BĪḠAMĪ, MAWLĀNĀ SHAIKH ḤĀJĪ MOḤAMMAD b. Shaikh Aḥmad b. Mawlānā ʿAlī b. Ḥājī Moḥammad Ṭāherī (or Ṭāmerī), oral storyteller of the 8th/14th century, narrator of the romance Dārāb-nāma. The oldest manuscript of Dārāb-nāma is dated Ḏu’l-ḥejja, 887/January-February, 1483, and internal evidence strongly suggests that Bīḡamī was alive at that time and that he dictated the story to Maḥmūd Daftarḵᵛān, who wrote it down. Quotations in the text from Ḥāfeẓ give a terminus post quem consistent with this date. Frequent references in the text to “relaters of this tale” and “narrators of this story” and to “this old tale” suggest that Bīḡamī did not create the basic story of Dārāb-nāma but rather created this version of it. That he was an oral storyteller is further suggested by several statements that he was relating the story to his friends (dar ḥożūr-e dūstān). Nothing further is known of his life.
The text of part I of Dārāb-nāma was edited and published in 2 vols. by Ḏ. Ṣafā (Tehran, 1339-41 Š./1960-62).
Ṣafā’s introduction to vol. 1 and concluding remarks to vol. 2 discuss the existing evidence regarding Bīḡamī. The unpublished third part of the story (Uppsala Univ. Library Ms. 555, Zetterstéen Cat. 418, dated 1201/1787) adds nothing to our knowledge of the storyteller.
(William L. Hanaway)
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, p. 249
William L. Hanaway, “BĪḠAMĪ,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, IV/3, p. 249, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/bigami-mawlana-shaikh-haji-mohammad-b (accessed on 30 December 2012).