ĀẔARĪ (ĀḎARĪ) ṬŪSĪ, NŪR-AL-DĪN (or FAḴR-AL-DĪN) ḤAMZA B. ʿALĪ MALEK ESFARĀYENĪ BAYHAQĪ, Shiʿite Sufi poet (fl. 784-866/1382-1462). He was born in Esfarāyen (Khorasan), where his father was of some importance under the Sarbadārs (Dawlatšāh, p. 398). He showed an early inclination toward poetry and soon gained the favor of Šāhroḵ (r. 807-50/1405-47) after a competition with Ḵᵛāja ʿAbd-al-Qāder ʿŪdī, in which he was required to compose qaṣīdas in the manner of Salmān Sāvajī (d. 778/1376-77). He was promised the position of poet-laureate at the Timurid court but, about the same time, came under the influence of the Sufi, Shaikh Moḥyī-al-dīn Ṭūsī Ḡazālī. He made the pilgrimage to Mecca with his teacher; and, while there, he wrote Saʿy al-ṣafā, a history of the Kaʿba with description of the ḥājj ceremonies (Dawlatšāh, pp. 398-409). On the return journey Shaikh Moḥyī-al-dīn died at Aleppo (830/1426-27), and Āẕarī then became the disciple of Shah Neʿmatallāh Walīy. He made the pilgrimage again with the latter, from whom he received the Sufi’s cloak (ḵerqa; see Nafīsī, Naẓm o naṯr I, p. 294; Qāżī Nūrallāh Šūstarī, Majāles al-moʾmenīn, Tehran, 1335 Š./1956, II, p. 125).
Āẕarī then traveled to India. In 832/1428-29 he became attached to the court of Aḥmad Shah Bahmanī (820-38/1417-35) in the Deccan, and the king bestowed on him the title of poet-laureate. Āẕarī began work on a history of the dynasty, the Bahman-nāma. He eventually sought permission to return home but promised to continue work on the history. By the time of his death he had carried it down to the reign of Sultan ʿAlāʾ-al-dīn Homāyūn Shah (862-65/1457-61); other poets, such as Naẓīrī and Sāmeʿī, continued the project (Nafīsī, op. cit., II, p. 786). On his departure from India, Āẕarī received a gift of 60,000 silver tankas, five slaves, and a robe of honor.
Āẕarī returned to Esfarāyen and spent the remaining thirty years of his life in seclusion. He largely turned from the writing of panegyric to verse in praise of the Prophet and his descendants. He also had built, and provided endowments for, houses and hospices to serve dervishes, the poor, pilgrims, and students. When the Timurid Sultan Moḥammad b. Bāysonqor passed through in 850/1446-47 (after Šāhroḵ’s death, on his way to assume the rule of Fārs, ʿErāq-e ʿAjam, and Māzandarān), he called on the revered Sufi elder. Āẕarī offered advice but declined a bag of gold. In 852/1448-49 Āẕarī had another royal interview in Esfarāyen, with Uluḡ Beg (Dawlatšāh, p. 363). Āẕarī died there in 866/1461-62 and was buried in one of his foundations. His death date was found in the chronograms ḵosrow (by Aḥmad Mostawfī, see M. ʿA. Modarres, Rayḥānat al-adab I, 3rd ed., Tabrīz, n.d., p. 46) and ḵorūs (ʿAlī-Šīr Navāʾī, Majāles al-nafāʾes, ed. ʿA. A. Ḥekmat, Tehran, 1332 Š./1954, p. 186).
Āẕarī’s other literary works were: Mafātīḥ (or Meftāḥ) al-asrār, written in 830/1426-27, apparently lost; Jawāher al-asrār, an abridgement of the preceding, done ten years later (H. Ethé in Geiger and Kuhn, Grundr. Ir. Phil. II, p. 304), published Tehran, 1353/1934; Ṭoḡrā-ye homāyūn; and Maṯnawī-e merʾāt, comprising Tāmmat al-kobrā, ʿAjāʾeb al-donyā, ʿAjāʾeb al-aʿlā, and Saʿy al-ṣafā. The third of these has been tentatively identified with an ʿAjāʾeb al-ḡarāʾeb in the Majles Library, Tehran (Ebn Yūsof, Fehrest-e ketāb-ḵāna-ye Majles III, Tehran, 1312-18 Š./1933-39, p. 513) by Āqā Bozorg Ṭehrānī (al-Ḏarīʿa IX/1, pp. 3-4, XV, p. 218). Āẕarī may have written other works; S. Nafīsī attributed to him a Maṯnawī-e emāmīya and Maṯnawī-e ṯamarāt (op. cit., I, p. 294).
See also Dawlatšāh, ed. Browne, pp. 398-412.
Majāles al-ʿoššāq, lith., Lucknow, n.d., pp. 245-47.
Ḥabīb al-sīar IV, p. 61.
Majmaʿ al-foṣaḥāʾ I, p. 8.
Moḥammad Qodratallāh Gōpāmavī, Natāʾej al-afkār, Bombay, 1336/1917-18, pp. 30-32.
Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia III, pp. 398, 502-03.
Ḵayyāmpūr, Soḵanvarān, p. 3.
Rypka, Hist. Iran. Lit., p. 720.
Ṣāfā, Adabīyāt IV, Tehran, 2536 = 1356 Š./1977, pp. 323-33.
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(A. ʿA. Rajāʾī)
Originally Published: December 15, 1987
Last Updated: August 18, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 2, pp. 189-190