DAQĀYEQĪ MARVAZĪ, ŠAMS-AL-DĪN MOḤAMMAD b. ʿAlī , the supposed author of a version of the Baḵtīār­-nāma, who lived from the late 12th to the 13th century. All that is known about him is a brief passage by Moḥammad ʿAwfī (d. ca. 630/1232), who spent his early years in Bukhara and recollected that he had probably seen him there (Lobāb I, pp. 212-15). He described Daqāyeqī as a man of letters who preached in a Shafiʿite mosque in Bukhara. Commoners disliked his accent and low voice, but the elite used to frequent his sessions, presumably because they appreciated his stylistic skills. He promoted the use of rhyming prose (sajʿ) in Persian, following the example of the Maqāmāt of the Qāżī Ḥamīd-al-Dīn (d. 559/1163-­64).

According to ʿAwfī, Daqāyeqī’s writings included an elegant treatise entitled Ḥanīn al-awṭān and poetry, from which ʿAwfī quoted a panegyric qaṣīda and two other brief fragments. He was also said to have made artistic redactions of two collections of tales, the Baḵtīār-nāma and the Sendbād-nāma. Of the latter work no trace has ever been found, and it is doubtful that it ever existed (ʿAwfī, Lobāb I, pp. 212-15; cf. the editor’s commentary, I, pp, 318-19, 347). Modern scholars have, on the other hand, credited the attribu­tion of the former work, though Daqāyeqī’s name is not mentioned in any Persian version that has so far come to light. Moreover, most of these versions are unadorned prose texts belonging to a tradition of anonymous popular literature, rather than to the so­phisticated genre to which ʿAwfī referred.

The only version of the Baḵtīār-nāma considered to be a work by Daqāyeqī is extant in three manuscripts, which contain almost identical texts, though under two different titles and without mention of the author.

The first is a manuscript dated 23 Ḏu’l-Ḥejja 663/6 October 1265 (Blochet, pp. 14-15 ms. no. 2035), to which the title Rāḥat al-arwāḥ fī sorūr al-mefrāḥ is given in the introduction. It was published under that title by Ḏabīḥ-Allāh Ṣafā (Tehran, 1345 Š./1966), who at the time was unaware of the existence of the two other manuscripts. In 1977 M.-N. O. Osmanov trans­lated the published edition into Russian.

Another manuscript, in the library of Leiden Univer­sity (ms. no. Or. 593), is dated 6 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 695/5 September 1296 and entitled Lomʿat al-serāj le-ḥażrat al-tāj (for description and extracts from the text, see Nöldeke). The third, undated manuscript, with the same title as the Leiden manuscript, is kept in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Sachau and Ethé, col. 437 no. 476). In 1348 Š./1969 Moḥammad Rowšan pub­lished an edition of the Baḵtīār-nāma based mainly on the Leiden and Bodleian manuscripts. In his introduc­tion he included a Persian translation of Theodor Nöldeke’s article (cf. Rāhnemā-ye ketāb 13/1, 1349 Š./1970, pp. 110-11).

Despite the variant titles there can be no doubt that the three copies represent a single redaction of the Baḵtīār-nāma. They all contain a dedication to a certain Tāj-al-Dīn Maḥmūd b. Moḥammad ʿAbd-al-­Karīm Samarqandī, whom Nöldeke tried to identify as a prince from the Qarakhanid house governing in Samarqand under the sovereignty of the Qarā Ḵetāy at some time before 604/1207-08; but, according to Ṣafā and Rowšan, the dedication refers to a local official. Moreover, the texts are basically identical, and the order of the ten tales included in the first frame story is the same. The most conspicuous differences among the three manuscripts are inserted citations, the manu­script entitled Rāḥat al-sorūr containing many more Arabic poems than the two others. It is impossible to say which one is closest to the original or, for that matter, if either of the two titles is that of the original author.

The arguments in favor of the attribution to Daqāyeqī are convincing, even though no conclusive proof has yet been discovered. First, he is the only person who was ever mentioned as the author of a Baḵtīār-nāma of this type. He lived less than a century before the time when the oldest two manuscripts were copied and in the area mentioned in the dedication. Second, these versions of the text conform to what ʿAwfī said about Daqāyeqī’s style. The text is written in rhyming prose filled with quotations, in Arabic and Persian, from the Koran, Hadith, proverbs, and poems. As Ṣafā has pointed out in the introduction to his edition (pp. 17-­19), many citations are similar to those found in the Sendbād-nāma of Ẓahīrī Samarqandī (written 556­-57/1160-61), which belongs to the same genre. Third, in quite a few passages it is clear that the author sought to emphasize the moral significance of the simple tales and to put the stamp of Muslim piety on the text, which might very well reflect the intentions of a preacher in Bukhara.

ʿAwfī himself included four stories from the Baḵtīār-nāma in his great collection Jawāmeʿ al-ḥekāyāt wa lawāmeʿ al-rewāyāt. According to Muḥammad Niẓámu’d-Dín (pp. 74-76), however, they must have been derived from a popular version of the book, as they do not contain any of the embellishments charac­teristic of the version attributed to Daqāyeqī.



Y. E. Bertel’s, Bakhtiār-Nāme. Persidkiĭ tekst i slovarδ (Baḵtīār-nāma. Persian text and glossary), Leningrad, 1926 (the text of a popular version, reprinted as a work of Daqāyeqī in a supple­ment to Armaḡān, Tehran, 1310 Š./1932).

E. Blochet, Bibliothèque Nationale. Catalogue des manuscrits persans IV, Paris, 1934.

Šams-al-Dīn Moḥammad Daqāyeqī, Baḵtīār-nāma, ed. Ḏ. Ṣafā as Rāḥat al-­arwāḥ fī sorūr al-mefrāḥ, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966; review M. Rowšan, Rāhnemā-ye ketāb 9/5, 1345 Š./1967, pp. 503-07; ed. M. Rowšan as Lomʿat al-­serāj le ḥażrat al-tāj, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969.

M. Niẓámu’d-Dín, Introduction to the Jawámiʿu’l-­ḥikáyát wa lawámiʿu’r-riwáyát of Sadídu’d-Dín Muḥammad al-ʿAwfí, London, 1929.

T. Nöldeke, “Über die Texte des Buches von den zehn Veziren, besonders über eine alte persische Recension desselben,” ZDMG 45, 1891, pp. 97-143.

M.-N. O. Osmanov, Uslada duš ili Bakhtiyar-Name, perevod s persidskogo (The pleasure of the souls or Baḵtīār-nāma, translated from the Persian), Moscow, 1977.

E. Sachau and H. Ethé, Catalogue of the Persian MSS in the Bodleian Library I, Oxford, 1889.

Ḏ. Ṣafā, ed., Baḵtīār-nāma wa ʿAjāʾeb al-baḵt, Tehran, 1347 Š./1968 (editions of Bibliothèque Nationale ms. no. 2036, an unadorned Persian version, and an Arabic version of the text).

N. N. Tumanovich, “Neizvestnyĭ persidskiĭ prozaicheskiĭ variant” (An unknown Persian prose variant) in Palestinskiĭ sbornik (Palestinian collection) 21 (84), 1970, pp. 16-25.

(J. T. P. De Bruijn)

(J. T. P. de Bruijn)

Originally Published: December 15, 1993

Last Updated: November 14, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VI, Fasc. 6, pp. 660-661