DELKAŠ, QĀRĪ MOLLĀ KARĀMAT-ALLĀH TANBŪRĪ BOḴĀRĀʾĪ (b. Bukhara at an indeterminate date, d. Bukhara, 1320/1902), Tajik poet and musician known and revered for melodies performed on the tanbūr (a long-necked lute), the instrument from which his nickname was derived (ʿAynī, p. 312). He was a student and friend of Aḥmad Dāneš (q.v.), a leader of the Tajik progressive movement in Bukhara in the late 19th century. Like other disciples of Dāneš, including Tāš-Ḵvāja ʿAṣīrī, Moḥammad-Ṣeddīq Ḥayrat, Możṭareb, Šams-al-Dīn Maḵdūm (Šāhīn), and Raḥmat-Allāh Wāżeḥ, Delkaš was trained in both music and literature (Istoriya, 1966, p. 310). Although little is known about his life and thought, there is no doubt that he was influenced by Dāneš. That relationship did not prevent his appointment as court secretary to Amir ʿAbd al-Aḥad (1303-30/1885-1910) in 1319/1901; in fact, the amir was seeking to attract poets and musicians to his court, in order to preserve them from the “pernicious influences” of the progressives (“Dilkaš,” 1980). A year later, however, Delkaš died of tuberculosis, paralleling in this way ʿAbd-al-Qāder Ḵᵛāja Savdo (Sawdāʾ), who had been named official poet in 1306/1889 and had also died of tuberculosis (Bečka, p. 526).

Delkaš left no dīvān of his poetry; his works must be collected from various contemporary anthologies and notes (bayāż) by poets. His name is mentioned in Toḥfat al-aḥbāb by Wāżeḥ (p. 47), evidence that he was already a respected artist before his brief stay at court. He was also mentioned in Taḏkerat al-šoʿarāʾ by Moḥtaram, compiled after 1323/1905 to glorify the power of the amir (Akademiya Nauk,Tashkent, ms. no. 2252), and in Afżµµal al-taḏkār, compiled in 1322/1904 at the request of the amir, in order to discredit Dāneš and his followers (Hodizade, 1968, p. 282). ʿAynī (pp. 311-12) published a ḡazal and a robāʿī by Delkaš, drawn from Afżal’s compendium. From the accessible samples of his poetry it seems that Delkaš’s style is simpler than that prevailing in his time and in that sense closer to the style of oral literature.



(For abbreviations found in this bibliography, see “Short References.”) Afżal al-taḏkār, Tashkent, 1336/1918.

S. ʿAynī, Namūna-ye adabīyāt-e tājīk, Moscow, 1926.

J. Bečka, “Tajik Literature from the 16th Century to the Present,” in J. Rypka, Hist. Iran. Lit., pp. 485-545.

“Dilkaš,” in Uzbek Sovet Ensiklopediyasi, Tashkent, 1978, p. 38.

“Dilkaš,” in Ensiklopediya-i tojiki soveti, Dushanbe, 1980, p. 290.

R. Hodizade, Istochniki k izucheniyu tadzhikskoĭ literatury vtoroĭ poloviny XIX v. (Sources for the study of Tajik literature of the second half of the 19th century), Stalinabad, 1956.

Idem, Tanbury Dilkaš, Dushanbe, 1964. Idem, Adabīāt-e tojik dar nimai duvvumi asri XIX, Dushanbe, 1968.

Istoriya tadzhikskogo naroda (History of the Tajik people) II, Dushanbe, 1964.

Raḥmat-Allāh Wāżeḥ, Toḥfat al-aḥbāb fī taḏkerat al-aṣḥāb, Tashkent, 1288/1871.

(Cathérine Poujol)

Originally Published: December 15, 1994

Last Updated: November 21, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 3, pp. 20-251