FOʾĀDI BOŠRUʾI, ḤASAN (b. Bošruya in Khorasan, 1899; d. Tehran, 11 Šahrivar 1315/1 September 1936; Figure 1), historian, philologist, educator, and head of Bahai (see BAHAI FAITH) schools in Iran and Turkmenistan.  He was born to the family of notable Bahais.  His great-grandfather, Mollā Moḥammad-Ebrāhim, was an eminent mojtahed of Bošruya, and his grandfather, Moḥammad-Ḥasan, became a Bābi (see BABISM) at the outset of the movement.  His mother, Solṭān Ḵānom (1869-1964), the daughter of Moḥammad-Esmāʿil, who was from a mojtahed (q.v.) family of Bošruya, was a Bahai and was given the title of “Ḏabiḥ” by Bahāʾ-Allāh.  His maternal great-grandfather, Mollā ʿAbd-Allāh, became a Bābi through the mother of Mollā Ḥosayn Bošruʾi (Solaymāni, p. 377; Vahman, pp. 21-22).  When Foʾādi was seven years old, his father, Ḥosayn, migrated with his family to Ashkhabad (ʿEšqābād).  In 1927 Foʾādi married Howiya (1912-2001), the granddaughter of Fāżel Qāʾeni Nabil-e Akbar (1829-92, q.v.) and the daughter of Āqā Šayḵ Moḥammad-ʿAli Qāʾeni (1860-1924; Vahman, pp. 22, 25).

Foʾādi studied at the Persian Bahai school in Ashkhabad.  Evidence of his intellectual and linguistic abilities comes from reports that he taught himself both Russian and Turkish languages when he was 8-9 years old.  Then, from the age of 10, he taught Russian in order to support his family.  He graduated from the Bahai school at the age of 14 and started to teach there.  In 1912, he joined his uncles, who were merchants at Taḵta-Bāzār in Turkmenistan and took a teaching position at the Bahai school there (Vahman, pp. 22-23).

After eight years of teaching in Taḵta-Bāzār, his reputation had grown to such an extent that in 1921 he was invited to become the head of the Bahai school in Marv in Turkmenistan.  After a year, he was asked by the local Bahai governing committee to head the large Bahai school in Ashkhabad—a post which he accepted (Solaymāni, pp. 382, 385).  In 1925 he decided to continue his education.  He passed the necessary examinations to enter the university and was awarded a scholarship by the regional Ministry of Education, a unique award for a Persian or a Bahai at that time.  He, in return, pledged to complete the four-year course in two years and to take a government teaching position after graduation (Solaymāni, p. 388).

In 1927 he enrolled in the Faculty of Oriental Languages at the University of Tashkent, where he was reported to excel in his studies.  There he learnt ancient and modern languages, including Old Persian and the dialects of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Turkistan.  In 1929 Foʾādi was expelled from the university because of his religious beliefs.  He was later imprisoned in Ashkhabad, and after six months he was exiled to Iran in January 1930 as part of an amnesty for Persian subjects (Solaymāni, pp. 390-91; Vahman, pp. 27-29, 31).

Soon after arriving in Iran, he was given the post of the head of the military library in Mashad.  He modernized the library, and his efforts were appreciated and recorded in an issue of the monthly Pahlavi magazine (Mashad, 1931).  In addition, he gave a series of lectures and became popular among high-ranking officers, governors, and other Mashad notables.  After one year, in 1931, the national Bahai governing body asked him to head the Bahai school Waḥdat-e Bašar in Kashan (Kāšān), where he stayed for a short period of time before moving to Tehran to teach at the Bahai school Tarbiat.  He stayed there until the school was closed by the order of the government in 1934 (Vahman, p. 31; Momen, p. 113).  His last post was at the Military Academy (Dabirestān-e neẓām) in Tehran, where he taught Persian language and literature.  He died in August 1936 at the age of 37 from septicemia; he was survived by a daughter and a son (Solaymāni, pp. 397-98). 

After Foʾādi’s death, Šowqi Efendi, the Bahai leader, praised his role as an educator, his many lectures to the Bahai youth, and his book on the history of the Bahai community of Khorasan (Vahman, pp. 32-33).  His death was announced in Mehr, a monthly literary journal, as a major loss to the literary life of Iran (4 Mehr 1936, p. 587; repr. in Foʾādi, 2007, p. 35).

Ḥasan Foʾādi was highly regarded for his intellectual abilities, breadth of knowledge, and mastery in many languages.  He is considered an innovator in the field of Persian linguistics (Solaymāni, p. 379; Milanian, pp. 14, 18).

Works.  The short period of his life in Iran (1930-36), where he was relatively settled, enabled Foʾādi to produce a considerable number of articles and a few books on different aspects of Persian cultural heritage.  His most important achievements were in the field of Persian linguistics.  HSome of his pioneering works in this field were published in Mehr, and some remained unpublished due to his sudden death.

In his published articles, mostly in the 1930s, Foʾādi discusses Persian grammar in the light of the new science of linguistics and in contrast to the traditional approach of Arabic grammar.  In his eleven philological articles (see bibliography), he discusses Persian lexicography, phonology, word formation (suffixation and composition), morphology and syntax, phraseology and poetic formulae, rhythmic law, etymology, and Persian dialects.  He also wrote two books on linguistics and one book on Bahai history.

