FARḠĀNĪ, SAYF-AL-DĪN MOḤAMMAD, Persian poet and Sufi of Farḡāna (q.v.). The exact dates of his birth and death are unknown. The very little information we have about him is gleaned from his poetry.

Farḡānī left Farḡāna after the Mongol invasion of Persia in 618/1221 and sojourned for a while in Tabrīz, where he became familiar with Homām Tabrīzī’s poetry. He then left for Asia Minor, where he took up permanent residence at a ḵānaqāh in Āqsarāy, a flourishing city on the road between Nowšahr and Konya during the Saljuq period (Farḡānī, Dīvān, intro., pp. x-xi, xvii-xviii). He died there at an advanced age some time after 705/1305-6 (Ṣafā, Adabīyāt III/1, pp. 624-28; Farḡānī, Dīvān, Intro., pp. xiii-xvii).

In addition to the insecurity and chaos caused by the Mongol invasion, his move to Asia Minor has been attributed to his pursuit of knowledge and his desire to meet with the learned men of that land (Ḥaqīqat, p. 294) and to the flourishing of Persian poetry and literature under the Saljuqs of Rūm (Rīāḥī, p. 109).

Not mentioned in contemporary or later taḏkeras, Farḡānī remained unknown for almost seven centuries (Dīvān, intro., p. ix). The only extant work by him is his Dīvān of over 11000 distichs, containing 122 qaṣīdas, eight qeṭʿas, 582 ḡazals, and 23 robāʿīs. Its versified preface is in praise of God and the Prophet Moḥammad. His qaṣīdas are mostly of didactic nature and in praise of God, the Prophet, and Ahl-e Bayt (q.v.; Dīvān, pp. 6, 22, 118, 120, 199). In some of his qaṣīdas he emulated poets such as Anwarī, ʿAṭṭār, Ḵāqānī, Rūdakī, Sanāʾī, and, above all, Saʿdī (Dīvān, pp. 22, 116, 60, 58, 196). In his ḡazals he blends Sufi thoughts with amorous emotion.


Bibliography (for cited works not given in detail, see “Short References”):

M.-T. Dānešpažūh, Fehrest-e mīkrofīlmhā-ye ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazī-e Dānešgāh-e Tehrān I, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969, pp. 93, 506.

Sayf-al-Dīn Farḡānī, Dīvān, ed. Ḏ. Ṣafā, Tehran, 1364 Š./1985.

ʿA.-R. Ḥaqīqat, Farhang-e šāʿerān-e zabān-e pārsī, Tehran, 1368 Š./1989, p. 294.

A. Monzawī, Nosḵahā III, pp. 2368-69.

M.-A. Rīāḥī, Zabān o adab-e fārsī dar qalamrow-e Oṯmānī, Tehran, 1369 Š./1990, pp. 109-11.

(Sayyāra Mahīnfar)

Originally Published: December 15, 1999

Last Updated: December 15, 1999