FERDAWS AL-MORŠEDĪYA FĪ ASRĀR AL-ṢAMADĪYA, a major hagiography of Abū Esḥāq Kāzarūnī (b. 352/963, d.426/1033; q.v.), a famous Sufi and founder of a selsela variously referred to as Kāzarūnīya, Esḥāqīya, or Moršedīya. The original Arabic text, by Abū Bakr Moḥammad b. ʿAbd-al-Karīm b.ʿAlī b. Saʿd al-Ḵaṭīb (d. 502/1109), the third ḵalīfa of the order, is no longer extant, but evidence of direct textual borrowings from it can be found in the Taḏkerat al-awlīāʾ of ʿAṭṭār (Meier, p. 3). Although Ferdaws al-moršedīya almost certainly follows the structure of the Arabic original, it was compiled at a much later date (728/1328) and contains additional material and interpolations. The name of the translator, Maḥmūd b. ʿOṯmān, does not appear in the text itself but his authorship is attested in the two extant copies of an abridgment of the book entitled Anwār al-moršedīya fī asrār al-ṣamadīya, which he himself compiled.
Fritz Meier prepared an edition of the Ferdaws al-moršedīya based on the manuscripts Aya Sofya 3254 and Konya 1513 (see Gölpınarlı, pp. 193-94; Köprülüzāde). The first printing (Istanbul, 1943) was destroyed during World War II and reissued in 1948 with an informative introduction (pp. 1-86). A subsequent edition by Īraj Afšār was based on Meier but also included an edition of the abridgment, Anwār al-moršedīyafī asrār al-ṣamadīya; Persian translations of Meier’s preface and an article by A. J. Arberry; and other essays (Afšār, 1980; ʿAqīlī). A manuscript of Ferdaws al-moršedīya was reportedly included as part of an important illustrated Sufi miscellany copied in 821/1418 for the famous Timurid prince Ebrāhīm Solṭān b. Šāhroḵ (q.v.). At one time in the ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Bayāt collection, this manuscript may have been donated to the Madrasa-ye Ṣamṣāmīya in Arāk (see Golčīn-e Maʿānī, pp. 63-64), but its present location is not known. The manuscript of another translation of the Arabic text, Marṣad al-aḥrār elā siyar al-moršed al-abrār, was in the private library of A. Chester Beatty (Storey I/2, p. 1343; described by Arberry), but its current whereabouts are also unknown.
Ferdaws al-moršedīya belongs to an important category of hagiography which focuses on a single charismatic life (see HAGIOGRAPHIC LITERATURE). It shares many structural similarities with other important works in the same genre, including Sīrat-e Ebn al-Ḵafīf (see EBN ḴAFĪF) and Asrār al-tawḥīd (q.v.). The value of these works, not only for the history of the formation of the Sufi orders, but also for a better understanding of daily life and urban and rural structures, is gradually becoming apparent to social historians (Aigle, l995). Furthermore, Ferdaws al-moršedīya contains several conversion stories and anecdotes about Muslim-Zoroastrian relations in 11th century Fārs, describing the local history of the Kāzarūn region in the context of the triangular relationship between the central Buyid administration in Shiraz, the still considerable and influential local Zoroastrian community in Kāzarūn, and the emerging power of the mostly rural Muslim population under the shaikh’s shrewd and patient leadership. The work is also an invaluable source of information on regional dialects and geography.
Editions. F. Meier, ed. as Die Vita des Scheich Abū Isḥāq al-Kāzarūnī in der Persischen Bearbeitung von Maḥmūd b. ʿUṯmān, Leipzig, 1948.
Ī. Afšār, ed., Ferdaws al-moršedīya fī asrār al-ṣamadīya, Tehran, 1333 Š./1954; 2nd ed., Tehran, 1358 Š./1980.
Studies and articles: M. A. Adīb Ṭūsī, “Lahja-ye Kāzarūnī-ye qādīm,” NDA Tabrīz 7, 1334 Š./1955, pp. 26-40.
Ī. Afšār, “Sanad-ī dar bāra-ye boqʿa-ye Šayḵ Moršed-e Kāzarūnī,” Āyanda 5, 1358 Š./1979, pp. 137-47; repr. in Ferdaws al-Moršedīya, ed. Ī. Afšār, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1358 Š./1980, pp. 754-63.
D. Aigle, “Sainteté et miracles en Islam médiéval: l’example de deux saints fondateurs iraniens,” in Miracles, prodiges et merveilles au Moyen Ãge: Actes du XXVe Congr èsdes historiens médiévistes de l’enseignement supérieur public, Paris, l995, pp. 47-73.
Idem, “Un fondateur d’ordre en milieu rural: Le Cheikh Abū Ishāq de Kāzarūn,” in D. Aigle, ed., SaintsOrientaux, Paris, l995, pp. 181-209.
H. Algar, “Kāzarūnī,” EI2 IV, pp. 851-52.
ʿA-A. ʿĀqelī, “Sekkahā-ye żarb-e Kazarūn bā nām-e Abū Esḥāq,” in Ferdaws al-Moršedīya, ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 2nd ed., 1358 Š./1980, pp. 764-67.
A. J. Arberry, “The Biography of Shaikh Abū Isḥāq al-Kāzarūni,” Oriens 3, 1950, pp. 163-82.
J. Borūmand Saʿīd, Degargūnīhā-ye vāžegān dar zabān-e fārsī, Tehran, 1364 Š./1985.
A. Eqtedārī, “Šanāsāʾī-e ābādīhā-ye Fārs dar Ferdaws al-Moršedīya,” in Haftād maqāla: armagān-e farhangī bedoktor Qolām-Ḥosayn Ṣadīqī I, ed. Y. Mahdawī and Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1369 Š./1990, pp. 165-69.
A. Golčīn-e Maʿānī, “Fehrest-e qesmat-ī az kotob-e ḵaṭṭī-e ketābḵāna-ye marḥūm ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Bayāt,” in M.-T. Dānešpažūh and Ī. Afšār, eds., Nosḵahā-ye ḵaṭṭī: Našrīya-ye Ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazī-e Dānešgāh-e Tehrān VI, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969, pp. 63-117.
A. Gölpınarlı, ed., Mevlânâ Müzesī Yazmalar Kataloğu I, Ankara, 1967, pp. 193-94.
M. F. Köprülüzāde, “Abū Isḥāq Kāzerūnī und die Isḥāqī-Derwische in Anatolien,” Der Islam 19, 1931, pp. 18-26.
R. P. Mottahedeh, “Shaykh Abū Ishāq al-Kāzerūnī and the Persian Renaissance,” A.B. thesis, Harvard University, 1960.
A. Soudavar, “The Sufi Order of Shaykh Abu-Es-Hāq Ibrāhīm,” in idem, Art of the Persian Courts: Selections from the Art and History Trust Collection, New York, 1992, pp. 78-83.
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 26, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. IX, Fasc. 5, pp. 511-512