His first book on linguistics, titled Mabādi wa oṣul-e zabān-šenāsi, is composed of two sections.  The first section is a general description of linguistics, and the second deals with the characteristics of Persian philology.  The book ends with a concluding chapter titled “Waẓāʾef-e mā dar masʾala-ye zabān.”  Judging from the table of contents, the book must have been fairly large (Solaymāni, p. 405).  However, only a part of the manuscript is currently available (Vahman, pp. 39-41).  The second book on linguistics, entitled Tarkib-e zabān-e fārsi, is about one hundred pages long, divided into six chapters.  It is a more detailed description of Persian syntax.  Both books are still in manuscript form in Foʾādi’s own handwriting.

The third book, titled Manāẓer-e tāriḵi-e nahżat-e amr-e Bahāʾi dar Ḵorāsān, was commissioned by the local governing body of the Bahais of Khorasan.  Foʾādi wrote most of this book when he was in Mashad and completed it in 1931.  The original copy of the book was confiscated by the revolutionary guards in Iran in 1982.  In this book, the growth of the Bahai faith in Khorasan, together with biographies of early Bahais, is meticulously recorded from various sources, such as documents in the Bahai archives in Mashad, interviews, and other documents.

Three Foʾādi’s articles on different topics, including education, appeared in Mehr in 1935-36.  Seven articles, of which four were in Turkish, appeared in the Ḵoršid-e Ḵāvar, a Bahai journal published in Ashkhabad.  Six articles on various topics, including an article in two parts about the characteristics of Turkoman tribes and one on the use of intellectual powers and its progress (originally a lecture), were published in the Pahlavi Journal (1930-31) in Mashad (Vahman, pp. 36-37).


Selected works of Foʾādi.  


“Āhang-e zabān-e fārsi: āhang-e lafẓ-i, āhang-e manṭeq-i, āhang-e musiqi,” Mehr 1/12, 1934, pp. 964-68. 

“Rafʿ-e čand eštebāh dar bāra-ye Šāh-nāma,” Mehr 2/5-6, 1934, pp. 529-34. 

“Sayr-e takāmoli-e zabān,” in 7  parts, Mehr 2/1-4 and 7-9, 1934-35, pp. 73-78, 171-74, 249-53, 365-70, 777-81, 869-73, 969-73. 

“Nešānhā-ye negāreš,” Mehr 2/10, 1935/2, pp. 1044-46. 

“Be kār bordan-e nešānhā-ye negāreš,” Mehr 2/11, 1935 pp. 1164-67. 

“Zabān wa lahja,” Mehr 3/1, 1935/3, pp. 54-57. 

“Dar āṭrāf-e goftogu-ye zabān,” Mehr 3/2, 1935 pp. 173-76. 

“Kalema,” Mehr 3/3, 1935 pp. 252-56. 

“Taqsim-e kalema be riša wa jozʾ,” Mehr 3/4, 1935, pp. 361-64. 

“Taqsim-e kalemāt az leḥāẓ-e maʿni,” Mehr 3/5, 1935 pp. 478-80. 

“ʿAʿżā-ye aṣli-e jomla,” Mehr 3/6, 1935, pp. 602-5.

“Waẓifa-ye tarbiat wa baḥṯ dar taʾṯir-e tarbiat,” Mehr 3/7, 1935, pp. 712-15. 

“Kār-e fekri wa šoruṭ-e pišraft-e ān,” Mehr 3/11, 1936, pp. 1140-64.


Manāẓer-e tāriḵi-e nahżat-e amr-e Bahāʾi dar Ḵorāsān, ed. Minudoḵt Foʾādi and Faridun Vahman, as Tāriḵ-e diānat-e Bahāʾi dar Ḵorāsān, Darmstadt, 2007. 

Mabādi wa oṣul-e zabān-šenāsi, partly preserved in manuscript. 

Tarkib-e zabān-e fārsi, not published.  The manuscripts of the last two works are in the possession of Minou Foadi’s family.


Asad-Allāh ʿAlizād, Sālhā-ye sokut: bahāʾiān-e Russiya, 1938-46, Bundoora, Vic., Australia, 1999, pp. 28, 241-42.  

Gilbert Lazard, “Persian and Tajik,” in Thomas A. Sebeok, ed., Current Trends in Linguistics VI, The Hague and Paris, 1970, pp. 64-96.  

Hormoz Milāniān, “Tāriḵča-ye āmuzeš-e zabān-šenāsi dar Irān,” Goftogu, Ketāb-e māh-e adabiyāt wa falsafa, nos. 87-88, 2005, pp. 14-23 (an interview conducted by Behruz Maḥmudi Baḵtiāri).  

Moojan Momen, “Bahai Schools in Iran,” in Dominic Parviz Brookshaw and Seena Fazel, eds., The Bahais of Iran: Socio-Historical Studies, London and New York, 2008, pp. 94-121.   

ʿAziz-Allāh Solaymāni Ardakāni, “Janāb-e Āqā Ḥasan Foʾādi,” in Maṣābiḥ-e hedāyat V, Tehran, 1954, pp. 376-411.  

Fereydun Vahman, “Zendagi-nāma-ye … Ḥasan Foʾādi Bošruʾi wa āṯār-e u,” pub. as an Introd. in Foʾādi, 2007, pp. 21-42. 

Personal communication with Foʾādi-Āvāragān and Howiya in 2000, and with Ismail Zabihi in 2006.

(Fereydun Vahman)

Originally Published: February 4, 2015

Last Updated: February 4, 2015

Cite this entry:

Fereydun Vahman, "FOʾĀDI BOŠRUʾI, ḤASAN," Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, 2015, available at (accessed on 04 February 2015).