FAYYĀŻ, ʿALĪ-AKBAR MAJĪDĪ, scholar and educator (b. Mašhad, 1316/1898; d. Mašhad, 4 Šahrīvar 1350 Š./26 August 1971; Figure 1). Son of Sayyed ʿAbd-al-Majīd Ṯeqat-al-Eslām, head steward (ḵādem-bāšī) of Āstān-e Qods-e Rażawī (q.v.), Fayyāż received his elementary and secondary education at traditional schools (see EDUCATION iii, iv) in Mašhad, studying Islamic jurisprudence with Abu’l-Qāsem Azḡandī and literature with Adīb Nīšābūrī (q.v.). For a while he served at the shrine in Mašhad as his father’s replacement. In 1307 Š./1928 he joined the Ministry of Education and was appointed the principal of Šāhreżā High School in Mašhad and in 1314 Š./1935 became the head of the newly-founded Elementary Teachers Training School (Dāneš-sarāy-e moqaddamātī) in the same city. In 1316 Š./1937 he enrolled at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Tehran, where he received his doctorate in Persian language and literature in 1322 Š./1943. In 1334 Š./1955, commissioned by the government, he established the Faculty of Letters in Mašhad and served as its dean for nine years before returning to the University of Tehran to chair the Department of Religion at the Faculty of Theology (Dāneškada-ye elāhīyāt), in which capacity he served until his retirement and return to Mašhad in 1346 Š./1967. He was also instrumental in founding the Faculty of Theology at Mašhad and served as its dean for some time. He represented Mašhad in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Majles and was also the head of the Bahār Literary Society (Anjoman-e adabī-e Bahār) and the chief editor of Majalla-ye Āstān-e Qods-e Rażawī.
Fayyāż remained an indefatigable scholar all his life. Going beyond his traditional background, he studied a number of western languages, including Russian, German, English, ancient Greek, and Latin. He was a meticulous scholar, combining his profound knowledge of traditional Islamic sciences and Persian literature with modern methodology in scholarship and literary criticism. His publications, in addition to a number of articles scattered in literary journals, include Tārīḵ-e Eslām (Tehran, 1338 Š./1959), Moḥāżarāt ʿan al-šeʿr al-fāresī wa’l-ḥażāra al-eslāmīya fī Īrān (Alexandria, 1950; in Arabic), and editions of Sohravardī’s Manṭeq al-talwīḥāt (Tehran, 1329 Š./1950) and Tārīḵ-e Bayhaqī (Mašhad, 1350 Š./1971). He is buried in the precincts of the shrine in Mašhad.
Figure 2. Tehran University Club - with Hossein Khadiv-Jam and Doctor Salah al-Din) (Source: Pictures of Hossein Khadiv-Jam with his handwriting; Courtesy of Mr. Farid KhadivJam)
Ī. Afšār and Ḡ.-R. Ḥarīrčīān, “Wafāt-e Doktor ʿAlī-Akbar Fayyāż,” Rāhnemā-ye ketāb 14/7-8, 1350 Š./1971, pp. 599-601.
T. Bīneš, “Yād-ī az Ostād Fayyāż,” Našrīya-ye Āmūzeš o parvareš-e Ḵorāsān 7/9-10, 1357 Š./1978, pp. 8-10.
Ḡ.-Ḥ. Yūsofī, “Taṣwīr-ī az Ostād Fayyāż” MDAM 7, 1350 Š./1971, pp. 707-16; repr. in idem, Barghāʾ-ī dar āḡūš-e bād II, 2536=1356 Š./1977, pp. 867-78.
Idem, “Zendagī wa āṯār-e šādravān Doktor ʿAlī-Akbar Fayyāż,” MDAM 7, 1350 Š./1971, pp. 717-23, repr. in ibid., pp. 879-84 (including a select list of his works).
Figure 1. ʿAlī-Akbar Fayyāż. After Rāhnemā-ye ket& #155;b 14, 1350 Š./1971, p. 598.
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 24, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. IX, Fasc. 5, pp. 451-452