ĀFARĪN-NĀMA, a poem in the motaqāreb meter by the 4th/10th century poet Abū Šakūr Balḵī. The scattered extant verses, some 320 bayts in taḏkeras, dictionaries, and other books, indicate that in addition to purely didactic and homiletic material, the work probably contained stories as well. Three of the verses make it clear that Abū Šakūr wrote the Āfarīn-nāma, which he dedicated to the amir Nūḥ b. Naṣr Sāmānī (r. 331-43/943-54; see Lazard, Premiers poètes, line 123), in 333/944 when he was thirty-three years old (ibid., lines 130, 186). ʿAwfī (Lobāb, Tehran, p. 258) says that the work was completed in 336/948; Reżā-qolī Khan (Maǰma al-foṣaḥāʾ I, p. 138) claims that the poet only began to write poetry in 336/948. The length of the Āfarīn-nāma is not known; Dehḵodā’s surmise that it contained nearly two-thirds the number of verses in Ferdawsī’s Šāh-nāma is unfounded. The extant verses do, at least, bear witness to Abū Šakūr’s powerful poetic temperament and the purity of his creativity (Dehḵodā, s.v.). The poet’s extant verses make it clear that he wrote four other maṯnawīs.


See also Ṣafā, Adabīyāt I, pp. 405-08.

M. Dabīrsīāqī, Ganǰ-e bāzyāfta, Tehran, 1334 Š./1955.

Idem, Pīšahangān-e šeʿr-e fārsī, Tehran, 1351 Š./1972.

(J. Matīnī)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 22, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 5, pp. 480-481

Cite this entry:

J. Matīnī, “ĀFARĪN-NĀMA,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/5, pp. 480-481; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/afarin-nama-a-poem-in-the-motaqareb-meter-by-the-4th-10th-century-poet-abu-sakur-balki-q (accessed on 7 March 2014).