Medina and reports the fact to the Prophet. The Panǰ tan (Moḥammad, ʿAlī, Fāṭema, Ḥasan, and Ḥosayn) go to the site, where the Prophet speaks to a young man burning in hell, who says that he is a Muslim who married a Jewish girl; she converted, but has mother acted badly toward her. The boy came to hate his mother, and one day he pushed her into the oven while she was baking bread. Badly burned, she cursed her son, who died shortly afterward and was sent to hell. Now the boy implores relief from his sufferings. Salmān brings the mother to the cemetery; Moḥammad, ʿAlī, Fāṭema, and Ḥasan try in turn to persuade the woman to relieve her son from her curse, but it is only through Imam Ḥosayn’s intercession (šefāʿa) that the boy is freed. This theme of Ḥosayn’s intercession most probably first appears in taʿzīa literature in its late phase under Nāṣer-al-dīn Shah; sometimes the exact reason for the boy’s having been cursed is not mentioned (L. Pelly, The Miracle Play of Hasan and Husain, London, 1879, I, pp. 33-50). In a more complete version (446 verses), the doctrine of intercession is amply explained (W. Litten, Das Drama in Persien, Leipzig, 1929, pp. 251-74; see ʿA. Banī Ṣadr, La Taʿziye, thesis, Paris [Sorbonne], 1959, pp. 86f.; D. Monchi-Zadeh, Taʿziya, das persische Passionsspiel, Stockholm, 1967, pp. 197f.); because disobedience toward one’s parents is considered the gravest sin, Ḥosayn’s intercession takes on great value. The model tomb (qabr-e sāḵta) and the oven (tanūr) appear on the stage, and Belāl is among the characters (cf. E. Rossi and A. Bombaci, Elenco di drammi religiosi persiani [Fondo mss. vaticani Cerulli], Vatican City, 1961, drama no. 902; for a less elaborate version, see no. 965). Manuscripts of other versions are kept in the Malek Library, Tehran.

Bibliography : Given in the text.



(J. Calmard)

Originally Published: December 15, 1986

Last Updated: August 5, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 2, p. 168