ʿĀREFĪ HERAVĪ, MAWLĀNĀ MAḤMŪD, a poet of the 9th/15th century contemporary with the Timurid Šāhroḵ. Either because he followed the style of Salmān Sāvaǰī in his qaṣsīdas or because he shared that poet’s affliction with chronic eye disease, he was called “The Second Salmān.” He was described as an “exceedingly euphonious poet” (Maǰāles al-nafāʾes, p. 20) and a “man of great learning and talent, highly skilled in rhetoric and diction, author of poetry which is fluent and limpid, more so than pure running water, an excellent conversationalist and debater” (ibid., p. 194). In addition to qaṣīdas in the style of the masters of the preceding century and very graceful ḡazals which won repute in his own time, he has left a celebrated maṯnawī, the Ḥāl-nāma, also called, on account of its subject-matter, Gūy o čowgān (The Ball and the Polo-Stick, ed. and tr. R. S. Greenshields, London, 1931 and 1932). The Ḥāl-nāma was well known to connoisseurs of poetry in the 9th/15th century; verses from it are often quoted by contemporary men of letters. It is a short versified discourse, running to 501 verses in the same meter as Neẓāmī’s Laylī o Maǰnūn (hazaǰ mosaddas aḵrab maqbūż maqṣūr or moḥḏūf), about a dervish’s pure love for a prince of China which ends in the dervish’s self immolation at the prince’s feet. ʿĀrefī was encouraged to write the Ḥāl-nāma by a grandson of Šāhroḵ, Mīrzā Solṭān Moḥammad b. Bāysonqor, and was rewarded with a gift of a horse and one thousand dinars. The work was started and finished in the year 842/1438, when according to the author fifty years of his life had elapsed; he must therefore have been born in 792/1390 or roughly in the last decade of the 8th/14th century. Dawlatšāh (Taḏkerat al-šoʿarāʾ, ed. M. Ramażānī, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, p. 496) ascribes further works in verse to ʿĀrefī, stating that he “was adept in the maṯnawī genre and, as is well known, versified the basic precepts (mā lā bodd) of the maḏhab of the Emām-e Aʿẓam (i.e., Abū Ḥanīfa) and also composed in verse “Ten letters” in praise of the vizier Ḵᵛāǰa Pīr Aḥmad b. Esḥāq.”
Ḵᵛāndamīr, Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, p. 18.
Jāmī, Bahārestān, Vienna, 1846, p. 102.
Ṣafā, Adabīyāt IV, 2536 = 1356 Š./1977, pp. 457-58.
Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia III, pp. 495-97.
E. Yār-e Šāṭer (Yarshater), Šeʿr-e fārsī dar ʿahd-e Šāhroḵ, Tehran, 1334 Š./1955, pp. 177-78.
Rypka, Hist. Iran. Lit., pp. 284-285.
Originally Published: December 15, 1986
Last Updated: August 11, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 4, pp. 392-393