NAḴJAVĀNI, ḤĀJJ MOḤAMMAD

(1880-1962), businessman, scholar, and collector of manuscripts.

 

NAḴJAVĀNI, Ḥājj Moḥammad (b. Tabriz, 1880; d. Tabriz, 15 Mordād 1341 Š./6 August 1962), businessman, scholar, and collector of manuscripts. His father, Ḥājj ʿAli ʿAbbās was a leading merchant in Tabriz and attended to his son’s education from early years. The young Moḥammad began his elementary education under Āqā Ḥosayn Amin-al-Odabā and at Ṭalebiya school, where he studied Persian and Arabic grammar and literature under an erudite teacher called Mollā ʿAli. Naḵjavāni began his life-long career as a merchant in the bazaar of Tabriz under his father. At the same time, he developed a passion for collecting rare manuscripts that stayed with him throughout his life. He was a successful merchant and his wealth enabled him to travel to Europe and Asia in search of rare Persian manuscripts, many of which he purchased and brought back to Persia.

Naḵjavāni was quite generous with his books, including his valuable manuscripts, allowing researchers to borrow them for long periods of time. In 1956, he donated his entire library of over 3,700 books, including his large collection of manuscripts, to the Public Library of Tabriz (Ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli-e Tabriz). Sayyed Ḥasan Taqizādeh, a childhood friend and schoolmate of Naḵjavāni, has described his collection as an incomparable library (ketāb-ḵāna-ye bi-mānand; Taqizādeh, p. 185). They included unique manuscripts such as those of Neẓām al-Molk’s Siyar al-moluk or Siāsat-nāma, Riāż al-janna of Mirzā Ḥasan Zonuzi known as Fāni, Mojmal-e faṣiḥi of Faṣiḥ Aḥmad of Ḵᵛāf, the Ḏayl of Ḡiāṯ-al-Din Ḵᵛāndamir’s Ḥabib al-siar by the author’s son, Koliyāt of Amir ʿAli-šir-e Navāʾi, the Divān and the collected works of Ṣādeqi Afšār, the librarian of Shah ʿAbbās, and many other.

Naḵjavāni was active in the literary circles of Tabriz. He was also the deputy chairman of the Tabriz Chamber of Commerce. He edited and published the Divān of Qaṭrān of Tabriz (Tabriz, 1954), compiled a detailed catalogue of the manuscripts held at the Tarbiat Library in Tabriz (Fehrest-e nosaḵ-e ḵaṭṭi-e Ḵetāb-ḵāna o qerāʾat-ḵāna-ye Tarbiat, Tabriz, 1950), and also published a number of short articles on literary subjects. He died after a long period of illness and was buried in his hometown.

Bibliography:

A select list of Naḵjavāni’s articles:

“Ḥayrān Donboli,” Armaḡān 9, 1928, pp. 307-11.

“Maʿāḏi Tabrizi,” Armaḡān 14, 1929, pp. 89-97, 211-15.

“Moḥammad b. al-Baʿiṯ wa zabān-e āḏari,” Yādgār 3/6-7, 1946, pp. 137-39.

Idem, “Mazār-e Abu ʿAli Sinā,” Yaḡmā 4/4, 1951, pp. 180-82.

Obituaries and references.

Iraj Afšār, “Wafāt-e Moḥammad Naḵjavāni” Rāhnemā-ye ketāb 5/7, 1962, pp. 661-62.

Hušang Etteḥād, Pažuhešgarān-e moʿāṣer-e Irān, Tehran, 1999.

ʿAli Lakdizči, “Šarḥ-i mojmal az ḵadamāt wa taʾṯir-e ketāb-ḵāna-ye Moḥammad Naḵjavāni dar eḥyāʾ wa tajdid-e adabiyāt-e kelāsik-e Irān,” Našriya-ye ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli-e Tabriz 6, 1962, pp. 31-41.

“Marḥum-e Ḥājj Moḥammad Āqā Naḵjavāni,” Yaḡmā 15/10, 1963, pp. 460-61.

ʿAli-Aṣḡar Modarres, “Ba yād-e marḥum-e Naḵjavāni,” Našriya-ye Ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli-e Tabriz 6, 1962, pp. 13-19.

Ḥosayn Naḵjavāni, “Moḥammad Naḵjavāni wa šarḥ-e baʿz-i az kotob-e ḵaṭṭi wa āṯār-e vey,” Našriya-ye Ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli-e Tabriz 6, 1962, pp. 47-54.

Sayyed Ḥasan Taqizādeh, “Ḥājj Moḥammad Āqā Naḵjavāni Tabrizi,” Našriya-ye Ketāb-ḵāna-ye melli-e Tabriz 6, 1962, pp. 6-9; repr. in idem, Maqālāt-e Taqizāda, ed. Iraj Afšār, 10 vols., Tehran, 1971-78, II, pp. 137-39.

Idem, “Divān-e Qaṭrān Tabrizi,” ibid, II, pp. 183-85.

July 20, 2009

(Hushang Ettehad and EIr)

Originally Published: July 20, 2009

Last Updated: July 20, 2009