ČEHEL TANĀN (“the forty dervishes,” popularly called Čeltan), a minor takīya (monastery) situated in the northeastern section of Shiraz, a short distance north of the tomb of Ḥāfeẓ and south of Haft Tanān (“the seven dervishes”). This area was formerly an open plain known as Moṣallā, but nowadays all three monuments are surrounded by private houses, public buildings, lanes, and streets. Čehel Tanān is a rectangular walled enclosure with a single entrance on the south side. On the north side there is a large hall with sash windows (orosī) and several rooms with a small pond in front separated from the southern wall by an orangery. In the center of the courtyard is a small pond. The building takes its name from forty anonymous tombstones, located in a row in the courtyard, which are said to be those of forty dervishes.
The takīya seems not to be very old. Jonayd Šīrāzī, who wrote his Šadd al-ezār on the tombs of Shiraz in the early 8th/14th century, described Haft Tanān (al-rejāl al-sabʿa) in detail (pp. 409ff.) but made no mention of Čehel Tanān. The first to mention it by name were Fasāʾī (II, p. 159) and Forṣat Šīrāzī (pp. 473-74), both of whom wrote early in this century. According to them, the two takīyas of Čehel Tanān and Haft Tanān were built by Karīm Khan Zand for dervishes. The forty tombstones are said to have been set up in 1257/1841 by the order of the governor of Fārs Ḥājī Moʿtamed-al-Dawla Farhād Mīrzā (Fasāʾī, loc. cit.). According to popular tradition (cf. Hedāyat, p. 71) the tomb of the poet Faḵr-al-Dīn Ḥallāj Bosḥāq Aṭʿema (d. ca. 830/1427; see bosḥāq; cf. R. Hedāyat, p. 71) had been in the courtyard of Čehel Tanān; however, close examination by Forṣat Šīrāzī (p. 474) revealed that it actually belonged to a certain Afzārī of the 8th/14th century. Forṣat adds that, even if the poet was buried in the courtyard, his tomb would be quite likely to have disappeared.
ʿA.-N. Behrūzī, Banāhā-ye tārīḵī o āṯār-e honarī-e jolga-ye Šīrāz, Shiraz, 1354 Š./1975, pp. 58-60.
Ḥ. Emdād, Šīrāz dar goḏašta o ḥāl, Shiraz, 1339 Š./1960, pp. 35-36.
Forṣat Šīrāzī, Āṯār-e ʿAjam, Bombay, 1353/1934-35.
R. Hedāyat, Taḏkera-ye rīāż al-ʿārefīn, ed. M. Hedāyat, Tehran, 1316 Š./1937.
Moʿīn-al-Dīn Abu’l-Qāsem Jonayd Šīrāzī, Šadd al-ezār fī ḥaṭṭ al-awzār ʿan zowwār al-mazār, ed. M. Qazvīnī and ʿA. Eqbāl, Tehran, 1328 Š./1949.
Originally Published: December 15, 1990
Last Updated: December 15, 1990
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Vol. V, Fasc. 2, p. 117