AWḤAD-AL-DĪN KERMĀNĪ, ḤAÂšMED B. ABI’L-FAḴR, a famous mystic of the 6th/12th century. Dates of his death given in different sources range from 562/1166 to 635/1238. Since he was a contemporary of Shaikh Šehāb-al-dīn Sohravardī (d. 632/1235) and Moḥyī-al-dīn b. ʿArabšāhī (d. 638/1241), the most probable of these given dates must be 634/1237 or 635/1238. Jāmī (Nafaḥāt, p. 588) states that Awḥad-al-dīn was a disciple of Shaikh Rokn-al-dīn Sajjāsī and that he met and conversed with Moḥyī-al-dīn b. ʿArabī, and Ebn ʿArabī himself speaks (in chapter 8 of his Fotūḥāt al-makkīya) of an event which Awḥad-al-dīn Kermānī had related to him. Dawlatšāh states that Awḥad-al-dīn was a disciple of Šehāb-al-dīn Sohravardī, but we know that the two differed in their religious views and that Sohravardī regarded Awḥad-al-dīn as an innovator (mobtadeʿ). It is alleged (Maʿṣūm-ʿAlīšāh, Ṭarāʾeq al-ḥaqāʾeq II, p. 281) that he had recourse to contemplation of outward appearances of forms in his quest for insight into the truth and perceived absolute beauty in concrete things.
Awḥad-al-dīn spent parts of his life in Kermān, Azerbaijan, and Baghdad where the ʿAbbasid caliph al-Mostanṣer Beʾllāh (624/1227-640/1242) conferred a robe of honor on him and put him in charge of the Marzbānīya rebāṭ so that he might spend all his time there in prayer and remembrance of God.
Some poems of Awḥad-al-dīn Kermānī are quoted in various works. A narrative maṯnawī poem entitled Meṣbāḥ al-arwāḥ (in the hazaj mosaddas aḵrab maqbūż meter, that of Neẓāmī’s Laylī o Majnūn) is attributed to him in most of the sources, but has been shown by B. Forūzānfar (in the preface to his edition of the Meṣbāḥ al-arwāḥ, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968) to be the work of Šams-al-dīn Moḥammad b. Ṭoḡān Bardsīrī Kermānī, a poet of the 6th/12th century mentioned by ʿAwfī (Lobāb I, p. 279-81 ). An edition with English translation of 120 robāʿīs by Awḥad-al-dīn Kermānī has been published (B. M. Weischer and P. L. Wilson, Heart’s Witness: The Sufī Quatrains of Awḥaddudīn Kermānī, Tehran, 1978).
Chief among the many sources in which Awḥad-al-dīn Kermānī is mentioned are Jāmī, Nafaḥāt, pp. 588-92.
Dawlatšāh, ed. Browne, pp. 210, 223; ed. M. Ramażānī, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 612-14 and notes.
Ḥabīb al-sīar III, p. 116.
Kašf al-ẓonūn (Istanbul) V, par. 1705.
Haft eqlīm I, p. 265.
Āḏar, Ātaškada, Bombay, 1277/1860-61, pp. 118-19.
Maʿṣūm-ʿAlīšāh, Ṭarāʾeq al-ḥaqāʾeq, Tehran, 1318-19/1900-01, II, pp. 281-83.
Majmaʿ al-foṣaḥāʾ I, pp. 89-94.
See also Manāqeb-e Awḥad-al-dīn, ed. B. Forūzānfar, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968.
B. Forūzānfar, ed., Manẓūma-ye Meṣbāḥ al-arwāḥ, Tehran, 1349 Š./1970.
Q. Ḡanī, Baḥṯ dar āṯār o afkār o aḥwāl-e Ḥāfeẓ II, Tehran, 1340 Š./1961, pp. 402-04, 502.
Ḵayyāmpūr, Soḵanvarān, p. 70.
Originally Published: December 15, 1987
Last Updated: August 18, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 2, pp. 118-119