FAŻLĪ NAMANGĀNĪ, ʿABD-AL-KARĪM (d. after 1237/1822), Central Asian bilingual poet (Persian and Chaghatay), taḏkera compiler, and historian. Fażlī spent his childhood and youth in poverty. For a time he was an official in his birthplace, Namangān, and in Tōraqōrḡān, apparently before joining the court of the ruler of Ḵōqand, Moḥammad ʿOmar Khan Mīng (ca. 1225-37/1810-22). Twice banished from the court, he succeeded finally to rank as its poet laureate (malek al-šoʿarāʾ). After the khan’s death (1822), Fażlī returned to Namangān, where he spent the rest of his life (Mošref Esfaragī,fol. 27a-b; Qayumov, pp. 65-66; Maḵmūr, p. 21).
The only known manuscript of Fażlī’s dīvān, compiled during his lifetime (copied in Bukhara in 1226/1811; see Mirzoev et al., IV, pp. 113-14, no. 1347), contains in its twenty-six folios only a few of his ḡazals,qeṭʿas, robāʿīs, and several short maṯnawīs. (Three works entitled Dīvān-e Fażlī as listed in Monzawī, Nosḵahā III, p. 2467, apparently are not copies of the dīvān of Fażlī Namangānī.) The known corpus of his poetry, however, consists of a greater number of ḡazals and poems in forms of qaṣīda, moḵammas, mošāʿera, and specifically Turkic tuyuḡs (pun rhyme quatrains).
Both the Persian and Chaghatay poetry of Fażlī are lucid and relatively simple in style. This feature caused a number of his ḡazals to be set to the tunes of the šaš maqām (see CENTRAL ASIA xvi). The enormous popularity of Fażlī in the 19th to early 20th centuries is evidenced by the presence of a large number of his ḡazals in Central Asian bayāżes (q.v.; anthologies) of that period (e.g., 42 items are listed in Mirzoev et al., V, passim; cf. indices, pp. 398, 425; the Fażlī mentioned on p. 13, no. 1500/16 is not Fażlī Namangānī).
Fażlī’s ʿOmar-nāma, finished in 1237/1822, is a versified narrative whose main topic is the history of the rule of ʿOmar Khan (about 120 folios out of 158). The evidently unique manuscript of it, lacking the end folio(s), is kept in the St. Petersburg branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (no. C24670; see Akimushkin, p. 146; idem et al., p. 625, no. 58; Storey-Bregel, II, pp. 1187-88, no. 1052). It is a maṯnawī of about five thousand bayts in the motaqāreb-e moṯamman-e maḥḏūf/maqṣūr meter. ʿOmar-nāma became the basis for Mīrzā Qalandar Mošref Esfaragī’s prose Šāh-nāma-ye ʿOmar-ḵānī.
Another major work by Fażlī is his Majmūʿat al-šoʿarāʾ, a taḏkera which he finished in Rabīʿ II 1237/December 1821-January 1822 (mistakenly Rabīʿ II 1227/April-May 1812 in Mirzoev et al., II, p. 26, no. 308; for other manuscripts of this taḏkera see ibid., p. 26, no. 309; Semyonov et al., II, pp. 336-40, nos. 1637-41; VII, p. 113; Akimushkin et al., pp. 530-31, nos. 3930-31; Monzawī, Nosḵahā IV, p. 3170, no. 34534; litho. ed., Tashkent, 1320/1902). It includes Persian and Chaghatay poems of 101 poets, 75 of whom are introduced by Fayżī in Persian maṯnawī, also in the motaqāreb-e moṯamman-e maḥḏūf/maqṣūr meter. The taḏkera is a major source for the study of literary life in the Ḵōqand Khanate of the early 19th century. It served as the main source for Raḥmat-Allāh Wāżeḥ’s Toḥfat al-aḥbāb fī taḏkerat al-aṣḥāb.
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Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 24, 2012
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